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Harris County Jail Closing Advice, Texas

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Closing Advice

Interview with Julie, Inmate's Sister, Claire, Jim, Smyth, Ken, Charlene, Greg, GMan, Jamie, Leisha, Toby, Lisa, Consuela, John, Tom, nogboy, Rachel, Ralph, Chris, Sandy, Ginger, Craig, Lesley and Tiffany

JM: What else would you want a friend or family member to know if they have a loved one going to this jail?
Julie: Please pray for them thats a hard place to been in i was only there for 6 days and it damn near broke me i cna only imagine what is like for those who have to stay longer
Inmate's Sister: just save enough money where you could afford a good lawyer because the court appointed ones dont try they best
Claire: I think that pretty much sums it up. I mean, it's hard to know what to expect because what's tough or difficult for one person to cope with may not be so much for another person. Just stay supportive, write them letters and/or visit if you can, and don't abandon that person just because they are in jail. We all make mistakes. Some of us just get caught.
Jim: The booking process takes at least 36 hours. Always remember when being booked in and walking any where in the jail you must walk with your hands behind your back or they will jump on you fast. They tell you this at the booking process. Wear a white t shirt, white socks and white boxers before going in. Anything other than white they will take away. You cant wear your tennis shoes. You must wera their shower shoes to court unless going to trial.
Smyth: Give them a gun and a bullet first so they have another choice.
Ken: Where "white only" socks and underwear.
Charlene: yes, pray, that is the only thing that got me through it.
Greg: rememeber everyone is nervious about jail either if you assume the judge., is crap or not assume for your shakes you go in there and give credit where it's due, yourself, learn, live and move on, this is your being bigger than the ceel block your in, nothing can change you, you will be the same when you leave. a Good person.
GMan: Keep to yourself, do not make friends. Once you open your mouth you are a commodity. If you keep your mouth shut, you are an unknown....it's better be an unknown.
Jamie: stay away
Leisha: YES,CALL YOUR LAWYER,BECAUSE HARRIS COUNTY DOES ALOT OF RACIAL PROFLING
Toby: just visit them and write to them that always help me keep in good spirits.
Lisa: If you are of an alternate faith,Have a book of those scriptures(or sayings,etc) on you. If you are deaf or Hispanic,the officers take too long trying to find someone to interpret.
Consuela: Our freedom comes on the other side of the pen. Letters, pictures, visits, or money make time a little easier.Everyone messes up, no ones perfect. If you were smiling in their face in the world and aren't there while they are locked up....they won't forget.
John: I was taken to jail for minor traffic warrants, and because of this, I incorrectly believed I would be released in a matter of hours. Even if you are bonded out the exact second you arrive, it's still going to be a 30-40 hour stay in various holding cells. The constable who took me in told me to expect a 3-4 hour stay - he obviously wasn't aware of the Harris county jail procedures. Most of the people I talked to said the same thing - once you are in, you aren't getting out for a while.
Tom: Lend them as much emotional support you can and encourage them to seek out as much help as the facility provides. If you have the means to put money in their inmate account or to enable them to use the phone it goes a long way to help them find some normalcy in their new living situation.
nogboy: Visit as often as you can to break the monotany, time seems to stand still in there. Add funds to their phone, and commissary accounts.
Rachel: It's tough, don't think about it until you get there. Otherwise your doing more time in your mind
Ralph: First, they are going to be cut off from you for long periods of time. Phones are hard to use. Visitation is a major chore. Letters are about the only way to communicate effectively. Second, time moves at a different speed for inmates. It will be easy for them to forget that you have the hectic day to day life of someone in the free world. To them, a letter is gold. So write often. And be patient when they sound insistent and impatient in their letters. You can't imagine what it's like for them on the inside. Also, they are going to have very little control over what is happening to them. You need to be prepared to do everything for them, like getting an attorney, putting money on their books, keeping them encouraged, expect that their letters will always have things that they want and need you to do.
Chris: this jail can be kind of a rough place . i would tell them to always carry thereself with confidence and dont look like a victim . also dont argue with the guards , tell them yes sir and nosir . the guards will beat you up if you get out of line.
Sandy: That is very very cold the food sucks they treat you like animals visits are only 20 minutes make sure that you have money on your books and make sure that you keep in contact with you lawyer
Ginger: I would tell them to stay to themselves, wash their hands, stay busy, read some books and try to dress very warmly if you know that you are going to be in there.
Craig: You are not allowed to give inmates clothes that they can wear on the Pod. If they don't have Tenner Shoes, your back will hurt you really bad from walking on the floors etc. You can not give them tenner shoes if you go to Court and have to go to jail and don't have tenner shoes on you are pretty well hurting. I would recommend going to court in jeans and wearing tenner shoes in case you have to go to jail. Wear a Sweatshirt so you can use it to sleep on while laying down in the cells.
Lesley: that jail is not a vacation no one is ever polite or helpful the officers will do as they please as do not be impatient it will do you no good

JM: If somebody knows they will be serving time in this jail what is your advice to them?
Julie: Keep your mouth shut at all times
Inmate's Sister: make sure you dont do nothing wrong to get you in the system becasuse once you in you will take the case for anything or anyone.
Claire: Like I said, it's hard to know what to expect. The best thing to do is mind your own business, be yourself, and try to find something to keep you busy.
Jim: Do your time, stay away from the cowards in the gangs. Just keep to yourself and you'll be okay.
Smyth: A gun and a bullet.
Ken: Bring as much money as you can to put on account for the commessary and wear white underwear and socks. If you want to get out on time, make sure all of your fines are paid in advance. They will keep you longer if you owe money to pay it off. Information is hard to come by once you are in there. Ask any questions you have before you show up. In my case, I was given a report date to turn myself in. Be on time, do what you're told, mind your own business and get it behind you. Good Luck.
Charlene: yes, don't go in with an injury, cuz I saw an officer pull a girl off the bench by her injured foot. He drug her down the hall by her foot. If the other officers had not told him to put her in a wheel chair, there is no telling what would have happened to her. The date is even marked in my mind. July 18th, 2008
Greg: Eat a big meal before you go into the drop the soap jailhouse of blues, lots of hatered but god saves everyone.
Jamie: learn your lessons the 1st time and choose your battles wisely
Leisha: WHEN YOU GET OUT OF JAIL DON'T GO BACK; AND CONTACT SOMEONE WHO CARES
Toby: just stay to yourself and nobody will mess with you.don't get in nobody else business and that's basically it..
Lisa: Stash a deck of cards in your shoe.They won't be as likely to confiscate them.
Consuela: Keep your head up, stay strong in your faith and take mental note not to mess up like this again. I also suggest don't listen to any of them jail house attorneys, get a real attorney. God has the final say so, no matter what.
Tiffany: Don't go here. If you have to be arrested talk to an attorney - a good attorney might help you reduce your jail time or avoid it altogether.
Tom: Remember that you have no control over your surroundings or other people. Avoid confrontation and keep to yourself and you won't have any problems. Do what the guards say and follow directions and orders. Also, this is just a small piece of time in your life and you are there for a reason. Take advantage of what programs jail has to offer and use the time wisely.
nogboy: The detention officers dont play, do everything they say, reguardless of how ridiculous there requests are. And dont talk back, they are always looking for a reason to punish you. Dont turn an already miserable experience into and unbearable one.
Rachel: Live it up until you get locked up
Ralph: Make your phone calls as early as possible in the intake process. The phones are free when you are being booked in. After that they cost money and are difficult to use. Try to get as much done during that intake process as you can. once you make it to a bunk your contact with the outside world becomes virtually non existent. Have money in your pockets when you are arrested. That money will be put on your books, so you'll have money almost right away. Having that money is going to give you a leg up in getting your case moving along and getting the things you need while you are there. Find a cell where you can be left alone and stay there. Most of the fights and abuse happen when you start getting involved with the wrong people. Read, write letters, make few friends and do your time the easy way, not the hard way.
Chris: my best advice to someone that will be serving time in the harris county jail is to get a worker position as soon as you get sentenced . notonly doe this cut three quarters of the time off your sentence but the workers are a lot less rowdy than the rest of the inmates too.
Sandy: To take one day at at time and keep your head and try to stay as positive as you can. Make sure that you have money and that people send you mail that is very important to know that you have people out ther
Ginger: I would say that they should try to stay to themselves, find things to keep themselves busy, don't listen to what people tell you in there and again stay to themselves.
Craig: Have someone in your family or have a friend put money on your books so that you can get commissary each week. Have a calling Card to call someone from the Main Intake booths if you get arrested. You are allowed to call from that with your calling card. After you go up stairs your Wallet etc is locked up. You can make collect calls with a calling card. After that you have to call collect from the phones on the Pod. Be sure your friend or relative can except collect calls. When you get questioned by the Intake Nurse after the Guards search you etc, tell the Nurse that you have Drug and Alcohol issues so that you can be put on pod 2c or the 5th floor. 2 C is the best Pod to go to, better then the 5th floor. There is no fights there and you get alot of commissary and you are out of your cell mostly alot of the time.
Lesley: keep your head down never talk back to the guards ......make sure you have someone sending you commissary money makes life a lot easier and you wont go hungry not sa good feeling there

JM: Please list any other jail or rehab facilities you have been to.
Ralph: I was only in Harris County jail. It was my first time ever in jail and it will be my last.
Chris: garza west , fdc houston , liedell rrc , oregon state pen , darrington unit , the walls , holliday unit, columbia river correctional institution , eastern oregon correctional institution , and numerous county jails
Sandy: non I have only been to Harris County Jail
Ginger: Brazoria county and fort bend county
Craig: none
Lesley: went to rehad in springdale ark over 24 years ago can not remember name was thur the church

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