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NEWS

Inked in the clink

Former inmate Victor Sandifer talks about the art of the jailhouse tattoo

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I ain’t going to lie; I loved it, but it ain’t an easy life. I’m having a hell of a time getting a job now because of it. When I apply for a job, they see me. That’s strike one. Next is the background check, then it’s over. People can tell these are prison tattoos – no color in them. They automatically deem that I’m a bad person. That makes it hard.

What’s the moral to the story?

Don’t do the crime unless you can do the time … because you have to live with the consequences. You can be rebellious without going to prison. My advice to young guys: Just do right and stay away from it. I’m here to tell you it ain’t where you want to be. I lived it over 20 years. Now I’m back out here, trying to find a job.

There ain’t nothing fun about prison. It’s not glamorous. When the lights go out, you’re there by yourself. Ain’t nobody can help you but you. And it ain’t going to get no better. And it can always get worse … at any moment.

What’s next for Victor Sandifer? Where’s the road lead?

I’m getting old. I’m 47. Feel like I’m running out of time. If I catch another felony, it’s three strikes and I’m over with. I ain’t been perfect, I’ve made mistakes, but I’m a good person. I don’t like violence, but I won’t let anybody run over me – that’s a man thing; you take care of your business. Eventually, you have to make a change. But at a certain age, nobody wants to hire you for anything. It’s hard just to get somebody to give you a chance … hard, hard. I just want a little job where I can work and enjoy what I’m doing. Pay the bills. Not make a fortune – just get by. Just do my little thing and be happy. I just need somebody to give me a chance. Just a break, that’s all. Just a shot.

Dege Legg, aka Brother Dege, is a writer and musician living in Lafayette, La. His website is degelegg.com. n

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