If you have any questions for Andy about the prison system, what it is like, what goes on there, or anything, please leave the question in a blog comment and Andy would be happy to answer it. It keeps him occupied and allow us to learn about the system.

Also, for his friends, he would LOVE to get pictures of anything, so if you have his address, please send them to him, or if you would like to email them to the blog editor, you can do that and he will print out the pics and mail them to him.

He is now attending the class he must take before his release, and he will mention the journal entry memo they discussed that day in class.

Even if you don't know Andy, feel free to comment on his blog entries, which he gets and will respond to.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I was very surprised when a guard woke me up at 2am and told me I was catching chain and had to be ready to go about an hour after breakfast.  Since breakfast was at 3am, I only had a couple of hours to get ready.  So the move was on.

I was becoming very comfortable in my bunk at the county jail.  I went to sleep last Sunday evening fully expecting to wake up the next morning and have a good day of work outside.  I figured I didn't have to think about moving until after the other guy that came in before me moved.

The guard who woke me up gave me
two for stuff I was allowed to take with me, and the other for stuff I couldn't take with me....these items would stay with the items I surrendered on my original entry.  In summary, my clothes, cell phone, and now all the letters and cards I had received are left behind at county.  The items that they allowed to be transferred are a bible, pictures, legal documents, shower shoes, wedding ring, and wrist watch.  I took all the items listed except for the ring and watch.

Everyone in the tank was asking if they could have my commissary items (food, pens, dominos, paper, envelopes, extra clothes and shower necessities.)  This, to me, was obnoxious and put me in a bad mood.  The last thing I wanted to do an hour before I was off to prison was divide up $40 of stuff between a bunch of guys.  Ultimately, I gave everything away as graciously as possible.  Even though I had already had breakfast, I ate as much of my commissary food as possible since I didn't know when the next time I would eat would be.

Myself and ten other guys were processed out of county around 5am that morning.  Between 5 and 9 we were shuffled from holding cell to holding cell.  In our Ocean's 11 group there were several there for fairly minor sentences like myself.  There was one guy on a bench warrant.  This means that he was currently in the prison system, but had been taken to county to face a new charge.  He was on his way back to prison since he had finished his county court business.  I am not sure what his charges were, but he would be a big help later in the day.  One guy had just received shock probation.  He had a 90 day sentence.  Basically he would go to jail/prison for three months in an attempt to shock him into obeying the law.  There was another guy there on a 50 year aggravated sentence.  He was about 30 years old and won't be eligible for parole until he is 55.

And guess who else is back?  "Black"  Remember him from the first couple of weeks?  Well he is back in the picture.  He rode to the prison with us and is actually in my dorm right now.  He actually had a crush on one of my friend's sister in the 6th grade.  This friend is reading the blog.  That really cuts down on who it could be.  He is about 36 years old.

Driving directly up to and inside of the prison fences was a little intimidating, but not too scary.  The van is searched on the outside and under the hood and carriage by guards at the prison.  I assumed the were making sure nothing got smuggled in.  We pulled up to a non-descript door on the side of the prison to enter.  This prison is basically a series of very large sheet metal buildings that are built out on the inside to office the staff and house everyone.  I'm not sure how many acres are occupied here, but it's a huge compound surrounded by razor wire and tall guard stands with sharp shooters.  This is like what you see on tv.  As we walked into the building I had no clue what to expect.  The interior of the building was not at all daunting.  On the contrary I would describe it as being efficiently designed and set up (feng shui) to handle the intake of several hundred prisoners on a daily basis.  If you can picture what a military installation might have looked like during the draft era then I think you can see a reasonable estimation of how this place was set up.

By 10:30am we had been searched, had our heads shaved, showered, shaved, had our property inventoried and received clothes and a jacket.  At this point I was actually somewhat impressed by the proficiency of the staff.  From 10:30am until about 6pm we pretty much sat on a bench and waited.  Other counties came in througout the day until a total of 200 or so guys came into the prison.  It was very boring.  The only other thing we did all day was have our ID picture taken and answer some basic questions from a nurse.  At about 3pm we were served two sandwiches (on pb&j and one bologna) for lunch.  We were finally given sleeping mats and taken to our dorm around 6pm.  We were not given a pillow.

This is a list of exactly what I personally had:
1.  Loafer type prison tennis shoes.
2.  One pair of socks.
3.  One pair of boxers.
4.  An all white prison jumpsuit uniform thing.  All of the clothing items are used, but at least they are clean.
5.  Blanket
6.  Two twin sized sheets.
7.  Gym sized towel.
8.  Army green jacket with one pocket missing.
9.  One mini toothbrush 3 inches long.
10.  Powder toothpaste.
11.  Comb  (Not very useful without hair.)
12.  One roll of toilet paper.
13.  Five tiny bars of soap.
14.  One bed mat.

Along with these items I also had the few items that I was allowed to retain from county jail.  Luckily I did receive a mat that was in better condition and fluffier than most.  The bunks in prison are assigned and I received a great bunk.  It's on the bottom and I can easily view the two tv's from it.


  1. Good stuff, there Andy. I check back daily to see the new posts. Your descriptions are so amazing I can picture it as I read.

  2. Thanks for sharing this to help those that haven't been through it themselves and letting them know what their loved ones experience.

    I check daily to see if there is anything new. The way you have described things is just the way I remember them so far. I am really curious to see how things change between the men's units and the women's units as well as between a trusty camp and a main unit.

  3. i've been a follower of your blog since the very first post. was really glad i stumble upon it. its great you're telling us all how it really is inside. i have a couple of prison penpals,now i really know what they're all going through. thank you. i check your blog almost everyday! its really interesting.