The State acts as the parent of all its citizens. In lieu of this, the State has the duty to protect its citizens from all forms of harm, and make sure that there is a harmonious relationship between all of its citizens. This is the reason why penal laws are in force.
The prime purpose of enforcing penal laws is to make sure that justice is served. It also acts as a blanket of protection towards its citizens – that those who do harm will be justly punished. This explains the existence of penitentiaries.
These penitentiaries house delinquent citizens as a form of penalty and reformation. Convicts stay in jail in the period prescribed by law, which depends on the gravity of the offense they have committed. Others stay for only a year. On the other hand, others stay for 10 years or more.
Now the question is this: how to survive 10 years in prison?
The thought of being jailed for such a long time can be quite terrifying. Being locked up means being separated from one’s family and friends. In effect, this makes one miss out on all important family events and activities. To some, it means having to be apart from his growing child. Being in jail also has a crucial effect to one’s career. Aside from not being able to practice a profession for 10 years, it also hinders one from seeking a decent employment after serving sentence. The stigma of being a convict who spent ten years or more in prison stays even after he leaves, and this could affect how other people see him.
However, a greater fear among those who are to enter prison is the survival itself. With proper research and preparation, 10 years will pass in no time. The general rule of thumb when staying in prison is to keep a low profile, try not to make anyone mad, and always respect the rules that have been placed. It also helps to at the very least know how to end a fight or argument quickly, but this will for the worst case scenario, when talking to avoid trouble does not work.
Aside from making sure that one is well-acquainted with the house rules, it also helps that one is respectful towards those in authority. Showing of politeness and obedience towards a marshal gives off the impression that one is repentant of what he has done. These marshals have been proven to be a little more lenient towards those who respect the rules, but a person should take care not to actively side with the guards against the other prisoners. Being called a snitch is one of the worst things that can happen inside a prison, and making the guards angry can lead to them broadcasting that tiny little fact. And if there’s one thing that the inmates hate, it’s snitches.
So, a person needs to find a balance between being respectful and friendly towards the guards and being respectful and friendly towards the other inmate. It may seem a little difficult at first, but it’s the key to surviving long enough and to avoid trouble.
At the same time, being respectful towards other prisoners is a key factor in learning how to survive 10 years in prison. Aside from eluding being the prey of other inmates, it offers the person respect in return. Although it helps to portray an intimidating persona, make sure it is not that of arrogance. Arrogance can only lead to the hatred of fellow inmates, and may cause them to gang up against a person.
It is not advisable to be too friendly with other inmates, but it helps to be acquaintances with those who have been inside the penitentiary longer. However, trusting someone is a different story. When an inmate offers new information, one must first think with discernment. Is the information true or not? Will the information cause trouble? Is this person a dependable source? These are the questions one must first consider.
It’s also not advisable to discuss what crime a person has committed with other inmates, no matter how petty the crime may be. Those charged with sexual crimes (especially against children) are often the target of sexual abuse among the other inmates, and even those charged with smaller crimes can be the victim of brutality. If a person is charged with crimes against children, he should ask for protective custody to spare himself the wrath of any of the other inmates.
Some inmates offer protection to another against the others, but it is wise not to do so. Inmates who throw themselves in the mercy of another often find themselves treated like slaves, sold, or abused by the other prisoners. Some also say that it’s not good to associate oneself with someone who’s being protected by another, as jealousy within prison is a very real thing and could lead to a fight breaking out, or, in the worst case scenario, murder.
Finally, the activities one chooses to do while inside prison can either improve his chances of survival, or completely destroy his credibility. Gambling and indulging in alcoholic beverages is never a good idea. Instead, join the recreational activities being offered in jail. Other prisons even encourage inmates to bring books and offers educational assistance.
Gambling is never a win-win situation for an inmate, even if he considers himself good with cards. Losing means that a person will be unable to pay off his debts and will be taken advantage of, winning means making everyone else angry. A person should never ever gamble. However, it’s not bad to know a few card games to pass the time with acquaintances, just as long as any bets are off the table. In connection to this, a person should also make sure he is not indebted to someone. He must never take anything that is offered to him, because this is a surefire way to be placed in someone’s debt. Any vices that a person has has to be discarded until he serves his time, and only then can he start up again.
However, it is important to note that prevention will always be better than cure. Although preparing for survival in prison helps, the best way will always be to evade being in jail in the first place. Be a law-abiding citizen, so you don’t have to think and worry about how to survive 10 years in prison.