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Fresno County Jail

1225 M St
Fresno, CA 93721
ph (559) 488-3031‎

Interview with Maria, Tommy, Mark, Marilyn, Rafael and Blair

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Maria: 10 days
Tommy: 2years
Mark: 14 days for probation violation, Fresno county never got work release paper work from Kern county
Marilyn: Original sentence was 5 years felony probation 500 hours community service with a 3 years 8 month prison lid suspended.
Rafael: 120 days!
Blair: I was sentenced to the county jail for 8 months.

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?
Maria: no
Tommy: 4 walls toilet bowl and a sink
Mark: about 8 hours in holding cell with size of small bedroom with 16 other guys
Marilyn: well on original sentencing i was not in custody, s after sentencing i was able to leave court. when i violated and i went to court then i went right back to a holding tank to sit until i could be moved to another tank to wait, then transported back to jail housing
Rafael: No
Blair: I did spend time in a holding cell. I spent about 8 hours waiting to be processed in and sent to my pod. Due to the nature of my offense, I was kept out of the general population. I was in a holding cell all alone.

Life On the Inside
The average daily inmate population at the Fresno County jail is approximately 1,800 inmates. There are 50 cell block on the campus of Fresno County jail with inmates being housed in various pods depending upon their level of offense.

One inmate interviewed for this website said that he got along fine with all the other prisoners. Of course, that was because he was in a gang. This might not bode well for someone who does not have gang affiliation. It is also an indication of exactly where the power structure lies within the jail.

Prisoners are given two meals a day; one is a hot meal and the other is a sack meal. Inmates can supplement their hunger pangs by purchasing snack items of the commissary.

Although the former inmate interviewed for this site didn't think there were any activities to keep them occupied there is actually a wide range of programs that inmates can enroll in. These include adult basic education and general education development, English as a second language at various life skills programs including anger management, relationship counseling and parenting skills. These programs are actually offered to both sentenced and pre-sentenced inmates.

There are also ongoing Alcoholics Anonymous groups and a fully stocked wall and reading library. If an inmate chooses to spend their time just staring at the four walls of their cells they have that option.

Good Behavior Policy
The good behavior policy in the California penal system allows for a day for day reduction in sentencing for nonviolent offenders. Basically if you stay out of trouble you could have your sentence reduced in half. Violent offenders the maximum out time that can be reduced from their sentence is 15%. Staying out of trouble means staying off the radar of the guards and not involving yourself with any of the ongoing "inmate drama."

Visitor and Phone Policy
Each inmate at Fresno County jail is granted to half-hour visits per week. These visits are held every day depending upon where the inmate is housed. An inmate can add renames on their visiting list at any given time. All visitors are required to provide a valid ID card and are subject to search. It is the inmate's responsibility to tell their visitors when they should show up for the scheduled time.

With regard to phone calls a company called Legacy Inmate Communications has established a system whereby friends and family can set up prepaid collect service accounts that inmates can use to make their calls throughout the day. These accounts can be started for as little as $15 and you will be notified when it's time to add more funds.

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