Rolling Out

5 things to do before you go to prison

Taking proactive steps before your surrender date can significantly ease the transition
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A prison sentence can be a life-altering event, throwing you and your loved ones into a whirlwind of uncertainty. Fear, anxiety, and a million questions about what to expect are natural. However, amidst the emotional turmoil, taking proactive steps before your surrender date can significantly ease the transition and empower you to prepare for what lies ahead. Here are five essential things you can do to prepare for prison.

1. Secure Your Legal Affairs: Take Control of the Present and Future

  • Finalize Appeals: If you plan to appeal your conviction or sentence, ensure your lawyer has everything they need to proceed. Discuss the timeline for your appeal and any steps you’ll need to take.

  • Clear Up Legal Loose Ends: Address outstanding legal matters like traffic tickets, warrants, or minor offenses. Taking care of these issues now can prevent them from causing complications during your incarceration, allowing you to focus on navigating prison life.

  • Power of Attorney: Delegate with Trust: Designate a trusted friend or family member with a Power of Attorney. This legal document grants them the authority to manage your finances, property, and other essential matters while you’re away. Choose someone responsible and detail the scope of their authority within the Power of Attorney document.

2. Take Care of Your Finances: Minimize Burden, Maximize Peace of Mind

  • Prioritize Essential Bills: If possible, prioritize paying off bills like rent, utilities, and car payments. This will help minimize the financial burden on your loved ones while you’re incarcerated. Consider creating a budget to understand your essential expenses and see if there are areas where you can cut back before your sentence begins.

  • Debt Management: Develop a plan to manage outstanding debts. Consider contacting creditors to discuss options like payment plans or temporary deferment. Explain your situation and explore possibilities for putting a hold on interest accrual during your incarceration.

  • Secure Your Assets: Protect What Matters: Safeguard valuable belongings and important documents. You might consider placing them in a safe deposit box or a storage unit accessed by your Power of Attorney. Ensure important documents like wills, insurance policies, and investment records are well-organized and accessible to your designated representative.

3. Prepare Your Family and Loved Ones: Communication and Support Are Key

  • Open Communication is Vital: Have honest and open conversations with your loved ones about your upcoming incarceration. Discuss the length of your sentence, visitation procedures, and ways they can stay connected. The more prepared your family is, the better they can cope with your absence.

  • Practical Matters: Addressing Daily Concerns: Discuss childcare arrangements, pet care, and other logistical concerns. Help your loved ones develop a plan to manage daily tasks and responsibilities in your absence. Consider creating a schedule or assigning temporary roles to ensure everything runs smoothly.

  • Emotional Support: Building a Bridge Through Absence: Prepare your loved ones for the emotional challenges of your absence. Reassure them of your well-being and commitment to staying connected. Let them know they can contact you for support and establish clear communication channels, whether through letters, emails, or phone calls (depending on prison regulations).

4. Focus on Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing: Investing in Yourself

  • Schedule Medical Checkups: Address any pre-existing medical conditions and ensure you have a sufficient supply of necessary medications. Schedule checkups with your doctor to discuss potential health concerns during incarceration and obtain any required documentation for your medical history.

  • Maintain Physical Fitness: Regular exercise can significantly benefit your physical and mental health during incarceration. Focus on activities you can continue in prison, like bodyweight exercises, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, or running in place. Physical fitness can help you manage stress, improve sleep quality, and boost your mood.

  • Mental Health Preparation: Building Resilience: Incarceration can be stressful. Develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress and anxiety. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling can prove helpful. Consider relaxation techniques that don’t require equipment and can be practiced anywhere.

5. Research Your Prison Facility: Knowledge is Power

  • Facility Information: Gather information about the specific prison you’ll be housed in. Learn about the facility’s rules, regulations, and programs or resources available to inmates. Knowing what to expect can help you adjust to your new environment more effectively. Prison websites and government resources might offer information about specific facilities.

  • Communication Policies: Understand the prison’s phone calls, mail, and visitation policies. This will help you stay connected with loved ones on the outside and establish a communication routine. Knowing limitations and procedures will allow you to manage expectations and maximize connection opportunities.
  • Educational and Vocational Opportunities: Explore educational and vocational programs offered at the prison. Investing in self-improvement can equip you with skills and knowledge to successfully re-enter society. Please be sure to look for programs that align with your interests and potential career goals. Earning a GED, learning a new trade, or taking anger management courses can significantly improve your chances of finding employment and reintegrating successfully upon release.

Remember: A prison sentence doesn’t have to define your future. By taking these steps beforehand, you can navigate incarceration more effectively and prepare for successful reintegration into society upon release. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  • Pack Essentials: Research the allowed items at your facility and pack accordingly. Focus on essential toiletries, comfortable clothing (within prison regulations), and any religious materials you might need. Packing lightly and following the facility’s guidelines will ensure a smooth check-in process.

  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: A positive outlook can significantly benefit your experience during incarceration. Focus on self-improvement, stay hopeful for the future, and build positive relationships with others. While challenges are inevitable, a positive mindset can help you cope with adversity and emerge stronger.

Remember, you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time. Please reach out to your lawyer, social workers, or prison support organizations for guidance. By taking proactive steps and maintaining a positive mindset, you can emerge from this experience stronger and better prepared for a successful reintegration into society.

This story was created using AI technology.

14 Responses

  1. Why is this article promoted? Rude and disrespectful. Now I know this platform is not owned by us and is not for us

    1. False propaganda to make people belive the prison system or criminal justice systems are there to help people change their behavior. It is the complete opposite designed to tear families apart. The only thing in this article that might be helpful is the power of attorney section ? Signing over your existence to someone else because your no longer going to be who you were before prison. While in prison
      You’ll get your slave # when you get out if you get out you’ll never be the same person ever again. Sad people put these lies out there and many people belive articles like this! Article makes it sound like your going on a dangerous safari somewhere it’s ridiculous

  2. Since when does an individual who is going to prison receive the opportunity to prepare for prison? That’s not how it works. If it were that way I’m sure the recidivism rate would be much lower than it is. Going to prison is an intense, life changing, and overly used way of punishment! Most men and women lose everything they own behind a crime that could’ve been punished in many other ways! And in the end it hurts the now felon more than helping them! Very few have the opportunity to plan their stay! And they’re the ones who need the most assistance! Cuz sending them
    To prison only lowers one’s chances at a successful life! Once you serve ur time and are released, now u are a “convicted felon”. Which makes no sense.. because if I do my time, why do I have anegative label on me that is looked down upon for my life!? And why am I released in to the same world/environment with usually less than I left with!? Prison destroys lives and familys! And some people especially a person who is a drug addict, they need help not prison! Because most didn’t ask to be addicts but know nothing else but that!

    1. Amen. You definitely don’t get to prepare in the State of Florida. Only preparation you do is from sitting in a cell awaiting your transport to facility. And to research prison your going to? That’s a real joke. You don’t know where your going to what prison until you go through receiving and orientation. And you damn sure cant bring in outside necessities.

    2. I couldn’t have written it any better than what you wrote! Prison is absolutely not designed to rehabilitate anyone anymore for any reason. It’s modern day slavery the more people they keep in prison the more people they have to hire to watch those they incarcerated. Fill up the prison just build another one and repeat the process. Federal prisoners don’t even know what prison they are going to for a minimum of 30days unless you worked something out into your guilty plea maybe? And packing that’s almost laughable whatever you bring with you is going into storage for anyone I’ve talked to about prison. Federal prison sentances automatically come with supervised release Why only reason I can think of is to try and get you thrown back inside unless your a pedophile and those people are so sick they should be hospitals or caskets. Only people that belong in prison are those who do heinous unforgivable acts of violence towards others. Drug addicts are filling up the prisons some reports I’ve read say more than 50% are drug related.

    3. Federal courts often allow for a prisoner to get their affairs in order and turn themselves in to begin their sentence.

      State courts can do this as well if the defendants lawyer cares to negotiate it as part of a plea deal or if the defendants is out of custody before trial.

      I am not defending this system. I could not agree with you more on it’s effects on people’s lives, families and future chances. This system is not designed to treat people or to make them better members of society or even to deliver a punishment meant to dissuade future acts of crime. This system is about money and creating a slave labor force capable of competing with the wages received in developing or undeveloped countries.

      As a country we incarcerate far more people that and three other countries. Every year more and more funds are allocated to prisons while we reduce the funds to school and positive programs. Crime is a side effect of poverty and the underprivileged.

      At the current rate of incarceration, by the year 2060 one out of ever three males in the US will either be in prison or on post prison supervision. If that number shocks you then you should know that one out of every three black men already are.

      We need to find a better way to deal with, and even more so to remedy the causes leading to prison.

  3. This is by far the most useless article I’ve ever read. None and I mean not one of the points in this article is useful for someone going to prison. Example being there’s no way to know which facility your going to end up at. Second point there is nothing and I mean nothing you can take with you what do ever besides your eyeglasses and dentures. Three there’s no mental prep to incarceration you can possibly do. The only thing they somewhat got correct is “your not alone” Nope there are plenty of others going with you on that bus.

  4. This is by far the most useless article I’ve ever read. None and I mean not one of the points in this article is useful for someone going to prison. Example being there’s no way to know which facility your going to end up at. Second point there is nothing and I mean nothing you can take with you what do ever besides your eyeglasses and dentures. Three there’s no mental prep to incarceration you can possibly do. The only thing they somewhat got correct is “your not alone” Nope there are plenty of others going with you on that bus.

  5. This story is so wrong first you don’t get the chance to get ready to go to prison in most cases you go to prison right from jail and you don’t know where you are going for security reasons prison does not build you up it tears you downsi saying you can prep for it is a lie..

  6. Who ever wrote this did ZERO research on the subject. I think it’s funny how everyone who has not been to prison or did time on the outside with someone inside, thinks it’s like the movies or something. So not true
    I wish there was a documentary that truly shows what prison is really like, ten maybe society will have more drive to help change things.

  7. After reading this article that is fraught with dubiousness I wonder what segment of society this was directed toward. Due to the draconian laws in Colorado at one time I had the misfortune to spend 36 years in the prison system. I would suggest disregarding a good portion of it and focus on your ability to interact and communicate with people who don’t care. The ability to survive with a strong mind. Remember you have no friends and this definitely includes the man(guards).

  8. While sitting in jail before going to prison practice on minding your own business and know when to keep your mouth shut. It’s survival while you are incarcerated. There is no preparing or making preparations. What a joke this article is.

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