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Hillsborough County Jail

Orient Road Jail
1201 North Orient Road
Tampa, FL 33619
ph 813.247.8300
fax 813.247.8897

Interview with Aaron, Jessica, Walter, Margaret and Sherry

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Aaron: I was never sentenced. I spent thirty days waiting for my pre-trial sentencing date and was released the next morning because I was on hold for Pinellas County jail so I was instead transferred to the other jail to await sentencing there,
Jessica: given 2 weeks.
Walter: 6 months in county jail
Sherry: bascially it was a ten month sentence.

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?
Aaron: I was never sentenced but I was put into a trustee pod the whole time I was there except for the first night. It was very lax and easy time to do since we had an outside area we could go out to for most of the day and exercise, play basketball, or lay out under the sun. We were in lockdown for four to five hours a day in very small cells but I had a roommate so it felt even smaller. The T.V. was good on the weekends because we got the major local channels which meant we could watch football and baseball games. During the week all we got were a few Public Access channels so I took time reading many books that were available to us in the pod or playing cards or checkers. Many people were not very smart or had trouble understanding English so I helped out those that asked me for help. This made time pass by more quickly and made me part of an alliance of inmates that made me feel safe and needed. I actually, at times, enjoyed being at this jail because of the little bits of freedom I was given in a trustee pod. These were less violent members of ORJ and some guys were good for meaningful conversations. It is better to be free but compared to Pinellas jail, ORJ is far and above the better of the two.
Jessica: Yes, after court I sat in a holding cell for a couple more hours, while shackled, waiting to be brought back to jail.
Walter: Not a holding cell, but a waiting room similar to booking. There is a deputy's desk for any questions you have for the deputies. They serve balogna sandwiches with a juioce pouch if you're there long enough and have a flat screen tv hung on the wall.
Sherry: Yes after my sentencing I was shakled and taken back the the holding cell, it was nasty, women used the toilet in front of you, no privacy, and it was crowded.

Life On The Inside
One of the most popular jailhouse industry is the making of license plates for the state. This was probably the first major job to be assigned to inmates. Since then there have been many innovative programs for inmates to work at and raise money for jail services.

One of the most unique industries is happening at the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida. That would be the making of Jail House Fire Hot Sauce. You can order up a bottle for around $7 with all the proceeds going back to inmate services.

When those inmates aren't making hot sauce, they are staying in one of 50 pods. Within those pods are a combination of single and two men cells. The total amount of beds in the Hillsborough County Jail system is 4,190. Just note that there are actually three separate jail facilities that are part of Hillsborough County.

A major adjustment an inmate will have to make is their eating schedules. At Hillsborough breakfast is served at 4 AM, lunch is at 10AM and dinner is at 4 PM. A former inmate interviewed for this site rate the food a 7 out of 10. Even with that rave review inmates are still given the opportunity to order up snacks from the commissary. Of course, they can probably get all the hot sauce that want to spice up their meals!

Good Behavior Policy
The statewide good behavior policy in Florida allows for a maximum of 10 days off for every month served. However, every inmate is required to serve up to 85% of their sentence. Getting good behavior time is not automatic. The inmate needs to stay out of trouble and complete all their work assignments to the satisfaction of the correctional staff.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
Inmates at Hillsborough County Jail are granted visits throughout the week. Each visit is limited to one hour and it is the responsibility of the inmate to make the scheduled appointment. To make a visit, your name must be on the visitation list with the corresponding time and day of the visit. If you're not on the list you won't be allowed in to see the inmate. Every visitor has to present a valid photo ID.

Between 7 AM and 10 PM every day inmates are given access to the phones in their pods to make collect calls from.

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