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Leisure Time

Interview with Jeffery, Serena and Gary

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Jeffery: Cards and board games. Most of which were either missing too many pieces to be played or parties interested in playing them. The yard facilities were bleak. I didn't expect a fitness center or a grassy meadow but we could have stayed inside and had just as little room to do push ups in. The book cart was pitiful. Romance novels and paperback westerns with the same tired and recycled plot. A T.V. with basic cable to fight over and huddle around in each pod or dorm.
Serena: there were tables that had checkboards and backgammon boards painted on them, no wait that was san francisco jail im sorry. there were books to read, commissary forms to fill out, the exercise yard was open sometimes, you could take a nap on your bed, walk around the living area, watch tv.
Gary: They just got rid ALL of the educational classes after my 2nd month there, basically, all you get now is a book cart (with really shitty books), there is a drug program class (HEARTS or AB109) or working in the kitchen. You do get a yard call, but you never go outside, it was pretty lame.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Jeffery: Most of the squabbles in the afternoon were started over what channel everyone could agree on. Mostly sports games and COPS if you can believe it. I one wanted control of the T.V., one would have to wake very early and watch what little was on at a very low volume.
Serena: no it wasnt too crowded so it was easy to watch tv or read or walk around, in san francisco jail it was different, much more crowded and meaner people so you had to jostle for a position close to the tv. books were easy to get though, people didnt like to read that much.
Gary: We do. Each pod has a TV...and it even has HBO! hahahaha. Again, the jail in Lake Tahoe is practically like summer camp, you don't want to be there, but you have to stay and do your time.

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Jeffery: I gained all my weight back and then some in the first two months. Working in the kitchen didn't help me keep trim. Working did and even after work sometimes a few guys would rally as many willing participants as possible for a push up routine or leg lifts, etc.
Serena: yes i did because i stayed on my bed so much to avoid other people and i didnt like going out to the exercise yard.
Gary: Not for me. Being able to work in the kitchen gave me anything that I wanted to eat...with working out 4-5 days a week to eating healthier and not indulging in the sweets the kitchen makes, I actually lost 50lbs in 6 months!!

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?
Jeffery: Each pod got yard time twice a week unless that pod was being punished for insubordinance, in which case they might only get one or none at all. Worker pod sometimes got more than is usual. Rarely though.
Serena: i think we got to go outside a couple times a week but i didnt go. the first time i went outside but people avoided me so i stopped.
Gary: If you are NOT a kitchen worker/night cat, you WILL NOT get to go outside. SO GET A JOB IN THERE!!! Since my time was spent as a worker (5months), I got to go outside daily. Usually a trash run, if you are real with yourself and real with the CO's, they will be cool to you. Clealan was one of the coolest CO's in there, he actually let me sit outside with him for 15 minutes one time, was nice. Just looking around, letting the sun hit me, being outside. NICE!!!

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Jeffery: They offered church services twice daily. They were simple from what i gathered. Most of these guys, and myself included for a time, became very religious. Though i assumed like myself, their piousness would be short lived upon release.
Serena: yes the jail offered church services and these were great, i went as often as i could which was a few times a week.
Gary: Church services happen time to time, we will get called Sunday's for a solid 2 months, then only 2 times the next. Calvary Chapel is the services they bring well as some other ones.

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