Lane Garrison talks prison, bad decisions
April 18th, 2011
11:23 AM ET

Lane Garrison talks prison, bad decisions

Former “Prison Break” actor Lane Garrison found himself locked up in real life after he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 2007.

Garrison opened up on the “Today” show Monday about what life was like behind bars.

“You have to trust that one of these guys, when you close your eyes, isn’t just going to wake up in the middle of the night, pull you off your rack and beat you with a lock or stab you,” Garrison, who was shuffled between eight prisons during his sentence, recalled.

“If you speak to anyone who’s ever done time, the fact that you make it out of there alive is a miracle. It’s like a bomb went off inside; it’s your worst nightmare,” he told “Today’s” Matt Lauer. “Your hardcore gang members are there, and the guards are pretty hard there as well. I probably saw about 300 fights; I had a bunkie who was killed; I saw people stabbed.”

Garrison believes the reason he wasn’t harmed was because of a “guardian angel.”

“I’d be sitting there on the yard and someone sitting right next to me would literally just get clocked and I was never touched,” he recalled. “It’s by the grace of God that I’m sitting here with you today.”

Nonetheless, Garrison said he “100 percent” needed to be behind bars.

The actor was 26 when he decided to attend a high-school party that led to a fatal car crash. He had some drinks before climbing into a car with three teens, and according to “Today,” his blood-alcohol level was double the legal limit. Garrison crashed into a tree, killing a 17-year-old passenger.

That night “was a night of bad decisions. I had two drinks, downed two shots…bottom line, I should’ve never been at that party; I should’ve never had drinks in my system; I should’ve never drove,” Garrison said.

“I think for me I’d been through so much; I’d just lost both my parents, and I felt like, nothing else bad can happen. The message is simple here – with drinking and driving, most people don’t have an intent to hurt somebody, but it happens and it can happen to anybody.”

Garrison was released on good behavior in 2009, and said he’s speaking out now to help others learn from his mistakes.

“I grew up learning from a father who said when you make a mistake or you make a bad decision, you man up and take responsibility. The minute I decided to plead guilty was the minute that everything changed in my life,” the actor, who has appeared on NBC’s “The Event,” told Lauer. “Going through 8 prisons, I never thought I’d make it out to see another set. I’m fortunate enough to get a second chance when a young man doesn’t have one, so I’m going to make the most of it.”

Filed under: Celebrities • television

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. hardeymorlar

    He has realised his mistake and also he served terms in jail, I think that's enough for him

    September 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tim

    Lane Garrison appears to show a lot of remorse for his stupid action which resulted in the death of another young man. Potentially this could be a story from thousands or millions of us, who have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst taxiing other party-goers around. At least he has and is standing up for his mistake and is using his notoriety in attempt to get the message 'out there' as others of us continue to ignore and lose our young friends week after week!
    Good on you Lane, i hope you continue to earn your inner peace.

    August 6, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. jswerve

    Wheres the collective White man anger over this like there was for Michael Vick getting out of prison?

    April 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • brathead

      Wow...Just when I thought I could read comments without it having to do with someone's race. You need to shut the hell up and quit holding all white people responsible for a small group of us. I am white and have several friends of all races. Quit using us as a whole for things that SOME if our ancestors did. Until people let go of all of the hatred they have been holding in for all of these years, there is always going to be a racial divide in this country. For cryin out loud Obama was elected president, if that doesn't show racial equality, I don't know what will!

      April 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. debi brake

    how do convicted felons continue to work acting? felons usually are ostricized from jobs, but an actor can kill someone and continue to work?

    April 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Autum Rose

    Im sure for this actor prison was a cake walk for him he was not constantly looking behind himself to make sure that no one was there to hurt him or worrying about money to call his familyl here is an article about a family taht went through it......

    April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. B lo me

    Garrison was in protective custody thats y he wasnt hurt

    April 19, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. mudder

    I heard he was getting his fudge packed! Lol! He wasn't hurt because he was someone's property most likely! He better hope he never sees anyone from prison..they'll set the story straight!

    April 19, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. kanye

    17 YEAR OLD GIRLS ARE WAY HOT ! that is why he was hanging out with them. If 17 is legal in your atate WOW ! 17 year olds are young n firm !

    April 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GB

    He "%100 needed" a longer sentence for recklessly causing that young man's death. only forty months behind bars...what an injustice to the victim and his family.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peace

    What the hell is a 26 year old doing hanging out w/ teenagers anyways? Accidents are called accidents for a reason, they are accidents. Driving drunk is no accident. Kill someone driving drunk, ummm yeah, you need to "go away" for a long time. That kid had a whole lifetime to go, HAD ! No sympathy here.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dr. Gyno

    This dude screams d0uchebag

    April 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Evel Knievel

    He didn't get hurt bc he was getting punked out.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shine Monkey

    In his spare time he loves to shine knobs.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. @wild stallions

    all of you loosers make me sick.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WLM

    @emma......Are you kidding. He deserved jail time. He killed someone because of his stupid actions. What is that was one of your family members???
    He should still be in jail.

    April 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  16. BIG AL

    I heard he spent all of his jail time playing with weenies. That is why he was so popular there.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  17. LEE

    I agree. The sentence should have been several years probation. He should not have been given time in prison.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. ted

    LILO should NOT be getting preferential treatment just because she is a lesbian. All a lesbian has to do is say she was momentarily upset and she can get away with anything.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  19. emma

    i heard it rumored the law enforcement types said about the lilo incident: OH WELL. IT IS JUST LESBIANS BEING LESBIANS.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. emma

    he never should have had to go to prison. look at all th things lindsay lohan has done. she purposely tried to run over her ex publicity agent girlfriend with an automobile. that is attempted mudrer in anyones book. lilo recieved no punishment for this. the exgirlfriend later recanted saying lilo was just drunk and upset about the breakup.

    April 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cate

      What is wrong with all of you?! I dislike Lindsay and all the crap she gets away with but she has never hurt nor killed someone.

      He had no business hanging out with teenagers and drinking too much and killing that poor kid. He may not have intentionally murdered that teenager but the fact remains their life is over because of his foolish, thoughtless actions.

      All of you trying to compare this to lesser crimes and saying he should have just gotten probation are fools. So if you're saying the cops let lesbians off I guess you all let cute male actors off the hook for killing someone.

      April 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. JR

    I sure hope you do something big with your life besides making crappy TV shows. You owe that much to family of the kid that died. You sound like kind of a wuss and I'm guessing its just going to be crappy TV.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |

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