The Marshall Project

Freaky Friday, Prison-Style

At a Kentucky prison, officers learn about the inmate experience through a “re-entry to society” simulation game.

No one knew what we were signing up for, but we volunteered for the “re-entry-to-society simulator” at our Kentucky prison regardless.

When the day came, we filed into a large room.

Life Inside Perspectives from those who work and live in the criminal justice system. Related Stories

“Take a seat at one of the tables, any table. That will be your ‘occupation’ for the next hour—so find something fitting, guys,” said the re-entry program administrator, a red-haired woman acting as our new boss. “You’ll find instructions in your packet. And don’t steal any of the pens or markers!”

“Damn,” said a prisoner beside me. “I could really use a new pen.”

After sitting down, I opened my packet and glanced inside. The instructions were

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