This study examines inmates' core discussion network prior to their incarceration. The core discussion network consists of the immediate social circle of relatively strong ties. The aims of the study are twofold: (1) to describe inmates' core discussion network prior to their incarceration in terms of network structure, relationship quality and embedded socioeconomic resources; (2) to compare inmates' core discussion network with the core discussion network of the general Dutch population. Data are analyzed from the Prison Project (. n=. 1909) and the Survey of the Social Networks of the Dutch (. n=. 394). Compared with the general Dutch population, prior to incarceration, prisoners generally have a core discussion network that is similar to or even better with respect to network structure and relationship quality. However, prisoners' core discussion network members seem to lack socioeconomic resources. © 2013 .