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Valley State Prison

21633 Avenue 24
Chowchilla, CA 93610-9650
Phone: (559) 665-6100

Interview with Rachel

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Rachel: 16 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?
Rachel: I was 6 months at Elmwood. It was okay. Very clearn as I remember.

If you or a loved one is headed to the Valley State Prison for Women to serve some time, you might be a little nervous wondering what to expect once you are there. Being incarcerated can be a scary experience, but with the right information, you will feel more prepared for what will happen.

The information compiled here was gathered through interviews with former inmates of Valley State Prison for Women. They have shared information about all aspect of life in this jail, from what to expect at court to what the meals are like. Take a minute to click on the links to the left and read the actual interviews, so you can find out what life is really like in the Valley State Prison for Women.

One thing that causes anxiety for a lot of people going to jail is wondering what the other inmates will be like, and how you will be treated by them. Former inmates of Valley State advise that your time will be easier if you mind your own business, keep to yourself and avoid talking about the problems of other inmates.

You also need to be mindful of your own personal space, and keep things clean. You should also mentally prepare yourself that you may live side by side with inmates who have committed very serious crimes.

Passing the Time
Boredom is a very big challenge for inmates who are spending big chunks of time in jail. Valley State provides quite a few ways to keep you busy, if you take the opportunities to do so. If you don't have your High School Diploma or GED, you can work toward it while you are there.

You can also choose to have a job or learn a trade. The jail provides TV's for the inmates, but they are shared by many inmates so don't expect to have a lot of control over what you watch. You can rent a TV from commissary if you choose to do so. Inmates are allowed to go outside twice a day, which can really help break up the time. If you are on lockdown you lose this privilege.

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