What to Expect When Your Inmate Goes to Prison?

Each day families are being separated from their friends or loved ones. This is because their friends or loved ones have been found guilty of a crime and must pay their debts to society by going to jail. Loved ones and friends may become emotional because they are not aware of the type of environment the new inmate will be going to or what he or she will need.

First Day

When your loved one or friend first enter into the prison he or she must be taken to Receiving and Discharge or R&D. Once at the R&D, all your loved one’s possessions will be sorted through. They will be categorized into two piles. The first pile will be things that are not permitted in prison. Such items can include the clothes that he or she is wearing at the time or jewelry. Though most jewelry is not permitted, your loved one will be able to keep his or her wedding ring. Once all items have been categorized, the new inmate will be issued a set of prison clothes. These clothes include slip-on shoes, pants, shirts, boxers or panties, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and a bath cloth. After the new inmate has received their basic items, he or she will be photographed and fingerprinted. After the booking process is over admission and orientation interviews will be conducted. The interviews will help to determine if special housing needs can or cannot be met at the current facility. If special needs cannot be met, then other arrangements will need to be made.

Once various items wear out, the inmate can purchase new items at the commissary with money that they receive from friends and family. Toothpaste, shoes, and underwear are just a short list of items that are available through prison’s commissary. Also, if your friend or loved one is a smoker then he or she will be able to purchase cigarettes through the commissary.


Some people worry about the food options of inmates. Each inmate is provided three meals a day. The inmates can choose between three meal options. These meal options include: regular, heart healthy, and vegetarian. Your loved ones are able to receive more meal options with your help. You can utilize a kiosk machine for inmates to add money to an inmate’s commissary fund. The funds added with help of the kiosk will be available to the inmate almost immediately. The inmate can purchase snacks or other types of food at the commissary.


Though inmates are being punished for a crime, they are still able to receive some type of entertainment. Entertainment can come in the form of exercising in the (yard) court outside of the prison, watching television, or reading books from the library. Extra entertainment can be provided to your loved one through the commissary or through the mail. You are able to purchase books, magazines, and other reading materials through online companies such as Amazon. Just make sure to add the inmate number to the shipping address, this ensures that the materials will be added to the correct person.

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