Jails throughout the US often have their own sets of in-house rules; actions that you wouldn’t think twice about while on the outside could get you into quite a bit of trouble if you’re serving time.  Below you’ll find the top 10 things you should never do if you find yourself in jail.

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Don’t be disrespectful of your peers

Respect is a big thing for people who are serving time and you’ll want to do your best to be mindful of others belongings, food and personal space. If an inmate perceives  you as disrespecting them this could find yourself in a very uncomfortable if not dangerous situation.

Don’t be a tattle-tale

A common mistake that new inmates make relates to “telling” on other inmates.  If you see a fight break out, or are witness to some other sort of infraction, if you are questioned by jail staff it’s best to say you haven’t seen or heard anything.

Don’t tell inappropriate or ethnic jokes

Not everyone will find your jokes funny and if there is any chance that someone could find a comment offensive, or off color, it’s best to keep it to yourself.

Don’t flirt with the jail staff

Flirting with the corrections staff is likely to land you a stiff punishment, and in worse cases, if a jailer is caught smuggling contraband into the facility, you could be fingered as being part of the collusion.  Being polite is a good thing- being flirtatious is not.

Don’t gush about how great your visit was

There are many inmates who haven’t seen their friends or family members in years.  If you are fortunate enough to have visitors, don’t comment on it.  If someone asks how it went, be brief and say it was OK.  It’s best not to elaborate any further.

Don’t accept gifts from inmates

In many cases if a new inmate accepts a gift from someone who has been around for a while, the veteran inmate may decide the rookie is his or her property.  This is bound to cause a long list of problems- if someone offers you something, even if it is as simple as a candy bar, don’t take it.

Don’t ask to borrow anything

Asking another inmate to let you use some of their commissary funds can also land you in a world of trouble; not only will you be “in debt” to the person who helped you out, you could find yourself in a loan-shark situation where you need to pay back three to five times what you borrowed.  If you can’t meet the obligation- bad things are likely to happen.

Don’t gamble.

One, gambling is against the rules and will get you into trouble with the corrections staff.  Two, it could also leave you in debt to another inmate, which is a situation you surely want to avoid.

Don’t stare

If you stare at another inmate this could be taken as a sign of disrespect and that is likely to get you into trouble.  Don’t do it.

Don’t act as if you are better than your peers

At the end of the day you are all wearing the same uniform.  No one cares if you have an advanced degree, had a good job or came from a good family.  If you act better than everyone else, this could also be seen as a sign of disrespect.

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