By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—William Mulholland has survived twenty-one years in both State and Federal prisons, and is now using his experience to help prepare those who are about to enter the correctional system.
Mulholland is the author of, Prison Etiquette “The real guide and secret codes to living and surviving in prison.” He also operates a prison consulting firm that offers instruction on how to mentally and physically survive incarceration:
“Everything in prison is violence. Everything you do. EVERYTHING. Yet, it is absolutely possible to avoid. When you know the system, it is possible to not get encompassed in violence.” says Mulholland.
The investigation into possible criminal wrong doing by Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard has already led to the conviction of disgraced former State Representative Greg Wren, R-Montgomery and the arrest of Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, who is facing serious jail time if convicted on four felony counts of making false statements and perjury.
Wren avoided prison by turning State’s evidence, offering to be a witness for the State against Hubbard and his alleged accomplices. However, Wren is believed to be the only lawmaker who will receive such a sweetheart deal; others, if convicted, may face imprisonment in a State penitentiary.
According to Mulholland, prisons operate on a certain set of rules. There is a set code of conduct. If the rules are understood and obeyed, then a prisoner is more likely to survive. If the code of conduct is broken, danger lurks at every turn.
“I teach. I don’t sell fear…I educate people on fear. Violence is brought on by a person doing harm, for the most part. But some people don’t know they are causing harm or breaking the code at first until it is too late,” Mulholland told Richard Dool in an article for HLN.
Mulholland points out that even a small infraction such as walking on the wrong side of the hall or walking on a freshly mopped floor can lead to a violent confrontation. “You might bump into a guy and get stabbed because you didn’t say excuse me. If a guy is mopping a floor, that is his floor. If you walk across his wet floor that he just cleaned that could be a problem,” Mulholland said.
Men like Moore and Hubbard have led soft lives of privilege and they are not conditioned to endure the strict code of conduct that rules the dark world of the State prison system.
Respect underlies much of the prisoner’s code, and disrespect is a quick way to earn punishment from other inmates. Men like Hubbard and Moore have a history of disrespecting those they consider inferior; an attitude that will set-in-motion violent retribution behind bars.
Many who work in security at the State House have incurred the wrath of both Hubbard and Moore. Moore has, on several occasions, shown utter disrespect and hostility toward police officers who were simply doing their job. This type of behavior in a prison setting could certainly lead to a very unpleasant stay for Moore. A legislative badge doesn’t frighten a convict or a corrections officer.
As for Hubbard, he might find it difficult to bully convicts the way he has lawmakers, the press and others. Hubbard would find his power to intimidate sorely lacking against the hardened men at a state correction facility.
Mulholland says there are goldfish and there are piranhas in prison. On the outside, Hubbard is used to being the big fish, but in lockdown, he would just be some new chum.
Alabama’s prisons are some of the worst in the nation; the most overcrowded and underfunded. Hubbard, has overseen the funding for the State’s prisons and has given only lip service to its reform. Perhaps as an inmate he would have more regard for the humanity of prisoners.
But, felons can’t vote, much less be Speaker of the House.