WASHINGTON, D.C. – While waiting for a ruling on his appeals, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has been busy in his free time reviewing images for his first prison tattoo.
Libby was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after a jury convicted him in March on four of the five counts against him in his perjury trial.
“Out in the real world, I would never get a tattoo, but here, it’s different,” Libby said. “All of the toughest, most respected people in prison have ‘tats’ so to fit in, to find a gang, I need to have a good tattoo. I couldn’t get a picture of a scooter on my arm, no, I need to get something like ‘Thug Life’ on my stomach. To ensure my survival, I will need a solid tattoo.”
Friends and loved ones of Libby have been collecting images and information of prison tattoos since March, in hopes of making Libby’s decision easier.
“I think what I will be looking for is something tuff but not too tuff,” said Libby. “I guess spider webs on my elbow or a tombstone on my back with the number 30 on it to signify my time in jail. This really is an important aspect of my new life so I’ll really need to get a plan together. One of my boys in my new gang, Tha Chiefs of Staff, suggested I get ‘Dick’s Bitch’ tattooed on my back, but I thought that was a little obvious.”
Sociologists who study inmates and prison life agree with Libby’s assertion that deciding on a tattoo can be one of the most important aspects to making it through a prison sentence.
“In the prison experience, there may not be anything as important as the tattoo,” said University of Chicago Sociology Professor Edgar Terrence. “The only thing more important than the tattoo is walking in, finding the biggest guy you can and beating the shit out of him on your first day.”
According to Terrence, the prison tattoo should be something that lets other prisoners know where one stands.
“If Libby joins a gang, which if he wants to get out alive he will need to do, he will have to get a tattoo of the gang logo,” said Terrence. “(The gang logo) could be a snake or a lion, but regardless, Libby will have to make sure that insignia is visible. Of course, it will also open him up to violence from rival gangs. But that’s what happens when you do some shitty stuff and go to prison. He’s just lucky he isn’t a child molester otherwise they’d break his jaw and force him to give everyone in the cell block a blow job.”
Libby is trying to remain positive despite his sentence and hopes that good behavior and his ability to take a fall will help his chances of getting an early parole.
“If I play my cards right, I could get out of there after just a year or so,” said Libby. “I don’t know if I should get the tattoo removed right after I get out though. What happens if Dick gets in trouble again and I have to go back? I don’t want to have to go through all this again. I guess I’ll just deal with that when it comes up.”