Friday, October 29, 2010

A Sign-By-Sign Guide To Being An Inmate

Minutes after the final inmates were transferred to other institutions today, reporters were escorted through the now-closed "Oregon State Penitentiary Minimum" in Salem. But despite the lack of any actual prisoners, signs of recent life abounded--from the half-used rolls of toilet paper left in the cells to the tomato and pepper plants still bursting with fresh produce in the garden. Another sign of life in the prison? The numerous signs on the walls of literally every hallway and common area in the facility. Here's a sample of just a few:

This was in the prison library. It's unclear if  "not talking at all" was also an option.

Hey!  No cribbage playing in the library!

This was in the chapel. The Prayer of Jabez is probably the most ecumenical religious sentiment of them all. I'm sure all prisoners can identify with the plea to "enlarge my territory."

You have to wonder what sort of disputes led to this rule.

Prison is probably the only place where men have to be warned against doing their laundry too often. It's anyone's guess why these signs are accompanied by a hot dog and a stack of pancakes.