View Full Version : Womens Federal Prison Camps


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cjjack
03-12-2004, 12:23 AM
For those of you that have read my posts you know how angry I have been with so-called "experts" that have given false and exagerated accounts in the media lately as to what its really like in in the womens camps. I spent 4 years in 4 different camps so I do know something about them. I'm certainly no expert but I would like to share what I do know with those of you that are getting ready to go to a camp or who have loved ones inside. Going to prison is scary thing to contemplate without having to listen to horror stories in the media.
I was incarcerated in FPC Carswell, FPC Lexington, FPC Alderson and FPC Bryan in that order. Each camp is different. The rules should be the same in all of them but they aren't. Much depends on the warden as to what and how the rules are implemented. Some things are the same no matter where you end up though!
The first thing that will do is go to R&D(receiving and discharge). This will probably take awhile. They will dress you out in a uniform. You're picture will be taken and you will meet with someone from medical to discuss any health issues that you have or any medication that you are taking. Usually whatever prescription medication you are taking they will let you keep on taking it as long as its non-narcotic. You will fill out some paperwork and they will assign you to a unit. Each place has different lay-outs as far as the units go. I went from sleeping in a TV room to a 2 man room(with a door you can close anytime you want!)in Lexington. Alderson had 2 man cubicles with about 150 people per unit. After six months in Alderson you qualify to go to a cottage. There are a lot less people in a cottage and its more like a regular room. Bryan has 4 man rooms with 100-150 people per unit. One thing I forgot to mention about R&D is that yes, you will be stripped searched. No cavity searches, just squat and cough. Don't take it personal, the CO's have to do it. I got so used to it that it ended being no big deal. Not pleasant, just try not to think about it. You will also be issued bedding to take with you to your unit. The next morning you will go to laundry to be issued your uniforms. They give you 4 pants, 4 shirts, 5 t-shirts, 5 underwear and 5 pairs of socks. You will also be issued boots or shoes. If you want extra underwear and socks you can purchase them at the commissary. Until you are assigned a job you will work cleaning the unit during the day. Alderson and Bryan will let you actively seek a job instead of waiting to be assigned by the staff. If you are allowed to do that please do. I did and was very fortunate. I was a librarian at Alderson and a GED tutor for special learning needs ladies in Bryan. Just remember that you are required to work unless you have a medical condition that would prevent that. Usually ladies that cannot work due to their health end up going to Carswell.
Bring money with you if you are able. You can go to commissary and buy a variety of things, from cosmetics, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, hygiene items and craft supplies. ALderson has a wonderful commissary and Lexingtons is awful. Around the holidays the commissary will offer holiday items such as Christmas cookies, etc. You can also purchase cigarettes if you smoke.
The majority of the ladies that you meet are kind. You will not be attacked. I thought the same thing before I went to prison. I was going to be beat up or raped or both! It is nothing like that!! I made friends there that I will hopefully have for the rest of my life. Violence in a camp is rare. They are nice places as far as prison goes and if you fight you will be shipped someplace not so nice. Remember to be courteous to your roomates. Clean up after yourself and do your share of the cleaning. The CO's do room inspections. Just be neat and you won't have any problems.
Each prison will offer a variety of educational programs and recreation. If you don't have a GED you will be required to attend clasees. At Bryan the instructors for the local community college come in every evening to teach Information Management. You will receive college credit. There are also classes such as auto-cad, cosmetology and horticulture. Just go to the education department of the institution to see what they offer. Recreation offers bingo at some places. They have bags of goodies from Wal-Mart if you win. They also have a variety of other games. In Alderson they have roller skating in the winter. There are yoga classes and exercise classes. Each institution has a library, some better than others. I can go on and on about different programs that these institutions offer so if you have any specific questions just ask. I will answer what I can.
Your experience in prison will be what you make it. You can bemoan your fate all the time or you can use the time to reflect and work on whatever issues you feel you need to work on. You are already there and nothing will probably change that. Prison is not a fun place to be, but I did have some fun while I was there thanks to some of the lovely ladies I was there with.
I have gone on long enough here. I'm sure there will be things that I will think of later to add. As I said, if anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Chrisa

mimikitty
03-12-2004, 01:31 AM
Thank you so much for such an indepth and wonderful post. You can't imagine how much better I feel now :-) If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask.

1. You mentioned that that you are give 5 sets of underwear. Does this include bras as well?

2. In general, what sort of jobs are available?

3. If I already have a college degree, will I still be able to take various classes?

Thank you again! This stress ball sitting in the pit of my stomach is finally going away :-)

cjjack
03-12-2004, 01:55 AM
I'm glad I could answer some of your questions. Yes, you get 5 bras. You can take any class that they have available. There are many ladies in federal prison with degrees. As far as jobs go there are many. There is the kitchen, landscape, education, facilities. If you have a college degree you should go to education about a job as a GED tutor. They can always use good tutors and it is so rewarding!!
Please try not to worry. It is unnerving when you first arrive. There are many things to get used to. But you will be ok! Please feel free to ask anything you like!

Chrisa

kintml2u
03-12-2004, 05:19 AM
You mentioned you were in for 4 years, and in that time you served in 4 different facilities.

I can't say I am surprised, but it seems like a good amount of transferring. Was there a reason why you moved so often and did it eventually land you back closer to home?

Chrisa....thanks a bunch for posting this! I am sure your personal experience will ease the fears of many who visit PTO!

Diane

cjjack
03-12-2004, 07:15 AM
I was trasferred from Carswell to Lexington because it was closer to home. I transferred from Lexington to Alderson for the RDAP program. Got to Alderson and the waiting list for RDAP was ridiculously long. They offered to send 48 of us to Bryan for the RDAP program because they said we would get in faster as Bryan's waiting list wasn't very long. When we arrived there it was s different story!

Holly6005
03-13-2004, 04:35 PM
Although I am not going to any of the prisons listed above, I just wanted to say that the post is very informative and I am sure it will be alot of help to alot of woman headed down that road. Chrisa, That is very kind of you to post your info and to be here to help others.......VERY COOL !!!!
Just wanted to tell you how great I thought it was.....Holly

cjjack
03-14-2004, 11:34 PM
I have had a few people pm me about the telephone system so I thought I would add it here. Soon after you arrive you will be issued a PIN number. You will also fill out a form and write down all the phone numbers that you will be calling. You have up to 30 numbers and can add/delete at any time. It will take a few days to add the numbers to your phone list. You are alloted 300 minutes per month, 400 in November and December. You can call collect but it is much cheaper to add funds from your commissary account to your telephone account. They have an automated telephone system and you can transfer the funds that way. When I left prison I think it was around $3.30 per call. You can only talk for 15 minutes at a time.

mimikitty
03-16-2004, 01:35 PM
If it is not too much bother, I have yet another set of niggling questions...

1. I like making little dolls out of FIMO (a type of clay)...is it possible to get this clay sent to me so I can continue making them?

2. My mother would like to know if she can send me things like shampoo, conditioner, facial wash, body shampoo etc...

3. I have heard that there are cosmetology courses available at certain camps...would you happen to know which ones and how would I go about taking these courses?

4. Am I able to have photographs sent to me? May I bring some with me?

5. My friends and family will be sending me Japanese magazines and books...will this be an issue?

Thank you again! :)

Kapara
03-16-2004, 04:11 PM
Thank you so much for the info. As I am heading to Coleman in couple weeks, I have couple more questions:
1. Hair color - is it possible at all?
2. Jogging - Is there place for jogging in Camp? Are you allowed to?

Thank you again
Jenny

cjjack
03-16-2004, 05:05 PM
Mimikitty-at the camps I was at you can buy fimo clay on commissary and they also have classes you can take.
No, you can't have anything brought or sent to you. You can buy what you need on commissary.
They do have cosmetology classes. Go to the Education department and ask about it. There are certain time requirements, I think you have to have at least 18 months left on your sentence. A lot of ladies take cosmetology because it is far less expensive than what you would pay on the outside. When I left it was $150.
You can have photographs sent in to you as long as they are not polaroid. You can have up to 25.
As far as Japanese books I don't believe it will be a problem. Ask when you arrive.

Kapara, yes you can purchase haircolor.
Yes, you can go jogging. Lots of ladies do. There is a track where you can jog.

walkingtourist
03-16-2004, 09:02 PM
Hi,
I have just a few questions:
1. bunkbeds... I know that women over 50 get bottom bunks and I'm not yet 50 so that doesn't apply to me... but, what about short people??? Are the beds very tall? I'm five feet tall... will I have trouble getting in and out, especially if I need to get up suddenly in the middle of the night?
2. How would I keep a diary safe and private?
3. Are sketchpads sold at the commissary?
4. I have sensitive ears and special earplugs... and a letter from a speech-language pathologist explaining my need for those earplugs. Will I have any difficulty getting those earplugs in?
5. Today, we had a blizzard. And, until nearly a foot of snow landed on my house, I hadn't even considered the possibility of inclement weather. My self-surrender date is April 6, and, where I live, that is really borderline winter/spring. What will happen if I fail to show up on time due to a storm. Should I just call and explain?
Well, that's enough questions for now, I suppose.
Thank you for your assistance.

"meowmachine":)

cjjack
03-17-2004, 12:10 AM
Meow, they don't really take into consideration how short you are. I had a bunkie who was 4' 6" and she was on the top bunk. There are ladders on the beds.
Yes, they sell sketchpads, at least the institutions where I was. You can keep your diary in your locker. You will have to purchase a lock from commissary. They also sell earplugs. As far as special earplugs, it souds like that is an issue for medical so I really don't know one way or another. If you are self surrendering I would take them along with the letter and see what they say.
I think that greyghost would be the one to ask about your last question. I really don't have an answer.
Hope this helps some.
Chrisa

mimikitty
03-17-2004, 06:42 AM
Thank you so much for your responses! Knowing that I can make my little FIMO dolls is strangely reassuring :p I know, it seems silly, but right now, it is the little things that are keeping me together.

Would anyone here have a basic list of the items sold at the commisary? Would you happen to remember the types (brands) of cleaners and such?

As for the cosmetology course...What do they teach exactly? Hair? Nails? Make-up? All of the above? Once you complete the course, are you fully licensed?

Thank you again! You are all fabulous assets to this board!

walkingtourist
03-17-2004, 10:31 AM
Hi Chrisa,

Thank you so much for the answers that you could give. It's a relief to know that I'll be able to have a diary and a sketch pad in prison. I was very concerned about those tall beds and knowing that there is a ladder is a big help. After I was arrested, I spent the night in the county jail, and there were no ladders... you just had to climb up. Fortunately, someone taller than me agreed to take the top bunk and I slept on the bottom... it was hard work for me to get on top of that bed with my short legs.

When the storm finally ended last night, the total amount of snowfall was fourteen inches... and a record-breaker. Wow!

meowmachine, covered in snow:rolleyes:

walkingtourist
03-17-2004, 10:32 AM
Hi Mimikitty,

What are FIMO dolls? Please describe for me what one looks like.

Thank you!

meowmachine:)

cjjack
03-17-2004, 10:39 AM
Yes, they teach all those things in the cosmetology program. The commissary list varies depending on which institution you go to. But they have things such as Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Dove soap, all name brand things basically. But as I said, it will vary institution to institution, some are better than others.
I'm glad that I can answer some of your questions. It's frightening enough just knowing that you are going to prison and it helps some to have an idea as to what to expect!

Wow, thats a lot of snow, Meow! It's 65 degrees where I am!

justvicki
03-17-2004, 11:27 AM
Good job, Chrisa!

Don't forget to mention you can crochet! LOL

cjjack
03-17-2004, 01:01 PM
Yes, Vicki and and I were crochet partners in Alderson. We crocheted A LOT!! :)

sbrown110
03-17-2004, 01:32 PM
This is all wonderful information. It is almost funny all the little things we each need everyday to keep us sane. And how the thought of not having something is going to push us over the edge... I think it is the unknown that panics us...

I could list thousands of questions. But what I really need to know is ...

If I self-surrender can I have on me papers with my addresses and phone numbers of family and friends. I understand it can take some time to get commissary and your phone card activated and also visitation. For phone calls and visitation - what info on someone do you need? Name, address, do you need their social security number? drivers license number? anything else?

Also, I will be heading to prison with lots of restitution due... What do you know about them deducting funds from your account for restitution? How much do you think would be safe in a commissary account? $50, $100, $200 ???

Do they issue any personal hygeine items? or do you have to pay for all of that yourself?

Thanks,
Sheryl

cjjack
03-17-2004, 01:41 PM
You can spend $290 per month. If you take money with you it will post in your commissary account either the same day or the following day.
As far as the visitation forms-you will send the form to the person that you want to visit you and they will fill it out with their information. They will then send it directly to your counselor-not to you. Make sure you tell the person that. There will be an address to send it to on the visitation form.
Well when you arrive they will give a couple of little trial size items. Shampoo, soap, toothpaste. But they don't give out these items on a regular basis, at least not in my experience. The only place that did this was Bryan. So yes, you will have to purchase your own hygiene items.
I don't know if you will be able to bring anything with names an addresses. Once you get designated you can call the institution and ask.

walkingtourist
03-17-2004, 03:53 PM
Oh! Crocheting! :idea: One of my favorite hobbies! What sort of yarn is available? How about thread? (My friends have been teasing me about making doilies with Martha.)

meowmachine:rolleyes:

cjjack
03-17-2004, 03:55 PM
You'll see people doing a whole lot of crocheting! They have all different colors of yarn, and also thread. I still crochet!

Chrisa

justvicki
03-17-2004, 04:08 PM
Chrisa makes beautiful angels!!!! She gave me a copy of her pattern when she left Alderson for Bryant!!!!! :)

kintml2u
03-17-2004, 06:18 PM
You 2 were in together?

You are really making a difference here with the help you have offered! It shows a true spirit of PTO...and we feel blessed to have you here with us!

Diane

kintml2u
03-17-2004, 06:32 PM
Someone else mentioned this once before on PTO....

You can "mail yourself" a list of names,address's and phone numbers the day before you surrender. This way if the one you go in with is lost or not allowed with you, you'll have a back up on the way!

I thought it was a good idea....

Diane

cjjack
03-17-2004, 06:47 PM
Yes, Vicki (guysgal) and I were together in Alderson. She is a lovely lady and I'm glad to know her!

justvicki
03-17-2004, 08:55 PM
At FPC Alderson, WV the cosmetology, course is taught by contracted outside instructors, and classes are 5 days a week, M-F from 12 - 8 p.m. At the end of the 18 month course the inmates are tested on site, and if they pass they are licensed cosmetologists in West Virginia. Since so many states have reciprocity for cosmetologists, the inmate usually only has to apply for their license in their home state, and doesn't have to test again. As inmates we were able to make appointments for manicures, pedicures, facials, and even haircuts. In addition, you could also purchase haircolor and perms off commissary and have them done in cosmetology.

Oh yes, and if you were going home or to a half-way house, you could have a set of artificial nails put on the day before u left.. All in all, not too bad. :)

justvicki
03-17-2004, 08:59 PM
Yes, Chrisa and I were housed together at Alderson until she left for Bryant. We spent many hours crocheting together. Unfortunately, we lost touch. I just happen to see her name in her signature, and when I read a few of her post I just had a feeling it was her. (Not many Chrisa's out there). I PM'd her a couple of weeks ago and we reconnected. Its been great. And thanks for the compliment, Diane!

walkingtourist
03-17-2004, 09:48 PM
Hi Diane,

How do you get your mailing address for the prison in advance? I called the prison for a list of things that I could bring with me after the probation officer suggested that I do that. I also asked for the mailing address and the guy who answered the telephone said quite gruffly, "You'll get that when you arrive!" I tried asking again but he remained unresponsive. At that point, I simply gave up on him and politely said goodbye and ended the conversation. I also wondered what happened to the secretary! This guy's talents certainly did not lie in that direction. But... I don't know how to mail the addresses and phone numbers to myself... I could just put them in an envelope and leave it with my parents to mail it to me as soon as they get a letter from me... I guess...

meowmachine:rolleyes:

cjjack
03-17-2004, 10:00 PM
Meow, what prison are you going to?

walkingtourist
03-17-2004, 10:08 PM
Hi,

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

I'm going to Danbury, Connecticut, about 440 miles from my hometown. The letter from my probation officer said "FCI Danbury."

meowmachine:cool:

cjjack
03-17-2004, 10:20 PM
Ok, I just thought if it was somewhere i have been that I might have it handy.

justvicki
03-17-2004, 11:57 PM
You will need your Reg.# in order to get mail, and you won't have that until you get there and are booked in R&D. So, the idea about having your parents send you your list of addresses and telephone numbers is a good one.

mimikitty
03-18-2004, 06:11 AM
Is there a limit on how many people can take the cosmetology course? Are people turned away? Would anyone here know which camps offer this course?

I often give my mom and friends facials, pedicures and manicures, so I figure I might as well get licensed while I am tucked away at in BOP :-)

sbrown110
03-18-2004, 08:22 AM
Another PTO member, Holly who is surrendering today I think... Well, she left her address with a number posted here yesterday or the day before.

I've also seen postings where people with self-surrender dates, while still at home were able to find themselves listed in the BOP locator, and is that how they got their numbers???

Is anyone familiar with this? or maybe it just depends on the facility where you are going.

This thread is great, for women's federal facilities, there are so few by comparioson to male, and I imagine different. Does anyone agree???

Thanks,
Sheryl

walkingtourist
03-18-2004, 09:46 AM
Hi Sheryl,

I agree that this is a great thread! There are way more facilities for men than for women. I think that means that we have to take a longer trip to get there, which makes it more difficult for friends and family to come and visit us.

Yes, I checked the BOP locator and found my register number. It says that I am "in transit." I'm sitting in my house and not acting very much as if I'm "in transit," so I might try pretending to be carsick or something. :ha: I suppose that I should just give my friends and family the number so that they can locate me via the internet.

And speaking about visits, does anyone have any idea of what visitors are allowed to bring with them? Can they bring board games, decks of cards, or anything else, so that we can have fun while visiting? I understand that they are not allowed to bring any food to me at all... no cookies, brownies and certainly no cake!!!!:rolleyes:

meowmachine:)

gruper
03-18-2004, 10:29 AM
Hi all - I just got back from my stay at camp Carswell in December, so anything you want to ask, go ahead. I should be up to date, although since I've left, the camp administrator AND the warden of the prison have both changed (wonder if the new ones read PTO like the old ones did??!! :) We laughed one day when one of the counselors had pages printed out from the warden about what was being written!

I think I can answer just about anything - medical, commissary, recreation, furloughs, jobs, phone, rules, etc. - so PM me, or I'll try to keep up with posts if I can. I remember how scared I was, and maybe I can help someone else by answering their questions (ToniB saved me by telling me exactly what would happen to me when I got there!)

I had a roommate who had been acquainted with Susan McDougal while she was there - and yes, she WAS at the camp, because I had her old bed - does that mean I've slept where someone (in)famous slept? Hmmm... my dubious claim to fame. I also saw her making the rounds on the talk show circuit, and believe me, her memory has FADED with time - it is NOTHING like she said. Good grief.

I am just so glad to be home... and I still haven't worn ANYTHING green - after wearing it continuously, I've sworn off it!! :)

sbrown110
03-18-2004, 10:46 AM
To meow machine - where are you heading and when? and for how long? I will be right behind you. Working on a plea agreement. For less than 24 months I hope.

I used to visit a guy at a federal camp in Texas and I carried in a clear plastic purse thing, like a large make-up bag/tote. I think it was a rule that the purse had to be clear so they could see. It was subject to being searched, but they rarely did. I always carried a deck of cards with me and that was no problem. I took single dollar bills and a roll of quarters so we could get lunch and snacks from the vending machine. You are not allowed to bring in food. But sometimes I would sneak in something for him. Usually steak from a local restaurant, or a breakfast taco picked up that morning. I always carried my make-up in that bag, money, DL, sometimes I would stuff papers in the bag to prevent anyone from seeing the food.

I imagine every facility is different. This was a camp and very relaxed.

gruper
03-18-2004, 10:54 AM
Just looked at another page and saw some questions I do know the answers to.. (gotta figure out this site again since it's changed since last year!)

I sent mail to myself before I ever left home (about 2 days prior to my self-surrender date) so I'd be sure and GET some, and also so I'd have pictures of my family and all my addresses. You can address it with your name, Reg # (find that on the BOP webpage Inmate Locater - it'll be there long before you leave!)... and the rest of the Carswell address - FMC Carswell, PO Box 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127. It arrived fine and it was a relief to hear my name at mail call. Silly, but true.

I also took a paperback address book with me - the kind you get from Hallmark - with everything written in it and was allowed to keep that. You cannot take a copy of your PSI, so don't bother. You can have other legal papers, but not that. They'll have a copy which you can eventually look at if you need to. Also, you can take a pair of earrings WITHOUT stones (hoops are okay if they're smaller than a quarter) - the value has to be less than $100. You may also take a necklace with a cross or religious medallion, a wedding ring with no stones - also all valued at less than $100. You can take a paperback Bible, but no other books. Many women get in with their watches - so get a cheap one at Walmart and try - I didn't, and HATED being without one, but also refused to pay $40 at commissary for one. I had read that sometimes you could get in with your tennis shoes and bra, but I didn't, and neither did anyone else while I was there, so I wouldn't bother. You'll get a sports bra (hooray for the uni-boob) when you're in R&D, along with some really ugly slip-on tennies that you'll be stuck with until you go to commissary to buy "real" ones. At Carswell, tennis shoes start at $37 for nylon and leather Reeboks, and go up to over $100 for high-tops. I bought the cheapest and they were wearing out when I left, but I walked about 1200 miles on the track, too!

TAKE MONEY WITH YOU!!! A money order made out to FMC Carswell with your name and register number on it is the best, but you can also take cash if you're willing to trust them with it. You can take as much as you like for the first time and this speeds up your shopping and phone process considerably!! Waiting for money to post at the Georgia address is unbearable, as they are sometimes REALLY slow. Spending limit is $290 per month, not including stamps. I never spent that much except my first month when I had to purchase lots of clothing (shorts, t-shirts, sweats, shoes, etc.) and those are all "extra" because I did not want to wear prison-issued cotton pants and shirts all the time. But, take money if you can - that's very important!

At the camp at Carswell, you get toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and razors once a month. I used the toothpaste to make my laundry whiter, and the shampoo to add to my laundry as well. I purchased "real" toothpaste and laundry soap on commissary. You get laundry soap every other Wednesday morning, and I also used to mix it with my "real" soap. Washers and dryers are free, but it's sometimes a long wait (get up early!!)

I spent the most money on the phone - 300 minutes a month was $60 for me since everything was long distance. It's hard to make them last all month, too... that was the very worst part!

Restitution starts about 30 days after you get there and is based on a "formula" they create, but it's sometimes quite a bit. I had friends who were paying several hundred dollars. This is where having your family send money comes into play - the formula is based on the amount of money you get IN each month, combined with what you're paid for your job (not much, trust me!) So, if you can figure out what you'll really need to survive - commissary, phone, stamps - and then have your family send as close to that as you can, it helps. Of course, that's only if you have restitution, some didn't. You'll have time to figure it all out after you get there, but keep it in mind. Using your account like a savings account doesn't make sense if you have a large dollar amount of restitution.

The camp at Carswell is not really a bad place at all - there are many, many nice women there (there are some who are kinda strange, too, of course!!), but all in all, if I had to be someplace, I'd rate it highly - compared to the women I knew while I was there who'd been other places, and from what I've read on here. You have a LOT of free time and there's no "controlled movement" (moving only during the first 5 minutes of every hour). You can come and go as you please, for the most part. The worst is the separation from your family.

Oh - almost forgot - visitation. Visitors can bring nothing with them but money (the machines now take dollar bills, but are sometimes out of change). Quarters are best - about $20. There are vending machines with sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, candy, pop, popcorn, etc. My advice? Buy what you think you'll want to eat during the day EARLY - it all disappears quickly! There's a microwave available. Also, there are games, cards, etc. and a kid's playroom and television if you have children. You can also sit outside (smoking must be outside). Your visitors CAN bring one unopened pack of cigarettes with them, and they can't leave with them, so smoke them all! No lighters - there are lighters on the buildings to use. MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE they have a current car tag, registration and insurance or they will be turned away - this is only at Carswell because it's an active military base. Also, get in line EARLY... the guards are notoriously slow at letting people in. To get in by 9:00, get in line at least by 7:00 AM!!

sbrown110
03-18-2004, 11:39 AM
Thank you gruper

I am thinking of asking my attorney to request Carswell for me. I would hope to get RDAP- drug program. I am in MN with my husband and child - closest fermale facility is 400 miles away at Pekin. There is very little chance my husband will be able to afford visiting weekends. The remainder of my family is in Texas. My brother is close to Carswell and everyone else is in Houston. So I figure I could have family visits and when my husband can afford it he would make a trip to see me and have a place to stay for the weekend.

Anyway, if I get Carswell I'm thinking you'll be a great resource for me. How long have you been out. Did you leave any friends there? If I end up going there I would love to know that someone would be there to welcome me.

So thanks for the informative post. I am probably at least 60-90 days away from self surrrender, I hope.

I hope you stay around and can help me go thru the process.

Sheryl

payroll2002
03-18-2004, 12:03 PM
Gruper- Thanks for all the info., it really helps. I just have a few quick questions:
1. Now that you are out, is it hard to find a job? What do you put on your application?
2. Do they inform you on what kinds of jobs you can apply for or is there a web site you can locate that information at? (I'm in San Bernardino, CA)
3. Have you thought about expunging your records or have you found out about that, like the charge for that and what exactly does it cover and who can look into it or can they, and what do you put on your application once it is done?
I know these are crazy questions, but if you don't know can you inform me who can or where can I find this info. at?
Thanks payroll

walkingtourist
03-18-2004, 02:19 PM
Hi Gruper,
Wow, this is really helpful information. I'll let my family and friends know about the money for the vending machines and about arriving early to see me... going outside to visit sounds good. We don't smoke so I don't need to tell them about the pack of cigarettes.
I will try to get my watch in, if possible. I suppose the worst that can happen is that the watch is sent home, along with my clothes. Sigh.:yuck: I do so love wearing bright colors. I'm hoping to be able to keep my bra, too... but, if it goes in that box, it goes. Should the money order be a "postal money order"? How much is reasonable? :confused: I was fined $500, and I understand that money will be taken out of my commissary account for that.
meowmachine:ham:

walkingtourist
03-18-2004, 02:29 PM
Hi Sheryl,
My probation officer told me to report to Danbury FCI on April 6. I asked him to postpone it for me for a week or two so that I could have Easter with my church choir... but he said no to this soprano. Sigh. (I'm such a diva!) My sentence is ninety days for trespassing on a military base during a protest.
I'll suggest to my mom that she carry a deck of cards in her purse. I don't think that she can fit a Scrabble game... it would be too obvious! I think that's funny about sneaking the food into the camp!!!:D
I hope that you're having a good day.
meowmachine:cool:

cjjack
03-18-2004, 04:01 PM
Finding a job can be difficult depending on what you are looking for. I have had trouble with this. I am ALWAYS honest on my applications. The majority of businesses will do a background check on you and if you lie this will automatically disqualify you from the position that you are applying for. The best thing to do is have your resume ready even before you are released. I did that and it was one less thing I had to worry about. It's a tight job market and it can be difficult to find employment. I live in Tennessee and I have found no resources that are available to help felons find employment. I'm sure that some states do have something like that available.

gruper
03-18-2004, 04:54 PM
I agree with cjjack on always being honest on an application, although I must admit, facing the prospect of people asking questions and automatically assuming the worst about you is terrible. Oh well! As for expunging your records; from what I understand, it cannot be done until your time "on paper" (probation) is complete, and even then, I'm not sure what it entails. I plan on asking my attorney about it. I know of no real resources to help you find employment except your probation officer - mine is very nice.

As for bras... forget it! Anything they THINK you'll like will be tossed into the box to send home! (One thing about the box that I didn't think of was how hard it would be for my family to get it - my husband said it was like I had died or something, and he put it in a closet without opening it). Yes, take a postal money order - the feds like to know it's THEIR money already! To go in, I took $350 and was glad I did. I'd take no less than $200. At Carswell, no one could bring in any type of purse at all, but people did sneak in "food goodies" in the pockets of their jackets, etc. There was nothing I craved THAT much except pizza, and it wasn't "smuggle-able"!!

Meow - there was a woman at Carswell with the same sentence, and I did notice that she was somewhat shunned (for lack of a better word) because (a) her sentence was SO short compared to the rest of the women there, and (b) few women there found the sense in why she was even there. So, keep in mind that you'll be a "short-timer" and just get by. You WILL find friends ... I don't mean to be discouraging, but it's more difficult. I was only in for 6 months and many still had nothing to do with me... which isn't that surprising when you consider some had been there 8+ years with MANY more left. Prison is NOT the place to complain, whine, etc! (waaaaaaaaahhhh... I often WANTED to!)

Sheryl - If you are looking at an RDAP program to shorten your sentence, the camp at Carswell doesn't have that program and you'll be sent to another facility - probably Bryan. The one thing I did figure out was worth avoiding was any kind of transfer - they shackle you during transport. For someone who managed to complete the whole ordeal having never even been handcuffed, that scared me to death! Lots of women left for RDAP programs while I was there, because it significantly shortens your sentence, but I heard the aftercare part was a pain... don't know exactly what THAT means. I would find out more about RDAP before requesting Carswell, but all of that depends on how long your sentence is, I suppose. Sometimes getting in to an RDAP program takes quite awhile.

I've been home since the middle of December and left many good friends there - which sounds strange till you experience it. Before leaving, I was firmly convinced I'd be the ONLY normal person there - ha!! I wouldn't want to ever go back, but it was certainly not as bad as I expected... amazingly enough!

walkingtourist
03-18-2004, 05:56 PM
Hi Gruper,

Thank you for all of the advice. It's very helpful and gives me a good idea of what to expect. The bra, of course, will be on me... but if I don't get to keep it, well, that's life. I understand that concept of short-timer. Yes, I will be there for a very short amount of time, and I am sure that there will be plenty of people who will have no clue as to what the heck I'm doing there. I also understand that their sentences run for years, not for weeks. I am able to put up more resistance to authority than they can because I don't have to endure it for all that long. I will try to keep my attitude in check and not whine. Nobody wants to hear that! But I also don't want them to feel sad because I get to go home so soon and they don't. I feel very bad for them already and I'm not even there yet! sigh.
meowmachine

cjjack
03-18-2004, 07:05 PM
Actually aftercare is not that difficult at all. I went through RDAP and I highly recommend it. I am only required to go to a class once a month for six months, next week is my last class. If you are doing what you are supposed to do then supervised release and aftercare are not that difficult at all.
Also, if you do transfer many times they let you furlough to another institution. When they transferred 48 of us from Alderson to Bryan 2/3 of us got to furlough transfer. You get a bus ticket and some money and off you go.

cjjack
03-18-2004, 07:19 PM
I just wanted to add something about the RDAP program. Yes, one year of aftercare is required but the majority of the people who go through RDAP are committed to staying clean and sober so the aftercare is actually a great place of support for you once you are released and faced with temptation. I would highly recommend anyone who is eligible for RDAP to take it. I can't say enough about how great the program is. It is definitely one of the things that the BOP has done right!!

Kapara
03-18-2004, 07:32 PM
Meow, you can get it from bop.gov website. and your letter tells you your prisoner number...I guess that's you prisoner number?

remiella
03-18-2004, 08:51 PM
If anyone wants to know about MCC Chicago (women's unit), MCC NYC, Oklahoma FTC, Danbury FCI (women) and Pekin FPC let me know.

sbrown110
03-18-2004, 09:16 PM
If anyone wants to know about MCC Chicago (women's unit), MCC NYC, Oklahoma FTC, Danbury FCI (women) and Pekin FPC let me know.

Yes, please, I am headed to a women's federal facility - don't know where yet. I am in Minneapolis and I am thinking about what I would want my attorney to ask for. I know I would qualify for a camp. What is MCC Chicago? as that would be closest to my home and then next is Pekin. Were you in both? How do they compare?

Thanks for any general info you could give me. Do they both have the RDAP program?

Sheryl

hkieffer
03-18-2004, 09:44 PM
All things being equal - without any separation issues and with available bedspace - someone from Minnesota (female) would probably go to Pekin, Il. I have several clients there and they do not complain any more than most.

walkingtourist
03-18-2004, 10:16 PM
Yes, please, I am going to Danbury. My letter says "FCI." I would like to know more about it.

meowmachine

remiella
03-18-2004, 11:58 PM
Hi Sbrown, got your Pm.

MCC Chicago is most for people awaiting trial, unsentences and newly arrested. High security, overcrowded and pretty much not a place you want be in. If you are in MN and self surrender, you will probably go to Pekin FPC (granting that are classified low security). Pekin has no fences. It has two units, they are named Kansas and Nebraska. The units have two long hallways with two bed cubicles. At first you will not go to a cubicle, you will be in a new inmate intake room with bunk beds until there is an available dorm room. There is an exercise facility, pool table, religious services, a law library, education department, racquet court, walking trail and gardening in the spring. The avaialble jobs are landscaping, HVAC, construction, GED tutoring, and orderly jobs.
The food is acceptable but nothing to scream about. The commisary sells a wide variety of stuff including monthly purchases of beads and related craft materials.
Comparing this facility to others it gets the 4 star rating. However, don't forget it is prison. They have zero tolerance for rule breaking. Unruly women get Segregation time in Peoria if they are found out of line or out of bounds. I hope this helps. PM me if you need additional info.Peace

remiella
03-19-2004, 12:00 AM
Oh Forgot

No drug program in Pekin. You will have to go to Danbury for that.

remiella
03-19-2004, 12:33 AM
Hey Meowmachine

Danbury ah. Danbury has a camp and an adjacent prison. I was in the prison. Danbury prison was build sometime ago and it housed men until a decade ago. I believe it is a rough place. There are some 1100 women there. There are multiple units. The drug program unit, the trauma unit, the rest of the units are numbered from 2 to 12. Unit 2 (where I was) is most undesirable unit to be in. IT is a three tiered structure with metal bars and all just like the movies.A 6x8 cell that houses 2 inmates. If you weigh more than 120lbs you cannot turned around in the cell. There is a huge recreational area, an oval running/walking track, religious hall, messhole (cafeteria), workshop area and UNICOR. They also have a greenhouse program. The library is the only noteworthy place in Danbury. The law library is outdated therefore legal research is impossible. Laundry is done by the inmates in each unit. Laundry detergent is distributed at 6:00 am on tuesdays and thursdays, if you are not up and in line to get it, you cannot do laundry. Shakedowns are done routinely. Fights are the norm. Women there have a variety of sentences and charges. I met women with life sentences, 40 year sentences and short timers all in one place.
Danbury is also the federal dumbing ground for women to be deported after the completion of their sentence. Inmates with violent offenses from DC are also placed in there. Segregation is right next to unit 2, so women going to seg are trafficked through unit 2. The rest of the units are open dormitories with bunk beds.
Jobs are kitchen, orderly, painting and construction, workshop, yard worker and library or educational and some clerical positions. Commissary is distributed according to your assigned day. In order to prevent any writes you must check the unit list nightly (roster) to see if any appointments have been set for you. If you do not show up in appointments you will be picking up cigarette butts from the yard for a week.
Danbury is a true prison experience. My advice in surviving it, is make yourself usefull to other women. Help with GED classes, create a study group, be a legal researcher, work really hard. Personal survival guide: read like it's going out of style, choose the women that surround you very carefully, beware of head games, sexual predators, promises of protection and set ups.
No matter where you are going, remember to tell yourself that you can handle it. No matter what, it will be OK, I promise you. Keep you chin up. Peace.

cjjack
03-19-2004, 01:17 AM
Wow, Ramiella, thats sounds rough. Do you have any info about the camp? I have never heard much about it.

remiella
03-19-2004, 02:14 AM
HI cjjack

Don't know about Danbury's camp. Sorry. Peace

Kapara
03-19-2004, 01:47 PM
Ladies,
I am heading to Coleman camp next month. Any body been there...done that..? Can you keep yourself busy all day or there are some time during the day that you have nothing to do? Before my bond i spent some time at the county and the most difficult were the hours of doing nothing and the time just stops.
Do you start the work and the classes as soon as you arrive there or it takes time?
Thank you for all the other information you provided here

sbrown110
03-19-2004, 01:58 PM
Does anyone know how the Danbury camp compares to the adjacent prison? And where is RDAP housed? This place sounds awful. The only upside if I went to Danbury is I may get to be Martha's roommate!! LOL

OK , my real question is.... what is a 4 star prison??? like we're discussing hotels and comparing the Hyatt to Holiday Inn... Who does the ratings?

Has anyone here read any of the "Going to Federal Prison" books out there? Would you recommend them? Seems like I can get everything I need to know here at PTO. And with new rules/wardens something published 1-2 years ago could already be way outdated??? Do you think a woman headed to prison needs to read any of these manuals???

Thanks,
Sheryl

mimikitty
03-19-2004, 02:27 PM
Hey hey!

What are the showering facilities like in a camp? Clean? Mildewy? Strange creatures living in the grout?

Would anyone here have any information on the camps on the west coast i.e. California?

And on a random note...are all the bras that are available, sports bras? :hmm:

Thank you!

cjjack
03-19-2004, 02:43 PM
No, they aren't all sports bras. Just depends on the facility.

The showers aren't too bad, at least the places I was at. You will need to buy shower shoes from the commissary though. But the unit orderlies do a pretty good job of keeping the bathrooms clean. At least until all the women come in and mess them up!

One more thing. Some commissaries sell bras, others don't.

gruper
03-19-2004, 03:50 PM
Showers at Carswell Camp are heaven - you are housed in an old military hotel, and each room has up to 5 women with an individual bath! Hooray - you get to take a shower BY YOURSELF with the door closed! Each room does their own cleaning, and let me tell you, some of them are SO CLEAN even Martha wouldn't complain. Others.... well..... it depends! But, the housing facilities are great - individual room heat & air, a TV that rotates to each room about every 5th week (depending on if you keep your room clean enough at inspection), carpet on the floors, and a kitchenette (sink and cabinets) area. I hated prison, but compared to what I'd read, I could not complain about being there!

Bras - LOL - sports bra was given to me at R&D, then I got the yukkiest nylon (typical WalMart $5 special) type bras when I got my uniforms (it's called getting "dressed out" if you're learning prison lingo like I had to). They weren't great, but I survived. Bras were available for sale at commissary, but they were no better. One of my happiest moments when leaving? Putting on the Victoria's Secret bra my husband sent me to wear home!! Talk about learning to appreciate the little things!!

gruper
03-19-2004, 03:53 PM
Almost forgot - I bought books before leaving (copies of the handbook and commissary list, etc.), but that was BEFORE I found this site. If I had to do it again, I'd just have found this sooner and saved a LOT of money. However, they were helpful, and even though they were several years old, they had not changed ONE bit. I got the same ones upon arrival (and still have them). It helped to know things, but still was quite an experience figuring out all the UNWRITTEN rules when I got there!

walkingtourist
03-19-2004, 05:09 PM
Hi Remiella,
Danbury prison sounds very frightening... like one of those B-movies. :eek: And those cages must have been quite claustrophobic. Can I assume that "segregation" and "the hole" are one and the same???
Thank you for the advice about helping out with GED. I have a degree in journalism and could help tutor anyone who needs help with writing skills. And I'll read a lot and write and try to avoid head games...
Hmmm...
I'm very grateful for your support and encouragement, Remiella.
meowmachine

sbrown110
03-20-2004, 04:53 PM
Another petty, silly question... Can you get tweezers in prison?

Thanks,
Sheryl

remiella
03-20-2004, 06:54 PM
Sheryl tweezers are contraband in medium security but are allowed in some institutions... go figure.Peace

justvicki
03-20-2004, 08:16 PM
You could buy tweezers at Alderson, along with toenail and fingernail clippers, scissors, and cuticle trimmers.

sbrown110
03-21-2004, 12:38 PM
thanks, about the tweezers. I think I will be in a camp. I just can't imagine not being able to get rid of the wild hairs that show up on my face sometimes. How embarrassing... LOL

Sheryl

kintml2u
03-21-2004, 04:51 PM
Has anyone here read any of the "Going to Federal Prison" books out there? Would you recommend them? Seems like I can get everything I need to know here at PTO. And with new rules/wardens something published 1-2 years ago could already be way outdated??? Do you think a woman headed to prison needs to read any of these manuals???

I have purchased for $70.
"The US Federal Prison System" by Mary Bosworth.

You'll have to understand my review...when we first started this bit, and knew nothing about feds except what others say, it would have been a good read.

However, now that places like PTO (not being partial here) are available, it's not worth the $70. {to me}

You all are getting more first hand interaction with these woman here and it doesn't touch what the book could cover.

Diane

sbrown110
03-21-2004, 07:27 PM
Thanks Diane. I was thinking all this first hand info thru PTO was probably more than the books could offer. The women here at PTO who have been thru what I am facing are fabulous for sharing their experiences. I hope to do the same for other fearful females when I make it to the other side.

Sheryl

remiella
03-21-2004, 07:31 PM
Sheryl

I cannot speak for all women but the issue for tweezers was the least of worries.When i got to prison i had an inward experience, meaning examination of myself, my limits, wants and needs and truly understanding what i am composed of. I could care less if I turned into a wolf with the facial hair and the plucking of the eyebrows. I hope you experience the same, it is very rewarding. However, I was always a self examiner, prison just exaggerated it. Peace

angieo
03-21-2004, 09:01 PM
If anyone wants to know about MCC Chicago (women's unit), MCC NYC, Oklahoma FTC, Danbury FCI (women) and Pekin FPC let me know.
I am going to pekin April 23rd. Everything you can tell me would be great. I'm starting to get very nervous.

remiella
03-21-2004, 11:13 PM
Angie0

Pekin isn't hard time. I will walk you through it. You arrive at R&D (receiving and discharge). You fill out some paper work. Just normal stuff. Then you state your size of clothing. The uniform is dark green ( a lovely forest green). You get 3 pants, 3 shirts, 3 white t-shirts, a pair of steel toe boots, toothbrush, socks and underwear. Physical exam follows, in the nude (go ahead and take it off they have seen it before). Case manager sees you next, spells out some rules. You may get some shots, like tetanus and a PPD test (tuberculosis). These are precaution for you as well as the inmates already inside.
After this processing you will be led to one of the housing units. You will either stay in Kansas or Nebraska. Both units have a preliminary intake unit, an open dorm with 6 or 8 bunk beds. After a month or so you will be given a bed in a cubicle which houses two women instead of 8. You will be assigned a job from your second day of arrival. They availability is limited and your choice even more so.
Pekin has a library, legal library, a large rec area, walking trail, greenhouse program, educational Ged programming, landscaping, construction jobs and HVAC.
Visiting room usually fills up on the weekends. You are searched going and coming from visits. The visiting room is pleasant, has vending machines and an outdoor small yard with picnic tables.
Commissary has cigarretes, candy, laundry stuff, quite a few items. Some crafts are allowed. Beading and crotching are the most popular.
While I was in Pekin i was allowed to teach a creative writing class. Take personal inventory of what you know well and ask the educational department is you will be allowed to teach. It is rewarding and gives other women the opportunity to occupy thier time constructively.
No fences, no bars in Pekin. Make sure you tame your tendency to just walk away from this place. The escape charge is going to add 5 years to your senetence.
Things to watch out for: groups formed for a particular reason, gossip and pettiness, relationships with other women based on favors/protection, gay sexuality (will land you in seg at Peoria), contraband.
I know this may sound goofy to you. Be thankful it is Pekin. The hardest thing I had to do there was rake rocks in the middle of nowhere; but I was outside looking at the sun. Keep you head high. The time will pass. Let me know if you have any more questions. Peace

sbrown110
03-22-2004, 04:20 PM
To all the women who have been there can you tell me about violence in the camps?

I have read a handful of very scary posts about violence. I am certain they are all male facilities, and probably not camp enviornments. But if you could please, can you be truthful and gentle at the same time. What's the worst thing going on? What's the worst you saw?

I have never been a fighter on the outside. And I intend to mind my own business and maintain a low profile while in. Do other women just come after you because they can? without being provoked?

Looking forward to hearing any feedback.

Thanks,
Sheryl

cjjack
03-22-2004, 05:20 PM
It was my experience that violence is extremely rare in camps. If you stay away from the troublemakers you'll be just fine. No one will come up to you and just beat you up. No way. Most women just want to do their time. And if you do fight you will be shipped to a higher level institution. The 4 camps I was in had zero tolerance for violence. If you fight you get shipped. Period. If you have a history of violence you would not be designated to a camp. It does happen but I only saw one fight when I was incarcerated. Most of the time there are just verbal arguements if anything. Don't worry about being attacked while your there. That is really the least of your worries. Just be respectful to others and you will find that most of the ladies are very kind.

sbrown110
03-22-2004, 07:40 PM
thanks Chrisa, I'm going to stop reading the scary posts and swear off all of those prison movies also.

Sheryl

cjjack
03-22-2004, 07:48 PM
lol. You'll be okay! :)

emily davison
03-26-2004, 02:16 AM
lol. You'll be okay! :)



does anyone have any info about vspw my sister just got 4 years this is our first experience with prison please help im scared for her.

cjjack
03-26-2004, 02:27 AM
Emily, is she going to a federal facility?

sbrown110
03-29-2004, 03:13 PM
I have made contact with lots of you ladies who, along with me, will be surrendering soon. I can't keep all of your names and screen names straight. Who all is on their way, where and when. I don't have a sentencing date or surrender date yet so I imagine it will come after yours. In the meantime I would like to trade information, and stay in contact. If I follow even one of you to the facility where you go, I would like to look you up. Let's stay strong for each other and ourselves.

Sheryl

payroll2002
03-29-2004, 06:40 PM
Sheryl, that sounds like a good idea. I get sentenced on April 12, 2004, and yes i'm kinda scared, but I know there is nothing I can do. I signed a plea bargain for 2 years to do 16 months, but my attorney called me the other day to inform me that the district attorney talked to him and they are going to reduce my time even more. I am happy, but I don't know how much more, I will find out on the 12th. Well keep in touch.
Georgia

mimikitty
04-01-2004, 07:50 AM
This may seem rather random, but...

Could anyone tell me what an "average" day is like in a camp? What time do you wake up? Where do you go? What do you do? I am just curious and once again mentally gearing up for what will probably be 2+ years of BOP "hospitality." :-P

How are the camps at FCI Dublin and FCI Phoenix?

cjjack
04-01-2004, 08:14 AM
Mimi, every day is pretty much the same. I would wake up at 6 a.m. and take a shower. I would go to breakfast at 7 and then report to my job detail by 7:30 for roll call. I worked until 11 a.m. Everyone is called back to their units to wait to be released for lunch. Lunch lasted until 12:30. I worked until 3:45 in the afternoon. At 4 p.m is stand up count. After count cleared the units were released for dinner. You have free time up until 10 p.m. count. After that count clears you can go watch television but are not allowed in the common areas. We had to be in our rooms by 11:30 in Bryan and 1:00 a.m. in Alderson.
The weekends are a little different as we had brunch instead of lunch. There is also a 10:00 a.m. count on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. If you don't work your time is pretty much free. There is a stand up 4:00 count every day.

sbrown110
04-01-2004, 08:31 AM
Good morning girls..

If you self surrender to a camp, is there an orientation period? How long does it take to get a job if you do want one? At some camps I've heard no jobs are available, and you must cope with boredom. I've also heard you must work. Does it vary from camp to camp?

Thanks,
Sheryl

cjjack
04-01-2004, 08:38 AM
Yes, you definitely have to work. You have no choice. They will find something for you to do. They do have a one day orientation outlining the rules of the camp. They will have someone from the kitchen, education, the mail room, etc. speaking to you.

As far as how long it takes to find a job, it varies. Until you find a job you will be working in the unit with the orderlies cleaning. Just staying in your room doing nothing is not allowed.

hkieffer
04-01-2004, 11:07 AM
Let me just say that you will be assigned a job. According to many, not all jobs involve work.

remiella
04-01-2004, 09:42 PM
LOL Hkieffer

You are right. Some of the jobs are just called jobs but require that you show up with a regular pulse and breathing. However, my job at the camp was landscaping. I drove a tractor, trimmed the grass(endless task) with a weed wacker, rebuild faulty carbirators in lawn mowers, kept equipment clean, loaded soil and rocks in trucks and decorated the extrerior of all buildings. I was a tough job but I ilked working hard. It wore me out so i could just take a shower and crash, in addition to keeping me fit.
Peace

JamieBC
04-03-2004, 01:37 PM
I was wondering if anyone knew anything about FPC Phoenix. I will be headed there May 17. I wanted to work on my master's thesis while in there - but I guess computer access or access to a word processor is wishful thinking?? What about reading materials sent in - do they have to come directly from the publisher/ or am I just limited to what is in the prison library? What about getting old journal articles for my research - is it at all possible? Can someone tell me more about the prison library - what it contains, and what is available? I want to continue my graduate education in prison, but I am not sure how I am going to do that without having a computer, word processor, ability to attend lectures, email access, library catalogs, easy access to reading materials pertinent to my research, etc. Not only that - but I am too embarrassed to tell my program what is going on with me - I am afraid what they will think. So, I am thinking that I am going to ask for a year leave of absence for "peronal reasons" - and not let on about the whole prison stint. ANyone have any suggestions for me??
I AM SO LOST!
Jamie

FriscoLady
04-03-2004, 03:08 PM
Jamie,

I am afraid I can't help you with much knowledge of the federal camps. cjjack, and the others will be able to help there. I can't advise about your progress towards your BA, however, I knew a girl on state that managed to get hers. It took her awhile, but we had (I say had - it has since been ended) a program where we were allowed to attend classes, etc., at a women's college, just across the road from the prison. Sue, is now an Associate Prof. at UVA so I know it can be done.

But, as I said, cjjack and others can help more than I here.

Just for now, do me the favor of taking this one moment at a time one day at a time. Deal with one thing at a time if possible, the stress is enough without adding to it.

Your lost now, but we are here to listen and help, so you are not alone in this.

Stay strong,

Patti

cjjack
04-03-2004, 03:23 PM
Jamie, I am sorry to say that there is no internet access at all.

You can have reading material sent in. Paperback books can be sent from family/friends and hardback books can be sent as long as they come directly from the publisher. The prison library will vary from institution to institution but there will be mainly romance or suspense novels. Probably nothing at all that would help you.

JamieBC
04-04-2004, 02:47 AM
This website has been SO helpful to me. I feel like reading everyone's posts especially other women who are headed to federal prison - has really helped me mentally prepare for this. I am sure that when I go to prison I will find there are many lovely ladies that I will form friendships with as there are here in this forum. When I first got sentenced in November - I was completely unprepared for what I heard. My lawyer had me CONVINCED I would get probation (even 5 minutes before I was called up for sentencing I told him I was a little nervous and he replied "Don't be. There is absolutely no way the judge is going to send you to prison." Well, 5 minutes later I almost fainted at the year and a day sentence, and the WORST went through my mind (getting beaten up, raped, both, etc.). However, gratefully, the judge has given me until May 17 to surrender so I have had almost 6 months to prepare for this. A couple of months ago - it was literally not-do-able, and the prospect of going to prison was totally preposterous! I am finally adjusting to the reality of things - and I am so grateful for this website - as it has helped me tremendously.
Thanks!
Jamie

felonmom
04-16-2004, 01:14 PM
I had the same experience! I was told there was no way I'd go to prison, that at worst I'd get 30 days at home, "shock confinement". Well, I got that year and a day too! That one day is a blessing though.

Do have you been assigned a location yet? I was at Pekin, if that helps.

Good luck!

remiella
04-16-2004, 08:15 PM
Hi Felonmom

I was at Pekin from Feb of 1999 to June of 1999. Do we possibly know each other?
Peace

felonmom
04-17-2004, 03:36 PM
No, we weren't there at the same time. I was there in '03. But it's nice to meet you now. I bet we know a lot of the same people!

JamieBC
04-17-2004, 06:43 PM
Hi Felonmom,
I have been assigned FPC Phoenix, will be surrendering May 17. My mom will be taking care of my 6-year-old son while I am away. I do have a question for you - out of the one year and one day, how much did you actually spend in prison, in a halfway house, etc.? And, is there anything I should be concerned about, going to prison??
Jamie

felonmom
04-18-2004, 11:52 AM
With my good time, I was there for 10 1/2 months. I turned down halfway house, or I would've been out in 91/2 months. It was a personal decision for me, but a lot of women were trying to turn down halfway when I left, especially if they had less than 35 days in Halfway or less.

Good luck with everything. You can do this.

yasmine
04-20-2004, 12:56 PM
For those of you that have read my posts you know how angry I have been with so-called "experts" that have given false and exagerated accounts in the media lately as to what its really like in in the womens camps. I spent 4 years in 4 different camps so I do know something about them. I'm certainly no expert but I would like to share what I do know with those of you that are getting ready to go to a camp or who have loved ones inside. Going to prison is scary thing to contemplate without having to listen to horror stories in the media.
I was incarcerated in FPC Carswell, FPC Lexington, FPC Alderson and FPC Bryan in that order. Each camp is different. The rules should be the same in all of them but they aren't. Much depends on the warden as to what and how the rules are implemented. Some things are the same no matter where you end up though!
The first thing that will do is go to R&D(receiving and discharge). This will probably take awhile. They will dress you out in a uniform. You're picture will be taken and you will meet with someone from medical to discuss any health issues that you have or any medication that you are taking. Usually whatever prescription medication you are taking they will let you keep on taking it as long as its non-narcotic. You will fill out some paperwork and they will assign you to a unit. Each place has different lay-outs as far as the units go. I went from sleeping in a TV room to a 2 man room(with a door you can close anytime you want!)in Lexington. Alderson had 2 man cubicles with about 150 people per unit. After six months in Alderson you qualify to go to a cottage. There are a lot less people in a cottage and its more like a regular room. Bryan has 4 man rooms with 100-150 people per unit. One thing I forgot to mention about R&D is that yes, you will be stripped searched. No cavity searches, just squat and cough. Don't take it personal, the CO's have to do it. I got so used to it that it ended being no big deal. Not pleasant, just try not to think about it. You will also be issued bedding to take with you to your unit. The next morning you will go to laundry to be issued your uniforms. They give you 4 pants, 4 shirts, 5 t-shirts, 5 underwear and 5 pairs of socks. You will also be issued boots or shoes. If you want extra underwear and socks you can purchase them at the commissary. Until you are assigned a job you will work cleaning the unit during the day. Alderson and Bryan will let you actively seek a job instead of waiting to be assigned by the staff. If you are allowed to do that please do. I did and was very fortunate. I was a librarian at Alderson and a GED tutor for special learning needs ladies in Bryan. Just remember that you are required to work unless you have a medical condition that would prevent that. Usually ladies that cannot work due to their health end up going to Carswell.
Bring money with you if you are able. You can go to commissary and buy a variety of things, from cosmetics, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, hygiene items and craft supplies. ALderson has a wonderful commissary and Lexingtons is awful. Around the holidays the commissary will offer holiday items such as Christmas cookies, etc. You can also purchase cigarettes if you smoke.
The majority of the ladies that you meet are kind. You will not be attacked. I thought the same thing before I went to prison. I was going to be beat up or raped or both! It is nothing like that!! I made friends there that I will hopefully have for the rest of my life. Violence in a camp is rare. They are nice places as far as prison goes and if you fight you will be shipped someplace not so nice. Remember to be courteous to your roomates. Clean up after yourself and do your share of the cleaning. The CO's do room inspections. Just be neat and you won't have any problems.
Each prison will offer a variety of educational programs and recreation. If you don't have a GED you will be required to attend clasees. At Bryan the instructors for the local community college come in every evening to teach Information Management. You will receive college credit. There are also classes such as auto-cad, cosmetology and horticulture. Just go to the education department of the institution to see what they offer. Recreation offers bingo at some places. They have bags of goodies from Wal-Mart if you win. They also have a variety of other games. In Alderson they have roller skating in the winter. There are yoga classes and exercise classes. Each institution has a library, some better than others. I can go on and on about different programs that these institutions offer so if you have any specific questions just ask. I will answer what I can.
Your experience in prison will be what you make it. You can bemoan your fate all the time or you can use the time to reflect and work on whatever issues you feel you need to work on. You are already there and nothing will probably change that. Prison is not a fun place to be, but I did have some fun while I was there thanks to some of the lovely ladies I was there with.
I have gone on long enough here. I'm sure there will be things that I will think of later to add. As I said, if anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Chrisa
Hi. I have just entered a plea agreement to spend 33 months in FPC camp. As you are all aware, I am very nervous. I am 36-years old and a mother of a 7 year old son.(whom will staywith my mother) I live in Champaign, Illinois and am requesting to go to Pekin. I read all the postings on this forum and am so much more at ease. So I want to say thanks to all of you. Pretty much all of my questions were answered. I do have a few more:

1. What are the chances of getting into the prison your attorney/sentencing consulatant recommends? (such as Pekin) If not, how difficult is it to get a transfer?

2. Also, I need a few glasses of wine to sleep every night because of the anxiety- do you think this would constitute being admitted into an RDAP program?

3. Are there alot of children in the visiting room at Pekin?

4. Lastly, what does the typical menu consist of?

And any other information you think I need to know would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

Kim

yasmine
04-20-2004, 01:00 PM
Hi. I have just entered a plea agreement to spend 33 months in FPC camp. As you are all aware, I am very nervous. I am 36-years old and a mother of a 7 year old son.(whom will staywith my mother) I live in Champaign, Illinois and am requesting to go to Pekin. I read all the postings on this forum and am so much more at ease. So I want to say thanks to all of you. Pretty much all of my questions were answered. I do have a few more:

1. What are the chances of getting into the prison your attorney/sentencing consulatant recommends? (such as Pekin) If not, how difficult is it to get a transfer?

2. Also, I need a few glasses of wine to sleep every night because of the anxiety- do you think this would constitute being admitted into an RDAP program?

3. Are there alot of children in the visiting room at Pekin?

4. Lastly, what does the typical menu consist of?

And any other information you think I need to know would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

Kim

remiella
04-20-2004, 08:13 PM
Hi Yasmine

If you do not get to Pekin, see your case worker wherever you go and request a transfer, the sooner you put in a request the sooner things roll. That can only happen if you are minimum out custody and you are classified by the BOP as such.
LOL about the wine. The RDAP program is designed for people who were determined in need of it in the PSI. If you have history of drug abuse, or charges related to drugs you may be eligible. Wine to calm your nerves scenarios do not qualify. LOL.
While I was at Pekin I saw hundreds of children visit. They actually have a little yard with toys past the visiting room for little people to play and interact with their parents and also a side room with videos and toys. The visiting room is decent, clean and has vending machines for food and beverages.
Typical menu items: salad bar every day, spaghetti and meat sauce (mystery sauce)
chicken occasionally, pizza, typical breakfast (eggs, pancakes etc), macaroni and cheese, mystery stir fry (LOL), once in a while meat but paper thin. Don't expect much from the kitchen. I survived on the salad and some commisary items.
Prison is no easy experience but do thank the BOP "gods" if you find yourself at Pekin.
I experienced the BOP's harshest places only to see Pekin at the last 3 months of sentence and I was upset not having been sent there for all my sentence.
The places that may ease your mind a little is the library and the gym. If religion is your thing they do have all kinds of services. My generic prison suggestion for survival is to keep yourself busy. Do whatever it takes to fill your day with activities. Idle time means troublesome time. Your mind will roam more if you sit around, so get busy. My typical day (Pekin or not) started at 6:30 am and finished at 10:30pm non stop. I kept my sanity this way.
If you do get to Pekin look for Valerie in Kansas unit. She is on a wheelchair, young sweet woman. Say hi from Maria, the creative writing class instructor. Love that girl. (Hope she is still there)
I wish you strength, endurance, and the will to become stronger. Peace sis.

felonmom
04-20-2004, 09:58 PM
Maria, I don't think Valerie's still there. The only woman in a wheelchair in either units is an elderly african-american woman. And her name's not Valerie. She does live in Kansas though. Well, of course, that's where all the wheelchair bound women go because of the handicap accessibility. Duh!

JamieBC
04-20-2004, 10:09 PM
Hello,
There is one question that I have neglected to ask about the federal prison camps, because I have not even thought about it (with everything else to worry about) until now. I am a vegetarian - and I have been all my life. I eat cheese and dairy, but no meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. In fact, I gag at just the thought of eating these items (I know it sounds pretentious). Is there a possibility that I may starve to death while at the camp? Is it reasonable for an inmate to maintain a vegetarian diet of this sort while in there? 2 summers ago I went on a study abroad program with my university, and we stopped in Tunisia for a week. All they served us was meat and lettuce with no dressing and nothing else (just the green leaves, not even carrots or tomatoes) and I had to survive on the lettuce for the whole week, because I just could not bring myself to eat the meat. By the end of the stay there - I felt terrible - headachy, weak, and just plain starving! I don't know how I would manage this for ten months, though. Maybe I should spend my last few weeks of freedom forcing myself to get used to eating meat?? I know this probably sounds weird - but this is a legitimate concern of mine! Any thoughts??
Jamie :)

justvicki
04-20-2004, 10:41 PM
Jamie,

I know of several women at Alderson who were also vegetarians. They had to have their diet approved through medical, and special trays were prepared for them.
If Phoenix's CDR is anything like Alderson's you will not have a problem. It won't be like home, but it will be ok. :)

cjjack
04-20-2004, 11:08 PM
Most of the time a special diet must be for religious reasons.

yasmine
04-21-2004, 08:25 AM
Thanks so much for your answers. It has helped alot. I just have a few more questions. How soon after I am admitted can I see my son or call home? And, is there anything I should be doing now to prepare myself? I drove to the camp and checked it out. That really helped. Also, how is the first night there- is it terrifying? Did women reach out to you right away or did you make the inital contact? I guess I am asking what the protocol is?

Thanks again!

Kim

remiella
04-21-2004, 08:55 AM
Hey Yasmine

You can call home after 2-3 days. They need to place your name and the numbers you will be calling in the phone system. Visiting depends on how fast your loved ones are approved. There are forms you need to get from your case manager. Get them as soon as you can. Mail them home and have your relatives fill them out and send back to the prison. Bureaucratic processes can be excruciating in prison, keep your cool.
As far as the first night in, let's consider this. Everything that is new or unknown is kind of scary. You will probably feel a bit lost and jumpy. I am sure that women will immediately reach out to you. It seems that within 24 hours you will have a network of women that will gravitate towards you and you towards them. It happens everytime a new woman comes in. It is important to keep focused. This is not forever, it is temporary, it will come to an end and must make the best of it.
For me, imprisonment was a profoundly inward experience. This may strike you as philosophical jargon, but I felt that prison was a descent into the deepest parts of myself, and an ascendent to the highest peaks. Your spirit is never imprisoned, noone can touch it or taint it, it is free to roam. This notion will keep you grinning with satisfaction of self knowledge. Keep your chin up.

sbrown110
04-21-2004, 10:34 AM
remiella,

what a fabulous post, so inspirational to all of us facing time. I too believe they cannot reach my spirit. Who I am and my spirit resides inside of me, in my heart. No matter what anyone says to me or how many strip searches, or whatever means used to degrade/humiliate me.... They cannot touch who I am, I get to keep this. And only me, can keep my spirit alive and well.

Again, thank you for posting this wonderful information. Especially from someone who made it thru.

Sheryl

felonmom
04-21-2004, 10:52 AM
Amen Remiella!! Well put. I did my time way also. I used it as a time to get to know me, what made me tick, why I did the things I do. For me personally it was a time to enrich my faith. I started working out, losing weight. When someone asks me, I tell them that the experience profoundly changed me and may well be one of the best things to happen to me.

It will be OK. Stay positive, walk the track, stay busy. Read to you limit, journal, just lock it in you locker. Write your son often. :) xoxo

mach1
04-21-2004, 11:37 AM
Remiella, Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and strengh with ALL of us here at PTO!! With Gratitude!

sbrown110
04-21-2004, 12:13 PM
To felonmom -

All I have heard about is everyone gaining weight in prison and the food being loaded with carbs and fat. How is it you lost weight??? How can I at least maintain my weight and not come home depressed over my new larger size??? I would love to see you post about the good things that happened for you because of prison. How has it changed you? and do you believe the change will last? Thanks, if you are willing to share.

Sheryl

remiella
04-21-2004, 01:04 PM
You guys brought tears to my eyes with your recognition and gratitude. Thank you.

And to Sbrown

Here is a way to get fit while in prison. Eat your breakfast. Eat some protein (eggs) and some carbs, like oatmeal (medium portions). Have plenty of water. Choose a job that involves physical labor like landscaping or warehouse and push yourself to sweat a little. Don't get excessive. Eat a moderate lunch. Take it easy with the carbs.But do have some. (Cutting out carbs all together is dangerous to your health, you don't want to visit medical facilities while you're imprisoned). Finish your work day. After 4:00pm count dinner is served. Eat a very light dinner. Keep any fruit you are allowed to take back to the unit. Wait until 6:00pm to digest. Then from 6-7:30 lift weights. In the beginning lift light weights, do leg curls, work your bicepts and tricepts, squats with weights, lats, deltoids, gluteous, langes. Make sure you start with 10 sets (15 per set) of sit ups after you lift. Every facility I have been in had charts on the wall of specific exercises targeting the muscle groups. It is up to you to design a routine you can live with. Stop if you feel dizzy, nauseous or weak. It is suppose to be invigorating. After your workout, stretch and breath deeply. then walk for 15 minutes.
(Some facilities do not have free weights because unruly children hit each other with dumbells. In that case there should be machines to accomodate you).
By 9:00 eat your fruit and have plenty of water. You will soon be ready to graduate to heavier weights for the ripped look, and I mean ripped.
I followed this pattern for 18 months. I want to brag but i won't. Solid as a rock may be descriptive. You will absolutely love the way you look, you will be praised and looked upon as a leader. you may even get a following. Try it and have a ball while you are trying it. Don't forget to laugh at yourself. Peace
Maria

sbrown110
04-21-2004, 01:33 PM
thanks for the advise. You haven't seen my body, I doubt I'll ever get the ripped look, too far gone..... But congrats to you. If I develop a following it will be because of compassion and laughter. Thank god we have laughter.

Sheryl

mach1
04-21-2004, 02:21 PM
Remiella~ It is quite obvious from your posts, you have a true gift and you share openly and freely and our lives are enriched because of it ... You have given each and everyone of us HOPE where it has been barren for Soooooooo long ... We wish you much joy in all of your endeavors and much PEACE in your world! With Gratitude to you ALWAYS!

JamieBC
04-21-2004, 03:46 PM
I was just wondering, when I first go in, will the other ladies wait until I approach them, or will they make me feel welcome there? I am shy, so it is hard for me to take the initiative with new people - especially in such a novel and stressful situation such as my first day of prison. I really want to make friends there, and feel comfortable as soon as possible. Do the people who have been there longer make fun of the new people or anything like that (as is depicted in movies)? Are there any "implicit rules of etiquette" that I should always remember that may not be as obvious to a newcomer? What is it at like at night time when everyone goes to sleep? Does everyone go right to sleep when the lights go out, or do they gossip and whisper amongst themselves :)
Are you permitted to nap during the day (after work, of course!). Sorry for all of these crazy questions, but May 17 is fast approaching, and I still have all of these little concerns and questions!
Jamie

remiella
04-21-2004, 08:28 PM
Mach1

I want to thank you for your comments. You made my week. It takes ability to recognize it in someone else. Good wishes to you. Peace

felonmom
04-21-2004, 09:33 PM
sbrown- you can lose weight in prison! When I went into Pekin, I needed 6X pants and weight about 315 pounds. By the time I left I was in an XL pant and L shirt. I got on the construction crew and our favorite phrase was, "mow, mow, mow" !! We walked miles and miles pushing those red or green mowers. After I got on Grounds crew, which had a MUCH lighter schedule, I had my days to myself and instead of sitting in the TV room crocheting (no offense to you crafty ladies!) I got up and got out. I walked 3 miles every day and added weights and abdominal workouts. There was a step aerobics class 4 nights a week and man can you burn off the lbs. I'm around 220 now (I've gained about 20) but I'm no longer always in plus sizes and when I came home I got to shop at Old Navy!! PLEASE!! Don't go on the Atkins diet while you are there. It's the craze right now and the women are being very unhealthy and falling out all over the place. Be safe, eat smart and move your body!!

Jamie- my first moments there were bonding experiences. Two of my best friends were in the bus stop with me and they will be in my life for a long time. At first, you will likely bond with your bus stop, depending on the group. I was lucky, we were almost all money crimes, with like stories. And yes, we did talk all night. Since my time in the bus stop they've cracked down on lights out hours, but we stayed up talking and sometimes crying, sharing our life stories. I hope you like to play cards, because that is a nightly ritual!! Caramel corn and cards!! If you're in the bus stop be careful about napping. Our counselor would go in the bus stop and wake up sleepers and give them extra duty. Once I got my Grounds Crew job, however, I relished my afternoon nap, or the quick zz's I caught after hustling back to my room after getting off from construction, hoping I woke up for count. As for rules of etiquette, the one thing that sticks with me is that the women who have been there for a while don't trust anyone who comes in too eager or asks too many questions. Slow your roll, and stick with your group! If you go to Pekin and anyone hears you say the above, they're going to know that you know me!! :)

yasmine
04-21-2004, 09:47 PM
Dear Remiella and Felonmom-

I want to thank you again for all the information you have given me and all the personal feelings you two shared. I am trying to believe that this is happening for a "good" reason and I will grow from it. I guess I will know for certain when I can look back and reflect on it-once I am finished with my sentence.(which is still about two-three months from beginning)

I have a question for anyone with small children- how did your kids react the first time they saw you in prison and how were they when you got out? I have such a fear that my 7-year-old son is going to feel like I abandoned him because I will not be there when he needs me. Quite honestly, this is what scares me most about going- the guilt of not being there for him and going for days without seeing him. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks-

Kim

JamieBC
04-21-2004, 11:00 PM
Thanks felonmom!
One more question - if I get a cavity while in the camp, are dental services provided? If so - do they just pull the teeth or is it possible to get cleanings/fillings? I am going to try to get a dental check-up before I go in, but I am not sure if I will be able to get into an appointment with this short notice. I think I feel a cavity coming on!
Jamie

remiella
04-22-2004, 08:10 AM
HI Jamie

Please don't rely on the BOP for the well being of your teeth. It is hard to see a dentist, especially if you have short time to do. Medical services in general is a gray area, try to enter the system with no need for any medical attention. It will only aggravate you. Peace

remiella
04-22-2004, 08:21 AM
Hi Sheryl

Hilarious response about the following, you are such a goof. I want to asuure you that the heavier you are the easier to alter your metabolism to lose weight. It is the last 15-20 lbs that are hard get rid off. So don't excuse the exercise thing by saying that you are too heavy to get the ripped look. YES YOU CAN. Just start. You remind me of my son and the little train going up the hill. I THINK I CAN, ITHINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN. And my husband in the background mubbles, "the little train the could and should and would". LOL Come on Sheryl tell me you will try. Peace

BusyMan
04-22-2004, 10:13 AM
Yasmine - about your son. My wife is at FPC Bryan and I'm home with our two daughters (6 & 2). It was a few weeks before we took the kids to see mom in prison. I wanted to give them time to adjust to her not being around when they wanted something. Amazingly it only took a day or two for them to stop asking for her. We were honest and open w/the 6yo about where mommy was and why she was there and were firm that mom wouldn't be home for a while. Right away she was able to understand that we were here and mom was there. I don't intend to diminish the importance of Mom being home with us, but the kids have been so adaptable, flexible. Much more so than I ever would have imagined. As far as the separation goes, I believe it's much harder on Mom than on the kids. I also have a fabulous support system here at home w/family help and such. Just my $0.02 worth. Which facility are you headed to?

newlife
04-23-2004, 12:18 PM
I have read all of the post, and have to agree with all that was said about Pekin. I did almost two years there, and honestly think that God put me there for a reason. The first day I arrived, I was so scared, and had no ideal what to expect. The women in the bus stop became my first friends, but it didn't take long before, everyone was talking to me, and I made lots friends. There are five ladies, who I am still very close to, and helped me learn a lot about myself. My father died while I was at Pekin, and everyone was there for me, and help me deal with how I was feeling. If, people in the real world were as kind and friendly as most people I did my time with, the world would be a lot better of a place to be.
You are the one who makes your experience a valuable one......just be your self, and remember it is an experience that you can learn from.
My children were young when I went to Pekin, and I was honest with them before I left. I didn't go into the details of why I was going, but did explain to them where I was going and for how long. They understood, and I called them as much as I could. My ex-husband made it hard on me at first, but I got with my counselor, and she got me into a group, that really helped. The people who conducted the group, my counselor, and the other ladies at Pekin helped me learn what my rights were, and send letters to the schools, courts and etc. The resources are there....you just have to use them. I took every parenting class that was available, and once I got home, I got my children right back. My ex is even a state probation and parole office and tired to fight me for custody, but I won, nad the judge stated it was because I took advantage of what was being offered, and admitted that I was not perfect. I did take some college courses and worked in the HVAC department, which taught me a lot. You can take advantage of what they offer.....I figured I HAD to be there, I might as well let the Goverment pay for something.
I can honestly say that there will be some hard days, especially during the holidays, and when you first enter back into the real world, but you just hold your head high. I have come to the conclusion, I don't care what others think of me cause of my past, I know that I am a better person cause of it. I made the best friends that I have ever had, am a better parent, learned alot about myself, and am proud of who I am. Yea, I made a mistake, but who hasn't. And anyone who thinks I am bad because I did time, well I don't need them.
To all of you that are getting ready to go....I wish you luck, just do your time one day at a time.

felonmom
04-23-2004, 08:35 PM
Well put, newlife. Us Pekin chicks stick together!! :)

yasmine
04-26-2004, 06:10 PM
Thanks so much for your advice. I am hoping to have a similar experience and believe this is happening for a reason!

Kim

BusyMan
04-26-2004, 06:28 PM
Kim - I don't know if you're headed to Pekin or not . . . But if you are, another PTO member started her time there in late Feb. or Mar. of this year - Mrsg (Tamie Gordon). Got 3 yrs. I think. If you're going there, look her up. I know my wife has run into a few PTOers at Bryan. She said it's nice to have at least one thing in common with the other ladies.

FriscoLady
04-26-2004, 06:52 PM
BusyMan,

Have you heard from Tamie? I just posted a letter to her last Monday, when she hit the BOP site it still had her at FTC OK.

Patti

BusyMan
04-26-2004, 10:04 PM
Patti - my wife asked me to look her up on the BOP site because she thought she might be headed to Bryan also and wanted to meet her. So I checked the site today and it has her listed at Pekin.

newlife
04-27-2004, 05:36 PM
Can some one tell me what the BOP web site is?

BusyMan
04-27-2004, 06:14 PM
www.bop.gov
If you're looking for someone, click on the inmate locator button. It'll tell you what to do from there.

newlife
04-27-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks for the information. I was able to locate a friend that I lost contact with, and found out that another is out. So, now I need to send some letters.

yasmine
04-29-2004, 06:04 PM
Hi Newlife. Did you ever see any fights when you were at Pekin? Also, I just got a letter from an inmate- Ruth- she seems great. Do you know her?

Thanks-

Kim

newlife
04-29-2004, 07:44 PM
I never saw any fights while I was there, but did hear about a few. But, there were all between two people, never any gang's or anything. All, the fights that happen while I was there, was due to lover quarrels. Pekin, isn't a bad place. To be honest, except for missing my freedom, and my family, my time was their was easy. While I was there there was always something going on, seems like there was activities of some sort. The family day's were nice, they allow you family to go to other places in the camp, beside the visiting room. I made some of the greatest friends, and I know that these friends don't judge me for the things that I have done. :thumbsup: Just go in there and be willing to learn something, and you will. You can learn some interesting skills, and alot about you self. I worked in HVAC while I was there, it is an easy job, and we use to have fun. A lot of times, we would come up with a reason and go on top of food service, and then we would set up there and just talked for a long time. Make sure you know how to play spades, there are a lot of nights there different people are sitten around playing spades.
If, you have any more questions, feel free to ask them, and I will gladly tell you what I can.
There isn't anyone left at Pekin that I know. All of them are now at home, drug program or the half-way house.

felonmom
04-29-2004, 08:08 PM
I'm just home from Pekin. Well, it seems like I just got home, it's been four months already. I know women who are still there.

There weren't any fights while I was there. The weapon of choice during my time was horrible gossip and outright lies! Women can be ferocious!! (sp?)

I'm down with everything new life says. I was on Construction 2 and we had a ball. Mowing season is a great way to lose weight.

Tamie and I live in the same city, and I know that there are women in Pekin who were expecting her and are looking out for her. She'll be taken care of, I'm sure.

OH, FYI Newlife- the new camp administrator did away with open family days. Now the only family day is part of the parenting class and it takes place over in the cramped Parity building. Our families don't get to see the compound anymore. :(

newlife
04-30-2004, 04:17 PM
felonmom:

You are 100% correct about the gossip and lies. I made some close friends and spent 90% of my time with them. That way I knew I was getting the truth. It really sucks, that they did away with Family day, it helped for my boys to see where I was staying at the time. They got to go into the housing unit, and even stayed in our "rooms" for awhile. That really helped them, to see that I wasn't inside a cell, and didn't have the metal doors. At Christmas family day, they were allowed to stay till after dark, and we had a lighting of the Christmas tree, and a singing contest, the families would judge, then they had to go. Guess the new camp administrator thought "inmates" were getting to many privlages. But, you know by having thoes family days, and etc, really helped the moral and did make you realize what all you were missing. Cause, once your family left, it was hard.

felonmom
04-30-2004, 09:38 PM
Morale was at a low when I left. More and more changes were being made. We were having to sign up for a laundry time each week. Every alley had one day of the week and you got one hour during that day. What a mess. But, camp adm thought it was a dandy idea. The women were also made to take all magazine pix off the bulletin boards. You know how it is, some women only had those pictures to put up. It was getting crazy. This year hardly anyone came out for the tree lighting and the play was cancelled due to lack of enthusiasm. The more crowded it gets the lower morale will sink I am afraid.

I was the same way. Our motto was, "stay with your group" that way you knew they had your back. Of course, since we were always together that meant we were all gay. :)

newlife
05-01-2004, 08:17 AM
Sounds like they need to do something about the morale. I know it is suppose to be prison, but still, they should treat people like humans, not animals. I got to the point, I didn't care what other people said about me and my friends. I knew we were not gay, but good friends, and still are friends.

felonmom
05-01-2004, 11:12 AM
I hear ya! I'm still friends with my group too. We kind of have been through the fire together and that bonds you.

For some reason, there were a group of 'haters' who thought the ultimate insult was to say you were gay. It didn't bother me a bit, if I were gay, I'd be proud to be hooked up with my friends! :)

newlife
05-01-2004, 01:36 PM
People like that are just jealous cause other people make good friends and that bothers them. I do hope that PTO members that go to Pekin or any-where else, let other inmates know about this web site. I wish I would of know about it when I got out. I know it would of helped me a lot.:thumbsup:

kintml2u
05-02-2004, 08:18 AM
If any of you know Inmates that are still in....if you add their name to the first "free" issue of Con-tact news.....they will get to know we exist! And hopefully share with others outside or come visit when they see freedom! Just a thought....:p

Here is the link....

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54330

Diane

JamieBC
05-04-2004, 01:45 AM
Hello,

Well, I am now officially 13 days from self-surrendering. I guess the thing that bothers me the most is how the guards are going to talk/treat me like an animal just because I'm one of their "prisoners." I've heard a lot of stories about the guards (not sure if they are true or not) - that most of them are mean "power-trippers," and relish in making one's life miserable if someone shows them a tiny bit of disrespect. I have a tendency to get my feelings hurt easily, and cry! But, oh well, I guess. I still believe I will get through this and come out a stronger person! And hopefully, meet many new friends along the way.

yasmine
05-04-2004, 02:27 PM
Hi Jamie. I understand your concerns and I am sure you will get your questions answered. ( I am curious myself and so far I have gotten all the answers I have needed) Do you know your number yet, so we can write?

Kim

felonmom
05-04-2004, 08:45 PM
Jamie- I have to tell you that I never came across a guard that was like that. There were some button-pushers, but all in all, they were pretty decent. Now, if you are trouble and make them have to work harder then maybe it's a different story, but I don't think you will have to worry about that.

You are not the first woman who cries while inside. There are good people in there who will stand by you. I was a real mooshie one, and I did have to toughen up, not let them see me get my feelings hurt, and it's been good for me. You'll be OK. PM if you need anything. :) xoxo

JamieBC
05-04-2004, 09:45 PM
Yes, I do have my register number and the FPC Phoenix address and everything. I would love to keep in touch with anyone who wants to write to me! I know I am not allowed to post the information here in the forum, but will gladly give the info to anyone who PMs me!
This site has really helped me prepare for this, and I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me!
Jamie

FLALisa
05-05-2004, 11:35 AM
:p I went from a size 12 to a 16! When my family picked me up form Coleman to go to CCC, I could not even get my pants over my hips!
Since I hung out inbig baggy sweats and did not give a sh?! what i ate when I was in, the pounds creeped up on me. Now I am doing Atkins, UGH!! To lose it, I am working on it!
When you first get out you want to eat a LOT too! LOL


To felonmom -

All I have heard about is everyone gaining weight in prison and the food being loaded with carbs and fat. How is it you lost weight??? How can I at least maintain my weight and not come home depressed over my new larger size??? I would love to see you post about the good things that happened for you because of prison. How has it changed you? and do you believe the change will last? Thanks, if you are willing to share.

Sheryl

sbrown110
05-05-2004, 04:04 PM
Where is the closest airport to Pekin? or what about Greenville? Is pekin a camp only? and there is no RDAP there? Does Greenville have RDAP? Is it a camp?

Thanks,
Sheryl

JamieBC
05-05-2004, 04:18 PM
Okay, so now I am twelve days from surrendering, and I am finally realizing that I am not going to wake up and realize this was all a terrible nightmare. I guess I have one more little "silly" question:
Do they have hair driers and/or curling irons in the camps?? Otherwise, I will just have to wear a pony tail or bun every day (I have wild hair without these items).
Jamie

felonmom
05-05-2004, 04:38 PM
When I was at Pekin, there were hairdryers and curling irons. Sometimes you had to hunt them down on the weekend, because people had a habit of "sleeping' with them so they'd have them to get ready for their visit. But they were quality items and they worked well. I wore my hair in a ponytail to work and play softball though.

You will wake up one day and realize that you did it, and now it's over and you can move on with your life. This is just a bump in the road, it's not who you are. :)

newlife
05-05-2004, 08:06 PM
Sherly:

I do not know where the nearest airport is, but I know there is one close by. Pekin, is a camp, and not a bad place. I totally agree with what felonmom said "you will wake up one day and realize that you did it, and not it's over and you can move on with you life. IT IS JUST A BUMP IN THE ROAD, IT'S NOT WHO YOU ARE.
Before I ever surrendered, I never thought that I would make it. I was scared to death, cried for two or three days before I got there, and all day the day I surrendered. But, I did it, with no problems, and am a much better person for it now. I know that there isn't anything that I can't get through now.

Just always remember that you are a good person, and what every-one else thinks doesn't matter, it's what you think of yourself that counts.

selah7
05-21-2004, 08:12 PM
Hi, Thank you all for so much information and positive thoughts. I just filed my objections for the preliminary PSI and expect sentencing to be set in late June. My husband (my co-defendent) just received his sentencing date of June 21. Our three children will be in North Carolina. We live in Missouri currently. My attorney said she would request the nearest camp to Charlotte, NC. But I have been doing research and that would be Lexington KY, or Danbury. However there are minimum in West Virginia and South Carolina, I think. Would I be insane to request minimum over camp? How likely is the judge to request that of the BOP? How likely is the BOP to actually place me there? The guideline range is 21 - 27 months - for fraud w/ no criminal history. Any suggestions?

Also, I wear contacts - my vision is horrible. Can I wear contacts? Or do I wear my big glasses? (vanity - ugh...). If I can wear contacts - do they have cleanser and stuff at commissary?

Thank you for all the info you've provided.
Suzanne

mach1
05-21-2004, 10:02 PM
Alderson is in WV and it is a federal prison camp for women. From my limited experience, a federal prison camp is minimum. The designations are minimum, low, medium and maximum. You can make a request to the judge and if the judge is so compelled, he or she can make a judicial recommendation to a specific designation. However, the BOP decides where you will actually serve your sentence. Typically, the BOP tries to get you within 500 miles, but no absolutes.

With regard to contact lenses, I don't know what they allow or disallow??? Best of Luck!

kintml2u
05-22-2004, 07:30 AM
Here is a link where it had been asked prior about contact lenses....

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50655&highlight=contact+lenses

yasmine
05-22-2004, 04:21 PM
Hi Ladies (and men if you are in this thread)-

I have written a letter to JAMIE BC- I miss her posts. If anybody wants to add anything just PM or post here and I will put it in the envelope. She has just completed her first week at FPC Phoenix and would probably like to here from PTO members. ( I know I will when I surrender)


Thanks-

Kim

Cori
05-25-2004, 07:36 PM
I'm so confused...my self surrender date is June 6. I live in Colorado where there are no facilities. No one has told me where I'm going. What do I do? Who do I call? I think that I may be going to Phoenix...how often can my family visit me and how long can they visit for? Is it possible to get furloughs? My sentence is for 7 months- I know that is nothing in comparison to what I've read but I'm so scared. I feel like such a failure!

cjjack
05-25-2004, 07:41 PM
Cori, don't be so hard on yourself!! Everyone makes mistakes. It's what you do with your life in the future that counts!

As far as a surrender date and to where, you should call the U.S. Marshall service and they should be able to give you some information.

Visiting days and hours depend on each individual institution. As soon as you know where you are going we can help you find out that information.

Furloughs are possible but on a sentence of 7 months I don't believe you will be eligible. I think greyghost can answer that for you.

Hang in there and remember that we are here for you!

Welcome to PTO!

Cori
05-25-2004, 07:52 PM
I'm unfamiliar with the terminology....what/who is greyghost?

FriscoLady
05-25-2004, 07:53 PM
Cori, Welcome to PTO!

I think cjjack has said it all - we all do make mistakes - learn from them - then we go on. You are not a failure!

The fear I understand, I have been in your shoes, I honestly think that the waiting is the worst.

I know there is probably nothing I can say to relieve you of the fear except to say that there is many of us here who have traveled the road you are on now, and we have come through the journey.

Lean on you family and everyone here at PTO, we are here for you.

Patti

FriscoLady
05-25-2004, 07:55 PM
greyghost is a fellow member of the PTO family, he is an excellent source of information and support in the Federal Forums.

Patti

Cori
05-25-2004, 07:57 PM
thank you for the information...how do I contact greyghost?

cjjack
05-25-2004, 08:00 PM
I'm sorry, I should have clarified who greyghost is. He is an invaluable member here on PTO. He will give you sound advice and accurate information.

If you have any questions or just need to talk just let us know. Thats why we are here.

You will make it through this!

Greyghost will come along and see your post or you can pm him.

Cori
05-25-2004, 08:31 PM
I guess I do need to talk...I am just so disappointed in myself. I never thought this is where I would end up. I am mother of 4 and I have preached and preached to my children about taking responsibility and accountability and here is where I landed. How in the world will my children ever take me seriously?? How in the world am I suppose to keep up on their grades, their sports, their lives in a 10 minute a day phone call? I'm going to miss my kids desperately! I'm going to miss my husband, this is not what he signed on for. I'm trying to make sense of this and I can't. I know that I made a mistake. I've lost my faith and I'm trying not to become cynical and bitter. I'm angry.

My questions are these....
how much money can I bring?
in what form can I bring it?
what about femine products? are they provided/do I purchase them?
is t.v. available?

I feel selfish since my sentence is 7 months- but I'm just so scared.

cjjack
05-25-2004, 08:43 PM
I did 4 years in fed prison so I can definitely relate to how you are feeling. I have children myself and at times the guilt has been tremendous for what I put them through. But my children love me and have forgiven me. Yours will as well. Children are more resilient than we think.

Please don't lose your faith. None of us are perfect. We are human and make mistakes as such. You need to forgive yourself. But that will come in time. Don't ever feel selfish about your sentence. Any time in prison is difficult no matter how short.

You can bring as much money as you like but there is a spending limit of $290 per month. Your family can send it in the form of a money order after that.

Feminine products are provided for you.

There are T.V. rooms. It depends on where you go as to how many T.V. rooms are available.

I know you are scared-I was, too. But you will find the vast majority of the ladies to be very kind. They are just like you. You will find people that you have things in common with.

justvicki
05-25-2004, 08:49 PM
Cori,

I just want to also say welcome to PTO. We'll do everything we can to help you through this transition. First and foremost, you are not a failure; you may have failed but that does not make you a failure. It's taken me many, many years to learn that.

First, you can take as much money as you like with you, however, you are only permitted to spend $290.00 a month at commissary, excluding the cost of prepaid telephone calls and stamps. That spending limited is raised during November and December for the holidays. The money should bring with you should either be a money order or cashier's check. Personal checks take up to two weeks to clear, and delays your being able to shop.

You are initially provided a package of hygiene products the day you arrive to tide you over until you are able to shop at comissary. Depending on the day you self surrending that could take up to a week. Most commissaries are fairly well stocked, especially in a camp setting.

There are TV's and television rooms in most facilities. I do not believe inmates are allowed individual sets.

Once you know where you are going, its is highly likely that someone will have "intimate" :) knowledge of the facility and will be able to answer just about all of your questions.

Stay strong and we will all get through this journey together.

Cori
05-25-2004, 08:52 PM
thank you so much for your time...my husband is over my shoulder reading along with me and we are just so thankful for this website, it has calmed my nerves. I have vowed to stop reading the horror stories.

cjjack
05-25-2004, 08:55 PM
Don't read the horror stories, Cori. Take it from those who have been there, like myself and guysgal (we were in prison together by the way!) that you will be fine. It will not be easy on you or your family but you are going to be alright.

Cori
05-26-2004, 10:21 AM
I have read so many different things regarding contacts and glasses....I don't own glasses but wear contacts- should I go and get my prescription filled with a new pair of glasses or can I take contacts with me?

justvicki
05-26-2004, 10:26 AM
Make sure you have a pair of glasses with your current prescription. When I was at FPC ALderson, girls were allowed to have their contacts sent to them thru medical, but it probably depends on the facility where you are housed.

mimikitty
05-27-2004, 04:21 AM
I know that this is rather out of date, but it still scared me to death when I read it.

For vast numbers of women behind bars, prison is a hell of sexual terror. (http://dir.salon.com/mwt/feature/1998/09/cov_01feature.html)


Is this still happening?!?! :eek:

Cori
05-27-2004, 07:23 AM
these are the kind of articles that petrify me....everyone on here says that this stuff doesn't happen! I have to believe them to avoid complete insanity.....this article was written in 1998- can we please take some consideration into that?!

cjjack
05-27-2004, 11:24 AM
I just read this article. Let me say that what happend to this lady was terrible, but in my 4 years in federal prison camps I have never heard of anything like this happening. I have also never heard of males and females being housed together.

This is my opinion, based on my personal experience and of the many ladies that I knew in prison, that things like that RARELY happen. I never had a male staff member treat me with disrespect, at least not in a sexual way. I don't believe that this is something that anyone going to a camp should worry about.

newlife
05-27-2004, 06:35 PM
Cori: I just read that article, and in my 18 months, I never saw or heard of anything like that happening. I can still remember the day that I had to surrender, and wish to God, that there would of been this web site back then. I was terrified, but by the end of the first day, I realized that the stories I had heard were just that stories. The time wasn't easy, but it wasn't because of the way I was treated, it was because I missed my children and family.

No one is a failure that goes to prison, they are just someone who made a mistake. My children understand what happened, and what I always tell them is that people make mistakes, as long as you learn from that mistake, then you have just made yourself a better person.

I am such a better person cause of doing my time. I know that sounds strange, but a lot of the other women in there made me realize that I am worth something. I learned to appreciate myself, and respect myself. It gave me plently of time to evalute my life, and how I could make it better. In the five years that I have been home, there have been challenages, but I keep my head held high, and don't care what others think of me. As, long as you respect yourself, then that is all that matters. My husband was my biggest support, and tells me still to this day, not to worry about other people. I am starting to rattle here, but YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE, and always remember that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I honestly think God put that detour in my life, so that I would become a better person, and puts it in others for the same reason. Just keep your head high, and remember that there are a lot of us on here, who have been where you are, and we made it, so you can to.:)

Cori
05-27-2004, 07:31 PM
newlife: thank you for the post...I just feel so desperate. I have been on probation for 3 1/2 years and I live a very suburban life...I'm going for probation violation because I received a traffic ticket that I didn't report to my p.o. I'm trying to make sense of this all-
how am I going to be a responsible Mom when I'm now having to pass all of my childrens needs on to others? I've spent the last month talking to parents on my kids sports teams to work out carpool, half the time trying not to cry and let these people know that I'm going to prison. I've gone in to speak to all of my kids teachers to let them know that our family is going through a hardship and to please watch out for them. It's so humiliating-this is my responsibility!!!! I have a very open relationship with my kids and I've been honest about what is happening....but how embarrassing- I'm the parent and I'm suppose to take care of my kids and here they are now doing whatever they need to do to take care of my- how dysfunctional!!!

how am going to be financially responsible now that my husband has to take a second job just to pay the bills? His primary job is already a 60 hour/wk gig.

how am I ever going to find a job?

I understand what you're saying about not worrying about what others say but when I was convicted in 2000 I was holding public office as a Mayor of a mid-size city. It was all over the newspapers and it sucked. I lost my job and resigned from office. Plenty of my 'friends' turned me out. I learned who my friends were.
Since this has happened I have held 13 jobs....I have never lost my job due to performance. I can usually get in the door and confide in someone about my conviction but on a couple of occasions other people would recognize me as the person in the newspaper and they would let me go due to public exposure. Therefore, my work life is constantly exposed to what others think of me.

I'm trying to accept that I'm going to be away from my husband and my kids....like you, my husband is my biggest supporter but on the other hand that is what makes it more difficult.....he loves me- a lot. I love cuddling with him- I love how I feel when I'm with him....and now I'm going to leave him alone to raise my kids. All 4 of my kids are from my first marriage and my children have nothing to do with their bio Dad since he is a convicted sex offender. Saying that- my kids bio parents are both felons......nice. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm still in the early phases of failuredom....I haven't forgiven myself and I am angry at the system. I know, I know...this is where I'm suppose to take responsiblilty and accept my sentence...but I haven't!!!! I'm angry that I have been a productive member of society. Yes, I may have held 13 jobs but I kept trying....my bills have been paid, my kids have been taken care of and I have picked myself up only to be in a worse situation than when I was initially convicted.

I don't live a life of luxury and I never have....I get by and now that I'm going away to live off of tax payer dollars, I'm sad.

Thank goodness for the website...it is the only thing that gives me hope (?). I don't think I'm going to get beaten up, I don't think I'm going to get raped. I'm sure I'm going to meet some really great women in there who will give me insight. But damn it, I'm not here with my family. I know that so many others are in considerably worse situations than I am and that makes me feel selfish.

I have rattled on and on and feel a little better. Sorry for the pity story!

cjjack
05-27-2004, 09:06 PM
Newlife, you are right on the money! It's what you do with your life after your release that counts. We are all human and make mistakes. I, too, am a much better person for all that I have gone through. I know that at times it felt like the end of the world but it surely wasn't! I met people that I otherwise would never have met, people who taught me, and are still teaching me, what the important things in life are. I saw and met people who made me realize how fortunate I really am. I don't care what people think of me, the people who have never been where I have been and gone through the things I did. I believe in myself and that has made all the difference.

Cori, you will be able to find a job that you want. It may take some work but it can happen! I am ALWAYS honest in an interview as to my past history. I believe if you are forthright that it shows honesty and integrity. I had 3 job offers in one week. There are companies that are willing to give you a chance.

I have suffered much guilt over what I put my kids through. I am guilty of what I was charged with and I knew what I was doing was wrong. Yet I did it anyway. My children love me and have forgiven me. I hope that I am a good example today for my children. I believe I am. I try to teach my children about compassion and forgiveness and accepting people who may be different from themselves. I will always live with the guilt. My youngest son was 1 month old when I went to prison. He only knew me from prison visiting rooms. How sad is that? But I think of the other ladies that are still on the inside with many, many more years to serve. There children are growing up with out them.

Let me tell you about a lady that I knew in FPC Lexington. Toni had a 15 year sentence. She had only one daughter. Her daughter was in college. One weekend she came to visit Toni. On her way home she was killed in a car accident. Her only daughter. Toni served 11 years and on the day before President Clinton left office he granted her clemency. She was released that day. I remember it so vividly! What a joyous occasion. But it didn't bring her daughter back.

You will survive this and so will your kids. So many of us here have been where you are right now. We are hear to help and support you no matter what!

Chrisa

Cori
05-27-2004, 11:10 PM
I understand everything that you're saying....and everytime I feel sorry for me, I know that there are so many more people in this world with worse stories. I've always been a fighter and I know I will overcome this as well. It's the unknown. It's the fear of my kids losing all respect for me. My boys running wild while I'm in there, my daughters crying and starting to resent me because I'm not there to talk about their issues. Ironically about your posting, one of the first things I feared was the loss of one of my children and having it somehow be my fault and me not being there to prevent it. The guilt is tremendous and it's a weight in the middle of my chest that I have never felt before.

All in all I know I will survive and in turn I feel guilty because of it. My family will be without me and I will be in prison making friends, working out, eating at tax payers expense. I know it won't be easy but I will make the best of it.

I accept that I should have told my p.o. about the ticket but I also know that reflecting back on the fear I felt because I had been told from the beginning that I could not get so much as a traffic ticket because my probation would be revoked was horrible. I was scared of the unknown. Come to find out if I would have just come forward, it wouldn't have been a big deal. Live and learn.

I'm afraid of losing my spirit....I've already lost my faith.

cjjack & newlife: thanks for your listening.... I don't have anyone on the outside that has any idea what I'm feeling. My family is empathetic but they don't know what I feel on the inside.

cjjack
05-27-2004, 11:19 PM
Cori, again, this is why we are here.

I didn't mean to scare you with the story about my friend Toni. It's just that whenever I felt sorry for myself and didn't think I could cope, I thought about her and her wonderful spirit even after all she had been through.

Trust me, I understand how you are feeling about the kids. I worried a lot. I worried about what they were eating, about how they were doing in school, how they were feeling. The list was endless! But sometimes I just had to not think about it or I would drive myself crazy! They are fine boys, and I am lucky that I had someone available to take good care of them.

Please don't let the guilt eat you up. It will ease with time. As far as your faith, I hope that with time you will regain that also. I believe you will. Nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself either! We all do at times.

sbrown110
05-28-2004, 08:31 AM
I read the scary article. The idea that this could happen to me used to freak me out. Since I've been at PTO and talked to so many women who have walked before me I no longer fear this. I have come to realize that the worst part of prison is not going to be prison itself; it is going to be the fact that I will miss my family, my husband, and my daughter.

If God forbid, something horrible should happen to myself in prison or anyone on the outside that I care for.... well, I will have to confront it when it happens. Worrying about it today is a waste of my energy. Living in fear is robbing me of being with my family right now, and enjoying the next few months before I surrender. Everyday I deal with fear, but as time goes by I am getting better at living, and setting aside the fear. Somedays I lose this battle. But it is worth the struggle. I cannot let the fear consume me and take over. Today, I am happy to report there is no fear.

Sheryl

Cori
05-28-2004, 03:52 PM
I found out today that Phoenix is my destination point....for a really weird reason I'm relieved. I guess knowing where I'm going was a stressful point for me.

sbrowne: thanks for the post- I have spent too much time worrying about the unknown. I am appreciating the time I have with my family. I haven't told a lot of people just out of sheer embarrassment. My husband is creative when discussing this situation with our friends....we've thought about telling everyone that I'm helping to rebuild Iraq, hmmmm.....maybe not such a good idea.

Today has been a good day. Thanks for all of the posts. I feel better than I've felt in a long time. :)

sbrown110
05-28-2004, 04:00 PM
Cori, do you know when you report. Another PTO member, Jamie, reported to Phoenix on May 17th. I think someone here has her address, you could write and tell her you are on your way. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have someone there waiting with open arms??? What do you think?

Sheryl

Cori
05-28-2004, 04:47 PM
Sheryl, I think it would be a great thing to have someone to talk to! I've ready Jamie's posts and she was just as worried as me....maybe we could help each other?? I report on June 7th.

Thanks for the info

Cori
05-28-2004, 05:04 PM
Sheryl....how would I get ahold of Jamie?

justvicki
05-28-2004, 05:06 PM
Cori,

I have Jamie's name and address. PM me and I will give you the info. :) And, if you like, make sure to leave yours and we will keep in touch!

newlife
06-01-2004, 04:32 PM
Cori:

I don't know of one person who hasn't been scared of leaving there family and going off to prison. But, it all works out for the best in the long run, you just take it one day at a time, and keep going. The one thing about being in prison, is everyone is in the same boat. Most of them have children at home, husbands at home or in prison, and they all feel the guilt and shame also. These women, make you a better person, cause they aren't judging you, they are being you friend. They like you for who you are, not what you have or don't have, cause you all have the same thing. If, you go to prison, and make friends, all the hard times will be a little bit easier, cause you will have someone who totally understands and will sit and talk to you about what ever. I couldn't of done the time with out the friends I made while I was in prison. They taught me so much about myself, and they are what pulled me through the hard times. They let me cry when I needed to, laughed with me, hugged me when I needed a hug. To be very honest, it was very hard for me to leave some of them, cause they were the best friends I had ever made, and they each still had three or four years to do.

My children were six and eight when I went to prison, and they are now 12 & 14. They both knew I was gone to prison, and Thank God, they did fine while I was gone. Now, that they are older, they know most of the details, and my being in prison, has helped make them a better person. I am able to show them what can happen and will happen, if you make the wrong choice. I tell them all the time, that life has choices, and no matter if you make a good or bad choice, they will be a conquence. Good choices have good conquences and bad choices have the bad conquence. I try to take my experience, and let them learn from it. Cori, I know that you said you lost your faith, but you don't need to. God will get you and your family through this, and make each of you stronger.

Your children, husband and yourself, will all make it through this, and all of you will be better stronger people for it. The people who judge you, or are not your friends anymore, you don't need them. They are not worth your time.
If, you stay busy, those seven months will fly by. There is a lot to do while you are there, take advantage of it. I took all the parenting classes, drug classes ( and my charge was not drug related), DARE for parents and all the other classes they offered. I learned a lot, my time went by faster, and I know more about drugs then most parents in my town. These classes helped me learn how to deal with my children, my guilt and etc. There are crafts to do, if you are in to that. Staying busy really helps, if you just stay in your room doing nothing, your time will drag by.

Make the most of this experience, and that is what it is a life changing experience. :)

LILBIT010
06-02-2004, 08:53 AM
Hello everyone. I am going to sentencing on June 18th. I have requested a judical recommediton to Bryan Federal Boot Camp. Can anyone give me some feedback on this facility?? Thanks so much.

cjjack
06-02-2004, 09:54 AM
lilbit, here is a link to a thread with info on Bryan.

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55735&highlight=FPC+Bryan

yasmine
06-03-2004, 04:27 PM
Hi. I just got a letter from Jamie BC- she seems to be adjusting well. She said the first two days were the hardest- cried and slept most of the day. But since then has made friends and although she is picking up cigarette butts from 6:30- 1:30, with an hour for lunch- she is in good spirits. She is awaiting a job and has signed up for several classes. She saw he son and said the visit went really well. She told me to wish all of you her best. Also, Cori- definitely write to her, I am sure she will help you out.

-Kim

cjjack
06-03-2004, 04:29 PM
Thanks for the info Yasmine!! Glad to hear she is adjusting!

Cori
06-03-2004, 10:11 PM
Yasmine:
Thanks so much for that. I wrote Jamie but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to receive a reply before I depart on Sunday a.m.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to survive. I'm not going to get beat up. I'm not going to die. My teeth aren't going to fall out of my head. I'm going to be okay.

Thanks to everyone who has provided me with information. Without this website I still wouldn't have any idea how to check where I was going to be located. I've never received a package.

I have posted my information on another thread. I would be grateful to receive letters.

Cori

aplbd
06-09-2004, 09:48 PM
pardon my stupidity, but my wife has been sentenced to Bryan boot camp at the end of July. Are there two seperate facilities in Bryan? Is there a boot camp and a sperate womans minimum security unit?

cjjack
06-09-2004, 09:58 PM
aplbd, the boot camp and regular camp are separated, but they eat in the same dining hall, just at different times. You do see people from boot camp on the compound but they are not allowed to speak to the other inmates.

Cori
06-10-2004, 07:22 PM
hello I just wanted to thank everyone for giving my wife cori all the information,it really helped. She turned herself in on Monday. She doing OK. Everyone should know all money you put on your books must now
be sent to Des Moines Iowa,

LavenderRose
06-17-2004, 11:35 PM
What an awesome thread! Thank you. It really has helped with many of my questions. Hasn't stopped the fear or the guilt of leaving my daughter and causing her to change schools in her junior year of high school, but at least I can answer some of her questions and some of mine.

Some more questions, though -- Can I bring cigarettes with me? If so, how much? What about needlepoint? Can I have someone mail me two projects I was working on or are dull needles not allowed? How big of a "care" package can I send to myself and what can I include in it -- pictures, books, addresses, smokes (?), craft projects ......? How do you get past the guilt of what you're doing to your family and friends?

cjjack
06-18-2004, 12:11 AM
You cannot bring cigarettes with you but you can purchase them there.

You cannot have anything mailed in except letters, books, cards and money. Nothing else.

You can also have someone mail you photos, 5 per envelope, 25 total.

As far as the guilt- it gets easier with time to deal with but honestly it will always be there in some way. That has been my experience anyway.

cjjack
06-18-2004, 12:15 AM
You can also purchase craft items on commissary. Yarn, crochet hooks, beads, ceramic supplies. Some of the ladies make absolutely beautiful things.

You may want to write all of your addresses on a piece of paper and mail it to yourself right before you go.

fish_undercover
06-27-2004, 01:30 AM
Well, I just read through most of the thread. I guess I'll be ok. I have 3 days left till doom. It doesn't sound impossible to get through, thank you all so much for your input. I guess I'll run into Jamie and Cori and most of my questions have been answered (although I'm sure I'll think of more). I'm still grappling with how much money to bring, I do have a small restitution, on the other hand I don't want to lay anymore burden on friends/family to send it in. This site is a real life-saver, thank you all.

cbrey
06-29-2004, 08:51 AM
My niece will be going to a Camp in a couple months-She is being held in a county jail at this time and is very scared. I told her about this site. I only wish I had known about it before . Maybe she wouldn't have gotten into this last bit of trouble.She wanted me to ask about camps that had Drug Programs and what camp she should try and get into if she can..? She is in Mpls. now ,her children are in Iowa. Thanks for any information you may give..

Cori
06-29-2004, 06:24 PM
fish you asked about how much money to bring, don't bring any it has to be sent to Des Moines Iowa. It only slows down the time before it will get to your account if you bring it with you.

Retired-11
06-29-2004, 07:19 PM
I will be surrendering on July 15th to Bryan - I was told here that I should bring the money with me - But you are saying that you are supposed to send it in. Can you mail it early so that it is credited to you and on the books when you get there?

justvicki
06-29-2004, 08:45 PM
jewela,

It might be best if you call Bryan and ask them the question about bringing money with you. Since there seems to be two different responses in the forum, the personnel can tell you directly.

:)

cjjack
06-29-2004, 09:06 PM
I agree with Vicki. You can call before you go and find out that information.

Retired-11
06-30-2004, 07:19 AM
Okay - Took your advice and called Bryan - The lady who answered was very nice. She advised me to send money in to Iowa address 10-14 days before surrender and to also bring money with me. That way I have covered all bases. So both threads were correct. Now I did forget to ask who do you make the money order out to? Do you make it payable to the Bureau of Prisons or to yourself? Does anyone here know the answer.....

jft
06-30-2004, 07:45 AM
You make it payable to yourself

If you get a postal money order, it is cheaper (.90) ea and it also gets posted to your account faster. Make it to Your Name, #Inmate ID
Prison Name
Address
City, State, Zip

cbrey
07-01-2004, 01:06 PM
Is there anyone out there that can give me some information on the 500 hour drug programs? Is it offered at all camps or just some of them? I need this information for my niece.. Thank you for any help you can give. Worried Aunt;

cjjack
07-01-2004, 01:10 PM
cbrey, it is not offered at all of them. Here is a list taken from www.bop.gov (http://www.bop.gov). There is more information about the program at that site also. I went through the program so if you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them.


Mid-Atlantic Region


FPC ALDERSON (WV)
FCI BECKLEY (WV)
FPC BECKLEY (WV)
FPC CUMBERLAND (MD)
FMC LEXINGTON (KY)
FCI MORGANTOWN (WV)
Northeast Region


FPC ALLENWOOD (PA)
FCI DANBURY (CT)
FMC DEVENS (MA)
FCI FAIRTON (NJ)
FCI FORT DIX (NJ)
FPC MCKEAN (PA)


North Central Region


FCI ENGLEWOOD (CO)
FCI FLORENCE (CO)
FPC FLORENCE (CO)
FPC LEAVENWORTH (KS)
FCI MILAN (MI)
FCI OXFORD (WI)
FPC SANDSTONE (MN)
FCI WASECA (MN)
FPC YANKTON (SD)


Southeast Region


FCI COLEMAN (FL)
FPC EDGEFIELD (SC)
FPC EGLIN (FL)
FCI JESUP (GA)
FCI MARIANNA (FL)
FPC MIAMI (FL)
FPC MONTGOMERY (AL)
FPC TALLADEGA (AL)
FCI TALLAHASSEE (FL)


South Central Region


FCI BASTROP (TX)
FCI BEAUMONT (TX)
FPC BEAUMONT (TX)
FPC BRYAN (TX)
FMC CARSWELL (TX)
FCI EL RENO (OK)
FMC FORT WORTH (TX)
FCI LA TUNA (TX)
FCI SEAGOVILLE (TX)
FPC TEXARKANA (TX)
Western Region


FCI DUBLIN (CA)
FPC DUBLIN (CA)
FCI LOMPOC (CA)
FPC NELLIS (NV)
FPC PHOENIX (AZ)
FCI PHOENIX (AZ)
FPC SHERIDAN (OR)
FCI SHERIDAN (OR)
FCI TERMINAL ISLAND (CA)

cbrey
07-01-2004, 03:10 PM
I did find some information on the BOP site.. Thank you for telling me about it. Do you know which ones offer the 500 hour program? I guess she would like to know if it is offered at Bryan or Pekin..Any thing you can tell me about the program that I could pass on to her would be appreciated..

cjjack
07-01-2004, 03:13 PM
It is offered at Bryan but not at Pekin. Ladies from Pekin usually transfer to Bryan for the program. I went to RDAP in Bryan.

cbrey
07-01-2004, 07:16 PM
It is offered at Bryan but not at Pekin. Ladies from Pekin usually transfer to Bryan for the program. I went to RDAP in Bryan.
If you get in the program- is it possible to get some time off on your sentence?Is the program offered during the day or evening? I was wondering about your job during this time. Hope these arn't silly questions..:confused:

cbrey

felonmom
07-01-2004, 09:13 PM
FYI- RDAP is up and running at FPC Greenville now too. There was just a big group of women from Pekin who went there. It's only about an hour or so away from pekin.

cbrey
07-02-2004, 06:03 PM
I want to thank you all for your help on the durg programs... I will pass the information on to my niece...:thumbsup:

sunnygirl49097
07-14-2004, 11:30 PM
I have to report on 7/19 to Lexington FMC. I have read all of your reports and am very thankful there is a site out here for this. Can any of you please tell me what to expect in Lexington? I was told by the Marshalls office that I would go to a camp for a few months and then to a half way house. Does anyone know how long I would be at the camp before they move me? By the way I received a year and one day. I thought for sure since I'm from MI I would end up in Pekin and am not sure how I got Lexington. I would also like to know if anyone can tell me about the halfway houses in IL. I don't want to come back to MI and was hoping they would put me in IL so I could get a job and find a place to live there.

yasmine
07-15-2004, 02:41 PM
I was curious about the crafts. I will be headed to a FPC soon- probably Pekin and I was wondering if you crochet a blanket for instance- do you get to use it on your bed and keep it or does it have to be put away. And how is the A/C- heat at Pekin? Is it freezing in the winter?

-Kim

cjjack
07-15-2004, 02:57 PM
It depends on where you are actually. At Alderson, you could keep your crocheted blanket. But I do not know about Pekin. Most places allow you to crochet, but when your project is completed you must send it home.

newlife
07-16-2004, 10:46 AM
Yamine:

When I was at Pekin, they allowed us to keep some of our craft items. You could not keep a whole bunch, but I always had one on my bed, plus the one I was working on . They use to be very easy going about the amount of crafts you have, around Christmas time, cause they know people want to send them home, as gifts.

txgrannie
07-20-2004, 08:37 PM
I will be entering Bryan Camp in August [only a few weeks away] and will be serving four months and have a few questions:
(1) Since I have false teeth and use a denture adhesive to hold these things in my month - can this be purchased at the camp or can I have it mailed to me from my home?

(2) Crafts have been mentioned on this thread such as crocheting - Can hand sewing be done - such as quilt piecing - etc. Also can this be mailed to me from my home?

BTW, I have learned lots on this website and really appreciate all the answers that have been given. I have not call the Camp as my pre-trial officer suggested and will do as soon as I find a quiet moment in this house. :confused:

cjjack
07-20-2004, 08:40 PM
They do sell denture adhesive on Commissary.

You can purchase yarn and beading materials, also some ceramic and fimo clay items, but no material for a quilt. You have to send your projects home after you complete them.

You cannot have any items sent from home save for money, letters and cards.

txgrannie
07-21-2004, 07:58 PM
Thanks, Guess I'll be back to reading. Can magazines be sent in from the family?:)

sbrown110
07-31-2004, 06:26 PM
Will race be a big deal while at a female prison camp? Are you forced to only hang out with "your kind"? Is it possible to be liked by all? Or have friends from many groups? Can you be friends with the lesbians, without participating? How does it compare to getting along with others on the outside.

I keep telling my friends and family here that I expect it to be like a work environment - with 300 plus women around you - only 24/7 instead of leaving at 5 everyday. I imagine there will be some I like. Some I want to be friends with. Some I would not trust with a 10 foot pole. Some will back stab you. Some you will loathe. Some will annoy you. Some make you laugh. Some will drive you bonkers. And some will make you want to quit.

Am I wrong?

Sheryl

txgrannie
07-31-2004, 08:30 PM
I report on the 13th and will try to have my daughter post what my opinion is of the prison since I am an "Ole White Woman" who has never been in any kind of trouble until now.
As for starving, one has to learn to eat when served. I know my grandkids do not eat properly - as old folks would say - but the food is there at every meal - meat and vegetables. They say they are always starving but really want to eat junk. Pizza is a meal to them. Well, I was raised by a mother who did not cook and any time I could get vegetables I did. When I started raising my family, dinner was served most every night - meat and vegetables. I say most every night as we did have Hot Dogs or Hamburger nights. A trip to McDonalds was a treat.

I do have a question. I am on medication for my heart and blood pressure. My attorney advised me to see all my doctors and I have new prescriptions for 12 months. Should I get them filled before I go and then let them get them refilled them so the prescription will be at my pharmacy when I get out in Dec. I will see one doctor this week and probably get two prescriptions from him and I have three from my heart doctor that will have to be filled this week.

cjjack
07-31-2004, 08:53 PM
I have had black, hispanic, and lesbian roomates and friends in prison. I never felt sexually harrassed by her or any other lesbain. Sexual activity does occur, it is consensual and they are discreet. If any person gets caught then they are shipped out, therefore most are extremely careful. But its not like your roomate is in the next bed with her girlfriend or something.

I suppose that there are racial issues at times, never anything major and rarely personal. There are good and bad in every race, but truly, most people get along. My bunkie from Lexington was black, and I loved her, we had so much fun playing practical jokes on people. My roomate in Bryan was black, we got along great.

No one gets beat up or kicked around or pushed simply because they are of a certain color.

BusyMan
08-01-2004, 08:07 PM
txgrannie - I spoke with my wife this weekend (she's in Bryan) about your meds. She said it would be best for you to take your pills with you. Also take new prescriptions for the same meds just to give the facility the option of using your existing pills (not likely) or having your prescriptions filled at thier facility. Once checked in you should receive a full medical work-up within 48 hours or so.

Chrisa - my wife's roomates are: 1 hispanic, 1 black, 1 old hispanic lady, and herself (white). Mr. Brady was explaining the finer points of their "Lesbian Book". Did you know there was such a thing? There is.

cjjack
08-01-2004, 08:20 PM
No, I didn't know that there was a lesbian book!! Who knew they had such a thing?! At Bryan they take that stuff seriously. There were a few times when they just caught people blatantly, umm..well, you know. But not too often. They would post their pictures in the Leiutenants office.

Busyman, I'm going to send you a pm, a message for Mr. Brady.

txgrannie
08-01-2004, 09:31 PM
I am going to my doctor this week and get him to write me a four month prescription and a letter explaining what I am to take, etc. This way, it will not mess with the prescription that the heart doctor wrote for 12 months. Since my insurance will not pay for meds but once every 28 days, I will carry the prescriptions with me and the letter to explain everything. My regular doctor know all about me going to Bryan as he sent letters to my attorney in TN before my sentencing. The judge recommended a medical prison but I got Bryan - Which is fine with me as Carswell would have been 4-5 hours from home and Bryan is about 90 miles.
What is this about this book?

walkingtourist
08-02-2004, 06:50 AM
No, I didn't know that there was a lesbian book!! Who knew they had such a thing?! At Bryan they take that stuff seriously. There were a few times when they just caught people blatantly, umm..well, you know. But not too often. They would post their pictures in the Leiutenants office.

In Danbury, they take that stuff seriously, too. They almost seemed obsessed with it. They had an early recall one day and everyone had to gather around in the building... and the unit manager spoke into the microphone (unlike some of the other staff members, he was incapable of shouting loud enough to get himself heard by the "residents" of cemeteries far and wide)... and he said, "If we catch you at that, you're going to the SHU immediately!"

I don't know about any book... and I think that most people were discreet enough to avoid getting caught and shooed to the SHU.

alice

BusyMan
08-02-2004, 07:37 AM
As I understand it, it's just a 3-ring binder with photos/descriptions of ladies that have either been caught or are suspected of that type of behavior. Yes, they do take it seriously at Bryan.

Dcanizares
08-08-2004, 03:44 PM
Hi everyone, I just signed up and this is my first post. I have a really funny question to ask?

First I'd like to know the difference between a strip search and a cavity search?

Second, I know this is gross but what if they do a strip search on you and it's that time of the month??? I mean will they make you take your undies off or go around that or? I mean I know it's nasty to think of but I was just curious?

I have another question (sorry)

In the camps and the low security how are the beds set up I mean and the rooms are you allowed to walk around at night do they lock the doors to the dormitory ? turn off the lights a certain time?

I am going to do 8 months and I have done like 3 days in a county jail and that was enough to straighten me out but this is going to be a new experience I can't lie it is a little scary but I have God with me so I'm straight but if you could anwser my questions I'd appreciate it.

OH one last question, my husband is also going to a camp or something for the same amount of time? I wonder if I will be able to arrange to speak with him or write him directly???

cjjack
08-08-2004, 04:02 PM
A strip search is just a visual search, take your clothes off, run your fingers through your hair, lift your feet. A cavity search I think is self explanatory!! No cavity searches, don't worry!!

If its that time of the month the procedure is the same.

Different camps are set up in different ways. Some have rooms, some have cubicles. There is a time for lights out. Usually 11:30 on weeknights, varies on the weekends.

You will be able to write your husband with approval from both institutions, and phone calls will depend on each individual institution as to whether or not they allow them.

Dcanizares
08-08-2004, 07:39 PM
So during these searches I assume they check your clothes? Then you get booty naked??? and they look at you? ( Oh lord!) then that's it do you put your clothes back on that you came in with or will they then give you a uniform??? That would be really nasty for someone to be on that time of the month and you know make a mess. EWWW

cjjack
08-08-2004, 07:43 PM
They do not check your clothes because you won't be wearing them again, at least the ones you show up in!! They give you a uniform to wear.

Dcanizares
08-08-2004, 08:02 PM
How bout your underwear will they give it back to you???? like if you come in with them on and then they do the search and you take your clothes off or do you have to wear their underwear????

cjjack
08-08-2004, 08:05 PM
You have to wear their underwear.

Dcanizares
08-08-2004, 08:47 PM
Ok how about commisary is it true you can buy a small tv? I doubt it but anyways , how bout perfumes, makeup, rubbing alcohol?? etcc????

yasmine
08-15-2004, 01:13 PM
Hi D. Welcome to PTO. I was sent a commissary list from some women at Pekin. I will be headed to a camp within the next three months. PM me and I will send it to you. They have more than you would expect- but no TV's.

-Kim

newlife
08-28-2004, 02:45 PM
I was going through some stuff, and came across a lot of items that I brought home from my time at Pekin. I found this poem, and know that any women going to prison and leaving their children behind, might like it. It helped me out a lot.

TO MY CHILD WITH LOVE

WHEN I FIRST LAID EYES UPON YOU,
I KNOW YOU WERE MY DREAM COME TRUE.
YOU WERE A GIFT FROM UP ABOVE,
A BEAUTIFUL CHILD FOR ME TO LOVE.

I WATCHED YOU AS YOU BEGAN TO GROW,
AND TAUGHT YOU THINGS YOU NEEDED TO KNOW.
I NEVER THOUGHT THERE'S BE A DAY
WHEN MOMMY'D HAVE TO GO AWAY.

I NEVER MEANT TO CAUSE YOU SHAME,
BUT I MADE A MISTAKE AND I'M TO BLAME.
I KNOW IT HURTS THAT WE'RE APART,
JUST KEEP ME WITH YOU IN YOUR HEART.

I REALIZE THAT YOU ARE SAD,
AND I UNDERSTAND YOU MIGHT BE MAD
YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT MOM'S OKAY,
AND THAT I'LL BE COMING HOME SOMEDAY.

I'M ASKING YOU TO BE REAL STRONG
MOMMY WON'T BE GONE FOR LONG.
AND WHEN I FINALLY DO COME HOME,
I PROMISE THAT I'LL NEVER ROAM.

I'LL TRY MY BEST TO NEVER HURT YOU,
IF THINGS GO WRONG, I WON'T DESERT YOU.
SO BE AS PATIENT AS YOU CAN BE,
AND I'LL BE BACK....JUST WAIT AND SEE.

I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR DAY,
WHAT YOU EAT AND WHERE YOU PLAY.
EVEN THOUGH I CAN'T BE THERE
I WOULD STILL LIKE A CHANVE TO HEAR.

PLEASE DON'T FEEL THAT YOU'RE ALONE
I'LL WRITE AND CALL YOU ON THE PHONE.
I PRAY EACH NNIGHT GOD WILL GUIDE YOU
WHILE MOMMY CAN NOT BE BESIDE YOU.

TRUST IN ME AND HAVE NO FEAR.
MY LOVE WILL NEVER DISAPPEAR.
EVEN THOUGH WE'RE NOT TOGETHER,
YOU'LL BE A PART OF ME FOREVER.

LOVE MOM

Home Folks
09-11-2004, 04:35 PM
For those of you that have read my posts you know how angry I have been with so-called "experts" that have given false and exagerated accounts in the media lately as to what its really like in in the womens camps. I spent 4 years in 4 different camps so I do know something about them. I'm certainly no expert but I would like to share what I do know with those of you that are getting ready to go to a camp or who have loved ones inside. Going to prison is scary thing to contemplate without having to listen to horror stories in the media.
I was incarcerated in FPC Carswell, FPC Lexington, FPC Alderson and FPC Bryan in that order. Each camp is different. The rules should be the same in all of them but they aren't. Much depends on the warden as to what and how the rules are implemented. Some things are the same no matter where you end up though!
The first thing that will do is go to R&D(receiving and discharge). This will probably take awhile. They will dress you out in a uniform. You're picture will be taken and you will meet with someone from medical to discuss any health issues that you have or any medication that you are taking. Usually whatever prescription medication you are taking they will let you keep on taking it as long as its non-narcotic. You will fill out some paperwork and they will assign you to a unit. Each place has different lay-outs as far as the units go. I went from sleeping in a TV room to a 2 man room(with a door you can close anytime you want!)in Lexington. Alderson had 2 man cubicles with about 150 people per unit. After six months in Alderson you qualify to go to a cottage. There are a lot less people in a cottage and its more like a regular room. Bryan has 4 man rooms with 100-150 people per unit. One thing I forgot to mention about R&D is that yes, you will be stripped searched. No cavity searches, just squat and cough. Don't take it personal, the CO's have to do it. I got so used to it that it ended being no big deal. Not pleasant, just try not to think about it. You will also be issued bedding to take with you to your unit. The next morning you will go to laundry to be issued your uniforms. They give you 4 pants, 4 shirts, 5 t-shirts, 5 underwear and 5 pairs of socks. You will also be issued boots or shoes. If you want extra underwear and socks you can purchase them at the commissary. Until you are assigned a job you will work cleaning the unit during the day. Alderson and Bryan will let you actively seek a job instead of waiting to be assigned by the staff. If you are allowed to do that please do. I did and was very fortunate. I was a librarian at Alderson and a GED tutor for special learning needs ladies in Bryan. Just remember that you are required to work unless you have a medical condition that would prevent that. Usually ladies that cannot work due to their health end up going to Carswell.
Bring money with you if you are able. You can go to commissary and buy a variety of things, from cosmetics, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, hygiene items and craft supplies. ALderson has a wonderful commissary and Lexingtons is awful. Around the holidays the commissary will offer holiday items such as Christmas cookies, etc. You can also purchase cigarettes if you smoke.
The majority of the ladies that you meet are kind. You will not be attacked. I thought the same thing before I went to prison. I was going to be beat up or raped or both! It is nothing like that!! I made friends there that I will hopefully have for the rest of my life. Violence in a camp is rare. They are nice places as far as prison goes and if you fight you will be shipped someplace not so nice. Remember to be courteous to your roomates. Clean up after yourself and do your share of the cleaning. The CO's do room inspections. Just be neat and you won't have any problems.
Each prison will offer a variety of educational programs and recreation. If you don't have a GED you will be required to attend clasees. At Bryan the instructors for the local community college come in every evening to teach Information Management. You will receive college credit. There are also classes such as auto-cad, cosmetology and horticulture. Just go to the education department of the institution to see what they offer. Recreation offers bingo at some places. They have bags of goodies from Wal-Mart if you win. They also have a variety of other games. In Alderson they have roller skating in the winter. There are yoga classes and exercise classes. Each institution has a library, some better than others. I can go on and on about different programs that these institutions offer so if you have any specific questions just ask. I will answer what I can.
Your experience in prison will be what you make it. You can bemoan your fate all the time or you can use the time to reflect and work on whatever issues you feel you need to work on. You are already there and nothing will probably change that. Prison is not a fun place to be, but I did have some fun while I was there thanks to some of the lovely ladies I was there with.
I have gone on long enough here. I'm sure there will be things that I will think of later to add. As I said, if anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Chrisa
Thank you for your willingness to answer questions for those of us who have friends and loved ones in prison. We are sometimes in the dark about what is happening to them. If it is not too much trouble, will you please try to shed some light on a couple of issues? I have a dear friend in the Lexington, Kentucky Camp. Her father is a good friend of mine and is very concerned about her. We are Christians and are concerned about her freedom to have and read Christian literature. Also, my friend has been told that prayer is strictly regulated at the camp. For example, he was told that he could not pray with his daughter while visiting and that prayers were restricted to the chapel and they must be short. Please help us understand if you can. It must be horrible to be on the inside wondering what is going on with family and friends outside. I know it is terrible wondering on the outside, what's going on inside. Thank you in advance for any help you can give! I will certainly add you to my prayer list, if that is alright with you.
Psalm 121:1&2

cjjack
09-11-2004, 04:40 PM
Actually prayer was a big part of some of the ladies lives. I don't remember it ever being an issue with the staff. The ladies used to have a prayer call at 9 p.m. every night.

She can have Christian literature, in fact Lexington had many, many Christian groups come in on a weekly basis for bible study.

Home Folks
09-13-2004, 05:03 AM
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I hope All is well with you and yours. Your answer will help my friend feel much better.

Home Folks
Proverbs 3:5&6

newlife
09-14-2004, 08:24 PM
cjack:

I read you post from before, and you are right about the camps. The media sure makes it out a lot worse than it is. I made some really good friends, and there were times that I had a good time. I honestly believe that the friends I made in there are TRUE FRIENDS, unlike the people I thought were my friends on the out-side.

HOME FOLKS: I attended church services while I was in prison. There were always some sort of christian bases meeting/service/etc going on. Some of it was really educational for me, I had a friend who was Jewish, and she explained to me a lot about her religion. Not that I agree, but I have always been one, who likes to learn more about other religions, and I did that while at the camp.

MlleGibby
09-21-2004, 11:45 PM
Greetings all! I am a new member who wishes that I had searched the internet more diligently for information! I will be enroute to FPC Lexington within days....hardly enough time to read the oodles of information posted here.

I have a question though about cooperation with the prosecutors:

In this era of plea agreements and reduced sentences for substantial assistance, it seems to me that providing assistance to prosecutors once incarcerated would only help me. [I think it would be a reduction under Rule 35?] Does anyone out there have any experience with this type of sentence reduction?

One of my friends asked me if I was worried about being labeled "a rat" by other inmates. Is this something to worry about?

Any information would be welcome. Thanks!

kintml2u
09-22-2004, 04:37 AM
Could very well be a way to be labeled..considering what your offering! There are many mixed feelings on the "Rule 35"...and everyone has to make their own choice.

Try doing a search here for that "Rule 35". I know it has been discussed before...can't remember how much.

Welcome to PTO!

Diane

yasmine
10-05-2004, 11:35 AM
Newlife-


Thanks for the uplifting poem. I am requesting Pekin- I will serve 33-41 months and I am leaving behind a 8 year-old son, which of course, is the hardest part. I hope my time at PEKIN will be of some use and I will not have constant guilt over being apart from my son. Anyhow, I loved the poem. I pasted it to a word document to read to him before I go.

-Kim

newlife
10-19-2004, 04:41 PM
I did my time at Pekin, and it wasn't bad at all. Everyone was really nice, which helped a lot. Don't listen to half the things you hear in the Media, cause they sure like to make it sound a lot worse than it really is. The reality of it is, thewomen are all just like you and me, made a mistake and paying the price. Everyone there is glad to be at a camp then some of the other places they could of been sent, or have earned the right to be there now, so everyone for the most part treats people with the respect and kindness.

The leaving the children to me, was the biggest punishment, and unfortunally, the children deal with it for a lot longer than we do. My oldest was almost 7 when I went to Pekin, and once I got home we were real close. He is now almost 15, and has went to live with his dad, he is laying the guilt trip on me, and blaming me for his life being messed up. He said that if I wouldn't of went to prison, none of this would be happening to him, and etc. I have not talk to him since this summer, cause he refuses to talk to me, and it has been very hard for me at times.

I sent him a letter awhile back and told him that life is full of choices and to think each choice out because the outcome may not be worth it. That didn't help, cause of course he doesn't think I know what I am talking about.

I use to really feel guilt about leaving both my children while I was in prison, but not anymore. One, can only carry the guilt for so long, and if you don't get over it, you can never move on. Yea, I made a mistake, and I paid the price, but I also became a better parent, cause it made me realize how precious my children were, and my freedom was.

I hope my son will come around, he is at the age, that he thinks he is grow, and that all adults are stupid. He knows that right now I know the game he is playing, cause I have called him on the carpet for it, more than once. I hope he will learn from my mistakes, and not go down the same road I did, cuase he sure is heading that way, and I don't know how to stop him.

I know I am rattling on about my son, I guess I am hoping someone has some advise for me.

Pam

tvreporter
10-26-2004, 12:04 PM
Looking for anyone who has been through Alderson Prison who is in St. Louis or Missouri area. Please e-mail me at email edited by moderator I'm working on a sory about Alderson. thank you.

Sarah J
11-03-2004, 10:35 PM
For those of you that have read my posts you know how angry I have been with so-called "experts" that have given false and exagerated accounts in the media lately as to what its really like in in the womens camps. I spent 4 years in 4 different camps so I do know something about them. I'm certainly no expert but I would like to share what I do know with those of you that are getting ready to go to a camp or who have loved ones inside. Going to prison is scary thing to contemplate without having to listen to horror stories in the media.
I was incarcerated in FPC Carswell, FPC Lexington, FPC Alderson and FPC Bryan in that order. Each camp is different. The rules should be the same in all of them but they aren't. Much depends on the warden as to what and how the rules are implemented. Some things are the same no matter where you end up though!
The first thing that will do is go to R&D(receiving and discharge). This will probably take awhile. They will dress you out in a uniform. You're picture will be taken and you will meet with someone from medical to discuss any health issues that you have or any medication that you are taking. Usually whatever prescription medication you are taking they will let you keep on taking it as long as its non-narcotic. You will fill out some paperwork and they will assign you to a unit. Each place has different lay-outs as far as the units go. I went from sleeping in a TV room to a 2 man room(with a door you can close anytime you want!)in Lexington. Alderson had 2 man cubicles with about 150 people per unit. After six months in Alderson you qualify to go to a cottage. There are a lot less people in a cottage and its more like a regular room. Bryan has 4 man rooms with 100-150 people per unit. One thing I forgot to mention about R&D is that yes, you will be stripped searched. No cavity searches, just squat and cough. Don't take it personal, the CO's have to do it. I got so used to it that it ended being no big deal. Not pleasant, just try not to think about it. You will also be issued bedding to take with you to your unit. The next morning you will go to laundry to be issued your uniforms. They give you 4 pants, 4 shirts, 5 t-shirts, 5 underwear and 5 pairs of socks. You will also be issued boots or shoes. If you want extra underwear and socks you can purchase them at the commissary. Until you are assigned a job you will work cleaning the unit during the day. Alderson and Bryan will let you actively seek a job instead of waiting to be assigned by the staff. If you are allowed to do that please do. I did and was very fortunate. I was a librarian at Alderson and a GED tutor for special learning needs ladies in Bryan. Just remember that you are required to work unless you have a medical condition that would prevent that. Usually ladies that cannot work due to their health end up going to Carswell.
Bring money with you if you are able. You can go to commissary and buy a variety of things, from cosmetics, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, hygiene items and craft supplies. ALderson has a wonderful commissary and Lexingtons is awful. Around the holidays the commissary will offer holiday items such as Christmas cookies, etc. You can also purchase cigarettes if you smoke.
The majority of the ladies that you meet are kind. You will not be attacked. I thought the same thing before I went to prison. I was going to be beat up or raped or both! It is nothing like that!! I made friends there that I will hopefully have for the rest of my life. Violence in a camp is rare. They are nice places as far as prison goes and if you fight you will be shipped someplace not so nice. Remember to be courteous to your roomates. Clean up after yourself and do your share of the cleaning. The CO's do room inspections. Just be neat and you won't have any problems.
Each prison will offer a variety of educational programs and recreation. If you don't have a GED you will be required to attend clasees. At Bryan the instructors for the local community college come in every evening to teach Information Management. You will receive college credit. There are also classes such as auto-cad, cosmetology and horticulture. Just go to the education department of the institution to see what they offer. Recreation offers bingo at some places. They have bags of goodies from Wal-Mart if you win. They also have a variety of other games. In Alderson they have roller skating in the winter. There are yoga classes and exercise classes. Each institution has a library, some better than others. I can go on and on about different programs that these institutions offer so if you have any specific questions just ask. I will answer what I can.
Your experience in prison will be what you make it. You can bemoan your fate all the time or you can use the time to reflect and work on whatever issues you feel you need to work on. You are already there and nothing will probably change that. Prison is not a fun place to be, but I did have some fun while I was there thanks to some of the lovely ladies I was there with.
I have gone on long enough here. I'm sure there will be things that I will think of later to add. As I said, if anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Chrisa

yjdavis36
12-07-2004, 09:44 PM
I am also awaiting self surrender and am wondering the same thing. It is my first offense in my 38 years and I just was released from 11 1\2 months in the county jail. Eek!!!! The women were not all that quick at introducing themselves and when they did it was something I had never been thru before. I wish to find someone that can help me with my anxiety about all this new info. First time offender and I was sentenced to 120 months. Wow! I sure do appreciate any info you or anyone else can offer. I have a recommendation for FPC Danbury and wonder if any of you with knowledge can help this baby out??? ThanksI was just wondering, when I first go in, will the other ladies wait until I approach them, or will they make me feel welcome there? I am shy, so it is hard for me to take the initiative with new people - especially in such a novel and stressful situation such as my first day of prison. I really want to make friends there, and feel comfortable as soon as possible. Do the people who have been there longer make fun of the new people or anything like that (as is depicted in movies)? Are there any "implicit rules of etiquette" that I should always remember that may not be as obvious to a newcomer? What is it at like at night time when everyone goes to sleep? Does everyone go right to sleep when the lights go out, or do they gossip and whisper amongst themselves :)
Are you permitted to nap during the day (after work, of course!). Sorry for all of these crazy questions, but May 17 is fast approaching, and I still have all of these little concerns and questions!
Jamie

yjdavis36
12-07-2004, 09:52 PM
Wow! You are an ispiration to this first timer. I am very nervous and scared to get on my way. I was sentenced to 120 months and just did 11 1\2 months in county. I am reading here on this page that county was the hardest time you can do and let me say, having never been in trouble before, I am looking forward to something a bit different. FPC Danbury Conn. is where I have a recommendation for. Do you have any info that you could share with this baby or maybe someone you could point me too?? I appreciate just being able to read everyone's letters. Thanks for your support!

yjdavis

beckym
12-27-2004, 06:50 PM
Hi Chrisa '
Thank you so much for your sharing your experience with all of us. I sent you a private message and then I realized I could reply here too. It has taken me some time to figure out how to use this sight I am not really familiar with this. I think my questions could help someone else too. I am going to Bryan Jan. 16 and I am really scared. I am from Kalamazoo Michigan and have 4 children its really a long way away from my family. I doubt they will even be able to visit. I hope to be in the 500 hour program. My attorney spoke with a person at Bryan and they said they wouldn't know for sure until I got there. But they said that since the judge requested it and I have a long history of alcoholism that I was probably in it and thats why I was being sent so far away. Anyway I would love to know all about Bryan and especially the program I haven't found out anything about it online so I am sure others are interested too. Thank you for offering to answer our questions I have felt so alone. This sight and people like you make this so much better. I feel like a person again. I intend to make the absolute best of the situation and it really helps to know about it from someone who was there. It will help me to help my kids deal with this too.
Thank you again for all of your help.
BeckyFor those of you that have read my posts you know how angry I have been with so-called "experts" that have given false and exagerated accounts in the media lately as to what its really like in in the womens camps. I spent 4 years in 4 different camps so I do know something about them. I'm certainly no expert but I would like to share what I do know with those of you that are getting ready to go to a camp or who have loved ones inside. Going to prison is scary thing to contemplate without having to listen to horror stories in the media.
I was incarcerated in FPC Carswell, FPC Lexington, FPC Alderson and FPC Bryan in that order. Each camp is different. The rules should be the same in all of them but they aren't. Much depends on the warden as to what and how the rules are implemented. Some things are the same no matter where you end up though!
The first thing that will do is go to R&D(receiving and discharge). This will probably take awhile. They will dress you out in a uniform. You're picture will be taken and you will meet with someone from medical to discuss any health issues that you have or any medication that you are taking. Usually whatever prescription medication you are taking they will let you keep on taking it as long as its non-narcotic. You will fill out some paperwork and they will assign you to a unit. Each place has different lay-outs as far as the units go. I went from sleeping in a TV room to a 2 man room(with a door you can close anytime you want!)in Lexington. Alderson had 2 man cubicles with about 150 people per unit. After six months in Alderson you qualify to go to a cottage. There are a lot less people in a cottage and its more like a regular room. Bryan has 4 man rooms with 100-150 people per unit. One thing I forgot to mention about R&D is that yes, you will be stripped searched. No cavity searches, just squat and cough. Don't take it personal, the CO's have to do it. I got so used to it that it ended being no big deal. Not pleasant, just try not to think about it. You will also be issued bedding to take with you to your unit. The next morning you will go to laundry to be issued your uniforms. They give you 4 pants, 4 shirts, 5 t-shirts, 5 underwear and 5 pairs of socks. You will also be issued boots or shoes. If you want extra underwear and socks you can purchase them at the commissary. Until you are assigned a job you will work cleaning the unit during the day. Alderson and Bryan will let you actively seek a job instead of waiting to be assigned by the staff. If you are allowed to do that please do. I did and was very fortunate. I was a librarian at Alderson and a GED tutor for special learning needs ladies in Bryan. Just remember that you are required to work unless you have a medical condition that would prevent that. Usually ladies that cannot work due to their health end up going to Carswell.
Bring money with you if you are able. You can go to commissary and buy a variety of things, from cosmetics, shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, radios, hygiene items and craft supplies. ALderson has a wonderful commissary and Lexingtons is awful. Around the holidays the commissary will offer holiday items such as Christmas cookies, etc. You can also purchase cigarettes if you smoke.
The majority of the ladies that you meet are kind. You will not be attacked. I thought the same thing before I went to prison. I was going to be beat up or raped or both! It is nothing like that!! I made friends there that I will hopefully have for the rest of my life. Violence in a camp is rare. They are nice places as far as prison goes and if you fight you will be shipped someplace not so nice. Remember to be courteous to your roomates. Clean up after yourself and do your share of the cleaning. The CO's do room inspections. Just be neat and you won't have any problems.
Each prison will offer a variety of educational programs and recreation. If you don't have a GED you will be required to attend clasees. At Bryan the instructors for the local community college come in every evening to teach Information Management. You will receive college credit. There are also classes such as auto-cad, cosmetology and horticulture. Just go to the education department of the institution to see what they offer. Recreation offers bingo at some places. They have bags of goodies from Wal-Mart if you win. They also have a variety of other games. In Alderson they have roller skating in the winter. There are yoga classes and exercise classes. Each institution has a library, some better than others. I can go on and on about different programs that these institutions offer so if you have any specific questions just ask. I will answer what I can.
Your experience in prison will be what you make it. You can bemoan your fate all the time or you can use the time to reflect and work on whatever issues you feel you need to work on. You are already there and nothing will probably change that. Prison is not a fun place to be, but I did have some fun while I was there thanks to some of the lovely ladies I was there with.
I have gone on long enough here. I'm sure there will be things that I will think of later to add. As I said, if anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Chrisa

poai
12-27-2004, 09:53 PM
i am waiting for my designation to serve an 18 mos sentence..my lawyer requested the camp at dublin, but i have ammended that request to stay in hawaii FDC.. though the honolulu facility doesn't have any outside areas for recreation at least they have daily visiting hours for those who have been sentenced..
*does anyone know about programs at the honolulu facility? are you ever assigned to go out of the facility to work?
*will i be permitted to carry my migrane inhaler with me? i have very severe migranes with sudden onset which require immediate interception or i am hopitalized..
i am still in shock that i am heading to prison...thanks for all of the guidance to ease the fears...
much aloha!

txgrannie
01-02-2005, 12:15 PM
The drug program is called RDAP. They go by your discharge date to admit people to the program. They have RDAP classes for 9 months and then graduate and go to the half way house for 6 months. You are paid after 3 months in class for attending RDAP classes.

yjdavis36
01-05-2005, 12:06 PM
hi again, I just got my letter and it has me designated to Dublin FCI on Jan 18th. I was recommended to go to the camp and was just wondering if you start there at the FCI and then go to the camp or what. I have tried to write to you several times but just thought that I would try again and see. I know you answer alot of folks so... Thank you again for any info you can help me with.

Peace,
yjd

ajap
01-05-2005, 12:38 PM
Getting to a camp often involves going through a FCI; it's 100% up to the BOP. Not your judge, not your lawyer, not even G-d has a say in it. ONLY the BOP decides when you're ready for a camp. My husband did 10 years and never got to a camp, but I got to one after three years.

ExBOPer
01-06-2005, 04:26 PM
hi again, I just got my letter and it has me designated to Dublin FCI on Jan 18th. I was recommended to go to the camp and was just wondering if you start there at the FCI and then go to the camp or what. I have tried to write to you several times but just thought that I would try again and see. I know you answer alot of folks so... Thank you again for any info you can help me with.

Peace,
yjd

Even if you are designated to the camp, the designation would still say FCI Dublin - because the camp is part of that institution. If you are a self-surrender, you are most probably designated to the camp.

Kpatrick94
01-13-2005, 07:33 AM
Cjjack-

I am to self-surrender to the Lexington Facility in three days. Can you tell me how long it will be before I am able to call home? Also I called and they said that the only thing people could mail me was letters. I thought they would be able to send pictures, soft covered books and magazines. How many women to one room usually. You said in Lexington it may be two? Did I understand that correctly? I've been hearing that some people do not hear from their family members for months. Is there a waiting period on visitation or phone calls. I'm so worried about my family.