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Ventura County Jail

800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009
Phone: (805) 654-2380

Interview with Ford, Miss T, Reta, Julie and Hillary

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Ford: Two years CDC time calculated at half time.
Miss T: I was sentenced 45 days for my second DUI.
Reta: I was given 150 day's the last time of which I served 100 long gloomy day's. I was sentenced that time for warrants I had for not completing prop and getting new drug charges. I turned myself in. this time though was for possession charges and I got prop 36, formal probation. I was on summary before. But this time I got 30 day's just for probation violations
Julie: 15 days, which does'nt seem like a lot, BUT feels like a lot when you're in there.
Hillary: my sentencing was for 30 days

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?
Ford: Yes. I was in the court holding cell for at least two hours waiting to be returned to the main jail. Lots of irritated inmates and loud and rude guards. The place was fairly clean yet stunk to high heaven. No toilet paper provided and I don't recall a meal be served. I may be mistaken about the meal. Long walk back through the tunnel which involved a search.
Miss T: After sentencing, I was not ordered to report to jail for another two months. I went in on February first, 2006. I did not spend any time in a holding cell. I did not immediately go into the jail though. I spent time by myself in various rooms before getting into the main jail.
Reta: no- always was given a turn in date and time and had to walk in myself. that is the hardest thing to do.
Julie: No, I was able to set a date to turn myself in, I got off easy. But when I did turn myself in I was in a holding cell for about 6 hours with 4 other women. It was pretty intimidating being in a small cell with people being transfered from prison. After about 30 minutes of sitting in the cell quietly the other girls started to talk to me. I explained my story, which made them laugh, and they told me theirs. I was releived they were'nt as bad as I was prepared for them to be.
Hillary: After my sentencing they do not hold you or arrest you, you are free to go home.In court you are able to schedule when you are going to do your time.

Are you planning to serve some time in Ventura County Jail? Know somebody who is? If so, you may be wondering what life inside this jail is really like.

Going to jail can cause a lot of anxiety, but with the right information, you can feel better prepared for the experience. We have interviewed former inmates of Ventura County Jail, and compiled the following information based on those interviews. You can also click on links to the left to read all the interview questions and answers.

When you go to court, you should expect that you will be in a courtroom full of other people waiting for their cases to be heard. Don't expect any privacy regarding your situation. Public defenders in this area are reported to have very high caseloads, and therefore cannot always give your case the attention it deserves.

If there is any way you can hire a private attorney, you might want to consider it for the best possible outcome in your case.

You will have no control over who you share living quarters with, but former inmates have shared advice about how to avoid conflict and stay out of trouble with other people while you serve your time. One major source of discord among inmates is when they gamble and buy and sell canteen items. Stay out of these activities and you will avoid many potential problems.

Racial issues have also caused some problems in the past, but it seems that the jail currently has a policy about bunking people with their own race to avoid some of these clashes.

Ex-inmates of Ventura County give mixed reviews about the food. Some reported that it was pretty good, while another stated it was "not for human consumption." One inmate advises if you know you are going to be booked in, to take cash in your pockets. That way you will have money on your books immediately, and if you don't like the meals, or just want some snacks on hand, you can order them right away.

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