Prison Basic's- A Step by Step guide for family and friends on surviving the California Prison system.
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Chapters included in Prison Basics:
-He What....Got Arrested
-He's Where....County Jail
-The Court's and Hearing Process
-On The Bus To Reception
-State Time Is Hard Time
-So You Want To Visit A State Prison
-You Have A Collect Call From
-The Ole' Pony Express-Mail
-Quarterly Packages & Special Purchases
-Money On The Books & Restitution
-Welcome To Ad/Seg America & The SHU
-The System Set Up
-Prison Slang Translated
-California State Prisons
Here We Are.....To The Family & Friends
"You've been through the arrest process, the county jail system, the court and hearing process, the reception center process and you have both made it to your final destination, State Prison. This is it, where the sentence received will be served out by both of you. This is the place where you both will do time together, one of you on the inside and one of you on the outside.
Just when you thought you couldn't possibly tolerate anything else, as you are emotionally, mentally and financially wiped out; there's more, much more and you are just getting started. This is the place where all the real fun begins, where your inner strength can be tested beyond its limits. Dont ever give up!"
Where you wake up at two o'clock in the morning and drive any-where from three(3) to five (5) hours one way, to stand in line for two (2) hours all for a visit with the one you love. You will stand in front of your closet one day and actually see that you have two (2) sets of clothes, "Prison Clothes" and "Regular Clothes". You will learn to visit a state prison like you have been doing it for years. You will know your clothes and everything you have is in order and will get you in without problems. You will fly right through the processing procedures and metal detectors. Once you have this process down, you have completed your right of passage, you are now considered an "Institutionalized Visitor".
The mail man will become your new best friend and you will know precisely what time your mail is delivered and when it is late, a reality that didnt seem to matter before. You will purchase more stamps and money orders than you could have thought imaginable or possible in a life time. You will know every post office employee by their first name. You will become a professional at packing up writing paper; envelopes and stamps and actually learn without being asked when those writing materials are needed.
You will learn to accept those waited for collect calls, that let you know everything is alright and Global Tel-Link will all of a sudden become a huge priority to you, a creditor that you will love to hate. You will learn that when those collect calls do not come through, that the yard or prison is on lockdown or there was no program for the day and not to panic, its a reality of the system and it happens often.
You will purchase more books then anyone you know could possibly read, and suddenly find yourself ordering subscriptions to magazines and news papers. You will learn that a TV Guide subscription has a high value and priority on the inside.
Suddenly you will become very racially aware of all the different ethnic groups around you and know that racial segregation is common place within the state prison system. Instead of being shocked over facial tattoo's, head tattoo's, full arm sleeve tattoo's those appearances will become a "Normal" sight for you, something you dont even give a second thought too any more. You may even learn to understand them, because you know they tell a story.
The sight of fences, razor wire and armed gun towers, will eventually not bother you a bit. You will consider it part of the process and surrounding scenery of visiting the one you love and realize that it's a small price to pay for the joy your visit brings your loved one.
You will then begin to notice, that the rules within CDCR change on a weekly basis and the rules are applied by the day,depending on who is running the show at that time. You will suddenly discover that you know the visiting rules better than the individuals applying them.