How to Survive in Prison: A Guide for First-Time Inmates

Who hasn’t dreamt of breaking the law and stealing a briefcase full of money, dashing out of the bank, and jumping into a getaway car? Yes, it’s all great fun in the cinema, but being an actual bank robber isn’t the fun experience that you could have imagined.

People rarely go to prison only once, they usually go back and forth. So, if you’ve been convicted of a crime and are facing your first spell in the clinking, then here’s how to survive in prison.

Clothing and Personal Appearance Tips

Clothing and personal appearance can be very important in prison. It is important to make sure you wear clothes that will not trigger a fight.

Staying away from clothing with certain colors, logos, or slogans helps reduce the chance of potential aggression from other prisoners. Wearing prison-issued clothing is advisable, as it will make you more accepted and less of a target.

It is also recommended to keep hair neatly trimmed and facial hair shaved. Items like jewelry and accessories should be avoided. Keeping your appearance and clothing clean and presentable is also highly encouraged to help maintain a positive image.

Mental Health Maneuvers

Mental health maneuvers are an essential part of surviving prison. It is important to practice basic self-care like exercise and mindfulness.

Setting up a routine of activities to participate in will help to reduce anxiety and depression levels. Learning how to handle stressful situations and manage one’s emotions can help a prisoner cope with the environment in prison.

Building a social network and seeking support from organizations and mental health professionals can provide much-needed help in difficult times. It is also important to take advantage of any available programs in prison, such as anger management or cognitive behavior therapy.

Developing Friendships and Alliances

In order to survive in prison, developing friendships and alliances is key. It is essential for inmates to form relationships with other inmates who can provide protection and help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Inmates should look for someone who appears to be trustworthy and has a positive attitude, as these qualities will allow them to form a strong alliance and benefit from mutual support. Inmates should also remember that forming alliances with the wrong people can lead to dangerous and life-threatening situations.

It is important for inmates to learn how to form good relationships with others while protecting their own safety and avoiding conflict or violence. Building alliances with other inmates is a great way to ensure survival in prison, as it provides not only protection but also support and companionship during difficult times.

Practical Money Management Strategies

Practical money management strategies can be essential to surviving in prison. Financial hardship is one of the most pressing issues within in-custody populations. Here are some strategies:

Working and Trading for Survival

Strategies for working and trading when going to jail require careful money management. Trading is a great way to interact with inmates and build connections while avoiding conflict.

To ensure trading is successful, it is important to establish trust and credibility. It can also be helpful to keep extra resources in case resources are unexpectedly needed, or other inmates offer goods or services in trade.

Avoid Debt

In order to avoid debt while in prison, it is necessary to focus on the present and do your best to live within the means of what you can provide for yourself. Pre-purchasing items when possible, making things yourself instead of buying them, and trading goods for goods or goods for services are all strategies that help minimize debt.

Bartering and finding alternative ways to make money, such as washing clothes, doing odd jobs, and helping other inmates, are also other ways to survive by staying out of debt.

Developing Good Spending Habits for Post-release Success

Writing down income and expenses will help track spending, and budgeting provides a framework to stay within monthly financial goals. Sticking to a budget and prioritizing needs versus wants is also important for making the most of limited resources.

Setting up a savings plan to help with the costs associated with re-entry is also beneficial. By planning ahead for these expenses, prisoners can reduce stress and encourage more positive progress towards re-entry.

Strategies for Avoiding Trouble and Staying Safe

It is important to have strategies for avoiding trouble and staying safe. Generally, the key to staying safe is:

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Being aware of your surroundings is one of the most important strategies for avoiding trouble and staying safe in prison. In prison, there are many dangers, including gangs, drugs, weapons, and violence.

Knowing who and what is around you at all times can help protect you from these dangers. If you notice someone who looks suspicious or is acting in a threatening manner, you should distance yourself as much as possible from them.

To Be Responsible

Being responsible helps prisoners meet the expectations of prison staff and thus remain out of trouble and avoid punishments. Good decisions and positive behavior put prisoners in a better position to develop relationships with prison staff, leading to better outcomes in prison.

To Be Assertive

Assertiveness encourages a person to regulate their interaction with others, defend their rights, express their feelings, and take control of the situation. It increases self-esteem and self-confidence.

It can help give others in the prison the impression that a person is resilient, capable, and prepared to not only defend themselves against threats but to stand up for their rights.

If you know someone who is incarcerated, use a Jail and Inmate Search to stay connected and follow local laws and regulations to keep up with the latest updates. There are many support services that can help you navigate the prison system and survive as a prisoner. Take the steps today to ensure that you and any loved one are safe while in prison.

Learn How to Survive in Prison Today

If you don’t know how to survive in prison, well, it is extremely difficult and can be overwhelming. Following the construct of this guide will give first-time inmates the best chance of survival and help them through the prison process.

Find prison groups and professionals that help you adjust and come out of prison a better person. With the right preparation and knowledge, a first-time inmate can come out of prison as a changed person.

Take the necessary steps now to ensure a safe and comfortable stay in prison.