Excerpts from

Basic Survival Techniques

 Above all, you must realize that you'll be a prisoner like all the others, reduced to just a number, and no better than an illiterate Cuban whore or white trailer trash.

 Don't be uppity and your cold, snotty, domineering self. If you are arrogant to other prisoners, you'll alienate them and create many enemies. This could prove fatal.

 Always be respectful and polite to other prisoners, regardless of how weird they may act or dress. First, because you don't know who or what they are, and second, because respect and personal dignity are the most valued possessions left to a prisoner.

 Never tell another prisoner what to do or give anyone orders. Don't tell the noisy ones in the law library to be quiet. Prisoners deeply resent being bossed around by another prisoner. Their likely reponse -- even to a polite request -- is, "What are you, a fuckin' cop?"

 Never stare at another prisoner for more than a second or two. She may be a walking powder keg, set off by an intrusive stare. She may either assault you on the spot or wait until darkness. Even if she doesn't kill you outright, your face will never look the same again.