Library and Chapel

Prison Life

Apr 03

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 |

The library and chapel are in adjacent buildings behind the housing units.  It is amazing how convenient all the Camp services are compared to the Low, where everything was so spread out.


I have been spending some time in the library, but not enough.  I typically look for books, make copies and use the manual typewriters.  The library is disappointingly small with only two reading tables.  However, there are additional working tables lining the walls with typewriters and computer monitors for legal research.

The book selection is much smaller than I expected.  In addition, the library books are not arranged by category but by author name.  This is a bummer because I usually find a category (e.g. history, non-fiction, etc.) and then look for a book.  Here it is all put together.  Occasionally, an ambitious camper gets permission to move books around and reorganize it.

The library also has newspaper rack with national and local newspapers, a postage scale and envelope printer.  All outgoing mail must have a mailing label printed from the inmate’s contact list in Trulincs.

The education rooms are also located in the library.  They are small but get a lot of use.  Nearly all the classes are taught by inmates.  For example, there is one physician who teaches anatomy, Latin, French and Spanish.  I plan to teach a class in real estate investing.


I went to Catholic communion services at the chapel yesterday.  The chapel is a relatively simple set up with a main worship room and two smaller rooms.  One of the smaller rooms has lockers to accommodate the materials for each denomination, and the other is a religious library.  There are also two offices for each the chaplain and chaplain’s secretary.  The Camp doesn’t have a chaplain right now so that job is being done by other Butner chaplains.

The Catholic services are presided over by Eucharistic ministers from the local Butner Catholic Church.  I’m told that they have a priest that comes in once a month.  The other denominations have similar arrangements, but a Protestant chaplain presides over a non-denominational service every Sunday.  This service is very well-attended.