Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Oneida County Jail
6075 Judd Road
Tom: It would have been 2 years county jail or go to treatment. So I took the treatment.
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?
Tom: That was horrible. It's like six or seven days in a holding cell before you go into general population. You got to go out for an hour to shower and that was it. Nothing in there to do or books to read or anything.
If you or someone you know is heading to the Oneida County Jail in upstate New York you can know what to expect from exclusive interviews of ex-inmates of the jail.
Time off for good behavior
Many people don't realize that when you are sentenced to serve a year in jail you rarely end up serving that full year. Unless you run your mouth constantly to deputies, fight with other inmates or break other jail rules, you can reduce your sentence by 1/3 in the Oneida County Jail. This means that on a one year sentence you will probably only serve eight months.
The key to ensuring you get your time off is getting along with other inmates. The best advice ex-inmates of OCJ give is that you should keep to yourself for the most part. Don't go in acting like you're tough or somebody else will call you on it. You don't want to be put in a situation where you have to fight to save face - you will either end up getting in trouble for fighting or everybody will take advantage of you for your full stay in the jail.
Telephones in Oneida County Jail
Using the telephone isn't cheap - you have to have somebody on the outside setup a line with a $50 deposit. They are then billed $1.25 for each minute you speak with them (with a maximum time limit of 15 minutes per day). This means that if you use your maximum daily allowance you will be spending almost $20/day in phone calls.
It is much cheaper to either have visitors come and see you (though at best you will be able to get one per week) or write letters to your friends and family on the outside.
Meals in Oneida County Jail
Food in jail is not supposed to be luxurious but as one ex-inmate puts it, "on a scale of one to ten it would be in the negatives." If you have people on the outside willing to put some money on your books you should invest it in commissary. Once per week you can order food off of commissary that can supplement (or completely replace) the food the jail is providing you.
Commissary still isn't 5-star dining, but after a few inedible meals you will probably be happy with a bowl of Ramen noodles.
To learn more about the Oneida County Jail browse the links on the left - all information comes from ex-inmates of the jail.
Continue to the interview