USA  /  Arizona  /  Maricopa County Jail has 1,420 interviews from ex-inmates. Share your story
Find Maricopa County Jail inmates...

Leisure Time

Interview with Tom, Jessica, Justin, Pat, Sandi and Justin D.

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Tom: one tent with 20 chairs had a tv 15 inch with rabbit ear antenna that was on four hours daily, about six pic-niic tables to sit and read or play cards
Jessica: none
Justin: none, they wouldnt provide that so we had to make up our own pass time activities.. like toothpast bowling for pushups.. there was a basketball court but we did not have access to a basketbasll, tvs were there.. but we always had to watch sports, we couldnt even hear the tv
Pat: You could watch tv or read ob your time out you could play basketball but that was pretty much it. Oh you could also have time with the chaplin to pray and talk but that was pretty much all there was to do while you are in there nothing else
Sandi: None. We had to have an imagination. There was a television that we could watch if we behaved and if the detention officers turned it on. There were 4 channels as an option and when it was on the detention officers usually picked The Food Network for us to watch. That seemed to be the least arguable channel in our pod.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Tom: with 1200 it was senseless to even try most fights erupted due to limit and channel
Jessica: tv but it was limited to espn cnn food network
Justin: there was no competition to the entertainment cause half the time we didnt even want to do that.. but when there was alot of ppl around. we took turns.. ofcourse teh bigger ppl got there first.. then eventually the smaller inmates got to do something.. everyone did teh push up game tho
Pat: The only real entertainment was tv and we only had access to certain channels in the jail. No there wasnt to much compotion because if there was the whole cell block would loss tv privalages for a certain amount of time so it was mosty by majority rule to decide
Sandi: Television was the only entertainment except for games that we would devise. Sometimes we would have library services bring us a magazine that we would request.

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Tom: luckily i was out so i could carry on my somewhat normal routine except for full custody on Sundays and hollidays
Jessica: no
Justin: i did personally cause i never had money to buy the good stuff off of commesary.. but the slop had no nutritional vsalue at all
Pat: No not really because I really didnt do it on the out side but you could walk, run play basketball in the yard
Sandi: Not at all. I power walked 20 miles a day every day around the pod. When I got a staph infection in my toe after getting a blister, I was limited to 15 miles a day for a couple of days. Plastic sandals are not as good as Nike for power walking.

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?
Tom: the tents were outside
Jessica: early am at 6am to about 7 am then evenings from 6pm to 8-10pm
Justin D.: Daily
Justin: we never went outside, only to get transported to court or another jail.. sometimes they would let us out to walk around a court for an hour.. but htat was once every 2 weeks or so
Pat: We were allowed to go outside every day for 4 hours a day I dont know what those on lock down could do for exercise
Sandi: In four months I was allowed to go outside 3 times (besides the times getting into the van for court). We could mill around in a small courtyard that had grass and we could see the sky above. Other than that we could walk in the pod or do stationary exercises in our 2 person cells.

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Tom: not in the tents so many of the inmated would gather to read scripture or to confess their transgressions but then the guards would break those up saying it was to hard to monitor so most laid in bunks and read bibles privately
Jessica: yes, lacking and Catholic svc was on wed at 11 am
Justin: yes they held church,. thats mandatory,, but they were held a few times a week.. they would bring in some random guy from a church to preach the same thing over and over again.. usually how being locked up can change your life
Pat: Yes church services were available every week it was held in a small room with a chaplin and you had to request for permission to go you could aslo have the chaplin come to visit you and then you would sit in the cormer of the cell block just you and the chaplin
Sandi: Yes. I opted to not go to the Christian services which were the most popular because there was alot of drama usually involved and contraband exchanges between inmates of different pods. I wanted to stay away from potential trouble so I opted for Jewish services which only included a Rabbi, myself and one other inmate. It was a peaceful and hopeful time. When the inmates came back from the Christian services there was generally trouble to follow and the next week service would be prohibited, but that did not affect me getting to go to my service which was held on a different day of the week. If the pod had gotten in trouble the church services were the first privilege taken away. Most inmates looked forward to church and would stay out of trouble to preserve that time.

Read about visitor policies in the Maricopa County Jail

comments powered by Disqus