First, I'm curious as to what the first few days, especially the first day, is like for someone being admitted to a state prison. He's been convicted of murder, though I may have to make that manslaughter to get him out before he dies of old age, and he's not guilty but due to other circumstances in his life, he felt too tired and uncaring to fight it and pled guilty even though he's not. (No, he doesn't have a great lawyer and besides that, he never tried to convince even his lawyer he was innocent, though a friend of his did try.) Also, this may end up being a federal crime - I'm not sure yet - and if he ends up in a federal prison, is the first day, first few days, similar to state prison?
Also, from my searches, I've come to understand that there isn't a standard, nationwide list of professions that convicted felons can't hold. I think that just about every state denies a law license and I can't imagine anyone allowing someone who's served time in prison to become a law enforcement officer. Would they be allowed to be a prison counselor? (Is there such a thing? I'm thinking specifically not a chaplain, though not necessarily a psychiatrist.) The character I have in mind was once a cop, decades ago, but his partner was killed and he went and murdered the person who'd murdered his partner, then went to trial and prison without putting up a fight. Due to the circumstances, the judge was lenient and did not give him a life sentence, so he's been out of prison for quite awhile. Is there any way he could have a job that would allow him to interact with the character in the first paragraph above?
Thanks for any suggestions!
ETA: This is set in the USA, current day. It's in the Midwest but I'm not certain which state yet. (I realize which state will make some difference but right now I'd even be happy with generalities.) The ex-cop murdered his partner's killer nearly 30 years ago and was in prison for as short a time as would be feasible under the circumstances.
Thanks, reapermum, for reminding me that being convicted of murder doesn't necessarily mean the person will literally be in prison for the rest of his or her life.