Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > FOR "OFFENDERS" > Headed to Prison
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Headed to Prison Dedicated to those who are facing incarceration. What to expect; what you can do to prepare; Q&A's; support.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-12-2017, 09:35 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Very scared female headed to state prison

I'm a 25 year old female headed to a state prison. In a nutshell, I made a series of very poor decisions that resulted in me driving drunk and high on pills. I crashed head on at 60mph into another car. The driver of the other was seriously injured (ended up paralyzed) and the passenger died. I myself was seriously injured as well ending up with: 2 broken hips (ended up with bliateral hip replacements), a broken pelvis, shattered right femur, shattered knees with the right being replaced, left broken tibia, several broken ribs, collapsed right lung, and lacerated spleen. Besides the medical problems, I also suffer from severe depression (I have attempted suicide 2 times through intentional pill overdoses and cutting wrists. Right now I am on medication and am okay with it) and anxeity and anorexia (sometimes controlled, sometimes not).

I am very scared of what will happen in prison and am hoping to get some questions answered in hopes that it will ease some of my anxiety.

1. With all the metal that is in my legs, I can not make it through a metal detector. Is that going to be a problem?

2. Strip searches. I am terrified of them. How often are they done? What happens if you have your period during a strip search?

3. I can not bend over as in bend over and spread your butt cheeks because I do not have the range of motion in my hips to do so. What should I do?

4. It is also very difficult for me to squat without my knees really, really hurting and I also can not stand back up from a squatted position. What should I do during the strip search?

5. I also can not stand on 1 foot so again what should I do during the strip search when they ask to see the bottoms of your feet?

6. I can only go up and down stairs 1 at a time and holding onto a railing. Is that going to be a problem?

7. I am also very very scared of disclosing my depression and anxiety issues for fear that it will signal me out as a basket case. Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether or not I should disclose it?

Lastly, personality wise, I am a very shy person. Is that going to be a problem in prison, i.e. people taking advantage of me, etc.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-13-2017, 05:35 AM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
Site Moderator

PTO Site Moderator Staff Superstar Winner 

Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 24,586
Thanks: 34,352
Thanked 16,988 Times in 10,260 Posts
Default

Welcome to Prison Talk. The unknown issues surrounding a jail/prison sentence can be very frightening. Don't use the S word, suicide, unless you are about to harm yourself or someone else.

Once you arrive at your designated prison, take your time deciding which inmates to associate with, and which ones to avoid. If you can't do something a CO requests, talk it out with that CO. Some will be understanding, but others not so much. I also had a list of COs who I did my best to avoid, just the same as with problematic inmates.
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to fbopnomore For This Useful Post:
bmoreicon (08-17-2017)
  #3  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:37 AM
xolady xolady is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: May 2014
Location: highlands, florida
Posts: 3,778
Thanks: 6,365
Thanked 3,708 Times in 1,966 Posts
Default

I would think with the extent of your injuries and emotional problems you would be placed in a medical unit where your health would be factored into your living arrangments and your physical handicaps will be dealt with appropriatly.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to xolady For This Useful Post:
bmoreicon (08-17-2017), His_Queen13 (08-13-2017), K6770 (08-13-2017), Lordbew/us (08-16-2017), Ms Sunny (08-13-2017)
  #4  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:47 AM
K6770 K6770 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: ITP Atlanta, GA
Posts: 407
Thanks: 484
Thanked 466 Times in 261 Posts
Default

I know your scared, but hang in there. You can make it through this. First, when you enter the system you are going to asked very detailed questions about your medical and mental history. Please be completely honest. You will find most women in prison are on some kind of mental health case load. I know terrible things have happened in your situation, but don't worry about being viewed as a basket case by staff. You have the benefit of mental health treatment before prison, many are not so fortunate.

There are good and bad doctors and case workers in prison. Make sure your medical and mental health history is completely documented before you go in. I you will want to get HIPAA form filled out when you enter the system so that your loved ones can access your medical information when you are inside.

It might be good that you keep to yourself. The best way you can protect yourself is to be very slow to make friends. Be very careful about taking anything from another inmate. Other inmates don't need to know the details about your past or your present. Information is used as weapon inside so keep anything you say very simple and to the point. Be as positive as you can. How you choose see things will have a big impact on how the time goes. It's crazy, but you can find little things to be thankful in any situation. If you have faith lean heavy into growing it. Prayer and mediation has enabled my loved one to endure some very terrible things and has given her the strength and peace to get through a great deal during her incarceration.

You can't change the past, but your life can still have a purpose. Hold on to life and look for ways you can grow so one day you can love, serve, and be a blessing to others.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to K6770 For This Useful Post:
bmoreicon (08-17-2017), Lordbew/us (08-16-2017), mauri23 (08-20-2017)
  #5  
Old 08-13-2017, 10:01 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: WA USA
Posts: 1,141
Thanks: 697
Thanked 967 Times in 537 Posts
Default

Something to consider is a medical power of attorney so that someone you trust on the outside can make decisions when needed.

It's scary. Fear comes from dealing with the unknown. Once you hear from someone who's been strip-searched during her period, you'll be disgusted and miserable but there won't be a reason for fear once you know what to expect.

How big is the prison where you'll wind up? It's possible that if it's a small number of C/Os that they will get used to working around your mobility limits and learn that you're being truthful about them. Will it be Taycheedah?

With the stair climbing limitation you may need a lower bunk pass.

From what I've read, and ignore me in favor of anyone who knows first-hand, your best move is to be wide open with medical about all your problems and very reserved with the other inmates.

Suicide watch sucks but it beats being dead. Tell them you're suicidal if you need it but only if you need it.

If it's like most prisons there will be drugs. You don't want to get in debt to a drug dealer. Avoid that scene.
__________________
I'm collecting Best of PTO posts and quotes in my blog here.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Minor activist For This Useful Post:
K6770 (08-13-2017), Lordbew/us (08-16-2017), xolady (08-15-2017)
  #6  
Old 08-13-2017, 02:53 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

For the most part, be very open with everything. Sign your HIPAA permissions with your real world treatment providers up front so that they can communicate the extent of your injuries and your psych conditions. Trying to get through prison without you depression and anorexia getting some treatment is a recipe for not making it through prison.

As for not being able to bend, stretch, etc, remember you are not the first person to walk through their doors with limited mobility. You won't be the last. Hell, people roll through their doors and they are still able to perform security checks. No worries. Same with menstruation - plenty of women menstruate. You will be advised as to the procedure should you need a body cavity search while menstruating. Not all searches are body cavity searches. Not all searches are strip searches.

If you are on a benzo, get off of it in the real world. You won't be getting one in prison (too much abuse). A ton of prisoners are on antidepressants. A good percentage of the prison population is mentally ill.

Get some goals for your time in prison. Make sure you do your alcohol and drug programming - WI is pretty decent about in prison alcohol and drug treatment, when a bed is available (my brother's been on the men's side of that program more than once). Deal with your body issues. You have a whole slew of new body issues that go with the damage you've done to your bday, so get to work on those issues if at all possible or your other issues won't matter (I am an amputee as a result of an MVA - I know first hand and I didn't start with your level of body dismorphia). Get some educational goals or something to work for and the rest of it won't be that bad.

Remember, plenty of women have walked where you're walking with less mobility than you. They have survived. You don't have to be different in that regard.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
bmoreicon (08-17-2017), joybubby (08-13-2017), K6770 (08-13-2017), Lordbew/us (08-16-2017), Nickel Timer (08-13-2017), safran (08-13-2017), xolady (08-15-2017)
  #7  
Old 08-13-2017, 05:38 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: TX-US
Posts: 13,987
Thanks: 494
Thanked 9,645 Times in 5,456 Posts
Default

Make arrangements when you go into custody to have your attorney get your relevant medical records into the hands of jail administrators ASAP. They should then follow from County to the State prison intake.

While some of the medical claims will be self-substantiating by the scars, it never hurts to have the actual records in the hands of medical personnel.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CenTexLyn For This Useful Post:
Lordbew/us (08-16-2017), xolady (08-15-2017)
  #8  
Old 08-13-2017, 06:06 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thank you for your reply in letting me know others have worse medical conditions that I do. I know that's true but I'm still very worried about making it through intake, strip searches, etc. due to all the pins, rods, screws and titanium that hold my legs together and that I can't move very fast. The last thing I want it so end up in an argument with a co while naked. With anorexia, can a co look at my naked body and tell me I'm too skinny or make some rude comment?

Also, and I just thought of this, do male officers pat search females? I hope not. I really don't like the idea of some random guy feeling my boobs.

Although I have a pretty high tolerance for physical pain (believe it or not, I have not taken any narcotic pain medications since being released from the hospital several months ago), I still have pain in my knees and hips on a daily basis. Sometimes, it's to the point where I have to sit down for awhile. Do you think that is going to be a problem?

My anorexia goes in streaks but I have to weigh myself on a daily basis or I have anxiety over gaining too much weight. Are there scales available for inmates to use? Also, I routinely skip meals. I never eat breakfast. Sometimes I eat lunch. Sometimes dinner. It just depends (yes, I know- with my anorexia I do have the world's worse eating habits). It is worse with stress as I just stop eating completely. Which means I can see myself being taken into custody from the courtroom transported to the county jail to await transfer to the women's state prison (Taycheedah) and not eating for those few days. Would the co notice? Would other inmates notice?

I'm trying to get answers in order to prepare myself but I'm getting more nervous.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-13-2017, 06:38 PM
Nickel Timer's Avatar
Nickel Timer Nickel Timer is offline
Ex-Prisoner & ACLU Intern
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 1,341
Thanks: 801
Thanked 1,991 Times in 799 Posts
Default

Try not to worry, hon.

You'll probably only be strip-searched when first entering a facility, just to make sure you aren't smuggling anything in. It shouldn't happen very often after that (just pat searches most of the time) unless there is a major shakedown (facility-wide search for contraband) or something. The only other times you should be strip-searched is possibly before/after visitation (but not if through glass like at many county jails), but from what I remember, folks in wheel-chairs were treated pretty gently, at least in the men's prisons -- I can't imagine it being any different in a woman's prison.

From everything you've described, they're going to make sure you have a wheel-chair at all times, and they will most likely have dedicated paid prisoner "volunteers" who will push you around from place to place. So don't worry about mobility. If you ever need to be some place, they will make sure you have accommodation. As said upthread, you'll probably end up in a medical ward initially, so there will be all sorts of assistance available. They're not going to leave you to fend for yourself.

As for the anorexia issue, missing a few meals won't get you in any trouble. At least from what I've seen, you have to really "hunger strike" for at least a week before they even consider serious intervention. You can probably even make some fast friends just by showing up to chow and giving your plate away, as many others will be starving and be grateful for any extra food they can get. But if you do quit eating altogether for a noticeable while, they will eventually intervene. Which could include you being strapped down and a feeding tube stuffed down your esophagus, so you don't want it to come down to that. If nothing else, if I were you, I'd at least show up to dinner call and maybe just pick at some food on your plate. Just eat part of it, like the salad or veggies or something, and that should keep them off your back if you're not feeling particularly hungry on a given day. Enough to give you some bare-sustenance nutrition at least.

But try not to worry about the bigger picture. Overall, women's prisons tend to be much more mellow than men's prisons (at least as far as violence goes). There will still be lots of drama, but that's pretty much unavoidable in any prison environment. Just do what you can to stay out of trouble, and you'll eventually be transferred to a lower-security facility where you'll be searched/hassled even less.

Last edited by Nickel Timer; 08-13-2017 at 06:45 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Nickel Timer For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (08-14-2017), Lordbew/us (08-16-2017)
  #10  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:01 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

Most women gain weight in prison. It has less to do with calories than the type of calories - the available foods are high in starches and salt. This goes for the food served in dining as well as those foods offered through commissary. Learn more about nutrition so that you're not freaked by the fact that you can eat fewer calories and still gain weight.

You won't be able to weigh every day without putting in a request to go to medical. Medical will not look at weighing yourself as a good use of medical resources unless you're pregnant, and even then they don't weigh daily. As you know, any woman who menstruates does not maintain a consistent body weight over the course of a month. Most do not weigh the same going to bed as getting up. Further, the more stress you're under, the more apt you are to have problems with weight gain and prison is stressful. You are going to have to come up with a good strategy for dealing with weight. On the other side, your clothes are not tight, the waistbands are all elastic in every prison I've visited. You're not going to have a good idea of what your body is like anyway.

Besides, if you've gone through a major injury with a good deal of PT and a long hospital stay, your body has already changed substantially and it's going to be a while before your body becomes something even close to what it was before the accident. I did 6 days in the ICU and 5 weeks in the hospital. I dumped a ton of weight and looked like hell when I left. Crutches for 2 years means that my shoulders and arms are huge while my left leg is totally atrophied, along with that side of my back and butt. Now that I can walk again, it's going to take close to 2 years to get my body back, or at least back to something closer to what I'm used to. You are probably experiencing something similar.

Look you are worried about too much. Men and women make remarks about others all the time - it happens, and those asshats who will say something stupid are just miserable asshats trying to bring you down.

Come up with a strategy for dealing with having to move slower than you're used to and practice it. Don't argue. Apologize and explain. I'm not talking explaining in detail, I'm talking a short, brief explanation - I'm sorry I can't move as fast as you want. I'm sorry my injuries make me move slow. I'm sorry, but i really need to sit down now. Don't argue.its too easy to escalate an argument into something that can be avoided. Remember, COs come in all ages and experiences. Many suffer from the same problems as asshats out in the real world, and many are there because they actually just want a paycheck.

Nobody's feeling you up. People are feeling for weapons and drugs, but that's very different than feeling you up for sexual gratification or to humiliate you. I don't know what WI's policy is on this stuff with women (I specifically am not licensed at the state level in WI), but treat it like everything else you hate but tolerate when it comes to your body. Since you've been in a chair and have had to use a bedpan, you should have a higher threshold for that crap than most people - it's just necessary. When you go through an airport the first time with all of that metal, you'll have a similar experience (though it's an over the clothes patdown if you can't go through the imaging machine). It's a reality. You've had nurse aids, male and female help you toilet. You've had all sorts of men and women looking at your innards on the operating table. Probably had more than one surgery, so you signed the consent and just dealt with it. Do the same thing now and try to stop over thinking it.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
MrsDeeKay (08-13-2017), Ms Sunny (08-13-2017), xolady (08-15-2017)
  #11  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:08 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickel Timer View Post
Try not to worry, hon.

You'll probably only be strip-searched when first entering a facility, just to make sure you aren't smuggling anything in. It shouldn't happen very often after that (just pat searches most of the time) unless there is a major shakedown (facility-wide search for contraband) or something. The only other times you should be strip-searched is possibly before/after visitation (but not if through glass like at many county jails), but from what I remember, folks in wheel-chairs were treated pretty gently, at least in the men's prisons -- I can't imagine it being any different in a woman's prison.

From everything you've described, they're going to make sure you have a wheel-chair at all times, and they will most likely have dedicated paid prisoner "volunteers" who will push you around from place to place. So don't worry about mobility. If you ever need to be some place, they will make sure you have accommodation. As said upthread, you'll probably end up in a medical ward initially, so there will be all sorts of assistance available. They're not going to leave you to fend for yourself.

As for the anorexia issue, missing a few meals won't get you in any trouble. At least from what I've seen, you have to really "hunger strike" for at least a week before they even consider serious intervention. You can probably even make some fast friends just by showing up to chow and giving your plate away, as many others will be starving and be grateful for any extra food they can get. But if you do quit eating altogether for a noticeable while, they will eventually intervene. Which could include you being strapped down and a feeding tube stuffed down your esophagus, so you don't want it to come down to that. If nothing else, if I were you, I'd at least show up to dinner call and maybe just pick at some food on your plate. Just eat part of it, like the salad or veggies or something, and that should keep them off your back if you're not feeling particularly hungry on a given day. Enough to give you some bare-sustenance nutrition at least.

But try not to worry about the bigger picture. Overall, women's prisons tend to be much more mellow than men's prisons (at least as far as violence goes). There will still be lots of drama, but that's pretty much unavoidable in any prison environment. Just do what you can to stay out of trouble, and you'll eventually be transferred to a lower-security facility where you'll be searched/hassled even less.
Bare-sustenance is not a good idea if you are on meds. Further, if you have a good history with anorexia (meaning you've been hospitalized for it), your body weight is already low and your organs have already sustained some damage. That damage can be significant if you've been dealing with it for 10 years or more and have failed to menstruate for any length of time. You will not get through prison in any decent shape if you try to not eat or bare sustenance eat. Further, you will increase your organ damage and increase your chances of winding up in a serious psych ward at the state forensic hospital if you engage in the usual "eat a salad" b.s. Or any other anorexia games.

She needs a better strategy, and should talk with her therapist about it, a nutritionist, and be upfront about it with intake at the prison.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
xolady (08-15-2017)
  #12  
Old 08-13-2017, 07:35 PM
Nickel Timer's Avatar
Nickel Timer Nickel Timer is offline
Ex-Prisoner & ACLU Intern
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 1,341
Thanks: 801
Thanked 1,991 Times in 799 Posts
Default

I suppose you do have a point, yourself.

In fact, come to think of it, I do remember a few guys in county (meth heads) who were SO noticeably underweight when they came in that they actually had an order from medical for an extra plate of food for each meal, along with protein shakes, just to try to bulk them up some. But I don't know how well they enforced that.

I agree that one should eat at least the recommended number of calories if they're taking meds along with their meals. But I don't think she's going to be punished if she misses the occasional breakfast or lunch.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Nickel Timer For This Useful Post:
xolady (08-15-2017)
  #13  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:09 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Clarification: I can walk. I just can't run and going up and down stairs takes increase time and I can only go up 1 step at a time and have to hold onto a railing and look at my feet especially going down as there have been times when my either hips or knees will lock causing me to nearly fall.

Yes, you are right. In the hospital, (I was there for 2 weeks) and the inpatient rehab center (I was there for another week), there were male and female nursing aides and nurses helping me. Although I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of male aide helping me with a bedpan, I don't remember caring that much (other than being too embarassed about having to ask to use a bedpan that a nurse had to come in press against my bladder and tell me that if I didn't urinate into the bedpan, she was going to have to put a catheter back in). No one was really looking at my vagina. They were more concentrating on getting the job done. So I guess strip searches would be the same with a female co. She's not going to care what my body looks like. I'm just terrified of them. And I don't want to end up in a 10 minute conversation while naked about hip replacements, knee replacements, broken pelvis and range of motion in joints and what type of metal is where while trying to explain why I can't bend over and spread my butt cheeks or squat.

As far as my anorexia problems go, it is really hard especially as I said before, when under stress, I don't eat. Not only have I lost interest in food, but food as no flavor. And anorexia is difficult because being skinny (at least in my mind) is good. People compliment you on being skinny. My friends would say things like I wish I were as skinny as you. And my body has gotten so used to going on so little food, that I don't get hungry. You are right, though. I have probably damaged my body. The orthopedic surgeon who did the hip and knee replacements told me my bones were not as strong as a normal 25 years old female should be and because of it I probably will have to have the hips and knee re done in 20 to 25 years.

I just hope I can get through this without ending up as a suicidal anorexic basket case strapped down naked to a bed while all the other inmates and co laugh at me. Also can you refuse medical interventions like a feeding tube. I do not want to be forced fed.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:19 PM
Nickel Timer's Avatar
Nickel Timer Nickel Timer is offline
Ex-Prisoner & ACLU Intern
Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 1,341
Thanks: 801
Thanked 1,991 Times in 799 Posts
Default

Try to see if you can stomach the protein shakes, if that is an option.

They're pretty small (like only 8 ounces) but contain a lot of calories. So it might be easier for you to handle if you're not used to eating much.

Unfortunately, no, you cannot refuse the feeding tube if it ever comes down to that. They aren't going to let you starve yourself to death. But I don't think its going to be as bad as you imagine. I imagine they will find some way to get you the daily calories you need without you feeling like you have to overeat.

Like I said, protein shakes may be a good option. Discuss it with with your classification officer, when you first go in.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-13-2017, 08:26 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: TX-US
Posts: 13,987
Thanks: 494
Thanked 9,645 Times in 5,456 Posts
Default

Chances are good that few CO's are going to get into specifics about the various joint replacements. Those that do will very likely actually have a genuine interest in the information, often because they have family or friends that have or will be undergoing similar procedures.

I cannot speak to Wisconsin facilities, but at least within Texas facilities, there are other offenders who will notice when an anorexic is not eating. Some may drop notes to staff letting them know while others may actively help in trying to get more food and ensuring that you DO eat. My ex was housed with a young woman who came in at about a buck-ten dripping wet and where they caught her throwing up after meals or even after eating commissary items...by the time that one left custody, she was up closer to a healthy 135. Your dorm-mates will very likely be making sure that you eat...

If something happened where you had to be placed in a medical cell for feeding purposes, it is not going to be some place where other offenders had routine access to you. So that should eliminate the concern about them having ready access to come laugh at you...
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CenTexLyn For This Useful Post:
Nickel Timer (08-13-2017), yourself (08-13-2017)
  #16  
Old 08-13-2017, 09:04 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

Nobody's laughing about any of this. Most women have had friends with anorexia. Watching somebody struggle with it is not fun. Many people don't know how to help a person with anorexia deal with it getting bad.

You're a big girl; start strategizing about things. How will you handle breakfast? How will you handle not weighing in every day? When will you ask for help? Start with a nutritionist. Talk with a therapist who can give you tools to deal with stress, specially the stress you are under now. Focus on things that are going to help you actually get through prison in one piece if not in better shape than when you went in. Prison really is what you make of it - if you want prison to scare the crap out of you and rent stress in your mind, it will chew away at your entire consciousness. You will get writeups. You won't be able to do the accountability stuff you need to do to actually get out of there. You may find yourself transferred to the forensic psych hospital because you are psychologically unmanageable. Look, they won't put you on the top floor and in a top bunk with mobility issues. But, if you go off every time a CO tries to get a line moving, you're going to be tagged as a psych problem and somebody who fails to program. Do this enough, do not manage your anorexia enough, attempt suicide, and you will make prison a lot worse than it has to be, and you could wind up in the forensic psych hospital for a lot longer.

Or, you could go in with strategies for realistic situations. You could come up with some useable methods to deal with your calorie requirements each day, and then turn your attention away from the addiction of micromanaging your weight, and towards something you really need to take charge of - your programming which will include addiction programs for alcoholism and drugs. You're going to want to get out as quickly as possible and you do that not by being the biggest pita, most confrontational prisoner there, but by accepting responsibility for your crime, minimizing your chances of relapse, and demonstrating to the parole board that you are an acceptable risk to society. Worrying about how to use your time productively is much better for you than much of the rest of this stuff.

Get with a nutritionist. Get with a shrink. Get your anorexia well under control in a way you can manage it appropriately in prison. Be responsible and ask for help in prison should you need to. But decide how you want to spend your mental capital. I mean - how many people are in prison for the rest of their lives, turning 70, 80, and still managing to deal with searches? Still managing to get around facilities? Many have heart and lung problems, not just a ton of arthritis. But they all are more successful at prison than the person who thinks she can get into an argument with a CO, or that bathrooms and dorms and showers are one big 8th grade taunt fest. People didn't come into your hospital room and taunt you - what makes you think they will have that goal in prison? And why you? Taunting and shaming people is done for 2 or 3 reasons - 1. To take somebody who is strong and make them weaker. You don't have to worry about that - you're physically un imposing and can't move well. 2. To try to control another person's behavior when they are being a pain to the entire group. So, don't be a pain to the entire group. 3. Because they can and have no better form of entertainment.

Scratch 3 - that rarely happens. 2 will happen once in a while, but you have control over whether you're going to be a pain to the group. 1. Isn't an issue with you. Besides, that stuff usually is much deeper, runs into politics, and results in fights. Do you see how you're not going to be that target? Practice good prison etiquette and you won't be 2 either.

But, if you allow your bad habits and anorexia to make life miserable for others, they will screw with you. Go into prison with an idea of how you want to deal effectively with your anorexia knowing that you're not going to be allowed to lose very much weight without force feeding while wearing a suicide smock in solitary. You don't want to go there - you will not win that fight.

Plan of what you want to do and what you want to accomplish rather than what you don't want to do and don't want to happen to you. Searches happen. Moving around happens. You will be expected to do the basics - eat, sleep where you're supposed to when you're supposed to, practice good hygiene, and not make a mess for everybody else. You'll be expected to engage in your program. Go from there, decide whether you want this to be sucky summer camp, or a total nightmare - it is up to you.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
MrsDeeKay (08-13-2017), onparoleinTO (08-13-2017)
  #17  
Old 08-13-2017, 09:31 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: WA USA
Posts: 1,141
Thanks: 697
Thanked 967 Times in 537 Posts
Default

Quote:
Plan of what you want to do and what you want to accomplish rather than what you don't want to do and don't want to happen to you
Make this quote your North Star. You've gotten a lot of sound informed advice from yourself but this is the key thread that pulls it all together.
__________________
I'm collecting Best of PTO posts and quotes in my blog here.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Minor activist For This Useful Post:
MrsDeeKay (08-13-2017)
  #18  
Old 08-14-2017, 07:08 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thank you all for your responses.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just trying to get a grasp of the reality of being in prison with physical and mental health issues. I really don't want to draw undo attention to myself. I don't want to be known as that annoying psychotic inmate nor do I want other inmates and co talking about me as the psychotic anorexic loser basket case. That is why I'm asking all these questions. I really just want to be invisible. I want it so if 10 years from now I achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a published author, nobody will recognize or remember my name.

I know my anorexia will be very challenging for me as my way of coping with unpleasant or stressful situations is to not eat. To make it even harder, I get positive reinforcements by staying skinny. And now that I can not exercise like I used to (I ran and swam and was involved in roller derby) and have lost a lot of muscle tone from laying around, I feel that if I try to eat like a normal person, I will become fat. I am trying to come up with strategies but so far have come up with one. Tell no one about my depression/ suicidal past and anorexia. This way it won't be a problem because no one will know.

I'm going to have to tell the co about my physical limitations when asked to do something that I can't physically do. I just really don't want to because I don't want to have to explain everything over and over. Nor do I want to have to go through a strip search. I don't want a co looking at my body, seeing the scars on my hips, knees, legs, etc. and asking what happened. Nor do I want her looking at my wrists/ forearms and seeing the cut marks. Then she'll probably think this lady must be a real nut job or making some rude comment.

Also, and I just thought of this- and this is just so I can prepare myself- does a co (male or female) watch you shower, dress/ undress and toilet? As I've been in the hospital, I am used to having people see me/ help me bathe and dress but I'd like to know what is to be expected in prison.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:17 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

Expect to be observed at all times. This is to keep everybody safe, not to judge your body.

You might want to get in with a yoga instructor experienced with working with people with limitations. This way you can actually work on your body and regain some of your muscle tone. You can work on your flexibility and get noticeable results.

Eating and thinness are not all that related. Yes, eat too much especially of the wrong things and you'll gain weight. Be inactive and that weight won't be muscle. you could instead come up with a workout program that you can do in your cell, in minimum space that will really help you.

And, as you know, being too thin is worse in many ways than being a bit Rubenesque.

You want to be an adult about your mental health issues, especially your anorexia. You want to ask for help when necessary, and do what's necessary to keep yourself mentally in the best shape possible. Failure to do this means that your mental health issues will come to the attention of the COs and medical, more than likely when you are floridly menallth ill, and mean a struggle and many notes in your file (reviewed by parole) that say that you are not a responsible person.

As I stated much earlier, there are a ton of mentally ill people in prison. You are not the first to have scars on your wrists. You are at least coming to prison from a point where you are in touch with reality. In prison, you will meet people who've attempted suicide more often than you have. You will meet people who will commit suicide. It is the nature of prison with a population of mentally ill people up around 40% last time I checked the statistics. And that 40% does not include those who will get diagnosed in prison. Further, people who go to prison for the first time or who are in for a long time usually get diagnosed with depression. It makes sense - they are dealing with a life they never thought they had and dashed dreams and expectations of life, just like you. There is a huge percentage of people in prison for addiction - it is one of the biggest populations in prison, and these days, the addiction is opioids and heroin. You will also meet people who are developmentally disabled who had no support on the outside or insufficient support and could not follow the laws they didn't understand. You will meet a lot of people who haven't finished high school. Some may even be functionally illiterate. On the opposite end of the scale, you'll meet a small percentage of people with advanced degrees.

You think you're going to stand out like a sore thumb. You're not. You have specific limitations, but everybody does - yours are just physical and a usual assortment of mental health issues. You don't have cancer, HepC, TB. You are not in a chair. You're not blind or deaf (blind and deaf people wind up in prison, too). You have common mental health issues including addiction. You won't be the only anorexic in your dorm.

Hiding everything is not taking control of your issues. You need to step up and take control of your mental health issues, tracking your nutritional intake making sure you meet an acceptable minimu. You need to reach out for help from medical if you get into a position where you are in trouble. Same with depression. Same with addiction (you'll see plenty of people doing drugs and getting drunk). They will piss test you from time to time to make sure you're not slipping with your addictions problem. They will get on your ass and take charge if you lose too much weight. They will come down harder on you if you're not up front with them to begin with. Fwiw, most long term anorexics are pretty easy to spot, so you won't get away with trying to keep that one quiet. Further, you're not going to keep those scars on your wrists from notice unless you get very extensive tattooing before you go in. It is better to let them know and accept the help they can give you. It is better to stay on your meds rather than try to quit without medical help in hopes that the COs won't know.

Again, the idea is to get out successfully and as quickly as you can. You do this by programming, by taking responsibility for your life so that the parole board feels comfortable releasing you on society. A fatal DUI makes you a particular threat to society, so you have to do everything you can to show the parole board that you understand your crime, are remorseful, and have taken specific, proactive steps to make sure it will never happen again.

You can go in and hide your mental health issues. The stresses of prison will make those issues florid. As a result, your mental health issues will come to the attention of the COs in the worst possible way. When you are first eligible to see parole, you will not make it- a person who cannot properly manage mental health issues, including but not limited to asking for help when those issues start to become problematic for you is not somebody they want to release on the public. You need to properly manage you with the aid of the resources available. You don't need the system to do it for you when your symptoms become so florid that you come to the attention of the COs so that they force you to deal with them when you are spinning out of control. They want you to get help BEFORE you spin out of control, when the treatment options are less invasive than force feeding.

Look, if you want to be a published author - good. You'll gain a wealth of experience in prison and can start working on shorter pieces. You can get involved with correspondence courses in journalism or creative writing and use the time to really hone your craft. Or, you can spend your days with a tube in your stomach, denied parole because of your facility record demonstrating an inability to actually control yourself and ask for help before a mental health issue is out of control.

You could easily find yourself infront of the parole board with a few published short pieces in your file, successful completion of addiction treatment certificates, engagement with the facility when it comes to your mental health issues, and the ability to downward dog without a ton and a half of pain. Or you could go in front of them looking sickly thin, a record of CO involved interventions that get you placed in close custody in a mental health dorm, several outburst caused by the inability to manage florid mental health issues AND institutional stress, a few dirty UAs, and a variety of other write ups. It really is your choice.

Just remember, there are plenty of people in your dorm with scars on their wrists and tales of broken ropes from hanging attempts. There are plenty of people in your dorm with medical issues that make yours (and mine) look trivial. There are plenty of people not controlling their mental health issues such that they are actively delusional. You will not stand out simply because of your past. You will stand out if you don't take charge of your issues while there and use your time to your benefit. And at the moment you stand out, you'll get put in a secure area and treated notas a patient but as a prisoner causing a safety and security issue for the facility.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (08-15-2017), GaReform (08-14-2017), safran (08-15-2017), sidewalker (08-20-2017)
  #20  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:40 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: WA USA
Posts: 1,141
Thanks: 697
Thanked 967 Times in 537 Posts
Default

"Published author" is a realistic goal!

Sometimes there are even writing groups and writing classes inside prisons. If yours doesn't have one you can take yourself's advice about correspondence classes. Write a lot -- practice matters. Write every day.

We humans are designed to be constructively busy and useful to others. My guess is that writing will support all your other therapy work.

Go for it!

Now for my own curiosity. OK, no room for argument, OP needs to make sure the prison staff is fully informed on her mental health issues. That's clear. What is her wisest course of action about telling the other inmates? If she discloses, then how much and when is advisable?
__________________
I'm collecting Best of PTO posts and quotes in my blog here.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-15-2017, 12:03 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

She's going to need to disclose the addiction issues right away as she'll want to start in on AA/NA offerings, and ask about a bed in the addictions treatment facility from those who are in AA/NA with her. Use discretion, of course, but other addicts and alcoholics will be her best resource for peer based recovery.

The rest she doesn't have to disclose to anybody, though like the vast majority of prisoners, she'll find herself in the med line. It's axiomatic that med line means medical and psych problems.

Anorexia? Other anorexics will find her. She needs to have a strategy for dealing with it. Especially those who are engaged in their disorder rather than trying to deal positively with it so that it doesn't rule their lives.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-15-2017, 07:26 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thank you for your responses.

I do write now and have several short stories in various stages of completion. I also keep a diary. Speaking of writing, though, does anyone know if computers are available as word processing agents?

I am still going back and forth on whether or not I should disclose mental health issues to prison staff. I do agree, it is a good idea.

But I did so once and it really came back to bit me in the ass which is why I'm so worried about staff members and other inmates findings out about me and laughing at me so to speak.

This is what happened. I was in college at the time and also on the swim team. I had attempted suicide and was in a psych hospital. I called the swim coach to inform him of why I would be missing swim practices and meets. He told me never to come back because he did not want to have nut case on his team. Then maybe a couple of weeks later I'm on campus and bump into another swimmer. She asks me how I'm doing and said she heard about my suicide attempt. I asked her how and she told me the coach held a team meeting and told everyone. I was really mad that he told everyone without every asking me if that was okay. Then to add insult to injury, another swimmer comes up to me and says "I'm really glad you're off the team because now I'll be able to win in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle." As you can see, disclosing mental illness was not a good thing. And not only did I say I would never again swim for him (which I didn't) but I would never put myself in that situation again, which is why I'm so reluctant to say anything.

My plan for telling other inmates is to say nothing. If they are like anyone I know (friends and family) when it comes to talking about mental illness and eating disorders, they avoid the topic like the plague.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to girl1616 For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (08-16-2017)
  #23  
Old 08-15-2017, 08:29 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,315
Thanks: 3,956
Thanked 19,485 Times in 7,033 Posts
Default

Most prisons have computers. You doyour email through computers (it's not the same as regular email, it takes time to get through and you do not have access to the internet). Computer skills are encouraged. The units that don't have computers are the highest security units where prisoners are at risk of using the computer against people as a weapon, a physical weapon. Most of your commissary buying is also done via computer touch type screens.

You are going to have to start fresh with stories and a diary as you won't be able to take those things in with you. Start a diary. Start a book of ideas for stories when you get there as you won't have 24/7 access to computers. Handwriting can help.

Start working on the library you want in prison and get somebody on the outside to help you by buying books and having them sent from Amazon or the publisher to you. If you want, critically read books with a friend into writing. Look at the reqs of the WI prison and make sure your library selections are narrowed to stay within the max book range. And make sure you hit the library the minute you can when you get to prison. There can be some real finds, especially about writing.

In the interim, check into the stuff published by Wally Lambs' writing program over in the CT women's max unit. He started it after reading one too many news stories about suicides at that prison. He started a writing group there to help them process things. The essays and poetry is surprisingly good, even though not everybody graduated from high school. You can also check out the literature written by people in prison and that written as a result of being in prison. San Quentin men's prison used to have an outstanding men's writing program. Thoreau spent some time in jail and prison for not paying taxes. I highly recommend Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, a book he wrote as a consequence of being in a concentration camp. There are a ton of other examples, including some strange ones - Norman Mailer mentored a prisoner named Jack Henry Abbott, and boy was that a strange relationship. Abbott was a good writer, but he was also a full on psychopath.you can get into Caryl Chessman's fight with San Quentin during the 50's. Condemned to death for rape, Chessman wrote books while on death row. They were published. The administration really disliked this and tried to forbid him from writing. He still found a way, sort of like the Marquis de Sade - forbidden writing implements, he still found a way to write (btw, you won't be reading de Sade in prison - he's restricted because the content is to sexual and too violent. Books coming into the prison are censored for content. So are the books in the library. Fascinating stuff, the censorship in prisons).

But, I'd look at what you need for structure and aid with writing. Get a good book of prompts on your list, or have a trusted writing friend send them in on a regular basis (remember, Mary Shelley produced Frankenstein essentially from a prompt based contest. Second of course was Poliardi as the big guns, Byron and Shelley didn't finish). Get the essentials lined up to come in to you as soon as you can, and engage with others on the outside for critical reading and writing prompts.

As for stupid swimming coaches, I'm surprised yo did not complain to the school, forcing the coach to issue an apology, and to justify kicking you off the team. It is very hard to advocate for yourself in the hospital or just out of the hospital, but realize that he's just one ass. Further, like I said, there's a significant number of people with mental health conditions - nobody's going to harass you for going to AA/NA without drawing a ton of heat from other prisoners. You need to disclose your health conditions including mental health to the prison. It's just fact. It's the only way you can make sure you get access to whatever support is available, including access to psych.

Unlike a stupid coach, they are used to suicides, suicide attempts, and those who are suicidal. I wouldn't mention your suicidality outside of therapy (assuming you can get in) unless you are on the verge of making an attempt. You can talk about past suicide attempts, and the relationship between your mental health conditions and your crime, but the rest? disclose as you would to the rest of humanity - only when people have earned enough trust. Same thing goes with anything else. And practice good prison etiquette.

Engage in your goals. Mediate your weaknesses. Writing is very possible in prison, and you can learn a lot about your craft while there.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (08-16-2017), Minor activist (08-17-2017), sidewalker (08-20-2017)
  #24  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:18 PM
GaReform GaReform is online now
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 729
Thanks: 411
Thanked 1,174 Times in 482 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by girl1616 View Post
Thank you for your responses.

I do write now and have several short stories in various stages of completion. I also keep a diary. Speaking of writing, though, does anyone know if computers are available as word processing agents?

I am still going back and forth on whether or not I should disclose mental health issues to prison staff. I do agree, it is a good idea.

But I did so once and it really came back to bit me in the ass which is why I'm so worried about staff members and other inmates findings out about me and laughing at me so to speak.

This is what happened. I was in college at the time and also on the swim team. I had attempted suicide and was in a psych hospital. I called the swim coach to inform him of why I would be missing swim practices and meets. He told me never to come back because he did not want to have nut case on his team. Then maybe a couple of weeks later I'm on campus and bump into another swimmer. She asks me how I'm doing and said she heard about my suicide attempt. I asked her how and she told me the coach held a team meeting and told everyone. I was really mad that he told everyone without every asking me if that was okay. Then to add insult to injury, another swimmer comes up to me and says "I'm really glad you're off the team because now I'll be able to win in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle." As you can see, disclosing mental illness was not a good thing. And not only did I say I would never again swim for him (which I didn't) but I would never put myself in that situation again, which is why I'm so reluctant to say anything.

My plan for telling other inmates is to say nothing. If they are like anyone I know (friends and family) when it comes to talking about mental illness and eating disorders, they avoid the topic like the plague.
I just heard of a book that you might want to get to read. It's called Ink From the Pen by Mark Olmstead. He was an educated man who served 9 months & used his creative writing to get him through it. Here's a link to info on it- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...#other_reviews
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to GaReform For This Useful Post:
yourself (08-16-2017)
  #25  
Old 08-16-2017, 07:25 PM
girl1616 girl1616 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Wisconsin united states
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Thank you all for your responses.

I am still very, very nervous about entering prison which is going to happen next month. I know that I'm not the only person to enter prison with physical and mental health problems. I just want to be able to blend in with everyone else, i.e. I don't want to end up standing naked in front of co while she tries to figure out what to do with regards to my lack of ability to fully comply with strip searches or become the topic of lunch room conversation.

I'm still debating what to do with disclosing depression/ anxiety issues and eating disorders. I do function a lot better on anti depressants and anti anxiety medications. Every time I go off of them, bad things happen including suicide attempts, fatal dui convictions, etc.

However, telling people may lead to unforeseen consequences like what happened with my former swim coach. Yourself is right- my coach was an asshole. I did consider complaining to the school about him but decided not to. As it turned out, though, I was not the only one who thought he was asshole. He ended up fired about a year later after getting caught having sex with a female swimmer. Which makes me wonder, what happens if a male co starts having sex with a female inmate?

And does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do if another inmate notices that I'm anorexic and starts offering advice/ unwanted help?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New - female headed to prison-Need as much info as possible clueless6258 New Jersey General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 9 04-13-2014 06:22 PM
Headed to Alderson female Federal prison camp Alyssa 9897 Headed to Prison 12 10-10-2013 07:09 AM
Headed to female prison in Florida myangel2009 Headed to Prison 2 02-07-2012 08:05 AM
Headed to Federal Female Prison readytoface Headed to Prison 7 10-11-2011 03:25 PM
Depressed and scared - headed to prison grv08 Arizona General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 10 06-02-2008 06:51 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:52 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics