Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Inmate Handbook

When you're going to spend the rest of your life in prison, I guess reading a handbook that's 77 pages long can help pass some of the time away. This inmate handbook was given to Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes when they arrived at SCI Camp Hill. It's an interesting read:

"The Mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is to protect the public by confining persons committed to our custody in safe, secure facilities, and to provide opportunities for inmates to acquire the skills snd values necessary to become productive law-abiding citizens; while respecting the rights of crime victims."

"The purpose of this handbook is to provide general information to you and others interested in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). When DOC policies are changed you will be given notice of the change(s), and the most current policy will become effective, regardless of what information is in this handbook. A new handbook will be issued at least every three years.

The handbook is not a guide to the detailed policies of the DOC (which are subject to change) or all procedures in effect at each DOC facility. That information will be made available to you during the facility's reception and orientation program. The material in this handbook will help you understand what you will encounter when you enter the DOC, and help you in your adjustment to facility life.

You are to keep this handbook from the time it is given to you until you are released. If your handbook is lost or ruined, you may receive a new one, but you must pay for it. The cost of the new handbook will be determined when you get the new one. You are expected to conduct yourself in an orderly and mature manner and to respect the rights of others. Some of the programs and services available to you are mentioned in this book. You may get more information about available programs or services by reading your Facility Handbook Supplement, or by sending a request slip to the staff member in charge of that program or service. You should discuss your needs, goals, and interests with staff. Your conduct and attitude will be observed and will be reviewed by staff when they consider you for programs, pre-release, parole, and other privileges. You should try to make good use of the time you are in the DOC by using programs and services to better yourself and get ready for parole. If you are serving a life sentence, taking part in programs and being misconduct free is an important part of the commutation process.

You are responsible for knowing and following all of the DOC's rules that directly affect you. When a rule change is made, you will either be issued a bulletin that outlines the change and a notice will be posted on the housing unit bulletin boards. All notices and signs prepared by DOC officials are considered policy and must be followed. All of the policies containing rules that directly affect you are available on your housing unit and in the facility library. The policies in the library may be checked out just like a library book."

Inmate Handbook