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Full interview (by category)Interview with Bill, Rochelle, Joyce, Mikey, Eric, Kirk, Janelle and Claudia
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.
Bill: Yes. Inmates in Duval County Jail are often violent. Your initial classification is based on your type of charge. Many Duval County/Jacksonville are/were addicted to some form of drug. Being as such drug is not available in the jail, violent episodes and withdrawals are often seen.
Rochelle: No, I mind my business and observed the other inmates so I knew who was crazy and trouble makers.
Joyce: I did get along with them as I am a quiet introverted person. I kept to myself and pretty much stayed in/on my bunk. I talked to very few people.
Mikey: it wasnt very hard for me but that is because im a calm indavidual but also i slept most of my time away i have had conflict in the past but thats not the question at hand
Eric: Usually there was no problem for me because I was big and didn't mouth off at others. I had to use a threat of violence to stop one guy from irritating me while I was on the phone. Once 5 young guys threatened to rape me and I had to stare down their leader. Just keep your ears and eyes open and your mouth shut!
Kirk: It is always difficult to get along in jail. Most inmates are repeat offenders and treat jail as if they are going to summer camp rather than being in jail.
Janelle: No, I didn't have any problems. The only problems I witnessed was issues with using the phones. Some inmates bogged the phones, and there were a few arguments. Other than that I wasn't there long enough
Claudia: No, I didn't find it difficult. I was older than the average female. I realized it was nothing I could really do to change the situation. There were women who were drug addicts, prostitutes, mental conditions,
JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Bill: Stay quiet. Don't buy anything from commissary because you will have 50 instant friends. If you don't share your food, they will simply steal it.
Rochelle: Nothing, no one fooled with me.
Joyce: I just stayed to myself, I slept, I would sit alone and if someone came and wanted to talk to me, I would talk but I did not go searching for company. If I saw an argument about to start, I went to my cell and sat there until it blew over.
Mikey: i just stated that i went to sleep for most of thetime but its not hard dont start any problems and normally unless you have a pre existing problem with someone you wont have any problems but i guess it would help to be friendly i dont know what else to say
Eric: See the previous answer; I pretended to be a tough guy when physically threatened or teased excessively. I didn't say anything. I simply stared the person down. That won't work for many people though. Mind your own business. Never criticize anyone; respect everyone. Don't talk too much. Avoid controversial subject matter.
Kirk: First of all is to stay calm. I experienced an incident the minute i was sent to the dorm with the inmate who was sleeping under me. He made it very clear he did not want me sleeping by him so I asked to be moved to a different bed to avoid conflict.
Janelle: I just tried to sleep as long as I could. Read lots of books, use the phone and play cards. It is best to try to keep to yourself, and not engage in the gossip or make "friends" in jail. I also wrote a few thoughts down on paper to pass time
Claudia: When there was a conflict, usually involving younger female inmates, I would try to calm one of them down. If there was a female inmate who got on everybody's nerves, we would call the corrections officer who most times would have the inmate removed to another cell block or to another floor. I mainly stopped fights.
JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Bill: I'm not sure what exactly you are asking.
Rochelle: No, I knew none.
Joyce: I was unable to choose a cellmate. No one chooses their cellmate. I had the same cellmate the whole time I was there. She was an older woman. We did get 2 other cellmates for a day each but they left after.My cellmate did not cause me any problems nor I her.
Mikey: no you are not givin the option to choose your cellmate and they change up about as often as they ship them in and out i had 2 different cell mates the last time i was in there
Eric: I was allowed to choose any available bunk. I didn't know anyone in the cell block so I slowly walked by the cells looking at the guys already in there. We seldom changed cells. Cellmates would change every few days as people were transferred to state prison or released.
Kirk: Some people move around cells to be by thier friends but not me. In the county jail you get two to three new inmates a week, sometimes less.It all depended on who was going to court that week.
Janelle: No, you don't get to choose. I seen a few cells change during my short time there. There was a fight in one of the cells, or someone leaves and new people come in.
Claudia: Well, sometimes. There were inmates that were there for close to two years so THEY could do that. Cellmates changed bi-weekly or monthly. After I had been there for four months, I could request a cell change.
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