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Madison County Jail

100 Northside Sq
Huntsville, AL 35801-8815
(256) 532-3640

Interview with Collin, Robbie, Michelle and Lorrie

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Collin: I was given one year probation and did six months on probation. Then they wanted me to go to drug camp and pay all kinds of funds. I just didn't have that money so I went in and said take me off probation. So they did and I got ten days to serve out the rest of the sentence.
Robbie: 6 months suspended two years probabtion
Michelle: In 2005 I had a 5 year sentence and then in 2008 I had a 15 year sentence.
Lorrie: 1 year probation and 60 days

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?
Collin: 6-to ten miserable stinky pits, phones didn't work, stand ten deep in line
Robbie: I went back to population until they got my paperwork completed. It took a couple hours to do it. they then brought me down to booking and release had me sign some papers and let me out.
Michelle: They took me from the jail to a holding cell and I waited like 5 - 6 hours before court in a single cell. Then after being sentenced they bring you back and you go straight back up to population.
Lorrie: It was the worse the cell was freezing cold the phone didnt work and they ignored you when you asked a question. and you didnt eat till you got to your regular cell

If you know somebody in the Madison County Jail in Huntsville, Alabama you probably have some questions about what they should expect as an inmate and what you should expect as their friend on the outside. Read ex-inmate interviews for information you won't find anywhere else. You can find the interview questions by following links on the left-hand side under "Life in Jail."

Time off for good behavior
It is pretty rare these days to ever serve your full sentence. The most obvious reason for this is the stead increase in inmate populations over the past few decades. Jail administrators usually like good behavior time (more commonly known as "good time") because it gives inmates an incentive to follow the rules.

In the Madison County Jail you can earn up to 20% of your time off by avoiding fights, listening to the guards and just generally staying out of trouble. This might not seem like a lot of time but when you consider that on a ten month sentence you will probably only serve eight months it might make more sense. Good time is almost automatic, you usually have to get in a lot of trouble to lose it.

Staying in touch with the outside
One thing that will help you pass time behind bars is having regular communication with people on the outside. Face to face visits sound great but talking to your loved ones behind a glass wall on a phone can be difficult (especially when the visiting room is noisy because it can get very loud). Phone calls are convenient since inmates have access to a phone every day but phones are very expensive - you can easily spend a couple hundred dollars within a few weeks if you aren't careful.

It may seem outdated but sending letters from and to the jail is still a very popular form of communication. Getting a letter at mail call can really make an inmate's day. If an inmate doesn't have money on their "books" to purchase stamps, paper and pencils these will sometimes be provided to allow the inmate to keep in touch with those on the outside.

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