When I grew up, all I had ever heard or seen about prison was that it was filled with violence, rape, killings, deceit, and a layer of politics dictated by some “convict code”. And what could anyone do to prepare themselves for such a place? 

My first feeling while on the bus to prison, while I looked at the miles of razor wire fence, and the guards with guns, was to become that image in my mind of the convict. I felt that if I were dangerous enough, people would leave me alone. That is NOT reality. 
First, if you’re very dangerous, you’ll simply be expected to do very dangerous things to other people, in which case you become a tool for violence. Second, and the most important, prison does NOT fit the picture that society paints of it. You do not need to become the “convict”. 
There are more options, and if you’re first arriving to prison, it can be hard to see. But keep in mind that in the the jails and receiving facilities are full of people who are just like you, they’re preparing their mind for danger and chaos, and thus *they play the part*. 
You’ll notice that the returning convicts telling how “crazy” prison will be. That my friend, is because they are returning once again to prison. They ARE the type that makes this their lifestyle. But be yourself and once you settle into your main prison, you’ll see that prison life is precisely what you wish to make of it. Think of it this way. You’ve suddenly been given x amount of years to learn whatever you wish. So pick one thing. One very specific thing, say, something you’ve only dreamt about as a child, and learn it. Become an expert at it. Find your passion and build a lifestyle around it. 
Prison is only in your mind.

By Christopher Havens
Visit his website at christopherhavensmath.com