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Lake County Jail

20 S County St
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 377-4100

Interview with Bee, Anthony and Clarence

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Bee: I got 1 year probation, almost $2,000 in court cost, 50 hours public service and cheated out of a good record for the rest of my life.
Anthony: i was sentenced to 6 months of periodic imprisonment either house arrest or work release and i served 2 months on house arrest and then without being ptr'd was told to come in and was thrown in work release 2 days before christmas and spent a week in there and then was brought to the jail and finished the remainder of my time in the jail
Clarence: 6 months. I tried to get only probation, but was unsuccessful.

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?
Bee: I spent time in a holding cell prior to getting sentenced. I was in there for two days. It was winter and there was no heat on. I had to sleep on the floor with 5 other girls. Two of the girls were herione addicts so by the first night you could smell the drugs coming out their pores. They were wining and sick.
Anthony: i spent a day in a holding cell before i was brought over to the jail it sucked but there is nothing nice about jail whether its a holding cell or a real jail cell
Clarence: Yes, but only while I was waiting to be processed, which was about 3 hours. It wasn't pleasant, as I was with mostly gangbangers who wanted to strut their "authority". The trick is to keep to yourself & ignore them.

Life On the Inside
It might bring a small measure of comfort to those who have been the victim of a crime to know that most jails are not "country clubs." However, that doesn't mean prisoners can't be treated humanely. Sometimes it comes down to the quality of the inmates that could determine how someone might get along.

At the Lake County Jail, a former inmate who was incarcerated for the first time found her fellow inmates to be very helpful in terms of showing her the ropes and helping her get along. Of course, there is no guarantee those nice inmates will always be there.

Passing the Time
To keep themselves occupied, inmates have a television, cards and dominoes. As you might imagine, the competition for those items was fierce. If an inmate wants to stay in shape at Lake County Jail they are pretty much on their own to do things like push ups or sits ups.

There is no exercise equipment. In fact, there is also no recreational yard. Once you go in, you won't feel fresh air again unless you go to court or are released.

According to a former inmate the meals are small, cold and tasteless. This makes salt and pepper packets a very coveted item. To bridge the gap between tasteless meals, inmates are given an opportunity to buy snacks from the commissary once a week.

Good Behavior Policy
The Illinois state policy on good behavior time for inmates is a day for a day. This can effectively cut an inmates sentence in half. The best way to achieve this is to get on the good side of the correction officers and stay out of trouble. All of that good time can be taken away with one major infraction.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
There are four phones in every cell block but that doesn't mean all four phones will be working or that an inmate can get on the phone on a particular day. Unlike other jails, there is no time limit for phone calls so you can imagine how this might cause some trouble.

Inmates are allowed one visit per week. Each visitor must present a valid photo ID to gain entry. Visitors aren't allowed to bring anything into the visit area.

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