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Oakland County Jail

1201 N Telegraph Rd
Pontiac, MI 48341
(248) 858-1800

Interview with Girliegirl, Paul, Tyler, Tom, Ryan, Zach and Pat

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Girliegirl: 8 years
Paul: Had to do 10 days for my probation violation!!!
Tyler: 7 days
Tom: i was sentenced 5 months but did 6 months a whole month before i even went to court.
Ryan: Contempt of court carried 95 days.
Zach: The suggested sentence from the probation department was 30 days in jail, no probation. The guidelines however were for 7-36 months. The judge kind if went toward the low end and gave 11 months in the county jail with no probation, with good time ended up being 7 months.
Pat: 30 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?
Girliegirl: 23 girls in a holding cell that was supposed to hold about 15. There were girls crying, yelling, mad, quiet and mostly just staying by themselves. The place stunk was cramped and everyone was giving each other dirty looks. There were two people that knew each other and they were loud to all of us. I guess they felt strong because they had each other. They were asking everyone what they were in their for and asked how long we got, what we did for a living and other personal questions. They were yelling at the other women to shut up when it was time to go to sleep and all night long they sat up and made fun of the other people that were in the holding cell. There was real tension in there. We were cold, hungry and most of us had to sleep on the floor with hard rough wool blankets and not enough pillows to go around. It smelled like moth balls and lemon cleaning products. The guards were sarcastic, rude and cold. As soon as one person left they would bring 3 more people back in. It was so crowded and uncomfortable.
Paul: yes for about 11 hours i was in there. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Then i got moved to a trustee and the 9 1/2 days went by fast.
Tyler: Yes, I was in the 48th district court holding cell for one hour. Small cell with five other guys. Everyone got along. Then transferred to Oakland County Jail and held in R9 (holding cell). R9 is awful! Overcrowded, no beds, some guys had been there for days. I spent 8 hours there before being classified and sent to the East annex.
Tom: after sentencing i was place back in the courthouse cell to wait until everyone else had went to court then we all went back to the county jail to start serving our time.
Ryan: Yes, I did. I was in the holding cell in the city of Hazel Park, MI. I was out of court no later than 3:00pm. I was left in a cold room that was blowing air, in the middle of winter. With nothing more than a thin blanket to try and keep ourselves warm. In the room with 3 other inmates, waiting on our transfer back to the OCJ facility until 7:00pm that night.
Zach: Holding cell for a few hours, it was crowded, but we were all there for various reasons. I grabbed an NA book from someone and had a read for a while, then was transferred to a different housing location in the main jail. This area was ten inmates, a shower, a table, and a phone. They were all pretty decent folks.
Pat: Yes, It was horrible. Sentenced in Novi 52-1 and then taken to a holding cell in Wixom for 10 hours. There was 6 other girls with me. One girl was in severe opiate withdrawl, puking the entire time.

Life On the Inside
On some level life inside the Oakland County Jail can be thought of as a version of the TV show "Survivor" in the sense that you never know who you're going to be stranded with and you just have to find a way to get along. This could mean living side by side with folks who don't have the same hygiene standards you might have or even the same moral standards but you've got to find a way to survive.

The alternative is to turn a bad situation into an extremely bad situation and that's not going to help anyone. One strategy for getting along that seems to be very popular especially among newer inmates is to simply stick to your own isolated self.

At the Oakland County Jail sticking to yourself will mean avoiding the 256 other inmates that are doing time. These same inmates will all be sharing common areas and community bathroom and showers. Privacy is not to be found. There is a dayroom where a TV is available for watching and an outside yard where inmates can get a glimpse of the outside world at least once a week. There are also books available, cards and board games.

Not only can you buy those cards or dominoes from the commissary but you can also get some snack items which could take away the sour taste that the food leaves behind.

Good Behavior Policy
The good behavior policy at the Oakland County Jail allows for one day reduction for every six days served. Those days off can mean a lot especially to someone one a short time sentence. Here is also where you need to survive by staying out of trouble in order to maintain that model prisoner status.

Visit and Telephone Policy
In order to get a visitation, inmates need to submit an official visitor request. The names on that list will be reviewed for prior arrests or outstanding warrants. If cleared, those visitors can show up at the appointed hour, once a week for the visiting session. Before getting to that visit, you'll have to go through a complete check-in process that could last longer than the visit itself. Not only will visitors be searched before going in but the inmates are also searched when the return to their cells.

As long as the jail isn't on lockdown, inmates can make collect outgoing calls between 8 AM and 10 PM from the phones located in their cells. There is a $3 connection charge for each call.

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