Prison Pete

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
  So where do I live now?
I live in a dorm unit. There are 110 inmates in this unit, and 55 bunk beds. They are arranged in three double rows, and two single rows at each end.

The room is thirty feet high and there are four eight-foot high dividers in the center of the room. The beds are placed against these dividers with about a four foot wide aisle between the middle rows. The end two rows have ten feet of space before the outer wall.

There are two three-foot wide lockers stacked on top of each other between each bunk bed. The lockers are three feet high and two feet deep. So that leaves an area three feet by five feet that you share with your "bunkie." This area is also referred to as one's cube.

As I type this, my "desk" consists of a fifteen inch high box with the seven inch deep typewriter box acting as a desk top. I am sitting on a chair and am hunched over to type. I can also use the typewriter on my bunk, but since I have the top bunk that has proven to be hard on my back sitting cross legged and typing.

Each inmate is allowed to have his own forty watt clip-on light (120 volt), personal six-inch plastic fan, AM/FM/Cassette with headphones (AC or battery), typewriter, an electric razor and finally, a hot pot.

All my worldly possession must be stored in my locker, under the bed in a cardboard box, or on the newly installed six inch by three foot shelf at the head of each bed.

Also located at the head of each bed are two 110 volt outlets. In the feds, although each cell had two separate duplex outlets, one by the bunks and one by the sink, they were permanently disconnected. I even have my own personal six foot extension cord with three outlets at the one end to enable the connection of fan, light, typewriter, and possibly a radio.

The entire building I am in is air conditioned, but the personal fans are needed in case the AC dies, which I have been told happens on occasion, or to stir the air in your area when one of my neighbors decides to release toxic gases into the immediate vicinity. This occurrence is all too frequent.

Sometimes I feel more like I am attending an adolescent sleepover as opposed to living among grown men.
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