How to Do Time

Attorney Alan Ellis and J. Michael Henderson share questions and answers commonly asked when offenders enter the federal prison system. Supplemental information is provided by Phillip S. Wise, retired Bureau of Prisons Assistant Director, Health Services Division.

Questions include:

  • Will each offender be placed at a particular federal prison of their choice, and close to their family?
  • If an offender is granted self-surrender by the court, what should they take to prison?
  • What if a staff member seems unwilling to be helpful, is less than responsive to a problem, or does not seem open or straightforward in communicating with the inmate?
  • What can you tell family members about some prison issues that they might be concerned with?
  • What should the family understand about medical care in the Bureau of Prisons?
  • How will an inmate interact with BOP staff in prison?
  • How early can an inmate be released?

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