You’ve made it. You managed to survive your first day in prison, and now we’re going to talk about your first full day (your second day in prison). Of course I’m joking about the surviving the first day in prison because I am still troubled by those that claim that they will teach you how to survive prison.
Expect more than surviving prison. I promise all of you you’re going to serve time in a federal prison or a federal prison camp. The question is how will you emerge, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Tip #1- Mastering Your Morning
Your first full day in prison. So, I am more than my videos. I love to write too, so I wrote a blog that I think is good, but I’m biased, called Mastering Your Morning. Your first full day in prison should be spent mastering your morning, preferably waking early, which is nice because you can be up and collecting your thoughts while the dorm is sleeping. Can use the restroom in a little bit of privacy instead of in line with 20 guys, 25 guys. It can be as many as 25 guys. You wake earlier, you have some privacy, you can collect your thoughts. Master your morning. I wrote a blog about it that you should read. I’m going to put a link to the blog in this YouTube description.
Tip #2- The Chow Hall
Number two, get in the habit of going to the chow hall. I went to the chow hall every day in prison except for like two. There’s good food in the chow hall. You don’t have a ton of room in your commissary, and if you go to the chow hall and leverage off the food they give you, you don’t have to waste money in the commissary. Plus, you get into the routine of having a healthy breakfast every morning, beginning to program, which is something that I think is important. Master your mornings, getting up early, going to the chow hall.
Tip #3- Look For a Job
Number three, your first full day in prison, look for a job. I’m all about being proactive, not reactive. I just read that phrase. I think it kind of rhymes, okay? I like it. Look, you may get assigned to the kitchen after 14 or 17 days. I get it, but it doesn’t mean that first full day in prison you can’t walk around the compound looking for a job that might interest you. Maybe it’s the library. Maybe it’s recreation. Maybe there’s an opening in the dorm to be an orderly. I don’t know, there’s a lot of jobs.
I should probably do a video about the job. I think I might’ve done that. Walk around the compound, look for jobs that might interest you. Some can be transferring to the drug program. Getting released, some prisoners get tired of their jobs. I left the kitchen after four months and became an orderly and so on. Get aggressive and look for a job, and if you find one that interests you, put in a request to the counselor. The worst they can say is no.
Tip #4- Don’t Miss the Counts
Number four, don’t miss counts. Not a good idea to miss standing counts. It can go badly. There was one time where I nearly missed a count because I was running with my headphones on and I didn’t hear them, and they threatened to close the compound. That first full day in prison, you have to begin to embrace the idea that you’re going to be counted many times a day, get back to the dorm before they close it, be ready to stand for count, and keep your mouth shut while they’re doing the count. Don’t make noises and act foolish like so many do.
Tip #5- Be Careful About Your Friendships in Prison
Number five, that first full day in prison, I want you to be careful about the friendships you make. I also wrote a blog about this. I’ve probably written a blog about everything, but I wrote a blog about this. Understanding Your Tendencies. Being careful about the friendships that you make, if you’re going to a very small prison camp or any prison camp, you form the wrong friendship or relationship or allow yourself to be exploited.
It could follow you throughout the whole journey, so even on that first day, do more listening than talking. Begin to understand some of the men with whom you are serving time, and begin to form your own routine, getting back to number one. Mastering the morning, going to the chow hall, looking for a job.
Tip #6- Be Nice When You Call Home
You should be too busy to be wasting time watching TV, but I do need you to understand your tendencies. On that first full day, you might call home. Be nice. Imprisonment is harder on those that love and support you. I filmed a video with my colleague, talking about the stress and heartache that wives go through while their husband is in prison.
Maybe I’ll put up a little image of it or something like that. It’s harder on them, so when you call home that first full day or you send that first email, be nice because incarceration is harder on those that love and support you. It is not all about you. It is about those that miss you and love you and who are standing by you. In that first full day, be nice. I beg you.
Tip #7- Exercise Your Ass Off
Number seven, I think number seven. Exercise your ass off because the dorm could be noisy. It could be loud. If you get into a routine that first full day of aggressive exercise, it’s going to set the tone for your whole experience, I promise you. Once you do that first full day, the second full day, will set the tone for your whole experience. If you get into the routine of waking early, exercising, going to the chow hall, being proactive when you call home, it’ll be with you the whole term, but also by exercising very hard, you’re going to be exhausted.
You’re going to be drained, so therefore it’s noisy in the dorm. When you’re a new prisoner you’re going to be at the front of the dorm, so there’s going to be lights and it’s loud and some of the other prisoners are rude, and they’re banging lockers and they’re cooking. There’s a whole host of things going on, so if you exercise hard that first full day, you’ll sleep better.
Tip #8- Look for Educational Opportunities
Okay, number eight. That first full day, find some education opportunities that interest you. Much like you’re walking around the compound looking for a job opportunity, find out what educational programs you can enroll in. I can assure you there are many of them that will help you get into a flow, get into a routine, even look forward to attending a lot of these classes. I did that with Toast Masters at Taft Federal Prison Camp every Monday, and I loved it, so look for education opportunities.
Tip #9- Make Sure to Check the Call Out List
Number nine, make sure you check the call out list. There will be a prisoner whose job is to put the call out list, hang it somewhere in the dorm, and that list will tell each prisoner where they need to be the following day, so that first week including your first full day in prison, you will be on that call out list to see the dentist, the doctor, the counselor, to go to an orientation, go to the mail room or whatever. Get in the habit of looking at that call out list because you do not want to miss an appointment. There can be some fallout for that.
Any questions, feel free to call or text at 818-424-2220. I wish you all well. Thank you so much. Bye.