03. First Day Of Prison
One of the things you need to know that is the most important are the count times. At first, it can be difficult to remember but inmates are counted five (5) times every day. This is called Count Time. These Count Times are as follows:
- 3:00 am
- 5:00 am
- 4:00 pm (stand up count)
Three of the counts happen while inmates are sleeping (Midnight, 3:00am and 5:00am). You have to be in your bed or in your cell during those counts. Just make a note of the time if you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom. If you are in the restroom during count, you will cause a recount and could be subject to disciplinary procedures.
Also, for those counts in the middle of the night, while you will most likely be in bed, it is difficult to sleep through these because of the sound of the corrections officer’s keys rattling as he/she walks. You will understand it when you hear it for the first few times, but eventually you will even sleep through that.
The 4:00 pm count is referred to as a Stand Up Count, where every inmate is in their cell and recites their name and inmate number as the correctional officer moves down the aisle. You have to be ready and you have to be heard. After this count is completed, or cleared, the inmates are allowed to go to the dining hall for the last meal of the day.
During your first days in prison, you need to remind yourself that every inmate has to be in a designated place at every minute of the day. You have to be at your job, your dormitory, in the recreation yard, on assignment from a corrections officer, or at a religious gathering. The point is, you need to ask yourself throughout the day, “Am I where I am supposed to be?” There have been cases where inmates were out walking the track or meditating with headphones on in some remote corner of the compound when a count was in progress. It is frustrating for the staff, the other inmates and could lead to your punishment for violating the Count Time.
Count Time is serious. You should not talk to an officer during count unless spoken to or to provide your name and number when required.