Jails and prisons can be violent environments, but there are things you can do to minimize your chances of confrontation and trouble.
1. Show no fear
– This doesn’t mean bullying. It means showing a quiet confidence. Always remain aware of your surroundings, but do it casually without looking nervous.
How to build quiet confidence in yourself
2. Stay out of it
– When problems start, keep away. Walk away, go to your cell, or sit down at another table. Do what you need to do so that you do not appear to be involved. This way when retaliation occurs later on, you will not be targeted as someone who took sides.
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3. Don’t go into debt
– Jail is the wrong place to owe anybody anything. Don’t borrow commissary items
or gamble for items. Debts are common triggers for jail fights. The candy won’t be worth the fistfight.
4. Don’t back down
– While it is important to avoid confrontation, if you act weak you will become a target, so hold your ground. For example, if another inmate wants your shoes, commissary items, or something else, don’t waiver in your refusal. Make it clear that your things are not up for grabs, and then walk away (keeping your eyes alert).
5. Avoid gossip
– Jails are filled with rumors and idle talk about others. If you participate, you may automatically be choosing a side, even if you don’t mean to get involved with other people’s private affairs. Stay out of such conversations and busy yourself with something else.