How to Assimilate to Prison Life: Advice to a New Inmate
Being imprisoned presents one of the most disturbing situations in life as depicted by the publicity that prison life incessantly receives from the media and accounts former prisoners. Admittedly, there are a plethora of stories about prison life that are oft presented in movies, news articles, documentaries and several other means through which information can be disseminated to the public. One common feature about these stories is their presentations of both lives that are eminent in prisons particularly on the grounds that some people adjust to the prison life remarkably well hence live a close-to-normal life in prison while others (those who fail to assimilate to the prison life amicably) often lead staggeringly stressful lives as documented by Siegel (2010). The knowledge about the life changes that unfold with time when a convict has been locked in prison is presumptively of much importance to anyone who has never been incarcerated as this will give the to-be-inmate a picture of the type of life he or she is about to living as well as the type of changes that are most likely to occur in his behavior, attitude, and at times thinking (Siegel, 2010). For instance, as Siegel (2010) writer, a new inmate almost certainly experiences depression because of lack of liberty coupled with loneliness and the dangers that are presented by prisons life.
Ideally, for successful assimilation to prison life, one has to consent to the fact that he or she has to stay in prison. This way, you will look forward to the challenging prison life and start inventing various means of survival in the newly approaching lifestyle (Siegel, 2010). Temporarily, you have to intromit that you are not a free citizen, and you will not see your family and friends as you used to be. Denial of this condition gives no room for adjustment and preparation for the approaching difficulties (Siegel, 2010).
Besides, privacy and some personal issues that are only typic of a free world hence when you are taken in you will not own anything of your choice, and you will not make any decision as you used while you still had your autonomy. You must prepare yourself for these and adjust to the fact that your daily activities will be programmed and adjusted by the prison authorities and not yourself. On top of this, you must be ready for a shouting culture with uncontrolled noise everywhere (Siegel, 2010).
The presence of organized gangs and cartels together with authorizes who may from time to time act ruthlessly makes life relatively difficult in prison. You must avoid getting into trouble with these groups and the authorities (Siegel, 2010). Give respect to all individuals and avoid hyperactivity while in prison. Through this, no one may find themselves concerned with you. Also, talk less and avoid concerning yourself with other inmates’ issues. In simple terms, mind your business to remain peaceful (Siegel, 2010). In the same light, be keen on instruction and avoid being disobedient to the authorities as this will just mean more difficult life (Siegel, 2010).
Whether the time is going to be long or short, focus your mind on productive issues. Frequent the library, and enroll for various courses so that you have something to do all the time. Additionally, Siegel (2010) advises that being involved in recreational activities (like sport competitions) and programs (like education and training) and avoiding being carried into desperation can serve best to make your days in prison cheerful; an inmate should define a culture of self behavior rather than adopting unnecessary group behavior.
In conclusion, quick assimilation to prison life depends on self concept in prison, independent mentality and understanding of principles that enable smooth relationships with inmates and prison authority. All prisoners need to understand these factors in order to adjust easily and join the prison life routine successfully.
Siegel, L. J. (2010). Introduction to Criminal Justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage