A Day in One Prisoner’s Life…

Marcia Bunny, CCWF
Typical Weekday
5:00 am: Get up; boil water for coffee and oatmeal (using a coil-immersion heater); while water is heating, do hair and organize toiletries for shower; at approximately 5:30 am, enter shower.
5:45 am: Dress, do make-up, put belongings away; eat; read devotional materials.
6:30 am: Be ready for release to “chow hall” – box lunches are handed out at breakfast, so I go in to at least get milk and a piece of fruit. Return to housing unit and wait to be released for work.
7:30 am: Work release. Report to security checkpoint (“work exchange”), show ID to officers who check each person off against a daily computer printout of authorized workers. Walk to work site.
7:45 am: Report to work. I am a clerical worker in the prison’s education department. My tasks vary considerably, but are almost always performed on a computer, in MS Word or MS Excel.
11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Lunch break. We are permitted to eat at our desks, or go outside. I stay at my desk and use the time to scan the online tutorials to enhance my computer skills.
12:00 pm: Continue with tasks for the day.
3:45 pm: Dismissal from work; return through security checkpoint, getting pat-searched in the process (a daily occurrence — usually the officer is male); return to housing unit.
4:00 pm: Locked into living quarters for count time; gather/arrange materials for evening session in law library.
4:30 pm: Count time. Must be seated on bed and observed by staff.
5:00 pm: (With luck!) count clears. Release to day room to await release for dinner. (I never go.) I rush to officers’ station to sign up for the law library, then wait until it’s time to leave.
5:55 pm: Depart to law library. If I don’t have to wait long at the gate, it’s about a 10-minute walk.
6:00 pm – 7:50 pm: Law library time: research, read the legal publications, such as Daily Recorder.
7:50 pm: Return to housing unit; shower; do hand laundry; organize clothing, etc., for the next day.
9:00 pm: Bed, with recreational reading as a de-stressing tool. (This “rule” has saved my sanity over the last few years!)
10:00 pm – 10:15 pm: Zz – zzz – zz…