Dealing with BOP Staff

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Detention Center Unit Complex, Federal Prison Camp

I spent 3 months in a Atlanta Federal Prison Camp. It is not something I am proud of obviously but it is a fact and I feel compelled to share with the world the truth about what actually goes on in that environment. Some of you might find pretty shocking.

My crime is of little importance, suffice it to say that it was “White Collar” hence the sentencing to a camp environment but I can tell you that it was not at all what I expected it to be given the preconceived notions that are in existence out there.

As stated in a previous post, the notion of “Club Fed” is a nowhere near true. Despite what you might have read or seen on sixty minutes, there is no place where those convicted of federal crimes go to “Hang Out” in a spa environment, play tennis or work out with weights all day. It simply doesn’t exist.

What does exist is corruption and abuses of the system at its highest. I entered the Atlanta FPC in August, 2012 and it took me no less than a few days to learn that I could leave the camp each night if I so desired or have a drink any night of the week if I so chose. In short, Atlanta was a “wild west town” where basically anything went.

The guards for the most part were corrupt and could be paid to produce anything from drugs, to liquor, to cell phones, and would readily do so upon request. There are three kinds of guards in Federal Prison, those who are really pretty good men, they want to help where they can and really understand that the charges against a lot of inmates are really ridiculous and just want to help them get through their time as easily as possible. Then there are those who are strictly in it for them and are out to milk every dollar out of the experience that they can. Finally there are those who are in a nutshell, sadistic jerks who are on a power trip and are in it to see just how much pain they can inflict on some poor soul who has become subject to their tyranny. Unfortunately, I experienced each of the personalities and I have to tell you that numbers two and three were to say the least nauseating.

There are a number of stories that I have to share and I will as time passes but suffice it to say that corruption abounds in federal prison and for the most part goes unchecked because people turn a blind eye. This is wrong, fundamentally wrong and just because a man has been convicted of a federal crime doesn’t mean he is no longer human.

With all this being said, the easiest way to get along with the staff is smile, nod and move on.  You can choose to challenge the officers and that is fine, but just be ready for them to make your life a little miserable.  Eventually it will all work out and things will be fine as there are review boards, but if you don’t want to have any immediate issues just follow what is said.  I say that with a warning.  If you feel that what you are being asked to do or you see something that is entirely illegal or in need of immediate attention get in touch with an officer that you trust.  Just be ready to have everything you say challenged.  Don’t become a push-over!  Officers will take advantage of you just like other inmates.  Be on guard!  CO’s are able to send you to the “Hole” (DCU) as they wish.  You will just have to wait for the DHO (Discipline Hearing Officer) to hear your case.  You may not stay long, but they can send you there which means you will lose your bunk and have to start all over at the camp.

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