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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 07-11-2019, 02:07 PM
Happy Camper Happy Camper is offline
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Default I surrender next month, basic questions

Next month, I begin serving a sentence at a minimum security Federal prison. I read through the BOP website, but could not find the answer to these questions:
  1. I run a small business with one other employee. When using the phone or email system, am I permitted to discuss my business?
  2. I'd like to bring at least two dozen books with me. Is this permitted, or will they be confiscated?
  3. I'm 66 years old and have a number of necessary prescriptions, as well as medical and dental over-the-counter medications and other items. Can I access all of these? I can't bring them, right?
  4. If i want to use the email system or pay for calls myself, I have to earn the money first, is that correct? I cannot deposit some in my account when I arrive?
  5. Will there always be long lines for the phones and email system?
  6. Long before I was sentenced, I paid for and enrolled in an online education course regarding immigration law that starts two weeks after my sentence begins. Is taking this course completely out of the question?
  7. I'd like to learn how to speak Spanish better, but it seems like the only language classes offered are English. Is the only way I can study Spanish by bringing a textbook? If it has CDs or digital sound, will they allow it?
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:17 PM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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Welcome to Prison Talk.

1. No; inmates are not allowed to run outside businesses.
2. No; but you can mail them to yourself, a few in each package. There will be a limit on the number of books you can have in your property at any one time.
3. OTC medications must be purchased from the commissary. Once you know where you are going, you can access the commissary list here: https://www.bop.gov/locations/search.jsp.
RX meds have to be prescribed and dispensed by the prison's medical folks. Here is a link to the RX formulary, https://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/formulary.pdf
so find out which formulary medications are best for your medical issues.

Approval for non-formulary drugs (and especially for any pain medication that is not OTC) is nearly impossible. It will be up to you to convince them which RX meds you require, so a letter from your doctor with diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan is helpful. The best evidence is to have it included in your presentence investigation report, the bop's Bible. When you first arrive, you will be interviewed by a medical staff member, paramedic, nurse or physician's assistant, who will determine which prescription medications you will receive until you have your first triage meeting at the medical building, a week or so later.

4. No; phone, commissary and email can be funded from outside. The only prison I was in that restricted commissary purchases to money earned there was the Oklahoma City transfer prison.
https://www.bop.gov/inmates/communications.jsp#money
5. Maybe yes, maybe no. When the bop changed from updating monthly limits from one day (the first day of the month) for everyone, to different days (the 5th number in your prison ID #,xxxxX-xxx, times 3, plus one) the lines mostly disappeared.
6. Correspondence courses may be possible. You will need an approval from the prison's education department, and they have to be conducted totally through the mail. Finding a staff member willing to be your "monitor" will be difficult. Computers are evil.
7.No; technology for prisoners is also evil. There will be a number of Spanish speakers there, so start with a book, and ask for assistance.

Minimum security rules are the least oppressive, but it's still the bop.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:39 PM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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One other note to add, you are only allowed to be on a phone call for 15 minutes at a time, so even if you were able to discuss any business, the phone call goes by way too fast to get anything accomplished. Of course business is done on the inside, but it is near impossible to get anything accomplished. Your best bet is to make sure your employee is on your visitor list and they make regular visits to see you. They won't be able to take notes or bring in documents, but that is going to be your best bet in knowing what is going on. You can also write them anything that you need, and those letters won't be looked at, but letters coming in may be scrutinized. Same with emails to/from. The email system is similar to the phone although you can be on email for 20 mins at a time.

Where my husband was in Duluth, there was never a line for the phone or the computer. The issue was really that you had to wait 20 mins to 30 minutes in between phone calls or when your computer time was up to go online again. That was super annoying.

He never had a problem getting meds, but he also wasn't really on anything. Be sure to get a flu shot before you go in if it's after August. They will offer it to you at the prison, but easier to get it before you go in, as well as making sure you have your MMR up to date and any other vaccinations. Have a full physical beforehand, dental up to date etc. My husband has severe gum disease and it was well documented. They did let me send in his proxa brush but that was about it and even though they claimed he would see the dentist within 12 months of his being there, he never did. Fortunately, when he got out the periodontist said all things considered, his gums look ok and no lost teeth at this point.

You will not have any access to your online education course, so you can kiss that goodbye. Where my husband was (Duluth) there was an option to partake in a court through the local University, but inmates had to be selected for that and it was a very thorough process. Inmates participated with students at the local university. My husband was in the first class they tried this with last fall and I think they just finished the second one this Spring. Since he's been out since January, I don't know if they're running it again. I know the numbers there are way down. He really liked the class, although he found the prisoners were more prepared than the actual students from the university and he wasn't too impressed with the caliber of those students. Of course, I had to remind him that he had been working for nearly 40 years in the real world , went to a presitgious university and these were 20 year old kids! Big difference and with much less world experience than he and some of the inmates had.

You will also have a job in the prison.

As for books. He had a ton of them in there. He made a list of books before he went in that he wanted me to send. They also had access to the Duluth public library so if they had it on hand he was able to check it out through there as opposed to me sending it to him. There is supposed to be a max of 5, but that wasn't enforced. The bigger issue is really what fits in your locker. If it doesn't fit, then you can't have it.

You should try to search for someone on here who has been at the camp you're going to that can answer your questions as I can't tell you how much that helped my husband make things a lot easier! Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:39 PM
99mtg00 99mtg00 is offline
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The thing to remember, there's the rules, and then there's the people enforcing the rules. Many of whom haven't actually read the rules. My LO had many more books than officially permitted, but no one ever cared, so long as they all fit in his locker. While they'll never allow you to keep the prescriptions you bring in, they may prove useful during your check-in time at R&D, simply to let them know which prescriptions your outside doctor has you taking, some of which may or may not be on BOP's "formulary"; their list of permitted drugs.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:59 PM
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Take a list of your RX meds with you when you self surrender, not the actual prescriptions. The bop stole over $2,000.00 of mine and told me they couldn't be mailed home. Why not, I asked since they arrived in the mail from the VA? "Policy" was the answer, but I figured that they would either be sold, or the COs would have a party.

One of the biggest things for you to know is that the prison staff is always right, if they are, or even when they aren't. Save your objections for serious issues, since when there is a notation of "complainer" put on your inmate file, it always makes legitimate complaints even less likely to be resolved fairly.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:12 PM
99mtg00 99mtg00 is offline
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Default FBOPnomore's Right, Of Course

My LO's meds weren't worth stealing; just the usual blood pressure/cholesterol stuff. But even empty Rx vials with the prescribing doctor's name/info on them may be more persuasive to the BOP doctors than a written list. One of my LO's meds wasn't on BOP's formulary, so they refused to keep him on it. Then, a month or two later, they gave it to him! Yes, learn now, that right or wrong, you're not going to win any arguments with the BOP.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:47 PM
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Default After I SS, can daughter email / talk to me about elderly mother's affairs?

My mother is 87 years old, and I've been making decisions about paying her household expenses. If there's a complicated decision to be made, is it permissible for my daughter to email me or talk to me on the phone about it? (An employee in my company would implement the decision.)
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:00 PM
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You'll have access to email through Corrlinks and will be able to make phone calls after a short time. I wouldn't discuss anything illegal, BOP can / does listen to calls, at least skim emails & letters.

Is it possible for your daughter to be made POA over your Mom, so she can take care of just about anything on your Mom's behalf? She'll need one on you, too...and a HIPPA.

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Old 07-14-2019, 03:09 AM
Happy Camper Happy Camper is offline
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Default When I SS, what happens to my prescription glasses?

I have regular prescription glasses, prescription reading glasses, and prescription dark glasses. If I bring them when I SS, do they give them back to me?
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:01 AM
ElMaestro ElMaestro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
I have regular prescription glasses, prescription reading glasses, and prescription dark glasses. If I bring them when I SS, do they give them back to me?
Depending on where you are reporting and who does the intake, you could possibly walk into your unit with all pairs or just one pair. Anything taken from you and not given to you to take into your unit will be shipped home to the address you provide them - this includes shoes, clothes, underwear, socks, etc...

My husband has prescription glasses and he was able to wear his in and bring along a case and cleaning cloth.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:48 AM
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I'll be released in mid-winter. How do I organize the correct clothing so I can get to the bus station?
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
I'll be released in mid-winter. How do I organize the correct clothing so I can get to the bus station?
You have the ability to use your commissary funds to buy winter appropriate clothing (sweat pants and sweat shirts and long sleeved thermals) which you'll want to have anyways to be comfortable in your housing unit, and on your release date those items can be worn out the door. Or you also can have family members ship winter appropriate clothing to your discharge unit and that package will be waiting for you on your discharge date.
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