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Hennepin County Jail

350 S 5th St # 6
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1322
(612) 348-3744

Interview with Tom, Sonja, Kurt and Marshall

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Tom: I was 3 months in Hennepin waiting for the sentence then was sent to six months at workhouse for the guilty plea.
Sonja: I was arrested October 2011 and it's September 2013. So far almost 2 years.
Kurt: 3 years probation, 17 days in workhouse, 16 days on house arrest
Marshall: Given the first 2 months to take the original charges to trial, then out for exaclt 7 days, sat in that particular counties jail for 3 weeks, then was extradited back to the downtown Hennepin county facility for 3 more weeks, an additional 3 in the workhouse then 2 more weeks downtown to handle the probation violations.. So all in all i served 162 days, with credit for 162 day with 18 months prison-time over my head for the next 5 years (until mid-2017)...

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?
Tom: I was at Brooklyn Park. They bring you there for what they call PC or proabable cause hearing. Must have been waiting there for a day and half. Pretty uncomfortable.
Sonja: After I had court and the judge released me from custody, I was still at the jail for about 8 hours waiting in a holding cell for my "paperwork to be done" so they would let me out to go home.
Kurt: 17 days workhouse,,locked in a cell 20 hours a day, i took naps, exercised in my cell and read alot of books to help pass the time, and had some money for personal food
Marshall: After sentencing the only holding cells I really seen were waiting for transports to various other counties to deal with probation violations in their respective jurisdictions as well as Hennepin county's probation violations against me and then to be released.

Life On The Inside
The Hennepin County Jail is essentially a pre-trial adult detention facility. It's also the largest in Minnesota and encompasses two distinct buildings that combined can hold up 839 inmates. Bookings for this jail facility average around 40,000 a year so obviously there is a lot of turnover at this jail.

The layout for the main jail is in what they call "quads." There are 10 quads consisting of 2 men cells. Each quad has its own common area. Inmates can pass their free time playing chess, checkers or cards. There is also an indoor half-court basketball court. Indoor is the key word there because there is no such thing as outdoors at Hennepin.

Inmates are given three meals a day except on Sunday when they are just given two as a kind of cost cutting measure. On Sunday, most inmates can turn towards their commissary purchases to fill in the hunger gap.

A former inmate interviewed for this site didnít seem to have any problems getting along with the other inmates. He advises you stick to yourself and mind your own business. Ultimately, you'll figure out who you should be friends with.

Good Behavior Policy
Most of the inmates being held at Hennepin are there on a pre-trial basis which means they couldn't afford a bail and are waiting to be called up for their court appearance. Under those circumstances good behavior time off doesn't apply. However, an inmate could have that pre-trial time considered as "time served." After sentencing, inmates are eligible for a minimum of one third off their sentence for good behavior.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
Contraband is a big issue at a jail and correctional officers go to great lengths to make sure no restricted items make their way into the jail. This is why visitors are subjected to searches when they come to visit an inmate. They also must present a valid state photo ID.

The visits are conducted in the kind of glass booths you've seen on countless movies and television shows. Visitors are also required to be "appropriately dressed" which basically means wear what you would wear to go grocery shopping as opposed to nightclubbing.

Inmates are given access to phones in the quads to make outgoing collect calls only. The connection charges to a cell phone are $10 and $5 for a landline. Then normal collect charges apply.

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