Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Elkhart County Jail
26861 C.R. 26
Tom: 3 years
Jackie: I was sentenced to 8 years at DOC with 6 suspended, which, I discovered after my release, the most he could have suspended under Indiana Law was 4 years.
JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Tom: Packed with around 25 guys waiting to go before the judge
Jackie: Yes. Back then the holding cell was a mess. Another women came to the cell and I ended up trying to encourage her.
Life On The Inside
At any given time the inmate population at the Elkhart County Jail can range between 1,200 to 1,500. Ironically, there are more incarcerated inmates in December than there are in January. A former inmate of Elkhart had some pithy advice, "Don't get in trouble in Elkhart."
Apparently, the jail experience was not a pleasant one for him. From his point of view there was a not much to do in the way of recreational activity. Of course his opinion could be tainted by a bad attitude.
The truth is that Elkhart offers several education and vocational training programs for the inmates to participate in. There is also a work release program which allows certain eligible inmates to travel outside the facility for work during the day and return at night to complete their sentences.
Elkart County Jail Layout
The jail is arranged in 10 separate blocks. The inmates are house depending on their classification. This is determined with an initial series of evaluation exams upon entry into the system.
As you might have guess, the food at Elkhart wasn't given a rave review by the former inmate. A common complaint was it being served cold and not being filling. However, there is a commissary available for inmates who have money deposited on their accounts to take advantage of.
Good Behavior Policy
Indiana state law provides for inmates to be separated into three types of classes. Class 1 receives one day off for one day served. Class 2 inmates earn two days off for every one day served. For Class 3 inmates there is no good behavior time eligible. An inmate can also benefit from completing education or vocational training program by having a maximum of 1/3 deducted from his sentence.
Visitor and Phone Policy
Visitation at the Elkhart County Jail is available to person with a scheduled appointment Tuesday through Sunday. The day of the visit depends on the inmate's last name. They will have to arrange with you when they are allowed to make a visit. Each visit lasts only 15 minutes long and is conducted by way of video monitor hook up. You will need to present a government issued photo ID in order to be allowed into the visit area.
Inmates are given access to phones during the day to make collect calls only. They can buy pre-paid phone cards to pay for these calls.
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