Prisoners And Guards Share Their Surprisingly Wholesome Stories From Behind Bars

List Rules
Vote up the unexpectedly heartwarming prison stories that restore your faith in humanity.

Prison, jail, juvy and more - whatever form incarceration takes, it's not a fun place to be. There's endless boredom, danger from other inmates, sometimes even unscrupulous guards. But even in the darkest places it seems humanity can find ways to shine through, as these people who have been a part of the prison system discovered when, if only for a brief moment, they experienced kindness, care, or hope on the inside. 

Vote up your favorite heartwarming stories, and for more tales from the joint, check out ex-cons' wildest memories and strangest experiences.


  • 1
    197 VOTES

    Friends From The Outside

    From Redditor u/skuterpikk:

    I spent about one month in prison for a DUI... Some people who lived nearby had a cat, and that cat visited the prison every day. We gave it snacks if we had any, and it followed us inside and slept on the sofa in the TV room. The guards knew the cat was visiting us, but they let it stay as long as we treated it well - which of course we did.

  • 2
    166 VOTES

    Tales From Dubai

    From Redditor u/Gr0und0ne:

    I was in prison for a brief period in Dubai before being removed by my consulate… in my wing the head inmates ran a voluntary donation program so that the inmates who had access to cash or family on the outside could help out the poorer ones. It helped remove the stigma of having to beg, and allowed people access to phones, since there were no free calls. It also allowed basic hygiene because there was no soap (which, let's be honest, made it better for everyone).  

    Some people were in there so long their clothing would wear out - and we only had one set, so even if you washed them you had nothing else to wear. You could borrow a set and retain some dignity while yours dried. We also had to buy blankets and pillows. The inmates would pitch in to help make sure that each other’s stays were at least remotely bearable…

    Also I can’t believe I forgot about probably the most wholesome thing I saw there! Outside the wing was a hallway…  tiled about 12 tiles wide; they set up a game of human chess on the tiles. 32 inmates all knew their piece and their position; some of the games lasted a few days if they got interrupted and had to disburse, but they always came back.

  • 3
    191 VOTES

    Bunnies Behind Bars

    From Redditor u/sarahplaysoccer:

    My husband was in for two years. He said there were bunnies in the yard and the inmates would name them and some were friendly and would come up and liked to be held... Everyone especially loved spring when the baby bunnies were born.

    Another one was when my husband's case was overturned but they weren’t letting him out right away for some reason. We couldn’t get an attorney to help us, so one of the other inmates said f*ck that and filed a habeas corpus petition from prison with the federal court system. Got my husband out in like a week.

  • 4
    177 VOTES

    He Made Dolls For His Unborn Child

    From Redditor u/SumtimesNever:

    I've been to jail twice and prison once. One man in prison made paper maché dolls for his kid. I asked him when the kid would get to see them, and he said they weren't born yet, but he wanted to make sure they'd feel loved because he wouldn't be there when they were born. He made pink and blue ones because he didn't know the sex yet.

  • 5
    177 VOTES

    Solidarity For A Prisoner's Sister

    From Redditor u/Doggo6893:

    When I was in juvenile prison there was a dude whose baby sister passed from cancer. When he got the news, he refused to go back to his cell cause he wanted to call his mother to check in on her. But the cops weren't going to let that fly. This led to the cops threatening to lock down and rush the block just to get him, so most of us ended up refusing to lock up in solidarity with him.

    It ended well though cause one of the councilors came in, talked him down, and allowed him to call his mother. I think we got away with it cause this guy was a model inmate to the administration, and also had a good name amongst us inmates cause he was honest and treated people fairly.

  • 6
    177 VOTES

    Storytelling Is Gangster

    From Redditor u/GoBoltsAmelie88:

    I was in jail for a while, and there was a book I was reading that the library man gave me. Come to find out, the last like 40 pages were ripped out. This absolute gangster-type dude heard me complaining, and he came over that evening and told me how he'd read that book before and knew how it ended, and he basically narrated the last 40 pages to me over the next two days.