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Seminole County Jail

211 Bush Blvd
Sanford, FL 32773

Interview with Jessica, Sarah, Curt, Brad, Peter and Michael

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Jessica: My sentencing didn't make any sense. My paper before first appearance said "No Bond for 72 hours" but when I got to court she said that I got no bond until my next court date which was to be on July 21, 2008. That was on June 19, 2008. Clearly FAR more than 72 hours. No one ever gave me the paper to fill out for a public defender, yet I found out when it was too later that I was appointed to one.
Sarah: 60 days with 5 days credit for time served
Curt: 30 days
Brad: 90 days.
Peter: 54 months.
Michael: Six Months due to habitual driving offense due to child support hold on my license.

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?
Jessica: I spent the day and night prior in the holding cell more so. Only a few hours in holding after first appearance. It was freezing cold in there. There was one toilet with a sink on top of it in there and no walls or anything for privacy. They gave us plastic mats to sit or lay on and we got blankets between 9pm and 6am but none at all outside of that time. They took the sheets and blankets away despite the frigid temperatures. During the night there was no rest, people came in and were being pulled out for processing constantly. The corrections officer also felt it necessary to slam the door every single time.
Sarah: I spent time in a holding cell at my turn in date at the courthouse and at the jail. At the courthouse as soon as they took me out of the courtroom. The sheriff asked me what I wanted for breakfast the next day whether it be grits or eggs and made me speak into a microphone my decision. This being my first trip to jail I didn't know that you don't get a choice so this was purely just to humiliate me. The cells at the courthouse are small and I was in one by myself for probably only about 20 min with no toilet and a 3 feet long concrete bench. The holding cell at the jail is probably 20 x 10 feet. It has metal benches that wrap around 3 of the 4 walls and a metal toilet in the corner. It's always very cold and the lights never get shut off.
Curt: yes i spent 24 hours in holding. and it sucked! population is much not at all
Brad: A couple of hours, typical holding cell, concrete, steel toiliet and sink. You just sit in there twiddling your thumbs unitl they call you up.
Peter: The holding cell after sentencing is really hard for me to remember because I think I was just numb and emotionally drained after being given a sentence of 4.5 years and only being 19 yrs old. I just remember thinking about how the judges last words to me were "goodluck". Good luck is something you say when throwing horseshoes, not after sentencing a man to prison. I remember being in the holding cell with about 10 other inmates and it was unusually quiet in there. I think just about everyone got bad news that day.
Michael: Yes many hours, I have been in the facility before so it was nothing new to me, I slept most of the time. You just are held there and move from one location to another.

If you are someone you know is headed to Seminole County Jail, you may be wondering what life is like behind those locked doors. Going to jail can be scary, especially if this is your first time. We can't promise that your time will be worry free, but having the right information can help you feel more prepared for the experience.

We have interviewed ex-inmates of Seminole County, who have shared their stories so you can know what to expect. You can read the interviews by clicking on links to the left. Take a few minutes to read about the experiences of others who have gone before you, and learn what life is really like in Seminole County Jail.

Getting Out Early
To deal with issues of overcrowding, many jails provide a way for inmates to get out earlier than their sentences state. Seminole County allows inmates to earn up to 5 days off per 30 days and this time off is called "Gain Time." Inmates earn this time by becoming trustees, and for every 30 days worked, 5 days are taken off the sentence. To get the gain time, it is important to avoid fights, contraband, and generally follow the rules of the jail.

Seminole County provides three meals each day to inmates. The food is not rated very highly, but one inmate did comment that it is better than the food in Orange County. Another inmate commented that it was always hot and didn't seem to make anyone sick, so that is a good thing. A favorite food of inmates is a brown meat sauce served with noodles.

One inmate speculated that the chicken is the only real meat served, with all the others being soy products. The jail does have a commissary where inmates can buy snacks if they have money on their accounts. Having money and being able to do this can make the time easier as you will have some choices of different foods when the jail serves something you don't care for.

Items sold by the commissary include ramen noodles, honeybuns, chips and soda.

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