Before I begin this article, I'd like to clarify the fact that I've never actually been in prison. This article is based off of many observations I've noticed while viewing television shows such as MSNBC's Lockup. I see so many prisoners making terrible decisions while they are in their jail cells, and I figured I would write this article to tell you exactly what not to do if you are ever sent to prison.

The first mistake that's clearly evident for prisoners, is the act of being covered with horrific looking prison tattoos. These tattoos are not classy in any form or fashion, and carry the prison stigma with inmates wherever they go. I understand how they may make you more intimidating while in jail, but outside of jail they are nothing but a horrendous mark that takes away from any possible redemption you could ever achieve. It's possible for a felon to attain a job, however it's nearly impossible for a tatted up ex-con to make a good impression for a job if they are covered in a slew of filthy, shaky, poorly drawn tattoos that were obviously crafted within the unhealthy confines of a jail cell.

Several of these tattoos are gang affiliated, which leads me to the next mistake: Avoid gangs! It's almost impossible to live a life outside of crime if you are to join a gang while in prison. I understand that gangs watch out for their members in prison, and it can be a safety net, however outside of jail, they are nothing but horrible stigmas you have to carry with you. By joining a gang, you are giving your life over to the gang, and will most likely be expected to perform a number of illegal tasks. Your prison sentence is initiated to punish you for your crimes, and if you join a form of organized crime while being punished, you will not learn your lesson and will probably end up back inside of a cell. Also, gangs usually expect you to commit crimes while in prison. With this gang affiliation, you can prolong your sentence to much longer than it would have originally been. Gangs are nothing but trouble, and can cause you to spend much more of your life, (if not the rest of your life) within a cell.

Lastly, make sure to stay away from friends you've made inside of prison after your sentence is over. This can cause you to fall back into the pit of performing more crimes. By keeping negative influences in your life, you are more prone to continue the behavior that landed you in jail in the first place.

I hope that none of you wind up in prison, yet these are simple steps you can take if you are ever unfortunate and receive punishment for crimes. Be careful in the world, and be even more careful if you're sentenced.