HOW TO SURVIVE IN PRISON: 8 ETIQUETTE RULES
If you’re currently facing a jail term, or you know someone (a family member or friend) who’s in the same predicament and does not have the slightest idea of how they’re going to survive through their time in prison?
In this article, I’ll highlight eight most important rules for surviving in prison.
Be rest assured that these tips I’m going to share with you were gathered from different inmates across different facilities and also from my experiences in prison. Thus, these rules are very reliable if you or someone you know wants to survive in prison.
Let’s get to business…
What Should You Not Do In Prison?
RESPECT OTHER INMATES WHILE IN PRISON
Respect is very vital when relating with people, and with inmates it is no different. Now that you’re in a different environment from your normal everyday life, some values amongst which include respect should be practiced as well.
In the prison, try as much not to say or do things that will be viewed as a sign of disrespect to other inmates even if quite the opposite is what prevails in prisons.
An example of disrespect is stealing from another prisoner. If you’re by any chance caught in this act, you’ll sure get a hell of a beating, even from your friends.
Do not also use words like “hey punk” when calling out to a fellow inmate because inmate refer to a punk as someone who cannot stand up for himself. Thus, referring to a fellow inmate in that regard is inviting serious trouble that can lead a big fight between you two.
Another form of disrespect in prison is jumping the queue to go ahead of others. You’ll notice in prison that there’s virtually a queue for almost everything, for instance, there’s a queue for food, work, clinic and so on.
It is normal to sometimes wait for as long as half an hour in a queue, not even counting other queues you’ll also need to stay on in a day.
Jumping the queue in a scenario such as this, would be seen as a great disrespect to others because it will create the impression that they are lesser humans compared to you.
It’s even like a code of conduct among inmates in facilities to discipline any inmate who tries to jump the queue.
If such an inmate jumps the queue in front of you, you are required to immediately discipline such inmate and tell him/her to return to their previous position before they jump the queue.
In the situation you don’t do this, you’ll be considered a “punk” and other inmates will beat you up.
DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH A GANG
You might have seen movies where prisoners needed to joined a particular clique or gang to survive in prison, do not engage in any of these as they won’t truly offer protection till the end.
I for I for instance fared on very well without having to join any gang or clique.
One thing about joining a gang is that there will always be a rival gang, and in a situation such as this, there’s bound to be fights and attacks.
If you’re unlucky you might get caught up in them which will result in being beat up, stabbed, raped, or even killed in such a clash.
I’m not saying there won’t be near cases of some sought of altercation, however try to settle out of such without allowing it to further escalate into a fight.
In my stay in prison, I’ve seen the result of gang clashes. There was one in which an inmate was beaten up with padlocks inside socks by a rival gang.
He was beaten up brutally that he suffered a deep gash to his head from which a large amount of blood kept gushing out all over the place from the cut he sustained. He was taken to the hospital where he was in a coma for days because of a swollen brain. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.
Events like this is enough to discourage one from joining a gang for “protection.”
DO NOT DO DRUGS WHILE IN PRISON
Drug peddling is a very common occurrence in prisons, so it’s not only a problem on the outside.
Infact, they’re much more expensive in prison than on the street and staying away from drugs will do you more good as I also experienced a case of a fellow inmate who as a result of being overdosed on marijuana, died right before my eyes. A terrible scene it was.
More so, you could even get additional charges if found in possession of drugs.
The prison I was incarcerated in randomly carries out drug tests on inmates and in the event your drug test is positive, you’re taken straight to solitary confinement for at least a month with the possibility of additional charges.
Now, solitary confinement is not a likable situation at all because it is considered as a prison inside of prison.
Here, you are confined to your cell most hours of the day with no chance to even come out to eat instead, your food is brought to you, and you eat it in your cell.
The only reason you may be allowed to go out of your cell is to take a shower or make a phone call.
Then if you’re caught smuggling drugs into the prison, you can get as much as an additional sentence of five years and in some cases inmates may get double their sentence!
So do not even think to ask someone from the outside help you to smuggle in drugs, as you may not only cause trouble for yourself, but for the person on the outside.
DO NOT GAMBLE WHILE IN PRISON
Gambling is another vice you should keep out of prison. Just as people get into serious trouble from gambling gone bad, the same applies in the prison.
There was a cause of an inmate (involved with a gang) who got involved in a gambling gone bad, and was indebted to the tune of $2,000 which there was no way he could pay for.
In a fit of rage, he was beaten up badly with padlocks inside socks by members of his own gang, who saw it as a way of disciplining him.
He was taken away by the medical not after he was brutalized by his gang members with blood oozing from cuts of his head, nose, mouth and other parts.
DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH HOMOSEXUALS
There are no doubt homosexuals in prison, however in no condition should you get involved with any one of them. You’re more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections in the prison than on the street, so avoid any contact between homosexuals at all cost.
The prison I was incarcerated in for instance frowned so much as homosexuals that even the “known” ones never tried to openly display their affection.
It was a thing most inmates openly talked against and homosexuals for fear of being beaten up couldn’t challenge them or say anything in defence.
It’s even the same even among gangs, if your gang discovers that you’re involved with an homosexual, I bet you’ll given the beating of your life.
DO NOT TALK TO THE GUARDS WHILE IN PRISON
The phrase mind your business is no better practiced in prison than elsewhere. If you find other inmates engaged in illegal stuff, I advise you keep to yourself!
Don’t try to play the hero or good guy because it will be worse if you labelled a snitch by other inmates. The implication of this is that you would have to keep looking over your shoulder until you get out and we know how difficult that is.
In such a situation, the prison guards you loud mouthed to may not be able to protect you. Thus, you should keep in mind that the prison is a very hostile environment full of criminals, murderers and all sorts.
Snitching on any of them will put you in harm’s way with no option of running to the police like you have on the outside.
Most inmates have great resentment for a snitch, and would do anything to inflict great pain on that snitch.
KEEP YOURSELF BUSY WITH POSITIVE ACTIVITIES WHILE IN PRISON
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, so get yourself busy. Most prisons I know of offer extra-curricular activities like exercising, working and enrolling for a school program. I for example exercised for two hours, 3 days in a week, also working for six hours a day in a factory for about five years.
The pay from my work at the factory was channeled towards enrolling for a school program that offered night classes for inmates. I was eventually able to earn college credits upon completion, and I must say it helped me a great deal in staying out of trouble while in prison.
GET GOD IN YOUR LIFE WHILE IN PRISON
One way to make meaning and turn a new leaf while in prison is to join the fellowship of Bible believing Christians.
You will be able to read the Bible more often and share knowledge among Christian inmates like yourself on godly doctrines.
The Bible is also a book that contains most of the rules I’ve compiled for you to follow. Like it says, it is a lamp to your feet and a light unto your path, so try to abide by its doctrines.
Some prisons may give you access to watch religious DVDs, study religious books in the Chapel, or attend religious services where you get to be taught sound morals to help you stay out of trouble.
The prison is not a safe place and it’s not somewhere I would want any of my friends or family members to be. However, if you find yourself in this situation, following the highlighted rules will help you survive through it.
Summary of What Not To Do While In Jail
There are several things that you should not do while in jail:
- Do not break any rules or laws: It is important to follow all rules and laws while in jail, as breaking them can result in additional charges or penalties.
- Do not engage in violent or aggressive behavior: It is important to maintain a peaceful and respectful attitude while in jail, as engaging in violence or aggression can result in serious consequences.
- Do not bring contraband into the facility: It is illegal to bring any unauthorized items into a jail, and doing so can result in criminal charges.
- Do not attempt to escape: Attempting to escape from jail is a serious crime and can result in additional charges and penalties.
- Do not use or possess illegal drugs: Using or possessing illegal drugs while in jail is a violation of the law and can result in additional charges and penalties.
- Do not engage in gang activity: Engaging in gang activity while in jail can result in serious consequences and can put you at risk of harm.
- Do not harm yourself or others: It is important to take care of your physical and mental health while in jail, and to not harm yourself or others.
- Do not engage in inappropriate behavior: It is important to respect the boundaries and privacy of others while in jail and to not engage in inappropriate behavior.
Can You Choose To Stay In Your Cell All Day In Jail
It depends on the specific jail or correctional facility, as well as the individual’s status within the facility. In some cases, individuals may be allowed to stay in their cells for extended periods of time, while in others they may be required to attend programming or participate in work or educational activities.
In general, however, it is not uncommon for individuals in jail to spend a significant amount of time in their cells, particularly if they are in a maximum security facility or are serving a sentence in a state or federal prison. In these cases, inmates may be allowed out of their cells for limited periods of time each day to attend programming, participate in recreational activities, or visit with family and friends.
It is also worth noting that the conditions and amenities in cells can vary widely depending on the facility. Some cells may have basic amenities such as a bed, toilet, and sink, while others may be more bare-bones. In some cases, individuals in jail may be able to purchase additional amenities or personal items through the commissary.
How do people survive prison
There are several ways in which people can survive prison:
- Follow the rules: It is important to follow all rules and laws while in prison, as breaking them can result in additional charges or penalties.
- Keep a low profile: It can be helpful to try to stay out of trouble and avoid conflicts with other inmates or staff while in prison.
- Seek support: It can be helpful to reach out to family, friends, or other support systems for help and guidance while in prison. Many prisons also offer counseling, therapy, and other mental health services to inmates.
- Participate in programming: Many prisons offer educational, vocational, and recreational programs to inmates. Participating in these programs can help individuals stay busy and engaged while in prison, and can also provide valuable skills and experiences that can be useful upon release.
- Stay healthy: It is important to take care of physical and mental health while in prison. This may involve eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and seeking medical attention when needed.
- Build a support network: Building relationships with other inmates or staff can be helpful while in prison. This may involve joining a support group or participating in activities with others.
- Prepare for release: It can be helpful to start preparing for release from prison well in advance, by developing a plan for housing, employment, and other needs upon release. Many prisons offer resources and assistance to help inmates with this process.
How does prison affect the brain
Prison can have a significant impact on an individual’s brain, both in the short-term and the long-term.
One of the most immediate effects of prison on the brain is the experience of stress and trauma. The confinement, loss of freedom, and potential for violence or abuse can all contribute to high levels of stress and anxiety, which can have negative impacts on cognitive function and mental health.
In the longer term, prison can also have lasting effects on the brain. For example, research has shown that prolonged incarceration can lead to cognitive decline, as well as changes in brain structure and function. These changes may be due to a combination of factors, including poor nutrition, lack of mental and physical stimulation, and exposure to toxins or other harmful substances.
Additionally, prison can also disrupt the development of social and emotional skills, as individuals may be isolated from their families and communities and may not have the opportunity to engage in normal social interactions. This can have negative impacts on an individual’s ability to form and maintain relationships, as well as on their overall well-being.
Overall, it is clear that prison can have significant and lasting effects on the brain. It is important that individuals in prison have access to resources and support to help mitigate these effects and promote mental and physical well-being.
Does Going to Jail change a Person
Going to jail can potentially change a person in a number of ways. The experience of incarceration can be stressful, traumatic, and isolating, and it can have significant impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health. For example, research has shown that prolonged incarceration can lead to cognitive decline, as well as changes in brain structure and function.
Additionally, jail can also disrupt an individual’s social and emotional development, as they may be isolated from their families and communities and may not have the opportunity to engage in normal social interactions. This can have negative impacts on an individual’s ability to form and maintain relationships, as well as on their overall well-being.
In some cases, going to jail may also lead to personal and professional setbacks, such as lost employment, financial difficulties, and damage to reputation. This can make it more difficult for individuals to reintegrate into society upon release.
Overall, it is clear that going to jail can have significant impacts on an individual, and it is important that individuals have access to resources and support to help mitigate these effects and promote their well-being.
How does it feel to be in Jail
Being in jail can be a difficult and stressful experience. It can involve a loss of freedom and independence, as well as isolation from family, friends, and other support systems. It can also be a challenging environment, with the potential for violence, abuse, or other dangerous situations.
Many individuals in jail may also experience a range of negative emotions, such as fear, anxiety, depression, or hopelessness. The confinement, lack of privacy, and uncertain future can all contribute to these emotions.
In addition to the psychological effects, being in jail can also have physical impacts, such as poor nutrition, lack of access to medical care, and limited opportunities for physical activity. These factors can contribute to physical and mental health problems.
Overall, it is important to recognize that being in jail can be a challenging and difficult experience, and that individuals in jail may need support and resources to help cope with the challenges they face.
How to cope if your Spouse is in Jail
If your spouse is in jail, it can be a difficult and stressful time for you and your family. Here are a few tips for coping with this situation:
- Seek support: It can be helpful to reach out to family, friends, or a support group for emotional support and guidance.
- Take care of yourself: It is important to prioritize your own physical and mental health during this challenging time. This may involve making time for self-care activities, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time with loved ones.
- Communicate with your spouse: If possible, try to maintain communication with your spouse while they are in jail. This can help you stay connected and may provide some sense of normalcy.
- Seek legal help: If your spouse is facing criminal charges, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a lawyer. They can provide information about the legal process and help you understand your options.
- Make plans for the future: If your spouse will be in jail for an extended period of time, it may be helpful to start planning for the future. This may involve making financial and logistical arrangements, as well as seeking support and resources to help you and your family through this challenging time.
Remember, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain during this time. Seeking support and taking care of yourself can help you cope with the challenges you are facing.
Why are Inmates put in a hole in Jail
In some cases, inmates may be placed in a “hole” or segregation unit within a jail or prison for a variety of reasons. These units are often used to separate inmates from the general population for disciplinary or security purposes.
Some of the reasons that an inmate may be placed in a hole include:
- Disciplinary reasons: An inmate may be placed in a hole as a punishment for breaking rules or engaging in inappropriate behavior.
- Protection: In some cases, an inmate may be placed in a hole for their own protection, if they are at risk of harm from other inmates.
- Security: An inmate may be placed in a hole if they are considered a security risk or if they have information that could jeopardize the safety of the facility.
- Medical reasons: In some cases, an inmate may be placed in a hole for medical reasons, such as if they have a contagious illness.
It is worth noting that the conditions in a hole or segregation unit can vary widely depending on the facility. In some cases, these units may have basic amenities such as a bed, toilet, and sink, while in others they may be more bare-bones. Inmates in a hole may also be subject to more restrictive conditions, such as limited access to programming or recreation.
How do First Time Prisoners survive Jail
Here are a few tips for surviving jail as a first-time prisoner:
- Follow the rules: It is important to follow all rules and laws while in jail, as breaking them can result in additional charges or penalties.
- Keep a low profile: It can be helpful to try to stay out of trouble and avoid conflicts with other inmates or staff while in jail.
- Seek support: It can be helpful to reach out to family, friends, or other support systems for help and guidance while in jail. Many jails also offer counseling, therapy, and other mental health services to inmates.
- Participate in programming: Many jails offer educational, vocational, and recreational programs to inmates. Participating in these programs can help individuals stay busy and engaged while in jail, and can also provide valuable skills and experiences that can be useful upon release.
- Stay healthy: It is important to take care of physical and mental health while in jail. This may involve eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and seeking medical attention when needed.
- Build a support network: Building relationships with other inmates or staff can be helpful while in jail. This may involve joining a support group or participating in activities with others.
- Prepare for release: It can be helpful to start preparing for release from jail well in advance, by developing a plan for housing, employment, and other needs upon release. Many jails offer resources and assistance to help inmates with this process.
Remember, surviving jail can be a challenging experience, but by following these tips and seeking support, you can increase your chances of success.