How to Survive a Weekend in Jail

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Spending a weekend in jail may sound easy but to those who are really going to pay this penalty, it can be really scary. Being scared is normal but allowing fear to conquer you is never helpful. It is more important to accept things as it is. You need learn the basics of surviving 48 hours inside a prison.

Below are some of the things you need to remember on how to survive a weekend in jail:


First of all, you need to have the right attitude. Maybe you are going to serve a weekend in jail for a misdemeanor such as DUI. No matter how minor the offense is or whether you believe it was a mistake or not, there is no reason for you to look down on other “weekenders”.

Keep your head down and be humble to take that penalty. Show respect not only to the detention officers but also to other prisoners. Do whatever the detention officer tells you to do and obey the rules.

Avoid staring at anyone inside your cell. This may earn you a possible enemy while serving the supposedly 48 hours of jail time. The last thing you want to do is add another offense to your record.

Health Issues

If you have an illness or any other health issues, you need to let the officers know about it during the interview. This interview is done before you are given your sleeping assignment. Officers will ask questions to help them determine the right sleeping assignment for you. If you are under medication prior to entering the jail, inform them about the medicines you have taken. At the same time, get a copy of the prescriptions you need to take during those 2 days.

Follow the Schedule

Spending a weekend in jail is not as strict as those you’ve seen in the prison movies. Serving years of sentence is very different from a weekend sentence. There is minimum security, you can make calls and there’s least chance of fighting and getting beat up.

One effective tip on how to survive a weekend in jail is to follow the schedule set by the jail. Wake up when the lights are on, wait for breakfast announcement, go to bed when the lights are turned off and do tasks such as cleaning and mopping when they tell you to.

Meal Times

Unless it has somehow escaped you, this is not the time to be picky. There is a roll call in place for each inmate to take his meals. You are entitled to eat whatever is being served that day, but don’t expect too much.

Chances are, the food being served in jail isn’t much better than the cafeteria food you hated back in high school. In jail, food is meant to be a means of sustenance and not much else. So, you may want to refrain from complaining about how the meal of the day isn’t in line with your current diet or so.

You can skip a meal if you really hate the food that bad, but bear in mind that you won’t be allowed to wander into the prison kitchen for a snack if you get hungry later on. If you insist on doing so, you may be suspected of trying to escape and thus be manhandled back into your cell, much to your great humiliation and discomfort.

That said, unless you are deathly allergic to whatever meal they’re offering you, just bear up and take what you can get. You’re only in here for the weekend, after all, and a little dietary mortification never hurt anyone.


This 48-hour sentence is a great opportunity for you to meditate and reflect on your past behavior. Although you can never change what happened, you can always aim for a better you. Praying and meditation can help you enrich your spiritual self.

If you are a religious person, this would be an opportunity to read your faith’s holy book or to use your prayer beads. You are likely to find guidance, direction, and comfort if you use the imposed solitude to pray and reflect on your situation.

If you are not a religious person, you can try to meditate. One way to do that is to simply sit back, relax, and pay attention to the sort of thoughts that are drifting through your head. Do so without the intention to judge or to edit yourself and you may just notice a particular pattern in your train of thought. This may help you to understand how you ended up in jail for the weekend, and how you can prevent the same situation from happening again.

Personal Hygiene

Most jails are smoke free so instead of getting in trouble with the officer by insisting on smoking, you can use this time to gradually quit on your vice. Not because you are in jail along with other offenders, it does not mean that you can let yourself go. Personal grooming and proper hygiene will speak a lot about you. You can earn respect from fellow inmates and detention officers.

Don’t ever leave jail without taking at least one shower. Each cell in prison is equipped with a shower and a toilet. Never mind that there’s probably no hot water, be sure to scrub yourself off and change into fresh clothes before you hightail it out of there.

By the end of the weekend sentence, you will be going out of the jail with a fresher look and healthier mind – enough to set you for a good start.


If you’re really angry about what happened, you can try to blow off the steam by doing a few exercises. A few push-ups or crunches can help you get rid of some excess pent-up energy, but try not to overdo it.

Any overzealous attempts to do physical activity may put off your fellow “weekenders” or your wardens, and it’s not like there are any hardcore criminals about that you need to intimidate.

Sometimes, even the nicest people end up in jail for the weekend. While this often happens due to some very petty reasons, those who find themselves in such a situation would do well to make the most out of the opportunity. If anything else, such a stint would make them all the more appreciative of the sort of life outside prison walls and perhaps more compassionate to those with lengthier sentences in them.

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