The Arizona Department of Correction is where incarcerated criminals go when they have committed felonies within the jurisdiction of Arizona. It may be difficult to adjust to the life in prison, especially if it is your first time. Here are some tips on how to survive in an Arizona Department of Correction.
Bite your Tongue
Everything you say can and will be held against you. Whatever you say can be used as evidence against you, and it doesn’t mean that just because you’re in prison, you cannot be charged with something else. Moreover, a department of correction has its own existing culture with its own hierarchies and gangs, so it will be of help to keep your thoughts to yourself. This will help you avoid getting the ire of any individual. Avoid discussing sensitive issues such as politics, race, or gender. Remember, there may be people there who have ill-tempered, are violent, or are mentally disabled. Saying too much and not being careful can get you into a lot of trouble.
Keep Your Guard Up
Remember, in prison, you may be surrounded by harmful individuals, and you will never really know whom you can trust. Never divulge any information immediately, or do not get yourself into any deals or negotiations. Always suspect that any good deed offered to you by another inmate may require you to give something in return. However, avoid generalizing all inmates. You may probably find a few kind people in prison, but it pays to give it time and get to know them first before fully giving your trust to anyone.
Respect Officers and Prison Employees
One thing to remember about how to survive in an Arizona Department of Correction is that these people have the upper hand against you. If you disrespect them, it could mean one less meal for you. Don’t do anything that will make the staff or officers feel that you are challenging them or that you are being arrogant because they can make your life harder than it already is.
Also, remember that you cannot completely depend on the officers and staff for help. They most likely will not be on your side. If ever you are in a sticky situation or need help, first try to solve things on your own before asking for help because you will most likely be ignored.
Get someone to visit you
If you have a closed family member or a friend, ask them to pay you a visit from time to time. There is an online and printed application that needs to be filled out for visitation and phone. Ask your friend to complete it to avoid problems. It’s not easy being surrounded by criminals, so having a friend or a relative either calling or visiting you can help you, especially if you’re struggling with hopelessness.
Get yourself a journal
When life gets so boring, consider journaling. You could write about your experiences inside the prison, or simply start planning for your future when you’re outside. You will be spending a considerable amount of time in prison, so spend it doing something worthwhile like writing. If books are allowed inside your cell, request one from a family member or a friend. Or if you have extra funds, go online and buy from Amazon. Reading fiction can enrich your mind and help you survive while incarcerated.
Attend a religious service
Studies show that prisoners who attend religious services are less likely to commit another crime. It also helps them connect with their spiritual and higher self. Since this is offered in Arizona, make it a point to join one every Sunday or when it’s available for inmates. Having a quiet time is good for your soul. You would be able to reflect on your life and what you have done with it. If it’s allowed, talk to one of the facilitators. They would be the best people to talk to about how to deal with problems or difficult circumstances.
Stay productive inside the prison
A correctional facility in Arizona typically offers an education program for prisoners that would let them gain practical skills needed when they get out of prison. They are facilitating this to help out inmates adjust life inside the prison and at the same time prepare them for a new life outside prison. Younger prisoners can take advantage of the GED program offered by the facility. Work-based education is also offered to inmates. The goal is to help them easily find work when they are no longer incarcerated.
Attend a functional literacy program
This program is for inmates who have limited skills on reading, mathematics, writing, and other skills needed to get a job. Join the program if you think you need to improve on those skills. Being literate is important for surviving not just in the prison. You would need those essential skills outside. It will be difficult to find work if you lack any of those skills.
Visit the Resource Center often
The facility doesn’t have a library, but they have a center which provides personal and academic programs. You can read materials on substance abuse prevention, life skills, and career education. Magazines, newspapers, and general reference are also available for inmates. Make sure you grab a copy when you can. It is always better to stay informed. It pays to be more knowledgeable on things so you’re ready when you finally get out.
Being in prison can be really stressful, so it would be helpful for you to research on how to survive in an Arizona Department of Correction. The best thing to do is to be on the safe side, and never act in an aggressive manner. Don’t talk when not needed, keep your guard up and don’t earn the ire of any of the staff or officers. Take time to get to know your surroundings and maybe eventually, you’ll find friends whom you can count on, especially in times when you’re in trouble and lonely.
The less trouble you make, the greater the chance that you get out of prison as soon as possible.