No longer behind bars, these former inmates and ex-cons have garnered a large subscriber following of millions, making the same amount in dollars, for their videos about life in jail.
The “After Prison Show,” started three years ago by ex-con Joe Guerrero after he served seven years for cocaine and firearm possession. Guerrero’s first viral video was about how to make a prison tattoo gun, the Washington Post reported. Amidst Tekashi 6ix9ine headlines, "After Prison Show" discusses the absolute truth about snitching.
Guerrero says that YouTubing is now his full-time job, which earns him “a six-figure income,” according to the NY Post.
“Until now, my life had been a constant failure,” Guerrero said. “I told myself that if I’m going to make it this time or if I’m going to fail, I want to show people what it’s like. A lot of people have no idea what it’s like to serve time and then try and restart their life.”
Unlike documentaries that attack incarceration rates or tackle social justice issues—or the Kardashians’ plans for prison reform—these popular YouTube prison shows discuss real life behind bars, including what really happens in isolation.
The channel “Fresh Out- Life After The Penitentiary,” run by Marcus “Big Herc” Timmons, has a segment called “Prison Talk” with videos about joining a gang in prison, and the vulnerability of being short and skinny in jail. The ex-con convicted for bank robbery, told Insider he makes “thousands of dollars a month in ad payouts” from his vlogs.
While a lot of the audience were originally ex-prisoners, like Wes Watson who has gone on to launch his own channel, “GP- Penitentiary Life Wes Watson,” the videos are starting to get people who never entertained life in prison.
Alongside these vlogs, Watson does life coaching, charges fitness-training clients $250 monthly and has plans to launch an online platform priced at $47 a month.
Watson told Insider that his monthly income is $10,000, generated from ads on his popular YouTube videos, adding: “[Success] is just helping as many people as I can through my platform, and just steering people away from these negative traits.”