No matter who you are, it will never be easy to learn how to survive in a Washington Department of Correction facility. The place houses hundreds of inmates with different backgrounds. You will also have to deal with strict officers and policies. In other words, it is a place designed to scrutinize prisoners rather than make them comfortable.
You may have heard scary prison stories over the years, but you’ll never know how hard it really is until you have lived inside. However, there are a few things you can do in order to prepare yourself for the life behind bars. You would never feel completely comfortable inside, but you would at the very least be able to learn how to deal with the people there. You will survive your life in prison with little or no bad record at all if you keep yourself out of trouble.
Dealing With Others
1. Be sensitive to any sort of danger around you. Inside prison, you are going to live with people who are convicted rapists, thieves, and murderers. Learn to trust your instinct instead of ignoring it.
When you think that something weird is going on, don’t ignore it. If you feel that something bad is going to happen, avoid over-analyzing the situation and find a safe place right away.
2. Learn to respect other prisoners. While in prison, it is best to be nice to everybody even if they don’t treat you well. Avoid using foul words and getting into confrontational situations. Don’t invade someone’s privacy. It is better to decline invitations to go in someone else’s cell or to use their belongings.
3. Avoid drugs, gambling, and joining gangs. Joining a gang in prison for protection is a myth. That protection can only get you into more trouble than you are already in. In fact, if you join a gang, participate in gambling or do drugs, you are making your life in prison more miserable. If you are caught doing such things, you might end up in solitary confinement or serve additional months or years.
4. Avoid being alone. Solitary may sound good when you are living in the midst of the most dangerous people in your state, but it often leads to mental disorder and torture. When you choose to be alone, you are actually drawing attention to yourself. The prison bullies like to abuse someone who has no friends inside the prison.
5. Learn the prison rules. Every prison has its own set of regulations. You need to study and learn them by heart. You have to understand the rules in order to avoid violating them. Keep in mind that prison officers and guards can be nice but they would never tolerate demeaning behaviors.
Personal Mental and Physical Health
1. Keep your body active. Prisoners are required to do different services and assignments inside prison. They may garden, farm, and help keep the cleanliness of their surroundings. Do your tasks diligently to keep your body active and fit.
In addition, you should also exercise regularly. When you exercise, it may help make time go fast. Exercising can also help you fight stress inside prison. If you are physically fit, you will less likely become a target of bullying.
2. Vegetables are commonly served in prison kitchens. Eat as much healthy food as you can while inside prison. Eating healthy food can keep your body strong and free from sickness. You would not want to look weak and vulnerable. That is one of the best ways on how to survive in a Washington Department of Correction facility.
3. Deal with your illness right away. You may try to prevent getting sick but you might not be able to avoid it completely. If you ever get sick inside prison, you must ask for help right away. Prisoners have clinics and health care providers. If you are treating a health problem, you have to let the prison officers know about it before your incarceration. You may need to write a request for medical assistance, especially if you are taking medications.
4. Feed your mind with good and uplifting information and general knowledge. Living inside a prison can damage a person’s mental capacity. You need to do something about it if you want to remain sane until you get out of prison. Read good books and periodicals. Prison libraries provide a variety of materials that you may enjoy reading.
5. Watch TV programs and news. The Washington Department of Correction provides a TV room where inmates can watch TV together during the day. Watching TV can help you unwind, relax, as well as remain in touch with the outside world.
6. Manage your emotions. Don’t get angry very easily. There is too much anger inside prison because most inmates feel frustrated and distressed. If the anger explodes, major problems happen. You need to be always ready to defend yourself when situations arise, but you don’t have to be the one to start any kind of trouble inside the prison.
7. Beat depression. It may not be easy to trust someone in prison, but you need to look for someone who can somehow be your close pal. Inside prison, you need someone who is willing to listen to your stories as well as share his stories with you. Find someone whom you can be comfortable with. Don’t spend too much time alone to avoid depression.
Once you enter prison, you will find out who are your true friends. Even your closest relation may abandon you. But those who will stick with you during the hardest time of your life deserve your attention.
Maintain your communication with them through letters and phone calls. Allow them to visit you and talk to them. Their words can help motivate and inspire you to work on becoming a better person. You may never find it easy to learn how to survive in a Washington Department of Correction, but your close family and friends will help you along the way.