Protective Custody can be a double-edged sword. It is a method for protecting an inmate from physical harm, but one the inmate is in PC (Protective custody), word spreads quickly and when the inmate is later placed back in general population, lots of people might have a problem. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of Protective Custody before the inmate requests this step.
Pros if you are the inmate:
Cons if you are the inmate:
- You will, for the most part, be protected from physical assaults at the hands of other inmates.
- In most cases, you get a private cell so your belongings will remain safe from theft.
- Instead of dealing with the sleeping schedules of others and noises night and day, your cell will be your own.
- Yard time is typically on a different schedule from the general population schedule, so you have the yard to yourself.
- Once labeled as a PC inmate, the others view you as weak and you are a possible target.
- It can get lonely never having anyone to talk to.
- Some prisons have ball teams and other socially oriented activities. In Protective Custody, you will not be allowed to participate.
- You will get your meals in your cell, further removing any social opportunities
Obviously, if you believe you are in serious physical danger by being in the general population, Protective Custody might be appropriate. If you are considering going into PC to get some quiet and have some time to yourself, you might reconsider due to the ramifications of having that label.
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