Recreation on the Inside: A Federal Inmates Story (Part 2)

Being locked up in a federal facility is different from being locked up in a state facility. There are a lot more resources available and at ones reach in the federal facility than in state. There are many things that one can do when locked up in the federal system to keep themselves busy and out of more trouble. Let’s take a look at my experience with some of these resources that are available.

Daily Routine

Being the head orderly I had a daily routine of being up as early as 5:45 am every day. This was to be able to set an example to the others in the dorm as well as get things rolling for the day to make sure that code was met on my part, cleaning the dorm, making sure that everyone was dressed and hygiene met to standards. Daily inspection was a routine that we had and if code/standards were not met, we were stuck in dorm until code was met. This was all done in the morning and I would not be able to go anywhere else until this was all done.

Another part of this responsibility was also my own personal routine of recreation. Usually, after lunch and after any classes that I may have had, I was able to have some free personal time to move about how I wanted. After lunch would be handball, I was good too. People thinking that a big guy like me was not quick, but I proved them wrong. There were other things that I could do like play pool, go to hobby craft – which is where one would learn different types of crafts, some that would include making leather purses, making jewelry boxes and more. Things like this is not something that you are given a chance to do while in a state facility. Federal prisons are the only ones that offer these kinds of resources to their inmates, knowing that they need to keep their mind occupied every minute of the day in order to stay out of trouble while on the inside.


Another big event of recreation that I took part in was a basketball tournament that we had on the inside. Every day I practiced, practiced and practiced. Knowing that this was a big thing among the different groups/races. Teams were formed within the races. We moved racial aside and formed mixed groups for this tournament of basketball that we created. Game after game, moving racial aside, it came down to the end and our team won. I was named the MVP for the tournament. Memories of this time is a time when racial was moved way aside and there was nothing else like it within the complex ever done before.


I can honestly say that during my time as head orderly and being in a federal facility was a lot different than being in a state facility. The resources that you have at your disposal can actually bring you into being able to learn about the law and even become a lawyer on the inside, so that you have something to fall into when you get out. I did not do that, but I learned a lot about the survival and the politics of the federal inmate system. There is so much more that I can tell you but that would take a lot more articles.