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What is jail really like?

titicaca2

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What does the average day of jail consist of, moment by moment?
The bathroom situation, the shower situation, do you have to sleep with the light on? How often are you out of your cell? Can you really be abused by the other inmates as easily as the TV depicts?
 

Doooofus

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Edit: Removed quote ~spork

Sounds like a serious question to me, and I would also like to hear some answers - I'm sure the depiction of jail on TV is subject to a fair bit of poetic license, though I don't doubt that it would be a horrible place to spend any amount of time.
 
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ingannilo

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I've been to jail three times, the longest was for 45 days. It was in California, a very wealthy county. It had the highest mean home prices in the US so I presume the jail was nicer than most. Anyhow, regarding your specific questions:

<b>1) The bathroom:</b>
There is no bathroom. There's a steel toilet and small steel sink in the cell. You piss and shit in the same room you live in. No privacy. You WILL have a cell mate. He will be in the cell.

<B>The Shower</b>:
From what I understand this varies. Where I was, the jail is arranged into pods: big rooms, about 60 cells each. There are four showers with clear doors in each pod; two on the top tier two on the bottom. Wear your shoes (plastic sandals) unless you like disease. You must shower during pod time (time out of the cell) destroying whatever element of privacy you may have hoped for.

<B>Sleeping with the light on:</b>
There were two levels of light in the cells. The dimmer of the two was always on, the other could be turned on and off. It gets easy to sleep after a few nights.

<B>Time Locked Up/Yard Time:</b>
There was no yard where I was. Each pod is divided into two sections, the left and right side. Every day one side gets time out of the cell to wonder the pod and the small trapezoidal "outdoor" area, about 100 yards square, concrete floor, chain link over the top with 30 foot high cement walls. Every two weeks the sides alternate: one gets two hours out per day, the other only gets one. Either 22 or 23 hour lockup. No fun.

<B>Abuse:</b>Prison and jail are different stories. A few 'friends' I made inside told me that in prison, for the most part nobody gets fucked that doesn't want to get fucked. I'm sure there are exceptions. Rape/abuse in jail is a lot less common than prison because the populations are usually smaller and the prisoners have more to loose because their sentences are generally much shorter than your average prison sentence. It isn't as easy to start a fight as most people think. People that tend to start shit are usually separated from the general population. There is a lot of screaming at night. Random shit, abusive shit.

So that's the straight dirt on jail. It is not as horrible as some think. Here's an interesting truth: A lot of homeless guys where I was tried to get arrested in winter (constantly rainy/cold ) so they could have a warm bed and real food for a night. Shelters were way overcrowded there.
 

TheLoveBandit

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Getting to the point ...
I think it really depends upon the offense, and therefore the facility for incarceration. For example, the drunk tank overnight is way different than the county jail for a few months which is different from maximum security lockdown which is different from 'country club' minimum security. So the question is too broad to be answered effectively (props to ingannilo for the reference material).


HOMELESS thru LD to SO (mods may kick to LOUNGE.....or not, I can't say).
 

papa

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I was in jail, county jail, when I was a young lad. I was apprehended with a small quantity of marijuana and was immediatly hauled down to the local lock up. I was there for about 40 days. County jail is a little rough because its full of all kinds of temporarily detained wack-o's. Prison, I've never been to prison, is different they say, because everybody there knows whats happening to them and they just want to serve their time and get out. There are a lot of sub cultures in prison. You'll quickly find out which one you belong in and you will do what you need to in order to survive.
 

aoe2junkie

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titicaca2 said:
What does the average day of jail consist of, moment by moment?
The bathroom situation, the shower situation, do you have to sleep with the light on? How often are you out of your cell? Can you really be abused by the other inmates as easily as the TV depicts?

short version
bathroom is in the common area of the cell: a simple metal toilet and a sink with hot and cold water and a super hot faucet on the side for making coffee, instant noodles etc. The shower may or may not have a curtain and the floor is going to be dirty so wear your sandles. You sleep with the lights off because the lights are turned off at 11 and on again at around 5 in the morning for roll call. You are out of your cell for meals or for medical or visits. I haven't seen any abuse but cell makes often joke about it to each other if they know each other well.

my experience:

First day you are processed into the system. Depending on what time you arrive at county it will be until midnight that you are taken to your cell. During processing you are moved from holding cell to holding cell, usually separated by race. Since there is nothing to do, might as well take a nap or talk to your fellow inmates about why you're there. Each cell has a metal toilet and a sink...there isn't always toilet paper or soap. Every once in a while the deputy will come inside to take roll etc. and some like to insult you. Next is clothing exchange: you surrender all your personal belongings and strip down and are given prison issue jumpsuits and you get searched once again. Make sure to be arrested with some money, especially if you are going to be there for a while! You will need money in your books if you want to buy toiletries, snacks, drinks. You can request a welfare pack which includes toothbrush and soap and I believe a shaving razor but commissary happens once a week so if you don't have anything you are at the mercy of cell mates.

I was in a 8 man cell and my cellmates were pretty chill. Because I am asian I was put into the Asian Tank. Most of the guys in my well were gang members and asians of different sort: vietnamese, chinese, korean and there were 2 latinos in my cell. I've seen some white people in our Tank as well. Everyone is respectful towards each other regardless of who they were in the outside world. Newcomers are usually given cleanup duty after introductions are made. You will also be told the rules of the cell and do and dont's.

The worst part of jail is the boredom. There is usually a TV in the common area of the cell and a 8 seat table. Sometimes you lose TV privileges if you are in the common area without your full prison issue on. You can also read newspapers but save the paper! Toilet paper is valuable, don't waste that for wiping the table, use newspaper! Use newspaper to line the toilet seat as well. Don't get caught wasting toilet paper.
 

chicpoena

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Shitty. The worst thing about jail is the food. Lack of privacy when going to the bathroom is a very close second. I was only there for 19 hours in a holding cell so I didn't get the 'whole experience' (thank god).
 

dankstersauce

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Never been to prison.

County jail isn't too bad IMO. I did about 4 weeks in county lockup. The pod i was in had about 40 bunk beds on each side. You get assigned a pod and a bunk. Where i was the jail provided toilet paper, bars of soap, and tooth powder (it's like tooth paste except disgusting.)
You have times when the place in locked down and your supposed to stay near your bunk. other times (during meals and "freetime") you could watch tv. We'd get one newspaper a day for the 100+ inmates to share. Mostly time would be spent playing cards, reading, watching tv and we'd get 1 hour a day in the gym.

The showers were nasty...but no one is getting raped. There were 4 showers with see through curtains that you could use whenever we weren't on lockdown. Fights would break out occasionally, when that happens just keep your wits about you and mind your own. After fights there would be a quite a bit of racial tension.

If you keep your bunk clean and are mindful of other people you really have nothing to worry about. IMO most of the people are tolerable and some will help you out. When i first got there i made friends with a couple other junkies, and we'd play cards all day long, trade stories and help each other out if possible. Overall its boring, frustrating and cramped. Jail sucks because you'll see people coming and going all the time. There are definately a bunch of wackos.

Oh yeah in my pod the lights were on 24/7. If you're about to get locked up UTSE there is a thread with more detailed advice. But you definately want someone on the outside to lookout for you....send you money for commissary, send you letters, visit you etc. If your familiar with scumbags and sketchy people you really should haven't any trouble. if you happen to be sketchy you'll fit right in.

edit: our bathrooms sucked, they were just 4 toilets lined up on the wall. If you have to drop a duece you'll have people walking by, going to the bathroom next to you....shit even some people want to start up a conversation with ya.
 

eDDe9

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Inmate boasts of 'luxury' life in prison

Donal Kelleher, 37, an inmate at HMP Cardiff, said that his en suite accommodation was "outstanding" and disclosed that he was paid £10 a week – to study for a maths GCSE – which he spends on cigarettes, chocolate and "other luxury goods".

A prison officer who has worked at Cardiff for 15 years said last week that inmates were simply sitting in their cells watching snooker on television or playing computer games.

He added that a new health care centre put local hospitals "to shame" and made it easier to see a dentist than on the "outside". The extraordinary claims were made after The Daily Telegraph disclosed last week that a prison officers' leader said jails had become so comfortable that some inmates were ignoring chances to escape.

Glyn Travis, the assistant general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said the latest disclosure confirmed his fears and that "we need to address the root of what prisons are all about".

Kelleher, a former Welsh Guard, stabbed his wife Leanne seven times in the chest and back after she told him she was leaving him. He was jailed in 2005.

But writing to a local newspaper from prison, he said: "I am better off in here. I could only imagine how cold it was this winter living on the streets."

Kelleher added: "May I just say that the food and accomadation (sic) is of outstanding quality here. We have coulour (sic) TVs, on sweet (sic) facilities, everything is provided for us eg toiletries, laundry."

He stated that the education department at Cardiff was of a "very high standard".

He said: "I'm currently doing a GCSE grade in maths which I am paid ten pound a week to achieve which I can spend on tobbacco (sic), chocolate and other luxury goods." The inmate signed the letter "Donal Kelleher, Prisoner No. GE7247, HMP Cardiff". David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth, visited the prison last year.

He said: "I saw prisoners sitting in their cells watching television and playing computer games.

"It seems to be an unwritten rule if they are left alone to do whatever they want they won't cause any trouble."

"They have a right to be treated humanely but we have to remember they are in prison to be punished." Sian West, the governor of Cardiff prison said last night: "It's ludicrous to say that prison is cushy."

She added: "We endeavour to challenge all prisoners
to use their time in Cardiff constructively.

"Television sets purchased for in-cell prisoner use are paid for by the weekly rental fee of £1 paid by prisoners.

"TVs can and will be removed from prisoners whose behaviour is deemed unacceptable."
 

aoe2junkie

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i even considered getting a tattoo but i didnt know what. ha imagine a prison tattoo as your first tat. but it didnt seem too hygienic at the time. the tattoo guy had been locked up for a while and spent his time tatting himself and was pretty good at it. apparently he was an artist outside of jail, probably the resident artist of some gang.
 

2oclockbeanfiend.2

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titicaca2 said:
What does the average day of jail consist of, moment by moment?
The bathroom situation, the shower situation, do you have to sleep with the light on? How often are you out of your cell? Can you really be abused by the other inmates as easily as the TV depicts?

Broward County, FL jails have 18 hour lockdown (you are only allowed out of your cell 6 hours/day - 23 hour lockdown for max cust inmates.) Downtown Ft. Lauderdale (main) jail are 2 man cells, with the toilet in the cell. Sheriffs North jail in Pompano Beach are open cell blocks. Meaning, inside the cell block, you are not locked in a cell, but there are are barriers that seperate the individual cells (5-6 men.) The Joseph V. Conte correctional facility in Pompano Beach are 6 man cells (3 bunk beds.) Like the main jail in Ft. Lauderdale, they are enclosed, locked cells, with the toilet inside. Yes, you have to take a shit with 5 other dudes in a roomwith you. The unwritten rule is that you wait til you are off lockdown to take care of that though. All of these jails have "commons" areas where you spend your time when you aren't locked down. There is a TV in each of these areas. "Chow" (even they dont have the balls to call it a meal) is served 3 timees a day. Once at 3am, then at 10am, then at 4pm. Yes, they wake you up at 3 in the morning to eat breakfast. Note the extensive gaps inbetween meals (sorry "chow"s.) In all of these jails it is absolutely fucking freezing. They give you a dirty ass blanket that probably thousands of inmates have used before you. MRSA (some infection I never heard of before I was incarcerated) runs rampant in jail. In Broward County jail there are really no fights or anything like that. There is a Correctional Officer in the cell block with you (apparently at other county jails like the infamous Rikers Island, the CO is behind glass, which allows all that fighting you've probably heard bout.) Yes, at these 3 jails, you are forced to sleep with the lights on. I was only incarcerated for 5 weeks (keep in mind, 2 of those weeks were before I even went to court), but aside from the times when I was being transferred to a different jail, I didn't breathe any fresh air. Yes, aside from a few minutes, I was inside for 5 weeks. Gives new meaning to the term 'cabin fever.' Relatively, I wasn't in jail long at all, but I couldn't imagine spending another day in there. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS ARE THE ABSOLUTE SCUM OF THE MOTHERFUCKING EARTH. THEY CAN ALL (w/ a few exceptions) BURN A SLOW FIREY DEATH.

The worst part about jail is, if you have half a brain, you are in the company of complete fucktards. Stay in jail long enough, you will absolutely become dumber. You will lose knowledge. The majority of the people I encountered were the most ignorant people on the face of the earth. Hang around them long enough, its bound to rub off on you.

That was actually theraputic to get that off my chest.
 
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captainballs

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I actually met some pretty interesting people in my few nights in jail. The only part I didn't like about being in the general population area of the county jail was the toilet placement - in the very center of the room (not a little to the left or right - the center). So every time you had to take a shit you were the star in front of a crowd of like 40 people.

Nobody in jail really fucks with anyone else, and if there's a fight it pretty much ends pretty quickly since no one wants to catch any more charges. Pretty peaceful, lots of talking and laughing. Don't know about prison, though. I imagine the apathy level would increase quite a bit, as would the violence.
 

Pharcyde

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dude ok if you have specific jail questions that need to be answered, pm me. Ive been in the most hick county jail to the real biggins (detroit) so if youactually need an answer ask BL criminal #1
 
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