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).

Saturday, July 28, 2007


[This was written near the end of May while in prison.]

Cameras are not allowed in prison. However, there are a few inmates who are authorized by the prison to take inmate photos under carefully regulated conditions.

1. The cameras are locked by the prison and checked out by the designated inmates at the appropriate times.

2. Inmates must purchase photo "tickets" ($1/picture) at the commissary on Monday afternoons.

3. Official photo times are during visitation on Saturday and Sunday in the courtyard until about 2p and then at 2p for the rest of the inmates outside the visiting area. There are two photo areas in the visiting courtyard that have been prepared by the inmates to create an attractive backdrop. Outside the courtyard is a small decorative arched bridge over a grassy ditch in front of the greenhouse that is used for the backdrop.

4. The camera is film, not digital. Pictures can be picked up 2 weeks later.

This last weekend, my oldest daughter wanted a picture taken with me during visitation. I also had a picture taken alone in my greens at the bridge. Both pictures are posted below.

1 comment:

Paul Eilers said...

Considering the background of the pictures, it sure does not look like you are in prison!


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