Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, July 22, 2005


I've got another sinus headache. I can't get over how many headaches I've had this summer. The weather continues to be hot and humid, and going inside where it's dry and air-conditioned and then outside where it isn't is making my sinuses go whacky.

Girl went to visit a prison yesterday as part of her CIT camp experience. They first stopped at the Maximum Security Prison in Walpole to pick up the guide who was going to take them through the prison. Then they drove to the Shirley House of Corrections, where they were patted down and searched carefully. They each got to be in a cell with a prisioner (hand selected for safety) to interview them, and then had a group interview with several prisioners. She said that some of the men cried, and that they were 'really nice' and that she cried as well when they talked about their families and how sorry they were for the crimes they committed.

Before she went, she got a list of requirements for dress code violatios. This is the list:

SBCC Visitor Dress Code

The following items are NOT ALLOWED to be worn by any visitor:
1. Bare feet
2. Bathing suits or shorts
3. Any clothing that displays a gang affiliation or is in any way attributable to gang culture
4. Any clothing similar to that issued to an inmate or uniformed personnel
5. Double layered clothing on the bottom half of their person (ex: two (2) pairs of pants, two (2) pairs of underpants, or skirt and slacks, etc.)
6. Drawstring Clothing
7. Easy access clothing
8. Excessively baggy, loose, thick, or heavy clothing
9. Farmer jeans of any type: shorts, dress, pants, overalls, jumper, etc.
10. Fatigue or camouflage clothing
11. Hair ribbons, bands, barrettes, or hair accessories of any type
12. Hooded clothing
13. Jackets, coats or vests of any type
14. Jeans of any type or color are not allowed by males
15. Jewelry
16. Leather, or clothing with excessive metal
17. Leotards, bodysuits of any type
18. Sandals, clogs, flip-flops, etc., or any shoe with an open area
19. Sheer, excessively revealing or transparent clothing
20. Dresses or skirts will not exceed 4" above the knee, no slits or opening extending 4" above the knee
21. Sleeveless clothing, tank tops, halter tops, muscle shirts, or clothing that reveals the midriff or exposes the back, tube tops of any type
22. Sweatshirts, sweatpants, wind pants or exercise clothing
23. Ties
24. Tight Clothing
25. Wrap-around skirt
26. Zippers that go the full length of the garment
27. T-shirts or shirts without a collar are not allowed

Requirements for all Visitors
1. Shoes that cover the entire foot
2. Traditional undergarments must be worn
3. All shirts or tops must be tucked into clothing prior to entering the Pedestrian Trap.

Exception to Dress Code
1. Female visitor's may wear jean pants.
2. Sweaters may be worn
3. Hair pieces may be worn but are subject to search
4. Jewelry: wedding ring and medical alert bracelet

We had to go out and buy her a pair of khakis and a long sleeved shirt that would be appropriate, as nothing she had fit the dress code.

I was pretty impressed by how seriously she took this trip, and how she internalized a lot of the things the prisioners said to her. One guy asked what it was like on the outside because he had been in prison for 45 years. She was totally gobsmacked by that. She was also frightened of the security, with the guards who carried rifles accompanying her everywhere. She was freaked by the razor wire and the high walls surrounding the prison. Everything she knows of prison has been from TV so she was open to seeing the real thing. I think this could be used as a good deterrant to any criminal activities she might get involved with later on. At least I hope so.
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