US District Judge Davila will sentence Elizabeth Holmes to federal prison on September 26th.

In a prior video we covered Elizabeth Holmes first day in federal prison. As a refresher, when Ms. Holmes surrenders to the minimum-security camp, she will go through an intake process, where administrators learning about her medical needs and background.

She will surrender her clothing and personal belongs, submit to a full strip search, receive initial clothing allowance, bedroll and obtain a housing assignment.

Ms. Holmes will hear from others that the best approach to serving time is to forget about the world outside and to focus on the time inside. Others will say she cannot control what is going on outside and too much thought about the outside world will only aggravate her. We advise a more leadership-driven approach.

The first night will be restless. She must adjust to the noise level of living in a room the size of an airplane hanger that she shares with hundreds of others. Officers walk through the unit several times during the night, shining flashlights in her face as she sleeps. It’s simply part of the journey.

The federal will come to life after the 5:00 am census clears. Early morning risers will get up and begin using the bathroom at that hour. People with experience of living inside will know that the bathroom becomes increasingly more crowded as the minutes pass between 5:00 am and 7:30 am. Beating the rush makes a lot of sense. Since Ms. Holmes is new to the environment she will benefit from having an understanding of what to expect from living conditions in prison.

There is a bathroom protocol in federal prison that she must understand. With the total absence of privacy for people in prison, people will find that their peers accept them more easily if they make a commitment to adhere to the following basic unwritten rules of living in prison:

  • Wait your return before showering.
  • Do not look at others when showering.
  • If a custom exists for people not to use some showers in order to offer an illusion of privacy in other showers, respect that custom.
  • Do not engage in conversations with others in the bathroom.
  • Clean the area after using shower, sink or bathroom.

After taking care of personal hygiene, she should clean the area around her bed. Staff members will be finicky about tidiness in the housing unit. . If Ms. Holmes makes her bed without wrinkles, keeps personal property inside the locker, and sweeps the area, she can proceed through the day without worries that staff members will reprimand her for untidiness.

As Ms. Holmes walks toward the outside of the unit, she will see a “call-out sheet.” People may think of the call-out sheet as an appointment book. Staff members will schedule people to participate in specific activities every day.

People who fail to show up for the call-out appointment expose themselves to disciplinary infractions for being “out of bounds.”

After Ms. Holmes checks the call-out in the morning, she will leave the housing unit for the chow hall. Those who’ve experienced the military will recognize the basic, institutional food.

The Admission and Orientation (A&O) session will be the start of Ms. Holmes initial adjustment. She will listen as a parade of staff members describe their role. She should not say anything during the A&O meeting that she would not want spread around the institution.

Counselors will assign her a job that includes, food service, orderlies, education, maintenance or clerical.

Elizabeth Holmes will have access to the commissary, usually, one time each week. Administrators authorize prisoners to spend $360 a month.

Within the first month of her confinement, she will meet with her unit team. The Unit Team consists of the following staff members: Unit Manager (oversee programs), Case Manager (release date, transfers), Counselor (assigns jobs, bunks, visiting).

Since Ms. Holmes will most likely have an outstanding financial obligation, her Counselor will present her with a Financial Responsibility Plan (FRP).

Once in prison, Ms. Holmes may meet with a representative from the Psychology Department for an initial screening and enroll in RDAP, which can take a year off her sentence.

To close, when people fail to prepare for life in federal prison they feel as if they’re wandering through the days. To the extent that she begins with a clear idea of the best possible outcome, the better she can reverse engineer a plan to succeed. She consider the following questions useful in their preparation:

Why do I find myself in this predicament?
How can I pursue a deliberate course of action to ensure that when I move into the next phase of my life, I’ll advance the possibility for a full and meaningful, relevant life?
How am I defining success at each stage of the journey ahead?

Justin Paperny