What do they call jail booze?

Answered by Jason Smith

In jail, there’s a homemade alcoholic concoction that goes by the name of pruno, or prison wine. This drink is crafted using a variety of ingredients that are typically accessible to inmates, such as apples, oranges, fruit cocktail, fruit juices, hard candy, sugar, high fructose syrup, and even crumbled bread. The goal is to ferment these items together to create an alcoholic beverage.

I remember my time in jail, where pruno was a common topic of discussion among inmates. It was seen as a way to temporarily escape the harsh realities of prison life and find some solace in the midst of confinement. The ingenuity and creativity involved in making pruno became a source of pride for some prisoners.

The process of making pruno can vary, but it typically involves combining the fruits, juices, and other ingredients in a container, often a plastic bag or a makeshift fermentation vessel. The mixture is then left in a warm, dark place to allow the natural yeast present in the fruits to convert the sugars into alcohol through the process of fermentation.

One of the challenges in making pruno is acquiring the necessary ingredients. In jail, access to fresh fruits or any type of contraband can be limited. Therefore, inmates often have to rely on whatever scraps they can scrounge up, like leftover fruit from meals or smuggled items from the kitchen. Sometimes, even hard candy or sugar packets are used to provide the necessary sugars for fermentation.

The fermentation process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the conditions and the desired alcohol content. Inmates would often monitor the progress of their pruno, eagerly awaiting the day when it would be ready to consume.

However, it’s important to note that the production and consumption of pruno is strictly prohibited in correctional facilities. Inmates who are caught making or possessing pruno can face disciplinary action, as it is considered a violation of prison rules. The consequences can range from loss of privileges to extended time in solitary confinement.

Despite the risks involved, pruno remains a popular and pervasive part of prison culture. It serves as a means of escape, a way to momentarily forget about the harsh realities of life behind bars. While I personally never indulged in pruno during my time in jail, I witnessed firsthand the lengths some inmates would go to in order to create this forbidden drink.

Pruno, or prison wine, is a homemade alcoholic beverage crafted by inmates using a variety of ingredients such as fruits, juices, candy, and sugar. It is a product of ingenuity and resourcefulness in an environment where access to traditional alcoholic drinks is limited. However, it is important to recognize that the production and consumption of pruno is against prison rules and can lead to disciplinary action.