July 8, 2014

The majority of my clients surrender to federal prison camps, however, some do go to low-security prisons. A good friend and client is serving time at Terminal Island, a low-security facility in Southern California. Through our communication I was intrigued at the many differences between the lows and camps. Additionally, I valued learning the differences between Terminal Island and other low facilities. One such example at Terminal Island is controlled movements. Other lows do not have controlled movements, but Terminal Island does. For purposes of this blog on Terminal Island I will simply turn it over to the notes my friend shared with me. If anyone has questions regarding Terminal Island, or another low, or camp for that matter, please reach out to me at jp@etikallc.com. JP

Terminal Island:


They let units out one by one based on the cleanliness score you rank each week.

Breakfast 6-7 am.
Lunch: 11-11:45 am
Dinner: 5 -5-45 pm

Food here is generally better than other facilities from what I hear but it is still prison food at the end of the day. When I first got here I lived in the chow hall but I’m not now learning to cook my own food. Its healthier and I know whats in it. Regardless chow food Is not bad. Terminal Island is better than a lot of others prisons, I hear.


K unit and “The Annex” are the only ones with air conditioning.

Units G and F are on the South Yard which has its pros. You travel less back and forth and you have your own dorm style room. You are on the yard which is really nice. You also get a good breeze being almost on the edge of the island.

Other units are open rooms like at Taft Federal Prison Camp with bunk beds.

J and E are old school cells like a real prison with toilets and sinks in them. Some inmates love it some hate it. All a matter of preference.

Shower vary in each unit depending on the unit orderlies. Some are really clean others not so much.


Guards are more or less pretty cool. Like everything else in life you have a few bad apples that like to be difficult but if you follow the rules and keep out of trouble you have nothing to worry about. I was picked on a tiny bit when I first got here but thats normal. I also broker a few rules. For instance once I walked out of my unit in sandals and got yelled at. I hear the guards here are very mellow compared to other places. I even like a few of them.


There are two corrlinks rooms. One on the south yard in the rec room which is nice because you can walk in and out and one on the north yard which isn’t the best because you get locked down if you miss the move. Lots of guys go during lunch and dinner or breakfast so they can walk in and out.

Recreation room:

4 pool tables, TV room with yoga mats, ceramics and arts area with leather goods. Piano room, and guitar checkout, drum room, treadmills, stair master, eliptical machines.


6 laps equals a mile on the track. Basketball court, tables to sit throughout. Weight pile with 3 outdoor TVS. Grass areas to layout and read with flowers, palm trees. Benches overlooking the port.


There is a 10 minute movement every hour of the day. Yard recall at 10:30 am and at 8:30 am when you have to head in. There are 2 standing counts a day. 4 pm and 9:30 pm. On the weekends we also have an additional count at 10 a.m.


Saturday, Sunday, Monday- 1 point per person per hour 40 points per month. Snack machines with decent foods you can microwave. Visiting starts at 8:30 am ends at 3 pm.


Haven’t been inside really but they have a law library, typewriters, paper, and classes you can take.


Huge hospital. You can just walk in Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday for sick line. If its an emergency 24 hours a day on call.


There are various jobs. The best is a cadillac job which is 1 hr a day sweeping, the kitchen is considered the worst but some like it. You also have unicor which pays the most you weld and make lockers. CMS is maintenance like plumbing, electrical, HVAC. Pay is between $5.25/month and $300 on the high side depending on how long you have been down and education level.


Is decent, no vegetables or fruit. You have shredded beef pouches, tuna, and beans. Nothing to brag about but enough to get you by.

let me know if you have any other questions…



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