Did you know that the United States alone has about 4.6 million Americans who are convicted of felonies every year?
Have you or a loved one recently been charged with a crime that leads to imprisonment? Regardless if you’re innocent or guilty, being sentenced to prison is not a great life experience. As you face days to years behind bars, the adjustment can feel like the end of the world.
Don’t despair, though. Every incarcerated individual has survived somehow, and you can too. You just need to understand what you’re up against.
In this article, we’ll show you how to survive prison. Keep reading!
In this article
It is important to stay well-informed about the prison rules and regulations as they can change serving time. It is wise to read the handbook provided by the prison to ensure one is aware of what is expected. Staying informed about news and changes to the prison system can help individuals better understand their options, rights, and responsibilities.
Prisoners should strive to stay in the loop with other inmates and inmates’ families, maintain contact with lawyer(s), and keep tabs on prison-specific and relevant city/state laws. This is especially true when it comes to legal matters such as parole hearings, transfer requests, or appealing a sentence. Knowing how to navigate the prison system is a key part of survival.
Surviving prison starts with building relationships. It is important to remember to treat all inmates with respect, no matter their race, gender, or beliefs. Highlight positivity and remain humble when interacting with others.
Collaborate with other inmates and staff to identify and meet common goals. Establishing rapport and trust with inmates and staff is critical. Find supportive people who will help you adjust to prison life and act as a resource for obtaining needed items.
Utilizing jail and inmate search tools can be of immense help in understanding the prison system and the other inmates before turning yourself in. Lastly, reaching out to old friends, mentors, and family for emotional support can be helpful.
Maintain A Low Profile
When going to jail, stay quiet and out of the spotlight. Your attention should be focused on your own well-being and not on the drama of prison life. Make sure your behavior is respectful and spiritually uplifting.
Learn the social rules of the prison, and show humility and kindness. Keep a positive attitude, as this can provide emotional support on how to survive prison.
Exercise And Stay Healthy
Exercising is one of the best ways to survive prison. Exercise can help take an individual’s mind off their situation and can help distract from the chaos of prison life. Additionally, staying fit can help ward off mental illness and depression in those living behind bars.
To survive prison, inmates should aim to exercise 20 – 30 minutes each day, depending on their strength and capabilities. To reduce boredom, inmates can invest in items such as resistance bands or weights to help keep their workouts interesting. Inmates can join organized sports such as basketball or volleyball or participate in group runs or yoga classes if permitted.
Taking the necessary steps to stay fit and healthy in prison can help inmates remain resilient and find the strength to make it through.
Living in prison can take a serious toll on mental health. To survive prison, it is important to maintain a positive outlook and focus on the future. Connect with other inmates and avoid being involved in any risky or violent situations. Join support groups, reading circles, or other programs offered by the prison.
Make sure you take any medications necessary to manage mental health, reach out to counselors or psychologists for emotional support, and practice self-care by eating right and getting enough rest. Finally, create positive distractions that will help you pass the time and keep your mind occupied.
Learn how to de-escalate and diffuse conflicts quickly and learn how to handle different types of threats. Keep yourself and those around you calm, and remind yourself that violence is not an option. Developing the ability to think and communicate before acting is essential to effective conflict resolution in prison.
Develop assertiveness skills to be able to confidently express yourself without being aggressive. Utilize all the resources available to you, such as support groups and counseling. Knowing when to compromise or back away from a conflict can be just as important as knowing how to stand up for yourself. Conflict resolution is essential to surviving prison.
These temptations can come in the form of partaking in illegal activities, associating yourself with bad company, or taking part in violence. It is important to avoid joining any gangs; gangs can increase the likelihood of criminal behavior and can make it difficult to fit in. You should also be mindful of who you associate with and employ strategies to avoid difficult situations.
You may have to resist the temptation to fight if someone threatens or intimidates you – running away or calling a guard should be considered. Additionally, you will want to be very careful when it comes to accepting drugs or other illegal substances. Not only can this potentially get you into more trouble legally, but it could put your safety at risk.
Finally, you want to avoid taking part in criminal behavior, no matter how lucrative it may seem; most likely, it will only end up hurting you in the long run.
Plan for Reentry
It is crucial to plan for reentry while in prison to survive and successfully transition back into society. Begin enhancing job-related skills by obtaining a GED or taking any classes the prison has to offer. Connection with education and job training programs set up for those leaving prison and take advantage of any reentry support services available, such as:
- work assistance
Obtain proper identification documents and create a personal resume, which can help once the individual starts looking for employment. Lastly, utilize all available support systems in the community, such as faith-based organizations, to ensure a successful reentry into society.
Find Resources To Help Get Through Prison Life
How to survive prison is a daunting and difficult task, but with tips such as joining a constructive support group, staying organized, and being mindful of your safety, you’ll be able to successfully navigate the unique prison experience. Take steps today to protect yourself and your future–don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Bookmark our site now and come back for more insights and valuable information!