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Leisure Time

Interview with Lena, Janis and Anna

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Lena: They had cards, checkers, chess, magazines newspapers. There was TV but you could only watch what the deputies wanted to watch.
Janis: I was able to attend church in the dayroom of the unit on Sundays and the dayroom was available for walking, playing cards, television watching, making phone calls, that was pretty much it. Classes like parenting, anger management and domestic violence were available but you usually had to be mandated.
Anna: Well there was church on Sundays. We were able to get books. There was a tv in the day room. Everybody had to agree to a program though. So that kinda sucked. There wasn't really much exciting things to do. I had to read books to pass the time. Without them I probably would of went crazy.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Lena: There was never any competition for that stuff.
Janis: Competition was fierce, especially for the only entertainment that mattered, which was the tv. Whoever was out at the time the dayroom was open, it was usually first come first served and if everyone was in their cells and the tv was on, whoever might have been out in the dayroom for whatever reason, would choose the channel.
Anna: My experience us inmates were only allowed once everyday to the day room. We only had a couple of hours. There really wasn't much to do but talk with other inmates. Watch the t.v. The day room was big enough to walk around in circles. I did that a few times. I also would just watch the t.v.

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Lena: Yeah it was pretty rough because you're in a tiny space where maybe you could walk 12 steps in either direction if you wanted to. That's nnot going to do you much good.
Janis: No, I had a work out regimen and once I got into it, it became consistent, and kept me focused.
Anna: Yes I ended up gaining like 20 pounds. Inmates weren't allowed to work out. I remember the correctional officer's telling a few inmates to stop.

JM: How often did you get to go outside? What did you do outside if you were allowed to? If you were not allowed to go outside what could you do for exercise?
Lena: Once a week for about an hour. They had a basketball court on concrete surrounded by a fence out there.
Janis: Once a week was the alotted rec time and I usually walked laps around the perimeter. I would do the same exercises in the dayroom if the rec time wasn't available.
Anna: I was never given the opportunity to go outside. I could only see outside from my tiny cell window. Honestly there isn't really much room in a cell to exercise. Plus the correctional officer's wouldn't allow it.

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Lena: Oh yeah. They had them right in the jail downstairs in a big room. Was it nice? Sure. Depends on what service that you want to go to. They had them in Spanisih and whatnot. Some were very structured while others were a bite more relaxed. Something for everyone I guess.
Janis: Yes, church services were offered and I went to the protestant services because it paralleled with my beliefs. They were on Sundays and we sung songs and read the Bible.
Anna: Yes, there were church services. I believe they were held Wednesday's and Sundays. I never went to a church service at west valley.

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