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Interview with Zach, Trevor, Andy, Adam, Wesley, Jackie, Ruth, Kristal and Chris

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Zach: Yes, as I do not get along well with others, I find it hard to not want to knock somebody to the floor!
Trevor: Not really. A couple people tried to get under my skin but I'm pretty simple and I'll take the challenge for my own survival, safety and morals.
Andy: I was housed in 3west and as far as I know everyone got a long well considering it's a floor for lesser crimes so everyone that is on this side got to work.
Adam: I had beef and drama with a few dudes that I recognized and so I was trying to stay down low and now start anything with anyone and I saw that there seemed to be some turf or gang drama the way people were acting
Wesley: Always anamosity among skin color. Stand strong and stay with your race. Refuse to associate with black if you are white or the whites will beat you down severly later
Jackie: it was hard in the beginning when you are a new inmate in there because there are many people that have been in there for x amount of days already and you dont want to step on toes, you have to find your way into a crowd. some women are mean and vicious people with horrible attitudes and then there are lower key people. some women prey on the kind and naiive to try and get them to get you commissary when you order. they will make you feel pressured into saying yes to them even though you want to say no so badly. you just dont want to put yourself into a bad position when you are in there.
Ruth: Yes it was hard to get along with other inmates I was facing alot of time and spent so much time in their already people that would get our day room locked down I'd get into it with because that is my only time to take a shower and use the phone and be out of my cell also I got into it when people would act like they had it so much harder cuz they have a month next for something they did when I was locked up for years for something I didn't do . Girls would also fight over the guys on other floors all the time its very stress full so u fight alot with ppleople theirs alot of girl drama its honestly like high school because all you have is time and the only way to get your mind of you getting life is to keep it on pointless drama
Kristal: I pretty much kept to myself, I was told that would be the easiest way to get through do my time. I only associated with others when I had to.
Chris: It is always hard because you are scared, and you are in there with other inmates that are not so friendly or care about getting along with you. It was hard.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Zach: I do law work, so when dudes who knew me from doing so much time, or other new guys asked me a question about law, all I did was answer "how much time will I get for this type of case?" etc.
Trevor: To avoid problems one must take any challenge straight to the challenger, IN HER FACE.
Andy: Didn't really have a problem.
Adam: Tried to keep to myself , not start drama, keep it cool and keep my eyes down and not really make contact with the other people especially those who looked like they might be in different gangs . I was about trying to stay to myself and stay cool. It was nervous
Wesley: No disrespect given or taken. No controlling of t.v. flush as soon as possible, dont talk real loud. Stay within my own race, Dont steal or create debts with other inmates, do not borrow what you cant return when you say you can, You never tell on other inmates when they do anything wrong.
Jackie: you just have to know how program runs in there, and it changes constantly as different people come and go. the main thing is to keep to yourself and dont give too much information to people, and never let them take your kindness for weakness. theres usually no compromising and many different fights would have broke out but other women will get in the way of it because we dont want to lose our dayroom or go on lockdown for getting in trouble. so i would say the biggest thing that helps us avoid problems with other inmates is the officers taking away the limited priveleges we have.
Ruth: To avoid fights and all I'd have to jeep my mouth shut or move cells or pods but mostly trying to keep out of the drama and out of the cool kids as people might think of them because if you draw attention to yourself you'll have drama not only with other girls but you'll find yourself getting your cell raided by the officers next.
Kristal: Always fights, they are number one. But other than that mostly possession of any type of contraband, which means any fruit leftover from meals or extra pairs of sock, panties, bras, etc. Even getting caught talking during mealtimes. Thats why I kept to myself to avoid any confrontation with the officers.
Chris: It was hard to get along with everyone in there because there are a whole lot of bad people in there, and then there are some decent people who just made some mistakes but they are scared too so they do not want to be too friendly, I tried to keep to my self

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Zach: No.
Trevor: Only after being a resident for a while does any guard allow you anything. But picking your celly, you'd be pretty lucky.
Andy: On 3West you were assigned a cell mate that worked where you were in the jail.
Adam: No I was not able to do that and it was random assigned and I had like three cellmates as one was released and then another was put in there
Wesley: No you are not allowed to choose cellmates. The officers placed inmates aas the availability permitted. Inmates were changed out sparadically when I was there the last time. There was more cells than.
Jackie: the only way you would be able to choose an inmate that you knew or have been in the same pod for a minute with, is if you were cool with the officers and were able to ask them if they can do a cell change. it rarely happened but it was possible if you could smooth talk the cops and if they liked you. in the beginning when i got there i went through different cell mates all the time, since i knew i was going to be there for a minute i knew that i was going to have a lot of girls coming in that only had a day or two to do and they would be gone then comes in the next one and its a cycle until you get a cell mate that has a more difficult case to deal with. then you know you will be with them for a litle bit.
Ruth: I had changed cell mates probably a good 25 times. You get a new one whenever your cell mate was released or sent to the branch. Since i had been their for so long and was good with a curtain shift they would allow me to choose my cell mate when I didn't have one or when who I wanted to be with didn't but sometimes you were stuck with what you got or if they moved you cells you were stuck with who ever they put you with
Kristal: Never heard of such a privledge. When housed downtown in the main jail, pre-sentencing cellmates changed almost everyday. But post-sentencing when transferred to "The Branch" we were housed in dorm like settings. 100 women in one big room.
Chris: You did not have a choice who was your cell mate but there is a lot of favoritism going on in there, inmates would get on the cops good side.

Read about time off for good behavior in the Sacramento County Jail

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