How do you celebrate your birthday when you’re locked up in prison?


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How do you celebrate your birthday when you’re locked up in prison?

Prison correspondent Skoop just turned 25. Here’s how she celebrated

Skoop is’s prison correspondent. She’s currently incarcerated in SCI-Muncy, a maximum security women’s prison in Pennsylvania. She loves flirting, cooking and trap music. She’s also a writer – she sends her columns to us by letter. Her nickname, as she likes to say, is Skoop because she “scoops up all the girls.” She’s here talk about what her life on the inside is like — and if you’re smart, you’ll listen.

Damn, I have to say it: I’m tired of spending my birthdays in prison, but I have to make the best of it. I’m going to tell you how it is for me, although this year I’d rather turn up and celebrate. 2018 has been a blessing for me because I just got resentenced! That’s worth a party. Since I can’t have a party in here, I’ll just try to enjoy my 25th birthday the best I can. I’ve spent nine birthdays locked up, only a few more to go….

I really don’t care too much for my birthday because I’m in here, away from my family. But who doesn’t like to receive gifts or eat like a pig? Shit, I know I do. It gives me an excuse to eat and do what I want…or should I say, act spoiled for a day. But after a while, it’s just another day in Muncy. Even holidays become just another day and nothing is exciting anymore. I can’t really do shit for my birthday so I end up having that “I don’t care attitude.” It kind of makes me a little bitter. For me, I try to stay as positive as I can because there is too much negativity floating in the air and too many women PMSing.

Our regular CO, if he knows it’s your birthday, will make a big deal of it. He’ll make a public announcement to everyone on the unit that it’s your birthday. There is no being secretive about it. You have your friends decorating your door with “happy birthday” banners, them telling everyone that it’s your birthday. You just can’t be discreet about it in here. You know they say “there’s no secrets in jail” and that’s not a lie! So, some way, some how, everyone knows it’s my birthday. I mean it’s cool and all, because people do show you love. The people I’m close to are the ones who really make my day.

I always receive nice gifts. This year I got a crotchet blanket, clothes (boxers, t-shirts, and socks) cards and money. In here, I can’t go wrong with money because I can buy whatever I want myself. My favorite gifts are painted clothes but the only issue is it’s considered contraband because it’s “altered.” If you have a petty CO, they’ll take it.

All the little shit that will make you feel like you’re not an inmate, these petty-ass COs will snatch that from you. So don’t be a sentimental person, is my advice. People who are real artistic usually paint whatever you want on your clothes – they’ll dye underwear and socks to match logos or just different shit on t-shirts, your favorite football or basketball team, whatever sport you like. I have a New York Giants polo t-shirt still. Those t-shirts made it through a few searches. Anything can be a gift in here, because not many people are as fortunate as others. Stuff like cross-stitch keychains (or just anything cross-stitch) homemade bracelets, cards, candy, food, clothes, cigarettes (if you smoke) can all be good birthday gifts.

I love how people decorate each other’s cells. I’m not all into that, but it’s nice to look at what can be made with just construction paper. Fancy, if you ask me. People will have streamers hanging from the ceiling, balloons, and different type of stars, and maybe their name. I give it up to the people who have the patience and talent for all that.

Now I love to eat, but on my birthday I eat so much food I can barely walk. The cakes are the best. I love cheesecake, and believe me when I say the homemade jail style tastes good. It’s the provolone cheese that makes the cheesecake taste like cheesecake. Oreo cheesecake and strawberry are my favorite. This year, I was given an oat bake banana cake made of oatmeal, bananas, Hershey bars and honey buns. So good! I don’t know how to make cakes so I wouldn’t be able to tell you how to make it, what goes where and how. I’m a fat kid, so I rather just eat than know the details. I also had a chicken and broccoli Stromboli, a Hot Pocket and tuna salad. I ate so much food I couldn’t walk — all I could do was lay down and rub my stomach to try to give me more room to eat more.

Depending on what you want to do, you can have fun on your birthday. Gathering up enough friends to play different board games is what a lot of people do – Pictionary, Family Feud, Scattergories, cards. Maybe even an organized volleyball or softball game, that’s what I like to do. You can’t really throw parties but I’ve been to a couple with strippers and all. I’m not saying they can dance but it was more entertainment. Which is not legal, but to celebrate someone’s birthday… who really cares, right? We do what we can to have fun and enjoy our birthday the best we can in here.

More on Skoop:

Introducing Skoop, babe’s prison correspondent — reporting from a high security women’s facility

What life in prison is actually like, according to a girl who grew up inside one

She killed a man to save herself and her mom. Now she’s locked up for the rest of her life

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