The prison-house is probably the saddest and the most dangerous place to live in. A prisoner spends every day of his life with people of different races, cultures, beliefs, and opinions. There may be hundreds or even thousands of prisoners inside the correction.
It is a fact that any first-time prisoner will still feel alone because of the separation from his real friends and family. This situation may pose a challenge in finding a real friend while inside the big house. Surviving in prison is difficult. Nevertheless, there are ways within your reach to make prison life a bit bearable.
Making Time in Prison
A first-time prisoner needs to learn how to survive in a Kentucky Department of Correction, especially that’s where you’re getting committed to. One must learn to protect himself and endure prison life until the end of the sentence.
Being alone means an inmate has to learn how to defend and protect himself. That doesn’t necessarily mean through physical defense, but there will be times when it will come to that. Nevertheless, you still need to keep your wits about you and trust your instincts.
You need to be careful and alert at all times. Hardened prisoners attack fellow inmates sometimes for no reason at all. When things are intense in a prison block, even a look or a stare can trigger a violent reaction.
When to Defend Yourself
Prisoners love to attack inmates using dirty tactics when their targets least expect them to and when they are vulnerable. Examples of such circumstances include times when targets are using the toilet, sleeping or eating. There’s nothing much you can do when asleep but you can be more cautious when using the toilet and when you’re eating.
A prisoner who needs to use the toilet must make sure that he takes his lower garments completely off. The scenario may sound ridiculous, but having your underpants off helps when defending yourself in a fight. You will have a hard time fighting back when your feet tangle with the undergarments down at the ankles.
Keeping Your Eyes and Ears Open
Another way on how to survive in a Kentucky Department of Correction is to be a keen observer. You should be aware of what is happening around you. One dirty trick used by hostile inmates is to attack when you are focused on your food or distracted.
Be conscious of your immediate surroundings. Listen for footsteps behind you. Learn to use your instincts and to read hidden messages in interactions. Whenever you spot a potential violence, do not hesitate to leave the canteen or wherever you are quietly.
Your first concern should be to find a safe place where you can stay until the threat leaves. Do not think of staying away as an act of cowardice but of wisdom. Staying safe is not letting go of your objective of serving your time without “accidents” happening.
Getting in with the Program
One way to get out of serious trouble is by participating in the prison’s counseling and other programs. The Kentucky Department of Correction offers programs that aim to ease inmates’ adjustment to prison life, a counseling program for mental health problems, planning for reentry to the communities.
These programs also include short academic courses and skills training programs which increase inmates’ skills and knowledge necessary for employment after prison. Choose one that interests you or that answers a particular need.
Other programs include:
•Living in balance. If you believe you have difficulty adjusting inside the prison you may look into this program that teaches coping in a tough prison environment.
•Narcotics and alcoholics anonymous. If your case is about narcotics and alcoholism, you may wish to join this program. Being around inmates with the same problem and in a safe environment makes sharing meaningful and can help you change.
•Prison to the streets program. This program prepares you for a life after prison. Entering prison for the first time is difficult, but so is reentering your community. Your experiences inside the prison change you and reuniting with your family needs adjustment from both sides. Further, while you are inside the prison, changes are also occurring in the environment which you might find strange and different. This program prepares you to face and adjust to the new challenges outside.
•Cage your rage. This is about managing your anger. It is easy to get angry in prison given its condition. Giving vent to your anger will only lead to trouble and jeopardize your sentence. Hide your emotions as showing them makes you vulnerable to hardened inmates. Joining this program will help you cope with your emotions and stay positive in spite your situation.
•In-to-work program. This program is a hands-on skill training for inmates that they can use in foodservice industry once they complete their sentence.
•Positive mental attitude program. This is another great opportunity for prisoners who want to survive in the corrections. The focus is on improving a prisoner’s mental attitude and behavior. This program lets prisoners develop their personalities, create a positive outlook, have a healthy lifestyle and be financially responsible.
Surviving prison is not easy. But it can happen. Many have passed through the gates of a prison and stayed out of prison. There are stories of prison survivors who are successful in changing their lives and in becoming a productive member of the community. If others can do it, so can you. And the key to this survival, while inside and until you rejoin your family and the community, is your attitude and the will to survive.
From the time you enter the prison up to the time you reenter the community, hold on to a positive attitude and the strength of your will in serving your time. All the programs offered in the correctional will be for nothing if you cannot commit yourself to change your future.
The prison environment will pose a threat for you if you do not have the positive attitude to respect the inmates and the prison officers. You need to learn the prison code so as not to make mistakes and errors of judgment. Learn to spot the potential troubles and leave quietly through the strength of your will.
Derive your inspiration and strength from your family and friends by staying connected with them. Make the most of their visits, make calls, and write letters. But most of all, you can survive by drawing from your inner strength and a deep conviction to rejoin your family and the community; have the determination to find employment, improve your financial status, and take care of your family. A bright future is still possible and lies in your hands.