So I got asked this question today on an interview about my time in prison. “What one piece of advice would you give another inmate regarding dealing with the BOP?”
If you find yourself within the confines of the BOP, it’s crucial to adopt a mindset of self-reliance. This institution is brutally inefficient and lacks any semblance of organization. Most of the staff are not good at their jobs, don’t like their jobs, and won’t like you (you will be treated as such). In order to navigate it successfully, one must overcompensate with meticulous preparation & an attitude that embraces indifference.
Never assume that the BOP will have your best interests at heart or that they will follow through on their commitments. It’s a harsh reality, but expecting otherwise is setting yourself up for disappointment. This mindset shift can save you an incredible amount of time and frustration.
Furthermore, always have a contingency plan in place. Bring extra documentation, paperwork, and any necessary backups to cover all bases. Relying solely on the institution’s ability to fulfill its obligations is a gamble you can’t afford to take.
Accepting the reality of the BOP’s shortcomings from the outset can make a world of difference in your experience. It may seem disheartening, but recognizing their limitations is the first step towards mitigating their impact on your journey. This mindset shift could spare you from countless unnecessary hurdles and setbacks. It’s a lesson I learned through trial and error, and one I wish I had known from the beginning.
Basically in short think of being prepared for the BOP like bringing an umbrella to a rain storm. You know everyone else will get soaked (including you a bit)…but at least you will be prepared.