Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Knox County Jail
327 Park St
Harley: I was held on a class e for 47 days , but I could bail out on a class d dui. The class e was a vcr and was a 10 dollar fine , and the dui was 650 dollars.
Ryan: i had a suspended sentence of 3 weeks from the guilty plea.
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?
Harley: I was in a holding cell for five days. It was a dirty mess people spit and bleed on the walls and someone had shit on the floor and was not cleaned up.
Ryan: I spent time in the holding cell after I turned myself in early to serve my sentence. My understanding is that you should be in holding no more than 36 hours. I was in the holding cell for 6 days. This cell is used to detox people before going to population. It's also used as a punishment to inmates in population to deter bad behavior. These cells are like solitary confinement. A bed a toilet and sink. A red like is always on. The entry lights are fluorescent and always on. You have no windows and no idea of the time of day or anything. It's a very tough place to be for that long. I was not asked if I'd like books or anything. Just dumped and forgotten. I have been fighting severe depression ever since that time.
Life On the Inside
You can think of the Knox County Correctional Facility as a kind of hub for inmates. By many standards it's a small facility housing just 49 long-term inmates, nine 48-hour inmates and two 4-hour prisoners. This is due to the fact that there are actually three state prisons operating in Knox County. At anytime the inmates in the county jail can be transferred up to the "big house."
Although it might be a small jail, they offer many programs for self-improvement. On the list of classes for inmates to enroll in are GED, computer training, anger management, parenting, AA and bible studies. There are also work release programs and work rehabilitation offer through St. Bernard's Church. Inmates can also work in the sign shop or on the garden program. Signing up for these programs isn't mandatory but with nothing else to do its best that inmates keep themselves occupied.
There are four cell blocks at the Knox County Jail to house the inmates. The inmates are separated between those considered to need maximum security versus minimum security. As for the meals, a former inmate summed those up in one word, "gross."
Good Behavior Policy
As mentioned, the classes and programs are offered on a voluntary basis but there is an added benefit. An inmate can earn 7 days off for every month served if they participate in classes. Without that, the maximum amount of time off for good behavior is just four days off for every month served.
Visitor and Telephone Policy
Inmates are allowed 2 visitation sessions per week. The visiting room is basically a long table with ten chairs where inmates and their visitors sit across from each other. Not a lot of privacy in that situation. Every visitor must lock up all their items like phones, purses and backpacks in a locker before heading into to see an inmate. They don't want any contraband passed back and forth.
There are phones made available to the inmates during the day for them to make collect calls. Prepaid phone cards are available for purchase in the commissary.
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