When someone goes into prison, one may feel like it is the end of the world. As one is being locked away from the outside world, he may feel hopeless and desperate. Nevertheless, that should not be the case for prisoners. During this period when one is put in jail, it is really vital that one should take control of his mind. Being able to control the mind will help one turn this agonizing experience into a fruitful one.
A lot of people may be asking the question, “What you need to survive in prison?” First, a prisoner should always be careful about who to trust. He should be friends with no one and be enemies with no one. At this point in time, especially if one is a new detainee, trust is one thing that should be given last. The people that one will be encountering are composed of those who transgressed the law, regardless if the accusation to them is true or not. And that meant they are less trustworthy. The prison is not a place to throw around trust like it was candy. Inmates will be quick to take advantage of that trust. To survive in prison, one has to keep his guard up. Friendship is very rare and is not something an inmate initially aspires for. Be wary of anyone and everyone. If one does turn out to be a friend, treasure it but do not let your guard down even for a moment. In the harsh conditions of life in prison, it is easier to give up friendships over one’s own survival.
The second point is to act oblivious about what is happening inside the prison. While inside the barred environment, one may see other unlawful activities such as drug trading, illegal entry of cigarette, money or liquor. Other prisoners may also plot an escape plan where killing of some guards are required. When this happens, the best thing to do is walk away and be oblivious. Never ever think of reporting to the prison guard or warden about the wrongdoings of other prisoners since it will make one a target of disgust among the prisoners. Nobody likes a snitch and that rule holds true both outside and inside the prison. Tattling and telling on others is never a good idea when surrounded by people who are willing to commit a crime over the most insensible thing. Remember that most inmates have already lost hope in themselves. They think that because they have been in prison, there is nowhere else their life can go but downhill. And that negative attitude makes them more willing and more daring to commit more crimes. They are in prison anyway, and adding a few more years to their sentence is not going to make a difference. They have already succumbed to a life of crime and hopelessness.
While in prison, one should make sure that he minds his own business and let others mind theirs. There is no reward to reporting the crimes committed by fellow inmates. It only brings more trouble. That might get one in the good standing of some of the jail staff but that will make one an even greater target of hatred and revenge among the other inmates. People don’t always like brown-nosers, especially in prison. It won’t even make the prison days shorter and get the inmate out before his sentence is up.
Third, while in prison, one has to feed his mind. Most prisoners would spend most of their lives inside the cell sleeping, plotting an escape plan, talking to other inmates and watching television. Someone who would spend years in prison should seize every opportunity of learning. A prisoner can make subscription to monthly magazines through his family members. As the prison may not allow all magazines to enter the place, one should make an inquiry about what magazines are allowed. Staying in prison should be a way of improving the mind. There will be lots of idle moments in prison. Make these moments more productive by enriching your mind. The knowledge gained from reading can even help in restarting life when one finally gets released. Take the opportunity to prepare for a better life by stocking knowledge that can help in rebuilding life. This can also help in renewing one’s perspective to prepare for a better life whether during the rest of the sentence or once outside and back in society. Reading will bring one to places the eyes cannot see and the feet cannot go. Though the prison cell has the ability to enchain the body, it can never enchain the mind. This can help you in staying focused on other things other than the depressing life in prison.
The last thing that one has to do if one is to ask the question,“What you need to survive in prison?” is to keep peace with the self. People who go to this kind of place would probably have regrets, anger and other negative emotions. These emotions can lead one to be more violent to oneself and to others. One has to keep in mind that whatever he did in the past will all be in the past. One has to think that time cannot be brought back. And spending the present harboring negative thoughts, feelings, and attitude can do nothing to change the past and will only ruin both the present and the future. The best way to do is to make peace with one self through meditation and prayer. A prisoner must learn to seek forgiveness from God and from himself before asking the world to forgive him. And gaining that forgiveness is a huge step towards a renewed mind and spirit and will greatly help in building a brighter future.
Being in prison does not mean there is no future. There is and life after prison and it can be made better than the one you had before getting incarcerated.
Prisoners are also human beings. They might have done horrendous crimes in the past, but they are still human beings who need everyone’s compassion and understanding.