What if I have a problem with another inmate?
If your problem is simple conflict of personality with a petty person who must always be right, an annoying person who invades your space with nonsense, or a blathering idiot, just try to be polite but brief. These people cover the planet and complicate life for everyone. If you must have ongoing contact with them at work, in class, or in the TV room, then scale back interactions to a civil minimum. Let them go about their infantile life and don’t get bogged down in their wake. Rather than waste your energy go about their infantile life and don’t get bogged down in their wake. Rather than waste your energy with verbal sparring just agree with whatever they say and pick up a magazine to read.
An inmate in my DAP (Drug Abuse) class who worked at the laundry building got into an altercation over a chess game at work. Through one thoughtless action, he was kicked out of DAP, lost his free year off, and spent his summer in the hole.
Even if your problem is a cavemen who tries to intimidate you, there is still a range of resources.
First, you may try to reason with a bully. If a person is trying to coerce you into doing his or her job or giving away your things, then tell the jerk in a sincere way that you are busy, and that you cannot afford to give things away. This type of thing is not common in FCL Low, but, occasionally, some thug will test a new inmate to see if he or she can be played. By not allowing then the satisfaction of gaining control over you, most bullies will give up trying. In some cases, these cretins may come to show you a crude respect or even try to be your friend.
If your opponent happens to be a relentless bully who is beyond rational reasoning and who has singled you out, then you may need some help. Should this be the case, you must make an effort to avoid official involvement. Bringing the cops into your personal matter, even if you are in the right, could label you a snitch. You could find yourself at odds with a small army of cavemen from then on.
A better approach is to use an arbitrator. Each building has a small group of respected alpha problem solvers. Known as “speakers” or “shot callers”, there is usually one of these social troubleshooters to represent each racial or geographical group in the building. All of the speakers are friends with one another and work to maintain unit, you will soon learn which ones are the speakers. Should you have trouble that you cannot handle (and you probably will not) you can get help from your shot caller.
Even in the worst scenario, if you are physically attacked, you will be okay. Other inmates will intervene on your behalf and immediately stop it. The staff will soon know all about it. The jerk-off will go to the hole and maybe be dispatched to a home for malcontents (such as a harsher prison setting).
In any physical exchange case, the cops will put both parties in the hole until they get the facts. They will find out who threw the first blow and why. If possible, one should use only defensive blocks. A true victim will not be punished.
Inversely, the FCI has low tolerance for trouble makers. They are usually not around long.
Again, as an inmate of the FCL Low, you will most likely never have to deal with anything serious. This is especially true if you are the mellow-non-confrontational type.
Remember, it’s not like in the movies. There are no dark nooks and crannies where an assault would go unnoticed by others.
The Morales Law Firm would like to thank Mad Dogs guide to Club Fed (Instruction Manuel for Newcomers) for sharing this information with us.