My name is Jonathan Richards and in 2006 I was sentenced to two concurrent six-month terms in federal prison for making false statements on my student loan applications.
While I was lucky to receive a relatively short sentence, the fact that I was sent to prison at all attests to the fact that more and more relatively normal people are being sentenced to serve time in federal prison. If you are headed to prison, you are by no means alone.
The prison population in the US is exploding and no one expects this trend to stop any time soon. There are currently over 200,000 men and women in federal prison. And across the country nearly 1% of the adult population finds themselves sitting in a jail or prison right now. Indeed, the United States locks up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on Earth.
And when these people are sentenced, the government does nothing to help prepare them for the completely new and oftentimes dangerous world that they face. I know this first hand. After I was sentenced and allowed to self-surrender, my lawyer wished me luck and walked away from the courthouse.
I then had 3 long nerve wracking months to wait for my first day in prison.
During this time I came across a few websites and a couple of books that attempted to help the federal inmate to be with advice on how to prepare and what to expect. But not long after arriving in prison, I realized that most of the information that was offered was very poor. It was inaccurate, outdated, sometimes simply false, or it only applied to high security federal prisons and just wasn't relevant to the other security levels.
With that in mind, during my time in prison, I took countless notes, I spoke with as many inmates as possible and I began to compile what would become the book Federal Prison: A Comprehensive Survival Guide.
Today, I'm humbled that over the past few years the book has been able to help so many people. The testimonials on the site are all real and unsolicited.
I spent much of this year researching and updating the 3rd edition of the book, which was released in late 2012 and is by far the most up to date and comprehensive book on the subject of preparing for and ultimately surviving time in – federal prison.
The book is an enormous help to anyone facing time in federal prison and it is also a great resource for the friends and family of those headed there.
The over 400 pages of information that I have compiled during the past 6 years will help to put your mind at ease by showing you what actions you need to take now — before you enter prison and by explaining in great detail what you can expect in prison from day one, how to avoid problems with inmates and staff, how to stay safe, and how to make the most of your time as a federal prison inmate.
If you are facing time in federal prison now, you have lost control of many parts of your life. You know that. But the one thing that you do have control over is how you choose to react.
You can accept your circumstances and calmly prepare or you can let depression, anxiety, anger, and fear take over. The choice is yours.
I wish you the very best of luck.