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Ramsey County Jail

425 Grove Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101
phone (651) 266-9350

Interview with Jessica, Joe Smith, Rod, Ben and Jade

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Jessica: I WAS ONLY IN JAIL FOR 4 DAYS.
Joe Smith: I was able to bail out. But then I went back for a probation violation and spent 21 days in the jail.
Rod: 20 days sts and then turned into jail time
Ben: I did not need to go to any sentencing because I qualified for the program
Jade: 21 months to do 6 months.

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?
Jessica: YES. THE HOLDING CELL WAS KIND OF SCARY FOR ME AS THIS WAS MY FIRST OFFENSE. I THINK THE PEOPLE IN THE HOLDING CELL WERE THE SCARIEST. THE CELL ITSELF WAS CLEAN, BUT PLAIN. THERE WAS A PHONE AND A FEW BENCHES TO SIT ON, NOTHING SPECTACULAR.
Joe Smith: The holding cell was disgusting. 20-30 men in one room with an overflowing toilet and nothing to do but sit there for 12 hours.
Rod: After I was arrested and booked in the jail. I saw officers provoke inmates, call them names that i have never heard, they even put me in a cell and told me it would be 5min that turned into 3hrs they would not answer the buzzer when I pushed it, if I saw an officer and knocked on the door they would look back and keep walking. Eventually they came and said you can come out now its time to send you into population.
Ben: I did not have any sentencing so I did not have to spend any more time in a holding cell. I was actually released on my own recognizance as long I as promised to come back to court
Jade: Yes, I spent time inthe holding cell. It was cold. there was a fowl oder, and I was alone and hungrey. They took a long time before they came and transported me back to the county.

If you or someone you love will be spending time in Ramsey County Jail, you may be wondering what to expect. Going to jail can be scary, especially if this is your first time. While we can't promise that serving time will be worry free, having the right information can help you feel more prepared for the experience.

We have interviewed former inmates of Ramsey County, who have shared their tips in insights in the hopes that their experiences can help someone like you. Their interviews can be accessed by clicking the links to your left. Take a few minutes to read their stories, and find out what life is really like in the Ramsey County Jail.

Food
Ramsey County provides inmates with three meals per day. The food gets mixed reviews. One inmate reported that the food is excellent, saying that she really looked forward to the meals. Her favorite meal was the hot roast beef sub with cheese and onions.

Other inmates described the food as "poor at best" and "insufficient and nasty." Inmates who have money on their account can order snacks from the jail commissary to supplement food the jail provides.

Telephones and Visits
Keeping in touch with family and friends on the outside is pretty important to most people who are locked up. Ramsey County has phones available to inmates. Inmates can only call individuals who can accept collect calls or who have a special account set up on their phones. The phones reportedly have a lot of static noises and are prone to hang up in the second minute of the phone call. The jail most likely screens the calls of inmates.

Visitation is held are not held in person, but rather over a video feed into the housing unit. This doesn't allow for much privacy during visits.

Clothing
Ramsey County inmates generally wear orange jumpsuits/scrubs. One inmate reported that he was only issued one pair of underwear and never had the opportunity to exchange them for clean ones. In this situation, many inmates wash their own underwear in the shower or in their sink.


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