Monday, October 10, 2005

A Prison Survival Guide

Kevin Kelly reviews a prison survival guide called Behind Bars in the latest Cool Tools newsletter.
Yes, you are a good person. But a relative or friend may not be so law-abiding. And stuff happens. Here is what to do if you are ever arrested (mostly what not to do) and what you can expect if put behind bars.

Written by two professors of criminology; one was a former correctional officer, and the other served eleven years in federal custody, including maximum security. They know what they are talking about, and they dispense their straight dope with surprising clarity and uncommon elegance and wit. (One chapter is called "You've Got Jail!").

They've written a guidebook to a distant country and its alien customs and ways; may you never arrive there. You get street-smarts from inmates and wise counsel from the Man. I rank my books by how dog-eared they are; this one had nearly every page marked and underlined. This is one of the books you want to read before you need it.

Then again, it's best to avoid getting into trouble in the first place.