Ex-Cons Share The Best Tips To Survive The First Week In Prison
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Prison is not a fun place.

That is obvious. But it's a good reminder, as to stay on the straight and narrow.

There are unspoken rules and ways to live once you're on the inside.

If you want to live or not be extra traumatized, there are things to learn.

Hopefully none of us find ourselves there but just in case...

Redditor Jujhar_Singh wanted to hear some advice about life in the big house. They asked:

"Ex prisoners of Reddit, what are some of the best tips to survive the first week in prison?"

I know nothing about jail. Thank God, so this should be interesting.

Head Down

Tv Show Prison GIF by Animal Kingdom on TNT Giphy

"Dot start crap and keep to your own. Keep to yourself/a SMALL group of people."


"Probably like me, do everything by yourself, never expect anything from anyone, try to not talk about things that they can use to hurt you, etc."


It’s not worth it...

"As a supervisor in a level 4 prison... DON'T put yourself in ANY kind of debt EVER."


"I second this! Also if you don’t do drugs on the outside, don’t do them on the inside. Quick way to run up a debt and then you’re addicted and they’ve got you. I’ve had families call in to the facility because inmates are calling them at home to pay their incarcerated loved ones debt."

"As someone who has listened to many scared moms, wives, etc crying and sobbing on the phone please don’t put them through that. Also you have no idea if what you’re taking isn’t cut with something far more dangerous. Lastly I’ve seen way too many men come in with no drug habits or charges, leave with drug habits, then come back because of drug charges. It’s not worth it, once you’ve done your time, to the best of your ability stay out for you and your loved ones."


“I own you now”

"If you find a candy bar on your bunk, DON'T even touch it."


"If you goto a federal prison in Georgia they show you a video thats gives you information on what to do and what not to do once you go in. There’s a skit of a prisoner walking into his cell and finding a candy bar on a bed. He eats it and his cellmate comes in and tells him 'I own you now.' Basically teaching to prevent yourself from getting owned."



"Don't take favors from anyone cause they'll expect one back."


"Haven’t been to prison but had a work colleague who would do favours for me that I hadn’t asked for and then months later would be I did such and such for you now you have to do this for me or else."

"Things like giving me random items from home etc. I started very much trying to refuse everything and she would get extremely rude and demand I took whatever favour/gift it was. She made working there very unpleasant. When I left that job I never talked to her again."


Poop Time

scared eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy

"If you’re taking a crap, take one leg out of your pants/shorts. You are vulnerable on the toilet. Best to not get tripped up if you have to react to a spontaneous assault."


Those are all good things to know, should we find ourselves in a predicament.


the shawshank redemption escape GIF Giphy

"Don’t mess with the COs the guards will make your life hell more than inmates."



"Spend your time in county working out. A lot of people hit prison and didn't work out at all in county. The big guys can be pretty rough and they'll test you(usually in a joking way) and you don't want to b*tch out. Don't cause problems and work out so you look like you can handle yourself and you should be fine. People will generally try to find easy targets. Don't be one of them."


Swing Back

"Always, always fight back. Even if you know you’ll get your a** beat. No matter what, fight back. They’ll see you’re not an easy target compared to someone who doesn’t defend themselves or else they’ll continue to harass you."


"I'm small and did almost 4 years and never got in a fight. Almost did once, and I told the guy I probably wouldn't win, but he wouldn't want his friends knowing who f**ked him up that bad. He got a strange look on his face and slowly walked away. This was at a minimum security prison, I don't think this would have worked on the max yard. But I still wouldn't go down without leaving a mark."


Chow Time Fun

"A coworker was in jail for about a year after getting caught selling pot. He said the crucial test was when someone messed with his food. He had his tray of chow, and some young guy smacked it out of his hands. He immediately started wailing on the guy."


No One

the dark knight head GIF Giphy

"Get bigger before going in don't give anyone your food, sneeze inside your shirt hygiene is a pretty big thing. No one inside is your friend."


Good luck to anyone doing time.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

We don't talk about Bruno... and all of the other crazies in the family.

Maybe that is why that song struck such a chord... we can all relate to family secrets and family crazy.

Even though every generation has gotten a little more open and willing to discuss trauma, we still have a long way to go.

There is something to be said for not airing out all of the dirty laundry.

Everybody doesn't have to know private business.

Keep reading... Show less
People Share Which Survival Tips Could Actually Get You Killed
Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

For the most part, survival tips have been taught to us from a young age. We know to call 911 if there's an emergency and to put pressure on a bleeding wound. Boy Scouts know to be always prepared. Hikers know to conserve water, campers know how to build a fire, and anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors knows how to locate shelter.

However, those skills are pretty basic. If you get into real trouble, you'll need more specific survival skills in order to get yourself out of trouble.

Some people can give you survival tips that can mean the difference between life and death. Others may give you tips that seem to make sense, but will probably only lead to death. It can be a great skill to learn the difference.

That's probably the thought process that led Redditor scarredforlife164 to ask:

"What "survival tips" would probably get you killed?"
Keep reading... Show less
People Break Down Which Products You Should Always Buy Brand New
Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

There are certain things you should not be skimpy about when it comes time to buy them. For example: toiletries. Why in the world would you want to use somebody else's toothbrush? A used toothbrush, we should underscore.

You'd run away screaming if you saw a used one sitting on a shelf at Goodwill, wouldn't you? Of course you would. You would immediately go to the pharmacy and pick up a brand new one, like a smart person.

Keep reading... Show less
People Imagine How They'd React If Someone Offered Them $50K For Their Pet
Ron Fung/Unsplash

I've got a decent amount of animals - some fish, turtles, dogs, etc. - but out of all of them, Optimus Prime is definitely *my* pet.

He's kind of a jerk to everyone else, but a with me he's a the biggest bestest beefaroni boy.

That is an outright lie, this dog is awfully behaved and taught himself how to open doors so he stays letting mosquitos in the house and air conditioning all of South Florida instead of just my living room. I just have a soft spot for him.

But here's the thing - soft spot or not, if someone offered me $50k for this dog, my reaction wouldn't be horror because I just love my "shmoopies" and even can't imagine. I'm not that privileged.

Keep reading... Show less