Home > Writing > Blogs > April’s OCCRWA Online Class is “Behind Bars: A Look Inside a Federal Penitentiary”, with Nancy Farrier and Gerry Legg, Jr.
OCCRWA’s own Nancy Farrier is here today to talk about her upcoming online class:
Looking Behind the Bars into a Federal Penitentiary.
As authors we always strive for authenticity in our work. This means doing a lot of research, even for the small details. For instance, if possible, we will visit a location where our story will be set to experience the feel of the setting. Sometimes this isnâ€™t feasible so we have to rely on others who have been there and are willing to share their experiences with us.
This is what we hope to share with you in our class about Federal Penitentiaries. An authentic look at what happens inside. Weâ€™ll give you a chance to see how the prison system works on many levels. To research with accuracy isnâ€™t easy, but taking a class from someone who knows what goes on behind the bars can help.
You might think this is only for writers of suspense, mystery or thriller, but that isnâ€™t the case. Our books could contain characters in prison, or we may have a character who needs to visit someone in prison, or to speak with authority about something that might happen in a penitentiary. Maybe youâ€™re plotting a fantasy and need to include incarceration and this class will give you some great ideas to make your world become real.
In this class you will learn some of the major mistakes many authors make â€“ even some big name authors â€“ errors that are glaring to anyone who knows about prisons. You will learn about the training for the Federal Correction Officers; what they can and canâ€™t do at work. You will see what happens on Visitor day â€“ whatâ€™s allowed and what isnâ€™t. What jobs might those incarcerated be allowed to do? How soon can they have visitors and who is allowed to visit?
What kinds of things to inmates do that they arenâ€™t supposed to and what happens when they get caught? Do murders occur in a Federal prison? Yes, of course. So, what happens then? How is the scene processed? Who handles the investigation?
When I first did this class with Gerry, I learned some facts that surprised and even shocked me. Facts that gave me some story ideas. Iâ€™m sure you will too as you sit in on Behind Bars: A Look Inside a Federal Penitentiary. Come prepared to learn and to ask questions.