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The Best Tips for Surviving Prison or Jail

Parole Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

The Best Tips for Surviving Prison or Jail

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If you or a loved one must serve time in prison or jail, we’ve assembled 16 tips for surviving until parole or release is a possibility.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles determines when the inmate is suitable for parole, also known as community release in Texas. Members of the parole panel must consider whether the inmate’s release may pose serious harm to the general public.

If you have questions about how a parole attorney can add value to the preparation of your parole application and representation, the short answer is clear. Don’t consider representing yourself to the parole panel. Don’t assemble your own parole packet.

An experienced Texas parole lawyer can make all the difference in your parole hearing outcome. That can mean less possible time in jail or prison.

Is someone you know eligible for parole?
Contact attorney Greg Tsioros today to get them the help they need 

Tip #1: Focus on Your Mind, Muscle, and Spirit

Most inmates say that prison stinks. It’s stressful, and that’s hard on every part of you. Create a routine that balances your body, mind, and soul. It’s not enough to build your body and emerge taut and toned from prison.

Tip #2: Keep Your Attitude in Check

You’ve probably heard others say that attitude is everything and, in many ways, that’s especially true in prison. Avoid coming across with a bad attitude to others. That’s too tough and someone may take a swing at you. Don’t appear too weak because that’s clearly going to attract those who’ll want to take advantage of you. That’s why it’s your goal to balance your attitude. Stay positive, and keep your mental balance.

Tip #3: Plan for Your Release NOW

Most people value their freedom and, if you don’t start planning for release right away, statistics say you’re likely to keep coming back. Research how to plan for your release from prison. Contact an experienced Texas parole lawyer now and get the help you need. Consider a future job, where you’ll live, how much money you have to live on, and so on. A proper plan can prevent poor performance—and an eventual return to jail or prison.

Tip #4: Keep Lines of Communication Open with the World

Some inmates report that life in prison can begin to feel normal. It’s critical to stay in touch with loved ones, friends, and prospective employers. Write, call, and email these people. Use all means you have available to stay in touch with those important people. You will need their help in the future when you return to the world.

Tip #5: Some Friends Will Dump You

Be prepared for this harsh reality. Some so-called friends aren’t going to stay the course. Be prepared and move on. Make new friends on a selective basis.

Tip #6: Develop Good Listening Skills

It’s easy to talk about yourself. However, others like to be around a person that listens twice as much as he or she speaks. This is especially important in prison. Don’t automatically open up to someone who seems friendly. You need to know exactly what’s going on and you need to stay attuned to where you are.

Tip #7: Take the Lay of the Land

All prison communities are a little different from others. Learn who’s who. Know where things are located. Consider the unwritten and written rules of your community.

Tip #8: Practice Patience

Prison life can feel slow. The staff is in no hurry to perform tasks or services for inmates. Anticipate delays and prepare for long lines.

Tip #9: Choose Friends in Prison with Care

Choosing the right friends can unlock hidden benefits, such as programs or jobs, in prison. Choosing the wrong friends will end up hurting you, getting put into segregation, or resulting in an extended sentence.

Tip #10: Look for the Gold

The truth is that your prison probably has at least one program to help you in life—in or out of prison.

Look for it. Listen to staff and they mentioned ideas. Other inmates may open up about the programs they’re in—or they know of others who took advantage of these programs in the past.

Tip #11: Respect Others

Essentially, this means to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Don’t say or do anything to anyone else you wouldn’t want them to do or say to you.

Not respecting others can result in getting into trouble, or getting hurt in prison.

Never steal from another inmate. This isn’t tolerated and you’ll probably get beaten up if others realize the theft.

Never call another inmate a punk. This invites trouble.

Never cut in line. You’ll stand in line for food, clinic, work, and so on. You’ll spend a half hour or longer in line, possibly several times each day. Cutting in front of another person says “I’m better than you,” and promotes arguments. The person you cut in front of, and everyone behind them, will get angry with you.

Tip #12: Don’t Get Involved with Gangs

You may have heard that joining a gang is essential for survival in prison. Fortunately, you don’t need to participate in a gang for protection in most prisons. Gang members tend to fight amongst themselves for control. After joining a gang, it’s difficult to leave it.

Unless you must join a gang to survive in prison because it’s hard-core, don’t get involved with gangs.

Tip #13: Don’t Do Drugs

Drug overdoses occur in prison. Prisons also perform random tests for drugs on the inmates. If your test shows you’re using drugs, you’re likely to spend time in solitary confinement, and lose weeks of ‘good time’ (that extends your sentence).

Solitary confinement is a kind of prison within the prison. You’ll be confined for 23 out of 24 hours a day. You don’t come out to eat. Your food is consumed in solitary. You’ll have access to the Bible but no other reading material is allowed. Your free hour is to allow you to bathe or make a single phone call.

Don’t even think of smuggling drugs into the prison. This could add years to your sentence and, in some cases, double the amount of time you spend in prison.

Tip #14: Don’t Gamble

Gambling can get you badly hurt in prison. Running a gambling debt can result in serious beatings or death.

Tip #15: Stay Busy

Focus on positive activities, including exercise, work, and education. It may be possible to work out an hour a day. Having a job occupies your mind and can help you put some money in the bank. Take classes to earn college credits. Whatever you do, stay busy because idle hands and mind can lead you astray.

Tip #16: Check Your Ego at the Door

Stay humble. Avoid locking eyes with others.

Don’t enter another inmate’s cell without his or her permission. Doing so can result in injuries or even death.

Never ask another inmate what he or she is in for. Instead, ask what he or she is accused of.

Consult with a Texas Parole Lawyer Now

Planning for parole is a complex task. Parole board members rely on risk assessment models as part of their evaluation in addition to your criminal record, the age at which you were admitted to a juvenile or adult correctional facility, your history of parole revocations (for felony charges), prior prison or jail sentences served, employment history, and your current offense. They’ll also consider your age, if you’re a gang member, if you’ve taken advantage of educational, vocational, or job trainings offered in prison.

A Houston parole attorney is essential if the parole board has already scheduled a hearing. In general, the parole board doesn’t grant parole unless they have very good reasons to do so.

Your Texas parole lawyer can ensure that members of the parole board receive your information on a timely basis. He’ll ensure that the board is notified of all the positive steps you’ve taken to create a better future.

If you or a loved one is eligible for parole in Texas, call The Law Office Greg Tsioros now at 832-752-5972 to schedule an initial case evaluation.

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