I finally went to orientation on Wednesday. Orientation consists of various prison officials from different departments stopping by to inform us about the operations of the prison camp. Some of the information was quite helpful, and some of it was just plain funny.

The Head of Dining Services revealed that his budget to feed each prisoner is $2.25 per day. Hence, the prison spends approximately $1800.00 a day to feed the entire population! I am beginning to understand why the food at prison may not always meet expectations. When I think about it, my old friend Brian would spend $1800.00 on wine at a fancy dinner. Who knew, He could have been feeding a prison for the same amount?

The Medical officer discussed medical care on the compound. He proudly proclaimed that since He has been on the compound (5 years), no one has died at Pensacola. However, when pressed, He did admit that several prisoners had died after they were taken to local hospitals or other medical facilities. As long as you do not die on the compound, you are excluded from the statistics. (you can always massage the numbers?)

The Medical officer also talked about staph infection in prison. He told us 3 out of 10 prisoners carry the staph germ and that we have to be extra careful to wash our hands and use hand sanitizer often. When the medical officer took a 5 minute break, I noted that 8 guys went to the hand sanitizer dispenser! ( ok, I was one of them.)

The Facilities Manager stopped by to educate us on OSHA rules and regulations to keep us safe on our prison jobs. We had to sign a booklet with numerous work rules and give it back to the Facilities Manager. The only problem is that we cannot keep the rulebook. I assume we were to speed read the manual and memorize the rules during the 5 minute time frame We actually had the book in our possession? No worries, if we get hurt, they have a form that states we were trained and we know the rules!

One final note to brighten your day. Matt, one of the guys who came to Pensacola with Me on the bus told us a story about his cellie in Tallahassee. His cellie was a young man from Puerto Rico who had a laundry fetish. Every day, his cellie would wash his socks and underwear in the toilet! When Matt asked about this practice, his cellie assured him that He cleans the bowl before he does his laundry! OMG!

Ken Flaska

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