Number 5 drawing… Artist always do well in prison. Plus there is minimal risk for this hustle. People always want something drawn for their girl or their mom or their kids… there is always money to be made with art on the inside. But guess who doesn’t benefit? The guy who can’t draw of course!
Number 4 hustling out of the kitchen… “Stealing” is such a strong word in prison we tend to refer to it as hustling. And this ranks pretty high on the list because I have seen quite a few prisoners live high on the hog with this hustle. The only problem with this hustle is that you will always get caught. Greed will always eventually over take reason and the next thing you know you got 30 onions strapped to your legs while you’re walking out of the kitchen looking like you have 30 onions strapped to your legs.
Number 3 tattoos… Probably one of the riskiest hustles there is because tattoo guys ALWAYS get caught. It’s never a matter of getting caught but when. Without fail if you tattoo, you will get caught. It always happens but if somehow you can manage to survive and have a good little run- and you tattoo well that is, you can stack up quite a bit of money or commissary.
Number 2 running a store box… a store box is somewhere a prisoner can go to borrow commissary items they need or want until they themselves are able to go to the store again. A store box is prosperous because of the tax that is put on whatever is loaned out. If it is 2 honey buns you want… well you can get 2 now for 3 back later. Or 4 back for 6 or 6 for 10. A store box makes a lot of money because everyone always wants something. But the headache comes from chasing down everything that is owed.
Number 1 gambling tickets… Sports rule in prison and having a ticket where guys are able to pick games and who they think will win those games and the ability to win lots of money based upon the amount you play on those tickets is by far the best hustle while incarcerated. But gambling tickets also run a high risk of loss by whoever runs them. (Read ticket fever and a mural mishap) on any given compound there could be as many as 15 different gambling tickets. Maybe even more. Why so many? Because guys love to bet and the thought of winning money, sometimes lots of money, probably the greatest thrill while in prison.