Being detained in a correctional facility can be stressful and lonely. Imagine being away from your family and friends for an indefinite period. Emotionally unstable people may be depressed, or worse, suicidal. To keep your sanity, follow these tips on how to survive in a Pennsylvania Department of Correction.
Follow Visiting Rules. In Pennsylvania, any violation of rules and regulations will result to the suspension of the offender’s privileges. An inmate needs to make sure he knows all the rules to avoid suspension. These are the current visiting rules in the Pennsylvania Department of Correction facilities:
•Visitors cannot bring any money or gifts for the offender. It is not allowed. Money should be done via JPay.com only.
•Visitors cannot bring any kind of audio or video device. It will not be permitted inside the facility. Bags, purses and diaper bags are also prohibited.
•Unused visits per week will not be carried over to the following week.
•Visitors should come in an hour before the schedule to maximize the visit.
For the inmate, seeing someone he knows will help him alleviate his sadness inside the facility. Make sure you understand these rules to avoid problems.
Ask a family member to mail a book. Reading a book is therapeutic and enjoyable. It lets you escape reality. This alone will help you survive inside the correctional facility. When you’re detained, make sure you have a few paperbacks with you so you don’t get bored or lonely. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections allows a book to be sent to the inmate so long as the publisher itself, the bookstore, department store, or the distributor sent it. Inform your family member to order a book online and have it shipped to you.
Amazon is one of their acceptable book vendors. They also accept a magazine to be shipped out, but it also depends on the content. To view a list of acceptable publications, visit this website: www.cor.pa.gov.
You can also request a magazine from a family member. If it’s still from Amazon, they still allow it, but you can only read one issue. The succeeding issues will not be accepted.
Ask a family member to call you. Besides visiting, talking to someone over the phone is also helpful. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections allows collect calls so long as they set up an account with SECURUS (1-800-844-6591). The inmate also needs to add the party to his telephone list. Otherwise, he can’t and will not receive any calls.
Steer clear of trouble. It’s somehow easy to survive life in prison so long as you avoid trouble. If you show good behavior, they could grant you a parole. A parole is an early release from prison. It is granted to prisoners with exemplary behavior in prison. If this is your goal, make sure you stay away from prisoners who may get you into trouble. And if you do get a parole, try not to talk about it with another prisoner. It’s safer if you keep it only to yourself.
Write a letter. You should consider utilizing all forms of communication, so you can keep in touch with your loved ones. Writing a letter will also help you keep your sanity. To ensure delivery of the letter, make sure you know the correct address. Some of the prisons have two addresses – one for the staff and another for the inmates. Have the correct address to avoid a “Return to Sender.” You can also request for a greeting card from a family member. They allow it so long as it is in a white envelope. Colored envelopes will never be accepted. Getting a card on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas can somehow make you happy.
Join a Violence Prevention Program. Consider joining this program to help you avoid violence as that could lead you to more years in prison. This cognitive-based treatment program is designed to help inmates deal with violence appropriately. This 26-session program delivered twice a week includes role-playing and other exercises with the inmates. There is also an intensive violence program that every prisoner needs to also consider. It’s called High Intensity Violence Prevention. This program will help build your skill in behavior, problem solving, and social learning.
Join Voluntary Programs. There are two voluntary programs available for prisoners in Pennsylvania Department of Correction. The first one is the Long Term Offender Program offered to inmates with sentences of up to 10 years.
The goal of the program is to help inmates get the best of living in a correctional facility. Definitely, this would help an inmate endure life inside the prison. The program has 34 sessions, which is good for one an half hour per session.
The second voluntary program is the InsideOut Dad Program. This program is specifically designed for incarcerated fathers. The program would help inmates connect with their families, especially with their children. The program has 12 sessions, which includes topics like Parenting and Men’s health. If you are a father, you should join this program to keep whatever relationship you have with your family. This would ensure that albeit you are in prison, you can still be a good father.
The Batterer’s Intervention. If you used to physically abuse women, want to change and survive life in prison, join this program. This is a 26-session program that addresses topics like non-violence, behavior, partnership, trust, and respect. Inmates will also be asked to describe abusive behaviors to their partners. The activity will help them realize how their actions are negatively affecting women. The program should help a prisoner realize his mistakes and eventually change his behavior.
While inside the prison, always keep a positive attitude. And before your trial, it is important for you to be emotionally strong. That way, you can defend yourself well. Follow these tips on how to survive in a Pennsylvania Department of Correction and remain strong. It will also help if you don’t get yourself into trouble. Who knows, they just might let you out sooner.