Orientation 101!

Inmate 1: Excuse me, I just got here, could you tell me what the Warden’s name is?

Inmate 2: Oh sorry, we do not currently have a warden

Inmate 1: Well, I need to see Classification, what do i do or who do i have to talk to?

Inmate 2: Oh, well sorry bout that too, we don’t have one of those either. Well really, we have nothing, talk to the Cptn, Lt or Sgt, thats pretty much it.

Orientation 101 at Montgomery Women's Facility
Orientation 101 at Montgomery Women’s Facility

Inmate 1: Can the Captain, Lt or Sgt’s help me get my custody, so i can go to work to start paying on my fines?

Inmate 2: Well, No, and didn’t you tell me you have a Manslaughter conviction? Yeah, Well, Min-Out is as low as you can go, So really Classification or no one for that matter will help you.

Inmate 1: Your serious? Okay, well, how do things work around here? Canteen, Laundry, Law Library or GED? What can i expect to see today?

inmate 2: Well, its never consistent. Day to day is very confusing. See, right now we don’t have a canteen supervisor, so the lady from the PMOD Dept, of the business office comes when she feels like it. Its never a set time, Oh and she doesn’t always fill your whole order, especially if you write on the back of the ticket. Yeah the tickets have to be reused. The laundry is open daily from 6:30 – 4:00. Its crazy too though because its located outside and you have to be dressed & have shoes on to go. Sometimes you get requests filled quickly, but most of the time it takes a while to get your request for clothing filled. The Officer over that is busy doing a lot of other jobs and they usually don’t have the most popular sizes. Also, the law library is very out dated, it is not very helpful.

If you have to have your GED, good luck. The materials are old, there is no supervision during the day, the prison really don’t consider it a priority, so good luck. Its really chaotic here because no one is on one accord. There is a big lack of communication here.

Inmate 1: Does this place at least have a Chaplain? Someone i can talk to about issues with me, family or my beliefs?

Inmate 2: Well, yes & no. Theres no staffed Chaplain here. There is 2 very sweet ladies from We Care that volunteer here a couple of days a week. Its not really confidential to talk to them, see they sit up at the front tables in the day area, where the TV is, so its noisy and sometimes crazy. We don’t have a Chapel. We use the rooms in the shift office when available. Not a lot of groups get to come through. Catholic services & Jehovah’s witnesses is only once a month. Most of the services are groups from Church’s the officers attend. There is no one to send requests to, for Religious materials and the Religions Medalions, only work release can get them sent in. If you already have a cross from Tutwiler, you many get to keep it, depending on the officer’s, they all do it differently.

Inmate 1: I was on the waiting list to see the dentist before i left Tutwiler, will i be on the list here?

Inmate 2: No, you won’t. Actually, theres no onsite dentist here. So it can actually take months to go We have to go to Healthcare on a sick call, then they’ll decide if you need to see the dentist, then they’ll put you on the list. We go to the dentist at Tutwiler, only one time a week though, sometimes its every other week. It really just depends. There is no emergency dental treatment here so i hope yours isn’t critical.

Inmate 1: How does mental health work here? I’m still dealing with problems, so i usually see a counsellor weekly.

Inmate 2: Well, we really don’t have a Mental Health Counsellor here on a regular basis. There are a few people that come, you just never know when they’ll be here. Its not consistent either, sorry.

Inmate 1: How does visitation work?

Inmate 2: Well, if you have children, you have to do the paperwork over, you need birth certificates & waivers as they don’t follow you, but your regular visitation list does. They will deny your children if your paper work is not here, so do that ASAP. Also the days are different, visits are by custody. All days for you will be either Saturdays or Sundays, they don’t rotate. I never get visits because my Mom works on Sundays. It sucks. Also, the vending machines aren’t always restocked and you can’t go to the vending machines with your family. See, the healthcare building got condemned, so our visitation building got turned into health care. Also the classes used to have, were in there too, so now we have no where to have classes, so not many people come in anymore, its really crowded.

Speaking of crowded, your living space is only wide enough to pull your drawer out, be careful though, they are broken and fall on you, and will break your toes or feet. The shower floor is peeling up and all the shower curtains are falling off. Its really crowded in there too. Pill line is ran from the Officers cube which cuts out half of the day area when its going on. The phones are located outside and are closed to us when the  yard is closed. So when its dark, we get a 15 minute phone break, but its hard to get a phone because a lot of people go & theres only 12 phones for almost 300 inmates. All in all, not a lot of good goes on here. The drugs are really bad and

the rules are very inconsistent. We have a lot of chaos and confusion daily for real. GED is a joke and really there are few officers that are mature and approachable. It really sucks here.

Transcribed by admin, Inmates identities withheld in fear of retaliation