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Interview with Jonathan and Mike

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Jonathan: I didn't find it hard at all to get along with other inmates. We're all in a bad situation. Pretty much nobody wants to be locked up. If you've been in the system, you'll know some guys who have also been in it, and are still in it. But humor and comedy helps a lot. Even humor over the terrible circumstances you're in.
Mike: Yes and no, I did find it hard to get along with many inmates at first, it appears that most of them know each other from the street or other stints in jail, I didn't have a lot in common with most of them. This being said I didn't have any problems and was able to make friends as I went, its like going to a new summer camp. Once you learn the social graces of Jail you are generally fine.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Jonathan: I'm a fighter by trade, so I wasn't really concerned about fights. I was also a successful wrestler in High School and College. If two inmates have a problem, they are supposed to lock in. Meaning they go into a cell, put a towel over the window, and fight. Nobody was going to lock in and fist fight me. I locked in with two guys, and I wrestled. They tapped out. That was that, and nobody gets lugged to "The Hole."
Mike: Be respectful, that is key, be respectful of other peoples space while standing up for your own. Also be respectful of yourself, shower and be mindful of the people you are living in close quarters with. If you can help someone out great, maybe they want help, everyones in the same shitty boat, tensions are high, you just got to keep your head on your shoulders.

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Jonathan: My first night in Dedham the unit was packed. I was given a dirty cell mate. His was the only opening, and it became evident why. But after a couple days, I switched cells, after I asked to be moved with a guy that I had become friends with. Yes, they'll usually let you move cells if both parties agree.
Mike: Yes sometimes you could change cells with someone and get into a cell with a friend (assuming you are in the same block as them, and they want you) my cell mates only changed due to people moving to different units and then eventually people getting released and new people coming in.

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

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