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Kern County Jail

1415 Truxtun Ave
Bakersfield, CA 93301
(661) 868-6850

Interview with Scott, Carrie, John and Sophie

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Scott: last court appearance i recieved 30 days.
Carrie: my final sentence when I decided to do the time was for 16 months.
John: plead to misdeminor assult and battery in april of 2001 time served 21 days in county jail 3 years probation. In June of 2001 served 10 days in county jail and credit for time served. Re arrested upon relase in late june of 2001 I was transfered to Kern county jail from late june untill end of Aug 2001 when they figured out I was not suppose to be there
Sophie: 120 days of work release (served 47 days in jail and 13 days of work release), 3 years probation

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?
Scott: you are placed in a holding cell before and after court. it could have up to 50 inmates in there at a time and it gets loud at times.
Carrie: I spent almost 12 hours in a holding cell. It sucked. one toilet and probably 10 - 15 girls sitting on a bench with 2 phones and everyone talking at once. It was very exhausting.
John: Yes in the Kern county jail we were put in large long room that used to be visiting room. The one with glass wall and the phone. It was cold damp smelly and wet near the end were a vent was broken. I was then taken to a room with a barbers chair were I was stripped and searched
Sophie: I was placed in a holding cell after being sentenced in court at 10 AM (still handcuffed and shackled)... transported by bus back to Lerdo Pre-trial around 1 PM, placed in holding cell, unhandcuffed and unshackled, placed back in my cell (pod) until being processed for release 8 PM, taken to holding cell, taken to change out and receive property, released to wait for ride 9 PM

Life On The Inside
The Kern County Jail is situated in the heart of downtown Bakersfield, California. A lot of the inmate population at Kern County has some kind of gang affiliation. That is why the correction staff does their best effort to house gang members together. If they can keep the gangs apart they can keep the peace, so the theory goes.

The inmates are given access to an outdoor yard on a daily basis as long as the jail isn't on lockdown. A policy was recently enacted to remove the weights from the jail because prisoners were getting too much in shape. Now most of the exercises involve calisthenics like pushups, sit ups, etc.

For meals inmates are given two cook and one sack meal per day. This is an obvious message to cut back on food costs at the facility. Inmates can satisfy their hunger pangs by ordering from the commissary at least once a week.

As for clothing, inmates are issued either a brown or orange top depending on their status. Many of the inmates at Kern County Jail are on some form of work release program which allows them to be bused outside of the jail for work and returned at the end of the day. Most likely they will be wearing their prison uniforms to identify them. You'll probably see a lot of orange shirts in the farm fields around Bakersfield on any given day.

Good Behavior Policy
Like the rest of the state of California, inmates at Kern County Jail can earn one day of good time for every day served on their sentence. Of course, that good time can also be just as quickly wiped out if the inmate gets into fights, is caught with contraband or doesn't follow orders of the correctional staff.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
Inmates are granted two visit sessions each with lasting 30 minutes per sessions. The visiting environment is just what you would expect from a jail with a glass partition and communication through a two-way telephone. All visitors have to present a valid photo ID card upon check-in even if you are visiting on multiple occasions.

Inmates are allowed to purchase pre-paid calling cards to make outgoing collect calls from the jail. These cards are sold at the commissary.

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