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Broward County Jail Inmates, Florida

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Interview with James, Charles, Doug, Nick, Erik, Edwin, Will, Rickey, Lee, David, Ann and Scott

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
James: Most of the time. The races stick together. Being white, I was a minority. All day I heard racial ethnicities (ni**er, cracker, chico). There are a lot of gang members. It's just best to keep to yourself and maybe acquaint yourself with selected others.
Charles: Try being jewish, only man with a kosher tray in a gang unit?
Doug: In prison I was attacked often and had to defend myself while having chest pain. I went to medical every day for 10 days begging them to send me to the ER for chest pain. By the time they sent me to the hospital I almost died. I had to be flown out from the local hospital to Orlando by helicopter to have emergency cardiac cath and stent placemet
Nick: It was not difficult. Some were racists but I kept my distance. I mostly played dominoes and read the newspaper and watched the news. Some inmates were mentally disturbed which made things strange.
Erik: no not really some people where ok other were not but for the most part everyone just got along no one want to fight on top of all the other stress
Edwin: I didn't have a problem with any inmates. But thats just me I did observe others that did have a problem. I think the difference between them and me is I'm a people person I Know who to associate with and who not too...
Will: It was hard to get along with other people because of racial tensions and a lot of sexual stuff on peoples agendas. It is a predatory environment where getting along with others is determined by our ability to be cruel
Rickey: yes because everything was broke like the phones thier
Lee: Not at all. I'm a 300 pound man who's a former power lifter and I get along with everyone who's willing to get along with me. I had one altercation that ended quickly.
David: Yes and no, There are always other people who are fearful and try and act tuff as a result. Having to prove that they are tuff generally causes them to seek out weaker people so that they can make a reputation for them selves. Being seen as weak or humble is not good.
Ann: i did,,everone is crying about there different charges,the bad hygene of others,,the high stress levels,different people of all races and cultures are mixed together,on top of all the people facing time for serious charges
Scott: i didnt find it difficult because i am a good person i get along with everybody but if i have to keep to my self then thats what i would do sometimes

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
James: Keep to yourself. But understand if someone tries [to mess with] you, and you don't stand up for yourself, everyone steps on you. So problems with others in inevitable. Someone got in my face 4 times over 21 months, and I got in their face too, to stand up for myself. And not at all being racial, but the few times that there were more whites/hispanics than blacks things got rough with the TV. The rule is to vote, and when the Jits/bugs were outnumbered they couldn't watch their rap videos, and they would change the station to rap, the FEW times they got outvoted.
Charles: Tie all belongings to a bunk, when challenged, hit first. Backing down is not an option.
Doug: Pay people for protection.
Nick: Some were racists but I kept my distance. I mostly played dominoes and read the newspaper and watched the news. Some inmates were mentally disturbed which made things strange. I also worked out a lot and read books. Also phone calls to home to make time go by. Also writing home can take up alot of time.
Erik: just don't look at people with the stick eye be polite don't take to long on the phone when others are waiting don't get in the way of others and do not snitch on anyone when the guards ask a question, other than that people just leave each other alone
Edwin: I pretty much stayed to myself ... I didn't ask people for any thing, I stayed clear of foolish conversation, and I concentrated on me going home. I stayed away from people who had the tendency to talk about what they had andwhat they did before they got them selves incarcerated ...
Will: I spent as much time as possible in my cell. I read a lot of books and push UPS. And I slept a much as possible even though that was really hard because the TV, fighting, and general tensions made the noise level very high. I'll never go back there
Rickey: stay to myself everybody was miserable
Lee: I worked out a lot, I kept my head in my holy bible, and I ddn't hang out with anyone particular person. I watched a lot of television, from football, basketball, & tennis. But never made any wagers on any of them, which is an easy way to jam up.
David: Avoid the T.V.s and avoid the phones thats where most of the problems start. For the most part it's best to mind your own business and read people from a distance. By paying attention to other people you can see who to associate with and who not toassociate with. Trouble makers generally seek each other out and get into trouble on thier own.
Ann: i had to stay in my cell most of the time and try and find as many books to read as i possibly could,most of the time i was on lockdown any way..i was in the maximum custody section of the jail,where they just kept us locked down all day to reduce fights and problems
Scott: i didnt have to avoid anything if i thought i was going to get into a fight with an inmate or there was going to be an argument i just didnt talk to anybody and only talked to people that were nice to me and i thought i would get along with

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
James: Sometimes if you were tight with the deputy, he would switch your room, but it wasn't often. I personally am a HORRIBLE snorer which caused a lot of problems. At North Broward in the psych cell, you could switch without authorization, but I preferred the floor in the day room, and one deputy forced me to go to a room.
Charles: Friends of mind were in seperate dorms and pods, they have us in the gang book as affiliated and ensure that we are not in the same pod. Slippin on let'n us in rec together.
Doug: NO
Nick: My cellmates would change about every two weeks. I was able to choose to move around to different cells. Also I could get roommates that I wasn't getting along with. Depends on when they are released.
Erik: it was easy for people who knew how to work the guards to get their buddys in the same cell as them they did it all the time whenever they wanted to
Edwin: No, I wasn't able to select who I wanted for a cell mate. I did see a couple of times two cell mates that didn't get along. The staff would make a change but it was at their discretion ...
Will: We didn't have any say as to who we celled up with. Cell mate changes were pretty unpredictable because people would bail out, get released, Orr go to prison at any time
Rickey: everyday 2 days
Lee: No one ever chooses their "CELL MATE" (not room mate). Everyones assigned as they're processed into te system, mainly placed according their types of crimes commited most of the time.
David: You were assigned a pod, a cell and a bunk. Who ever you get for a cell mate is your cell mate. The only way to get a different cell mate is to get into a fight with your current one.
Ann: i was able to get people moved into my cell due to the fact that i worked as a trustee for the officers,it could also be done by saying you and the person t do not get along
Scott: no i wasnt able to choose an inmate as a cell mate i think it goes by who gets there at the same time as you or the only time it would change unless somebody got released

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

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