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Interview with Tom, Oscar, Ralph, Robert and Bert

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Tom: no
Oscar: never im a south sider we never have trouble
Ralph: Yes. I was a foreigner. I had never been incarcerated before, even in my own country. I was constantly afraid but I tried not to show it. Other inmates luckily did not see me as a threat or rival because I did not belong to any group or gang or category they were familiar with. In the beginning in the closed county jail I became quickly claustrophobic and began pacing up and down the shared overcrowded cell until I was verbally threatened if I didn't stop pacing up and down. one senior inmate seemed to run the cell and iisued out however much toilet paper he thought I should have, which was not enough!
Robert: No u show respect u get it back
Bert: at first a little, but then after diagnostics was over it was a lot better . being 16 years old in a prison was a big eye opener for me

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Tom: none
Oscar: talk and then if no answer get down
Ralph: I just had to assume an air of superiority to show I had self-confidence. Luckily most of the other inmates were curious about my country and asked me to tell them about it, so that helped avoid arguments or disputes as I tried to be friendly to everybody. Onbe black inmate who was an ex-gang member who become religious and devoted his life to making up for his bad deeds asked me if I wanted him to protect me from anybody who bothered me as he'd seen one minor incident but luckily it did not become necessary andI became friendly also with another outsider there, a small gay man who had also been arrested under similar circumstances as me, so we had that in common. We had both been set up by our attackers. When I was due to be released the other inmates in the detention jail in the north of LA county threw buckets of water at me which is one of the rituals that inmates undergo apparently on release! It was called something like "water down", but luckily in the California heat, although initially soaked to the skin, I dried off in about 30 minutes.
Robert: Respect clean after u use the rest room and keep your distence show no fear they pick on you that
Bert: really for the first 1year nothing.. fights and problems were every were then after that when I finally got to Coweta STATE PRISON EVERYTHING WAS GREAT. we had rec, tvs ,free weights,jobs and pretty much anything you could ask for as long as you worked and didn't give any problems you were good

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Oscar: huero
Ralph: No.
Robert: No
Bert: no you couldn't and they changed like clock work at the beginning and then after I got moved to a dorm then you had 28-30 cell mates. but they changed twice a week with shipping

Read about time off for good behavior in the Whitfield County Jail

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