If you are to go into any Massachusetts Department of Correction facility for any reason, then you need to remember that life as an inmate can be tough. No matter what your offense is, you cannot always expect your fellow inmates and the correctional officers to cater to your needs – you are a convicted felon, after all.
Life inside prison can be solitary, boring, long, and dangerous, but it should not be that way as long as you know how you can serve your time with the right plan in mind. Your goal is to serve your time without getting black and blue, getting into trouble with the jail guards, or losing your mind before the end of your sentence or getting an arraignment. Follow these tips to learn how to survive in a Massachusetts Department of Correction facility.
1. Have the right attitude.
Attitude is everything inside the prison walls. A right attitude will allow you to gain respect from correctional officers and make troublesome inmates leave you alone. Having the right attitude would also allow you to maintain your sanity, especially if you are serving a rather lengthy sentence.
Keep in mind that prison can be daunting to everyone who is not used to its environment. You will find that the facilities are barely enough to make you feel comfortable in your cell, and the food is something that you would not eat if you had a choice. You may also not get the chance to call your loved ones and you may not get all the necessary toiletries. You are also required to stand in line for attendance counts. You also need to be always alert in case that there are some inmates who would want to intimidate you. Getting into fights or disobeying safety rules inside the prison may also mean getting severe punishment, such as solitary confinement. By making sure that you have a sound mind, you would be able to serve your time without having to get in trouble or being at the bottom of the food chain. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in there, so toughen up.
2. Know the unwritten rules.
How to survive in a Massachusetts Department of Correction facility depends on how well you know the ins and outs of your environment. Keep in mind that not everything that you need to know would be written in the little book they will give you with your prison clothes. You should know that you are not supposed to just sit anywhere that you like. You definitely would not want to mistake a gang’s lunch table as a free-for-all spot.
Also remember that a staring at another person can get you in trouble. Stares inside the prison can mean that you are interested in them or you are trying to pick up a fight. Accepting gifts from fellow inmates, such as cigarettes or alcohol, can also mean that you are interested in joining their group or you are willing to do an exchange in the future for some favors. To avoid getting into a situation that you do not want, make sure that you observe gestures that other prisoners make until you are able to take note of all the rules that they have in place.
3. Exercise as much as possible.
Serving time is one of the most challenging things that you need to do inside the correctional walls. There is nothing much to do in there, especially if you do not have a lot of visitors. However, you can get the opportunity to exercise in the yard, which you would want to take advantage of as much as possible. Maintaining your body would not only give other inmates the impression that you are not easy to beat up, but it is also a great way to work your frustration out.
4. Choose your friends wisely.
Allies are good to have when you want to learn how to survive in a Massachusetts Department of Correction facility, but take extreme caution. You are establishing relationships with convicted felons who are capable of committing crimes. It would be wise to avoid joining gangs, no matter what kind of protection they can offer you. You do not want to be targeted by their rivals when you are alone in your cell or the shower room. If you have received a release date, it may also be a good idea to keep that information to yourself. You do not want to be targeted by prisoners who would want your sentence to be prolonged by getting you into trouble.
While you need to maintain good relations with people, you would want to stay independent until the end of your sentence. You may want to hang out with more mature inmates who are determined to stay out of trouble until they have served their respective sentences. However, do not give out any personal information about yourself. When all of you are finally out, the last thing that you want to happen is for them to show up at your doorstep because they have nowhere else to go.
5. Plan what you are going to do once you are outside.
You are not going to stay in prison for a long time, depending on your sentence and your behavior inside the correctional facility. There are plenty of chances that you are going to get out, as long as you show the authorities that you have reformed. That should give you enough motivation to keep your mind and body intact.
Think of your goals once you are free. Get as much information as possible about where you can stay on the day of your release and if there are any prospects who would possibly hire you once you are out of prison. This way, you would be sure that the time that you spent inside for reform is not wasted. By having goals on how you can rebuild your life, you would truly be able to get a fresh start and live your life as a free human being once again.