Serving a sentence in prison is never easy, especially for those who served jail time for the very first time in their lives. The experience can be frightening and traumatizing. The American prison system is plagued by numerous problems that are too large to ignore. Recently, mainstream media have covered the conversation or prison reform, which has been supported by many across the country.
There has been a growing consensus that the manner through which criminals are being incarcerated is overly ineffective and punitive in terms of rehabilitating inmates. Indeed, the prison system is in dire need of drastic changes – perhaps more than what most people think. While these fundamental changes are still being studied by the US government, anyone who gets sentenced will need to carefully adapt to his or her new environment. This article will discuss the top 10 important rules to survive prison.
Top 10 Important Rules to Survive in Prison
1. Gain an instinct for danger
Being in prison means you need to live with other criminals who have committed crimes like robbery, rape, murder, etc. If your instinct tells you that something bad is going to happen, don’t ignore it. You need to act immediately and stay out of danger as much as possible. Always learn to trust your first instinct and try not to rationalize in an inconvenient place.
2. Always respect the staff and other inmates
Respect is the word that you need to live by while in prison. Avoid any confrontations and the use of foul language against any prison staff or inmate. Do not insult anybody’s manhood as you will find yourself in deep trouble. Even as simple as cutting in line at the cafeteria is disrespectful. However, do not allow other people to disrespect you as you will end up on the receiving end of bullying.
3. Avoid drugs, gambling, and gangs
One of the most common misconceptions about being in prison is that having a gang serves as your protection while inside. However, you need to do unspeakable things before they provide you with the protection that you need. In reality, joining a gang or doing drugs and gambling can get you in more trouble.
It is also important to note that most fatalities in prison are caused by gang wars. Gang members are the usual victims of fights that lead to stabbing or shooting. On the other hand, getting caught doing drugs can cause you solitary confinement or added years to your sentence. Gambling leads to a fight in prison especially if you incur any debts from an inmate.
4. Choose your friends wisely
Although it is important that you stay away from gangs, you still need to have friends or companions whom you can trust while in prison. You need to choose the ones who keep out of trouble. Choosing the wrong friend may worsen the situation, either you will incur more jail time or end up being murdered.
5. Be a good listener and only talk when necessary
The majority of fights in prison are caused by gossips. A prison can be a boring place to live in so that is why some inmates kill time by spreading gossips. If you want to stay out of trouble, just keep your ears open and your mouth shut.
6. Adjust your attitude
You have to balance being tough and being restrained inside the prison. A very aggressive demeanor will make a lot of inmates to dislike you. They will only be too happy to “put you where you belong.” They won’t hesitate to make your life difficult if they find your attitude too aggressive. You should not be too weak, either. This will make other inmates to see you as a pushover and they will be happy to take advantage of you any chance they get. Maintain a tough exterior but do not ruffle any feathers.
7. Maintain your sanity
This is part of the 3 Ms you should take care of while in prison: Mind, Mettle (spirit), and Muscle. Keep your mind on plans for when you get out instead of thinking depressive thoughts and dwelling too much on the downsides of prison life.
8. Build your muscles
You will have more time to work out while in prison. Use this time to enhance your physique by exercising. You can do pushups, curl-ups and other exercises that do not require any equipment. These are great activities to while away time and you can keep fit at the same time.
9. Keep your mettle (spirit) up
Spending time in prison can be depressing. Thoughts of hopelessness and a bleak future can easily get to you. Avoid getting sucked into this kind of thinking. Find some things to do like work out or read. Prisons have some available programs you can enroll in to improve your mind and uplift your spirit. To keep your spirits up, start planning for how you can rebuild your life once you are out. Focus on what you will do and what steps you will have to take in order to have a better life after you have finished serving your sentence.
10. Find “gold”
These are programs prisons offer that can help you be productive while serving your sentence. There are livelihood programs that can allow to earn a little money to send to your family or significant other outside prison. Or you can save these so you can have something to start a new life with once you are out. You can also use the training you get from these programs to help you rebuild your life once your sentence is up.
Although prison is not as dangerous as what most movies portray, it is still undeniable that the place is a dangerous place to live in. Being in prison means you are being convicted of the crimes that you have committed. Adding more jail time to your sentence is the least thing that you need to do. Simply follow the top 10 important rules to survive in prison and you are good to go.