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Interview with Brad, Brit, Chuck and Ben

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Brad: I was housed with inmates who were unable to contact loved ones because of the cost of a collect call to philly(4.89 for the first min then .89 cents per min).Many also had to do State sentenced time as well, and our families had to travel all the way from Philadelphia to visit us for a half hour visit.So yes it was very hard to keep the peace and befriend people.
Brit: yes all nasty stealing fighting
Chuck: my only bad expirence was with a person whom was not well liked in the jail by anyone, guard nor inmate. beyond that i stayed to myself and even made some friendships inside. people took care of me.
Ben: I didn't find it difficult to get along with the other inmates. Most of the people were just waiting to go to court so they were on good behavior besides a couple of altercations regarding space which I wasn't included in.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Brad: I tried not to look at people who were visibly frustrated. I stayed close to my bed and watched television most of the day. I cleaned the unit daily to stay out of the way and to tire myself out. I didnt comment on things that didnt pertain directly to me and I walked away from those who wanted to fight.
Brit: not talk to anyone
Chuck: well for the most part you just take the ostrich approach and bury your head in the sand. stick to yourself. unwanted eye contact is enough to set someone off. and respecting a person's space goes a long way inside.
Ben: I kept to myself. I cleaned up after myself. I showered to avoid the room getting an odor of body odor. Some prisoners wouldn't shower and would get picked on the most because it would aggravate some of the other prisoners. I didn't gamble to avoid arguments. I didn't converse too much with anyone.

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Brad: If you mean chose one to be on my unit, the answer is No.We were not allowed to be placed with friends.
Brit: hell no they jammed 60 people in a 40 bed unit
Chuck: no. you went where you were told and didn't argue about it.
Ben: No I wasn't able to choose. I was kept in a holding cell which was very overpopulated. There were approximately 60 people in a cell that only had about 40 beds.

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

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