Jail is undoubtedly the most undesirable place for anyone to be. As much as a person can paint a picture of life in jail for themselves, they will never truly grasp the reality of it unless they were a prisoner. Many former prisoners acknowledge that what is shown on TV is a life devoid of happiness, but that portrayal is still nowhere near the true level of loneliness.
A typical day in jail begins with a booming, sudden wakeup call at an hour most people are still sleeping at. Breakfast is served, composed of the bare basics like toast, scrambled eggs, and oatmeal. For the prisoners who are “blessed” to have a job inside prison, they then go to work. There is nothing glorious here.
Prisoners earn very little for doing their prison-job, like washing dishes or doing laundry. Their earnings allow them to pay for phone calls and buy small necessities like extra shampoo or another basic shirt. They can also save up this money to pay off court and other legal fees. As the day goes on, the prisoner will get lunch, continue to work, and try to go outside during the permitted hours just to get some fresh air and maybe get in some recreational activity.
There are also indoor activities like reading a book, watching select television, or playing a board game, but options are still scarce. Activity materials may not be complete, like a game piece may be missing. Some educational courses and meetings are also available to select prisoners. The person can also fit in a shower. Then there is dinner, which, like breakfast and lunch, is nowhere near a 4-star meal. Finally, prisoners get a curfew, which means they have to go back to their cell.
The options to switch up a day’s activities are very limited. Since there is very little excitement going on in a day, the hours seem to pass by slower. Many times, the prisoner will be beyond bored. Friendships can be developed inside prison walls, but ultimately every man and woman is looking out for themselves.
A person experiences a lot of self-reflection time in prison, wondering how they allowed themselves to get into this position, and hoping that no one they know will ever follow down this path.