10 ways to adapt in a prison

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Danner Darcleight was sentenced to life in prison for 25 years in an American maximum security prison.

He has a Bachelor of Marketing degree, which he started when he was a college student, and which he finished from his cell.

Danner has published several essays in the newspaper, in 2014 “Fourth City” was published, an essay where women and men from all over the country tell of their experience serving time.

Now in 2016, his memoirs “Concrete Carnival” will be published where he tells his own vision of what prison is like on the inside.

We have brought you in the form of keys, a brief summary of what you can find in his book.


Keys to living inside a prison

  • Not talking much at first, especially listening. Learn the lingo and get to know the new environment around you.
  • Be aware of what is happening around you, but do not look directly. Make it seem like you’re not paying attention to anything in particular.

Never look at the cell of another person, or his companion, you may see something you do not want to see.

  • Speak carefully, think about everything you are going to say before saying it and how you are going to say it.
  • Be careful with the clothes you wear and keep them in good condition. Take into account the colors of each of the gangs (remember the 1st point).
  • When you are inside your cell, stay away from the door and do not get into any other people’s conversations.
  • Take care of yourself, your problems are only yours. Everyone inside has problems or unresolved issues and your problems don’t matter to them. No one there owes you their time and patience.
  • Be aware of the agreements you make with the other inmates. Nothing is free and often comes with unforeseen consequences. Check before accepting something that there are no hidden conditions. Look for good friends.
  • Don’t get into gambling or drug trouble, you never know how you can end up.
  • Do not forget where you are, you not only have to worry about the other prisoners, but also about the guards. Time passes very slowly and boring people are unpredictable.
  • Life inside a prison can be difficult. There is plenty of time to think, to feel sorry for yourself, and to take responsibility for your past and present actions.

If you are not careful, life in prison can be very difficult, but if you take advantage of it you can maybe get something good out of it, and learn new life lessons.

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