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How do inmates stay busy, here is a list of things to do

The jail and prison system is set up to warehouse people whom have broken societal laws and are sanctioned to be segregated from the public until their sentence away has been served.  During this period of time, the collection of individuals live and exist within a new society that is a world unlike what most people can imagine except for the reality shows that give an edited glimpse of what goes on behind the wall or what Hollywood deems is the way things are in fictitious Shawshank, or real prisons like Alcatraz "the Rock",  Sing Sing, Leavenworth or Rikers Island.

This section is for the people who are about to go in, about to begin their sentence and want to know "what am i able to do, what am i going to do with all this time ahead of me".  Facilities at the various institutions vary from site to site but they are not always the worst conditions imaginable.  Federal prison for instance has an array of facilities available as well as sources of entertainment to keep yourself occupied.  It is not the intention of the institutions to keep you so bored that you will look to create excitement, they want your mind focused on positive elements and as such, offer many things to do.  Here are some of the available facilities that the penal system provides:

Things to do
  • televisions everywhere
  • "movie night" (Friday & Saturday a new PG movie is shown)
  • musical instruments (piano, drums, guitar, etc)
  • playing cards
  • backgammon
  • checkers
  • chess
  • ping pong
  • billiards
  • bocce
  • softball
  • beach volleyball
  • football
  • basketball
  • soccer
  • weight pile - free weights and station weights
  • exercise equipment for cardio
  • arts and crafts
  • clay sculpting
  • wood working
  • leather craft
  • painting
  • library (leisure and law)
  • education department
  • vocational training
  • hand ball
  • racquetball
  • squash
  • running/walking track
  • isometric exercise stations
  • drug and alcohol abuse treatment

Jobs - in prison, the inmates do everything, the city within the walls is maintained by the inmates, there is no contract labor, we do it all
  • kitchen - cook, preparation, warehouse receiving, dish washing, pots & pans, general equipment maintenance, cleaning duties, serving the food, cleaning the mess hall after meals, garbage detail
  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • construction
  • medical facility orderly
  • education - some inmates may teach courses
  • landscaping
  • trustee work - higher level of access bestowed upon trusted inmates whom have earned this distinction, or have sufficiently kissed enough ass to get this cushy job
  • general prison staff assistant
  • orderly - bathroom, hallway, outdoor - prison must maintain a high standard of cleanliness to keep people from getting sick (don't get sick in prison)
  • living quarters - clean, sweep, dust, mop, spray, toilets, common areas and individual cells

Again, this information is merely a guide to what might be available for your usage while incarcerated.  Not all institutions offer all the same facilities mentioned herein.  I always found solace in the amount of time that I had to read, to better myself with knowledge and use the opportunity of all this idle time to read, read, read.  To that end, InmateAid is set up to give your friends and family a "one-stop shop" in the form of an Internet portal that has everything that you possibly could receive while locked-up.  Encourage them now to come to the site and set up a Profile Page for you that will include a "wish list" of selected reading material you would like to receive over time.  These loved ones may log on to your page and click on the items that you want to have delivered.  Believe me, this is no small task after you get in.  People tend to forget about you when you are there; you really learn who your friends are.  So be proactive and set up some of this NOW so that they have a place to go to accomplish the small things you will require to survive with your sanity and come out better than you went in.


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