Getting the news that someone you know is in prison can be
surprising, sad, stressful, and/or confusing. If someone you know has never
served time in prison, then you may already know that having support, helpful
knowledge, and coping skills can mean the difference between life and death in
various instances and correctional facility settings. Cell Block Legendz does
not wish for you or your loved one to end up in jail or prison. Nevertheless, we are providing you with these 11 Survival Tips For Your Loved One In Prison, below, that just may help to save
your loved one’s life.
There are some distinctive rules and guidelines to obey to
survive in prison that can also motivate someone you know who is sentenced to serve
or serving time. Regardless of whether a suspect is in jail or prison, there
are some helpful things to know that can help them survive and mentally and
physically stay out of danger.
While there is no guarantee that the following survival rules and guidelines can save a prisoner’s life, these rules and guidelines may increase their chances of living to fight another day for their freedom. You can help your loved ones in prison by sharing with them of these 11 survival tips:
1. Build A Routine Of Best Practices In All Three Areas Of
The Mind, Muscle, And Mettle That Preserve Equilibrium. This is crucial to
helping a prisoner survive in prison. A prisoner’s mind, muscle, and mettle
(ability to resiliently and spiritually cope well with adversity) are three M's
that should be remembered. Prison can be intense for prisoners. It can test a
prisoner's emotional, physical, and mental stamina. Falling into the trap of
focusing on one of the three M’s and neglecting the others can have negative
consequences. Prisoners need to find balance and harmony in their mental state
and social and physical prison settings.
2. Know Who Is Who And Where Everything Is. Learn The Rules:
Both Written And Unwritten; Verbal And Non-Verbal. Every prison is a
culture. Correctional facility rules and guidelines may be disseminated or
communicated to prisoners by guards and staff. It is important for prisoners to
“get the memo”, proper information, and learn correctional facility protocols.
This can mean the difference between repeatedly bumping heads with guards and
risking negative consequences or having a less stressful time dealing with
incarceration. Observe and learn how prisoners interact with each other and
what areas in the chow hall and recreation yard are the safest. Discern when to
speak up and when to listen. If two prisoners are having a conversation, don’t
just interject with your opinions and feedback unless asked and even then, be
mindful of your knowledge and position on the subject matter. New prisoners who
do not learn and apply the rules and guidelines can especially be vulnerable
and shocked by prison culture.
3. Give Basic Respect And Empathy. In some
facilities, posturing and staring at another prisoner for too long can be
interpreted as a sign of disrespect. These and other disrespectful actions can
get a prisoner in trouble, hurt, and/or killed. Prison has various areas of
interaction for prisoners: the chow hall, work, infirmary, recreation yard, etc.
Inmates sometimes must sit for half an hour or more in several rows during the
day. Some prisoners can feel like you think you're better than them if you cut in front
of them in line, and they don't like that at all. In fact, not only can the
inmate who gets cut in front of start behaving furiously, those behind them
will likely be annoyed as well. In some correctional facilities, disciplining
those who cut in line is essentially part of the prison culture. If you're a
prisoner standing in line and someone cuts in front of you, you can be expected
by other prisoners to "test" the prisoner who cut in line (tell him
or her that they need to get back in their original spot) and be willing to
stand your ground, which may even lead to a physical altercation. But, in
prison, responding with violence toward a disrespectful offender can be part of
the prison culture. Essentially, for some inmates, the act of empathy is not to
say or do anything to others that you would not want them to say or do to you.
This rule should go without saying; but you would be surprised to know just how
many prisoners do not follow even basic rules and guidelines and end up in
protective custody, solitary confinement, injured, or killed when they fail to
give basic respect and empathy in prison.
4. Do Not Come Across As Weak. Have you ever heard the saying, "Your actions decide your height"? Almost everything that happens to you during your incarceration may be decided by your behavior. Come across as overly aggressive or with a terrible attitude and you may be challenged, tested, and changed by someone wiser, more experienced, and/or more aggressive. Come across as weak and you may be manipulated, maimed, injured, or killed. Also, it may be a sound idea to develop a reputation that when faced with confrontation from other prisoners, you don't take any sh*t and will not let them take anything from you. It is a good idea to know your strengths and limitations and govern yourself accordingly in prison.
5. Check Your Attitude. You must have the right
attitude to get along with your fellow inmates and the guards. If you take your
frustrations out on others, it can backfire and create unwanted enemies who may
make your daily life difficult. If you are unwilling to adjust your attitude to
make your time less difficult by taking advantage of helpful legal and prison
resources to plan and personally grow, then you may end up frustrated,
overwhelmed, and unable to mentally cope with the consequences.
6. Be Mindful Of Your Affiliations. In prison, you
don't have to join a gang for protection. Bear in mind that there may be consequences and repercussions for your involvement in or lack of affiliation in a gang. If you do need protection, realize that you still may
have to fend for yourself, at times, against being stabbed or assaulted. Keep
in mind that prisoners of the same race are expected to sit with and interact
with others of the same race in the chow hall, recreation yard, etc., and if
you break this rule, it can have negative or deadly consequences. Be careful
about who you accept favors and help from. You can end up being expected to pay
back help and favors with surprising expectations like sexual favors, inflicting
violence on others, and/or having violence inflicted against you if you are
unable to pay back favors.
7. Mind Your Business. It can be good for the
prisoners to keep their opinions and feedback to themselves unless asked. Lift
weights regularly. Visit the prison library. Be low-key. Take care of your
business and stick to your fitness. Don’t be a nosey Norman or prying Pam.
Often, you may find that looking the other way may be better than getting
directly involved in other prisoners' issues and keeping down unwanted drama and
problems. Oppositely, if you joined a gang in prison, you may be punished and
retaliated against for not getting involved in a fellow gang member’s business.
8. Hold Communication Lines Open With The Outside World.
Chat with family and loved ones on visits, through letters, and in some federal
prisons, via email. Use every way you can to keep in touch with your loved one
during your incarceration to keep them informed of your status and well-being.
It can be helpful for your family and loved ones to monitor your situation,
communicate with the prison facility administration, and/or seek legal
information, if necessary, to help you.
9. Do Not Gamble. Gambling can severely affect you
while in prison. If you end up accruing debt that you cannot repay or have
misunderstandings during gambling, then you could end up being repeatedly harassed
for repayment, injured, or killed.
10. Do Not Do Drugs. Some prisons carry out drug testing on prisoners. Some of the prisoners may be tested once a year or
randomly. If your drug test is positive, you may be subjected to a drug
treatment program or solitary confinement. You could also lose a couple more
weeks of Good Time, which is time reduced from your sentence; that means you'll
have to stay in prison for extra time beyond your initial release date.
Prisoners are confined to a cell for 23 hours a day with solitary confinement.
You’re not allowed to go to the chow hall to eat with other prisoners. You’re
given food in your cell to eat and the only thing you may get to study is a
Bible if you choose. If you are found to be involved with smuggling drugs in
prison, then you could have additional time added to your sentence.
11. Do Not Think You Can Be “Buddy - Buddy” With The Guards.
Be careful about snitching to guards on other prisoners who may be doing
illegal things. You may be better off keeping that stuff to yourself, even if a
guard asks you to tell them about an altercation or event that involved other
prisoners. Prison guards may have no more regard for a snitch than inmates do.
Guards may let it be known to other prisoners that you're a snitch if you do
something to disrespect or hurt them. If you're lucky, you may be able to
secure a move to another facility before you get retaliated against, injured,
or killed. You may not be able to totally rely on prison guards to protect you in prison. Some of
them may not want to risk physical injury or worse. Be mindful of how your
interactions with the guards are perceived by other prisoners.
Prison or jail can be a whole new world for some people
where learning and adapting to various rules and guidelines must be considered.
It's not like living in the outside world where after reporting a crime to the
police, someone can return to their home without living amongst strangers who may
view and treat them as a friend or foe.
Supposedly, prison is supposed to rehabilitate prisoners.
However, depending on a man’s or woman’s experiences there, they may end up
with resentments and other negative feelings against it and others whom they
deal with daily. How someone learns to interact, adapt, and apply the skills to
survive can make a huge difference in their prison experience. For many prisoners,
when they go to sleep at night and wake up the next morning, they may not wake
up in the same mental or physical state as when they went to sleep.
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