At 10 p.m. the facility announces night time work call. About 65 inmates, including me, leave our housing units and walk 200 meters to the main building. We crowd together so we can push through “the gauntlet” in the largest possible group.
The gauntlet is a line of guards waiting to conduct random searches. Typically, they pat you down, which used to bother me. But after hundreds of pat downs, I no longer mind it. I don’t care much anymore. Guards might not pat you down – instead they might send you back to shave or to return food items and things that aren’t allowed at work such as books.
Once through the gauntlet we go to our assigned work detail. I’m laundry. We spend the next seven hours working and battling boredom. My detail washes and dries USDB laundry, as well as laundry from the post’s hospital, gym, and chapel. We also tear down and re-assemble body armor that comes in from every Army post world-wide.
The work is easy, but monotonous. The hardest part is finding a way to entertain ourselves without being written up for “horseplay.”
At the end of the work night we all get frisked by the guard in the laundry room and then we go back to our housing units, passing through the gauntlet once again.
Then it’s breakfast chow call and a shower. I lay down to sleep just as the daytime work-call crackles over the PA system.