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Prison Pete

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Monday, April 11, 2005
  Razors and Shaving - The Next Chapter.
Now that I have moved to yet another prison, the razor policy has changed again. In Club Fed, you could buy your own razors and use them anytime you wanted. You had the option of using the cheap razor that they gave out once a month or you could invest some of your own money and buy a fancy Gillette Atra-type double blade razor and replacement blades.

Then I went to the county jail in New York, where you had to ask for a razor before 10:00 AM. Since you were locked in your cell, and allowed out at a different time depending on the day, you could only shave once every four days.

From there I journeyed to what the state prison system calls a reception center. As I mentioned before, you could shave three times a week and were given a cheap, but new, razor. You needed to use the razor in your cell. They were collected before you went to take your shower (I never did try the baby powder someone suggested).

Now at my new home away from home, I was issued a BIC twin blade razor when I arrived. At the 5:25 PM count each Saturday, you must show the razor to the officer as they come around for the count.

On Sunday, following the 11:15 AM count, you march up in single file to the officer's desk, show him the old razor is all there, dump it in a bucket, and are issued a new razor. You cannot buy any razors, and you must use the same BIC twin blade all week.

As someone once reminded me back at Club Fed, I am not trying to impress anyone (visually anyhow) so I do not sweat the every day need for a shave. Actually, I could go two days with out attracting too much notice, but since the razor is really only good for one shave, I shave each Saturday night.

This provides me with something to look forward to. Saturday and Sunday are "no mail" days, so it is good to have something special to do on those days. Yes, it is true that one person's "special" is another's chore. The good thing about shaving here is that one can do it in the shower, so that solves the problem of torturing my sensitive skin.

We are allowed to purchase an electric razor and there are GFI outlets strategically placed near the sinks in the three bathrooms.

The question becomes: does one opt for the electric razor or stay with the once a week manual shave?

The state prison system is very different from the feds in that you are allowed to posses electrical appliances. While some might wonder about the possible danger of having electricity around water and inmates, I have already used the handy dandy test button on the GFI outlet just to be sure they really do perform as advertised.
 
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