Federal Prison Camp, punishment or vacation.

Published: 15th August 2007
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Do you ever wonder what goes on in a federal prison camp? What does an inmate do all day? As a former federal prison camp inmate I will give you a brief overview of one camp and then you can decide for yourself, is this punishment or is it just a vacation.

First let me begin with the housing arrangement. Use your imagination and picture a large empty warehouse building with heating and air conditioning, add 64 bunk beds with a locker and chair next to each one. Then add three offices one for a correctional officer and the other two for administrative use, one recreation supply room, one exercise room with four pieces of equipment, laundry room with eight washers and dryers plus an ice machine, three closed in TV rooms with a larger TV in the open, fourteen private showers with plenty hot water and a large restroom with a separate lavatory area.

Second is the food service. Breakfast was from 6:00 am every morning weekdays and 7:00 am on weekends with food ranging from fruits, cereal and milk to prepared eggs with toast. Lunch was always schedule for 11:00am and dinner at 4:00 pm with a menu that consisted of a simple peanut butter sandwich and hot dog to baked turkey with all the trimmings. The food quantity is abundant and quality was like at a university or school cafeteria.

Third was an assigned work details. The work mainly assigned to inmates consisted of maintaining the federal prison camp and high security prison next door from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays with an hour lunch. Work was first assigned to those with specific skills. For example a mechanic worked in the garage maintaining the fleet of government vehicles, a welder was assigned to the welding shop for institution needs, someone skilled in heating and air was assigned to the maintenance department, and those with computer and administrative skills would work in education, administration or on a computer. The other work details ranged from food service to janitorial or landscaping to warehouse workers. Did you know that inmates were paid and hourly wage for their work? A prison inmate's income in the federal prison camp usually ranges from a few dollars to over a hundred per month depending on the work detail they are assigned to.

Fourth is recreation and leisure time. After seven hours of work and afternoon dinner every inmate spends time on their own interest or just relaxing. Inmate activities consisting of watching TV all night, drawing and painting in the art room, leather craft, reading and writing in the library, listening to music or watch educational materials provided by the prison camp administration, walking around the track, exercise, play recreational sports like basketball, soccer, handball, flag football, baseball, volleyball or ping pong, some take time to do laundry, taking a nap or playing cards and dominos with other inmates.

Fifth is weekend visitation. Families are allowed to visit their loved ones from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Visitation takes place in an open area where everything is visible and usually only one correctional officer is monitoring the visit. Up to five family members can visit with an inmate for the entire time and on some occasions with permission more than five. It looks like a big family reunion with all the kids playing and adults talking.

Sixth is religion. Every inmate is free to worship whatever faith they follow. Federal prison chaplains are available to see that time and schedules are set aside for inmates to worship. Volunteers and church groups visit often to provide church services and bible studies to inmates.

Seventh is the medical facility. If an inmate was to get sick or hurt a medical team is on staff to handle any situation as well local hospitals for emergencies.

Finally there is the commissary. This is provided to inmates once every week where they can shop and purchase any variety of items from chips and candy to multi vitamins, stamps and birthday cards to over the counter medication. The commissary is similar to the mini-marts you stop to get gas and with similar prices. So if an inmate is unhappy with a particular menu that day he can always fall back on a microwavable dish from the commissary and TV watching always goes better with a hot bag of buttered popcorn.

Well now you know the facts about one United States federal prison camp. What do you think is it punishment or is it a vacation?


Former prison camp inmate speaks out. Learn the truth from inmate talk at http://www.formerprisoninmate.com and know the facts first hand what goes on in a United States federal prison camp.


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