Prison is a place where everyone doesn’t want to end up in. A person who commits a crime can get himself punished by serving some time in prison. Others take several years or a lifetime, while others take 5 years or less.
In the United States, a prisoner can’t choose his prison, but he may file his request nonetheless. The types of prison are differentiated primarily based on the seriousness of the crime and the years of service. Prisoners who need to serve at least 5 years in prison must be more careful. He must know how to survive 5 years in prison because of the possibility of being placed at the medium to the minimum state penitentiary.
These are different types of prison:
The supermax prison has the highest level of security in prisons. The criminals placed here are very dangerous. These people could be the serial killers, serial rapists, high-profile terrorists, and the like.
The prisoners who are commonly placed here spend 24 hours a day in their cell. They are isolated from the other prisoners. They are closely watched not just in their cell, but also in areas in the prison that need privacy, like the shower room. The walls are thick and solid. The window in every cell is very small. Physical contact with the prisoner is not allowed even with his own visitors. All mails are being checked and there’s no internet or telephone privilege.
All visitors communicate with the prisoner through the use of the telephone.
2. Maximum Security
Most prisoners placed in this type of prison are the ones with serious crimes. This prison is also for prisoners who commonly serve sentences of 7 years or more. The prisoners here are isolated from one another. Each has his own cell. Each cell has a television, a sink and a toilet. The prisoner spends most of his time inside the cell. The prisoner is not allowed to go out of the cell block unless escorted.
3. Close Security
There are commonly one or two prisoners inside a cell. Each cell has its own toilet and sink. The cells are operated by a remote control station. They spend most of their time inside the cell, but go out to do prison labor or attend correctional programs. They are allowed in one area such as the exercise yard. The prison is double-fenced with lethal electric current and has watch towers and guards.
4. Medium Security
The medium security prison is like a college dormitory. Recreational facilities, libraries and other amenities are located in different buildings. Prinsoners can walk from one building to another while being monitored.
The largest percentage of all the prisoner population is here. The supervision is more lenient. Dormitories are locked at night with one or more guards on duty. Most of the time, the movements of prinsoners inside the dormitories are not supervised at all. This leaves all prisoners prone to physical violence.
Prisoners who serve 5-year sentences in prison are commonly found here. With the possibility of violence, it is essential that prisoners in this area learn how to survive 5 years in a prison at least.
5. Minimum Security
The minimum security type of prison has a single fence that is watched by armed guards. Most prisoners who are placed here are the ones who have met the final stage of their sentence. This means that these are the ones who will go home soon. Because of this, the security here is very lenient. Most states allow the prisoners here to have internet access. Because of the loose security, physical injury and violence are common among the prisoners here.
Some Tips on How to Survive 5 years in Prison
Based on the previous paragraphs, the most common problems or prisoners who serve 5 years in prison is their fellow inmates, not to mention boredom and tedious prison labor. Listed below are the some of the things an inmate must do during his stay in prison.
1. Do not trust anybody.
The most common problems the prisoners have to acquaint themselves with are their fellow prisoners. Some of them have hidden motives. Do not tell them any of your personal and crime information as they can be used to manipulate you.
2. Be quiet
Some prisoners are angered by noisy inmates. Avoid unnecessary noise or making any sound that could be misunderstood as offensive or aggressive.
3. Do not stare at other prisoners
Staring at other people, not just at prisoners, implies superiority or dominance. In prison, some may be accorded a position of superiority by other prisoners. Staring at these prisoners or other prisoners who have been there long might be considered as challenging their position. It is not uncommon for prison fights to start with something as trivial as a stare.
4. Keep in touch with loved ones
Telephone calls are allowed for prisoners who are in the medium and minimum security penitentiary. Take advantage of this privilege of talking to them. Doing this can overcome homesickness and loneliness. If the telephone calls are costly, use the old-fashioned snail mail.
5. Keep busy
Keeping oneself busy is the solution to boredom. Take advantage of the correctional programs and facilities, like the library and livelihood workshop.
6. Put a lid on your emotions
The prison environment preys on the weak. Showing any kind of emotion like anger, fear, or pain may give others an idea of how to push your buttons. Hence, they can easily manipulate you and make your prison life even worse.
7. Be wary of fellow inmates
Be careful about socializing with your fellow inmates as trust is definitely an issue. More often than not, prisoners mislead, or worse lie, to other inmates for no reason at all. It is important to be judicious about who you talk to and be cautious about the information they may offer.
8. Be careful about what you say
To avoid getting misquoted by the guards or other prisoners, it is important to be careful about what you say to them. The intelligence quota for prisoner populations in most places is not that high. Hence, prisoners may misinterpret and take offense with what you are saying simply because they don’t understand it.
Misquoting a fellow inmate or prison guard can also land you into trouble. At the same time, try to keep your opinions to yourself to avoid arguments with others.
9. Get in shape
Positive activities like getting into shape can help pass the time for a five year sentence. Moreover, a bulked up built is a good way to keep bullies at bay as you no longer appear as a weakling.
10. Avoid getting into debt
The barter system is popular among prisoners and it is often how they get things they want. Unfortunately, this practice can make you indebted to others. Prisoners who are new to the setup often fall prey to this system.
As much as possible, avoid falling into debt with other inmates. You can get into big trouble if you are unable to repay your debt. If you want something, it is better to ask your family to send it to you instead.
Otherwise, take up a job in prison and earn the money in order to buy what you need. Though it may take time to earn the money, it is still better than incurring debt in jail.
11. Plan for your release
Plan ahead for your release in five years. Proper planning can help ensure that you don’t end up back in jail after getting out. Take the time to think about what you will do once you get out. Do your research and if possible, talk with trusted inmates.
Consider where you would live after five years and then think about possible jobs that you can apply for once you are free.
12. Get involved with prison programs
Take advantage of prison programs while you are in jail. These free programs provide the opportunity to gain professional skills in preparation for life after prison.
Inmates can also join life skills classes to learn more about how to manage anger, parenting, and prevent domestic violence.
Religious services are available to inmates as well as drug and alcohol support groups.
Surviving 5 years in prison takes a lot of guts and patience. Just remember to be alert most of the time and use the time to become a better person.