Your Prison Job

Posted by Chris Morales on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

I hate work! Do I have to have a job?

Yes, unless you have convalescent medical status. Fortunately for you, there are way too many people to fill the available positions. As a result, two or three people are often assigned to do a simple one-person task. A three-hour job description may really involve thirty minutes of actual work.


Each year inmates can apply for one-week vacation. Once the first vacation is taken, he or she must wait for another year to apply again.

Remember, it is up to you to ask your counselor for a vacation. No one will remind you when it is time.


Some FCI's require a job change every year. This policy is supposed to discourage fraternization between inmates and staff. If you facility uses this type of system you could find yourself abruptly transferred to a lousy new job. Naturally, the new job will start at the lowest base pay.


If your FCI has a one-year work assignment, then keep track of the time. Just before the year is up would be a good time to look for another job you would like. A good time to search is during your vacation.

Do I star working as soon as I arrive?

No, you will have several weeks to a month to settle in and figure out how the system works. In some cases, you will be assigned as a temporary orderly; this involves cleaning your building until you get a regular job or until one is given to you. It will be in your interest to find a job you like before you are appointed to a task at a time of day that is undesirable. Once you enter any job, you will be stuck with it for a period of ninety days before you can make a change.

You may opt to continue as a permanent orderly in your building by asking your counselor for that job. At first, you will have to pay your dues by performing less glamorous restroom duties. In time, you will ascent to more effortless chores.

What type of jobs do they have?

By far, the most common jobs fall under the heading of orderly. This is the daily janitorial maintenance that is necessary across the entire compound. Morning, afternoon, and evening shift orderlies tend to the needs of the yards and every building. They typically sweep, mop, scrub, dust, buff, and take out the trash.

Some of the other categories are; clerical, checking-out books and videos, teaching classes, laundry work, cutting hair, commissary, washing dishes, organizing the rec yard, cooking, mowing grass, plumbing, HVAC (heating and air conditioning), light construction, painting, electrical, safety, photography and typing.

Some minimum security camp facilities allow inmates with stellar records to work off the compound at a military base or a job program.

Is there a job list posted? Which jobs are best?

There is no list. The best scheme is to just ask a lot of people what they do and if they like it. First, compile a list of favorite choices and alternatives. Next, make the rounds to visit staff members to ask if they have an opening.

Before conducting the job search, it would be a good idea to evaluate your own personal preferences and find out about complementary positions. To help guide the process, consider these three scenarios.

1) Person One is bored and broke. Not only can time be filled up by working morning at the laundry and evening at commissary, but maximum pay may be earned, too.

2) Person Two likes to take evening classes and play handball every morning. By only working a half-day in the afternoon, there is still time to pursue personal interests.

3) Person Three doesn’t care about money or structured activities. For such an individual, the important thing is free time to play cars, watch TV, work out, and sleep late. This person may choose a job as the last-call orderly for dinner in th chow hall Here, he or she will eat a meal and remain to clean up for half -an-hour. The rest of the day is free time.

How much do prison (FCI) jobs make?

This depends on the pay scale. For grade-five work (maintenance level), the most abundant category, the inmate will earn around seven or eight dollars per month for working half days. A full eight-hour shift nets about seventeen dollars a month. Grade one pay, the highest level, could pay as high as one hundred dollars per month. This is actually achieved after several years of commitment.

Some of the FCI facilities are said to pay more than others.

The Morales Law Firm would like to thank Mad Dogs guide to Club Fed (Instruction Manuel for Newcomers) for sharing this information with us.

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Tags: facilities, jail, work, inmates, jobs