A Quora user posed a question to the popular forum:
“In three days, I am going to prison for a long time. How should I prepare?”
These are the responses that were offered.
, served 7 years in an AZ prison for securities fraud
Get a complete physical. See your dentist to have your teeth cleaned. Set up a family member or friend who will make a deposit into your inmate bank account. Arrange to get some magazine subscriptions that will keep you connected to the world like TIME and Reader’s Digest. If you like to write, subscribe to Writer’s Digest.
Prepare to take every/any class or program available. There aren’t many but they provide a mental escape. Be respectful. Watch and listen. Try to stay close to your family. The library can be your friend.
As for making friends, no one survives prison alone. Be judicious. People can betray you inside but so can they outside. It’s a microcosm of life. Trust inmates before staff.
Be prepared to make a life inside. And remember your attitude will save you or destroy you. Bo Lozoff’s book is a great recommendation. Also Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Autobiographies are inspiring and you need that. Look for jobs that allow you to help others, like teacher’s aide. Keep a hopeful heart and remember that you are just passing through. You aren’t there forever.
Take in a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of people you think will accept your collect calls. Some will, some won’t. Also, take in any other addresses you think might be helpful.
Good luck. It won’t be easy but it will be the most powerful learning experience you can have. And you can make it victoriously. I believe in you.
Flikshop is wonderful for getting pictures (postcards) so your loved ones need to know about it. It was created by Marcus Bullock, a man who served eight years in VA state prisons. He is a successful CEO of his own company now, that helps incarcerated people and their loved ones stay in touch.
Pigeonly is great for many things, including phone calls. Phone calls can get expensive. If you’re going to federal prison it will be very useful and save a lot of money to use Pigeonly voice. Here is the link:
Most important thing is that re-entry begins at sentencing. Work on bettering yourself and becoming emotionally healthy. If you are in a relationship or married, I would suggest doing therapy workbooks together. It helps you evolve as a couple and keeps the bond strong.
There is a book written by R.L. Pelshaw, a man in one of my Prison Reform Groups that is a business owner and did time himself. The book is called Illegal to Legal, it’s about starting your own business as a formerly incarcerated person. If you can get someone to get in touch with me I will send you a copy free of charge as well as other important information and I will personally assist them in starting their prison family member journey.
Remember that every day is another day closer. You got this!