Any person who finds himself in prison for the first time experiences outright horror. The mixture of adrenaline, fear, anxiety and confusion is deafening. After the camera closes behind you, you will have to somehow cope with this situation and start planning your survival. Prison life is hard and dangerous, but if you stick to their code and don't get in trouble, you will live your sentence without any problems.
Method 1 of 5: Prison Survival
Step 1. Get a new instinct for danger
Now you live next to thieves, rapists, murderers and liars. To survive, you must trust your instincts, not ignore them.
- If you have a strong feeling that something bad is about to happen, don't hesitate, act quickly and find a safe place. Don't try to rationalize everything in this irrational place.
- Trust your first impression if you feel that something strange is happening. In prison, everything seems different from what it really is.
- If your sixth sense is poorly developed, now is the time to develop it. Even subtle signs can mean danger to your immediate surroundings.
Step 2. Respect other prisoners
"Treat people the way you want them to treat you." This quote is the golden rule for living in prison. Don't swear, avoid confrontation, and respect personal boundaries.
- Do not insult the manliness of another prisoner, otherwise you will be sent to the infirmary, to solitary confinement, or to the grave.
- Stay out of the line at the cafeteria or you might get stabbed.
- Do not go to the cells of other prisoners if you have not been called to her. If, nevertheless, they called, then sometimes it is better to refuse.
- Only fight if you have no other choice. If you refuse to fight when someone is disrespectful to you, then you will become a "thug" or a coward who will live in even more suffering than before.
- Never take personal belongings of other prisoners without permission.
Step 3. Beware of gangs, drugs and gambling
There is a widespread myth that in order to receive protection in prison, one should immediately join a gang. But to obtain this protection, you will have to do unthinkable things. In reality, joining a gang, using drugs and gambling are three of the easiest ways to die.
- Most often it is gang members who die in prison. They are also most often involved in fights and stab wounds.
- If you are caught with drugs, you will go to solitary confinement, your sentence will be extended, or you will be transferred to a stricter prison.
- Gambling in prison is a contact sport, especially if you find yourself in debt. Money in prison gives access to various things and necessities. But if you are in debt to someone, expect a visit from your gambling friends.
Step 4. Stay away from solitary confinement
While solitary confinement may seem like an attractive idea when living with the most disgusting people, it is often associated with torture and mental illness.
- Do not draw undue attention to yourself and do not commit violent acts. These two behaviors are the quickest way to go to solitary confinement. Research has shown that any behavior that guards cannot understand leads to solitary confinement.
- Each prison has its own rules. Understand these rules as soon as possible, as breaking them is likely to result in solitary confinement.
- Solitary confinement is often used to control gangs. Therefore, you should not join gangs and other groups, as they are most often imprisoned alone.
Step 5. Endure solitary confinement
Solitary confinement is a cell in which it is almost impossible to move, lack of contact with other people, confinement for 23 hours a day with a minimum amount of exercise, which can cause various forms of mental disorders even in the most persistent people. If you do get sent to this isolated hell, have a plan with you how not to go nuts.
- Maintain a daily schedule for your mind. If we had not planned our life in advance, we would hardly have managed to do something. Don't change your schedule, even while in solitary confinement. Wake up, have breakfast, go to work, have lunch, return home, have dinner, watch TV or do something and go to bed. Do all this in your head.
- Break down processes into basic pieces. This is the perfect mind exercise to help you stay healthy and think logically. If you like soccer or baseball, imagine trying to explain these sports to an alien who has no idea what they are. Thus, you will have to describe and provide an example for each small step.
- Build things or take them apart. Think about the things you will need to build your home and make a shopping list. Go to the store, buy everything you need and take them to the building site. After that, imagine that you are building a house.
Method 2 of 5: Physical Health
Step 1. Healthy eating
The taxpayer-paid prison food is not the pinnacle of culinary art. What's more, it is tasteless and high in calories.
- Prison food can be diluted with food from the prison store or canteen, thereby improving your diet.
- Most of the convict shops sell foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Try replacing your prison gruel with these foods once or twice a week.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Step 2. Exercise regularly
Stretching, strength training, and aerobic exercise can be done on the premises as well. This will not only make you stronger, but it will also keep your waistline.
- Time will fly by with exercise.
- Prison is a very stressful place, and exercise is more beneficial for relieving stress than fighting.
- Physically fit people are less likely to fall prey to coercion from other prisoners, as you will be better equipped to protect yourself.
Step 3. Keep yourself busy
You will have a lot of free time in prison. Instead of lying in your cell all day, go for a sport, play non-lethal cards, or join a club.
- Idleness in prison only leads to trouble. Participating in positive activities will take your mind off the timing and current situation.
- By participating in stimulating and social activities, you will briefly forget about your fear.
- Play basketball, sip an iron, play cards, or join a walking club.
Step 4. Diseases
Each prison treats inmates differently, but prison health care is always presented in the most cost-effective and efficient way that can be achieved with proper care. Depending on the severity of the illness and the treatment needed, most prisons provide inpatient treatment in the prison itself or in the municipal hospital.
- If you need medical care in prison, you must make a written request. Upon receipt of the request, it will be reviewed and prioritized.
- Emergency services are also available in the prison if needed.
- If necessary, the prisoner can receive surgical, prenatal and palliative care.
Method 3 of 5: How to Maintain Your Sanity
Step 1. Reading
In the library, you can read newspapers, magazines and books on current affairs, general topics and education. Reading will allow you to enter a fantasy world and forget about prison.
- A well-read mind will help you cope with difficult cases in prison.
- After you gain freedom, you can use the knowledge gained.
Step 2. Get an education
Most prisons offer courses for prisoners seeking education. You will have enough time to go to class and study, and at the same time get an education.
- Education will better prepare you for the outside world.
- Every employer wants their employee to have an education, so having a degree or certificate will give you everything you need to get a job.
Step 3. Cope with depression
Without a doubt, prison is not the best place, and depression can arise because of the need to spend part of your life there. Moreover, most prisons are overcrowded, full of boredom, frustration and sexual predators that make such an environment a home for depression. In prison, you may or may not have access to a doctor, psychologist, or antidepressant medication.
- If you are unable to receive professional psychological care, try to find another prisoner who is willing to listen to you. It is very likely that there are other prisoners among you who, like you, suffer from depression.
- Try to combat your stress through exercise. Exercise releases hormones that help cope with stress and depression.
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol, as they will make your depression worse.
- Try to eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce your caffeine and sugar intake.
- Make a few acquaintances so as not to spend all the time alone. It is possible that your fellow prisoners can cheer you up.
Step 4. Deal with your anger
A prison can make everyone angry. Anger is quite common in prison, because inmates feel that there is much more disappointment than hope. Therefore, when there is too much anger and you lose control of yourself, then serious problems arise.
- Don't make assumptions. Assumptions in prison can have dire consequences. Never try to read a person. Instead, know exactly why someone bumped into you or stood in front of you in line. An error can lead to fatal consequences.
- Don't impose your own rules on other prisoners without their knowledge. This usually manifests itself in a phrase that begins with the words: "He should have …".
- Every prisoner has personal rights that must be respected. If you violate their imaginary rights, then be prepared to defend yourself.
- The more you generalize something, the angrier you will become. For example, if you constantly complain that you are being cheated or never taken seriously, you are more likely to become angrier.
- Try not to separate everything into black and white. In prison, you can survive if you understand that there are also shades of gray. Not all people are just bad or only good.
Method 4 of 5: Prison Code
Step 1. Don't trust anyone
This rule applies to everyone, including prisoners, guards and prison staff. Remember, nothing is free in prison.
- Be suspicious of someone who treats you well. Ask yourself "What are they for?" Since most inmates are aware of the "trust no one" rule, it is likely that there is an ulterior motive behind their relationship to you.
- You can talk to guards and staff, but be careful what you say, because whatever you say, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, can be used against you.
- Prison guards will not protect you, and even if they do, you still have to return to your cell, which everyone knows about. Therefore, it is better to keep quiet and not divulge information about another prisoner.
- The main thing is to trust yourself. After all, you are the only person you can trust in prison
Step 2. Hide your emotions
Easier said than done, but try not to show fear, anger, happiness, or pain. Other prisoners can take advantage of this. Simply put, your emotions are your worst enemy, as they show your weakness, which can be exploited by both prisoners and guards.
- Since most prisoners are bored, they have plenty of time to use their manipulative skills against you. They will try to provoke your anger and destroy your happiness.
- It is very important to remember that prison guards and other staff are always right and that they will never be on your side. In other words, treat them well and respectfully so that they will not interfere with you.
- Do not challenge or intimidate other prisoners, guards and prison staff. It doesn't matter if you were right, you yourself will suffer.
Step 3. Don't stare
This is rude and will not turn out badly for you under other circumstances, which cannot be said if you are in prison. When walking in prison, always look ahead and do not look at others, otherwise you may be misunderstood.
- Do not look at others, but also do not walk with your gaze on the floor, as you can bump into someone, which may cause new problems.
- Usually, when one prisoner looks at another prisoner, it means two things: sexual interest and hostility. As you can already understand, in prison none of this will end well.
Step 4. Don't knock
If you enjoy being completely unhappy, then tell the guard about the other inmate's wrongdoing. This will almost certainly turn out to be beatings for you to a pulp. If you saw or heard something, leave and do not say anything.
- If the guards start questioning you about what happened, come up with an excuse and never answer their questions.
- Be careful where and how you talk to the guards. Talking to them in secret or too amicably will almost certainly be mistaken for snitching. In this case, it is best not to speak to the prison staff at all.
- The informers are hated not only by the prisoners, but also by the guards themselves. If you somehow upset the guard, your name will be associated with snitching, regardless of whether it is true or not.
Step 5. Treat the guards with respect
Guards and other prison staff cannot be treated differently than with respect and respect. They control everything and the last word is also theirs. If you find yourself in a bad relationship with a security guard, then he can become your worst enemy.
- The prison has its own economic system. This system includes guards who will use you as collateral without hesitation.
- See who and what you are talking to. Even the most insignificant and innocent information can be used by guards to harm, manipulate and betray you.
- Don't discuss religion, politics, race, or personal feelings. There are topics that can quickly turn into an argument if the conversation is directed in the wrong direction.
Method 5 of 5: Communicating with the Family
Step 1. Write letters and call your family
These are the two most important modes of communication in a prison. They will become a saving thread between you and your family.
- Having contact with family and friends will keep you hopeful and provide you with a sense of normalcy during your imprisonment.
- Chatting with family and friends will encourage you to do your best to see them again.
Step 2. Don't give up your role in the family
If you are a father, husband, mother, or wife, do your best to maintain this role in the family while you are in it.
- Try to facilitate the conversation with your spouse and children, and talk about family life as much as possible during phone calls and letters.
- Trust your family. Don't let the mistakes of others affect your relationships with family members.
- Ignore various little things and focus on the main thing. If you get upset and don't talk to your spouse, then this silence can last forever.
- If you have children, then let them unite your family, not separate it. Don't let them take sides and do everything in your power to support them in everything.
- Be polite and don't be afraid to apologize if you were wrong. The fact that you are in prison is already playing against you.
Step 3. Get the most out of your visits
Family visits can be a great time to reunite and talk about everyday life. They can also be frustrating if you let little things get in your way.
- Remember the sacrifices your family makes while you are in prison. If your prison is far from home, your family will have to drive, stay overnight in a hotel, and buy food just to see you.
- Your family will also have to go through checks, long lines, bad attitude from prison officials and other degrading procedures. Be sure to show them how grateful you are for what they are doing for you.
- Although you suffer a lot in prison, understand that your family is not having a good time right now and that they probably don't want to hear you complain about your problems. During your visits, focus on your family and their concerns.
- Stay connected with your kids. They grow quickly, their interests change, and they experience great stress from their parent in prison. Try to find common interests and keep in touch with them all the time.
- Be aware of what your child is doing and give him advice, ask him to send you drawings and share with him his triumph and his failures. Do everything that a normal parent would do.