Prison (and Jail) Life

black Image of scales on white background with the words, "calibrate the scales" overlaid. As with any set of scales, the scales of justice must, from time to time, be recalibrated. Total balance is never achieved, but all in the criminal justice and legal systems must strive for it as much as possible.

In this set of pages, we are going to do something unique.

No experience in life is like going to jail. Going to prison is similar, but only in as much as an apple is a fruit like an orange is a fruit. Beyond that, there is no comparison. Each is unique and each is tough.

Some of the things we plan to cover in this set of pages is…

Jail Intake and Life

One step before prison is jail. When a person is arrested, the first place of lockup they go is the city or county jail. Once there, the suspect will await arraignment, bail, and/or trial. In this set of pages, we will include:

  • information related to each step in the booking, intake, and settling-in to jail
  • what a suspect may expect on entering jail
  • some things the family may need to know about their loved one such as
  • communication
  • contraband
  • contact
  • visitation
  • Preparation for arraignment
  • Searches
  • Protective Custody
  • Overcrowding
  • Any other topic important to those entering, remaining in, and exiting jail

Prison Life (From Intake to Parole)

As with much in life, prison has to be experienced to be fully understood. Still, we are going to do our best to show you prison life today as it really is. The first goal here is to better prepare anyone expecting to lose their criminal case. We would also like to inform the public, especially families of convicted persons about what actually happens in prisons. There are many misconceptions about life in prisons and we hope to present as balanced a view as possible.

Along the way, we are hoping to gain access to true-life experiences.

We had an idea to this end. Here it is. We would like to pay inmates for writing articles and sending them to us. But we cannot pay outright at the moment. We are still a small site in terms of funds (and staff–it’s just little old me behind this wheel). What we had in mind was a revenue sharing program.

The way it works is simple. We advertise on this site and any ad revenue we receive, we divide with each writer according to how many views their content received. Thus, the more articles a writer adds, the more views they get, and the more they will earn.

So, we are asking readers who have a loved incarcerated who likes to write, to send you their writings. You then put them into digital form (a clear image is perfect) and send them to us. We will establish an account and when it reaches $50 we will send the funds directly to their commissary. For details, complete the form at the end of this page.

The inmate writer participation idea is simple:

This will allow those who are living prison and jail life to tell us what it is like. We will still include scholarly articles, useful references, and compelling essays, but we will be able to balance it all with the first-hand experience.

We believe this approach will provide Criminal Justice Law with a more balanced and useful information.

That said, some of the articles we would like to see from inmates around the world include:

  • Entry/Classification
  • Transport
  • Commissary
  • Communication within
  • Communication with outside
  • Contraband
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Mail
  • Medical Treatment
  • Medical Personnel
  • Prison Relations
  • Sex in Prison
  • Weapons in Prison
  • Cell Searches
  • Personal Searches
  • The Language Within Prison
  • Prison Gangs
  • Correctional Officers
  • Overcrowding
  • Treatment of Certain Offenders
  • Mentally Ill Inmates
  • Developmentally Disabled Inmates
  • Disabled and Elderly Inmates
  • Race and Prison Life
  • Correctional Officer Supervisors
  • Wardens and Assistant Wardens
  • The Impact of PREA on Prison Life
  • Violence & Bodily Fluids
  • Visitors
  • Work and Work Programs
  • Work/Trustee Camps
  • Minimum Security Prisons
  • Medium Security Prisons
  • Maximum Security Prisons
  • Administrative SecurityPrisons
  • Other types of unit

Really, any other topic an inmate or someone involved such as a father, mother, brother, sister…anyone with an interest can participate in building these pages and I will give them the same deal. Write pages that are needed to make the criminal justice system a better place and we will gladly share the ad revenue with you.

Plus, we get to read different points-of-view, something we love doing here.

NOTE for Writers Incarcerated:

First, you will have a friendly ear here. Although we seek to remain neutral politically, we do believe that the current justice system is in need of serious repairs. We believe you can be an important part of those repairs, but we do not expect you to work for free (you already do inside, right?).

But we also know that commissary funds are not easy for some to obtain. So, you help us and we help you. Fair enough? Just write in your own hand and do your best. We will edit for grammar and spelling, but the form remains your own. We want your voice to show.

However, to show the world that these are your words, we will add an image of the handwritten letter you will send.

It goes without saying that anything prison officials choose to black out we have no control over. Of course, in some cases, we may be able to research a story where we think there is a larger issue, but cannot promise anything…

…except your payment. Once it reaches $10, we will get the funds to you. We know how to send them, we will only need your commissary information. You know what to send. We got the rest.

We look forward to hearing from as many inmates as want to participate and recommend our regular readers bookmark this page. It will be the portal to your loved ones thoughts and insights.

Complete the form below to participate as a writer for this program. Once we receive your information, we will call to discuss the program more fully.

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