JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time? Darrin: there is not really anything to pass the time in
Montcalm County Jail. the only thing provided by
the jail is chess and checker games and one TV
that 4-20+ people have to share. the guards rarely
let people out to get books from the jail library.
if in max you get an hour of TV a day and nothing
more. Jessica: you rarely got to go to the gym and there was
nothing but a big gym to walk around. Some book
shelves with books you could take back to your
cell. TV is in every cell...the officers control
some cells tvs. There is nothing constructive to
do at all. Church is held on sundys for 15 to 30
mins depending on population. Officers are in
charge of allowing inmates to walk in the
gym...rarely allow you to do that...sleep and a
13"tv is what you have.
JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details. Darrin: in Montcalm County Jail the guards control the TV
and they have the power to put what ever they want
on the TV if they don't want to let the inmates
chose. the only other entertainment there is
chess, checkers, and playing cards. most people
there that play cards ply spades or Euchre.if you
are not a card player there is not really anything
for you to do unless you like watching sports or
westerns. Jessica: TV was difficult in some cells. Most of the time
I didn't want to watch tv anyways it was mounted
on the wall a 13"inch box tv is hard to watch
from across the room. Also if the cell gets the
tv taken away it gone all day then your left with
nothing but the chatter of the other cell mates.
JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail? Darrin: yes. there is no work out equipment at all. once a
week to once a month inmates get to go to the gym
to walk for 30min to an hour; but there is no
place to sit down and rest. Jessica: There is nothing really to do. You have limited
space to work out in a cell with 10-12 people.
Plus if the officers on duty didn't want you
working out they wouldn't let you.
JM: How often did you get to go outside? What did you do outside if you were allowed to? If you were not allowed to go outside what could you do for exercise? Darrin: there is no outside access at Montcalm County Jail
for inmates. there re a couple large vents that
get opened up in the summer in the gym for fresh
air when and if you get to go walk in the gym. Jessica: We where never allowed to go outside. The gym in
the summer time has a garage door kinda thing
half way up the way with a cage on it they open
sometimes to let us smell the fresh air.
JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held? Darrin: yes there church services on Sunday morning and
Wednesday evening that are non-denominational.
there are no services for any other faith;
although the non-denominational does try to cater
to all christian faiths. if you are Native
American, wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Scientology,
Jewish, etc. they do not minister to your faith. Jessica: They did allow church services on sunday. Like I
said before they ran 15-30 mins depending on the
population number. Also they allowed bible study
for the women on Monday night only if the
officers were not to busy booking people in...
They sometimes wouldn't let the church ladies in.