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Interesting Prison Facts

Have you ever wondered what life in prison is like?  What do prisoners do all day?  Do they really have it easy? In my mind, I imagine men working out all day and watching TV.   If you watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix, you may think of prison in that setting.

 We interviewed someone that gave us a little insight to a prison in Louisiana, Cottonport State Prison.  The prison is a medium security prison.  People in this prison are serving time for crimes such as robbing a pharmacy, theft, and drug use.

This medium security prison is not set up with cells that you see on TV.  It is more of a dormitory atmosphere.  There are about thirty bunk beds per area and each person is allowed a small metal box that is kept under their bed.  This is the only place where they can lock their stuff up.
A room full of inmates are seen in their bunk beds at Southeastern Correctional Institution Wednesday, April 22, 2009 in Lancaster, Ohio. Ohio's prisons are at 132 percent capacity and space is squeezing tighter by the day, says prisons director Terry Collins. It's a nationwide problem as the economy escalates crime-causing tensions, worrying prison directors who must contend with the discomfort, violence, facility fatigue and lack of adequate programming staff. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Each inmate is allowed to have up to $499.99 a month deposited into their individual personal accounts.  There is a commissary where you can spend your money.  There a variety of things in the commissary for purchase:  candy bars, cokes, coffee, tooth brushes, razors, blue jeans, shoes, radios, cigarettes (you read that right.. crazy) etc.  You have to be careful what you spend your money on because you only have a small box to lock up your belongings and you will get your stuff stolen if you don’t lock it up.

Inmates wear blue jeans and blue jean shirts.

There is a tv room where inmates can gather and watch tv.

The only Internet access that the inmates have is email.  There are two machines that are available for all of the inmates.  The inmates have to share the two machines so an access schedule is set up.  The inmates have access to the email a few times a week.  Emails cost  twenty five cents an email to send.  If your loved one is in prison, you would pay twenty five cents to send them an email and twenty five more cents for them to reply to you. Emails can only be one page long. 

If inmates want to use the telephone, they have to buy a phone card.

Everything in the prison is set up so that the prison can make money.  The telephone calls used to be collect but the prisons realized that they could make money off of prepaid telephone cards.

Each inmate is assigned a different job and earns about 3 cents an hour.

Each inmate is allowed up to four visitors per weekend but the individuals cannot visit more than twice a month. You must have good behavior to be allowed visitors.  If you get in trouble, your visits will be temporarily suspended. If you want to visit an inmate, you must fill out a form two weeks before (social security information) so that the prison can do a background check to make sure you are a safe person to have at the prison.  Inmates are allowed to reserve an outside picnic table visit.  There are only nine tables so the tables have to be reserved two weeks in advance.  The visits are three hours long and the visitor can bring the inmate food from the outside.  The visitor can even bring meat to grill on the outside grills.  If the picnic tables have been reserved, your visitor can still bring in food in the inside visiting area that has fifty tables.

There is an inmate that takes photos for $5.00 a photo during family visit times.  The other day, there was a couple (he was an inmate and she was waiting for him on the outside) that got married while he was in prison.  The prison photographer took lots of picture of the couple during the three hour visitation. 
A prison wedding

If you have ever wanted to go to prison but were too chicken to commit a crime, why not visit the Texas Prison Museum to check it out? 

Fun Day Trip to a Prison

Are you and your family looking for a fun day trip or weekend getaway?  Why not visit the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas.  Huntsville is located about an hour north of Houston, Texas.

A photograph of the Texas Prison Museum and monument

Location & Hours

Address

491 SH 75 North
Huntsville, Texas 77320

Exit #118 from Interstate 45. Museum is located off the east side feeder road.

Hours

  • Monday through Saturday, 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Sunday, noon to 5:00pm
  • Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Admission Fees

  • Adults: $4.00
  • Children 6 to 17: $2.00
  • Children under 6: Free
  • Seniors (60+), TDCJ employees, and TDCJ Retirees: $3.00
  • SHSU students: $3.00 (student i.d. card required)
  • Active Military: $3.00 (i.d. required)

A few years ago, Dave and Corrin took Isabella, Sophia, Paige, Allison and Abbey on a camping/ prison museum trip.  They drove up to Huntsville on a Saturday afternoon and had lunch.  They visited the Texas Prison Museum and then camped at Huntsville State Park.  The kids had a blast touring the prison museum.  The kids got to get in jail cells and pretend they were prisoners.  They learned about capital punishment and saw all of the tools inmates have tried to sneak out of prison using.


Question:  Who is ready to go to the Texas State Prison museum?

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