The following is a piece written by one of the students formerly in the jail writing class that Glynis Hart and I are running at the Tompkins County Jail. Although this writer has been transferred upstate to prison, we’ve kept in touch and she’s still writing for us.

Musings in Orange

Change is hard for anyone. Especially when that change involves strip searches, polyester greens, and being the new kid on the block in a maximum security correctional facility. No one person could paint the full picture so I will just include some helpful pointers for any soon-to-be inmates in the New York State prison system. These are not the only things that you need to know, but just a few tips that might get overlooked.

  1. If you’re coming from a county that makes you change into your street clothes before transporting you, you will not get to keep them. They will be thrown out or mailed home at your expense. Your best bet is to sign them out in county to your family/friends and have them drop off a sweat suit or something you don’t care about.
  2. Whenever you are going to be transported from one facility to the other, use the…

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