Up the river without a guide
January 9, 2011 4:45 PM   Subscribe

What services exist to counsel a person headed to prison? Jail?

What is out there to let a soon-to-be prisoner know what happens once the gate closes behind him/her? How to best interact with the officials to be encountered, the fellow inmates, the environment, him/herself?

A relative has been sent away with nothing in this respect. I wondered if this was normal....
posted by the christopher hundreds to Law & Government (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Where are you in the world? Makes a big difference.
posted by desjardins at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2011

Well, you used the word yourself.
RESPECT for the other inmates, staff, guards and his/herself.
Keep a positive attitude, keep busy, read, take classes.
Be choosey about who you befriend and who you trust.
You might call a probation office to ask questions about the actual facility life.
I would imagine each place has its own climate and attitude.
posted by jennstra at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: My relative is in Illinois and is already behind bars, but I'm curious generally.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 5:44 PM on January 9, 2011

Best answer: It's not an official resource by any means, but the forums at Prison Talk are quite active and, from what I can tell, the people there are very supportive of each other.
posted by shiny blue object at 5:49 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

The numbers aren't exactly the same as Dimpy's, but you could refer to this report from the Pew Center.
posted by pullayup at 5:51 PM on January 9, 2011

Best answer: Rich people hire private prision consultants to advise them before they go in. They can also help by asking judges to sentence/recommend particular prisons or levels of custody that are less restrictive.
posted by zachlipton at 5:54 PM on January 9, 2011

Note that in the federal court system (and almost all state court systems) a judge cannot directly order the specific prison/penal institution to which the defendant will be sent. While recommendations can be made, once sentenced by the judge (judicial branch), the actual incarceration is carried out by the Bureau of Prisons, which is an executive branch agency. Thus, it's important for the defendant to begin planning prior to sentencing how to put information before the court during the pre-sentencing investigation report development phase that can help influence where he/she ultimately end up.
posted by webhund at 8:49 PM on January 9, 2011

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