Are you curious about what kind of important things you should know before you serve your prison sentence? Have you heard enough prison stories that just thinking about the place scares the hell out of you? Prison life is definitely scary and hard, but you can survive serving time if you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself for it.
Trust Your Instincts
Practice your intuition for danger. When you live in the same room with convicts, anything can happen in a second. Try to avoid rationalizing things in an irrational situation and place. You must learn to watch out for and react to immediate dangers in your surroundings.
Respect Officers and Other Inmates
Life behind the prison bars is uncomfortable for everyone. Don’t think for a second that you’re the only one who hates the place. Be mindful of other’s feelings. Don’t insult anyone. Avoid confrontational situations, foul language, or invasion of someone’s privacy.
Learn the rules
It is easy to break rules inside the prison and ignorance is not an excuse. Ask your attorney for a copy of the prison’s rules and understand them. Breaking the rules, even if it is unintentional, can irritate the jail staff and other inmates. They see it as a sign of defiance and so they will make you a target. The prison may be full of people who broke the law outside but rules inside the prison are strictly enforced.
No to Gangs
Don’t gamble, do drugs, and join any prison gangs. Most new prisoners think that joining gangs will protect them inside the prison. However, there’s a huge catch to that protection. In reality, participating or joining a gang inside the prison is the easiest way to get into trouble, which is the last thing you need inside the prison walls.
Endure Reclusive Confinement
A solitary cell is a room that provides you with just enough space to move around without any contact with other human beings. You have to stay inside for 23 hours per day with little exercise. These cells are used to mentally break down the prisoners so they will be more cooperative. So whatever it takes, you must understandwhat kind of important things you should know before you serve your prison sentence.
If you are going to an isolation cell, you have to plan your activities to avoid going crazy. Schedule your daily activities,whichmay include exercising, reading, singing, and meditating.
Prison food may not be the best in the world, but you still need to eat. Remember that most gangsters in prison will hurt anyone whom they think is weak and easy to beat. Drink lots of water and take vitamins if you have access to them. Prison food may not always be healthy, balanced, or nutritious. Ask the staff if there are available vitamins for prisoners. If there are none (which is highly likely), find other ways to keep fit, like exercising and getting enough sun exposure to keep your bones and muscles healthy.
Keep yourself busy inside the prison. If you are not in an isolated cell, you have plenty of chances to participate in voluntary jobs. Join social activities such as sports, card games, and walking club.
Read a Lot
When there’s no other activity to do, empower your mind through reading. You can always find a spot in the prison where you can engage in quiet reading. Read books, magazines, newspapers,any kind of reading materialavailable in jail will do. Reading doesn’t only improve your knowledge but also helps you escape from the prison life and enter an imaginary world from which you can have temporary respite. Some prisons allow for subscriptions sent directly to jail. If you are self-surrendering, you can set up your subscriptions beforehand and have them sent to the prison. Or you can ask friends and family to send you reading materials.
Depression is the common rival of many prisoners. Despite having a lot of co-inmates, you will still feel depressed inside the prison cell. In order to fight depression and anxiety, you have to make sure that you already know what kind of important things you should know before you serve your prison sentence.
Learn and prepare for prison camp or hold-over facility
Sometimes, depending on the case and the sentence, prisoners may be sent to a prison camp or hold-over facility. They spend some time in this facility while the prison bureau decides whether to place the convict in a low-level, medium-level, or high-level security. Find out what you can from your lawyer if you might be going to this place so you can prepare.
These facilities do not have pleasant accommodations and amenities. You will be sharing a tiny cell room with a couple of other inmates. The prison cells are too cramped. Outdoor rec activity is limited to 1 hour per day. Showers are only allowed for 5 minutes once or twice a week. Prepare for hardships in these facilities. Also, inmates are more volatile and more likely to erupt in violence at the slightest provocation. Be mindful and alert for any imminent danger or trouble and be quick to run away from it.
Your stay here, if ever, will only be temporary. Make sure to behave well so that you will be transferred sooner to a low-level prison where conditions are more relaxed and less dangerous.
Federal prisons allow prisoners to have money with them. How much depends on the facility’s rules. Some allow up to $500. If you can, bring the maximum allowed money, but not in cash. US Postal Service Money is accepted in federal and state prisons. Cash will be confiscated. The money is for you to use to purchase hygiene materials, stamps, papers, envelopes, snacks, and other supplies. These supplies can make your stay a little more comfortable. Do not let anyone know you have money or else you will be a huge target. Pretend you do not have any and remember to spend it frugally.