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DeKalb County Jail Pre-sentencing, Georgia

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Pre-sentencing

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

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Joey: Long and frustrating
Bob: Spent about 12 hours in preliminary holding cell ("drunk tank"), then processed, dressed into jail uniforms, and sent upstairs to more long term cells.
Anne: I violated my probation - that's why I had to stay in jail for 46 days. My understanding was that when you get picked up for probation violation you have to stay in jail until you get a court date.
Beth: I am truly blessed that my case was dismissed.
Gary: Me and my Boyfriend were placed into the Holding tank for about 3 hours. Because we declared ourselves gay, we were segregated and had the whole tank to ourselves. After about an hour, a woman from inmate services interviewed us separately to see if we had any health conditions and to document our states of mind. After that, we waited another hour to be taken to a nurse to have a Tuberculosis test and to be fingerprinted and booked. We were then taken to the clothing area and given our jail clothes and had our personal items bagged and tagged.
Cheev: i went 4 a ticket i was kidnaped 4 3 weeks & 3 days with out going to court thay said i wasnt in the system i couldnt even bail out no visits no nothin & and im going to file charges
JJ: the judge was not on anybody side but the woman there something up with that
Denise: I spent nine months in jail for an armed robbery that my ex-boyfriend committed before I was even offered a bond. Sentenced and pre-trial inmates are not separated. It is nearly impossible to get any information on your court dates before they wake you up at 2 am to go to a court appearance. Getting in touch with your counsel was difficult, even if you had a paid attorney.(I did.)
Brett: Initially, going through the intake process takes a very long time. But if you are sitting in jail awaiting trial, you will be sitting in the facility for a while. The court system is backed up and slow. Before you get to general population, you will be in ha holding cell for hours, then transferred to a bigger holding cell with about 60 people in it. One toilet, no phone.
Andrew: i had to wait 60 days until i was even on calender call for court, i spent most of the time stressing because i seen alot of imates getting a lot of time for things that should not have been much time for the type of crime they where in for
Bethany: well it was long hade too wait in line they talk u too a cold sell make u want with 50 females in there wit you so it was not good or fair too me at all sometime thet take you threw there for nothing at all ..... not good

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Joey: No
Bob: Yes.
Anne: Yes, the police stopped by my house because my probation officer had a warrant issued for my arrest.
Beth: No
Gary: No. Before we were arrested we had no prior warning. They just showed up at about 11 am, said my car was in an accident and kicked the door in as soon as I opened it. The officers were rude, overly threatening and seemed trigger-happy.
Beth: no arrested by Avondale Estates_ traffic stop
Cheev: i was pulled over for a traffic violation my rights wasnt read to me or nothin
JJ: i was walking from loveland bbq joint im a truck driver that is black with gold teeth presummed to be a young thug. but im a thirty- three year old husband and father of three that was falsley accused of pulbic intoxication.there was no sobriety test done to prove that i was intoxicated,when i demanded to be test for alcohol the sergant informed me that in dekalb county they don'T have to give you a sobriety test and that there word was good enough.
Denise: No. Two plain clothes detectives showed up at my mother's door. I refused to let them in because I didn't believe they were cops, but rather hitmen sent by my ex to kill me. I called 911 and refused to let them in until they were positively identified to me as police officers by a uniformed officer. I threw up spaghetti in their car, they let me out for a minute to finish vomiting, I came out of the handcuffs and ran like hell. They then proceeded to beat the hell out of me.
Brett: Police did not come to my house for questioning. I was arrested on the street. There was a warrant out for me, and I was apprehended during a routine traffic stop. My car was impounded. The police did not question anyone at my household regarding my arrest or my situation either.
Andrew: no, i turned myself in for probation violation, i figured that it would be better if i was to turn myself in rather than the law to have to come looking for me and that it would not look good in court in that matter either, and it worked out
Bethany: yes they came too my house i open the door they ask for me i said im her they said put your hands around your back and tood me too get in the car in took me too dekalb county jail.. that was so unfair didnt tell me what i did

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Joey: I felt like they rushed my case
Bob: Spent several hours waiting to be taken to court, then they transported us by bus to the county courthouse, spent a few hours in holding before and after court, then went via bus back to DeKalb county jail.
Anne: It was scary because I never been locked up before.
Beth: Ok, i arrived with my mother, then when it was time to check the schedule my name was not on there. So that was a good sign then a few minutes later someone came out of the courtroom and told me that my case was dismissed.
Gary: After a day of being in our Pod, we were taken to the Magistrate court in the middle of the night. The process was rushed and it seemed like the judge was overworked. The bail amount we got was maxed for our charges and we were carried back to the pod.
Beth: CORRUPT!!! They basically tell you how to plea. They try mental detainees without counsel. They put old tickets on you that you have been tried for and if you plead not guilty they set a cash only bond on you so high that you cant afford to get out until your court date which they set 45 days after your appearance. We know they did not make their quota for this year but this is ridiculous. Internal Affairs need to come from Washington or some higher courts. it is unconstitutional what goes on down their. They need cameras or close it down!!
Cheev: they didnt take me to court 4 over 3 weeks
JJ: the court room was filled with black and hispanic inmates,with the majority of the cases being public intoxication with a payment of three hundred ninety nine dollars to bring money to dekalb county GA.
Denise: After sitting in a freezing cold cell with no food, water, or private toilet facility with 20 women for 12 plus hours, the officer screams your name, cuffs you from behind and shackles you, and takes you up to a courtroom on the elevator. In my case, before my attorney got our cases severed, those elevator rides were taken with my psychotic ex as well, who would whisper that he loved me & he only told on us because I left him after he nearly killed me. I am shaking just talking about it.
Brett: The court proceedings were long and drawn out. I was transferred to court from the jail. The public was seen first by the judge, so all inmates sat there and listened to different cases. During lunch break, we were transferred to holding cells within the court building, and ate in the holding cells.
Andrew: very scary when the judge has control over your life and freedom, i believe that in the long run it really isnt worth the time and effort to give the court and judge control over your life it waS VERY stressful and i pray i dont have to deal with that issue again
Bethany: they get u up at 5am tell u too get ready for court, feed u then get u in line take u on the bus drive u too the court , put u in a nasty cell with other woman till they call me for court and i had too wait...

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Gary: For me, it was Attempted Armed Robbery. I haven't had my court yet.
Beth: DUS on 07/18/2011. My license has been reinstated since 04/01/2011. The charge they held me on for 15 days, I had already been tried for in state court on 07/12/2011- got 80hrs of community service due by November 11, 2011. I plan to sue the city of Avondale Estates and Recorders Court- they took 15 days of my life from me, my childern, school, lost my job etc.
Cheev: driving on a suspended lic
JJ: when i enter the police department i found out that i had been charged with public intox.
Denise: Armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. My charges were reduced to robbery, for which I served five years in prison.
Brett: My charges were possession with intention to distribute exstacy pills.
Andrew: probation violation, on probation for possesion of weed
Bethany: weed charge, and drivin with out D.L

Read about sentencing in the DeKalb County Jail

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