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Other Federal Prisons All Federal prisons that are not listed in their own category.

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Old 09-20-2019, 07:43 AM
andsoitgoes andsoitgoes is offline
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I rarely post, mostly lurk. But came to this site ever so often for updated info on this prison. My fiancé was approved transfer back in April, but just got there last month. He transferred to the FCI, from the BOP Western region as conditions of his near to home release. He is still around 4 hours away from home, but he was 22 hours away before transfer. He is one state over, as this was the closest LOW facility to our home. He was stuck in the Oklahoma transfer center almost a month, but only in the Atlanta transfer center for one night. He is thankful of that. He says Atlanta was THE nastiest conditions he personally ever witnessed, and racial tensions were high. Roaches everywhere, barely any food. And they can't get commissary in the transfer centers. He lost 8 lbs in the month he transferred. And they mix in all levels in the transfer centers, so he was in with the USP High and Mediums.
I just had my first visit to Ashland last weekend, and a kind lady was thoughtful enough to help me through the process, so I thought I would post here in hopes it might help someone else. I have anxiety and visiting new places (especially prisons) really stress me. However, in my experience, my first visit to the FCI went quite well and was less stress than I anticipated.

Let me start by saying he likes it there. Dunno where everyone else's guys came from or if they may not have any experience with prisons at all, but to him at least so far it is almost a cake walk. Like I stated, this is in comparison to the condition of his previous prison. He is in a dorm setting (think cubicles in a big room), but he doesn't mind. Food is decent, and he loves the greenery and the sports there. He also likes that they actually have weights. His last place didn't. The only thing that bothers him is the high rate of sex offenders there, but they're pretty plentiful in the LOWS and camps so it is what it is. He just bites his tongue and deals, as he doesn't want to risk any shots. He doesn't have much longer to go and hopefully will be getting his HH date soon. Hardly any fights there, and the environment seems pretty laid back other than the prison is just old. But overall, it is clean and he says the staff is a lot more respectful than his last FCI.
He was able to call me the next day he arrived and also email right away. The BOP inmate locator usually runs a day behind updating their transfer status. I was already on his visitation list, but I still had to fill out a new visitation form and mail it in to his Unit counselor. I downloaded it off the BOP website and printed it off and mailed to the address he gave me. I was approved in 3 days of them receiving my form.
I already sent him a book, from Amazon. No hardbacks, and only from vendors. They used to let me mail soft covers from home, but the BOP changed rules last year and are more strict. I don't think they can even have cards or card stock items. I used to print pictures from home, but the last time they got returned to me and the reason stated was "cardstock paper". Not sure what type of job he will get, and doubt it will be UNICOR (?) as I haven't heard him mention anything about it. He did complete the RDAP program at his last prison, but he says Ashland does not offer it.

Visiting was relaxed imo. I went into the main building (you can Google Earth it) and to the left is a tiny room with lockers and the inmate visiting forms. You fill out the visiting form (make sure to memorize his inmate # and your car tag #), and then take it to the desk. You sign your name in the book at the guard desk, turn in your visitation form and license, and they give you a key for a locker. You can not take in car keys only a money bag (clear plastic bag or zip lock). I put my house keys in the locker. Then waited in the tiny room until they called my last name. I have visited him at a couple different prisons and this is the first time I did not make it through the metal detector. I wore a soft cup bra (no underwire), but it had the small metal hook and eye closure in the back. And it set the detector off! It is very sensitive. I wore this bra on purpose because it is my "prison bra" as it is no underwire. I have worn it before on multiple occasions to visit the other prisons with no issues. The girl helping me warned me about the metal closure but I doubted the metal detector would be that sensitive It is. Luckily, I had a "sleep" bra in my car. It's from Walmart. Absolutely no hold, it just stretches over my head. I am a 34G cup and I felt completely unsupported at visit. I think they are more strict on attire than his last prison. Girls were covered at his last place, but hey dressed "up"- heels, cute tops, tight jeans. I don't get that vibe here, but this was just my first visit. It is hard to find "baggy" jeans nowadays, but I just wore a flare leg. I will be sure to dress pretty boring, as I don't want to get turned away. No hoodies, leggings, tan clothing, and a visitor told me not to wear shirts with writing? If your hair has metal clips, you will have to take them out going through the detector.
Anyhow, I changed in the bathroom in the lobby by the guard desk and then after I went through successfully they take you outside and then into another building. The visitation room is small compared to his last prison. About 50 chairs maybe? You sit to the left and when the inmate comes in they sit across from you. You can hug/kiss briefly at greeting and when they leave. Don't try long dramatic, tongue kisses, they will say something. They did to a couple while I was there. We were allowed to hold hands. Difficult when sitting across from each other, but at least it is contact. The vending was not good. Coffee machine was broken and they were out of a lot of drinks. I thought maybe it is because I came on a Sunday, but a few of the visitors said it hasn't been good vending food for a while. Luckily my guy never eats a lot. No bottled water or coffee was available so I got a soft drink and basically sweets. I was sick to my tummy end of visit. They can not go to the vending area with you, you have to get their food. I didn't see where they took debit cards only cash for vending. I'll check again next time to be sure.
When you leave they give you your license back at the visitation desk. There are bathrooms in the room, you don't need a key to use them. The inmates have to obviously go to the guard desk to use the restroom and get escorted back.
They are on a point system for visits. It is new to us. I think they get 10 points a month. First visit is 5 points, and second is 2 or 3 (I forget) and then 1 point after that? Maybe someone else can clear that up? Not 100% on it, as we never had to worry about it before. Apparently thy used to get Friday visits but they said they were suspended. Now, it is Saturday, Sunday, & Monday 8-3pm.
The town is a small country town, a few decent priced hotels close by. I saw a Knight's Inn closest to the prison and it said pet friendly (I travel with my little dog). Although this visit I didn't spend the night, just drove straight there and back. Google maps lists the closest motels/ restaurants so I won't go into detail about that.
Overall I found the guards helpful and polite especially compared to his last prison. And imo southerners are usually helpful in general So I felt more relaxed here than when he was out west. I like knowing he is closer to home. And no more plane tickets, hotels and renting cars. Visiting him before was $600-$800 trip and I hadn't seen him since last December. We are thankful he is 4 hours away.
Not sure what else to add, I tried to explain things I would want to know. He says overall he likes it and is glad he transferred. He is just kicking back doing his time, staying out of trouble his last year. He did say the CO's are more petty here but they usually are at the LOW's and especially the camps (compared to Mediums).
I had a nice visit (as far a prisons go) and looking forward to going back.
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The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to andsoitgoes For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (09-20-2019), Girl22472 (09-20-2019), Viettim (09-24-2019)
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