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

Jail Layout

Interview with Guero 1, Jim, Ricky, Bernard, Cora, Roy, Mario, Kayla and Evan

JM: How many different blocks were there?
Guero 1: well there are many but i was only in two different ones so i dont know all the other names except the ones i was in.
Jim: 4 floors X 4 approx.
Ricky: 4 blocks per floor. 4 floors.
Bernard: 4 floors, with 4 pods to a floor
Cora: There were three different dorms
Roy: There was about 25 to 30 cells with 2 to a cell sometimes 3, I seen where many times the inmates had to sleep on the floor on twin size mattresses, which they liked because they got a chance to sleep in the day room instead of being locked up in a 8 x 10 cell.
Mario: In Oklahoma there was 13 floors, here Pima County there were two cell blocks for sex offenders.
Kayla: There were a bunch. There's solitary for male and female. There is a more serious block for women and a more petty one. The men are divided in to seriousness of their charges and history too but there were way more cells for them than for women.
Evan: I think there were about 30.

JM: Did they have names? If so, what were they?
Guero 1: the 2 i was ion were 2 fun and games, and 2 charlie the tower
Jim: like 1a, b, c, d....2a, b, c, d, etc.
Ricky: Yes they are letters and numbers. Example: 2C or 2Charlie
Bernard: I only know the ones I've been in during my experiences and those were: 1A, 1B, 2B and 2P.
Cora: They were just numbered Dorms one through three with a glass room in the middle nicknamed the fishbowl which is where you went if you were being punished within the jail.
Roy: Well the names were named like D- Block and C- Block usually the first letter you see in the alphabet, any other were Isolation cells, or Psych Wards for really mentally challenged inmates, who were strapped into a chair up to the neck.
Mario: No names just numbers, cannot remember what they were here but in oklahoma they were a,b,c,d
Kayla: They were letter of the alphabet. I was housed in R (romeo according to the correction's officers), Q (Quebec), S (Sierra), and H (Hotel). In prison the names were much more creative. San Carlos, Santa Maria, and so on.
Evan: In the tower part of the jail, they were each assigned a number and a letter. So, an example would be: 1A,1B, 1C and 1D. There were 4 pods on each of the 4 floors. The new jail was 2 stories with 2 pods on each floor.

JM: Which types of inmates were housed in the different blocks?
Guero 1: well there are special blocks for sex offenders, snitches, people on trial that are still in prison, and people who are being charged with murder go to lockdown for one week to show they can be civil, then are transferred to general population
Jim: the differently classified inmates
Ricky: 4th floor in Disciplinary and PC. 3rd is a prison floor. 2nd floor is new people who have never been to prison. Women have certain floors I believe, but not sure which ones.
Bernard: I know third floor was for people who have been to prison before. It is race separated. You can only be housed with your own race. Floors 1 and 2 are not separated by race and anyone can be housed with anyone. Fourth floor is disciplinary floor or for those who cannot be housed with the general population.
Cora: Inmates there for a day or a few days were either housed in the GRD (the fishbowl) or in Dorm 1. Then Dorm 1 and 2 were for all the rest of the women that weren't on work-release. Dorm 3 was for those that had work-release.
Roy: Usually the mentally challenged, the transvestites and really noticebal homosexuals, were kept in Isolation units, the unoticeble gays were mixed in with general population. I have been to a facility where I noticed alot of unmentioned sexual acts were performed when correctional officers were not around.
Mario: Depending on your crime or sex they kept peopel seperated. In my case i was housed with other sex offenders. Which made it a lot more relaxed for me and other inmates.
Kayla: It depended on if they had been to prison already or not, how serious their crimes were, if they were suicidal or not, if they got into a lot of fights with other inmates or not, if they needed medical care, or if they needed solitary confinement for any reason. There is such things a "the hole."
Evan: Usually the inmates in the tower were more high risk inmates. the third floor was reserved for those who had served prison time previously. the 4th floor is protective custody, the "hole" was for punishment, and " the keep separates". (those prone to fighting)There was also a medical block and a psyche block.

JM: What do you remember being the nicest and worst parts about the different blocks?
Guero 1: the nicest thing was going outside to the yard once a week for a little while, the worst is security override, because no matter what you gotta do the jail locksdown, like a fight can cause that and your family might wanna know what happened in court and you cant cuz they wanted to fight, or you have to take a shower, not happening.
Jim: smelly and noisey.........nothing nice
Ricky: Have a new jail that has a/c and tv's in every room. Worst part would be the fourth floor where the CO's abuse the inmates. They use the inmate who are there for discipline as examples and hit them or take them to the showers where there is no camera and abuse them.
Bernard: 2P was more like vacation, 16 man dorm, tv in your dorm, a/c, tables in your dorm....all around the best experience you can hope for while in jail. 1A is classification, over-crowded, hot, smelly, on lock down most of the time, just all around bad experience. 1B was the same situation as 1A. 2B was old jail, still crummy but better than 1B and 1A
Cora: Dorm 3 seemed to be the most 'civil' it was rare that anything was stolen and for the most part since we had more to lose everyone behaved much better towards each other. The other dorms were louder, fought, stole and were constantly being punished with less 'free time' to be out in the day-room. It also seemed like our dorm tried to work together to try and make the place as good as it could be and we shared and helped each other out whereas the other dorms seemed out to get what they could.
Roy: Well when you have an opportunity to get put on work status you get jobs handing out laundry to the cell blocks whos turn it was one day of the week, and most cells are packed, or overpacked. Some cleaner than others, and nothing really nice about the blocks at all. Other than the T.V. which is usually way up locked on a metal plate 6 feet in the air which no inmate can touch.
Mario: AT Pima County the nicest thing was you did not have to worry about someone knowing what you are in for because we all had a sex offence. The worst part of it, not real a worst part that I can see. Having the seperation was a good for all those involved.
Kayla: The nicest part was the programs we could go to like church or "AA" or GED class. It was important to be able to try to better yourself while you're being punished. The worst part was the C.O.s it sucks to have to obey prissy, stuck up, jerk wads who hate you because you exist. They, for the most part, are demons and deserve whatever is coming to them.
Evan: The nicest part of the jail was the new jail which consisted of 8 men cells with one flat screened cable t.v in each cell. I was never there unfortunately. I was in the oldest part of the jail (the tower) and it consisted of 2 men cells with a large day room in the middle. It was very hot in the summer because it didn't have air- conditioning. Each cell was small and the beds uncomfortable.

Read about telephone access in the Pima County Jail

comments powered by Disqus