Filing A Request In Prison
Filing an Inmate Request to Staff form while in prison can seem like a daunting task. The form itself isn’t scary, but the thoughts of retaliation, punishment and denial can cause fear, depending on what is being requested. However, there are times it must be done regardless of the request. Although it is your legal right to file this form, CO’s and Warden’s have the upper hand. If you’re currently in prison or have ever been in prison, then you know this form as it’s slang name. In prison, this form is commonly called a “cop-out” or “copout”.
If you’ve never been to prison, then it seems as if the slang term for this form is incorrect. Outside of prison, a copout is someone who is less ambitious and doesn’t have the courage to handle a situation. This person uses any excuse to get out of doing something. However, in prison, this is furthest from the truth.
A copout form or an Inmate Request to Staff form is used to make a written request to the presiding staff and administrators. With this form, you can tell on your CO or other inmates, make requests for changes applicable to religious practices, sign up for classes, create a class, exchange laundry, talk to your counselor or just to send suggestions.
To get a copout form is easy. All you have to do is go to the CO’s office. At Herlong, the copout forms were outside the CO’s office. If they were out, you can ask the CO for a form or go to the admission office and they could give you a form.
Inmates use these forms to complain about the prison camp conditions. If you need to complain, just remember that your name and number is on this form. I’ve mentioned in my book that I have seen these forms come back and bit inmates in the form of CO and inmate retaliation.
Below is an example of the copout form that I used when residing at Herlong Prison Camp.