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Interview with Shawanda Miller, Jeremy, Chuck and Charles

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Shawanda Miller: Sometimes. I generally ignored most of them and pretty much kept to myself. Some would just like to run there mouths.
Jeremy: Not really, didnt get a chance to interact with anyone! There were a couple of drunks and crazies there but they were locked up in single cells.
Chuck: No. Not really.
Charles: No, I didn't. I knew a lot of people in the jail so I pretty much had friends when I went there. Most people keep to themselves. That's what I did.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Shawanda Miller: I never got into any fights nor had any problems with the guards. Again I would just avoid most inmates who ran there mouths or thought they knew it all.
Jeremy: Rule of thumb is NOT to ask people about their charges! Do your OWN time! Each man does his own time!
Chuck: Sometimes it is unavoidable. Basically, mind your own business, stay focused on what you're going to do to get out, don't be come part of social atmosphere, you can't start to like or dislike the guards, don't start complaining. When you loss focus on outside world and insted focus on jail that's not going to help. Take advanatge of classe and programs.
Charles: Keep to yourself and don't get lippy with anybody. Avoid all altercations if at all possible because solitary confinement sucks. I don't avoid any issues with inmates because when those situations arise in an institution, if they are not dealt with on the spot then they always lead to a "problem".

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Shawanda Miller: When they used to house females in Dakota County, you would be in 1 block with maybe 1 or 2 people to a cell. Sometimes after you were there for awhile, some guards would let you move to a different cell. But at first, no you weren't able to choose to bunk with.
Jeremy: I only spent one night in a cell, my cellie was a pretty cool kid. I dont really think you get to choose? I mean we were all taken to our dorm at the same time and then we were assigned a cell and a bed(upper bunk or lower bunk!)
Chuck: Not in most cases. You could send a kite (a message) to one of the guards if you think your cellmate is violent or you might not get along with him. If there is room they might change you.
Charles: No, I've never been able to choose a celly. My celly would change I'd say on the monthly average...once or twice and sometimes three but generally once or twice. It would have been nice to choose who to room with.

Read about time off for good behavior in the Dakota County Jail

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