Detention centers, as we all know, are places where perpetrators who are yet to be convicted of a crime, but are already charged with an offense, are detained. Perpetrators who fall under the age of 17 and below are considered juvenile and would therefore be sent to a juvenile detention center before sentencing.
Today, people as young as 13 are charged with crimes so heinous that local government sometimes find it necessary to try them as adults. Being tried in court as an adult means harsher sentences if convicted. With that being said, it is therefore safe to say that being in a detention center is as dangerous as being in prison itself. This is the main reason why many want to know how to survive in a juvenile detention center.
The first thing to know about surviving in a juvenile detention center is never ever disobey a direct order by the security staff. Being defiant while being detained will not make help you make your case better. Instead, it would be made much worse because every violation that you commit will be put on record. Once the judge looks at your record and sees that you’re not interested in making yourself a law-abiding citizen, you’ll most likely be sent to a maximum security correctional facility.
The second thing to remember on how to survive in a juvenile detention center is the need for respect – towards the security staff and your fellow inmates. Disrespecting detention center security staff would most likely result to you ending up in the hole. “Hole” is another word used to describe solitary confinement. When an inmate is under solitary confinement, he or she isn’t allowed to take visits, watch TV, associate with other inmates, or basically common privileges that are given to any normal inmate. If you’re in the hole, the only time that you’re allowed to go out is when you take a shower. To most people, solitary confinement is torture within torture.
The third thing to keep in mind is don’t engage in any illegal activities inside the detention center. While most inmates are allowed to move freely within the detention center’s immediate vicinity, their basic freedom is still somewhat restricted. Basic activity such as brushing one’s teeth, eating, drinking, taking a shower, and even taking a piss are made critical once inside a detention center. To avoid being in hot water with the security staff, make sure to adhere to rules and regulations inside the detention center. Avoid engaging in illegal activities with other inmates at all cost.
Juveniles are immature, hot tempered, and extremely prone to violence. Therefore, it would be in your best interest not to antagonize your fellow juvenile inmates. Antagonizing another inmate will only bring trouble. You will not only earn the ire of the inmate that you antagonized, but also the ire of his best buddies inside the detention center. They’ll gang up on you and they’ll surely beat your ass to a pulp.
If you have kleptomaniacal tendencies, try to suppress it the best you can. Just like in the outside world, taking things that doesn’t belong to you will bring about serious situations in a detention center. If caught, you’ll not only be beaten up by the person you stole from, but also by his buddies. If you make the mistake of stealing from the detention center staff, they’ll impose a disciplinary action and they’ll put that offense on record. This will make you case much worse than it already is.
Do not, under any circumstances, try to smuggle drugs inside the detention center. Smuggling drugs inside the detention center is one of the worst things that you could possibly do. Do not ask your friends and family to help you smuggle drugs inside the detention center either. They’ll most likely end up inside the detention center with you. Drug possession and abuse is one of those sentences that will get you 2 to 10 years in a maximum security prison, plus fines of up to $20,000.
Make the best of your day by doing something productive while serving time inside the detention center. Detention centers have libraries where you can read up on certain topics that can help you enrich your mind. If you’re into physical fitness, detention centers have small gyms where you can spend your time working out.
Try to distract yourself from doing things that would put you in trouble. In line with this, try to distance yourself from troublesome inmates. Don’t get caught up in their mischief that would land you in hot water. Do not readily trust any inmate that you encounter. Try to get the lay of the land first. Make a mental assessment whether that particular inmate you just encountered can be trusted or not. Remember, every single person in that detention center is an offender. They may look okay, but you can never really be too sure about what goes on in their head.
If possible, try to volunteer for detention center jobs. This will show law enforcement officials that you’re cooperative and that you’re doing your best to stay out of trouble. Sooner or later, they’ll realize that you’re not such a bad person and may even give you special favors, such as giving you extra visitation time or phone time. In addition, the detention center administrator my even put in a good word for you, which will help in alleviating the gravity of your case. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a guarantee of a lenient sentence. Ultimately, every decision about your case falls on the judge.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep in contact with your loved ones in the outside world. Believe it or not, a family’s love and support is what gives an inmate the will to change for the better. Knowing that they have a family waiting for them once they get out is what drives them to stay out of trouble while serving time.
These are the things to remember on how to survive in a juvenile detention center. Stay strong, keep safe, and know that only you have the power to change your life for the better.