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The ID in my pocket is so mandatory that it is not even worth mentioning.

If your name is on a list of package recipients, you don’t get your package unless you show your ID.

If you want to go to the canteen to make a purchase, you need your ID.

If you want to go to the prison yard, you must show your ID on the way out the door.

You need medical attention? No ID, no service. You got medication to pick up? Your ID must be scanned.

You get called for a visit? No ID, no visit.

Wanna check out a Scrabble game or Monopoly? Show your ID, please.

How about a game of basketball or soccer? You must give them your ID, which will be held hostage until you return the game or ball.

Got a job? You must have your ID when you report to your work assignment.

Going to a committee? Your ID will be required.

A visit to the law library? You get the point.

Keep your ID on you at all times. No exceptions.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Walter Hart is a writer incarcerated in California.