Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sentencing – What To Do When You Get Sentenced

The most serious punishment for most crimes involves the defendant being sent to prison. Individuals who commit crimes against the state are sent to a state prison and those who commit crimes against the country will be sent to federal prison.

Prior to your sentencing hearing, it is highly recommended that you hire a prison coach.  At this point, the prison coach can serve as a limited resource to you, your attorney, and your family, and can be utilized to quickly calm your fears leading up to a possible sentence.  The prison coach can also give your friends and relatives a quick overview of the issues you are facing, and the reality of what happens in the courtroom and in prison.

Sentencing

The job of the prison coach is to teach you, as a first-time convicted felon, how to cope and survive in the unfamiliar surroundings of prison. We are able to do this because they learned the ropes by serving prison time themselves.  If you’re one of the unfortunate defendants to be sentenced to prison, you will need to keep certain facts in mind. Whether or not your sentencing is covered by the news media, in the courtroom there will usually be spectators and other defendants who are in custody. How you conduct yourself at the sentencing may get back to others in the jail.

If you are sentenced to prison, you must be strong and take it like a man. Your conduct at the sentencing hearing could be the talk of the jail. If you beg and whine and cry and plead with the judge, you could be mistreated by your inmates in the jail – and all the way to prison. Be strong and fearless, and refuse to show cowardice or despair. If you show strength of character and determination to atone for your crimes, you will command respect, and your time in prison will pass much more quickly. If you keep asking for delays and you keep coming up with excuses, it will come back to haunt you, and you will eventually be sorry that you did. Also, you probably won’t get what you’re asking for from the sentencing judge anyway, so your conduct will have been counter-productive.

Transfer to the Penitentiary

After sentencing you will be taken out of the court room down to the holding tank where you wait to be transferred. You will not be able to see any friends or family. This transfer could take several hours and you may have the chance to talk to your lawyer provided he or she has been patient enough to wait after court. Then you can discuss anything such as an appeal, what the sentence might mean, and pass any messages.  Eventually, you will be taken to a bus or small van to a local county jail until you are designated to a prison facility. The nature of the crime you have committed will determine whether you are taken to a maximum, medium or minimum security prison.

When you arrive to your designated prison the process of photographs, being finger printed and given your inmate identification will take place. Your clothes will be placed in a box and shipped to your home.  This will exclude your eye glasses, dentures or prosthetics. You may be allowed to keep your wedding band if it’s a simple band and you indicate that it’s valued under one hundred dollars. Then you will be stripped searched (men bend over and spread your cheeks, females squat then spread your butt cheeks) given bed linen, basic toiletries and escorted by an officer to your designated housing unit.

You can be placed in an open dormitory or single cell with one inmate depending on the institution. At that point he or she gives you an overview of meal, recreation or visitation times. It will be your first day in eventually becoming free person again if you have not received an extraordinary amount of time.