News, Culture & Society

Prisoner culture shock after 12 years in jail: Coles and Woolworths tap and go, UberEats and cars

Aussie prisoner shares the culture shocks he’s had re-entering society after 12 YEARS – from paying with an iPhone to UberEats and his wife’s VERY modern new car

  •  A prisoner has revealed the culture shock of re-entering world after 12 years
  •  He said when he went away there was no Uber Eats or pay wave technology
  • He said he almost smashed the screen of his new phone trying to tap and pay
  • Do you have a story about post-jail culture shock? Email 

An Australian man who spent 12 years behind bars has revealed the huge culture shock which comes with being released into the world after a lengthy sentence.

The former prisoner said the shock started when his wife picked him up from jail – in a car which didn’t exist in 2010.

Speaking on the Kyle and Jackie O Show on KIIS 1065 the man said when he went to jail, Uber eats didn’t exist and Michael Jackson was still alive. 

A man who spent 12 years behind bars has revealed the huge culture shock which comes with being released into the world after such a lengthy sentence

‘The world is a completely different place,’ he said.

But it was a trip to Woolworths which really left the ex-con rattled.

‘My wife had given me an iPhone and set up the face ID, then we headed to Woolies to buy some fruit and veg,’ he told the popular hosts.

‘She said you have to tap your phone on the tap and go and I nearly broke the screen,’ he laughed.

Prisoners reveal the biggest culture shocks after serving long sentences

* ‘UberEats and food delivery services existing – mind blowing stuff’ 

* ‘First day out I went to McDonald’s and they changed the soda fountains to touch screen and let you add flavors and stuff blew my mind’

* ‘I’ve heard it said that carpeted floors are pleasantly shocking after years of walking on nothing but cement’ 

* ‘I was pretty shocked by everything smartphone apps could do. I knew about this stuff because I was in a low security unit, but I really had a hard adjusting to actually using it. Seeing and hearing about this stuff second hand is a huge difference to actually using it’

* ‘I have done 5+ years in prison, I was mostly amazed by smart TVs with netflix and browsers directly in the TV. And the internet speeds blew my mind as well’

* ‘My mind was blown by Tinder and Uber. I had a hard time grasping touch screens or couldn’t really see why they were better than buttons. I’d never even had a debit card and paid for everything in cash before I went in. I lost it when I saw people tapping their phones to pay for stuff’

* ‘My uncle came back from prison after 20 years or something because of something that I am not informed about but I told my house bot to turn on the lights in the living room as we walked in, I look back, and his face was like he just saw a ghost. Funniest s**t I’d ever seen’

* ‘You can order pizza from Domino’s with Alexa/Echo Dot from the couch and change TV stations’ 

* ‘Women. After 12 years locked up a tonne changed! I had no clue how to read women. I used to actually call them and talk to them on the phone. They’d blow me off real fast but text two minutes later. Wtf? Some girls would hook up with me never having met me nor talk on the phone. That was so unbelievable to me’

* ‘A co-worker of mine served 17 years. Modern vehicles and smartphones blew his mind. Think about some of the stuff that a car/truck made in the last 5 years has, compared to a late 90’s model’

* My father was a councilor in a prison for 12+ years. He told me the inmates would often talk about wanting to feel their body submerged in water. Taking a bath, swim, etc. There are only showers so that feeling of being weightless, floating, submerged was something these men would fantasise about’

The hosts laughed along, explaining to the man there’s a difference between a prison tap and a real-world tap.

‘You don’t do anything softly in prison,’ Kyle said. 

The man said he got news in jail, and even worked out ways to get reception on a small hand held radio during a strict 17-day Covid lockdown.

But these small moments didn’t prepare him for all of the changes.

The man phone Kyle and Jackie O to let them know relationships can survive a jail sentence

The man phone Kyle and Jackie O to let them know relationships can survive a jail sentence

‘I got spat out at 7am, my wife picked me up in this car I had never seen before,’ he said.

‘I spent 25 minutes staring at the dash, then I said hello.’

He said he was also disappointed when he tried to find the radio hosts – only to find out they had moved stations since his time away. 

The anonymous former inmate called the radio hosts after they questioned whether relationships could survive a prison sentence.

He said he and his wife are just as in love as they were when he went away, describing them as a success story. 

The man is still on parole as he has only been out of jail for seven weeks, but claims things are looking good.

‘I have has a job since the day I got out,’ he said proudly.