For people who are convicted to stay in a prison or in a county jail, it is a difficult transition for the environment behind bars is completely different from the normal world. They need to make major adjustments and get used to their new world. If you are one of them, then you need to know the things that you need to do to prepare yourself for the world you are about to get into, thus the question here is, “How to prepare yourself for prison or county jail?”
Before discussing the answer to this question, you should know a few things on the differences between jail and prison, bail and bond, felony and misdemeanor.
Jail Vs. Prison
Most people do not know that jail and prison are different. Jails are where people, who are awaiting for their sentences or convicted with sentences shorter than a year, stay. Local governments and/or sheriffs run jails. On the other hand, prisons are where people convicted to serve sentences longer than a year. The state and federal government run prisons. Rules and regulations are more austere and more rigorous in prisons compared to jails.
Bail vs. Bond
Bail is the money you pay to the court to grant you temporary release after an arrest. Bond, on the other hand, means you get your money back when trials begin or until the judge reads the decision. The bail you paid may become a bond, depending on the court decision. You need to know whether your offense is eligible for bailout or not, whether your bail is a bond or not. Not all bailable offenses can be considered as a bond.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor
Felony is a grave offense compared to misdemeanor. However, not all people convicted of felony go to prison. Sometimes, a judge can sentence a person with a felony offense, sending him to county jail for a year. This happens if the jury sees that a simple rehabilitation, such as serving the county jail, is enough for you to learn your lesson. Misdemeanor is an offense with a shorter sentence. The sentence lasts for three, six, or twelve months.
In case the judge convicts you to serve in county jail or prison, here are the tips on how to prepare yourself for prison or county jail:
First, you need to take care of your personal obligations before going in a jail or in a prison. You need to fix your finances like your savings accounts and credit cards, talk to your employer about your situation, determine your guardianship rights if you have children, and get a lawyer to help you with your case. It is vital to sort these things out whether you are sentenced for a shorter or a longer period of time.
Be honest of your situation, especially to your immediate family members. More than anyone, they have the right to know what to expect during your stay in the county jail. The moral support of your immediate family members like your parents and spouse is a big help to make the ordeal easier. However, if you have a not-so-good relationship with your family, telling them about your situation is a matter of choice.
As for your employer, at least tell a general description of what you are going through and why you are leaving. If your employer is not prejudicial or you are close to the person, you can tell the specific details. You may also ask if in case you get out of prison or jail, you can resume working with them. Telling someone about your imminent stay in county jail helps. However, the extent of what to tell is up to you.
Second, you need to equip yourself with necessary information about the jail or prison. The first things that you need to know are the rules and regulations, so you would not break any of them and get into further trouble. Learn about visiting hours so that you know if you can request some of your family members to visit you once in a while. Staying in jail or prison is an emotional phase. Thus, maintaining connections with your loved ones helps you get through the experience with ease.
You also need to know how money works inside your jail or prison, so you would not lose money inside or worse, have it stolen from you. Last, check out the special services that jails or prisons offer like education programs, work programs, and medical options. Knowing these will help you maximize your time inside jail or prison to learn new things, avoid being involved in any kind of violence, and forget about homesickness.
Even if your sentence is shorter than a year, time seems to slow when you are inside prison or jail. Know how you can make your time worthwhile. You may arrange with someone to bring you books to read during your free time. Alternatively, stay fit by an exercise routine that you can do inside the prison cell .
Last, you need to know how to properly behave and act while behind bars. Remember to avoid trusting anyone even guards and employees for you may not know who among them have hidden motives. Socialize but try not to be associated with your inmates. You also need to respect your inmates’ privacy. Losing your attitude will also help you get along with your other inmates. The most important thing is for you to avoid being a snitch. This will give your inmates reason to harass and hurt you.
While you are inside jail or prison, ask your attorney to review the judge’s decision, especially if the decision involves years of serving your sentence. You can make an appeal to reconsider the decision made.
Being in jail or in prison is indeed a difficult phase any person can experience. In this regard, knowing how to prepare yourself for prison or county jail is a big factor to ensure that you will leave it in one piece.