The 5 Things You Should Do With Your Time When You’re in Prison

As prompted by a reader and the experiences of others.

Damian Delune

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I wish our library looked like this! Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

A prison doesn’t have to be like where I am, surrounded by concrete walls, barbed wire, and guards. Prisons can be formed in our minds as well. Unfortunately, when you’re somewhere like I am, they tend to be physical and mental. I write a lot about things to expect if you know you’re headed to a place like this and they often tend toward the negative, so thanks to the prompting of a reader, I decided to go forward with a post my wife has already been working on.

When you’re separated from your loved ones and your freedom, you need to be able to hold on to hope. That’s difficult to accomplish when you’re constantly on alert, which sadly, you must be when you’re in prison. However, there are ways to stay positive. I’m of a mindset that you should make the best of any situation you find yourself in and I fully intend to do so even in this one that isn’t totally of my making.

  1. Get whatever education is afforded to you — Depending on where you are, there are education programs available. It may not be college, but there will be something. In the state of North Carolina where I am housed (in the state system, not federal) there are no longer college level courses provided by the state. Your choices are GED if you don’t have a high school diploma (which is a requirement for anything beyond this) and trade/vocational programs. Your camp determines which trade/vocational programs are available. Where I am currently housed, they offer horticulture and masonry. If you’re not interested in the programs offered where you are, at least in my state, you can request transfer to another camp after six months. You’re not guaranteed a transfer by any means, but you’re welcome to request it.
  2. Read, then read more — One of the things that irritated me the most about being in County was the lack of access to reading material. They closed the library when COVID hit and got rid of their books, according to the COs. However, there were some books still floating around the pods, so luckily, it became quickly known that I was always looking for something to read. Most of the guys in there would send books my way if they saw one. I was bored out of my mind most of the time, so I…

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Damian Delune

Incarcerated writer sharing real stories about life on the inside, through my wife, Demeter Delune (editor, publisher, promoter, responder)