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Survival tips for convicts


By Mike D’Avria



It's around spring break time, and a bunch of you will be off at the beaches drinking illegally and committing small misdemeanors that your parents will never find out about. Some of you are even going to graduate soon and without a steady job plan, you might swerve into the world of theft, drug trafficking and killing for the mob.\nWhether it's felony work or petty crime, some of you will end up in prison in the near future, and it's my job to give you a guide to how to survive your prison sentence. I have great knowledge in this area because I watch a lot of prison films, and this information will serve you well if you end up in any of these movie prisons.\n"Kick someone's ass the first night, or become someone's bitch."\n --"Office Space"\nI know that this isn't a prison film, but it's both good and bad advice. Sooner or later you will have a run-in with someone that will want to take your purity. Whether it's the 'sisters' in "Shawshank Redemption," or Tom Arnold in "The Animal Factory," convicts love new fish, especially fresh from the campus. \nSo do you become their punk, or do you fight back? First off, try to get in the good graces of some type of prison gang, whether it's the Sicilians, the Aryans, the Muslims or the Latinos, have them get your back. You will probably soon become their 'prison bitch,' but it's better to get it from friends than big guys named Adibisi.\n"On the outside I was an honest man, I had to come to prison to become a crook." \n--"Shawshank Redemption"\nOnce you have your gang, you're going to have to prove yourself. Common tests are shanking a rival gang member, stabbing the eyes out of a guard like in "Oz" or shooting some drugs to prove you're not a narc. If you want to survive, and it's all about survival, go along with the peer pressure. Friends are not the anti-drug in prison. If you have a life sentence, then you have nothing to worry about other than a night in the hole. But if you're just in for cutting the heads off of parking meters like Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke," you're going to have to not get caught. Make sure it's in a quiet place like the library or the kitchen. And just to make sure there aren't any "Clue" junkies who will spot you in the library with the candlestick. Remember to off the witnesses too.\n"Keep walking, you don't want to be answering any questions."\n --"Out of Sight"\nLike I was saying with offing the witnesses, you don't want to be in that position. If you're a prison snitch, you will not survive a week, let alone the rest of your sentence. True you might get some time off your sentence, but being in protective custody is no way to live. The guards also might be crooked -- most hacks are -- and you might just wind up shot in the back like Tommy Williams did in "Shawshank." Don't answer their questions, and remember the wardon is just as evil as any of the inmates.\n"They can have their hearts and souls, as long as we have them by the balls."\n --"The Last Castle"\nDo not ever trust the wardons. They own you. If they want to send you to the hole for a month. They can do that. In all prison movies, the guards and wardons are all corrupt, probably because they spend so much time with the convicts. Your job is to take them down. Yes, I know you probably just want to relax and do your time, but there will always be some kind of interference with the wardon, especially if you're the main character. If you have the smarts like Tim Robbins, the guts of Paul Newman or the leadership of Robert Redford, then you will have no problem taking them down, but a part of you will go with them.\n"They give you life, and that's what they take. At least the part that counts." \n --"Shawshank Redemption"\nNow that you have spent some time in prison, shanked a couple of inmates that got in your way and done a ton of smack, you're not going to get paroled. What's the best thing to do now? Escape. Really the only way to survive in prison is to get out. Come up with an elaborate scheme like Andy Dufresne in "Shawshank," steal someone's idea like George Clooney in "Out of Sight" or just run away with bullets whizzing by like Newman in "Luke." This is your only way out. If it doesn't work, play it 'cool' and try again and again. You're probably going to end up dead, but you had a decent run anyway. \n"Until you spend some time in the yard with those animals, you have no idea." \n --"The Last Castle"\nThis is true, but we're talking about movie prison. If you end up in Oswald Penitentiary, The Castle or Shawshank, with my help, not Gloria Gaynor, you will survive.

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