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Passaic County Jail Pre-sentencing, New Jersey

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Pre-sentencing

Interview with Brad, Chuck, Ben, Brit and Carl

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Brad: I was one of 200 inmates from Philadelphia that was transferred to PCJ because of over-crowding in our on jail system.We came there on June 1,2008.
Chuck: Presentencing happened post-release
Ben: I was arrested and brought to the county jail and was I housed on the 2nd floor with about 60 people in a cell that was supposed to hold about 40 people. I was bailed out two weeks later and waited approximately a year for presentencing because the courts were backed up.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Brad: No
Chuck: Was arrested at my job and given very few details. brought back to my apartment where a search warrent was being executed. was transported over two hours away from my house where it was hinted at by sherrif's deputies that if i confessed there was a possability i could go home that evening. upon interrogation and complete cooperation i was told i was being housed in PCJ untill trial.
Ben: The crime happened around 11:30 pm and the officers arrived at my home around 6am the next morning. About 20 officers arrived at my house and pushed open my front door and handcuffed me while I was in bed. I was transported to the Clifton police station and processed then brought over to the Passaic county jail.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Brad: We were all sentenced inmates.
Brit: 4 months to court date
Chuck: Bail reduction hearings are a joke/waste of time. as i was informed after release it is more of a formaility then a hearing. the judge's mind is already made up. you are simply brought before him to have the decision read on the record. actual trial (or in my case the acceptance of a plea deal and allocution) went smoothly... once you make it to the court house that is. you are pulled from your unit after breakfast tray (which is between 3 and 4 AM mind you) and brought to a holding cell near central command on the first floor and sit in said cell for approximately 3 - 4 hours. you are then shackled and packed into a poorly ventilated van and driven literally around the corner to the passiac county court house, brought in through the basement garage where you are placed in another holding cell along with others facing trial. they then start calling names of inmates at a rate of about 6 or 7 at a time to be brought up via private elevator to the courtroom floor where you are made to wait in (you guessed it) another holding cell. you see the judge and then you pretty much reverse the trip through holding cells. should you miss the one van back to the jail at aproximately 12:30PM you are made to wait for the next van back at about 4pm. in my case i was to be released after my allocution date. that process was actually fairly quick. from the time i returned to the jail to the time i was asked to "pack my shit" as they put it was a little less then an hour.
Ben: The court had a very cold feeling to it. There are pews for the people in court. The judge, prosecutors and lawyers were there. My lawyer met me in the court room. I was kept in a holding cell with about 60 other prisoners. The holding cell is about a 10x10 room.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Brit: vop
Chuck: i'd rather not say.
Ben: Original charges were attempted murder and I was charged with aggrevated assault with a deadly weapon.
Carl: My charge was for driving while suspended----No DWIbut I got in more trouble for not showing up for anserwing the charges My

Read about sentencing in the Passaic County Jail

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