Misconception: “If you go to prison you must join a gang” — not true! when a man enters prison no one but himself knows if he is a gang member. only he can decide once he enters the housing unit or general population if he feels he must act or maintain a certain image. i have been in prison for the past 25 years i have been to 11 u.s.p’s over the years and yes most of the gang members come to you the first day you enter to ask “who do you run with.” it may be one or two or a whole group of men. if you can stand your ground and be honest and just say i am from — but i do not run with anyone, I’m only trying to do this time and move on, 90% will walk off and not return but if you hesitate, or try to be accepted as one of the boys you will start a conversation that just opened the door to get you to join a gang due to you not standing your ground.
best advice is try not to be too talkative for the first 2-3 days. they will see that you’re not into all the prison politics and move on to easier prey. stay safe.
— Edward S.