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Full interview (by category)Interview with DC, Keith, Joe, Heidi, Dillon, Kami, Linda, Gregg, Matthew, Damon, David, Shelley, Justin, Steve, Jack, Rachel, Conrad, John and Ted
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
DC: No, I was a teenager when I was there (18) and they thought of me as such. Most of them talked to me and told me that jail was NOT the place to be. I haven't been since.
Keith: Not diificult, some are challenging. Inmates have respect for each other or "catch a square" (fight).
Joe: thats the worst part of it!
Heidi: at times yes- little things become a big deal- like what to watch on television
Dillon: I stayed away from ost of them except to ask to borrow a pen to fill out my visitor card.
Kami: no not really some girls like to cause problems but you just need to stay away from them as best you can
Gregg: Yes it is very difficult to get along with the other inmates as a lot of them were there for really bad reasons, and were really bad people, with really bad and angry attitudes
Matthew: There were a lot of arguments but I just kept to myself. A lot of the guys were in groups and you could tell which ones were in charge and which were trying to stay out of fights.
Damon: I got along great with other inmates. I have always been good with other people I have always been a people person. I was never stingy with my commissary. If someone was indigent I would help them out by using them some on deodorant or if they needed a cup of coffee I would give it to them.
David: I got along with most inmates. The ones that seemed scary I avoided. My friend in there got beet extremely bad so I Learned to keep my mouth shut and just do my time.
Shelley: No. Everyone there was just wanting to do their time and get it over with. People were helpful if you had questions.
Justin: I did not have any real problems with offenders. I am a certified legal assistant and my area(s) of specialization include criminal law and administrative law as it applies to parolees. I offered my assistance to many that needed it.
Steve: I didn't have any problems with any of the inmates. I kept to myself and mostly read books, munched on honey buns and pretzel pieces and did push-ups. I had a letter or two to read about twice a week.
Jack: No, for the most part everyone got along because everyone just wants to do their time and get out. You always have knuckle heads that think they're top dog and start shit.
Rachel: Yes, i had to be confined in rotation which is a single man cell in a tank with 8 or 9 other women confined to there own cell. We were allowed out only on on our rotation to shower etc
Conrad: no because I knew a lot of guys and I'm a real cool person now I did have my share of arguments and fights but these things are inevitable in jail it just come a along with it
John: No, not really. Most everyone was there just to serve their time and get it behind them. A few people would act like idiots and I saw a few fights, but I got along pretty well with all races.
Ted: At times. I am normally easy to get along with and i cut up a lot. Many of the other inmates had a harsher sentence than i would have received so they were angry all the time
JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
DC: I didn't have fights or problems with any inmates. There's alot of stigma attached to inmates. Most of them are mothers, daughters, and want to get out of there and go home to their families.
Keith: You have to check inmates who have no respect. When your locked up with other people it makes it hard to "avoid" anything.
Joe: i kept to myself, didnt get in anyones business,
Heidi: I tried to keep my mouth shut, and remember the bigger picture- that i will not be here forever
Dillon: Stayed in my cell and read a book.
Kami: just kept to a small group of ppl
Linda: Stick to yourself and focus on you. Jail is not the place to make life long friends
Gregg: The types of things I had to do to avoid problems or fights with the other inmates that were there was not to make eye contact for any length of time, I had to stay quiet because I never knew what I could say that might offend someone which could bring harm my way
Matthew: I was on the top bunk and my feet were hanging down once I got into my bunk and the guy under me tried to start an argument with me but I just apologized and kept to my self. I was able to detour him. I also didn't make much eye contact.
Damon: In order to avoid problems with other inmates I had to mind my own business, watch how I spoke to other people, and give respect to everyone. I had to watch my own behavior because if I did something and it caused a shakedown and the guards check someone's tobacco or illegal belongings then its on me and then they'll wanna fight me over.
David: In order to avoid problems I kept my mouth shut and kept to myself. I didn't interact with anyone that I didn't have to. My cell mate told me that I had to sleep on the top bunk so to avoid problems I did it. Always remember drop one flush one.
Shelley: Didn't start any trouble or complained too much about things. We all knew it sucked. Kept my head down and just went along.
Justin: In order to avoid fights with other inmates, I had to respect them as individuals, respect their property and respect their space. This is done in many ways. One such example is not to have to fart or pass gas in their living areas but to step outside the cell door or get up from the table the offender is sitting at.
Steve: I don't think anybody wanted to fight me. The particular pod I was in wasn't volatile so I don't a lot of confrontation. I read my books, ate from my bag, and did my push-ups. I was a trustee and I worked in the kitchen after we served dinner. I slept in between it all.
Jack: Most of the time ignore it. Just stick with the people that are not trouble makers of stay to yyourself and keep your mouth shut. Sometimes it's hard to bite your tongue but just keep quiet and do your time. The trouble makers aka wannabes gangster will get their self rolled.
Rachel: I had to be confined to my own cell a few times. I preferred it that way because i am an aggressive person. Some of those women have nothing or no one to go home to so they pick out the more advantaged ones and antagonize them. People who were meek would get "punked" for their commissary. Its like being bullied in school but grown women instead
Conrad: Sometimes you just have to walk away and avoid things. U was involved in a fight and wasblater maced and shipped to another facility at the end of the day its not worth it but if you do choose to get in a fight make sure no one has any weapons are
John: That's pretty easy, just realize that you are with a lot of other people that are as happy to be there as you are. If you are using the wash tub for your clothes, don't just leave your clothes in it all day. If you want to watch a certain program on the TV, say something, but don't complain if others aren't interested. If your cellmate or bunkmate is sleeping, go somewhere else to talk or do anything disruptive.
Ted: I kept to myself. I would go to the rec area. I would read. I would watch tv. I slept. I changed my sleeping habits to avoid some inmatea and slept while they were awake vice versa. I stood my ground and remained the same person just paid attention to who i associated with more closely
JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Keith: For what? They put you in the new jail if your a first timer, Green Bay if you've been there before and the old jail if you get into trouble. There are people with misdemeanors housed with First degree felons.
Joe: pretty much
Gregg: No I nor any other inmate had to have a choice of who we wanted to choose to stay with, you do what the jail says to do when they say to do it.
Matthew: No I was not able to chose an inmate as my cellmate. My cell mate changed about 3 -4 times. It seems like people moved around and shifted a lot, maybe based on other people leaving or coming in.
Damon: In Tarrant County Jail you can never ever choose your cellmate. I was a trustee so I had cellmates coming and going because they would probably be in for tickets are misdemeanors and was getting good behavior. I wasn't getting good behavior I was just working to pass time .
David: I never got to choose a cell mate I don't think anyone there gets too. But I did have like 40 different cell mates though since I was in a pod.
Shelley: No. In a pod with about a dozen other inmates. Common area for TV and cards, checkers.
Justin: I did not have a cell-mate, but was assigned to a single cell instead. The cell block did have different cells housing two people in each one, but it was very difficult to utilize considering people were brought in and released too quickly before requests could be granted by offenders who tried to get moved in with a friend in a 2-men room/cell.
Steve: No, I wasn't able to choose my cellmate. I knew a few guys in there but it normally doesn't work that way. There were 20 some odd inmates in a pod with double bunks. Our cellmates changed maybe three times a week. Some guys were released and some guys caught chain to state jail or to penitentiary. I have seen case where guys were kited out though.
Jack: No, you have no freedoms or privileges. To the guards you're just a dog they have to cage up. Cellmates change everyday, sometimes every hour, day, week. There was about six of us that were the same the whole time.
Rachel: no one is allowed to choose. They come in and out fast all depending on if they are bondable or not once in the new jail i had 3 different bunkies in two days
Conrad: No you are usually assigned a cell before you even enter the tier. Your cellmateabwould usually change as soon as one goes home or FETs shipped. I had about 8 cellmates during my stay
John: At Cold Springs, I could pick the bunk I wanted to stay in, and I would always choose one that didn't have anyone above it so I wouldn't have to deal with anyone rustling around. Everywhere else, they pretty much tell you where you are going to stay.
Ted: No the beds and cells are assigned to us. We did not have a choice. In tarrant county I didnt have more than one cell mate i was there a sgort time
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