Prison is no place you want to be.

It's a hard, cold, dangerous environment.

Many people try to make the best of it.

What else can you do?

One would be surprised what useful tidbits follow one past the bars.

Redditoryouknowyoulick wanted to hear from those that have done a little time by asking about how free life and jail life can be useful to one another. They asked:

"People who have been in jail, what habits do you still do today that you learned from being in lockup?"

I've met a few people who did time and utilized it to learn. It's always possible.

No Bumping

buster keaton GIFGiphy

"When my dad came home from prison I remember him being very polite .He was careful not to bump anybody, and he always said excuse me if he were trying to pass somebody."


Gotta Go!

"The dorm pod I was in had metal stairs that made loud noises when you walked down them. Almost got in a fight with 3 other people because I woke up at night and had to piss and woke everyone up. To this day I can't fall asleep without peeing immediately before laying down. Like, even if I went less than an hour earlier I have to stand there and focus with yogi-like intensity to squeeze a few drops out or I lay awake feeling like my bladder is full."


Perfect Game

"I can play Spades a bit better now."


"Man I got really good at spades in there. Played constantly. Had 400 packets of ramen at one point, then people stopped wanting to play me and my partner."


"I can never find anyone who knows how to play spades and it is very frustrating. Hokm is a game with almost the exact same rules, except spades is not necessarily the high suit. Cards are dealt face up at the beginning and whoever gets the first ace, after being dealt the first hand of five cards, chooses the high suit. The rest of the hand is then dealt and the game proceeds."



"Man jail-house chess players are fun opponents. They can play some stupid s**t that ends up transposing into a solid mainline. I'll be like, how can I punish this? then all of a sudden be like, oh we're here?"


"Wow, that's funny you should mention that. I was talking to a US chess champion in a bookstore once (chance encounter) who regularly played against dozens of people for charity. He randomly mentioned that people who learned in jail were very tricky because it was all nonstandard stuff and lots of tricks and traps. But said he always beats them anyway."


In Between

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"Save every extra sugar packet I come across in case I get hungry between meals."


Well it sounds like there are skills to be acquired while the time goes by.

Food Needs

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"Eating fast. Too fast honestly."


"Picked this up in the military and 14 years later I still scarf my food down like the worlds ending."


Use of Space

"My bedroom is basically set up like my old cell. In my bedroom I have everything at arms length. I sit with my back to the wall when I'm out. I still pace back and forth in small spaces."


"My boyfriend still does all of this too. He also sleeps with a crow bar or a bat next to the bed and gets super on edge when someone comes walking up behind him. When we go out to eat he always needs to be facing the door. I get annoyed with it sometimes but when he explains how we've both had very different live experiences it really puts it into context."


Never Bored

"Being entertained doing absolutely nothing like staring at a wall I just don’t get bored anymore."


"I was put on three months bed rest at the start of 2020, and I learned this skill. I’m honestly never bored. Ever. I’m not someone who’s really ever been bored much to begin with. I would spend hours thinking about everything and nothing and staring at the trees out my window. Very healing actually."


Slow Response

"I did 12 years in a state institution. The only really strange thing to me was answering the telephone. First off, you don't receive calls. Second, once the call connects, you can hear them say hello and then a prompt plays letting them know the call is recorded and what not before you then say hello. For about a year people would answer when I call them and I would wait for the recording to play before responding."


Senses Up

Spider-Man What GIF by Caleb Linden DesignGiphy

"Hypervigilant. Size up everyone everywhere I go. Especially public transport and public spaces."


Private Pooper

"Well my brother had a hard time closing the door to poop he said it felt weird to poop alone."


"Before jail, I was a private pooper. Sucks the first week bc you know you gotta s**t but just can’t. You get over it. Still a private pooper but my wife kids and dog all love to join me in the bathroom for my after work shit and decompression time. It still drives me up a wall bc our bathroom is TINY but I hold my tongue out of love."



"Former prison librarian. I learned to always look in window reflections to make sure my back was covered. I had to count inmates as they came into the library so that there weren't too many people. I can look in a room full of people and give a really accurate estimate of how many bodies are in a room because of this."



"I eat with my plate tucked between my arms, huddled over it like a trough, shoveling it in as fast as possible."


"My adopted brother does this too. we slowly taught him that he doesn't need to do that anymore, but it's heartbreaking to see a skinny, small 11 old year child golf down their food like there's no tomorrow. He grew 20 centimeters in 2.5 years of being with us, maybe more."


Hands Off

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"Ice cubes. Spoon. Soup. Eat it as fast as possible this way. Don't let someone have the chance to take your soup."


Just leave it nice...

"Flushing before it hits the water on every drop to mitigate the smell everyone has to deal with. Lots of flushes. Work probably wonders what the *uck is going on in the restroom when I’m in there. And general toilet cleanliness etiquette so it’s nice for the next person. I don’t want to clean up your nastiness, you don’t want to clean up mine. It’s a good way to get into it with someone for the dumbest reason. Just leave it nice."

"To be clear, I was not advocating many flushes. I was just answering the question honestly about what stuck with me. I do advocate the cleanliness part tho. Do that. To avoid wasting water there are environmentally friendly before-you-go sprays that create a scented oily slick on the water’s surface that mask and trap smells beneath the surface pretty well."

"Then you only need minimal flushing. I’d suggest looking into that for work/office/communal restroom situations. Problem is they don’t have that inside, and if I have to choose between flushing a few times, or trying to explain why the smell is good for everyone because I’m saving the planet and we should all be happy about that instead of pissed at me. Could I lose the habit now? Sure."



"My husband still makes 'jail snacks,' he also turns meals into sandwiches because bread was cheap and filling. Spaghetti between bread slices is an example. If we go somewhere like a restaurant, he's extremely uncomfortable if he doesn't have his back against a wall so he can see the room and no one can be behind him. He's very quick to anger/react if he feels disrespected. I also know people who hide items they feel are valuable. Even if they live alone, they hide 'commodities' like good snacks, Crest Whitestrips, etc."



"Made a habit of addressing something that could potentially become a problem. Harshly and immediately. Currently trying to drop the harsh part."



"Not me but a 'Brother from another Mother' did. We were roommates for a while and he had a peculiar habit that i had no clue where it came from. He would wake up early and do his 'business' in the dark, door wide open, and smoking a cig. Without fail, every morning. Took me a night in County jail to put 2 and 2 together and have my 'aha' moment."


All walks of life...

"I was a corrections officer for 8.5 years, if you’re not on a power trip you learn how to talk to anyone. People from all walks of life, with charges ranging from shoplifting to murder. I could walk into any housing unit and talk to any inmate without hesitation. If you’re not a *ick It also teaches you how to talk someone down so you don’t have to fight with them."


This are some very interesting habits they've picked up.

Do you have similar stories? Let us know in the comments below.

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