If you were recently arrested, you might be wondering what life is like in prison. If a loved one was charged with a crime, you might also want to prepare them. In times like these, the truth is necessary no matter how hard it is. Although you can learn a new sense of normal in prison, you’re still in prison. 


Life in Prison

Prisons all over the United States hold convicts, as well as those awaiting their trial. When you first arrive after an arrest, you are searched for smuggled items. You then stay in what most call the fish tank for up to 30 days. This is for the prison to process your paperwork and find you a cell. 

Every prison is different, just like the people who live there, but there are some similarities. This can include but is not limited to: work, counts, cells, and recreation time. Prisoners may also have opportunities to make phone calls and access the Internet. Click here to read more accounts from prisoners who are in the system.


Working for Little Pay

During the initial 30 days, you may also be assigned a job within the prison. Some prison jobs include maintenance work, cooking, landscaping, janitorial work, dog training, and laundry. Even though you get paid to work, you may earn as little as 10 cents an hour. That’s not a lot of earnings, but working may help your days pass faster. 


Counting Inmates

Blackman Bail Bonds life in prison

Studying in the library

At certain times throughout the day, guards will need to count prisoners. Someone will make an announcement, and all prisoners will need to report to their cell. In some places, you’re required to lay in your bed until the count is over. In other prisons, inmates are required to stand in front of their cells while guards check the roster. 


Cell Space (Or Lack Thereof)

Prison cells are typically eight feet by six feet rectangular rooms. They’ll have a metal bed tray, a toilet, a sink, and possibly a window. Due to overcrowding in prisons, most cells contain bunk beds for two prisoners. In extreme cases, three prisoners may need to share a cell of that size. 



Shower rooms are often shared by a large number of prisoners, so the lines can be long. If you’re lucky, you can save your spot in line with a towel or toiletry. You’ll have a strict time limit, so you’ll also have to be mindful of that. Personal hygiene cannot always be a priority in prison. 


Recreational Options

During certain hours, inmates have access to an outdoor space called the yard. In the yard, they can work out, mingle, or try to enjoy being in open space. This can also be a dangerous time, as a large number of convicts are mingling together. 


Free Time

Prisoners are allowed time to themselves; however, it’s not as common if they have a cellmate. They can read, write, or work on obtaining their college degrees if that’s a goal. They can also hang out with other inmates as the cell doors are often left open. The Internet is available for inmates, but there is usually a line and a time limit. 


Phone Calls Home

Prisoners can call home, but calls typically cost more than what they earn in a day. This means that calls are short and often aren’t available for frequent use. Even still, these calls are usually the most meaningful. It also means the small amount of money that they can earn doesn’t last long. 


Need Help Getting Out of Jail?

If you’ve been arrested and want to stay out of jail, contact Blackman Bail Bonds. We post your bail so you can stay at home while you await your trial. We collect the documents you need and meet with you to explain the bail process. The faster you act, the quicker you get out of jail. Call us today.