Checklist of Suggestions by Former Prisoners
The following items are suggestions from defendants who served time within the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and are not representations made by the Middle District of Louisiana Probation Office or the Bureau of Prisons.
BEFORE YOU SURRENDER
Take care of any dental work. Get your teeth cleaned
Get copies of your prescriptions
Take care of your finances: Banking, Bills, Mail, etc.
Get money on your books a couple of days before you go. Western Union is the quickest.
Reference your register number from your designation notice when sending items in advance.
Mail yourself books and magazines. Must be from a company like Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
Write your list of phone numbers and addresses on the back of your legal documents.
Make sure to have your transcripts (high school diploma, GED certificate)
Renew your Driver’s License and pay all tickets.
Register with Selective Service if you are under the age of 26.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
Reporting early to the institution is ideal (usually by 12:00 noon).
Be rested and sober.
No smoking is allowed.
Be patient. Things will not be rushed. Time slows down.
The clothes and shoes you are wearing will be sent back home.
You are only allowed to bring in legal paperwork, plain wedding band, identification.
Make every effort to surrender to your designated location to avoid delayed transport.
You will only be allowed to have the contacts you are wearing. There are no replacements if one is lost or damaged. 2 pairs of sturdy glasses are recommended.
The handbook you receive upon arrival is your bible...follow it.
It could be a couple of weeks before your family hears from you or can visit.
There are rules for visitor’s conduct and dress code.
Visitation rules for most facilities can be obtained at www.bop.gov
You are allowed: 300 minutes per month. 15 minute limit per call.
Remember that ALL phone calls are recorded.
WHILE YOU ARE THERE
Don’t transfer your own blame/guilt to your loved ones.
Do your “own” time. Do not get in others’ business.
Take advantage of the programs offered. Use the time to better yourself.
Family support needs to go both ways.