Archive for February, 2013

I was reading another source this morning and they mentioned that the Atlanta Federal Prison Camp is still on lockdown, but not as bad as they were before.  The inmates are not allowed back outdoors, but they have to be in their dormitories by 6:30pm.  That’s not a bad deal.  Basically that will give them about an hour after chow time.  Work is still suspended except for just a few select inmates (mainly those working for Unicor).  Commissary privileges are now allowed but only for hygiene products (shampoo, soap, medicines, etc.).  And they are finally allowed to use the phone; however it’s for only during specific hours and they are limited to only a 5-minute phone call.  So they are getting some sort of normalcy back.  Still no visitation though.

Needless to say my sources have said that all the inmates are still being watched extremely close and they won’t get their full privileges back for some time.  But at least they are getting out now and are not stuck in their units all day and night.  At least some of the tension will be relieved.

Apparently they have had multiple shake-downs and contraband has been found; AGAIN!  At least this time it was just some cigarettes. For those who don’t know all Federal Prisons are Smoke-Free. The sight of any cigarette or lighter will get you an extra 6 months.  Some inmates just don’t seem to care about how their actions affect others.  But it seems all is well and everyone is getting along okay.  So far no one has been cited for the original incident.

The Banker
The other big thing is the acquisition of currency. In the Atlanta Camp, the currency was Mackrel. Yes, that is correct packages of fish were used as currency. Purchased in the commissary each pouch is $1.85. However, an inmate can buy what are called compound macks for $.65 apiece. That’s a tremendous discount and a very good buy if you can get it. Some of these guys horde their “macks” so they have a bunch of them sitting around. Usually the only way you can get this deal is if you can get some cash inside or if you have someone put money on other inmate’s books. Both are very much against the rules and can get you and the person on the outside in trouble so be careful if you choose to do this.

The Snitch

If there is one thing that is not tolerable in the Prison System, it’s a snitch.  However, there are plenty of them in the system.  Many inmates are looking for any way to make their stay at the camp better (or what they may think is better).  This person or persons is constantly on the lookout for things that will boost their status at the camp (get them a better job; put them in a better bunk, etc.).  You don’t always know who this person or persons are as they keep their escapades to themselves (for their own safety).  They tend to be loners, but in some cases they are involved in all the happening.  They know that no one will tell on them so they just keep positioning themselves to better and better roles. (more…)

I did some more checking and it seems that they still have the Atlanta Prison Camp on lockdown.  We are looking at almost a month since all this hoopla happened.  I will guarantee you the only reason this is occurring is because they were embarrassed (made the news) about contraband going in the camp.  I know everyone is laughing about the guys “breaking” back in, but that is simply just so that they don’t pick up an additional charge.  While I was there I always thought it was funny that people broke out and then back inside.  These guys not only risk getting caught, but they do risk injury.  I saw some guys who had razor wire cuts all over their arms.  It doesn’t stop them.

All this just for some cell phones, alcohol, protein powder, etc.  I can almost guarantee that the weapons they found belonged to the driver and his companion.  In that neighborhood they probably need them!  There have been at least 2 shootings across the street from the prison in the last year.  I know of at least two deaths while I was there at the housing projects across the street.

For those who are trying to figure out what these guys were trying to do, let me try to explain (as best I can).  Being at a Federal Prison Camp you are given a great deal of freedom compared to your average jail or prison.  During the day you are allowed outside the fence line and at some camps you work with the community directly (some work at hospitals, office buildings, etc).  With that freedom these guys grow a strong want for things that make them feel even more free.  Things like Cell Phones (phone calls can get extremely expensive from the prison phones), alcohol, protein powder (huge price on this), cigarettes, and other items.  I know one person that brought in three sacks of McDonald’s cheeseburgers every Friday.  I really don’t know how they got in or who brought them in, but they were all over the compound within about 30 minutes of their arrival.  They were always warm and fresh.  So their whole purpose is to just try to make their time more comfortable in their eyes.

I think the BOP is trying to make statement to the inmates regarding this activity.  This happened at least twice a week while I was there.  If you wanted to get something from the outside, you contacted the proper person, they made arrangements to get it to the camp, and you paid them.  The person making the arrangements is not necessarily the one who is going out to get the product (this is so they don’t get busted).  Were there items that came through that were completely illegal (drugs) – absolutely.  But most of these guys keep to themselves and don’t get other involved unless you want to be involved.

This “problem” is not something that only happens at Atlanta.  Every camp deals with this.  The only difference is Atlanta has a fence around it so it gets a lot more attention.  Other camps don’t have a fence around it so inmates will walk out into the woods, parking lot, etc and get the items they want from people.  Some of the items even come from the CO’s themselves (doesn’t happen as often, but it does happen).

If things go as they have in the past it could be another 2 weeks before inmates are allowed to make phone calls or have access to computers.  I’m sure by now they have been allowed to go outdoors, but probably only go to work and that is it.  The rest of the time they are most likely confined to their dorms.  Unfortunately all the TV’s and computers have been removed which is going to make for a lot of grouchy and bored inmates.  I’m sure they have access to the commissary, but only for essential items (toiletries, stamps, etc).  They won’t be allowed to get their candy, chips, and ice cream for the week.  The one thing that is going on is a lot of card playing and dominos.

I’m sure all is well and eventually these guys will be allowed to serve their time as they have in the past.  Just hope it comes a lot sooner rather than later.  I’m sure the staff is feeling the same way as they have to deal with the grumpy inmates as they start to go a little stir-crazy.