A Geek in Prison - A Life Series by Charlie Shrem (Part 9 - My Visit to the Prison Dance)

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This is Part 9 in a series about my life as a Geek in Prison. Click my name to follow me and check out my blog for the Preamble and Parts 1-7. All names are changed to protect inmates privacy. Everything I write is hypothetical and for educational purposes only.


Saturday will be my first visit.

I was really nervous because I needed to get Courtney and her mom on my visiting list before they can show up to the prison, which was a 3 hour drive away. That was close compared to other inmates who's family had to drive for 10+ hours to visit their loved ones.

Visitation is every weekend, however only one is your weekend and it potatoes.

Weekend 1 - Last Name A Through M - Last digit of your ID ODD Weekend 2 - Last Name A Through M - Last digit of your ID EVEN Weekend 3 - Last Name N Through Z - Last digit of your ID ODD Weekend 4 - Last Name N Through Z - Last digit of your ID EVEN

My last name being Shrem, and my ID was 92164-054, I was weekend 4.

It's Thursday and my counselor still had not approved Courtney and her mom yet. If he didn't approve it by today or tomorrow, I wouldn't get to see Courtney for another 5 weeks and I'm already losing my mind!

The issue is, if I bug him too much he will throw me to the bottom of the pile. He may not have gotten it yet, it could still be sitting in the mail room.

I have to learn that I can't always get what I want, when I want it.

I'm going to relax for now, there really is nothing I can do but pray tomorrow he approves it.

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Today on the loudspeaker I heard


My counselor approved the visit tomorrow. Should be amazing.

After work I took my uniform and ironed it. I could have paid someone 2 MAKS to iron it for me, but I might as well learn now.

My shoes are pretty dirty, so a fellow inmate lent me his visiting sneakers that he keeps in a plastic bag.

Everyone keeps asking me if Im going dancing tomorrow. Apparently, the visiting room is the dance floor and a visit is going dancing. Its like in high school when you get all spick and span for the school dance.

Tomorrow, Im going DANCING baby!


Woke up really early in the morning and did early morning Yoga. I spoke to Courtney and she already left the house around 6am to get there by 830am when visiting opens.

I got dressed around 8 and walked over to the admin building and waited on the bench for my name to be called. After 30 minutes of waiting, they called me into the visiting room.

At first I went into a small room where a CO asked me for my ID card and if I was bringing anything into the visiting room. I was not allowed to bring any papers, my watch or anything from inside the prison.

Once he let me through, I saw Courtney sitting on the bench and we embraced. The feeling was amazing and no words can describe the feeling when your loved one comes to visit you in prison.

The visiting room looked kind of like a clean multi purpose room, its actually the education room during non visiting days. There are no glass walls or telephones however there is a CO that sits on an elevated platform and watches everyone.

You can embrace in the beginning and in the end of the visit, however depending on the CO you can hold hands during the visit. Some allowed and some did not. Its not a good idea to try and test them as you can get written up and lose visiting privileges.

I saw someone try to get frisky with his wife and he lost visits for 3 months. There are no conjugal visits in Federal prison.

We sat at a table, played cards, scrabble and all sorts of games. She stayed for the maximum 8 hours, but it flew by!


They sell these vending machine burgers that were not bad. We got a jalapeno one that we put potato chips inside. It was pretty good!!

It was the first time I was able to get orange juice in a month! They don't sell orange juice in prison.

An inmate has the job of taking pictures. He takes your picture and a few weeks later they get developed and it costs $1.

When the visit was up, it was very sad but I knew I'd see her tomorrow so it's not as bad. We embraced again and there were tears but I didnt want her to see the pain I had of going back into prison.

When all the visitors left, all the inmates lined up and they gave us a full cavity search which really sucked.

My bunkie Omar told me the post-visit is going to be very sad so he said that immediately after the visit go take a nap. When you leave the visit you are in "normal mode" and you need to transition back to "prison mode".

Someone inmates prefer to not have visits, they can't deal with the pain. They are more painful than they are worth sometimes.

Other inmates don't even tell their kids they are in prison. They tell their kids they are on a real estate project in another country. If the kids are younger they understand.

At first, I was very against that idea, but who am I to judge or tell someone how they raise their kids?

What do you think?


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