Every federal prison has a Recreation Department where prisoners can exercise and engage in other leisure time programs. While the Recreation Department is much more robust at larger federal prisons than smaller ones, all provide some basic services to the inmate population and all are open for many hours seven days a week.
All Recreation Departments within the Federal Bureau of Prisons consist of both indoor and outdoor areas.
Indoors prisoners will generally find arts and crafts programs (e.g., beading, painting, leather craft, etc.), pool tables, and a band room with band equipment such as guitars, microphones, keyboards, and drums.
To sign up for indoor activities, just go to the indoor recreation area and there should be a room where the inmate clerks sit. These are good people to ask about signing up for programs as they are in charge of the protocols for sign-ups.
Outside prisoners will find a recreation yard, which often houses basketball, bocce, handball, and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, soccer, football, and softball fields, and more. Usually a track surrounds the recreation yard where prisoners can run or walk. While not standard features, some prisons also have treadmills, ellipticals, and tennis courts.
In addition to these programs, prisoners usually put together leagues for various sports. For example, soccer, football, basketball, softball, and Frisbee leagues are commonplace. Many prisoners find this sort of team exercise to be very fulfilling. If you are interested in joining a sports team, just walk up and ask if you can play. A good way to get an invite is to find someone that you know and ask them what they are doing. From that point you can ask how you can get on a team or otherwise get involved.
While most federal prisons no longer have weights for inmate use, most have kettle ball weights that prisoners can substitute with. To check out equipment locate the check-out room and speak with the clerk. The process is to usually tell them what you would like to check out, then give them your ID card. Once you are done with the item, you return it and are issued your ID back.
Contact us for more information on inmate recreation or other aspects of prison life.