Laundry can seem like a chore if you’re not in the comfort of your own home. It can be a hassle to lug your clothing around the corner, even if you live at an apartment complex where a laundry room is provided. Of course, in prison you don’t have a choice but to take your clothing to the laundry room. With overcrowded prisons, one would think that this was a tricky task, but at Herlong Prison Camp it was easy, affordable, and even a side hustle for some inmates.
The laundry room contained six dryers and six washers lined up against one of the walls. The other wall had an ice machine, a large window and a place to put torn clothing. The wall that faced the dryers had a hot water machine and everything you needed for ironing. The thing I liked about the machines is that it had its own soap and it was free. If someone wanted a different type of soap, then inmates could purchase theirs from the commissary. The machines had all of the standard settings you’d have in your home machines.
At first, I was doing laundry twice a week, but then once I began working out more, I did it daily (might as well, it’s all free–the soap, the water, the dryer, everything). The trick with doing your laundry is to go when most people are at work or are sleep. When they’re sleeping, you can use multiple machines because no one is there using them. Usually, most inmates sleep immediately after 10 pm count, but it’s bad to interrupt your bunky.
I usually waited until most inmates were at work. This worked well for me because my bunky went to work. It was the perfect time to get whatever I needed to get done. I could clean, wash, dry and fold clothes and even get a midday nap. I started my laundry after my morning workout at 9:30 am (this was after I quit working for Power House).
Some inmates used laundry time as a way to make extra money. They usually charged around ten dollars per inmate. I think it was a waste of money to pay someone else to wash your clothes. However, for the inmate washing clothes, they were making damn good money. Some of them washed clothes for fifteen inmates. That’s $150 per month. Most inmates didn’t even make that much when working at their prison jobs. The most I ever made working was eighty-three dollar in one month. Others have made $110, but it’s pretty rare to make more than forty dollars a month, unless you know someone.
If prison is soon to be your fate, you can rest knowing laundry won’t be a challenging task. In fact, you can make laundry a side hustle and make more than you could working inside the prison. Make the most of your time and you will see it go by quickly.