PREPARED FOR FEDERAL PRISON?
When I entered federal prison in the fall of 2014, I had spent hours with my prison consultant Justin Paperny discussing prison rules, prison etiquette, and most importantly, the mental impact of being in federal prison. You cannot explain or teach it, unless you have been here. Thankfully, his prison advice worked. Still, with all of my preparation, there was a learning curve. I cannot imagine what would have occurred if I had arrived without any preparation for one of the worst experiences of my life. There is no question my preparations set the stage for what has been a fairly productive federal prison experience. I am not done yet, but I can see the finish line.
I have been hearing about a new white-collar offender (Banker) who is trying to adjust to prison without any advanced preparation. He is serving time for bank fraud charges. It has been painful to watch. He has money, so all of the prison predators came out of the woodwork as soon as he revealed his financial situation. (bragging about his past life). Guys offered him clothes and food over his first two weeks, which hee gratefully accepted. He did not realize that his new friends expected something in return for their efforts. They latched on to him and asked him to buy things they needed at the commissary. Since they are his “friends”, they have no problem going in his locker to take food without asking. Basically, he spends $100.00 a month helping out his new “friends”. His new friends, I heard, also smoke which was an addiction the Banker kicked prior to coming to prison.
Getting caught for smoking is one of the easiest ways to get shipped to a higher security facility. Our Banker is oblivious to what life is like behind the fence.The Banker almost got into a physical altercation at his off compound job. Last week he was washing his hands at lunch at a row of 10 sinks. Only one other prisoner was present. He needed soap, and the only dispenser was located in front of the other prisoner. Instead of waiting (proper prison manners), He reached across the other prisoner and got some soap. He then washed his hands right next to the prisoner and apparently splashed some water on him. That was it. The other prisoner started swearing and allegedly picked up a brick and threatened the Banker. The Banker failed to respect the space of another prisoner and almost suffered dire consequences.
His friends offered to fix the dispute with the washroom prisoner for $20.00 of commissary. The Banker readily accepted their offer. His friends gave the washroom prisoner 2 bags of nuts and kept the rest for themselves. The Banker lives in fear and is preyed upon by the other prisoners. If the Banker was prepared, He would have known to keep his mouth shut about his financial situation. He would have refused offers of food and clothing because he would have anticipated the strings attached to the such gifts. He would also know to stay out of another prisoner’s ” personal space.” Our Banker is going to have a difficult time in prison as a result of his failure to prepare.
Like anything else in life, preparation is an important key to success.