Media, through movies and documentaries, have shown its viewers of the sad realities of being locked up in prison. As horrible as it may seem, some people tend to commit grave offenses and eventually end up in jail to serve their sentences for up to 20 years or more. Indeed, 20 years is too long a time to be separated from family and friends. It would have been enough to build a successful career. Simply put, 20 years is simply too long to be locked up in a tiny cell.
However, a bigger problem for the inmate is the survival process. How to survive 20 years in prison? With the way prison lifestyle is shown on the big screen, it seems like a very scary task. This makes people wonder – exactly how does one survive for 20 years in prison?
Like all other things in life, how to survive 20 years in prison will start with proper preparation. Always do research work beforehand and be informed of all the rules and regulations of the penitentiary one is being assigned to. This will greatly help in avoiding any possible punishment, and provide for a more harmonious relationship, not just with those in authority, but with the other inmates as well.
Since one will be serving sentence for two decades, a key tip on how to survive 20 years in prison would be to have acquaintances. Fellow inmates, especially those who have served sentence for a longer period will be able to provide necessary information that will increase one’s chances of survival. However, proceed with caution. Although it would help, avoid being too trusting and too friendly. A prison is where people in conflict with the law are being held in detention, so one can never be sure who to trust.
It also pays to be tough, but to remain respectful to the other inmates. Some who have served long sentences uphold that respecting the other inmates goes a long, long way. Lining up is a daily habit inside prison – be it inside the mess hall, the bathroom, the clinic, and so on – and inmates do not take it kindly if somebody cuts in line. The inmates could be stuck for hours and when someone cuts in line, they may take it as a sign of that person thinking that he’s better than everyone else. This usually leads to everyone else beating up the one who cut if he still refuses to move after being told to go to the back of the line. So, when a person finds himself spending time for twenty years or so, it always pays to be respectful towards everyone else.
Respect also goes a long way when one is inside prison. Being respectful towards marshals may not get one on their good side, but it will definitely help them avoid being on their bad side. This, in turn, will make life easier for the prisoner. At the same time, respect not only goes for those in authority. Being respectful towards fellow jailbirds may help one evade being the victim of notorious prison gangs.
Joining a gang may seem tempting as most of them offer their members protection, but those who have spent time have observed that those who are members are actually the ones getting into fights frequently. This is because gang fights are common in prison, and different gangs are always vying for territory. Bad blood is common between rival gangs and members are more prone to being attacked or beat up by a group. It’s also extremely difficult to get out of a gang once a person joins. Those who attempt who leave a gang also find themselves getting punished brutally by their fellow gang members. One of the many punishments that could be meted out is hitting a deserter over and over with padlocks hidden inside socks. Getting sent to the hospital after trying to leave a gang is a common occurrence.
Twenty years is too long a time to be confined in such a tiny cubicle. During such a lengthy period, making use of spare time can either reform the convict or make him worse. Aside from eluding membership to notorious gangs, one should also refrain from joining illegal games of chance and other forms of gambling.
There are productive activities to try while inside prison. Some penal institutions allow prisoners to have books with them, while others offer recreational activities to promote the prisoner’s health. Be acquainted with what the jailhouse offers, and make the most of the time to be a productive individual.
Though people say that it should be common knowledge but an inmate should not, at any time, do drugs. Some inmates serving time for a number of years think that they can get away with smuggling drugs inside prison, but there are always vigilant guards. The worst that can happen is dying from a drug overdose. What can happen when an inmate gets caught doing or smuggling drugs is being placed into solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is when an inmate is placed into their cell for up to 23 hours a day. He will not be allowed to go outside except to shower or make a phone call and his meals will be brought to him. The only thing he will be allowed to have in his cell is a bible for him to read, aside from his pillow and blanket. There have been cases wherein inmates attempting to smuggle in drugs would put them in plastic bags and swallow them, hoping to defecate them out later. Those caught are made to defecate into a wire mesh so that the guards can comb it for drugs. A camera will also be pointed at him as he does this.
Additionally, those caught smuggling in drugs could get their sentences extended from anywhere between five years to double that amount.
However, through all of this, the most important pointer to remember is to avoid getting into prison in the first place. Always make sure to observe the laws and be a good citizen of the country.