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Maricopa County Jail Inmates, Arizona

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Interview with Tom, Jessica, Justin D., Pat and Sandi

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Tom: yes, both in education and upbringing and the fact that I am a highly decorated Viet Nam Vet Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart with many health issues others thought it was preferencial treatment for the most part
Jessica: Yes and No.
Justin D.: Nope, learned how to play spades while in there.
Justin: yeah i found it easy to get along with most inmates.. but the ones that i found it hard to get along with was teh ones from terh gangs.. the colrs.. mexicans and blacks that took the street gang life way too seriously
Pat: No I just kept to my self and didnt bother with any one and ni one bothered me we were all just there to do our time and not get into trouble
Sandi: I did not have a hard time getting along with other inmates, I think because I kept to myself and minded my own business unless I was approached for conversation. I found that most of the inmates were genuinely kind and helpful to me and very respectful, for the most part.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Tom: associate with others in the same social ecomomic, education, and age areas. some could not be avoided because of my size 6'7" 280 lbs it was always the little guy wanting to show how tough he was at times put into a situation where self defense was required
Jessica: Fights were not avoidable because if you didnt fight someone, esp someone of another race, you made your race seem weak etc, I am 50 and had 2 fights with an 18 yr old Chicano kid and when my time got short and I was within 10 days of release a Pisa (Mexican) misunderstood what I had said to him (his English was poor) and I refused to fight, so a Federal Inmate in my pod on additional State charges came and sucker punched me.
Justin D.: None
Justin: i never lied abotu what i did.. kept my mouth shut about most things.. never called any one a bitch or a punk casue those are considered ultimate disrespect.. i kept to myself, did not steal from people and i never snitched any one out.. and i fallowed the rules
Pat: I just stayed by my self and did some reading I didnt bother with any one and no one bothered me just wanted to do my time and get out so I didnt get involed with any one much. or made a fuss about any thing just did my time
Sandi: I minded my own business. I had to slow down, be patient, and be courteous. Approximately 20 of us were locked down in a pod 24/7 and it was imperative that we get along.

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Tom: only those in work release due to segregation
Jessica: depends
Justin: no you were not allowed to choose who you bunked up with. if you asked the detention officers would laugh at you, and your cellmates would change whenever one would go home or to prison and another one would come in..
Pat: No you are not able to choose your cell mate you are assigned to a cell and who ever else was assinged to the cell was your cell mate wether you liked them or not
Sandi: We were not able to choose cell mates. The "ecosystem" of the maximum security pods is very controlled. I was rather amazed at the science of it as I observed how things operated. I was blessed with an awesome and experienced cell mate for the first few months. Then I got a cellmate who was a biological disaster! In four months my cell mate only changed once.

Read about time off for good behavior in the Maricopa County Jail

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