Prision Issues Discussed, Part 2

Question continued: My 19 year old son was sentenced to one year in jail on a drug charge. I hear so many horrible stories. I am scared for him. Can you please give me advice on what I can do?

Answer: To Read Part 1 (Click Here)

As I said there are a lot of variables to this answer. If your son received a year and a day he would get “gain” time in the state system. Although it is not a lot, it could equal a few months off with good behavior. The down side is he will be going to a state facility. Most likely he will never get to a permanent facility and end up in the reception center.

prison_cellState facilities have more “experienced” inmates. What I mean by that is they are doing time and sometimes a lot of time and have routines down. Any disruption at all can be a problem. Understanding how to act, talk, handle yourself, are all important elements of survival in prison. There are two types of people in prison; Predators and Prey. I don’t mean predator in the sense of sex always. I mean predator in the sense of being an alpha male. Prey, meaning timid, shy, scared, etc., being too timid shows weakness and being too aggressive shows a challenge.

Sitting in the wrong area of the chow hall can become a serious issue. Looking in another inmate’s cell can lead to a problem. The balancing act of survival starts the second you are incarcerated, not when you get to the facility you will be housed at.

The best way to prevent problems in prison is not to go in the first place. Think before you act. I do what I do because I saw, and been a victim of way to much violence. I was stabbed twice in prison and stabbed two people. I did what I had to do to survive and now I don’t want to see people go through what I went through. It’s just not worth it.

The guards aren’t always there to protect you. In my case, I was abused by guards. I also had guards who saved my life. Survival in prison is all about you. Depending on someone else is a recipe for disaster.

In the next few newsletters I will discuss enabling your son, getting help for your son, tattoos, and a typical day in prison. I will also explain what you see and “don’t” see with regards to prison TV shows, and reentry when your son gets out of prison/jail.
Stay strong and never give up on your son.

Good luck and best to all,

Larry Lawton