Way more than I can keep track of.
One of my friends is a correctional officer in a state prison. Another friend has a brother who is about to go to the clink.
I asked the one friend if she had any tips for the other as to how not to get raped in jail.
Below is what she wrote in her blog today.
How To Avoid Getting Raped in Jail
Name was changed for safety and anonyminity)
Mike was selling drugs and in the end somebody died from the drugs Mike sold. Mike was charged with manslaughter. Mike pled down his charges to possession. Mike might have some history being in-and-out of jail. Mike is going to spend 10 months in prison for this crime. Mike is a white boy, not sure of age. Standard American boy looks, in decent shape and is able to handle his own(based on information given).
Mike will be entering a whole new world from what he is used to. He will go into a new home for 10 months (which can feel like forever in prison). He will most likely be the one of the minorities.
THE GAME STARTS:
He will come in and be introduced to the system via a correctional officer (CO). This CO might be nice, might be cold, might try to intimidate you, Mike must figure out what kind of person the CO is. Mike’s best bet is to be calm and respectable no matter what kind of CO is with him. After his brief introduction he will be placed in an area called something like R & O (receiving and orientation). Now this is not as pleasant sounding as it seems. This is where you will be evaluated and get housed with other people who are there on similar charges and some way different(child sex offenders) than Mike’s.
There might even be what is called an Old Number. Someone who is returning on a new charge but has definitely been in before. These guys are trying to intimidate you and at the same time try and make you feel a part of their group of friends. They try to use you, put blame on you, scare you (intimidate you) or are legit and just making new friends with you. It is has now become a tough game of trying to figure out who-is-who and what they really want. Mike’s best bet in the beginning is to be calm and respectable and say as little as possible about himself.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM:
Mike will live here temporarily and play the game. He will have to be there to know what I mean. It is very touch and go, over whom you spend your free time with, what you will give up (whether it be rec time, rec activities, food or clothes)and this can go wither way-from him to someone else or from someone else demanding it from him, Mike might even get away with doing nothing at all. Mike will go about his daily activities. Wake-up, chow, rec, maybe work (if he is lucky to have a job), rack-in (go to your cell and be locked in), some form of count will always take place(sometimes more often than Mike will like), chow, more rec, more activities, maybe more work, rack-in, count, rec, rack-in, count, lights out, count, count, count, count, count, count until morning arrives and he gets to do it again.
This can become quite frustrating for someone who is not used to doing what he told and when without a why.
Mike can change as a person during this time. Mike needs support. His best support would come from many, many, many letters from friends and family. Reminding him that his time will be over soon and life will go on (Lot’s of I love you’s too). Mike will also have a chance to make phone calls, hopefully the person receiving the calls can handle the huge, expensive phone bills that will acquire during 10 months time. During phone call time, friends and family should remember to let Mike lead the calls. If Mike wants to talk about how shitty it is, let Mike vent and say you are sorry and let him vent some more. Do not argue with Mike, Do not get to the point where you tell him he deserves this when you are pissed, do not leave Mike feeling he has no-one to listen. Mike can get into BIG trouble for being upset later on. If Mike has nothing to say, tell him about you daily activities without rubbing it in that he was not present. If you are a female friends assume he will count on you for companionship. It might become stronger or it might become a whole new form of love you would have never expected. Mike needs companionship. His celly can not provide it whether Mike believes they can or not. YOU, his friends and family must provide the true companionship and love and support. No one inside can, if Mike thinks they can, Mike is following right into their trap.
for more jail-related blog enteries, go to her blog here