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Dallas County Jail Leisure Time, Texas

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Leisure Time

Interview with Charles, m ray, Leon, Jean, Accountant, Hot attorney, Lil Will, Cam, big boi, Claire, Walt, Carl, Ed, Devin, Mitch and Ronaldo

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Charles: Recreation was available every weekday once a day for an hour. Depending on your housing location you were inside or outside rec. North tower and decker have outside rec. i think all the others are inside. church is usually available on weekends. In the towers church services are reliable, in the other jails they are rarely available.
m ray: sh* really nothing rec maybe a couple times a week depends wheater those lazy f*s want to do there job other than that there church and thats it
Leon: Rec. time once per day mostly inside at the basketball court. They usually didn't have outside rec. as it took more officers to watch inmates. Television from 6am. to 10pm.
Jean: Well, the library cart comes one a week and you can check out three books. Everybody tries to pick something you can pass around, because it's a long day. Bibles are hard to come by. Everyone wants to get religion once they get locked up. Myself included! You get religion, for whatever reason. So, the library cart comes once a week if you're lucky. The problem was they would always cater to the men, so by the time it got to the girls, there wasn't all that much to choose from. I have since taken all of my books - I buy them at garage sales - and I take them to the County, and I take them for the girls. The other big pastime is the TV. That will create nothing short of a riot. When you get there, there's always a group of girls that have control of the TV. I literally mean control of the TV. If you don't like what they're watching, tough shit. If you want to watch a soap opera, you better hope it's what they're watching.
Accountant: I was in one holding cell to the next holding cell........there was no leisure time.
Hot attorney: Nothing.
Lil Will: TV dominos cards recreation and some illegal shit
Cam: They would come around with the book cart once every week allowing your tank to only get 6 books. Church on sundays (if they have not reached the limit.)And recreation was available at the discretion of the officers working the floor.. In most cases the officers did not want to deal with the hassle of watching the inmates while they went to recreation.
big boi: wreck time
Claire: types of facilities that help pass the time is trusteeing,maybe going to rec,attending church,going to class.i tried to stay very active on all things mentioned due to i'm an active person.even going to law library was fundamental and helped in pre trail process;able to obtain insite on new laws to help
Walt: Board games like chess, Yahtzee, checkers, dominoes, cards. We had to share a rec yard with another tank we would get it one day them the next. The other tank was the senior tank they had a meeting room and you had to request a transfer to that tank as they had special privileges, more rec time and aa meetings.
Carl: There are no facilities at this jail available to help pass the time, there is only the cell you stay in and i had to sleep most of the time to help pass the time, and talk to the very few people I felt were safe enough to talk to.
Ed: well they have tv that you can watch but you can only watch what all the other people watch in the tank fights over the tv erupt all the time is is not a pretty thing they have book cart that comes buy once a week but not very many books
Devin: We were supposed to have rec at least one time a day but sometimes we didn't get to go out. It basically depended on the mood of the pod officer or the conduct of the pod. We could also play cards, dominoes, and chess but inmates had to buy those items from the jail store.
Mitch: Books and recreation, via gym time. Most people just walked around or staged fights, hooked-up, etc. I wrote a lot and many inmates find their writing ability while locked up. Some write plays, others rap, it just depends on education levels and how long you will be locked up. I read my bible as well.
Ronaldo: There was a library that would come time to time with books that you could check out to help you pass the time. A pack of cards was out (incomplete) and a chess board(again,incomplete) Besides that, there really wasn't anything that was offered to us. We had to sort of come up with our own games.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Charles: never went to Rec.
m ray: u watch tv or play cards
Leon: Anyone could go to rec. Television was usually by popularity but sometimes someone would want to fight over what to watch.
Jean: The TV is on first thing in the morning - I think it comes on at 7. Of course, you get up to eat at 4am. I think it came on at 7am, and then it usually would go off at midnight during the week, and 2am on the weekends. It's the weekend, so they try to treat you like it's the weekend. It's pretty fierce competition, with the pecking order. I've come pretty close to fighting myself, I mean, this is what I want to watch!
Accountant: No
Hot attorney: Didn't want to watch tv.
Lil Will: Most fights are over TVs on weekends its sports versus movies.
Cam: Fierce..Basketball was only available.. The tv in the tanks was the cause of 90% of the fights in your tank..there was always someone who wanted to watch only what they wanted to watch and they did not care about the other inmates..The fight was on..
big boi: we had tv...
Claire: only entertainment you get in jail is when you have a character come on your tank;clowning all the time..like bothering the c.o's,complaining about unnecessary issues,coming off a drug binge or just wanna act a fool.i personally don't see any competition in known of this.i had regular access to be outside the tanks cleaning
Walt: We could request whatever channel we wanted to watch depending on our collective behavior would determine if they would grant our requests or not.We would mostly agree on a channel after they surfed them through by democratic vote. There was always a few dissenters but the majority was always clear.
Carl: No entertaiment was there to compete over. There was no television, no exercise room, no basketball court, no smoke room, just my cell, and all i could do is sleep as much as i can to pass the time and talk to a few people and then sleep some more.
Ed: like I said before you have to watch what the tank bosses watch they hog the tv you don't have a choice at all if you change the tv you always have problems or someone will beat you up it is all about intimation and fear you just have to go with the flow so to speak
Devin: There were two tvs but there was competition on what we could watch. The pod officer usually decided what we're going to watch just to keep the confusion at bay. Most of the time there was one tv that played a Spanish speaking channel and the other was on an English speaking channel.
Mitch: I do not understand what you mean by ENTERTAINMENT. This was jail. the only entertainment I was privy to was violence. In North Tower, once I wrote a skit for the in-mates o perform and when the CO's and especially the SRT's got wind of it they shook us down and put the entire cell on restriction for a week. WHY? I have no idea.
Ronaldo: Yes we did have regular access to the entertainment. Basically everyone would agree to watch a certain channel but when I got there, there was already a schedule that the inmates had already come up with. For example, black inmates would have the T.V. the first half of the day and hispanic inmates would have it in the later half.

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Charles: I lost some weight, but mostly due to not eating much.
m ray: i dont know i am usually so strung out in end up getting in shape
Leon: No I was a trustee working 6 days per week.
Jean: No, we didn't have any facilities to workout whatsoever.
Accountant: No
Hot attorney: I was in for just 4 days. Thank God a great lawyer named John Read bailed me out.
Cam: No..you would normally work out in your own cell.
big boi: no
Claire: yes,i had a hard time due to all the starchy food I ate daily.there really is no way to get your cardio up.
Walt: No it was actually easy because the calorie intake was so low a very light workout and you would lose a lot of weight. I hardly did any exercise but lost weight 4-5 pounds on light activity.
Carl: Yes I had a hard time staying in shape in this jail as their is no exercise facilities and the cell was so packed it was hard to have my own space to do anything
Ed: well I did not I did push ups and walked in circles around the day room you have to do it yourself or you will get weak
Devin: Not really because there was not much else to do but work out. It helped pass the time and it kept my mind from wandering o on my sisituation.
Mitch: No, that was the easy part. The meals provided by the jail are meant to sustain life and that is all. Many inmates had a hard time and often complained of hunger however, I weigh 143 lbs. and enjoy my size, therefore, soy and vegetables suit.
Ronaldo: Not really. The guards wouldn't allow us to do any excercises in the pod but then again the food that was served didn't exactly make you fat.

JM: How often did you get to go outside? What did you do outside if you were allowed to? If you were not allowed to go outside what could you do for exercise?
Charles: Never unless I was being transferred between jails/court.
m ray: maybe 3 times aweek
Leon: Daily on the ride to where we worked.
Jean: You're supposed to get yard time like you see on TV where you're supposed to go outside and get fresh air, but it's not going to happen. Not in Dallas county. You never get out. You never see daylight. The whole time I was there, I never got out. It's very inhumane.

You might see some girls walking around the room exercising a little bit, but for the most part, no. There's too many beds and people, and the TV is going, and people yell at you to get out of the way - it's just hardly worth it. There is no working out.
Accountant: N/A
Lil Will: Every day if you want Deker and New Hollands let you go outside but at Sterek they are inside gyms
Cam: Never!!!!!
big boi: none
Claire: at north tower we was not allowed outside had inside gym which consisted of a volleyball net,ball on a basketball court.very little to do with that
Walt: We had our own rec yard split with another tank and as I stated before we had it one day they had it the next but we had it everyday for at least an hour and on our main day we had it 3-4 times a day. Basket ball goal and 3-4 balls.
Carl: I did not get to go outside at all, this jail does not let inmates outside, we just stay in our cell. If i could exercise it was minimal and in the cell.
Ed: well once a day usually 6 am in the morning they have a little court withbasketball goal and you can walk in circles around the court
Devin: We usually would get to go out once a day and when we did people either worked out or played basketball. There wasn't much else to it.
Mitch: WE did not go outside often at all. Sun light was non-existent, not too mention fresh air, we never had much of either. No surprise.
Ronaldo: Though I was trustee status, I never stepped foot outside. I heard that only certain inmates get to go outside and they were trustees that had been handpicked.

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Charles: Yes Lew Sterrett has them regularly, standard christen services are usually on Sundays, with bible study on Saturdays.
m ray: yes there in a tiny room a most of the time u wouldn t have it cause they dont have enough time to get to everyone
Leon: Yes. Volunteers were allowed to come and give services. Usually 2 times on the weekends.
Jean: Yeah - some guys came in and gave services on the weekend - they were nice.
Accountant: N/A
Cam: Church was on Sunday and Wed. for Catholics..However, they would only let out a certain number of inmates from each floor..if you were not in the ground and the limit was reached then you did not get to go to church.. Church was good, however most people would only go to see their friends and socialize and would not even pay attention to the sermon..
big boi: yes
Claire: yes,great midweek services held on Wednesdays and sundays;people take out the time to come aminister to the captured is wonderful
Walt: Sundays at 8:am where the church services for our tank and we had a bible study one night a week.
Carl: Dallas County jail does not offer church services nor will they give you a Bible to read to pass the time.
Ed: one time on sunday for an hour but they only take a few people first come first serve that is it
Devin: They did and they weren't bad. They were held in a room inside the pod and it was usually led by someone who had been in our shoes.
Mitch: Yes that is the one thing that was a constant. Being in the bible belt, there is every kind of service imaginable. Most people go to get out of their cells.
Ronaldo: I was no locked up on a Sunday but I did hear they would offer it and there were regular prayer meetings

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