How to Survive Your First Month in Prison by @tricycle_champ

If you’re like me, you enjoy living life on the edge. Speeding on the highway, jaywalking, smuggling cocaine across the border — those casual, victimless crimes perpetrated by average folk like ourselves. But we all know that these everyday crimes come with penalties if we get caught: tickets, fines, and 25-to-life in a maximum-security prison, in no particular order. If you happen to commit one of them – speeding, for example – and wind up having to relocate to a federal prison in Albuquerque, then this guide is for you.

WEEK ONE: Adjusting to Prison Life

Your first week in prison will be your most difficult. Things are changing: Gone are the days when you can enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like a walk on the beach or a 72-hour cocaine bender. You’ll have to become acclimated to prison lifestyle.

The first step in getting used to prison lifestyle is getting a lay of the land. It’s simple, really – just take a walk and explore. Walk anywhere you like: the cafeteria, the showers, into the guards’ quarters equipped with a shiv—again, it’s all about getting a feel for the place.

The second step in becoming acclimated to prison life is to make nice with your cellmate. And I know what you’re thinking: This is the part where I tell you about your cellmate Bullet, whose gang of neo-nazis will give you some demoralizing nickname like “Sugar-Dick” and beat you senseless if you don’t align yourself with their twisted cause. But that’s very bigoted of you to think! Your cellmate’s name will, most likely, be something like Richard, and he’ll be in there for some harmless white-collar crime like murder. So just make some small talk with him! Find some common ground — you may like the same sports teams, you may both love The Wire, you may both take pleasure in extinguishing the lives of those who wrong you — but whatever that common ground is, as your first week in prison rounds up, it’ll be essential that you and your cellmate Richard are friends.

WEEK TWO: Gathering friends

The second week in prison is easier than the first, but is by no means easy. While at this point you’ll probably have a pretty decent sense of how life works in prison, you’ll still have to deal with playing prison politics. You have your cellmate Richard, which is fantastic, but Richard alone won’t provide you with nearly enough support to survive in prison. 

My personal advice is to join a knitting circle. I promise you, only the toughest guys in prison join knitting circles. Just think about the people that are locked up in federal prisons today: hardened criminals, like serial killers and people caught with insignificant amounts of marijuana. Now consider what those hardened criminals would think about people who knit – they’d think they’re complete pansies.

However, dear reader, it circles back around. These criminals know that since people in knitting circles are considered pansies, only the toughest guys would actually join one. As such, you will naturally be associated with the toughest of the tough. Instant friends!

WEEK THREE: Organizing a prison riot

Due to your wild success in the prison knitting circle, you’re one of the most popular men in the clink right now. It’s time to start using that to your advantage. 

Now, everyone knows the guards aren’t so kind in their treatment of inmates like you, so it’s time for change. The best way to push for change when you’re locked up is to gather up all your buddies and organize a prison riot! Make sure all of your pals from the knitting circle have fashioned their needles into shanks, and make sure that any other riot supporters have somehow acquired crude weaponry in a similar vein. 

Once you all have your weapons and can practically taste the bloodlust in the air, it’s time to strike! Rush the guard tower and cut every last one of their bitch asses. Make sure someone smashes the radio and security cameras, because it’ll prevent the guards from calling reinforcements and that, my friends, will be crucial in the final step of the guide.

WEEK THREE (Part two): Busting your homies out of prison

Now that all of the on-duty guards are dead, it’s your best chance to break out. Grab the keys from one of the guards’ corpses and bust out the rest of your homies who didn’t come on the initial raid of the tower! By the time the other guards catch word of the riot, you all will be a veritable army. Those underpaid guards don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of stopping your and your crew at this point, so slaughter all who stand in the way of you and that sweet, sweet iron door to freedom. 

After all is said and done, you, Richard, and the rest of your crew will be standing in broad daylight in the middle of a street in Albuquerque, with absolutely no idea what to do next. Lots of ideas are being bounced around — you think everyone should go their separate ways, Richard suggests a hostile takeover of Albuquerque’s gang scene, and Blade from cell block C is oddly insistent that you keep the knitting circle going. So you’re reached a crossroads.

The sanest option should be perfectly clear to you at this point: You need to murder Richard. He’s been a valuable ally, but you can’t have him polluting these innocent young prisoners’ minds with the idea that life in a gang is something that’s worth living. So do what anyone would: tell him his shoe’s untied, and ruthlessly take his life when he looks down. 

Blade’s idea of a knitting circle is, honestly, not bad — knitting’s an invigorating and productive hobby – but honestly, it’s just best to cut off all ties that could remind you of your life in prison.

After all, you’re just a normal, average citizen, who like everyone else occasionally commits a victimless offense. So take a deep breath of that New Mexican air, call your coke dealer, Pablo, and get back to your nondescript, average American life.

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