After I was sent to federal prison, I felt as though my life had ended. The thought of vomiting made me feel sick to my stomach. I was told by most of my highly compensated attorneys that I would be able to come home after 18 months but it did not happen. The execution would not have happened had I not committed a “white collar” crime.
Initially, I had no idea what to expect. Having spent only 24 hours in jail when I was arrested and arraigned, my judgment of prison life was based solely on how I felt at the time. I only know what I have seen on television and in movies. There was no escape for me.
It took us a great deal of time and effort scouring the Internet and bookstores for information about doing time. As I read the report I found either poor grammar and spelling, as well as one gentleman’s mental ramblings, or silly humor attempts with a situation that, in my opinion, was by no means amusing.
It was difficult for me to concentrate because of the thoughts whirring around in my head. I have included some information that I believe is relevant.
1. There is no danger to your safety.
In spite of what you may have seen on TV or read elsewhere, you do not need to worry about being a “bitch” or being raped in the shower. This does not happen in a camp setting as far as I am aware. My experience at camp suggests that people basically live their lives as they please. I believe that as long as everyone minds their own business, we will be fine.
As an inmate, I occasionally witnessed violent incidents: Inmates and groups of inmates would interfere with each other’s behavior. Fights are punished by solitary confinement, also referred to as the “Hole”.
2. There is no such thing as Club Fed.
Neither such a creature nor such a thing exists. Tennis courts, saunas, woodshops, etc. are not available despite what has been written. Additionally, you should not expect to receive an education while attending school. While I lived in Atlanta, I was unable to obtain a high school equivalency certificate offered by other institutions.
Football fields, walking tracks, and basketball courts are available at the park. Under an outdoor shed were being removed free weights at the time I was there. It is possible to maintain good health in Federal Prisons if you adhere to an exercise routine. As a prisoner, I found that to be the case.
3. Be prepared to be treated unfairly.
Prison guards, counselors, and staff can be good and bad. You’ll be taken care of by those who like you. You may not always be happy with the way your everyday interactions with them turn out. Those she likes are usually employed and have better housing, while others have less desirable responsibilities.
I was in ideal circumstances. I had a pretty good reputation on the Atlanta compound, so I got the best job. In Powerhouse, I worked as a clerk. I kept payroll records and read meters all day with the guards during the winter and summer. While giving them real estate investment advice, I kept them happy all day. My time talking with staff and guards were greatly appreciated. The staff should be able to assist you more easily.
4. Money cannot be obtained.
While cash exists, it is not allowed to be used by prisoners. It will be punished with solitary confinement if found in your possession. After a friend mailed me money, I narrowly escaped punishment because I didn’t even know I was receiving it.
Your card is issued when you enter the building. The card serves as your charge card in the facility to make telephone and commissary purchases, as well as to use vending machines.
Additionally, you may be able to receive up to $300 per month from a family member or outside source on that card. If you are looking to smuggle cash in, I recommend not doing so. You’ll have a lot more success this way.
5. There is a decent selection of food.
It was edible in both locations I visited, and the amount of food was sufficient to satisfy my hunger without being overwhelming. The meals arrive pretty early compared to other countries, and there are three meals served daily.
The breakfast menu usually consists of grits and eggs served with toast or biscuits, sausage and bacon, and coffee each morning. At 11:00 a.m. each day, the lunch menu changes. A daily special dinner menu is also available, including pizza, corned beef, hamburgers, hotdogs, salmon, chicken, and hotdogs. Weekly, you can buy snacks and soft drinks from the commissary.
6. There is a lot of noise in prison.
The noise was the most difficult for me to adjust to. There can be plenty of noise when fifty to a hundred people are gathered together in one room talking, laughing, yelling, coughing, snoring, farting, and so forth. Though you will need to get used to it, it won’t take long. The commissary sells earplugs that you should use when you are sleeping.
7. Dentists and hospitals are unreliable.
Make sure to bring your prescription list with you when you enter the clinic. Every day you will receive a prescription for your medication from the dispensary. If you are taking blood pressure medication, you can store the pills in your locker.
It’s best not to get sick while you’re there since the doctors and dentists are understaffed and indifferent. A hospital emergency will be reported to us in any case. My knowledge of health care services is limited, but I doubt they would be rated highly.