January 20, 2015

Federal Prison Camp Life

I’ve been getting quite a few questions about what it is like here and what my day is like so here goes.

Like other camps, the camp at Taft has no walls or fences so you could literally walk away at any time (although I am not sure why someone would).

All of the inmates are in one large building divided into four dorms. The dorms have concrete floors (very “Palm Springs Modern”) and 20 foot ceilings. Each room is 8 X 10 with either two or three bunks. I am in a two bunk room and have the upper bunk. I had a lower bunk near the front but I much prefer being in the back where it is more quiet. I have a pretty big locker – 5′ X 2′ X 18″ for all my clothes, books and commissary food. Commissary is once a week and I can spend $320 per month. You fill out a list and it comes down a chute. They have a pretty great selection actually.

Breakfast is at 6, lunch at 11 and dinner at 4:30 (early bird special!). The most critical thing though is the “counts” where you have to be in your room. There are two mandatory counts weekdays – 4 and 9:15 pm and an additional mandatory count at 10:30 am on weekends/holidays. Also, there are counts at 1,3, and 5 am so I don’t get up to pee at any of those times. Only the 4pm and 10:30 am counts are “standing” – the other ones you can be in bed asleep or doing anything else as long as you are in your room. They can also call special counts whenever they want.

Everyone has a job. I will probably get one starting Feb. 1. Lots of different jobs including kitchen, recreation, horticulture, orderly (cleaning), warehouse, library, etc. Not sure what I will get. Lots of new guys get kitchen.

The rec dept is great. No weights, but lots of cross training equipment, medicine balls, and bars, etc. for pullups. Baseball, soccer, bocce, tennis and a 1/3 mile track. I have walked more in the last week than in the past year!

There is also a big tv room where you need a radio and headphones to watch. I don’t spend much time in there as the programming is not my cup of tea for the most part.

There is also a very good library with lots of books that I have always wanted to read and lots of classes to take which I will soon be doing.

Right now my days are filled with appointments, working out (a new resistance training book I have that is kicking my ass), reading, writing and walking with my group. People here are very nice and helpful for the most part.

That’s all for this installment. If you have any questions, you can comment and I’ll have someone send them to me.

Cheers and thanks for following!

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