Based on personal experience and observation, the prison holiday experience is bleak and dismal. Despite their tough demeanor, the young inmates are affected the most. When you walk by the telephones, you will hear the longing for home in the voice of a young man covered with violent tattoos. Although some correctional officers will act somewhat nicer, many officers become nastier than usual. The correctional officers serving their shift on the holiday are just as unhappy as the inmates to be in prison on December 25th.
Inmates serving life or long sentences take the holidays in stride. After so many years, for their own sanity, they have become immune to the holidays. They will go about their business as if it is a normal day in their abnormal world.
The visitor’s room will be decorated for the Christmas season. The visitors and inmates sit on rows of chairs facing each other. Despite the decorations, some of the correctional officers will still not allow a young child to sit on his father’s lap for a few minutes. The father gently places the crying little girl back into her mother’s arms. Everyone tries to act as if it is another normal holiday season. After the visit, as usual, you do not discuss your visit with other inmates since many inmates have not had visitors for years. A jealous inmate could decide to attack you or plant fake contraband in your cell.
For inmates, it is a relief to have the holiday season come to a close.