Full interview (by category)
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
Bell County Jail
111 West Central Avenue
Raymond: The original charge was dimissed. But while I was waiting for that to happen I was in Bell County for 35 days and it was the worst.
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?
Raymond: Never left the jail once.
Note:The links to the left under "life in jail" provide a unique look inside the Bell County Jail with exclusive interviews from ex-inmates.
Life on the Inside
Located just south of Dallas on the I35, Bell County Jail serves the counties of Belton and Kileen, Texas. Inmates are housed in open dorm settings referred to as pods. There could be anywhere between 8 to 10 inmate per pod with ten pods on each floor. There is a TV on each floor with limited access. Inmates are occasionally given recreation time in the indoor gym, but there is no chance to go outside.
Inmates are provided with three meals a day. As you can imagine, these meals aren't rated very high on a taste scale. Most inmates depend on commissary privileges where they can purchase snacks like Ramen noodles on a weekly basis. To purchase items from the commissary, an inmate needs to have a family or friend place money on their account.
The J.A.I.L. Ministries provides spiritual outreach in the form of bible study, church services and counseling.
If an inmate becomes ill during their time, they are allowed to visit the medical staff on-call. For over the counter medications, the inmates will be charged against their commissary account.
Good Behavior Time
With a misdemeanor charge, an inmate is given two days off their sentence for every day served. With a felony charge it is a day for day. As a jail trustee, the inmate is allowed extra privileges and given more time off of their sentence. As you would expect, good behavior is defined as staying out of trouble. Any time an inmate is written up for an infraction could jeopardized their good behavior time.
Visitors and Phone Privileges
The only phone call an inmate can make is to an outside landline that has been set up in advance of their prison time. There is an additional charge to set up this line. Inmates are allowed to purchase telephone calling cards to make calls on the established lines.
Inmates are allowed two twenty minutes visits per week. The visiting hours are Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Visitors must present a photo I.D. and be registered by the inmate on a visitor's request list. Visitors can expect to talk with the inmate over phones and through a glass wall partition just as you've seen in the movies and on television.
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