The truth is, the prison and its residents fill your thoughts, and it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be free, even after a few short months. You spend a lot of time thinking about how awful the prison is rather than envisioning your future. Nothing about the daily workings of the prison system focuses its inhabitants’ attention on what life back on the outside, as a free citizen, will be like. The life of the institution dominates everything. This is one of the awful truths of incarceration, the fact that the horror and the struggle and the interest of your immediate life behind prison walls drives the ‘real world’ out of your head.