Maxwell Prison Camp
Maxwell Prison Camp as known as FPC Montgomery is located inside the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Although this information is specific to Maxwell, after speaking to other inmates, most federal prison camps are similar. Maybe not in layout, but in facilities, entertainment, and activities.
There are three units where inmates live. Birmingham (this is the RDAP unit), Mobile, and Montgomery. Try not to go into another dorm. If you’re caught, you’ll probably get an “Out of Bounds” shot. The dorms are divided in eight wings. Each wing is labeled from A to H. A, B, C, D are the on first floor. E, F, G, H are on the second. The first floor wings hold approximately 50 inmates each and the second floor wings hold approximately 40 inmates each. I always preferred living on the second floor because there were less people to deal with. The large TV room, email access, and the laundry room are also on the second floor, and the dorms had vaulted ceilings so it was much more spacious.
Each bathroom had two stalls, four showers, four sinks, and a urinal. They looked like standard commercial bathrooms you’d see at a Home Depot or Walmart. The stalls and showers did not have doors, but they had shower curtains for some privacy. The showers were pretty good, great water pressure and the water was usually hot. The bathrooms were cleaned once a day in the morning by the bathroom orderly. If I remember correctly, this job paid about $20 a month. It was a good job because after the two hours of work in the morning, you were done for the day and had plenty of free time. A note about using public bathrooms. Please learn to courtesy flush. Meaning every time you drop a load – flush. No one wants to smell it.
Each dorm at FPC Montgomery had its own laundry room. They consisted of five washers and five dryers – free to use. They were open all day except during head count and cleaning. Free laundry detergent would be handed out once a quarter, but most of us would buy the good stuff from the commissary. I never did my own laundry. I’d give it to the laundry man in my wing and pay him a Mack. Please refer to my blog post about Prison Jobs, Hustles & Money for more information.
For the most part, the guards were reasonable. They’ll leave you alone as long as you don’t do anything stupid. However, we had a few that were always trying to get into your business. Always randomly searching us on the compound or searching our lockers. Some of them were extremely petty and would write up a shot for the smallest infraction – like altered shorts.
The food was pretty bad. We were given three “meals” a day – the average person would not consider what we received as a meal. Breakfast was usually cardboard like brand flakes, milk, and a piece of fruit. Lunch and Dinner menus were posted, and every day we had something different. The meals never tasted very good, but that wasn’t the main issue inmates had. The main issue was the quantity of the food. They would feed us very little. When I asked the person in charge why they didn’t give us more, his response was “It’s my job to keep you alive, not full.” I think their goal was to get us to eat out of our lockers, by buying food from the commissary and therefore, keep costs down.
Each dorm had five TV rooms. The one large TV room had five TVs and the smaller ones each had one. The large TV rooms also had four computers for email. They showed a movie in the theater at 5pm everyday and repeated the same movie at 7pm. During the weekdays the movies were older, but weekends we would get a newer release. The Chapel also showed a Christian-themed movie on Saturday nights at 7pm.
The best part about Federal Prison Camp is the freedom to go outside without timed movements. We had tons of outdoor activities. We had a 3/4 mile track, soccer field, four racquetball/handball courts, sand volleyball court, basket ball court, two bocce ball courts, two tennis courts, a corn hole setup, a softball field that doubled as a football field, an outdoor cardio room, and an indoor cardio room which also had four pool tables.
The Alabama River made up one of the sides of the prison camp. The Maxwell Air Force Base Golf Course made up the second and parking lots made up the last two. By the river side, there is a nice park like setting which I would go to often to sit and read. There is so much more to say but I’ll leave it for another time. Hope this information helps.