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Bay County Jail

5700 Star Ln
Panama City, FL 32404-2034
(850) 785-5245

Interview with Louisa

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Louisa: I got 3 years probation. I am still on probation. I have to pay court costs, fines and restitution (which is paid off). I make payments monthly. 150 hours of community service. Now I have to do 25 hours community service or hold down a job for at least 25 hours a week. I can't get a job because I now have a felony conviction on my record. So I do 25 hours of community service each week.

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?
Louisa: Yes. It was like hell. You are put in the holding cell and you sit there and wait. They fingerprint and mugshot you. They put you back. It's very very cold in there. Then they make you take a shower and use this tar soap for your hair that treats for headlice. They give you one pair of panties, one sports bra, one pair of socks, and pants and shirt and a t- shirt. They give you a bedroll with two topsheets and a pillow case. Some of them are very dirty looking. They give you a wool blanket and a towel and you hope to God it's clean. They give you a sack that has a tooth brush that is tiny, a little tube of toothpaste, soap and roll on deodorant. Then they take you to the main area where you will live. Holding is for 3-8 hours, depending on how many people are there getting booked in. There were only 2 of us and I was there 5 hours.

If you or someone you know is headed over to Bay County Jail to serve some time, you may be wondering what to expect. Going to jail can be a scary experience, especially if you have never been there before. We have interviewed former inmates of this jail so you can become more informed about what life is really like on the inside.

To the left are links to the actual interviews, and below is general information we have compiled based on the interviews. Take a few minutes to learn about life in Bay County Jail, so you can be more prepared to serve your own time (or be able to help somebody else serving theirs).

A lot of people going to jail for the first time are worried about how they will be treated by the other inmates. Former inmates of this jail advise that when you get there, it's best to sit back and watch the others for a few days. Take time to identify the troublemakers, and make sure not to get involved with them.

Don't give off an attitude that you are better than anybody else, or that you don't belong in jail. It's also a good idea not to discuss your charges with other inmates. If someone asks you what your crime was, it's OK to say "I prefer not to say." You don't have to be rude to maintain some privacy about your situation.

Fortunately, former inmates report that medical care is pretty accessible in Bay County Jail. If you need medical care you will receive it in a timely manner, but don't expect it to be free. You will be charged $5 every time you see a doctor, and $2 for each prescription.

A nurse comes around morning and evening to administer medications. If you take meds, you line up at the med cart and wait your turn. The nurse will check your mouth after you take the medication to make sure you aren't cheeking the pill. If you are caught abusing substances in Bay County, you can expect to be written up and sent to lockdown.

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