View Full Version : Brainstorming a prison escape

11-19-2010, 02:06 AM
OK, I've hit a brick wall here. In my WIP, two of my characters try to scam one of their friends out of prison, and end up getting arrested themselves. Now all three of them need to break out, but the scheme I have now just isn't working. I can work out the details myself, but I'm having trouble coming up with a general plan. Does anyone know of any resources that might help me come up with ideas?

Drachen Jager
11-19-2010, 02:11 AM

Always start with wikipedia.

Wayne K
11-19-2010, 02:25 AM
Too bad they didn't have WIiki in 1983

11-19-2010, 03:09 AM
You can find a lot of good information in prisoner of war books such as THE GREAT ESCAPE or the ones on Colditz. Situation is a bit different, but the problem-solving approach is the same. I remember at Colditz that the Allie prisoners built a glider.

Understand that these books are not available to an inmate in prison.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

11-19-2010, 03:30 AM
... would suggest that you read up on a particular prison similar to the one where your story is set. Get to know all sorts of details about the joint. Then you will be better able to come up with a plan for breaking out. Perhaps you might even visit a prison better yet or interview those who've been incarcerated. G'luck.

11-21-2010, 12:14 AM
RDN - start with figuring out where they'd be. Are they in a prison or in county jail awaiting trial? If they've already been sentenced, are they doing minimum security time, medium, or maximum? I doubt they're doing maximum based on what you've said. From your post it sounds like they're probably in the county jail. We've got county inmates all over the place here, and they are out mowing the lawns, driving tractors, etc. That would be easy to walk away from. Get caught walking away and I think you move up to felony offense, which means you're not out mowing the lawn anymore.

To keep it simple, maybe look at your own state. Most corrections departments have some kind of web presence. They might even offer a tour. I've found most law enforcement types love to talk about their jobs, especially if you explain that you're a writer. There are also lots of forums online for questions about prisons, including forums for people with loved ones behind bars and forums for law enforcement types, most of which you can lurk in.

Once you've figured out the level of security you can start to figure out how to defeat it. I've done some writing about this, made most of it up as I went along, but used lots of web resources. I also stayed away from details. You can do a lot without using too much actual detail.

You might also try some googling about prison breaks. Good luck!