Several films and television shows of today would often include the concept of prison drama. In these shows, the prison cell is often depicted as a tiny, dark cubicle where several inmates sleep – crammed like sardines. Other films that would steer to a more humorous side would often include a tiny container strategically positioned at the corner of the room to serve as the loo.
In all these films, however, life inside the jailhouse is often portrayed the same way. These include the presence of dominant gangs who prey upon the weaker inmates. Others are also portrayed to be blabbermouths who inform the guards of all that’s happening. There are also the oblivious prisoners who are either clueless as to what’s happening around them, or who are completely ignorant of the rules – not by the warden, but by the dominant gangs.
These oblivious prisoners are, more often than not, the victims.
Given all these portrayals by the media, viewers often ask if that is truly the case. It makes them wonder if it would be possible for them to survive being in prison, even just for a year. Of course, it is possible. All it takes is a little research on exactly how to survive 1 year in prison, and a whole lot of preparation.
The best way to survive prison is to avoid prison in the first place. Following laws and being a good citizen is almost always guaranteed that a person need not worry about serving time. However, if a person does find himself committed to one year inside a prison, he shouldn’t panic. A year could go by very quickly if he knows how to keep himself out of trouble and how to assess a situation very carefully before deciding on what to do.
Before starting with anything else, the most essential tip on how to survive 1 year in prison would be to acquaint oneself with the prison rules. Indeed, ignorance of the law – or in this case, the prison rules – excuses no one. Knowing what is right and what should be done when inside the jailhouse would make the life of an inmate easier. This not only allows him to be in good terms with those in authority, but it also helps him avoid any form of additional punishment.
In most cases, the prison rules will be explained to new inmates. If a certain rule is unclear, it would be best to ask for clarification or elaboration right away. Following the rules could mean that you will get a better treatment from the guards. However, being friendly with the guards could be a disadvantage as well. Being a stickler for rules can be considered as a red flag for other inmates. A goody-goody prisoner could be suspected of being a snitch and could thus be a target for other inmates. The key is to follow the rules but keep yourself inconspicuous at the same time. Staying “invisible” will help you breeze through the 365 days that you have to spend in prison.
Another tip on how to survive 1 year in prison is to never let your guard down. Even if an inmate is only staying for 365 days, he must always be careful. Some of these prisoners are sentenced to years of imprisonment for sinister schemes, so one can never be sure who to trust. That’s why it’s always best to be alert and prepared for any possible encounter. A person should take care never to be indebted to someone for anything. The prison does not always house honest and friendly people. Trusting the wrong person or putting yourself in the mercy of another will lead to escalating troubles and could end in abuse or brutal treatment.
Of course, humans are social beings. It is impossible to survive inside jail all on your own. It will do you no harm to talk to other cellmates. Oftentimes, they will be the ones to tell you all about the unwritten rules that are followed in prison. You will also be able to pick up some survival tips from those who have been in prison for a long time. Be cautious and be alert all the time. Do not easily believe what they say. Always have common sense and discernment when listening to their advice.
If an inmate offers a person to be his “girlfriend,” it is wise to refuse immediately. An inmate’s “girlfriend” is offered protection from the others, but it is actually more dangerous. “Girlfriends” are often traded away to other inmates in exchange for contraband items or favors. These people are almost always the mostly likely to get abused.
It also helps not to strut around like you own the place. The other inmates do not appreciate arrogance, though they may respect or fear an intimidating aura. A person should be careful of the image he projects to others – intimidating but not arrogant is the image he should be aiming for. An inmate who thinks a person is arrogant may call his friends and give that person the beating of his life, which could very well lead to more attacks.
Joining a gang may seem tempting, but it’s also a set up for a hard life behind bars. Gangs have their own territories within the prison, but they are always looking to expand. Joining a gang may mean having to sleep with one eye open every night, waving off attacks from rival gang members, or participating in fights every so often. Having the protection within a gang is never worth it.
Passing the time reading or participating in the activities being offered by the authorities in prison will ensure that the year goes by quickly. Some prisons offer different types of lessons to their inmates, such as dance classes and group counseling.
Finally, no matter how long or how short the length of stay is, it is always important to be polite. This goes not just to those who are in authority, but to fellow inmates as well. Showing respect can either allow one to live a peaceful life in jail or make matters worse.
Being imprisoned is never easy. However, survival for a year in prison is possible if one is to follow all these steps.