Reentry Lifeskills

January 25, 2023

How to Prepare for Prison: Understanding What Comes Next

Are you preparing for a loved one’s incarceration? It is a difficult time full of anxiety and questions. You may be wondering what you can do to help your loved one through this tough transition. Here are some tips on how to best prepare for prison:

  1. Understand That Prison Is a Very Different Environment From the Outside World.

    Prison is a much different environment than most of us live in. It’s structured and strictly regulated, and most, if not all, freedoms are taken away. Life in prison is not easy; it presents a slew of challenges that require incarcerated individuals to devise creative solutions to their daily problems. Furthermore, incarcerated individuals must adjust to living with hundreds of people who may have different backgrounds and values than they do, making it difficult to communicate and bridge gaps. To thrive in such an environment requires tremendous resilience and understanding that their experience can be leveraged to shape their future when they eventually transition back into society.

  2. Learn As Much as You Can About the Prison System and How It Works.

    Investigating the prison system and how it functions allows us to better understand how justice is served and perceived in society. Gaining greater insight into prison culture can also help reduce some of the fears and misconceptions. Reading up on prison regulations, incarcerated individuals’ rights, and even talking to those who have gone down certain paths before can all contribute to a better understanding of this complex topic. Learning as much as possible about the prison system not only benefits our intellectual curiosity but will compassionately provide a window into a world that we may never see first-hand.

  3. Find a Support Network of Family and Friends Who Can Help You Prepare for Prison.

    Finding a support network before going to prison can be an invaluable asset when preparing to serve time. Whether you’re seeking emotional or practical help, family and friends can provide much-needed assistance for prison-bound individuals. They may be able to listen as you work through your feelings about being incarcerated, offer advice on logistics such as how you’ll manage your finances or prepare legal documents, or simply provide companionship and moral support during this trying time. Connecting with loved ones before entering prison can make the entire experience more manageable and bridge the gap between freedom and unseen obstacles. Additionally, having the assistance of a dependable and loyal group of people can make all the difference in ensuring a safe and successful transition between these two worlds.

  4. Be Prepared To Work Hard While You’re in Prison, Whether It’s Getting an Education or Learning a Trade.

    While prison is sometimes seen as a place of punishment, it can also be an opportunity for self-growth. Adjusting to life in prison and planning for the future requires hard work and dedication. It’s important that incarcerated individuals take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them while incarcerated, such as obtaining a GED or learning a valuable trade. Doing so not only increases their chances of leading a successful life after incarceration but gives incarcerated individuals the tools needed to reintegrate into society. Learning how to become productive citizens is one of the best ways to reduce recidivism rates and restore hope in those living behind bars.

  5. Internalize an Atmosphere of Respect. Be Respectful to the Guards and Other Inmates, Even if They Don’t Treat You With Respect.

    This is something you need to be mentally prepared for, as prison is an unnerving place for many. Being respectful to the guards and other incarcerated individuals in prison is not only a moral requirement, but it can help make life much easier while incarcerated. While it’s natural to respond in anger towards someone who shows you disrespect, it doesn’t do anyone in prison any good. Taking the high road and being respectful keeps communication open with guards, which can be essential for getting privileges inside and outside the jail. Respectful behavior also helps maintain peace within the jail community by limiting animosity both between inmates and between inmates and guards. While disrespect might feel justified in the moment, over time, it can create many more headaches for yourself and your fellow incarcerated individuals. Taking this approach in prison will lead to better outcomes and a less severe experience overall.

What Does Reentry Lifeskills Offer?


At Reentry Lifeskills, we believe that the correctional facility experience is an opportunity for your friends or family members to develop better life skills. This is why we are proud to offer correspondence courses specifically designed for individuals going through this difficult time. Our easy-to-read and engaging stories detail the problems faced by real people, as well as how they conquered them to have a happier and more fulfilling life. On top of that, each story also equips readers with learned skills that promote making positive changes in their own lives too. Our time-tested strategies have been proven to work effectively with those transitioning back into society. Whether it’s learning communication strategies, taking responsibility for one’s actions, or embracing different perspectives, Reentry Lifeskills can provide the much-needed guidance needed for success. Don’t let incarceration define your future – start fresh with Reentry Lifeskills today.

Incarcerated Individuals Matter


Referring to people in prison as “incarcerated individuals” instead of “inmates” or “prisoners” is a small but meaningful shift in the way we talk about imprisonment. It forces us to view prison from a humanitarian perspective, recognizing that incarcerated individuals have inherent value and dignity regardless of their individual crimes or circumstances. In doing so, we make it harder for our thinking about prison to be clouded by the system’s inequalities, often caused by racism, classism, and other forms of oppression. By viewing prison not only as a place of punishment but also as an opportunity for rehabilitation and growth, referring to incarcerated individuals can help create an environment that encourages accountability, understanding, and kindness.

Contact Reentry Lifeskills Today


If you have a friend or family member who is currently incarcerated and are looking for ways to help them make the most of their experience, Reentry Lifeskills is here for you. Through our easy-to-read and engaging stories, we provide positive lessons and strategies to help incarcerated individuals become more productive citizens and make the transition back into society easier. Don’t let your friend or family member be defined solely by their incarceration. Contact us today to get started. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of those who are incarcerated and help create a better tomorrow for them.

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