Imprisonment can be quite an ordeal for someone who has never been in a prison before. A confined space, a hard life, and a peculiar society are all fundamentally different from the conditions to which the average person in our country is accustomed. A newcomer prisoner not only has to put up with the harsh local laws, but also has to learn the subtleties of prison slang, understand the hierarchy, and so on.
Knowledge of prisoner life is very important, because if mistakes are made, irreparable things can happen. For example, the newcomer may be placed in the wrongful caste, which cannot be rehabilitated and leads a miserable existence in prison. Below we will look at the most common prison concepts.
About Prison Mastiffs
Russian prisons have a special system of hierarchy, which determines the relationship between inmates. Castes are called here the castes to which a particular person belongs. Belonging to a particular caste can be both an advantage and a stigma, complicating the life of a prisoner.
Let us consider the types of prison suits in more detail:
Blatnye. These are the prison elite, who enjoy maximum privileges and have a minimum of restrictions. The blatnoys are the local authorities who do not work, do not obey the administration, and do not clean up. They are responsible for order in the cell and do not allow lawlessness. Other inmates should communicate with the blatnoys respectfully, but without excessive ingratiation.
Men. This caste includes the largest number of representatives. In simple terms, it is the usual prison people, who obey the general rules, work and do not violate the general order. If an inmate-newcomer does not make mistakes in the first stages of his stay in prison, he automatically becomes a man. This caste is considered ideal in terms of opportunities and responsibilities.
The downcast or resentful. This caste includes people who are despised by everyone, who are in jail for rape, who have grossly violated prison regulations, or who are passive homosexuals. An inmate who has stolen from fellow inmates, cooperated with the administration, or socialized with members of this caste can become a lowered prisoner. Therefore, newcomers should be careful in selecting their friends among the inmates. Also among the lowered there are those who are weak in spirit, sycophants, etc.
Devils or goats. These are prisoners who do dirty work for the prison administration. This is how they hope to get leniency. Naturally, no one likes devils, and respectable convicts avoid any contact with them.
By the way, newcomers in prisons are called first-timers.Prison laws and concepts: what a newcomer in the zone should know about
Above were listed the main suits found in Russian prisons. Some colonies have developed a more complex hierarchy that includes additional castes. And the prisons themselves can be of two kinds:
Reds. Here reigns a brutal authoritarian order, established by the local administration.
Black. These are characterized by more lenient laws on the part of the wardens. In such prisons there is a kind of thieves' self-government.
How a first-time inmate should behave in prison
The first visit to a cell is an important moment in the life of any prisoner. In local slang, this stage is called "entering the hut. To minimize conflicts between inmates, the prison administration tries to classify them into suits. Therefore, the newcomer is unlikely to be assigned to a cell with the authorities or the downcast. More often than not, they end up with the men.
When a newcomer enters a cell for the first time, he must follow the following recommendations:
On entering, one should say hello. Most often neutral greetings are used for this, such as "Evening in the hut", "Good health", "Good evening". It is better to refrain from greetings that point to a suit or contain expressive coloring (these include the phrases "Hello, men" or "Hello, guys").
Behavior. Beds in the zone are called "bunks". You should not immediately take the first available seat. You should ask if the bed is free and if the newcomer can sit on it. You should know right away that in prisons you do not ask, but you ask.
First checks. It is not uncommon for experienced inmates to check on newcomers, trying to find out who they are and what suit they belong to. So if a towel is thrown in front of an inmate, it should just be stepped over, not picked up. If one of the inmates says that this is a "cage for roosters," it is necessary to fake fright and knock several times on the door demanding a change of cell.
Residence Registration. This is a fairly old ritual, which in modern prisons is reduced to a routine conversation with newcomers. Usually, the person is asked what he is in for, who he is "in life," etc. Strict rules of registration are preserved in the colonies where juvenile offenders are held. Here newcomers are often beaten, thereby "preparing" them for the hard life of a prisoner.
General Rules of Conduct
Experienced prisoners say that the main thing in the zone - is restraint in communication. Those who talk a lot, talk about their personal lives or talk about non-existent criminal achievements are not liked here. Politeness, calmness and honesty are the main qualities of the average prisoner.Prison laws and concepts: what a newcomer in the zone should know about
In order to avoid screwing up in the first days of being in the zone, newcomers should learn the following:
You should not communicate with a person without finding out his suit. Once you talk to the offended, the inmate-newcomer can be enrolled in this caste. In addition, men do not touch the lower castes, do not use their objects, and do not sit at the same table with them. Representatives of the lower castes are obliged to inform strangers of their status so that they are not mistaken for men or bludgeons. If a lower-caste person withholds such information, he or she may be severely punished.
Distrust is the first rule of an inmate. Some experienced inmates purposely ask the newcomer a lot of questions. The purpose of this behavior is to amuse themselves, or to reveal some serious flaw in the newcomer. An overly intrusive interlocutor can be reported to the warden, for this person could be a secret informer to the prison administration or a henchman.
Stealing among fellow prisoners is forbidden. Such actions are called ratting in prison. You can take things from others only if you have permission. In need of tea or cigarettes, a newcomer may ask the warden to allocate some from the prisoners' common property, called the common area. However, afterwards everything taken will have to be returned.
One should not shut oneself off. Restraint in communication should not turn into withdrawal. It is important for the newcomer to keep in touch with other prisoners. Otherwise, terseness may be seen as arrogance.
It is desirable to share. After receiving a handout, some of the food should be given to the common. It is also advisable to share with other prisoners, since humanity is valued in the zone.
Gambling is best avoided. Those who have not been able to pay off their card debts become put down. Therefore, even as an experienced gambler, you should not gamble with the inmates. They are likely to cheat, and card losses are not forgiven in prison. Therefore, it is better to politely refuse to play.
Gifts should be accepted with caution. It is important to make sure that the gift is offered for friendly reasons. It is not uncommon for prisoners to demand an activity in return (laundry, cleaning, washing dishes). By accepting gifts for services, a person sooner or later becomes a "piker. Such people are not respected in prison.
The ability to defend one's position. Politeness should not intersect with submissiveness. It is desirable not to enter into conflicts, and in case of outright extortion it is better to call for the help of a supervisor.
Talking to seasoned inmates
Here it is important for the newcomer to stick to the golden mean. Communication should be polite and respectful, but not overtly ingratiating. Such actions can lead to a loss of respect.
Insults in the zone is not welcome - for such words will have to answer. If a person has been unjustly insulted, he has the right to give the offender a physical rebuff. Sometimes such conflicts are resolved in the presence of the warden. Then the slanderer and scandalizer can be reclassified as untouchable.
Inmates perceive foul language as blatant aggression. So it is better not to use them.Prison laws and concepts: what a newcomer to the zone should know about
The nuances of prison vocabulary
Prison slang is replete with words and expressions that are sure to surprise a person who has nothing to do with the zone. At the same time, some common words here have undergone a reinterpretation, as a result of which they should be used with extreme caution.
Let us consider the basic concepts used in prison slang:
The category of rude insults includes the words "goats," "roosters," and "devils." Therefore, it is forbidden to use them in relation to ordinary prisoners.
Any derivatives of the word "offend" are also unacceptable.
The word "thank you" is better replaced with "heartily" or "thank you." Instead of "please," they say "not to the detriment of health," "if possible."
The word "ask" should be removed from the vocabulary, because you can only "ask" for some act for which you must "answer". That's why prisons don't ask, they ask.
What you should know about prison hygiene
The concept of hygiene in prisons is given special importance. Therefore, at first, the newcomer is watched to determine how clean he is. This is not surprising, because in a confined space with poor ventilation, any breaches of hygiene become noticeable very quickly.
In order not to get in trouble, the beginner should follow the following rules of hygiene:
Hands should be thoroughly washed after each visit to the toilet. If prisoners notice that a newcomer has said hello to someone by the hand without performing the necessary procedure, he will be called to account.
If you drop an item on the floor, you should wash it.
It is forbidden to pick up food from the floor.
It is forbidden to cook or eat when someone is in the toilet. You should also refrain from going to the toilet if fellow inmates have lunch.
Daily foot washing is mandatory.
In addition, inmates must keep their belongings clean. Persons who do not follow basic hygiene rules may be called to account or put down.