Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Bergen County Jail
Fred: It was just those two months I was being held awaiting trial.
Alfred: The charges carried a sentance of 5 years.
Darryl: My sentence was 6 months in jail and 10 year license suspension
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?
Fred: No. We were taken in this little room outside the courtroom while we waited to be called up. After the trial, they took me back and that was it.
Alfred: Untill I was processed, I was locked in an interview room in Franklin Lakes, then In a holding cell from 6:30 pm till 4:00 am Sat morning till they could send me upstairs.
Darryl: Yes I was held at the cell in the police station for about four hours before they transported me to the county jail. They just left me in there with nothing
Life On the Inside
Bergen County, New Jersey is the most populated county in the state. It falls to the Bergen County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) to enforce the law and maintain the court and criminal justice facilities. The Bergen County Jail holds up to 1,200 inmates. The prison population consists of inmates on a pre-trial status, convicted felons and persons who have violated immigration laws.
This is a fairly new facility which houses inmates in cell blocks. There are approximately 44 inmates in each block. Inmates are housed in two-man cells. According to inmate interviews the overall vibe of Bergen County seems to be a mellow one.
Medical Care in Bergen County Jail
The jail is proud of its record of providing continuous medical staff onsite. This was confirmed by our inmate interview who said that access to the doctors was easy; you just needed to fill out a slip. Medications were provided to those inmates in need three times a day.
Although food wasn't given high marks (stay away from the rice and beans!) inmates are allowed to purchase snack and food items from the commissary once a week. There is a television for the inmates to watch during the day. Additionally, books from the library are made available and inmates have daily access to the open yard.
Good Behavior Policy
For good behavior an inmate is given one day off for every five days served. If you can be assigned to a work detail and perform your duties as instructed you can receive even more time off.
Visitor and Phone Policy
One of the most common requests by inmates is for visits. At Bergen County Jail, inmates are allowed visitors once a week. The day of that visit is determined by which housing facility the inmate is incarcerated in. It is best to check with the jail to arrange a visiting time.
Visitors and inmates meet through a glass partition and talk on the phone. Visitors must present a valid state issued ID during the check in process and no packages will be allowed for any inmate. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
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