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Leisure Time

Interview with Scott, Carrie, John and Sophie

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Scott: just a yard and tv
Carrie: If you were willing to work, that was the best. It really made time go by fast and after working 8-10 hours you were exhausted and slept the rest of the time. other than that they did offer some classes and church on Sunday, and of course television, and we played a lot of card games.
John: there was an outside basketball court but with temps in the 100 no one went out side. card games books on crime board games some guys had dirty mags and some passed the time makeing things like rope to hang clothes in there rooms or make something out of food or drinks
Sophie: lots of books to read, tv was on during certain hours of the day, cards available for purchase with tables set up in the day room to play cards with up to 4 people, sleeping was allowed in your own cell, writing letters was popular if you had paper and envelopes

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Scott: regular access for every one.
Carrie: No entertainment really. just TV. we were given rec yard every once in a great while. While working as an inmate laborer we would get rec yard maybe once a week for an hour. But, for regular general population I think we only got rec yard every couple weeks if that because of the weather - too hot.
John: there was a tv that had local news and one that had spanish programs inmates would ask for channel changes that were ifnored unless it was sports or comedy one day a gaurd brought in a dvd player and I helped hook it up we watched a few movies that day.
Sophie: someone always had a book you could read or was willing to share cards to play games... tv was usually set on one channel and left on that channel unless the guards were feeling nice enough to chance it to some thing else that people wanted to watch (American Idol was popular)

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Scott: no cause most of the inmates workout in jail
Carrie: yes! I gained almost 30 pounds. The food is all so fattening and the only real exercise we got is if we would walk in circles around the common area.
John: some guys would work out on the stairs or push up contest. I was chubby and did not want to do those things I did end up I loosing weight and lost some of my color. by the time i came out
Sophie: no, I'm not in shape... did lose 35 pounds in 47 days because the food wasn't edible (or I'm just too picky of an eater)

JM: How often did you get to go outside? What did you do outside if you were allowed to? If you were not allowed to go outside what could you do for exercise?
Scott: you get to go out for a hour a day
Carrie: we got to go outside every couple weeks for about an hour. If the temperature outside was over 100 degrees they wouldn't let us go outside. unfortunately, in Bakersfield summer it almost always over 100 degrees
John: there was a basketball hoop work out bench and a circle to run in. The problem was the 100 degree temps in fresno were not fun.
Sophie: I didn't go outside... was told by others that the only activity is to walk or stand around and talk to other inmates... basically the same as in the cells

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Scott: yes i dont know cause i never attended them
Carrie: Yes, we had church every Sunday for an hour. They were very nice. We would all sing and pray together.
John: yes but I did not attend because of personal reasons so iam not sure about there location. I know at some point the bible thumpers came and gave everyone a free bible and tried to force religion on everyone. I mumbleed something about the devil and my dad that made the inmates laugh and the bible thumpers leave.
Sophie: yes, but did not provide info to the inmates about them... just word of mouth from other inmates... I did not attend since I did not know about them

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