Big news on the compound, we recevied approval for group pictures. Saturday evening was a busy one at the gym, where group pictures occur. Let’s take a look at what goes in to getting your picture taken while incarcerated and review my 9 tips for embarking on such an endeavor. Keep in mind, everything in prison takes longer than you want it to. Practice patience and embrace the inefficiencies (easier said than done).
1. Head to commissary on your assigned day. For me, that is between 6:00 and 6:05 am on Monday mornings. Purchase a photo ticket for $1.00. The guys in commissary work hard, and it is a constant onslaught for them. I have ordered photo tickets before and didn’t receive them. When that happens, deal with it. If you get back in line and try to correct the situation you slow down the commissary process for everyone else – don’t be that guy.
2 . You didn’t get a ticket? Go back next week, try again.
3. Wait for Saturday night to get your picture taken. Show up at 6:30, wait up to an hour in line.
5. Play the waiting game more. When will you get your picture? I don’t know. The first, and only other time, I received my picture they called me over the loud speaker while I was on work duty. When you get paged via the intercom stop what you’re doing and go to where you are called.
6. Now you have a picture – it’s time to mail it off! Do you have stamps? No. You don’t have stamps?! Wait until Monday to buy them at commissary.
7. Want to send your picture to family and friends? Wonderful idea. Add their address to your account in Trulincs and print a mailing label. Hold on though, you “print” the mailing label in your housing unit, but that only places the print job in your print que. You must print from a different computer, which is located at commissary.
8. Go back the following Monday (we’re 4 Monday’s out now) and print the label during a controlled move for commissary call.
9. Now you can send your picture home. Don’t write too much lest you fill up the envelope with more than an ounce worth of paper and pictures. I was in the study room the other day after an inmate picked up his mail. He had a ‘return to sender’ stamped on his envelope. That he had originally mailed off in….January.
Don’t forget to practice your prison poses. Both from a looking cool and a ‘facility approved pictures’ standpoint. If the powers that be do not like the picture you for any number of reasons – wrong clothes, wrong look, wrong anything…it’s gone.