A post from our client at Bryan FPC, a women’s camp in TX
I am typing everything I can think of that may be a question or concern in one of your clients’ minds right now. I am hoping this helps prepare them 🙂
HEALTH CARE: In your first month, you will have MULTIPLE visits to the nurse. There is not a doctor here. Labs, Blood Pressure, a visit where she asks you a bunch of questions. She does not give good medical advice. I have heard stories, and I don’t want to repeat them because they would just be ROY (rumors on the yard). I am only going to tell you things I personally have encountered or someone close to me has.
My meds were on the BOP formulary and they still took me off of them. For Antidepressants, they like to give Zoloft or Cymbalta. They will not give you antipsychotics/ ADD/ADHD meds. If you have mental health issues you will be given Zoloft or Cymbalta. Yes, Wellbutrin may be on the BOP formulary but they will try and switch you. They upped my Zoloft dose without even telling me.
Make sure you go to your doctor and get EVERYTHING DONE. Get a Pap Smear, you don’t want one here. Go to the dentist. PLEASE go to the dentist. If you have a cavity they will just pull your teeth. If you need to have surgery here you just get IBPROFEN as pain meds. Nothing else. Get your medical stuff out of the way. There is 1 nurse to 700 female inmates. I have friends in here who got a pap smear and are now on medical hold because they are waiting to go to the OBGYN. They take you to one on the outside.
They do not allow you to bring in contacts. Bring your glasses with you! If you do not you will be without glasses for at least a week or 2 until you see the eye doctor. The glasses they give you are not cute.
Bottom Bunk Pass: You won’t get one unless you are overweight, or have seizures. If you fall off a lot, it still doesn’t matter you still won’t get one! I have multiple bruises from falling off of it lol. It is getting better. The first month the cold turkey took me off one of my mood medicines and it really jacked with my equilibrium.
CLOTHING: It is cold here. The heat DOES WORK. The issue is they use a boiler-type heater. It takes a long time for them to turn the heat up. Most of the time they do not turn it on. They will just turn the fan on.
There are tons of rumors on the yard that they do this to punish us, or that they do it so germs don’t spread. The honest truth is they don’t turn it on because it is very hard to adjust.
FOOD: The food is decent. You will be constipated because they give you very little protein. Your stomach will be upset for a couple of weeks trying to get used to all the potatoes and beans.
A lot of people buy Julios Chips, Cheesy Rice, Beans, and Queso and have a burrito or nacho bowl on the regular.
The commissary food gets old after a while. I am already tired of it.
If you don’t want to gain a whole lot of weight limit commissary. Your first month give yourself grace because you will want the little debbies and all that. Once it wears off just don’t do it. Eat in the kitchen and take every opportunity you can to eat protein.
There is only WHEAT bread in the cafeteria
Breakfast is always either Oatman or Bran Flakes
BOOKS: The library is decent. A ton of romance and smut books. I created an Amazon gift list and my family and friends sent me books off of it. I suggest you to do the same. Reading what you like makes the time go faster.
TABLETS:They are $131. Only music, movies, and games can be put on the tablet. Nothing else.
VIDEO VISITS: All the video visits in all the units except B1 are down and not working. Video visits are free.
PHONE: You get 510 minutes a month. For each phone call you get to make a 10-minute call. It’s free. Phone lines are long. I suggest emailing, you do have to pay for it though.
RESTITUTION: They will see how much you deposit in your account the first month. If you deposit $1000 you will have a $100 payment.
MAIL: Have photos mailed to you directly from freeprints.com
ALL MAIL except books and photos are copied.
My legal mail was even opened, and not in front of me.
You can not have calendars and blank notebooks mailed to you. They sell crappy ones in the commissary and will make you mail the other ones back home.
Make sure when you create contact lists you get your families ADDRESS as well as phone number/email. You can not write letters to your family unless they are in Corrlinks.
JOBS: If you are a short timer (2 years or less) It will be hard for you to find a job outside the kitchen. I have seen 24 month sentence inmates leave in 5.5 months.
They are really pushing the 12 months halfway house here. The issue is the halfway houses can be full.
UNITS: Madison is not the good unit right now. It is not fully staffed. If possible you want to get into B1. We have 2 counselors. Madison has 1 and she is not competent (from what i hear).
BED: You will have a flat white sheet, and 2 thin blankets and 1 pillow. It is essentially a workout mat/nap mat on a sheet of metal. You get used to it.
GUARDS: Honestly they do not have much staff. You really don’t see them a whole lot unless it is count time OR during main line (when it is time to eat).
I have not seen any fights break out. I only see girls arguing at each other occasionally. Everyone is really nice. Most of the girls are in here on conspiracy, drugs or trafficking. There are few white collar criminals here and you stand out. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You will have someone to eat meals with. The girls are nice. When girls start arguing with each other go to your rooms.
I have not seen any contraband. It is here though, but i chose to just stay away from it. Don’t ask about it, and you won’t find it 🙂
I’m very happy that Sam’s group was able to get me here. I was originally designated to Alderson. I strongly encourage your reaching out to him if you are destined to go to federal prison!!!!