Most people in the outside world are baffled whenever a person who’s about to go to prison ask law enforcement staff how to survive in prison or county jail if you are in protective custody. Protective custody means you’re going to be put under protection from anyone who wishes you harm. So how come people are asking law enforcement staff this question? Well, before answering that, it’s vital to first discuss in-depth what protective custody really means.
Protective custody is often associated with the term segregation and protection. Both are sometimes used as general terminology for protective custody. However, there’s a clear difference between the two. Broadly speaking, an inmate is kept under segregation whenever he poses danger to the prison’s general population. On the other hand, an inmate is put under protective custody so that he is protected from the rest of the inmates in the prison. Statistically, the number of prisoners put under protective custody greatly outnumbers the people who are put under segregation.
Protective custody basically has two types: Normal protective custody and strict protective custody. Under normal protective custody, protectees are basically put in a separate cell block where they are free to associate with other protectees. Meanwhile, strict protective custody is for a protectee who wishes to have another layer of protection from the rest of the inmates who are under protective custody.
By this time you might be asking the question, why in the world would you want to be protected in that extent? Inmates should feel safe since they are officially protected by law enforcement. So how come they still want to know how to survive in prison or county jail if you are in protective custody?
It is a well-known fact that some inmates ask to be put under protective custody for questionable reasons: to kill another inmate who’s already under protection, or avoid an ongoing prison debt. Measures to keep the protectees safe from the prison’s general population are in place. However, prison management usually have problems in keeping protectees safe from each other in the protective custody unit.
A prison’s protective unit typically houses 10 to 100 prisoners. If you’re a prisoner who became state’s witness against a former associate, you might feel a little relaxed while in protective custody. However, if you’re a sex offender loathed by every inmate because of the nature of your crime, there’s a big chance that even fellow protectees will be trying to take you out.
So the answer to the question “how to survive in prison or county jail if you are in protective custody?” is simple – pray.
Pray to the good Lord Jesus Christ that if ever someone manages to get to you while in protective custody and take you out, that he forgives all your sins and take your soul with him up to heaven. Either that or you try your best to keep your distance from your fellow protectees.
Always be cautious of your immediate surroundings. If someone tries to approach you in the protective cell block that you’re in, try to immediately assess whether that person is a threat or if he’s just being friendly. And since we’ve mentioned protectees who are being friendly, be wary of prisoners who are being too friendly. That someone might just be trying to cozy up to you so that you’ll let your guard down. And once your guard is down, that’s when they try to take you out.
During chow, try to sit in the farthest corner of the cafeteria with your back against the wall. This way, you won’t have to worry about someone sneaking up from behind and stab you. Also, it lets you have a broader view of the area, letting you see whoever it is that might come at you.
During shower time, make sure you keep a close watch of whoever’s in the shower room with you. Don’t put yourself in a disadvantageous position while showering. Try to shower at the farthest corner and with your back against the wall. Don’t let fellow inmates somehow surround you without you noticing. Watch how they move and the things that they bring inside the shower with them. If someone is trying to take you out while in protective custody, you can bet your bottom dollar they’d do it with an improvised weapon of some sort.
Don’t trust the guards either. Not all of them are good guys. Some of them can be paid off. There are also unsubstantiated reports of the guards being the source of prohibited drugs inside prison. The hard truth is some of them are dirty. Don’t put your life in their hands.
When they let you out in the yard with the other protectees, just sit in one corner of the yard and stay out of everybody’s way. The yard is sometimes where all the “excitement” happens. This is where riots usually break out. Also, since the yard is one big field, there are many areas there where inmates could hide improvised weapons that can be used to try to kill you.
As much as possible, try to avoid the yard. If it is absolutely necessary for you to stretch your legs and get a little exercise, just spend an hour in the yard and then go straight back to your cell afterwards.
Lastly, if you really want to be safe, tell prison administration that you’re voluntarily submitting yourself into solitary confinement. Do your time in the hole and hope that you don’t lose your mind since you only have an hour each day to go out of solitary. You won’t be able to talk to anyone, write to anyone, or even see anyone for an extended amount of time while in solitary. Think of it as living inside a can where it is truly safe until it is time for you to get out into the outside world.
Serving your time in the hole is not as bad as everybody wants you to believe. As long you have a sound mind and you learn how to meditate effectively, you’ll be able to overcome the mental challenges associated with solitary confinement.