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Interview with DC, Keith, Joe, Heidi, Dillon, Kami, Linda, Gregg, Matthew, Damon, David, Shelley and Justin

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
Linda: Some.
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.

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.

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
DC: No.
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
Heidi: no
Dillon: No.
Kami: no
Linda: No
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.

Read about time off for good behavior in the Tarrant County Jail

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