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Prison is no picnic. Despite what you might have seen in movies or TV series, or when you've heard from friends of friends about their cousin's time behind bars, losing your freedom, perhaps your job and future employment possibilities, and contact with your loved ones can have lasting psychological and financial consequences. And, let's face it -- you're probably not going to country club prison.

So rather than get your answers about incarceration from the entertainment industry, here is some info you can rely on concerning the biggest legal issues surrounding jail and prison.

Sextortion scams come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the victims are teens, sometimes women. Sometimes the perpetrators are hackers, other times its pedophiles. And then you have a couple hundred South Carolina prison inmates targeting over 400 active military personnel and fleecing them of half a million dollars.

So how did the scam work?

The holiday season always approaches fast. First Thanksgiving. Then Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. And then right on into New Year's Eve and Day. A time for celebration, sure. But a time for crime as well.

There a natural spike in crime around the holidays, from the intentional -- targeting vacant homes and overstuffed businesses -- to the unintentional -- one too many beers or egg nogs before driving. Shoplifting may be up (surprise, surprise) as well as domestic incidents brought on by family or financial stress. So before the holidays descend upon us, here's how to keep yourself out of trouble, and what to do if you can't.

What's a Proper Strip Search?

Around 40 plaintiffs have sued the Lewis & Clark County detention center for unlawful strip searches under the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. At the heart of the claim is not only the way the searches were conducted, but on whom. Many of these plaintiffs claim that these searches were not based on reasonable suspicion.

What are the parameters for strip searches? Here are your legal rights.

Ohio Inmates Denied Medical Attention File Lawsuit

What's the best way to minimize inmates' complaints? Don't give out complaint forms.

That seems to be the strategy one Ohio jail has been using, according to a lawsuit filed by eight current and former county inmates at the Montgomery County Jail. In a very specific amended complaint, these inmates allege arbitrary punishment and a lack of medical and mental health care. The jail's defense? That they never received any requests for health care by these inmates. The plaintiff's response? Inmates were specifically denied health request forms for medical and mental care.

Banana Boxes Donated to Texas Prison Contain $18M of Cocaine

Often dubbed "the world's most popular fruit," the banana is quite versatile. Who knew it could help smuggle cocaine? And not just a small amount. At a prison in Texas, banana boxes were used to smuggle $18 million of cocaine.

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution clearly prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. But what it doesn't clearly do is describe what punishments, exactly, are cruel and unusual. That's been left up to the courts.

And while one could argue that ending a person's life is the cruelest thing the criminal justice system could do, courts have allowed the death penalty to exist while outlawing some lesser punishments. So how do judges decide what's permitted and what's cruel and unusual?

Lawsuit: Denying Methadone to Prisoners Is Cruel and Unusual

Shouldn't prisons try to save those who save themselves?

An opioid dependent inmate at the Middleton Hall of Corrections has found himself in jail for 60 days for driving to the pharmacy on a suspended license to pick up his three day supply of methadone. Geoffrey Pesce had exhausted all other options of getting to the pharmacy and he truly feared relapsing after being clean for two years. Pesce is not trying to escape this sentence. He just wants the prison to honor the prescription for methadone he has honored for the past two years, to the point of losing his freedom for 60 days in jail to make sure he took his medication.

Fentanyl Used in Execution Cocktail for the First Time

Nebraska recently held its first execution in 21 years, its first by lethal injection, and a first in history to use fentanyl. In an interesting turn of events, this drug, which has been at the center of America's opioid epidemic, is now being used to execute prisoners in the very same prison which houses recovered opioid addicts.

You may have heard you get one free phone call when you're arrested. You may not have heard how much phone calls from prison can cost after that, or how much cities, counties, and telecommunications companies are making off those calls.

One fewer city, however, will be profiting from jail phone calls. New York City is making phone calls from its jails free. On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill into law eliminate the charges, and eliminating about $5 million per year in city revenue from such calls.