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Full interview (by category)Interview with Sarah, Paul, Allan and Erik
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Paul: No problems. The other inmates pointed out that I really did not belong, and did not have the inmate mentality. I rarely cuss, I do not use slang, so all I had to do was open my mouth for them to know that I was out of my comfort zone. I restore and customize cars and build custom bikes for a living. My wife sent pics in, and the guys all seemed to want to talk about the cars and bikes. I got along with the other inmates as well as could be expected. I shared commissary with a few of the guys who had nothing, and as a result got the reputation for being a good guy. That helped me a lot
Allan: The only time I had a hard time was when i tried to have the new inmates clean up after them selves, deputies said I was running the pod.It was more like daycare than Jail
Erik: Yes and no there were inmates who tried to be the cell boss and used threats and intimidation to coerse other inmates.There were guys who stayed mostly in there cells and read or played cards. And there were the occasional fights. Of which I was never involved. I went to jail at 49 yrs old. I mostly read and played cards with the other OG's ( old guys )
JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Sarah: keep out of others business...& don't make your business anyone else's. Be a quiet mate... Meditate & read alot. Listen... to the Officers... & when confrontated by other inmates... only... react only... when or if necessary to prevent harm from you or someone else.
Paul: I had no significant problems with other inmates. I am kind of a large guy (standing over 6' 4", with an athletic build)so I did not automatically attract bullies. When I was moved down to the worker's pod, there was an issue with who could sit at what table. I sat at the wrong one the first morning. I was told to move. There were a few tense moments during which I fully intended to hit the other inmate in the face with my tray. . Then another inmate came over and clued me in on the rules. The situation was resolved, and I sat at another table. A few days later I was invited back to the original table I mistakenly sat at.
Allan: Stay in your cell or go to Ad. seg. and stay in your cell. If you gambled you either got beat down for cheating or oweing someone "goods"so that wasn't really a good Idea, cards always led to trouble staying in your cell and rading was the safest thing to do to stay out of trouble.
Erik: Most of the problems with the others arose from power struggles or training reguirements. By that I mean the rules. Not all rules and punished by the guards. The inmate population has it own rules. Mostly the inmate rules were ratially motived. A prime example is the white people don't take things from or give things to black people. Whites also don't talk to or play cards with black people.
JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Sarah: choose an inmate? We didn't usually have a partner.. straight single lines... shoulder tothe wall... no talking... no choices... when in movement through out the facility... no partners... sexually... ??? no... that is not aceptable behavior... but tolerated... I think... we know it happens.
Paul: At first I was not allowed to choose an inmate. But when I was moved to worker's pod I was allowed to switch cells to bunk with the guy who was showing me around in the kitchen. Both of us were quiet, and did not like foolishness or disturbances. It was the best possible circumstance during a bad situation
Allan: I didn't want a cell mate but they gave me one anyway. When you're housed with someone in tight quarters, something is always gonna happen sooner or later, thats just people
Erik: I'm not from the Redding area and don't do drugs so I didn't know anyone to ask to bunk with. Yes you could if you had a cell mate preferance, ask for a change. Lots of guys did that.
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