Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Callouts and Changes

Every afternoon at about 5:30p, a printout containing "callouts and changes" is posted in each dorm lobby.

A callout is a scheduled meeting with a staff person that usually interrupts your normal work assignment. If your work assignment involves a bus ride, then you don't take the bus and instead work on the prison grounds when you are not at your appointment. Callouts are usually for medical, dental, counselor, unit case manager, or chaplain visits or other things. For example, all Muslim inmates report to chapel instead of work every Friday, since Friday is a holy day for them.

A change is an alteration in your work assignment. That is how I noticed that my work detail had changed.

It is the inmate's responsibility to check the callout sheets every evening so you know where to go the next morning.

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