View Full Version : What to expect when I go to federal prison?


jasonj
08-09-2002, 07:31 PM
{For more information on Federal Prison, after reading this great post please also check out PTO's Federal Prison area at the following link!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186 }


Hello

I am probably going to be going to federal prison soon. My sentencing is in about a month and i am expecting to get 4 years.

what is it like when you first get there? what will happen after my sentencing? where will they take me from court? I think i will go to a local jail or something before i end up at the prison I will actually serve my time at, does that sound right?

I know they strip search you when you go in, what is that like, and is it as bad as everyone says?

Are you allowed to wear any of your own clothes or is everything part of the uniform? Even underwear? If they give you underwear do you get a choice of boxers or briefs? If not what do they give you usually?

I know those may be kind of stupid but they are things I have been wondering about.

thanks to everyone for all the posts in the other threads. they have helped me a lot.

Jason

DavesLuv
08-09-2002, 10:33 PM
Jason,
Go to the federal bureau of prison official website. You should be able to get many of your questions answered there.
www.bop.gov or conduct a search under federal bureau of prison and you will see other helpful links.
Good luck and it is not going to be as bad as you think.

sherri13
08-10-2002, 11:25 AM
jason- i am going to alert fed-x (david0 to this post- know he will have some good infor for you--good luck!!

vnvdvc
08-10-2002, 12:10 PM
I just mailed off a book to another member called "Behind Bars, Surviving Prison"
I can't remember the names of the two ex-inmates who wrote it, but when it arrives to the other member she can probably post it for you? Or try to do a search at Border's or Barnes & Nobles using the title?
I think you will find a lot of good info in the book. It does concentrate on the federal institutions. Lots of descriptions and a slang dictionary in the back. Also some links & addresses of organizations aiding offenders and families.
Good luck to you, Jason.

David
08-10-2002, 12:49 PM
Jason,
It is something all of us think about that have been to prison for the first time. It's a good question. I guess I should be the one to answer it since I have recently been to federal prison.

The experience will vary depending on level you are classified as. If this is your first offense ever, you will probably go to a Camp with 4 years. You may go to a camp with priors also; it just depends on what they are. If you will list them, I can probably give you a round about idea of what level you are..
Before I go any further in what it will be like when you get there, you need to know AND REQUEST something when you go to sentencing! You need to request a Self-Surrender to the institution they designate you to. The Feds usually don't have a problem with you doing this if you are out on bond and are not facing a lot of time. If you don't ask for it, you will probably go to jail right after sentencing.. Get to go through all the transfer BS that takes a month or so before you get to the prison. (Tell your Attorney to Request it after the judge hands out however months you will get in prison)

If you don't request or receive a Self-Surrender from the Judge, you will be taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. You'll spend the day in the federal courthouse (most likely) and then be transferred to the federal detention center, or two a contract county dump-jail until you catch the "chain" (transfer) to Oklahoma City, where you will process into the federal system. It may take a few days to 2 weeks before you either catch a bus or Con-Air (yes, it's real) to Oklahoma City. Once in Oklahoma City you will be in transfer holding for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.. Then they will ship you out to whatever institution in the United States that they designate you to. They still try to keep you close to home but it doesn't always happen. (HAVE YOUR ATTORNEY REQUEST the closest institution to where you live, or where your family/friends are that you want to visit you. They don't have to listen to the Judge's recommendation, but they try to)

Self-Surrendering (walking in un-cuffed) is generally better than coming in chained to other cons. They process you into the prison faster because you usually are by yourself. When you come in with 40 other guys, you are going to be doing a lot of hold-over cell time before you go anywhere..

When you first get there they will take you into R&D (Receiving & Discharge). They will strip search you.. They do a pretty thorough job so don't try to slide anything by ON your body.. If you have a bunch of tattoos they will probably shoot digital pictures of you to put into your file.
Where I went (F.C.I. Beaumont Medium) they did not make me shower or put any de-lousing powder on. (I don't like the stuff but I'd rather all of us go through it so it doesn't run through the joint)
Next I met with a medical nurse who took my blood and gave me a 1/2 ass physical. Asked if I had any STD's, this, that, AIDS, HEP-C Etc. Etc.. I also got a "shot" for TB.
Since I got there on Memorial Day by mistake and there wasn't any other staff to process me in, I went to the hole to spend the night. The following day they pulled me out to meet with an Intake Case Manager who asked me all sorts of questions. Did I have any gang affiliations? Was I homosexual? Who will be visiting me first? (They will give you a temporary visitation form for immediate family - fill it out and turn it in right away)
Next, they put me in front of the camera and shot my picture for my Inmate ID card. They kick it out right there and you will need it to get mail (until the staff knows you), commissary, check out library books, and to use the vending machines (depending on what institution you are at), etc..
Next you will dress out in some temporary Kaki clothes, get a bed roll and other odds and ends such as soap, toothbrush, etc. (You cannot wear your own clothes) They will tell you your housing assignment and you will head out.
I don't know what type of housing situation you will be dealing with unless I know what type of institution you will be going to, and the area you are trying to go to. The higher security prisons are generally two man cells/rooms (Medium to High/USP prisons) where I believe most of the Low security prisons are dorm room style living areas. (Some older prisons may vary but the new No-Frill institutions are all about the same)
Depending on the time of day, you will need to go to the laundry for them to issue you all your uniforms, boxers, bedding and hygiene stuff. You will get one pair of steel toed work boots (Usually new if they have them), 3 button up kaki shirts, 3 kaki pairs of pants, 3 undershirts, 3 boxers, 3 pairs of sox, etc.. Everything will have your name and number on it. Get used to it.. You will be calling it out quite often. Also, forget your first name.. Everyone will know you by your last name.
Consider yourself lucky to be in the federal system. It is not exactly the “Club-Fed” that it once was thanks to news reporters doing all sorts of stories on inmates playing gold, etc. But, it still is much better than most all the state systems where you don’t have much coming at all.

Hope this helps,
David

KConnor56
08-12-2002, 07:35 PM
David,

Excelant post. I found it very informative. It's not all that much different from state, or at least calif state prisons, except for the distances they send you. There are some minor differences, but I went through pretty much what you described.------Ken

faeriegirl
08-12-2002, 11:02 PM
Thank you very much for that great info! I had a couple of extra questions as well:
Are there any variances with a female prison camp? What should I expect when I first arrive at one? Do you have to wait certain lengths of time before seeing visitors? How long does it usually take to be assigned a job?

tifa_execdir
08-13-2002, 03:59 PM
Did y'all see the recent article in NY Times on the myth of "Club Fed"? I'll paste the text below, and Fed-X, please nuke it if you feel that it would be trouble to keep it posted here (copyrights and all). [By the way, my understanding is that if an article is used for educational purposes by a nonprofit entity for no financial gain, it's okay to share online.]

******************
White-collar criminals will learn truth of 'Club Fed'
Federal camps don't have swimming and wienie roasts
By Russ Mitchell

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Sunday, August 11, 2002
http://www.austin360.com/auto_docs/epaper/editions/sunday/news_3.html

Assume you are a major corporate executive accused of a securities
fraud that has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in investor
losses. Maybe you'll be acquitted. But what if you're convicted? How
long will your sentence last? Where will you serve the time? And will
there be tennis?

A nation of stockholders is calling for white-collar blood. Congress
has enacted legislation calling for doubled maximum sentences.
President Bush is threatening "hard time."

Last week, Sam Waksal, former ImClone Systems chief executive, was
indicted on multiple charges including bank fraud, which alone could
carry a 30-year sentence. On the day WorldCom Inc.'s former Chief
Financial Officer, Scott Sullivan, was arrested, Attorney General John
Ashcroft talked about sending him away for 65 years.

Hyperbole? Yes. But so is the widespread notion that major-league
white-collar convicts don't face heavy prison time, according to
interviews with felons, lawyers and Justice Department officials.

On the contrary, nonviolent criminals convicted of financial felonies
can face years or even decades in prison, especially since November
2001, when the U.S. Sentencing Commission drastically increased
sentences for white-collar crime, with special emphasis on frauds
involving many millions of dollars.

Under old sentencing guidelines, a first-time, nonviolent offender who
committed a fraud that caused 50 or more people to lose $100 million or
more faced a prison sentence of five to 6 1/2 years in a federal
institution. Now, under the formula used by the sentencing commission
in the 2001 guidelines, the same individual faces a minimum of 19 1/2
years and a maximum of 24 1/2 years.

Michael Milken, the financier sentenced to 10 years for securities
fraud in 1990, for example, could easily have received at least double
that term under the 2001 guidelines. (His sentence was later reduced,
and he served 22 months. Since then, federal parole has been abolished,
and the best an inmate can hope for is a 15 percent reduction for good
behavior.)

Ten years is a critical threshold; convicts sentenced to more than 10
years are placed in a prison behind fences and razor wire. Less than
10, and you've got a good chance of residing at a prison camp, often
fenceless, for inmates with low risk for escape or violence.

Say you've negotiated a deal with the prosecution, pleaded guilty to a
lesser charge and been sentenced to five years in prison. The Bureau of
Prisons has reviewed your nonviolent history, and you've qualified for
camp. The bureau will try to locate you within 500 miles of your
family, but it makes no promises.

You can request a particular camp, and sometimes you'll succeed,
particularly if you have a good lawyer. You might want to be near your
ailing mother or be placed in a camp that serves special diets. You
might be elderly or have special medical needs.

A. Alfred Taubman, 78, the former Sotheby's chairman who began serving
his one-year sentence less than two weeks ago for conspiring to fix
prices, was placed at a prison medical center in Rochester, Minn.,
because of his age.

You'll also want court permission to self-surrender, which means having
family or friends drive you to the prison and leave you at the gate.
Otherwise, you'll ride what convicted felons call the Super Shuttle
from hell: dressed in a jumpsuit, shackled, loaded on a van with up to
15 other prisoners, making stops at several prisons on a trip that
could take hours or even days.

Broken illusions

Former convicts say many illusions are broken the first day. "They
expect either `The Shawshank Redemption' or the myth of `Club Fed,' "
said David Novak, who spent nine months at the prison camp in Eglin,
Fla., in 1997 for purposely crashing his aircraft and filing a false
insurance claim. ("I was an idiot," Novak said. "My value system was
skewed.")

The term "camp" conjures images of horseback riding, swimming and
wienie roasts. Novak said some Wall Street executives showed up
thinking they could wear their own clothes, go home on weekends, play
golf and bring their laptops -- all wrong.

Almost no personal property is allowed, not even contact lenses.
Inmates are allowed only one religious text, one pair of eyeglasses,
dentures and dental bridge, one solid wedding ring with no stones, $20
in change for vending machines, and cash or money orders for an inmate
account.

An inmate can put unlimited funds in the account but is allowed to
spend only $175 a month. Inmates can buy from a small selection of
shoes, toiletries and snacks in the commissary, but most money is
consumed on telephone calls, which are monitored. All prisoners are
required to work in jobs that pay 11 cents an hour -- tax free.

Living conditions are tight. At most camps, bunk beds are crammed into
small cubicles that hold two to six inmates. Think of the office
cubicles occupied by the minions at your company, and imagine sharing
one as living quarters with another person you might or might not like
for the next several years.

As a newcomer, you get the top bunk. That's no privilege: Your bunkmate
is unlikely to let you hang your legs over the side. Savvy inmates try
to avoid a cubicle "on the waterfront," across from the bathrooms,
where the flushing can be heard all night.

Those serving time for white-collar crimes number only about 1,000 of
the federal system's 160,000 inmates. So you'll likely find yourself
surrounded by drug dealers, robbers and check kiters.

Risks of violence

If prison camps aren't "Club Fed," neither are they arenas for
violence. Newcomers often are terrified by the possibility of forced
sex, but former inmates and prison officials agree that sexual assault
in federal prisons is rare, even at the highest security levels, and
practically unheard of in prison camps. Former inmates say that,
although officially forbidden, consensual sex is common.

Because incidents of violence are likely to land camp residents in
tougher prisons, the level of violence is low at most camps, though
fights do break out. A lawyer who served a year on insider trading
charges, who asked not to be identified, said his camp's inmates
included overflows from Wisconsin's state prison system.

"We had a fair amount of gang problems with the Wisconsin people," he
said. "They hit this one guy over the head with a baseball bat in the
kitchen. They beat him up really bad."

Barry Minkow, who served 7 1/2 years after using his ZZZZ Best carpet
cleaning company to defraud investors, predicted that some inmates
would try to "shake down" any big-name Wall Streeter who ends up in
prison, for money or favors.

"They'll tell them: `You shook down investors; I'm going to shake you
down. You better pay me to protect you,' " he said. "It's repulsive,
but it'll happen." Minkow's advice: Just say no. Usually, he said, that
works.

For any inmate, there is always the chance of ending up in "the hole,"
or solitary confinement. In some camps it's not so solitary. A former
inmate at the Oxford, Wis., prison camp said its "hole" was hot and
packed with prisoners in two-person cells, with bright lights on 24
hours a day.

A doctor sentenced to prison camp for Medicare fraud, who asked not to
be identified, said exile to the hole often seemed arbitrary. "I was in
with a well-known, prominent real estate executive whose wife was
having a baby," he recalled. "He told the minister he was beside
himself with the need to be with her for the delivery. He was turned in
as a flight risk and sent to the hole."

The risks of violence rise if you are transported to another prison or
sent to testify at a trial. You'll be put in leg shackles and handcuffs
and placed in a bus or a van with inmates who could come from any
federal prison, including the highest-security ones.

Webster Hubbell, the former Clinton administration associate attorney
general who served an 18-month sentence, mostly at a camp in
Cumberland, Md., for crimes related to the Whitewater scandal, said he
flew "Con Air" to testify at trials in Arkansas.

Hubbell said his fellow passengers, chained and shackled, flew five
abreast to Oklahoma City. Before boarding another plane, he'd spend the
night with a general prison population. "All of a sudden, you're with
500 people you don't know; some of them are serious offenders," he
said. "You don't know what their hot buttons are."

The most common advice for staying out of trouble: Mind your own
business and avoid confrontation. Novak has assembled a list of basic
rules of prison etiquette that he's published in a 200-page manual
called "Downtime: A Guide to Federal Incarceration," for which he
charges $39.95. The list includes: Don't rat. Don't cut in line. Don't
ask. Don't touch. Pay your debts. Flush often. Don't whine.

According to Novak, many white-collar inmates tend to be whiners,
complaining about offensive language, the closeness of quarters and the
staff's educational level. "The other inmates have kids at home, wives
who might be cheating on them, pending divorces, bankruptcy
proceedings," he said. "Everyone has their own troubles, so shush up."

Self-improvement

The most productive way to serve your time, former inmates say, is
self-improvement. Several camps at former military bases do have tennis
courts, now called multiuse surfaces, that accommodate volleyball and
basketball. Many inmates end up in better physical shape than their
office careers ever allowed.

Education in the federal prison system is widely considered a joke by
inmates, but most camps have a library and there is plenty of time for
reading and writing. Inmates can receive books by mail, although
storage space is limited. They can subscribe to magazines, except those
deemed pornographic.

Hubbell advises anyone serving time to consider it a sabbatical. "Or
look on it as a monastery, though without the Gregorian chants," he
said.

Minkow credits his term for helping to turn his life around. "In my
case, the system worked," he said. He is now a preacher at San Diego's
Community Bible Church and a spokesman for the Fraud Discovery
Institute.

Minkow's hard-won advice: "Don't fail jail. Don't leave the same way
you came in."

tifa_execdir
09-05-2002, 11:29 AM
Dear all: I just found the following website, which offers a lot of great information on the federal system, particularly for those who are about to be incarcerated and their loved ones.

http://www.davrie.com/Q&A.htm

This site also offers a manual for sale:

<<quote>>
DownTime - A Guide to Federal Incarceration ($39.95)
This 200 page spiral bound handbook is the single most comprehensive look at inmate life within the federal Bureau of Prisons ever written. Completely updated in March of 2001 the third edition of this popular handbook continues to be our most popular product. This well researched book provides readers with a roadmap through the bureaucracy we call the federal Bureau of Prisons. Readers are taken through the criminal justice system from an individual's indictment through their release from prison. A must have for any legal professional, defendant or family exposed to the federal incarceration process.
<<end quote>>

sherri13
09-05-2002, 11:31 AM
thanks tif- great resources!

sage_girl30
12-11-2002, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by vnvdvc
I just mailed off a book to another member called "Behind Bars, Surviving Prison"
I can't remember the names of the two ex-inmates who wrote it, but when it arrives to the other member she can probably post it for you? Or try to do a search at Border's or Barnes & Nobles using the title?
I think you will find a lot of good info in the book. It does concentrate on the federal institutions. Lots of descriptions and a slang dictionary in the back. Also some links & addresses of organizations aiding offenders and families.
Good luck to you, Jason.

HI VNVDVC,
CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET THAT BOOK. I'D LIKE TO KNOW A BIT MORE ON PRISONS AND WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE. ALSO, DO YOU HAPPEN TO KNOW IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FEDERAL PRISON AND A MILITARY PRISON? IF SO WHAT ARE THE MILITARY PRISONS CALLED. I CAN'T FIND THEM ONLINE TO GET INFO I WANT ABOUT FORT LEWIS CORRECTIONAL FACILITITY.

GAIL :p

emme
12-11-2002, 09:03 AM
sage~i have ordered that book online at barnes & noble...

http://www.bn.com

order two books and shipping is free :)

smokeout1
04-14-2003, 05:53 PM
dude sorry to say but asking questions like that you better just keep quite for a while when you get there get the feel of your surrondings it took me about 4 months to get the feel of things and yes it sucks but youll get used of it goodluck

rolove
07-24-2003, 02:42 PM
Check out ! the website: michaelsantos.net. He has a book called What if I go to prison! I have not read it yet. However, I have been reading his writings for about a year and he is a powerful guy.

pkduc
08-26-2003, 06:39 PM
From my experience in Federal prison, the biggest obstacle I faced was boredom. I was at Pekin (female camp) in IL. There was absolutely nothing to do. There were no programs except for drug offenders and the library contained nothing but outdated law books and old paperback romance novels. The boredom was mind numbing.

oldtimer
09-16-2003, 12:11 AM
Federal Prison isn't as bad as most state prisons. You have to be very aware of rules and show respect to everyone around you. Other than that, it's just a lot of guards asking you to lift your nuts and turn your head and cough. Time passes, and you realize that everyone is human around you and you start to feel the sprituality of ordinary people struggling with the same situation. Feel good about yourself as you are doing the punishment, you are becoming cleansed of the crime and sin. All you can do is show love to yourself and others and try and make every day as positive as it can be. Don't let prison break you, grow from it and do your time with dignity. God watches over us all, even those of us behind bars.

spydyr550
10-02-2003, 11:29 PM
Jason,

I am facing incarceration very soon as well. I am designated to go to FPC Terre Haute probably for a year. Reading your posting and the following replies have helped answer pretty much the same questions I had. Its pretty rough going through this time of anxiety, but thanks for your posting.

David
10-02-2003, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by pkduc
From my experience in Federal prison, the biggest obstacle I faced was boredom. I was at Pekin (female camp) in IL. There was absolutely nothing to do. There were no programs except for drug offenders and the library contained nothing but outdated law books and old paperback romance novels. The boredom was mind numbing.

Boredom is one of the biggest obstacles of any prisoner, but it can be overcome, no matter how many things there are to do.. I guess you figure that out quickly when they take it all away from you and the only way is up..
Reading is the single best thing I found in getting past this..
I would hate to not be able to read and be in prison. To me, that would have been a nightmare..

Firstaff
10-08-2003, 11:51 PM
Does anyone know when are visiting days and hours? Im going to selfsourender at FCI Besumont Low to serve four months.

JECOTTINGHAM
10-20-2003, 01:21 PM
YES IS THERE ANYONE HERE THAT CAN TELL ME ALITTLE BIT ABOUT FORREST CITY IM SOON TO BE TURNING MYSELF IN NEXT WEEK. THANKS FCI FORREST CITY ARKANSAS

payroll2002
10-23-2003, 02:40 PM
I am going to a Womens Federal Prison/camp (unknown yet where) and I have a few question. I signed a 2 year agreement this month. So they said that I should go in after the holidays. It should be a low security since they said that my score is only "17", whatever that means.
1. How intense is there strip search? I heard that they give a pap smear.
2. What if you wear contacts because glasses give me headaches, what can I do? Will a doctors note work, since I get bad migraines with glasses?
3. After I get out will I have problems finding employment? I heard that they mostly do State background check than Federal background, is that true?
4. Is there computers for internet use?

If anyone can help, I would appreciate it.
Thanks
Payroll2002

David
10-23-2003, 04:57 PM
Payroll2002,

There is a lot of information already available in this forum. Try using the search box inside the Road To Prison forum to pull it up or browse the thread titles.

Here are some answers for your numbered questions.

1. Strip searches vary depending on security level. If you are at a camp, you will probably rarely be searched like this. As for Pap smears, I don't know.. Never during a strip search though. ;)

2. They will try to take the contacts. If you get a doctors note there may be a chance but they don't usually allow contacts.

3. Employment - That depends on your field.. You are correct in assuming that they mainly do state checks.. Federal background checks are much more expensive and are rarely done unless there is security screening involved.

4. NO computers hooked to the internet what-so-ever, unfortunately.. The BOP is afraid of computers.. You will be lucky to get access to them at all.. Some institutions have small computer classes but not all of them.. They are definitely on a physically isolated network with no outside connections.

Hope this helps.

Fed-X

offpaper
10-26-2003, 02:41 PM
When I went 'camping' there was a group of white collar types that looked out for new white collar guys coming in. There were a few in each dorm and one guy would mentor the newcomer. This made things alot easier. I spent 7 months in a filthy, dangerous, county jail, then on the chain in Atlanta (the Russians gave me food and books and asked for nothing in return), El Reno (they don't use that anymore), and Petersburg (very much a scumhole for a Fed facility), and finally to Seymour Johnson FPC. The mentor that helped me out is a friend to this day.

The noise will be bad. Try wet toilet paper for use as earplugs. If the commissary sells radios, buy one and use it to block the noise.

At my FPC, the whites and blacks ate in separate areas of the chow hall. Don't be hero and sit on the wrong side.

Try to get into a routine as soon as possible. It helped me make the time go faster.

I was only in for four and a half years, I don't know how the oldtimers stood it as I about lost it towards the end.

On My Way
12-10-2003, 02:20 PM
payroll2002
About the pap smear, they usually ask you when your last one was and if it has been within a year they dont do one, but if you tell them it has been longer than a year odds are you will get one.
With a point level of only 17 you should be going to a minimum security camp, my point level is 32 and I will be turning myself in on Dec. 29th to a low security facility in Dublin, CA
If you get a chance, request to go to Phoenix, AZ or Bryan, TX
I've got friends in both and they say they are some of the nicest prisons they have been in.

Bamabelle
12-29-2003, 06:56 PM
Dear Jason,
Even though I was in a Federal FCI for women, I'm sure much of my experience was the same as what you'll be experiencing. In fact, I think the "men" had/have it better in many ways than the women because women won't stand up for themselves. If you are a first-time offender, with no prior criminal history you should have the option of self-surrendering. Have you had your sentencing hearing yet? If so, hopefully your attorney asked for a self-surrender. In your pre-sentencing report that the probation office did and you should have gotten a copy of; a notation would have been made somewhere of a recommendation of whether you could self-surrender or not. That definitely is the best thing to do. It is hard to do but believe me, the U.S. Marshals will take you to a jail somewhere, leave you and you'll take "con-air" to wherever you'll land. Your family will not know where you are for a while and it will drive them crazy. You CAN request a particular facility but ultimately where you go depends on BOP's headcount for facilities and the needs for "bodies". But, you should try to do this to stay close to home so you can be close to family and friends. When you go, take a list of family with addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers and also same information for friends to put on your potential visitor's list. These will be given to your case manager AS SOON AS YOU CAN so they can "investigate" them and enter them into the system hopefully as quickly as possible so you can get them on your approved visitor list. If you can self-surrender, wear gray sweats, white underwear, white socks and white tennis shoes. If you are married, I think you can keep your wedding ring. I also think you can keep your watch (if it's not too fancy) but these things all depend on individual facilitie's policy. I say wear the sweats and things because these are "standard" things sold on commissary and if you can keep them, it will keep you from purchasing them and you'll have things to wear other than "standard issue" prison garb right away. Your family can mail in paperback books (limited to 4 or 5 per box) but no postage stamps or much of anything else. They can mail postal money orders with your federal id number on it which will be credited to your "account". This money can be used to purchase things you need at the commissary. I hope this information will help you. Just try to learn as much as you can and prepare yourself to be strong. BE STRONG. I got through it and you can too.

odelljrg
01-17-2004, 03:01 PM
you can also get a booklet from Prison Fellowship Ministries International (contact your local office) which tells you everything you need to know about going into prison. they are very helpful

motoman
01-19-2004, 02:49 PM
Thanks for all the info, I just got busted and I'm at a level 38. They said they'll work with me on downward departures if I work with them, so thats what I'm doin. It sucks to know that I'll be doin some serious time soon but I thank God for the info on PTO. I'm out free right now and I don't know how long I'll be out but they said for probably another year or so. All I can say is that the Lord has been blessing me and that the more I follow his will, the more confident I am about the whole situation. I believe the good Lord will make everything "all-good" and I'll post the procedures and outcomes and they happen. Stay stong and trust in God, you will be blessed.

odelljrg
01-20-2004, 05:28 PM
I hope everything works out for you...contact me anytime

Zero
04-21-2004, 08:58 PM
I've been researchin...I fixin to go campin...fed...I want to know...about showers,do they got benches,chairs,tub or what?? I got a wooden leg,bad back(just dont want someone to hold me up) you know? I would be vulnerable in that position...

Lighthouse
04-25-2004, 02:54 PM
My son surrendered at a federal prison last Tuesday. We haven't heard anything at all from him yet, which is a little tough. Does anyone know if there is a waiting period before he will be able to make calls or send letters? We're pretty much waiting for the phone to ring, and each day that it doesn't, we worry.

Also, I read the post below from the person who wrote that what helped him through was books. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to send paperback books right away? Is there a waiting period before a person can receive books? From what I have read on this message board, paperback books are the only thing we can send him, is that correct? Are any type of soft cover books allowed, or do they have to be paperback sized? By this I mean are larger soft cover books allowed?

I would like to ask one more question. I read on this message board somewhere that the prison would need to be provided with our social security numbers in order for us to have a background check so we can visit. We didn't give our son our social security numbers because none of us were aware that he needed them, and I know he won't know our social security numbers. I guess I will need to write a letter and include them.

I can not find the words to express how grateful I am to have found this board last night. We have felt so stressed and worried with not having any idea at all what is happening. Finding this board and reading the messages on it has brought us a lot of comfort, and I hope that whoever is responsible for it sees this and knows how much it is appreciated and how much it means to have this source of information and so many people willing to assist.

Thank you.

cjjack
04-25-2004, 03:15 PM
Lighthouse, I am so glad that you found us!
I spent 4 years in different prison camps and will try to answer some of your questions.
It was my understanding that you can send 5 paperback books at a time. It didn't matter the size as long as they were paperback. Someone elso posted something different today as far as FCI's letting paperback books sent in. I would call the insitution where he is and make sure.
He should be able to call soon. He has to fill out a phone list and have the numbers approved and receive his PIN number.
If you are in your sons PSI then you should be approved automatically for visitation as you are a family member.

You will find PTO to be a great place of information and support. We are here for you!!
You may want to visit the federal forum as many people have posted some great information as to what it is like inside the federal prisons.

Welcome!!

Lighthouse
04-25-2004, 04:31 PM
CJJACK,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it.

It is an excellent idea that you shared with me, to call and see what the policy is in on sending books. I will do that.

I also just went to the federal prison forum and did a search on Devens FMC, and there is some very excellent information there. Someone has taken the time to post everything they could think of about that facility, and it has helped me a great deal to read it and be able to know what the routine there is.

I am amazed at the amount of information that is available here and how many topics are covered. It is really a wonderful resource.

Again, thank you very much.

Suzette
05-05-2004, 05:16 PM
Do you know anything about the Federal Detention Center in Houston? My daughter is headed there, and at this point it doesn't sound like it is as 'laid back' as Carswell, where we had hoped she would go. Any information would be appreciated. All new to us. Suzette:confused:
Lighthouse, I am so glad that you found us!
I spent 4 years in different prison camps and will try to answer some of your questions.
It was my understanding that you can send 5 paperback books at a time. It didn't matter the size as long as they were paperback. Someone elso posted something different today as far as FCI's letting paperback books sent in. I would call the insitution where he is and make sure.
He should be able to call soon. He has to fill out a phone list and have the numbers approved and receive his PIN number.
If you are in your sons PSI then you should be approved automatically for visitation as you are a family member.

You will find PTO to be a great place of information and support. We are here for you!!
You may want to visit the federal forum as many people have posted some great information as to what it is like inside the federal prisons.

Welcome!!

wileycoyote
05-18-2004, 03:06 PM
I'm brand new on this site but I've spent a total of 20 years in state (AZ) and federal prisons. Never made it to a camp but know a little about them. Know lots about FCI's and USP's. Name's wileycoyote. I'm 56 years old, been out of federal prison for 5 months now. Vietnam veteran, recovering dope fiend. Four years clean and sober.
You can't send ANYTHING to federal prisoners anymore, other than money orders. All books must come from a publisher or a bookstore. No use magazines or paperbacks are allowed anymore. Starting in June ALL money orders must be sent to a single address in Iowa, not to the inmate. Nothing can be included with the money order. No letter, no card, nothing. The feds claim that the money will be posted to the inmates account immediately upon receipt. Of course their object is to keep all inmates monies in one account in order to draw higher interest, which, of course, the feds keep. Also, by sitting on a money order for a day or two or a week or two they gain even more. So, in my opinion it's just one more scam by the feds to profit from us.
There are no more weights in prison. In some prisons (federal) they even have rules against doing upper body exercise, like push-ups, pull-ups, etc.
Law libraries suck. They don't allow people to work in the law library who are willing or able to help other prisoners with legal work. It is an "unwritten policy". There are many of those.
Any doctors orders or prescriptions you have before going in become moot upon arrival. You will be examined by a prison doctor who doubts everything you tell him. He, or she, will decide what you will and will not receive there. They don't like expensive medicines, so if you are on any expect them to be changed when you get there.
There are no programs for re-habilitation. Where I was they offered classes on VCR repair, deep sea fishing, parenting, anger management, etc. There are no personal tv's. They have tv rooms. You get to sit in a room with anywhere from 5 to 75 others and watch one tv. Oh, they watch fun stuff, too. Jerry Springer. Friends. American Idol. Forget about watching anything that might educate you a little though. Homies don't play that.
Life can get very depressing at times in there. I just did 11 years flat for robbing a bank with a note. No weapon. What helped me to get through the roughest times, I think, was that whenever I'd start feeling sorry for myself I'd think about the Jews in those Nazi camps. They didn't even commit crimes to be there and they would have considered our prisons paradise. You can think about how much better things could be and feel bad or you can think about how much worse things could be and feel a little better.
I'll be around this site for a while adding my 2 cents from tiime to time.

cjjack
05-18-2004, 03:40 PM
Welcome to PTO, Wiley. Glad that you are finally out and with us here and we all look forward to any information and insight you care to share with us!

greyghost
05-19-2004, 07:53 AM
Just a couple of notes:

(1) Money Orders: Not all federal institutions are under this new 'program' where money orders must be sent to one location for processing. It is a pilot program where only a select few institutions are doing it now. In time, all federal prisons will require it, but not for the near future. So, I would recommend that you contact the prison where your loved one is housed to verify the procedures. If you are one of the institutions that require you to send to the central processing place (Iowa) then it is just as WC wrote, only send in the money order, nothing else. No cards, no letters, etc... The reason - they will not forward anything to the inmate. This systems is for processing the money orders only.

(2) Books and Magazines: Inmates that are housed in a camp or a low security institution, - according to current policy -, are allowed to receive, up to 5, paperback books and/or magazines sent in from anyone, anyplace. For those inmates in FCI's on up, No magazines nor paperback books can be sent in.

(3) as for the rest of what WC wrote, I cannot dispute. He lived it so, I have no doubt thats how it was. I do know that some prisons still have weights, etc. Under the Zimmer amendment the BOP is not allowed to provide, replace, nor fund weight lifting equipment. For those older institutions that still had weights, the BOP did not have to remove the weights, (although some may have), they just couldn't replace them. As for programs, some institutions have good ones, some dont. You have to make the best of what's available, and then work to improve yourself where possible. As for the TV's, that's always a problem, always will be.

Just for the record - on the weight lifting equipment - that was not what the BOP wanted. That is what congress wanted. The BOP liked the idea that inmates had the opportunity to excerise, work out, release their stress and frustrations out lifting weights. Congress just thought that the BOP, by allowing weight lifting, was doing nothing more than helpding to churn out bigger and stronger predators out on the street -

For what it's worth-

Greyghost

wileycoyote
05-19-2004, 12:26 PM
greyghost,
I thought the money order thing was nationwide. Sorry for incomplete info. You can be sure it WILL be nation wide before long. As for the weights, you are correct. They don't have to remove the old ones unless they become damaged or broken and they will not be replaced. The problem lies with the fact that there really are very few of the older prisons that still do have weights and every time a new warden or new captain comes on the yard the first thing they usually say is "If there is even one fight on the weightpile, those weights are out of here." Eventually there will be a fight. Even if no weights are used in the fight, if it happens within shouting distance of the weightpile they are gone. I've seen this happen at least 3 times.

greyghost
05-19-2004, 12:45 PM
Wiley-

I agree with you on all points.

Don't you love new wardens/captains?

ferfersmom
05-22-2004, 07:14 PM
I have a few questions about money and books/mags. First, is there a cap on the amount of money you can send to an inmate per month? And when you say books and mags can be sent to low security FCI's can these be used books that I pick up at say a garage sale or do they have to be new. Also there are a few mag subscriptions I told my son I would order for him to be sent, is that ok? All his family and friends are too far away to visit, so I figure the more stuff I can send to keep him busy the less likely he is to get horribly depressed. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!

wileycoyote
05-22-2004, 10:51 PM
ferfersmom
Books can only be sent by the publisher or from a bookstore, new. They want a receipt in the package that can be traced back to whoever sent them in case they find any drugs. I know, I know, but what can you do. You can't send ANYTHING other than money orders. Here is something VERY IMPORTANT to keep in mind, though. If he owes any kind of fine they will be making him pay $25.00 every three months towards the fine. If he starts getting lots of money in the mail they will start taking more that the 25 minimum. Oh, yeah, they can do anything they want. It's their world. You'd be much better off only sending him a money order every month and not a big one. No matter what anybody says you don't really need a lot of money in prison. Having extra money leads to temptation. There are lots of drugs in there. If he doesn't owe any fine they can't take any of his money but the more he has in his account the more interest the feds get to make off it. This is advice coming from a 20 year veteran of our fine prison systems. Also, no kind of nudity magazines. They won't accept them. Subscriptions to decent magazines are good though. One of my favorite was National Geographic. Also Discover, Popular Science and maybe Newsweek or Time. Those are my personal favorites. I'm a 56 year old relic, though.
Anyway, good luck. Be prepared for a lot of frustrating days with the feds.

ferfersmom
05-23-2004, 12:26 AM
Thank you Wiley, This is all so new for us .I am so glad I found this web site. I have learned more in the last few days than I ever would have looking on the BOP sites. They don't give you much of anything. Car mags are his favorite, but he will read anything.There are so many rules and regulations,as I know there have to be but for us 1st timers it is scary and frustrating. I just hope I don't try the patience of you good people who have been so helpful, because I know I am going to have many more questions in the coming weeks. Thanks Again!!

wileycoyote
05-23-2004, 02:50 PM
ferfersmom
You will need to get used to the idea that the BOP is not trying to re-habilitate anyone and they truly have no desire to see people stay out of prison. Keeping us in or bringing us back is all part of their job security. They manage to come up with at least one "new rule" just about every month and it is never beneficial to the prisoner. It sometimes seems that they are trying hard to create more stress every day. Every time you just get adjusted to some new stupid rule, such as cutting the amount of photos you can have in you possession by half, then they hit you with a new one. It feels like they are tightening screws on you little by little. They give a screw one tiny turn and wait to see if anything breaks. If nothing does, then they tighten another screw just a tad. And wait. Nothing? One more little turn. Until finally one of those tiny turns snaps and the whole place explodes. I've seen it happen in several prisons and each time, in the aftermath, the prisoners get all the blame and the guards get more money. As we get closer to the holidays watch and see if you don't start hearing of more and more "lock-downs" at the prison. You see, during lockdowns guards get double time pay and of course they need lots of money to buy xmas gifts.
Oh, yeah, it's truly an experience. But, try to always keep in mind:

RatDawg
05-25-2004, 01:40 PM
Most excellent thread. Very informative. I would like to thank each and every one that has posted to this thread as I am on self surrender the first of next month to Lexington, KY in what I hope to be a min security arena.

I had much rather be busy while inside and wondered what if work is possible. Realizing that kitchen and laundry duty are somewhat of a default, I was wondering if an inmate can put some time into some type educational support program for fellows, working in a library or some type of clerical work.

Would having a valid Drivers liscense be of any advantage?

You guys and girls have been absolutely wonderful with keeping this thread active and most informative. Thank you so very much.

May God bless each and every one.

Zero
05-26-2004, 01:32 PM
Well...I got my sentencing date...June 10,2004.So far I'm level20, catagory I, no history pnts...can someone PLEASE answer my previous post...I got a couple weeks left before my freedom is taken by the Government ...sad:( .

wileycoyote
05-26-2004, 11:43 PM
Sounds to me like you are heading for a minimum security camp. It's not like summer camp, but it's a whole lot better than an FCI or a USP. Every unit is required to have a special handicap shower, also toilets, and drinking fountain. You'll be okay. If you don't need special help outside there is no reason you will inside. If you do need special medical help, though, that could cause you to be sent to an FMC (federal medical center) which is basically more of an FCI but full of sick people, physically and mentally. I'd try to avoid that. You can go to camp and start demanding all kinds of stuff because of your disability but if you push them they will send you to an FMC. Some camps are better than others, of course. Nellis Nevada is on a air force base. You eat in the military chow hall, shop in the base PX. Food is excellents. Eglin air force base is another. There are camps all over the place. You can get driving jobs so try to keep a valid license. That's all I can think of right now. If you have any specific questions I check this site at least once a day. I never been in a camp myself but have been in FCI and USP and know a little about camps from friends that were there. Good luck.

David
05-28-2004, 12:25 AM
Do you know anything about the Federal Detention Center in Houston? My daughter is headed there, and at this point it doesn't sound like it is as 'laid back' as Carswell, where we had hoped she would go. Any information would be appreciated. All new to us. Suzette:confused:
Suzette,
I was one of the first prisoners to enter the FDC in Houston. A detention center is never going to be as nice or as laid back as a camp or even a FCI.. Movement is very limited and if you are doing camper time there, you are going to do it all inside. There is no outside rec. facilities unless you consider a few basketball courts and plate steer with heavy duty mesh about 15 feet up outside.

Do a search here at PTO for "FDC Houston" and there should be some more info.. Or if you have specific quesitons, let me know.

Sounds like she only has a short period of time and they need people for the work cadre' there?

Zero
06-09-2004, 02:25 PM
Well everyone,tomorrow I have my sentencing. I can not stress enough how invaluable your continued support,information,and especially your friendship means to me. Fed-X...you were the very first person I spoke to when I signed up here at P.T.O.,you hold a very special place in my heart. Thank you and thank GOD for the insite you have for helping and cre-ating this support program.

Zero
06-10-2004, 08:40 PM
WOW! Thanks for all your prayers.There IS power in prayer folks.Today I had my sentencing...started at level 20,adjusted to 14...downward departure took it down to 12!!! FED Judge split a 10 month sentence to 5mo. inside,150 days bracelet,home detention...2yrs unsupervised probation....I got self surrender,report 8/11/04.I can't wipe the smile off my face(I think I'll sleep with It tonight). My public PRETENDER really came through....WOW!!!!

cjjack
06-10-2004, 08:41 PM
Congrats, Zero! Sounds like a pretty good outcome!!

Not all PD's are bad!!

:)

David
06-13-2004, 11:19 AM
Yes, definitely congrats and glad we could help. :)

jpstrick
06-14-2004, 08:53 AM
Congratulations, Zero. I'm glad things worked out so well for you.

bigbear1_2004
06-20-2004, 06:15 PM
I too am awaiting sentencing on sept 10. Can anyone tell me what my chances of getting a self surrender and a camp would be.My level will start at 26 and drop to a 19 or 20. My criminal history could be 6 points not for sure yet.Any help will be apperciated.. By the way "HEY" to every one .I am new to this site

wileycoyote
06-21-2004, 01:33 AM
A lot of it depends on what your crime was. If it had to do with guns or any type of violence (even bank robbery with a note, no gun is considered violent) then you can forget about the self surrender or camp. If it's non-violent and you have no history of violence or guns chances are pretty good. It all really comes down to the judge though. Some judges are completely heartless and won't cut you any slack. Some will. If you have any "failure to appear" history, whether traffic tickets or court of any kind then you may have a problem. I think you have your level confused with your category. The categories are 1 through 6 with 6 being career criminal. One is lowest. If you only have 19 or 20 points (this is your level) and are a category 1 self surrender is probable. Like I said though, the judge makes the decision. Give a good speech, accept responsibility, don't try to blame someone else and express remorse and tell the judge you intend to use the time to learn from your mistakes and become a productive member of society once more. Good luck to you.

Zero
06-28-2004, 04:04 PM
I spoke to my probation officer today, he says, I must report to the federal transfer center in OKC,8/11/04 no later than 12:00 (noon).Is that the norm?? I was hopeing for El Reno(camp)...Isn't FTC-OKC an administrative level????Or are they just going to go through the receiveing process then later be moved???I'm looking at 5mo.In...out of 10mo. sentence after all...Maybe,they are going to hold me there until a bed is available at El Reno???I don't know.

Zero
07-01-2004, 10:16 PM
They put my co-defendant at ElReno,OK...will I be moved out of state? I only have 5mo.in. State? County? It is FEDERAL.

wileycoyote
07-01-2004, 10:33 PM
FTC-OKC is a transfer center. It is possible (not likely) that you could be kept there for your entire sentence as work cadre. More likely though, they will just put you through the booking process and move you out to El Reno Camp. Best advice I can give you at this point is don't talk too much about the length of your sentence. You may run in to a lot of guys who are doing decades or maybe even life and they tend to get a little bit resentful listening to guys with short sentences complain. The sentence you have is what we refer to a "wino time". That's like a sentence a drunk would get in a county jail for drunk and disorderly or something. I don't mean to belittle you. I know that heading to jail or prison for any length of time is impossible to take lightly. I'm only telling you how to avoid potential problems with others. Believe me, though, while you are in you will meet many people who have sentences that are almost beyond belief and before long you will start to consider yourself very fortunate. Hang in there. You can do it. Just do the time. Don't let the time do you.

Dcanizares
08-08-2004, 03:54 PM
I have a question Jason, You said don't try to slide anything by in the strip search ON your body but how else would you? Not that I am going to do that but I was just wondering it was funny how you put it?

Zero
08-10-2004, 11:07 AM
Well, I've spent time with family members,had my grandkids for a week,took my grandson fishing,rode my motorcycle,love my wife...tomorrow I'll turn myself in and start my federal camp trip.But,it'll be short and soon I'll be back here with all of my PTO family...thank you all for the info.& support that I have received...Peace be with you....see ya in '05.

kintml2u
08-10-2004, 05:39 PM
Zero

Your in our thoughts! And you'll be back before we all know it! Hold on...never know when a turn is coming! :p Keep yourself focused and stay positive!

Diane

Purplepeacock
08-24-2004, 01:34 PM
I am in the same boat as you. i will be sentanced in Nov. and will go to a camp type prison in jan. minimum security for women for 30 months. Maybe get out after 2 yrs. I just told myhusband last night and still have to tell my children (age 24 and 31) I am shaking all the time and scared. Anyone know what the camps are like?Hello

I am probably going to be going to federal prison soon. My sentencing is in about a month and i am expecting to get 4 years.

what is it like when you first get there? what will happen after my sentencing? where will they take me from court? I think i will go to a local jail or something before i end up at the prison I will actually serve my time at, does that sound right?

I know they strip search you when you go in, what is that like, and is it as bad as everyone says?

Are you allowed to wear any of your own clothes or is everything part of the uniform? Even underwear? If they give you underwear do you get a choice of boxers or briefs? If not what do they give you usually?

I know those may be kind of stupid but they are things I have been wondering about.

thanks to everyone for all the posts in the other threads. they have helped me a lot.

Jason

mrsdsands
08-24-2004, 01:56 PM
I'm leaving in a couple of weeks for the camp in Pekin, Ill for women and was just wondering if someone out there could give me a heads up on what to expect. I have a short time to serve but want to make the best of the 6 months they have me there. If anyone can help I'd be grateful. :confused:

kintml2u
08-24-2004, 03:38 PM
Purple

Welcome to PTO.

Follow this link to the Federal Prison folder, there are lots of post about womens facilities built up in this area and we have a rather large amount of members currently serving time. They have left their names and info behind...and you are more then welcomed to write them. They all are willing to help out! Also, our forum leaders in the federal area have personally been there, done that!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186

If there is anything you want to know...post! We will do our best to answer...or find an answer if we can!

Glad you found us!

Diane

kintml2u
08-24-2004, 03:41 PM
MrsDsands

Welcome to PTO!

I just posted a link in the post above that will be helpful to you as well.

We do have a member who is currently at the FPC Pekin! She is due to come home this October...

Please check out the federal folder...you will find much more information specific to federal prisons.

Glad you have found us!

Diane

jammart
08-28-2004, 01:29 AM
Jason:

Ask your lawyer if you can get a voluntary surrender which if granted is usually in 30 days or so (you can request more) and you would go directly to the assigned facility. Do you have a private lawyer or Federal Defender?

Otherwise you will be taken from court to jail where you have to wait for the US Marshall to transport you. You could be in the county jail for 2-3 months depending on the Marshall's schedule, more if you have to wait for a probation report.

Yes they strip search everyone and no you will not like it. As far as clothing and possessions they usually take everything away from you and give you prison clothing which could range from new to rags and no you don't get any choice.

You should take money with you in cash because you will want to buy soaps, tooth brush, maybe some food items right away. Try to take at least $200.00 to get you started, you may even need to buy shoes because the boots they issue will be hard on your feet.

With 4 years if you don't have a violent history you may go to a camp where you will have more freedom and better circumstances oppposed to an FCI or USP.

Don't expect anything good because it is prison. Expect the worst because anything could happen once they slam that door.

Go to the chapel service, meet the chaplains and attend the religious meetings. You will meet a few people who will become your friends, some close friends for life.

Best Wishes,

J


Hello

I am probably going to be going to federal prison soon. My sentencing is in about a month and i am expecting to get 4 years.

what is it like when you first get there? what will happen after my sentencing? where will they take me from court? I think i will go to a local jail or something before i end up at the prison I will actually serve my time at, does that sound right?

I know they strip search you when you go in, what is that like, and is it as bad as everyone says?

Are you allowed to wear any of your own clothes or is everything part of the uniform? Even underwear? If they give you underwear do you get a choice of boxers or briefs? If not what do they give you usually?

I know those may be kind of stupid but they are things I have been wondering about.

thanks to everyone for all the posts in the other threads. they have helped me a lot.

Jason

Dcanizares
08-28-2004, 04:50 PM
If someone takes cash can they buy the same day if the commisary is open? As opposed to taking an money order and waiting for it to post? If so then where I am going I am taking 100.00 cash and the rest in a money order...

kali
09-01-2004, 02:43 PM
Self surrendering is really important. It makes leaving easier (sorta kinda)in addition it lowers your point level. Bring a postal money order with you for whatever amount I would recommend at least $200 to get started in commissary. You will most likely want to buy a pair of gym shoes, toilitries, etc. And most important of course are stamps to write home with.

Zero
09-04-2004, 09:46 PM
Jason and Purple Peacock, I am Zero's girlfriend and I will send your questions to him so he can respond. He was originally sent to the FTC here in OKC but was then moved to FMC in Ft Worth. While he was in holdover waiting to be transferred to Texas he could get no commissary, and have no visitors however they did let him call as many times as he wanted at night and send and receive mail. I will write more later. He can call as late as 11:00 pm so I want to be off of the computer so he can call. I have a lot more info to share, but I will tell you it has not been near as bad in either place as he or I thought it would be. He has received good medical care and they have allowed him to keep his own boots due to his prosthetic. Until later. Keep the faith and don't ever overlook the joy you can still feel in your families hearts. It will get you through anything.
K

Zero
09-05-2004, 08:40 PM
Hi to all Zero's PTO friends, I heard from him tonight and I thought of several things I thought of that might be comforting. The Ft Worth FMC gives him a choice of food and yesterday they even had watermelon. When he gets money on his books he sets aside some for vending and he said everything is 60 cents in the machine. That seems very reasonable. They moved him to a first floor room by himself because of his leg and he now has a hospital bed so he is much more comfortable. His spirits are really good. I got a letter a couple of days ago and he said they finally gave him a Bible but it is in Spanish. I guess they thought since most of his roommates were Hispainic someone could interperate for him, which would be fine but even if they read it too him, he does not speak Spanish. One thing you can all be sure of a smile and laughter is universal language. I will write more a little later.
Take care and Zero sends his best regards.
K

Zero
09-05-2004, 08:47 PM
Oh one more thing. I Zero said he cannot received newspaper articles but he can receive copies of articles. They did however give him one newspaper clipping from chicken soup for the soul that I sent before I knew. Also, I don't know if anyone out there receives the MORNING FAX at work but I have been sending those everyday to him and he said not only does he appreciate them but everyone passes them around and gets a good laugh. If anyone would like to have me have them start sending them to you somewhere, let me know and I will get you the contact information. I also send a lot of Sunday comics (copies) and visual jokes so anyone can see them and understand. I do not send any negative articles but if there is anything I think he might want to know about when he gets out, I am saving it in a notebook. They also discovered their mistake with the release date so it is back to January 5th or 7th now. As I know more about other peoples sentences, it doesn't seem so bad, still we miss him just as much every night. Those who have not gone in yet, please don't waste a minute arguing or worrying. Sit outside and enjoy your sunsets and sunrises. Zero also said he gets to go outside, but the pigeons have an attitude, so they have to be careful.

Till later.
K

mtlady1313
09-13-2004, 08:03 PM
I am really new to this also.. I did find that if you go to www.bop.com (http://www.bop.com) I think that is the address, you can find on the left side of the screen where you can click on inmate info. You should be able to get his number and address from that. This site is the Bureau of Prisons website. I think you can write him letters, but someone correct me on this if I am not right. Thanks. :)

CJJACK,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it.

It is an excellent idea that you shared with me, to call and see what the policy is in on sending books. I will do that.

I also just went to the federal prison forum and did a search on Devens FMC, and there is some very excellent information there. Someone has taken the time to post everything they could think of about that facility, and it has helped me a great deal to read it and be able to know what the routine there is.

I am amazed at the amount of information that is available here and how many topics are covered. It is really a wonderful resource.

Again, thank you very much.

kali
09-14-2004, 09:51 AM
the website is www.bop.gov

When my husband was at an FCI medium/low and I was at a camp we were able to receive paperback books (no more then 5 at a time)from family and friends. Hardback books had to be sent directly from the bookstore/publisher.

kali

kali
09-14-2004, 10:04 AM
I was at Pekin for a year. I got home about a year ago. when I get a minute I will tell you everything. But have no fear, it is nothing like you would expect prison to be like. I will give you a few names of people that are still there that I consider friends also. I will send them some money so they can buy you a few things before you get there so you will be set (like shower shoes). Email me if you have specific questions.
Kali

kali
09-14-2004, 02:37 PM
you cant buy anything with cash, so taking cash wont help you shop any faster. Where are you going? If I know someone there I will see to it that you have your basis needs met until you can get to commisary.
kali

Dcanizares
09-16-2004, 06:27 PM
HI Kali, I am going to Coleman Florida do you know anyone there. I've been writing to Jenny Shenaider and she sent me a commisary list. I wonder how long it will take before I can actually buy stuff and get it... man that's going to be the hard part but like you said I heard it's not that bad... but who knows. pm or write back here.

Druid
09-21-2004, 05:14 PM
Hi all, just found this site today, and already have learned a good bit of helpfull info. My brother-in-law was sentenced to 60 months in Mobile,AL, but hasnt been moved to a Federal facility from Florida yet, am I right to assume it is too late for him to ask for a Self Surrender?
Thanks

AngelQT483
10-13-2004, 02:13 PM
I am surrendering to FPC Bryan on Oct. 18, 2004. I was recommended for the bootcamp, or the RDAP program, but I'm not sure which one is best to take. It seems that the bootcamp would be better since it's only 6 months long, as opposed to the RDAP which is 9 months long. I got an 18 month sentence, so I'm not sure which one would reduce my sentence the most.

murphsmom
10-13-2004, 04:57 PM
I also am surrendering to Bryan on October 29. I have no clue as to which would be more advantagious to you but I am sure someone will be along shortly with more information than Carter has pills!! This is an awesome place for togetherness and accurate info.

AngelQT483
10-14-2004, 04:42 PM
Cjjack has alot of information about Bryan, if you haven't talked to her yet. She will definately make you feel more comfortable with the situation you are about to experience

beingpatient
11-19-2004, 06:17 PM
Hi everybody, I'm new to this website, but I've reading all of the posts that are here and for the most part alot of my questions have been answered. However, There are still some things that I hope that someone can answer for me. I am about to be sentenced in January and will probably be going to a camp since it is my first affence and was non violent. My question is, if I am allowed to turn myself in to the camp, do I recieve any additional time off other than the stand good time of 54 days per year?

kali
11-22-2004, 08:06 AM
No extra good time for self surrendering.

beckym
12-12-2004, 05:55 PM
Hi, Iam new to this sight and I am going to federal prison in the next 3 too 5 weeks for 9 months drug and alcohol treatment or 18 months if I don't get that. I am possibly going to Pesin Ill. since I live in Michigan but I have not found out yet. I am wondering if any one has done the 9 month program and what it is like?
Thank you for your time
BeckyM

kali
12-13-2004, 08:42 AM
Pekin doesnt have the RDAP program. Greenville in Illinois has the program.

poai
12-27-2004, 10:25 PM
aloha,
i have requested the FDC in honolulu so i can be near my family and friends..my lawyer says i am eligible for a camp....am i crazy to choose a higher security facility to be near home?
any replies will be welcome!
thank you!
ps..have any women spent time in honolulu FDC ??

the hippie
02-04-2005, 07:51 PM
There is a really cool book out. It was written by a camper at Talladega. This book would help you 100% It talks about your spouse, kids, attorney, what to take, what to say, how to act...ect. email address removed by Administration. You are welcome to promote a book by title and suggest where it is available, but please do not post email addresses on the open site. One of the main reasons for this is that this and many sites are mined for email addresses. Soon this poor individual will have to close their email account because there will be so much spam. If you care to share an email address please do so via private message.

introuble
03-08-2005, 11:29 AM
I ordered a book from the BOP web site, it is called Where Inmates Stay & Convicts Run. It is written by Tracy W Humble. It is an excellent book. It tells you step by step of what will happen the minute you walk behind the door. It also has a directory of slang used in prison and what it means, and also a list of all prison in US and a summary of each.

tonib
03-09-2005, 07:24 PM
Tifa,
I just read the article that you posted. I thought it was great. 90% accurate. I wish that I had seen it before I went for my "club fed vacation".
Although I did receive quite a bit of help from members here before I went (back in June 2003) there still was not very much information about Federal Camps for women.
I am very glad to see how much that has changed here now.
David, I know that I have said this before, but it always bears repeating. You have done an awesome thing by starting this site. Thank you so much.
Toni

introuble
03-12-2005, 06:49 AM
{For more information on Federal Prison, after reading this great post please also check out PTO's Federal Prison area at the following link!

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=186 }


Hello

I am probably going to be going to federal prison soon. My sentencing is in about a month and i am expecting to get 4 years.

what is it like when you first get there? what will happen after my sentencing? where will they take me from court? I think i will go to a local jail or something before i end up at the prison I will actually serve my time at, does that sound right?

I know they strip search you when you go in, what is that like, and is it as bad as everyone says?

Are you allowed to wear any of your own clothes or is everything part of the uniform? Even underwear? If they give you underwear do you get a choice of boxers or briefs? If not what do they give you usually?

I know those may be kind of stupid but they are things I have been wondering about.

thanks to everyone for all the posts in the other threads. they have helped me a lot.

Jason

When I first learned that I am facing prison, I wanted all the information I can get. Just as I am sure you do. I ordered a book from the BOP website; called, "Where Inmates Stay & Convicts Run." This book is by Tracy W. Humble. It is a wonderful book. It explains step by step what to expect once you are sentenced. I also has a glossary of slang language used in the prisons and what it means, as well as a glossary of all of the prisons, their level of security and what that particular prison offers. It has been very helpfull to me. I tried to order this book from Amazon and even the local libraries, but no one seemed to be able to get it.

If you need additional information, please let me know.

I have not been charged yet, but I go on Monday to sign the plea agreement and then court for the first time will follow. My attorney says that because I have not been locked up at all, I will be able to go home after the plea without posting bond, then in about 70 - 75 days I will go for sentencing, then I will get to go home until they send me the information in the mail (approx. 2 mths later) as to where I need to self surrender.

Good luck!

c_778
04-12-2005, 10:47 AM
same thing applies to my friend as well. However he is going in for CP and I am not sure how that will apply in federal prison in Califorina.

ram100
05-13-2005, 07:43 AM
I am a male who will be heading for prison (most likely minimum security) for about 18 months. Does anyone know where I can look to find out about prison rules for a particular prison. The BOP website doesn't seem to have anything. Do I call each prison and request the rules. Thanks.

lisamaria
05-20-2005, 05:18 PM
Hi Everyone,
I'm looking for information specifically related to FCI Butner, NC.
My fiance is heading to the camp the end of next month, for20 months.
The stress of the unknown is killing him!
Does anyone have any useful information?
Thanks.

dri
06-18-2005, 08:23 AM
Fed-x,
Through Out The Time That It Will Take To Process An Inmate Will They Be Able To Have Any Contact With Theire Family Members And Loved Ones? Either By Phone Or Writing.when Will We Find Out What Federal Prison He Will Be In? Finally What's De-lousing Powder?

cielopezzo
07-02-2005, 07:01 AM
Government websites are there to aggrevate you for as long as possible, before you can find what you need, or get the answers to your questions.
Once your inside the prison that will become even more apparent to you.
Bureau Of Prisons is a world all on it's on. You will find that the answers to any of the questions you'll have will have been given to you by other inmates. BOP moves at it's own pace, with it's rules and regulations that seem to have no rhyme or reason. That is a tangent and direction I don't have the time to go in. So here is information that should help those that have posted requests for Rules & Regulations...

It is called the Legal Resource Guide To The Federal Bureau of Prisons 2004
It is in PDF format so you will need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to read it If you don't have it on your computer you can get the latest version here..

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Make sure your computer meets the system requirements before installing the program By default it has Adobe Yahoo! Toolbar and Adobe Photoshop checked to download along with the Reader you can uncheck them if you want and then click the download button and follow the on screen instructions.

I suggest installing adobe first then start at step 1 below

1. click on this link

http://www.bop.gov/index.jsp

2. in the search window put this information..

BOP: Publications - Legal Resource Guide To The Federal Bureau of Prisons 2004

3. make sure the WEBSITE button is checked and click GO
4. there should be should be 1 result found double click it
Adobe reader will open a 64 page document that starts at Pre-Trial, then Post-Conviction Issues (Rules,Regulations,Medical,Phone,Visitors etc...)and ends with Release Information. Hope it helps.

pending627
07-31-2005, 05:53 PM
Hello dave:

I got self surrender to Fairton Fci. DO you know anything about fairton? Im not sure if I'll stay there or go to a camp. Got 30 months. 1st time non violent, no gun/drug charges. Documented mental disorders a drug addiction.

Is fairton a dorm setup or cell? Is my stay in the fci temp and then I go on to the camp?

thanks



Jason,
It is something all of us think about that have been to prison for the first time. It's a good question. I guess I should be the one to answer it since I have recently been to federal prison.

The experience will vary depending on level you are classified as. If this is your first offense ever, you will probably go to a Camp with 4 years. You may go to a camp with priors also; it just depends on what they are. If you will list them, I can probably give you a round about idea of what level you are..
Before I go any further in what it will be like when you get there, you need to know AND REQUEST something when you go to sentencing! You need to request a Self-Surrender to the institution they designate you to. The Feds usually don't have a problem with you doing this if you are out on bond and are not facing a lot of time. If you don't ask for it, you will probably go to jail right after sentencing.. Get to go through all the transfer BS that takes a month or so before you get to the prison. (Tell your Attorney to Request it after the judge hands out however months you will get in prison)

If you don't request or receive a Self-Surrender from the Judge, you will be taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. You'll spend the day in the federal courthouse (most likely) and then be transferred to the federal detention center, or two a contract county dump-jail until you catch the "chain" (transfer) to Oklahoma City, where you will process into the federal system. It may take a few days to 2 weeks before you either catch a bus or Con-Air (yes, it's real) to Oklahoma City. Once in Oklahoma City you will be in transfer holding for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.. Then they will ship you out to whatever institution in the United States that they designate you to. They still try to keep you close to home but it doesn't always happen. (HAVE YOUR ATTORNEY REQUEST the closest institution to where you live, or where your family/friends are that you want to visit you. They don't have to listen to the Judge's recommendation, but they try to)

Self-Surrendering (walking in un-cuffed) is generally better than coming in chained to other cons. They process you into the prison faster because you usually are by yourself. When you come in with 40 other guys, you are going to be doing a lot of hold-over cell time before you go anywhere..

When you first get there they will take you into R&D (Receiving & Discharge). They will strip search you.. They do a pretty thorough job so don't try to slide anything by ON your body.. If you have a bunch of tattoos they will probably shoot digital pictures of you to put into your file.
Where I went (F.C.I. Beaumont Medium) they did not make me shower or put any de-lousing powder on. (I don't like the stuff but I'd rather all of us go through it so it doesn't run through the joint)
Next I met with a medical nurse who took my blood and gave me a 1/2 ass physical. Asked if I had any STD's, this, that, AIDS, HEP-C Etc. Etc.. I also got a "shot" for TB.
Since I got there on Memorial Day by mistake and there wasn't any other staff to process me in, I went to the hole to spend the night. The following day they pulled me out to meet with an Intake Case Manager who asked me all sorts of questions. Did I have any gang affiliations? Was I homosexual? Who will be visiting me first? (They will give you a temporary visitation form for immediate family - fill it out and turn it in right away)
Next, they put me in front of the camera and shot my picture for my Inmate ID card. They kick it out right there and you will need it to get mail (until the staff knows you), commissary, check out library books, and to use the vending machines (depending on what institution you are at), etc..
Next you will dress out in some temporary Kaki clothes, get a bed roll and other odds and ends such as soap, toothbrush, etc. (You cannot wear your own clothes) They will tell you your housing assignment and you will head out.
I don't know what type of housing situation you will be dealing with unless I know what type of institution you will be going to, and the area you are trying to go to. The higher security prisons are generally two man cells/rooms (Medium to High/USP prisons) where I believe most of the Low security prisons are dorm room style living areas. (Some older prisons may vary but the new No-Frill institutions are all about the same)
Depending on the time of day, you will need to go to the laundry for them to issue you all your uniforms, boxers, bedding and hygiene stuff. You will get one pair of steel toed work boots (Usually new if they have them), 3 button up kaki shirts, 3 kaki pairs of pants, 3 undershirts, 3 boxers, 3 pairs of sox, etc.. Everything will have your name and number on it. Get used to it.. You will be calling it out quite often. Also, forget your first name.. Everyone will know you by your last name.
Consider yourself lucky to be in the federal system. It is not exactly the “Club-Fed” that it once was thanks to news reporters doing all sorts of stories on inmates playing gold, etc. But, it still is much better than most all the state systems where you don’t have much coming at all.

Hope this helps,
David

lberry
08-02-2005, 10:54 AM
hello, new here, husband just got sentenced moday, aug. 1 2005, to 18 months. i wonder how long he will serve, and how do i find out at what level he will be, if he will be going to a camp and so forth. trying to make this o with myself. any answers would be great. dont know anything. lisa

fuzzi
08-02-2005, 08:13 PM
hello, new here, husband just got sentenced moday, aug. 1 2005, to 18 months. i wonder how long he will serve, and how do i find out at what level he will be, if he will be going to a camp and so forth. trying to make this o with myself. any answers would be great. dont know anything. lisaWelcome, lisa. There are a lot of knowledgeable people here and someone will answer your questions, as they are able.

Hang in there.

:grouphug:

c_778
09-09-2005, 11:57 AM
If some one goes in for child porn to the federal prison, what prison will be the best place for them to go where they will not get killed or beat up. and also get help in treatment?

cielopezzo
09-14-2005, 07:20 PM
Legal Resource Guide has once again been relocated on the BOP website..it is actually much easier to access..thanks c_778 for letting me know

http://www.bop.gov/news/publications.jsp

do not click on program statements

click the document image
:thumbsup:

chamaquita
09-23-2005, 02:13 PM
i just got sentenced to three months at Danbury,Ct. does anyone have any info on the female camp there?

BigTime
09-23-2005, 09:41 PM
If some one goes in for child porn to the federal prison, what prison will be the best place for them to go where they will not get killed or beat up. and also get help in treatment?

When they get to processed they need to request admin seg. If they get placed in gen pop then they should keep their mouth shut. If someone gets info on there crime they will be tunred out or shanked within a week.

PTO-29412
09-24-2005, 04:08 AM
Chamaquita, I would suggest going to the state forum

c_778
10-18-2005, 01:00 PM
what is admin seg.?

PTO-29412
10-19-2005, 02:16 AM
administrative segregation I believe

c_778
02-20-2006, 01:42 PM
Hi!! well here it is . my friend was offered 18 months for CP. that is it. He decided to take plea or not on march 16th. what do you think?

tony weeks
05-26-2006, 03:24 PM
Some of your info. is outdated. Nellis and Eglin are now closed, possibly because of the war. The food was not the same that the military ate but was better than you'd get in other institutions.
Something that someone said earlier is very important. Reading stories of hellholes that other people endured (Nazi camps, Russian gulag, Devil's Island, etc.) help a great deal, when you realize what others endured. I must have read Pappilion a dozen times and it helped me fall asleep at night. Have your friends or family find and send you some good book about bad prisons and dungeons and it will make you feel lucky. Good luck. Reemeber...this too shall pass.

newparadigms
01-28-2010, 05:21 PM
OK, I'm a rank newbie here--have been reading and soaking in the info and (more importantly) THE SUPPORT here. My son is going in for 7 years; 3 armed robberies and other drug-related offenses. He SS's to La Tuna in 2 weeks and then is on to his home facility after processing.

If someone could choose the Federal Prison that they would spend 7 years in (22 years old, white, looks buff, no street smarts/was in college in MT,) with their home being in WA state---what would be their first choice????

I am more worried about his welfare and sanity than me having to travel to visit him. Wherever he goes, "there aint no mountain high enough/aint no river wide enough, to keep me from being with" HIM.

I hope I posted this question in the right forum. I know it may seem like a stupid question, but I'm holding on to my optimism with everything I have. Everyone seems so kind and emotionally generous on this site; it's been a life/sanity saver for me the past several months.

I will introduce myself in a bit; I'm moving from my house and making other life changes since his arrest--and am swamped. Can't breathe/eat/ sleep most days. And I am hardly coherent, but need an answer to this question. It would be an interesting poll, and I would love to get feedback from inmates/friends/family/parolees/guards/etc....Anyone who can give me some insight into what Prison would fit my son the best.

Thank you from my (shattered) heart.....Lisa