People have this misconception that a county jail is the same as prison. While both serve as “placeholders” for criminals, their scope varies greatly. County jails often function as temporary detention centers for offenders who are awaiting trial and those who are due for sentencing by the judge. Prisons, on the other hand, serve as rehabilitative institutions where criminals who have been sentenced are housed.
The typical criminals that you’ll find in county jails are those who are guilty of minor misdemeanors, driving while intoxicated, domestic violence, petty theft, etc. On the other hand, prison inmates are typically those who are guilty of heinous crimes, such as murder in the first degree, rape, assaulting an officer, assault and battery, etc. With that in mind, how to survive 2, 4 or 5 days in jail is totally different compared to surviving 2, 4 or 5 days in a state prison.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should relax if you are just being sent to a county jail. While the people you’ll be sharing a cell with in jail are not as “dangerous” as the ones in prison, most of them are still prone to violence and should be considered to be potentially harmful nonetheless. Therefore, to make sure you survive in jail, you should keep a good attitude at all times. Your attitude could mean the difference between getting a beating from the inmates and getting out of there without a scratch.
Walking into jail like you’re king will only earn you the ire of the other inmates. Maintain a level of respect at all times. You do not want to go around disrespecting inmates once you enter county jail. Disrespecting somebody in jail will usually result to an all out riot. Do not, under any circumstances, disrespect anyone if you want to maintain a high survivability rate in jail.
Don’t be a rat. Telling on your fellow inmates will most likely get you killed. If there’s one thing the inmates hate more than the guards, it’s snitches. Do not give in to any kind of pressure, may it be from a jail guard or a fellow prisoner, to snitch on someone. Remember, snitching out on someone is like opening the floodgates to hell. If you’re lucky, you’ll just get beaten to a pulp. If not, then you’ll be dead by tomorrow.
Remember to be respectful to law enforcement staff as well. Resisting orders that are given to you by law enforcement officers can bring about serious problems that will definitely not help your case. Also, know your rights. As per your Miranda rights, you have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the state will provide one for you. You are also entitled to a phone call.
Also, do keep in mind that you’re not restricted to one phone call. An inmate is allowed to make multiple phone calls while serving time inside the county jail. With that being said, however, the jail and the correctional staff always gets the last laugh on these matters. Because even though you use the jail telephone multiple times, you’ll only have a success connection rate of about 0.05%. Why? Because collect calls don’t work on mobile phones. In addition, if you plan on making collect calls to a local landline number, the recipient must first have a credit card account setup with GlobalTel in order for your call to be connected. This will cost roughly around $30.
While in jail, some law enforcement officers will try to intimidate you or, in some cases, hurt you just to get a confession out of you. Remember, you’re innocent until proven otherwise. So do not, under any circumstances, submit to any questioning without a lawyer present. Regarding your case, do not discuss them with your fellow prisoners. Ironic as it may sound, most inmates hate sexually related crimes. If you’re a sexual offender whose awaiting trial or sentencing in jail, don’t tell your prisoners about your case or you’ll get harassed, assaulted or even killed inside jail.
Some offenders often think that since they are not in a maximum security facility, it would be easy to make an escape. They couldn’t be more wrong. The level of county jail security is considered loose compared to a maximum security prison. However, the level of strictness and alertness of the correctional officers are still at par with correctional officers who work in maximum security prisons. Remember, if you try to escape, they will take you down.
Never try to escape. Attempting to escape will not only worsen your case, but will also give the judge enough reason to put you in a maximum correctional facility where conditions are much harsher. You certainly don’t want that to happen.
Do not be quick to jump the gun and accept any offer of safe haven or protection from a fellow inmate. Doing so will only show the rest of the jail’s general population that you can’t stand up on your own. Showing weakness is the quickest way for you to become somebody’s “bitch.” Try to get to know the lay of the land first. Find out who’s who and assess which inmate can be trusted. Once you get the lay of the land, it’ll be easy for you to stay away from people who will get you in trouble.
Avoid owing anybody any favors in jail. Make sure to take nothing on credit. This includes packs of cigarettes, food, dirty magazines, toiletry items and drugs. Owing an inmate in jail basically makes you that inmate’s “bitch.” Prison is all about showing that you’re not a pushover while maintaining a level of respect.
Last but not the least, try to stay out of everybody’s way. Keep your head down and wait patiently until your lawyer or loved one bails you out. Don’t associate with another prisoner. You’re not there to make friends. You must focus on doing your time and getting out of there as quickly as possible.
All in all, what happens to you in jail is entirely up to you. Just be sure to not intimidate anybody while you’re inside and you’ll be safe. That is how to survive 2, 4 or 5 days in jail.