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

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Guero 1: well i signed a plea for 1 year in prison and then a few interviews were done by the d.a's office in regards to why i chose prison and things about my childhood and past problems with the law. the courts refused to let me out on good faith that i would conme for sentencing as i was a flight risk.
Jim: What pre-sentencing? They held me for 6.5 months on a bogus indictment only to have the State dismiss the indictment a week before trial.
Ricky: Takes at least a year if taking charges to trial. Most of the time inmates take pleas to hurry process or because their Public Defender is not involved enough in their well-being. The CO's make your time there frustrating because they like to pick fights and it makes you want to go to prison just to get out of the jail.
Bernard: In pre-sentencing you're shackled together with multiple inmates, you wait your turn, the judge asks if you have anything to say, you tell them what you have to say, you wait for everyone to finish. You go back to the holding cell underground and then you are transported back to Pima County, where you will then go back to your cell block.
Cora: After I was cited I waited 16 months to be sentenced during which I heard very little from the court. I was given a sentencing date that kept getting postponed for various 'clerical' reasons. The process was anxiety-ridden and depressing. You are just left in limbo until you finally get a real court date to go to.
Roy: Well this last time I was coming from the east coast. I had a warrant that showed up after 15 years ago, I was coming back to Phoenix to clear it up, so my enlistment back in the Regular Army would not be hindered. There was no pre sentencing for this arrest, while at a store I opened a can of beer, the police pulled up, and made me pour it out, ran my Id found I had a warrant, I was just getting off the Greyhound, and stopped for a beer. He took me to the Madison Jail, and I went into a holding sell with about 17 other guys. We were booked in and that process takes at least 3-4 hours, and if its is close to lunch or dinner, they give you a brown bag with one halfpint of juice and a dried up peanut butter sandwich with no jelly, thick and pasty. Then after processin you with finger prints, and paper signatures and stripping checking for weapons, drugs, pariphenilia, they take you up to your affiliated housing cells. If you did a major crime you go to maximum lock up, and if minor, your usually housed with about 45 - 65 other inmates in units. Many people, get out sourced to different facilities, depending on space available, your level of crime, you go to Durango, Buckeye, or some of the other related facilities. They moved me to the Durango facilites, where the bunks reminded me of life on an aircraft carrier,no head space, nasty old mildewed bunks, no Air conditioner, and usually with 3 men to 2 men to a cell. Break fast consist of peanut butter sandwich, as well as lunch also, dinner may be a tray of something like shit on a shingle, some vegetables, if ther is any meat portions, its usually 2ounces or less. They are very limited on nutritional values.
Mario: It was far more productive,and faster then other county jails I have been in. It was more relaxed feel to it. Even though I was in jail it did not quite feel like it was. I did not feel threaten in anyway shape or form. It was by all reasoning a pleasent experience.
Kayla: It took forever. The pre-sentencing part of the jail is much worse than the Mission. It's worse because you're locked in a small room with people whose lives are just now being ruined. They're also coming off of various drugs and are under immense amounts of stress concerning their court cases. Because it takes so long to get sentenced while you're incarcerated, you forget the details of what happened. since you don't have the resources to research other cases properly or write down and sort out your thoughts, you are automatically screwed and don't have any real chance of trying to defend yourself in court whether or not you are guilty
Evan: i was incarcerated on the same day that i commited the crime so i was in jail for pre-sentencing. first i was visited by my public defender then i was given a video visit by the pre trial services. i was interviewed by her for about 1 hour. she asked about drug use and history, prior arrests, and personal information. it gave a relatively in depth picture of my criminal history.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Guero 1: no because i spent the hole process in jail, but they pulled me out a few times of my cell and they all got upset because i refused to talk.
Jim: They came by w/o my asking.
Ricky: Yes. I was not living there at the time. I had sheriff's go to the house and draw their guns on my 7 months pregnant girlfriend and question her. They searched the house also. When they continued to return to the house and harrass my girlfriend I decided to turn myself in.
Bernard: I did not have police come to my house. How I became arrested was that I was pulled over and then arrested. It was a routine traffic stop that went all wrong, next thing I know I was running from the police and was then tackled to the ground, beat up..and then arrested.
Cora: No, I was pulled over for a DUI and arrested on the spot. I spent the night in jail and was released the following morning with a 'tentative' court date. After the court date was postponed an officer from the court stopped by my house about a year later to serve me with papers giving me a new court date.
Roy: No, not at that particular time, he was making a routine drive down 16th St. and Indian school in Phoneix and happened to see me standing at the phone booth guzzling a Ice cold miller beer. He made me poor the contents out, and then radioed in my identification and came back with a 15 year old warrant. I was handcuffed and taken to Madison St. jail at around 2 or 3 on a beautiful summer day, all my belongings still at the Greyhound bus station. Thank God I had them securley put away. They give you your orange jump suit, which some inmates prize highly, there are no irons in jail, but most inmates will put there jumpsuits under there steel bed, under the mattress to flatten it overnite while sleeping on it, creating creases in which you would think they had a presser.
Mario: No. I was picked up on the streets. Was riding my bicycle on the wrong side of the road and was stopped. The officers did a check on my name and found out that I had a warrent for my arrest. The officers were nice and very polite again had a pleasent experience.
Kayla: I was arrested at the scene of the crime. I did not have a permanent residence at the time that they could investigate. I was running from the police thinking I was being followed by some random person at night. Because I wasn't aware it was police while I was running I was not charged with resisting arrest. However, I was witnessed at the scene of the crime and was pointed out to a cop on foot by that witness and was chased by that cop.
Evan: no the first time i was arrested i was arrested by the tucson police department on the same day as my crime.i was at a friends house that the police surrounded and i was caught. I was interviewed by detectives at time of arrest. The second time i was locked up i was at a hotel that was raided by the u.s. marshals. they took me in custody at that time.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Guero 1: i was shackled chain gang style to five other inmates, and it was quick, and easy i said i was sorry felt remorse for my crime and i was sentenced and then you wait for everyone else to be done and then you go back to jail and wait.
Jim: Like a circus. Just shoved aside to let the "people" have thier way.
Ricky: Drawn out process. Constantly call you for court hearings for nonsense. Sometimes you get a good public defender and sometimes you don't. They can make the situation much worse for you if you don't take action to try to change it or let them know you're unhappy about their work.
Bernard: The very first court is actually inside Pima County jail to decide whether you stay there or not. From that one, I do know there is a room people can come to at a certain time and see your hearing on a tv screen. Then the judge goes over your past record, and decides if you can be released on "OR" or bond is set. Depending on what the judge decides you may be released by the next morning or you will stay housed at Pima County jail or until your bond is posted or until your next court date.
Cora: I had several court dates which I showed up for would sign in with the court secretary and eventually I would be dismissed for various reasons (lawyer not showing up, evidence not in order, no blood alcohol results etc) I eventually had a jury trial which I was excused from due to there being no chance that I would be found innocent therefore my presence didn't make a difference according to my public defender. After the jury had made their decision I had a sentencing date set and went before the judge.
Roy: Well after sitting in Durango for about a week and 4 days,waiting to see the States Prosecutor, Every day the Correctional Officer on duty will call of a bunch of names, this normally happens after the last meal the night prior to going to court. They will call of names of who is going to see the Prosecutor, and again at about 5:am they will call the names again. I knew they were going to release me from a 15 year old warrant for something silly like disturbing the peace. They transport you early around 5:30 am to the Madison Jail again, if your from another facility, then you sit in a holding cell for 3 to 4 hours until your name is called. You usually sit in a large holding cell with everyone from all the other facilities waiting to see the Magisrate, to have your fate pronounced. That cell has one silver steel toilet and the cell is rectangular and about 50 to 60 square feet, paint chipping coming off the walls, all types of graffiti on cell walls, with other bodily contents (buggers). They normally bring you a roll of toilet paper for those who can't hold it. The toilet paper is a comoditity in jail, as well as a cookie or a piece of candy.These things become highly profitable, and can usually get you a cigarett or some other substance whether its heroin, cocaine, crack form, or some alcohol, thats been made from fermented oranges, bananas usually called hooch. Then your name is called, your wearing shackles on your feet and your hands are cuffed in front, if your a dangerous risk, then your handcuffed from behind. About 20 inmates are escorted to a court room where they sit up away from the jurors and witnesses and family members. They rattle of the court rules and everyone is told to be quiet, the judge normally arives at 9:am, everyone stands when he enters, and told to sit back down. The judge rattles of his court rules, and then they start calling cases, slowly. My case was called and the prosecutor stood up and said, "Mr. Horsey we had an old warrant, that was 15 years old, you have no other charges, we are sorry you had to be here like this. I spoke then telling them I took a Greyhound from North Carolina(where my prior service recruiters office was), caught a greyhound immediately here to AZ to get the warrant squashed(dropped), and ended up here. The States Attorney then appologized for having to stay in lockup for 2 weeks in a hot, dirty, nasty cell, with my younger roomate who was a hispanic guy who was in a gang and shot somebody, and was now worried about his girlfriend and whether he would get prison time. I usually tried to console him and say he would be just fine. But after court your put back in your cell, and if your released, you will sit in there maybe another hour and half until they call about 5 release inmates, and take you to a room, give you your clothes which are in a big plastic bag, sign for your property like wallet, or cash and cell cell phones. They let you change, and turn in all your orang jump suits for your civilian clothers and sneakers which they make you take the strings out for security purposes, some people have been known to hang themselves with their shoe strings, so they take them out and put them in your property. You wait until another 30 minutes and they call your name, the big computer progamed door opens and you walk out of the dressing cell into a hallway and into the release lobby which family member or girlfriends are waiting to pick you up, and you feel so good cause there is a bright sunlight, fresh air, other people, and you anticipate real food, and a cigarette if you smoke.
Mario: I was never brought before a judge in Pima County. I was in front of other judges over the years. Each time was different each time was exciting in it's own way. I was scared and nervous for each time but knew that I was there because I did not follow the rules of the law.
Kayla: Court was disappointing. I was not given the opportunity to voice my point of view or to try to defend myself. The judge and other officials of the court did not care about the people on trial. I was presumed guilty until proven innocent instead of innocent until proven guilty. The public defendants are overloaded with work and don't even try to defend anyone. It's obvious they get bonuses for plea bargains
Evan: I was transported from PCSJ to the holding cells at Superior Court early in the morning. After waiting 3 hrs., I was brought into the courtroom. I was shackled with 4 other inmates. Our cases were reviewed individually by the presiding judge. I felt like I was treated fairly by the judge who heard my case.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Ricky: Charged with: Aggravated Robbery with Firearm, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Assault (Domestic Violence), Disorderly Conduct. Convicted of: Attempted Aggravated Assault (Domestic Violence) and Disorderly Conduct.
Bernard: Possession of a dangerous drug with intent to distribute.
Cora: I was convicted of super extreme DUI with a prior
Roy: My original charge was a fifteen year old warrant for disturbing the peace, some silly minor misdemeanor that I received a written ticket for 15 years prior when I lived here in 98 and 99. Before I went into the Regular Army I lived with my ex-wife, and we were probably arguing and making a lot of noise. We split up, I went back into the Army after getting out of the Marines in 1989, I helped my father relocate from Connecticut to Arizona, he retired as a Hartford Connecticut Police Officer, after 23 years and wanted to relocate. We got here in 1993, the year they finally passed Martin Luther Kings birthday after many years of citizens here not wanting to recognize it as a holiday, if finally passed the summer we got here to Sunny Phoenix Arizona.
Mario: My original charges was a sexuall offense in 1990. Have gone back on other charges probation vilotation, failure to register.
Kayla: My original charges were theft, burglary, theft by control, possession of paraphernalia, and a few others I can't remember. I ended up being convicted of theft by control in 2009 and 3rd degree burglary (theft of a credit card) in 2011.
Evan: Armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon - classified as non- violent. I was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a Class 2 felony.

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