March 20, 2014

What is the best prison camp in America? Wow, I have been asked that question thousands of times. Admittedly, I only served time at one camp so my answer stems from my stay at Taft Federal Prison Camp. Still, during my stay at Taft Camp I spoke with many men who had visited other camps including, Lompoc Camp, Sheridan, and many, many more.

The answer to the best prison camp, I have learned, has more to do with how one adjusts then what my prison consulting clients are initially focused on: how good is the food, or the commissary list, or what type of job will I have. Those things matter, but not too much.

I preferred Taft Federal Prison Camp because it allowed ample time for introspection. Thinking, reading, writing, and exercising carried me through each day. Taft Prison Camp allows time to pursue your interests. The interests or values for some, unfortunately, are not as productive as reading or writing. Rather, too many men find their highest value in prison to be boredom. For that reason, they would prefer to be at a camp that places a greater emphasis on work, or having more opportunities to hustle, or leave the compound as part of the outcrew. They just want to stay busy and avoid the feelings of boredom. I was never bored in prison. Not once. I had too much to do.

So to the question of the best prison camp in America, let me close with this. If your focus is the best food, job or how to do the least amount of work possible you are in trouble.  You are focusing entirely on all the wrong things. You should be focusing on whether you are making a true commitment to succeed, and to becoming more than anyone expects of a person who has been to prison. From my experience Taft Camp allowed or at least did not block me from becoming better. For that reason alone Taft Federal Prison Camp is the best camp in America. For those who are facing a prison term, I urge you to pursue Taft, presuming your interests align with mine. It not, it doesn’t really matter where you serve time.

Justin Paperny


Taft Federal Prison Camp

Taft Federal Prison Camp

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