If you're ever there, you'll need to know these tips...
Most of us never, ever want to step foot inside of prison or jail, at least not on the “wrong side” of the bars.
For thousands of years, humanity has built its most basic systems and beliefs around whether or not a certain action is okay. Beyond right and wrong, beyond good and evil, there is whether a given society or leadership allows an individual to do a specific action freely, or whether it will cost them their their freedom or result in some other penalty. Most of us can agree that some things, such as murder or theft, simply will not fly. Over the eons, laws have gotten extremely strict and, often, necessarily specific. But in no other place has this resulted in a prison culture quite like that in the United States.
According to 2018 data, some 2.3 million people are behind bars in the United States. While it’s nice to think that jail time could be an experience that turn someone’s life around, the reality is that recidivism rates (people who return to prison) are far too high. Jail or prison, in and of themselves, are never a good experience.
Unless you’re a career criminal, you probably never see yourself going to jail. Sometimes though, wild and uncontrollable circumstances can envelop even the most well-intentioned person, and just like that, they find themselves sitting in the slammer. Even if only for a night, jail can be a terrifying place. There are some basic but crucial things you should know that will make your stay more “comfortable”… or even save your life.
This first one may sound silly, but you have to trust us on this. If you lose your head while in prison, you can be sure that you’ll risk losing much more.
Though little about prison would make you smile, it’s important to focus on the good things in life. Remind yourself you’re going to be okay. No matter what, thinking positive is always going to help you in the long run. Negative thoughts can exhaust your energy and put you in a terrible mood a lot of the time, so why not try and keep things as positive as possible?
You should be repeatedly thinking about your expected release time. This is an easy way to keep your mind filled with thoughts that make you happy. Think about how great of a story you’ll have to tell your kids, grandkids, or friends. Regardless of what you did, it’s a good idea to look forward to life outside of the cell. Time flies when you’re having fun, so make it as enjoyable as possible and be as positive as you can. Pair this manner of thinking with behaving the best you can, and you stand a good chance of having your sentence expedited.
Call Your Lawyer ASAP
Lawyer up! If possible, contact a lawyer before you actually go to jail, or otherwise do so as soon as you can once you’re in. That way, you have someone actively working to secure your release as soon and as smoothly as possible. We’ve seen dozens and dozens of celebrities get out of prison a lot sooner than they should have because of having good lawyers, but this can happen for the rest of us regular folk as well.
Having a good lawyer can be expensive, but it’s probably going to be worth it in the long run if you want to see your sentence be as short as possible. Most of the time people see lawyers as the enemy, but this time you’ll be thanking them over and over again. If you are spending all your money and not seeing any results from your lawyer, have your family or friends on the outside check in on them to make sure they are actually working as hard as they could be and not taking advantage of your situation.
Obey the Guards
Chances are you’ve already broken the rules on the outside, so now is the time to make sure you are following them while behind bars.
Even if they are rude to you, do what the guards and correctional officers tell you to do, as long as it isn’t illegal or clearly putting you in harm’s way. They can physically harm you if you give them attitude and you may receive additional charges for disobeying a lawful order. If you’re a lawbreaker, it might be hard for you to imagine yourself taking orders from someone and making sure you’re on their good side, but this is super important for the length of your stay.
If you’re in for a long sentence, there’s probably a good chance you’ll get out early with some good behavior. Just don’t forget that guards are actually allowed to physically harm you if you decide to step out of line, namely if they interpret your behavior to be a threat, so please don’t do that. Adding on to that, if you do things that are really bad, you’ll probably end up with an extended stay in your not-so-favorite hotel room. And nobody likes forced isolation.