Prison life can be terrifying, especially for people who are new to it. There are a lot of rules (many unwritten) that a person should follow to keep them out of any trouble (with inmates or guards). It can be challenging for those who aren’t prepared. Please share these tips with your loved ones to help them stay safe and out of trouble.
One of the things an inmate should keep in mind is that it’s best to keep to themselves. Saying too much to others could get them into trouble. Other inmates could learn things about them that they could use against them. Too much information could even get them into further legal trouble.
There’s a balance between coming off as tough and coming off as the weakest link. Your loved one should try to find that in-between place to walk. They don’t want to come off as someone who can be easily picked on, but they also don’t want to come off as someone that should be challenged.
It’s important to keep emotions in check while in prison. The more other inmates learn about your loved one, the more leverage they may have to use against or target them. Inmates can learn things about other inmates by paying attention to what causes emotions to run high (whether they be pleasant or unpleasant).
Your loved one should stay away from gangs in prison. At first, it might seem like a way to protect oneself, but in reality, it may put the person in more danger since there will be other gangs in the prison that will have it out for that gang. Plus, a gang can extend outside the prison walls, and make it harder for your loved one once they’re released.
Encourage your loved one to be careful. It’s best to avoid looking into other cells when passing by or making eye contact with other inmates. Also, it’s best for your loved one to avoid controversial topics that could get people riled up. They should be careful where they sit at mealtimes and avoid taking a seat that’s usually occupied by someone else. It’s also important to avoid making physical contact with the other inmates.
Your loved one should proceed cautiously as they learn the lay of the land and the people. They should be careful about what activities they decide to engage in. It’s better for them to focus their time on being involved in prison activities that are worthwhile. The prison may even offer books to read, exercise equipment, or church-related activities.
Prison life isn’t easy, but it can be survived with the right tools. Give your loved one these tips to help them live the best they can while behind bars.
[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]