WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2008 AT 12:55AM

Urine Tests In Federal Prison Camp

I’ve never had a history of substance abuse. My conviction relates to my career as a securities broker and has no relationship to drugs whatsoever. Nevertheless, during my seventh month in Taft Prison Camp, I was paged to report to the Control Center. Since I had never been paged to the Center before, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I was busy writing in one of the quiet rooms since 5:30 in the morning, so I didn’t even hear the page at 7:00 A.M. Fortunately, other inmates told me that I had been called.

I walked from my housing unit toward the Control Center with a little anxiety running through me. I had no idea why I was being paged but I sensed that the experience was not going to be pleasant. When I showed up at the glass-enclosed office, I presented my prison identification to the officer and said that I was responding to the page.

“I called you four times” the officer said. “What were you doing, hiding?”

I explained that I was in one of the quiet rooms and didn’t hear my name over the loudspeaker. He told me I had been selected to provide a urine sample.

Later, I learned that policy requires camp administrators to provide random urine tests to approximately 10% of the camp population each month. and I was among those selected on that day. When an inmate is called for this test, he has a time allotment of two hours to provide the sample. If he fails to provide the sample within the two hour time allotment, policy requires staff to issue a disciplinary infraction of the highest severity. That infraction brings an automatic sanction of at least 60 days in segregation, a loss of good time, and a transfer to a higher security prison. That’s why anyone who is called for a urine test in prison should immediately set his stop watch and keep a close eye on the seconds ticking away. Some guards allow the prisoner to drink water; others do not. Either way, the prisoner best watch the time closely and do whatever is necessary to squeeze out a vial of pee within the 2-hour allotment period.

Although I was a bit disturbed to have been called for the test in the first place, I was glad the guard called me when he did. It just so happened that I was ready to use the bathroom at that moment. God forbid that I had urinated before the page. Once the guard notifies an inmate of a urine test, the clock starts ticking.

Providing a sample was not going to be a problem. I was escorted into a bathroom where I was required to wash my hands with water. Ironically, I was prohibited from using soap. Once he saw me rinse my hands he handed me a small tube and instructed me to fill it up. I performed like a stallion. He took the tube, then commenced to filling out the paperwork. After all was signed and sealed, he sent my urine off to the lab.

I shouldn’t have any worries about the test results as I’m not a drug abuser. Nevertheless, I am a prisoner. Somehow, despite my not using drugs, I have some anxieties about mistakes in the lab, or some other complication. This is the life I’ve been getting used to, though I do look forward to my return to normalcy.

Justin Paperny

It is never too late to start preparing…Download Lessons From Prison Now to discover what is truly possible in federal prison.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

The Complete Guide to Shortening Your Prison Term Through RDAP

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This