Holidays in the Federal Prison Camp

The holiday season is one of the roughest and most difficult times for inmates because they are away from their families. This is the time of year where inmates truly feel their confinement and long for the days of release. Some inmates do get the rare opportunity and blessing of going home for the holidays, it’s a time that all inmates enjoy seeing because it brings hope to all.

Holidays are a time when the visitation room is full and to some inmates it’s a beautiful gift to see loved ones over the holidays. I say a gift because it may be the only visit they get from loved ones because of the long distance of traveling, so they plan their visits on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Seeing a family united for a few hours is a wonderful site and again it brings a ray of hope to all inmates.

One of the gifts each inmate receives from the BOP during the holidays is an extra 100 minutes of phone time, something the inmates look forward to every November and December. Another gift inmates receive is at Christmas time, each inmate is given a gift pack filled with all kinds of snacks and non perishable food, a welcomed treat every inmate looks forward to.

Now the food, there is plenty of it from baked turkey with all trimmings to eggnog, cookies and pies. With the bountiful portions of food, inmates are well pleased and like any other great meal there is a time of napping or watching football on TV, similar to being home especially when they get a visit.

Another great thing about the holidays is the attitudes of the inmates. They are more understanding and supportive towards each other and those with families. Those who visit together in the visiting area build a new bond and bring new context to their conversations in camp. In all truth I have seen God’s kindness and goodness rest on inmates just as I have seen on people in the public, there is no boundary for kindness and goodness when it comes to the holidays.


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