How to survive in Finnish prison

Ethnic person behaviour guide:

Do not do this:

•Avoid all sort of arrogance towards either authorities or other prisoners.
•Don’t misbehave, show vanity, be ungrateful.
•Don’t look / stare inmates in their eyes, cells or their property.
•Do not steal from another inmate: After doing that, you are not safe anywhere.
•Avoid too friendly behaviour; guards are not your friends!

What to do?

•Learn basic Finnish language, say always: Kiitos, ole hyvä, huomenta.
•Learn finnish culture, habits, traditions.
•Remember: People think that you are a ”stranger” here!
•Racism is everywhere, stay cool, keep calm.
•First weeks: Do not trust anybody. If you have a big mouth = big trouble.
•Remember: Prison is home of gossips and paranoic.
•Always pay back your loans and: In time! Danger: RAT IS BAD STIGMA!
•Be very careful when you talk about sex, religion, women or politics.
•In Finland we live in a democracy: Women are equal.
•In prison rapers are the worst kind.
•Go to work, visit church, library, gym. Study, read, write / stay active.
•Be humble, show respect, use common sense.
•Learn prison regulations, timetables, habits, policies. Follow all instructions.
•Listen prison authorities and inmates: Ask before you act!
•Find out what the following expressions means: Lusi omaa kakkuasi, yhdet puheet, maassa maan tavoin.
•If you have mental, religious or sexual issues, don’t tell that to your fellow inmates = Please visit psychiatrist, social worker or priest.
•If you are violent / aggressive: Consider psychotherapy.
•Please get help before it is too late.

Based on interviews of several fellow ethnic inmates

With friendly regards

Veli-Matti
HELSINKI PRISON

”KEEP IT SIMPLE BUT NOT STUPID”