Other ideals within the prison subculture include the notion that inmates should maintain them- selves as men who show no emotion, free from fear, depression, and anxiety. Basically, the “strong silent type” is the ideal. Today’s young offenders may attempt to maintain this exterior image, but the effects of modern society (prevalence of mental health services, reliance on medications, and technological advances, as well as a fast-changing society) often preclude this stereotypical ver- sion of the convict from being reality for many inmates. Likewise, inmates are expected to refrain from arguments with other inmates. The general idea is that they must do their own time without becoming involved in the personal business of others. Getting involved in other people’s business is equated to being a gossip, and this also is considered more of a feminine behavior. Thus, to be manly in prison, inmates must mind their own business.

Inmates who stick to these two rules of behavior are generally seen as in control and not easily manipulated. Essentially, they are seen as psychologically strong of will and also fairly wise to the prison world. In some cases, these inmates may be referred to as a true convict rather than an inmate. In the modern prison culture, the title of convict refers to an inmate who is respected for being self-reliant and independent of other inmates or the system. Convicts are considered mature and strong, not weak and dependent on others for their survival. Convicts are considered superior to the typical inmate, and, while not necessarily leaders of other inmates (indeed, most do not care to lead others, but simply wish to do their own time), they are often respected by younger inmates who are themselves becoming acculturated into the prison environment.

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