How To Deal with Being in Prison

Have you watched TV shows like “Oz” and “Prison Break”?  Were you captivated by the movies “Shawshank Redemption”, “American History X”, or even “The New Kid”? Well, you are not the only one, because with the exception of “The New Kid”, these shows and movies will soon be great pieces of art. However, do not be fooled into thinking that life in prison is in any way entertaining or fulfilling. It is not. Your days will be filled with nothing but loneliness and boredom. Of course, the dangers are there as well.

The world inside the walls of a prison is a very dangerous world. It is also very hard to deal with the boredom and loneliness. With this short guide on how to deal with being in prison, we may be able to help you cope with it.

  1. Think about why you are there. While you are inside prison, you have a lot of time to think. Think about why you are there. You are there for a reason--you may be innocent or not but take this opportunity to reflect on what you could have done better or differently to avoid being where you are now.
  2. Learn to play games.  Games can help occupy your mind. Playing cards is a good way to lose your time in the joint. Learn to play solitaire. If you have a friend inside, then you can also play games like chess, spades, craps or a game of basketball.
  3. Get a prison job. The prison job will help you feel productive. Part of what you lose in prison is the feeling of purpose. A job can get you that feeling.
  4. Read. All prisons have libraries--make full use of it. This is a good way to enrich yourself. With reading, you can add to your skills to help you become a productive member of society. Take correspondence courses to give you a future outside of prison. Reading is also a good way to escape the confines of the walls. Using your imagination, transport yourself out of the prison, even if it is only for a short while.
  5. Exercise. Working out and building muscle is a good way to pass time. It also builds an image that you are not weak. Your image is what keeps you from becoming somebody else’s girlfriend. If you are physically fit, you have a greater chance of defending yourself.
  6. Socialize the correct way. You want to maintain distance from people without looking scared. Distance means you just want to serve your time and be left alone. People respect that. Avoid prison faux pas like snitching and becoming somebody else’s bitch. In the occasion that someone does attack you, protect yourself. If you need to strike first, do it.  And do not back down. You might be battered, but your stay in prison won’t be a living hell.

These are just some of the ways you can deal with life in prison. If you do not have a lifelong sentence, use that as motivation. As time goes by, you will be closer and closer to spending time on the outside.


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