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Passaic County Jail

11 Sheriff Plz
Paterson, NJ 07501-1899
(973) 881-4620

Interview with Brad, Brit, Chuck and Ben

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Brad: 9months-23months with a year probation.
Brit: timed served
Chuck: plea deal called for time served at time of plea.
Ben: I was sentenced to a suspended 5 years with 5 years probation

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?
Brad: I was on a unit that had 16 bunk beds that had 3- beds each.There was 3 showers but rarely did all 3 showers work at the same time.The sewage drain would back up onto the unit and there was an infestation of flying bugs that would get in our ears and on our food.We didnt have any hot water from Aug.12,2008 until Nov.29,2008.Then after 37days of hot water it went out again until the end of Jan/2009.The food was serve cold frequently and the "air-conditioning" was very in effective.We refused the food for to meals until they promised to ensure that it would be served hot, but that only lasted a few days and then it was back to food being served cold.
Chuck: yes i did, but merely as part of the release process and was in a holding cell with others waiting to be released. if any part of the jail process could be considered pleasant i would say this part was, as the others were more concerned about what their first real meal in a long time was going to be or what fresh new sneakers they wanted to get or dying to get to the nearest bodega for a pack of smokes. their attention was not on me except to ask those same questions.
Ben: No I didn't spend any time in a holding cell after sentencing. I was already out on bail and only received probation so I went home after the judge sentenced me.

Have you ever wondered with life is like behind the locked doors of the Passaic County Jail? Maybe you or someone you love is headed there to serve some time, or maybe you are just curious. No matter why the interest, you have come to the right place.

We have interviewed former inmates of Passaic County, who have shared their experiences about life in this facility. They share their inside knowledge ranging from how to get along with other inmates to what the inmates wear. You can read their interviews by clicking the links to the left. Take a few minutes to read their stories and get a glimpse into day to day life in the Passaic County Jail.

Getting Along
Each jail has its own unique culture and set of unspoken rules among the inmates. It can be helpful to know some of these things so you can avoid unnecessary fights and problems. All former inmates we interviewed agreed that the best approach to take with other inmates is to mind your own business.

Don't talk to those who are visible frustrated, and don't get involved in the conflicts of others. One former inmate said that he stayed out of trouble by doing a lot of cleaning, which also wore him out so he could sleep. Don't comment on discussions that don't pertain to you, and walk away from fights. Following this advice can help you avoid a lot of problems in Passaic County.

Meals
Passaic County provides three meals per day to the inmates. One former inmate commented that on occasion they run out of food and only serve two meals for that day. The food is rated as about a 3 on a scale of 1-10.

Chicken is referred to as "yard bird" by the inmates and is described as "anorexic looking and poorly prepared." Another inmate said the food wasn't good but the tuna and chicken were tolerable. Inmates who have money on their accounts can buy additional snacks from the canteen.

The price of these snacks is very high, with a packet of Ramen noodles costing about 90 cents and a small bag of chips $3.


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