Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Santa Clara County Jail
150 West Hedding Street
Raymond: Originally, 1 year and 5 years of county probation.
Brenda: When I was sentenced it was very fast because i went to court two time prior to that for pre- sentencing. I was sentenced in less then an hour.
Reta: 1 year
Ronnie: 6 months with 3 year probation.
Germz: i was sentenced to nine tears at eighty five percent
Jimmy: I was sentenced to "probation denied" on condition of completing an anger management program.
JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Raymond: 2 days in Santa Clara. It was like the rest of them. Filthy.
Brenda: yes I spent a few hours in a holding cell. I was nervous and relieved at the same time. I was nervous because I was going to prison . I was relieved because i didn't get as much time as they offered me.
Reta: I was in Santa Clara for six months before my trial and went right back for another six months.
Ronnie: I was part of South County so they would take you in the early morning whether your trial was in the afternoon or morning. I was waiting there way too long.
Germz: it was very stressful. i was going to prison for nine years of my life. i had to sit there and listen to all the stories about what to do and what not to do
Jimmy: I had to wait for hours in a holding cell in the basement of the courthouse with some other inmates. It was dark, filthy with a TV playing some idiotic movie.
If you or someone you know will be spending some time in Santa Clara County Jail, you may be wondering what to expect. Going to jail can be scary, especially if this is your first time. We can't promise that your jail time will be worry free, but having the right information can help you prepare for the experience.
We have interviewed former inmates of Santa Clara County, who have shared their tips and insights. You can access these interviews by clicking on links to the left. Take a few minutes to read their stories and learn what life is really like behind bars in the Santa Clara County Jail.
Sarasota County serves three meals per day to inmates. The food is rated between a 4 and 6 on a scale of 1-10. The jail serves two hot meals per day and one cold. An inmate favorite is the biscuits and gravy.
The biggest complaint is that there isn't a lot of variety. Inmates who have money on their books can also order snacks from the jail commissary once a week.
Telephones and Visits
Keeping in touch with family and friends on the outside is a high priority for most inmates. Santa Clara County allows visitors on the weekends. Visits are held in different types of settings depending on inmate classification. Some visits are held with plexi-glass separating the inmate from the visitor. Other inmates get "contact" visits where there is nothing physically separating inmate from visitor. These visits are held in a room with picnic type tables.
Santa Clara also provides phones that inmates can use to call family and friends. The cost of phone calls runs around $4 for a 15 minute phone call. Calls can be made collect or using a phone card purchased from the jail.
Getting medical attention in Sarasota County is not difficult. Inmates need to make a request to see a doctor, nurse or dentist and the jail is pretty responsive to these requests.
For those who need meds, a nurse brings them around three times a day. Inmates who are caught abusing substances (legal or illegal) can expect to receive additional charges when they are caught.
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