You’re going to think this is funny. But if you’re poor, you need jail. You really do. That’s where I disappear to. The food is good and it’s better in the winter; the people are okay to you, except for the guards that try to get up in your kootchie. And you get some peace. I mean, you have to know when to go! You can’t go right after [check day] when everyone’s in there because they’re drunk. No. You go middle of the week, slow time, get a few days, get rested, get warm. See, everyone around here does that. That’s why we know the cops so well; we see them all the time. They’re like our landlords.
That is from an interview with Carla, in Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor.