Seven Ways to Excel in Prison

As a companion piece to Brad Brown’s recent guide Seven Ways to Become a Better Bank Robber, I thought I’d provide this short guide.

Even if you never rob a bank, there’s always a chance that some day you might inadvertently commit a crime and find yourself behind bars. It happens more often than you might think.

1. Stay positive! Yes, getting caught embezzling from the company, or having your “personal stash” discovered during a routine traffic violation, or accidentally killing your spouse during a heated argument will seem like the end of the world. But, on the bright side, you won’t have to go back to that stinkin’ office for a while and most of your other normal, every day problems are pretty much over, as well.

2. Surrender to the inevitable.  Give in gracefully. Fretting over the loss of your electronic toys, grooming aids or best outfits is a waste of time and energy. Move on quickly so you can start addressing all the new issues about to come your way.

3. Pretend you’re in a movie. Nothing in your past can prepare you fully for his totally new, unexpected lifestyle. But, everybody at some point in their life has dreamed of being a movie star. Well, here’s your chance to show off your star qualities. Act really creepy for your mug shot, make ugly faces, grimace – that way no one will ever recognize you.  This is also better for your “range cred” than the novice deer-in-the-headlights look most newbies sport on their first mugshots. Also when they handcuff you or explore your body cavities, pretend it’s Detective Goren or Serpico or Clarice Starling or one of Charlie’s Angels doing it. And pretend there’s a camera on you and it’s not real. And pretend you’re going to get paid millions for this gig.

4. Take advantage of everything prison has to offer. You finally have time to go to the gym every day!! Get that second degree you’ve always wanted to get! Learn a trade! Read every book you have on your list of must-reads! Watch all those movies you’ve wanted to see. Meditate! Sign up for re-hab, anger management and every other counseling available even if you don’t think you need it.

5. Eat whatever you want.  No more worrying about diets and watching what you eat. No more cooking, shopping or spending money in restaurants. No more morning conflict between the fat-free latte or the moccacino. Food is free and your options are: eat it or don’t eat it; coffee or no coffee.

6. Make new friends quickly. Try to choose people that look popular or have been in the joint for a long time or are big and menacing. Making friends in prison is a little like making friends in Kindergarten – you have to give them something to encourage friendship. Children will share their candy or offer to push another kid on the swings. In jail you might share your dessert or offer some small service to the person(s) you wish to befriend.

7. Things that make you an asshole on the outside will make you wildly popular inside. Bragging about how drunk you were when you were driving the car you stole to escape from the pigs; calling your former wife/husband your “old lady” or “old man”; smoking; bullying smaller, weaker people; using the f-word several times in each sentence; or shaving your friends while they’re sleeping.

Bon chance!!

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19 responses to “Seven Ways to Excel in Prison

  1. OMG! You make this look so tempting. Do we have any mixed prisons locally? I mean, I’m willing to adjust part of my lifestyle accordingly but I do like my present sex life. I’ll go if the Panther can come!

  2. #1 is about perspective – always a good thing to have under any circumstances.
    #4 is about time management and maybe I should stop watching so much television.
    Interesting. I have also recently decided that, while I can waste my own time, I am not going to let anyone else waste my time. That blends in there somewhere, I think. I’ll really be ahead of the game when I can stop wasting my own time.

  3. UL – Have you ever thought you might be in a rut? Prison could help open you up to new experiences…and then there are always conjugal visits if that doesn’t work out.

    Jazz – Bertha’s just an old softie once you get to know her better. Also, I think after a certain age they leave you alone — just like they do on the outside.

    Bob – Sorry, no personal experience — though I did work in a parole office once.

    Cedar – Exactly what I’m thinking. Some days…

    Missy – That’s me – plethora provider. I hope these little tips will be useful to you should you ever find yourself in such a situation.

    Julia – I guess that depends on what you consider wasted time? Sometimes sitting around watching TV is the best possible use for your time – just to remove you from everything for a while. If you’re content & relaxed — that can’t be wasted time.

    Jobthingy – See, you’re already head bitch before you even get there. Is a career move in your future?

  4. I went to school with a guy who ended up in prison after graduation (drugs). He got out once but he made sure he was arrested within a few months so he could go back. Life on the outside was too difficult, he said!

    I’ll file this away and hope I’ll never have to use it. 🙂

  5. I always thought that if I ended up in prison for a crime I was wrongly convicted of (I’m innocent!) that I’d take a long list of all the books I wanted to read but never did and one by one I’d knock them off the list. Then I’d get a law degree and then I’d lift weights like crazy. First things first, though – I think I’ll take some sort of arts and crafts course and learn how to make a shank.

  6. hehe.. I just replaced the word prison with cubical 🙂 I like #3 the most. Office Space anyone?

  7. I tell you…the thought of being violated by Clarice Starling is quite a turn on. I still love Jodie Foster, even though I realize it’s a forbidden love.

  8. Debra – It’s always best to be prepared. And you’re right about the jail thing. Working in a parole office I saw it many times were guys just couldn’t cope on the outside anymore after being in prison for a while.

    Linsey – Yes, a shank is all important. And it can be made from so many different objects. I believe Martha Stewart published a special booklet on it after her time in the hoose-gow

    A&J – No, no – the cubicle has all the confining, drudgery qualities of prison without any of the benefits.

    Brad – I know, I know. Jodie IS free now, though. It won’t do you any good, but maybe she’ll agree to violate me and I’ll tell you all about it??

  9. Kimberly – It does sometimes, doesn’t it? I suppose prison isn’t all vacation spa fun, though. There must be something bad about it since people who’ve been there don’t generally recommend it.

  10. this is such a helpful post, i hope i never have to use it. prior to reading this, i was just gonna pull a richard pryor/gene wilder “walk”, telling all the other birds “i’m bad”. that’s right, i’m bad.