Excerpt from Robert Melzer
… It all comes down to the prison concept of respect. On the street you’re respected for your job, or community service, or even by your family.
In here, we have none of that, all we have is our word. A lot of guys ride on the coattails of their past life. If they’re lucky, they’ll have a few people from their town who will vouch for them. Others are respected for their crimes- drug dealers, bank robbers, even murderers, have a level of clout in here.
Others are respected because we have no choice but to respect them, they’re so violent no one dares disrespect them. Still others earn their respect by being as violent and evil as they can. Just today a friend of mine called one of his friends a fag. I guess he heard it through the grapevine? So the other guy fired back by saying my friend was a rat. They ended up fighting. Both now in the hole. Found out none of it was true. So who gets the respect? Ridiculous!