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Wayne County Jail

525 Clinton Street
Detroit, MI 48226-2317
(313) 224-1436

Interview with Hugh, Cameron, Sarah, Roy and Janicki

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Hugh: Sentenced to twelve to 25 years. I was in jail for a year and spent the rest of the time in prison. I served 11 years, 11 months. In 2005 I was arrested for possession of cocaine and served time in Wayne County.
Cameron: The sentence in Wayne Co. was 2 to 30 years in prison. I also had charges in Oakland Co.
Sarah: 5 yrs probation, with first 7 months to be served in Wayne County Jail, even though presenting report recommended no jail.
Roy: had the defendant showed up it would have been 4 -6 months i was told
: I was required to stay incarcerated until my sentencing which was approximately 2 months.

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?
Hugh: Yes, it takes about 6 hours to get processed in. It's a big cell that has benches. Its all cinderblock and metal. They have big metal toilets out in the open. Bars in the front. Its a horseshoe shape of cells. The booking cell is where you go first, you move from cell to cell depending on where you're at in the process. At the last cell you are strip searched and assigned a floor and given your clothes. Back then you would see a social worker or a nurse to evaluate your mental state, but they don't do that anymore.
Cameron: I went back to the same holding cell that I had been in since early that morning. After everyone was done with court they handcuffed all of us to the chain again and we trudged back through the tunnel to the jail. Back at the jail we waited in another holding cell until we were returned to our separate cells.
Sarah: Yes, I was in jail pending sentence. I was transfer from jail to holding cell in court through tunnel. Had to sit in holding cell all day alone. No food. Then they take you back to the jail where a series of holding cells await before you get back to your rock. It's an all day affair.
Roy: yes i did,i actually got bailed out by my sister and the court acted like they werent releasing me and so when they did i was in a tiny holding cell in taylor and they didnt even collect my orange jump suit,i wore it home
: That's all you do while your in jail. If you are released immediately after sentencing, you can't just leave. You have to wait in the holding cells at court and when you get back to the jail you have to be processed out and that's a 6 hour process while you wait in a bull pen. Nothing is quick in jail.

If you or someone you know is headed to Wayne County Jail, you may be wondering what to expect. Going to jail can be scary, especially if this is your first time. Having the right information can help you prepare for the experience.

We have interviewed former inmates of Wayne County. They have shared what they know about life in this jail. Links to the left lead to these interviews. Take a few minutes to read their stories so you can know what to expect from day to day in Wayne County Jail.

Wayne County provides three meals per day to the inmates. Unfortunately, the food doesn't rate very highly. Breakfast is usually cereal, a honeybun and juice. Lunches and dinners often contain processed food that is hard to identify.

Former inmates recommend making sure you have money on your books so you can buy snacks off commissary to supplement the food served by the jail. The jail allows each inmate to spend up to $150 a month of commissary as long as you have the money available on your account.

Inmates are issued orange shirts and pants that look kind of like hospital scrubs. Each inmate is also issued a pair of hard plastic sandals. You can buy underwear, undershirts, socks and soft canvas shoes off commissary. Former inmates recommend stocking up on those items from commissary if you can.

Passing the Time
One of the most challenging parts of being in jail is figuring out how to pass the time. Wayne County provides inmates with the opportunity to watch TV, play cards and play board games like monopoly. Inmates typically go to the gym once or twice a week (inside). The gym has a basketball hoops but they are installed higher than usual so inmates won't hang on the rims.

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