How to prepare for prison: there's a book for that - New York News

How to prepare for prison: there's a book for that

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A prison sentence could happen to movie stars, millionaires, reality show stars and even members of Congress. And it could happen to you. But life on lock-down comes with its own set of lessons you don't want to learn the hard way.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is on his way to prison.

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice and her husband are looking at a similar fate in the slammer.

Martha Stewart has been there and done that.

So has Hollywood action star Wesley Snipes.

Super swindler Bernie Madoff remains behind bars.

It is not just big names going to the big house. It's 1 in 100 Americans -- almost like a real-life version of the new hit series "Orange Is the New Black."

But ex-offender-turned-author and consultant Vincent De Maille says there is nothing fun or fancy about the real deal, and most first timers are totally unprepared. In prison culture, new equals weak, he says.

"Weakness is like blood in the water," he says.

De Maille is part of a growing trend of ex-convicts who cash in on their prison past. He certainly knows what he's talking about. His rap sheet looks like a college curriculum for crime. He was arrested more than half a dozen times, starting at the age of 16, for everything from manslaughter to weapons possession

Now 37 and a family man, De Maille wrote a book called "Incarceration 101 - the Prisoners' Code." He says he wrote it to help others avoid dangerous mistakes, such as trying to be nice so other inmates like you.

De Maille says the biggest mistake many make is talking too much. Even small talk can cause big trouble because inmates have plenty of time to scheme and scam. So be prepared with one-word vague responses.

Through his time in county and state prisons, he learned the hard way that you need to be aware of physical danger at all times:

Keep your back to the wall, preferably in a corner.

Always check other inmates' hands for prison weapons like the makeshift knives called shanks.

And at mealtime, make sure you're not the one getting eaten up.

Another danger is a bad attitude. De Maille says street thugs mistakenly think they can out-con the convicts. And white collar criminals think they can outsmart other inmates because of social standing and a college degree.

Prison is more than a parallel universe. It is a totally different world with its own currency and etiquette. And if you break one of these rules, you can end up being the victim of inmate justice.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    NJ brush fire forces evacuations

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:16:10 GMT
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
    A New Jersey school and several homes were evacuated Thursday afternoon because of a large brush fire that was being fanned by winds.Beachwood Intermediate South School was closed just after 12:30 p.m. Parents were told not to report to the school. The Ocean County Sheriff's Dept. said that all children were going to be safely evacuated to another location.
  • Baby gorillas on display at Bronx Zoo

    Baby gorillas on display at Bronx Zoo

    Thursday, April 24 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:53:44 GMT
    WCS photoWCS photo
    Two endangered gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo in March and April are now making appearances at the zoo's famous Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. The baby western lowland gorillas are the 14th and 15th gorillas born at the exhibit since it opened in 1999. The Bronx Zoo has had 50 gorilla births since 1972. The gender of the newborns is unknown for now, WCS said.
    Two endangered gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo in March and April are now making appearances at the zoo's famous Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. The baby western lowland gorillas are the 14th and 15th gorillas born at the exhibit since it opened in 1999. The Bronx Zoo has had 50 gorilla births since 1972. The gender of the newborns is unknown for now, WCS said.
  • Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Cops swarm home after disgruntled Call of Duty gamer calls in swatting hoax

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:05:27 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices