pen pals.

15 Sep

Number 35 on the list:  Become pen pals with someone in prison.

I don’t know anything about jail or prison.  I don’t know what the difference is between the two, besides the fact that prison sounds worse.  I don’t personally know anyone in either one of them.  As someone who recently moved to an unfamiliar part of the country, I don’t even know where a jail or prison is in relation to me.  My perception is simply what I’ve learned from watching movies.  (How accurate.)

So I did what I always do:  I looked it up on Google.

There are 35 prisons in North Carolina.

There are three levels of custody:  minimum, medium, and maximum.  Minimum security prisons are composed of non-secured dormitories that are routinely patrolled by correction officers.  The prisons generally have a fence lining the perimeter, but no watch towers or roving patrol.  Inmates assigned to minimum security prisons pose the least risk to society.  Medium security prisons are composed of secure dormitories that provide housing for up to 50 inmates.  The prison typically has a double fence perimeter with armed watch towers and armed roving patrol.  Most inmates work at self-improvement programs within the prisons, as well as work programs such as prison farm operation or highway maintenance for the Department of Transportation.  Maximum security prisons are composed of cells with sliding cell doors that are operated remotely from a secure control station.  These units are utilized to confine the most dangerous inmates who are a severe threat to public safety, correctional staff, and other inmates.  Inmates placed in maximum security prisons are typically in their cells for 23 hours a day.  During their only available hour they are allowed to shower and exercise.

Read tomorrow for more information on the costs of imprisoning an individual, programs available to inmates, and the death penalty, which happens to be in effect in North Carolina.

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