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DeKalb County Jail Leisure Time, Georgia

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Leisure Time

Interview with Joey, Bob, Anne, Beth, Gary, Cheev, JJ, Denise, Brett, Andrew and Bethany

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Joey: TV, magazines, commissary, recreation
Bob: Broadcast TV, basketball for 1 hour a day, cards, chess, checkers were permitted.
Anne: TV and bible study and outside time.
Beth: cards, cable television, checkers, books, crossword puzzles
Gary: A tv, commissary and good old fashioned talking.
Cheev: day room
JJ: it depends on the officer
Denise: Television, which I don't watch, and fights often started over it.church three or four times a week by different ministries. I always went even just to get out. You might get thirty minutes of rec time a week on an open air basketball court, but I found that place extremely depressing. Books were extremely hard to come by, especially if you are a quick reader, and the process to approve having outside books sent in was difficult.
Brett: There was nothing there to pass the time. We only received recreation outside of the unit once a month. There was one TV, a 13inch TV, but the reception was terrible. They only brought books by once every 2-3 weeks, and most of the books were missing pages. Law library was virtually non-existant.
Andrew: there was not too many options available while in there, there was a doctor which took 4ever if you put in request unless you where dying the there was a dentist and chapel a barber and a basketball hoop available 3 days out of the week by your choice and law library
Bethany: sometime they bring u books or u can order books look at tv not all the time . and the phones only when they cut the on.. sleep good rest they dont have a place u can got outside at all so really thats all they had yes and news pappers.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Joey: I had regular access to the entertainment
Bob: Not much competition, but sometimes arguments over what tv show to watch, who got to use someone else's cards, etc.
Anne: Competition was very fierce because it was two inmates that controlled the TV.
Beth: i didnt watch tv. i mostly did crossword puzzles, and play spades. but yes the tv was always a problem.
Gary: The tv was usually tuned to news or jerry springer. The quality was horrible and the screen too small for those without glasses.
Cheev: yes it was fierce
JJ: no
Denise: Yes, but the majority of the inmates would fight over the TV, and I had to have trustees smuggle me books. Writing was my primary entertainment, and drawing, which you could also make money with if you were talented in form of stamps & store items. Luckily I was good at it. Cards are fun but fights often occur if you gamble.
Brett: The TV was in the middle of the unit, so there was access to it. However, the reception was so terrible that there was practically nothing to watch. The best thing to do was to buy a deck of cards off the commissary, but cards were like $3 a pack.
Andrew: we had entertainment but it was only when we where out for free time and some days we had in there when we didn't even come out for free time so it really depends on what goes on in there really because one person can argue with the law and mess it up for everyone
Bethany: no access when the tv s come on thats really it cant change the channel then the phones they cut them on and off so really nothing at all u have nothin u have too wait on everythang... so no no enterainment jail is a mess i hate it.... all

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Joey: No
Bob: No- I struggle to work out at all when I'm free- in jail there's nothing else to do so I do a lot of pushups- no weights or exercise equipment in jail.
Anne: No.
Beth: i was only there for 1 day and a half. but the whole time i was there i dint eat, so i could only imagine that if i was there longer i would have lost alot of weight.
Gary: Pushups are always free but the worst part was staying well fed.
Cheev: yes
JJ: yes due to a improper diet the inmate seemed sluggish and malnurished and week losing weight by the day.i lost 10 pounds in 3 1/2 day, i have a medical history with not being able to absorb nutrient and need to have protien witch was not recieved.
Denise: No, I worked out in my cell & did yoga constantly. That was definitely not the norm though, most girls gained a lot of weight because of the junk food on commissary.
Brett: Yes, I did because we received no fresh air there, and there were no facilities to utilize. I just did a lot of push-ups and sit-ups.
Andrew: yes it is very me to focus while i was in there when i was worried about getting out of there
Bethany: well i got fat in there i ate alot of store and the food they cook so yes it was hard

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?
Joey: Every day
Bob: 1 hour a day.
Anne: Once a week.
Beth: i didnt get a chance.
Gary: Never.
Cheev: 1 time a week
JJ: never
Denise: Once a week if you were lucky, and it wasn't truely outside, it was an open air basketball court on the fourth floor. You could walk or play basketball.
Brett: We did not get to go outside. Our "outside recreation" was in a bullpen 7 stories in the air, and you could not see outside. We only went to the bullpen once a month.
Andrew: we went outside at least 3 days a week unless we were on lock down and then it might be less, when we went outside we only had basketball
Bethany: no outside work or play time at all . u can walk around the jail and work out but thats nothing at all but time ..

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Joey: Yes, the service was ok for an in jail service. Helped pass the time away and got you to think and reflect on your behavior
Bob: They offered church services every sunday; I never attended the service, but those who did usually returned shortly; the service must have been very brief due to the amount of inmates (I've heard DeKalb county is one of the biggest county jails in the country).
Anne: Yes they had good services but I forgot where they were held.
Beth: im not sure
Gary: I don't know.
Cheev: no
JJ: no they just taunted inmates instead of lifting them up in there time of need
Denise: Yes, usually 4-5 times a week, at random times, whenever a ministry showed up. They were the only people who treated you like a human being and a child of God.
Brett: No, the jail did not offer church services when I was there. Inmates conducted their own prayer groups while I was there.
Andrew: yes only on sunday where the church services and it was one person that came to preach in a room
Bethany: yes they had jail church and u have too sign up for it sometimes they never did come and get u at all

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