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Clarke County Jail

3015 Lexington Road
Athens, GA 30605
(706) 613-3270

Interview with JD

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
JD: I had recieved 1 year probation, upon violating I was given the option of an additional year probation (including fines, fees, and 30 hrs communtiy service) or 20 days in Athens-Clarke County Jail in which I would have to serve only ten 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?
JD: At the Athens-Clarke County Court house I was placed in holding cell in the basement prior to and following my arrignment. The cell was shared with some 20 other individuals who had court that day. Spent entire time shackeled (hand and feet cuffs) which after several hours became very uncomfortable.

Life On the Inside
The Clarke County Jail is classified as a "temporary holding facility for persons arrested for criminal offenses or local ordinance violations; persons being held for probation / parole violation, contempt of court, or offenses committed in another county or state; and offenders sentenced to incarceration in the jail or another correctional facility." That's the official way of saying if you get in trouble with the law around Athens, Georgia you're going to end up in Clarke County Jail.

There are 4 units at Clarke County: three for men and one for women. Within these units are dorm style open areas referred to as pods. These pods provide inmates with the change to roam about freely and socialize. It's also an environment with very little privacy. At the Clarke County Jail an effort is made to segregate the violent offenders from the non-violent offenders. A former inmate of Clarke County reported that most of the inmates were friendly.

One popular pastime is reading. A book cart makes the rounds at least once a week allowing inmates to borrow several books at once. A television is available depending on whether or not the inmates are behaving and keeping the pod clean. Outdoor rec time is extremely limited with only 30 minutes per session once a week.

Surprisingly, the former inmate interviewed for this site rated the food as 7 out of 10. Each inmate is also allowed to have a commissary account of up to $100 where they can buy other snacks and toiletries.

Good Behavior Policy
Most of the inmates being held at Clarke County are there on a pre-trial situation so the issue of getting off early for good behavior is a rarity. However, for those inmates who have been sentenced, the official state policy is a "day for a day." This only applies to an inmate who has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense.

Visitor and Phone Policy
Like the television, phone use is tied to inmate behavior. If everyone is getting along then the phones will be turned on. An inmate who wants to make a call needs to set up an account with Value Added Communications to make the collect calls.

There are two types of visitation environment. The first is the traditional through a glass partition and telephone. The second is a video visitation which occurs over two-way video cameras and monitors. The type of visit you have will depend on where the inmate is housed. Inmates are allowed up to 4 visits a week.

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