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Leisure Time

Interview with Megan

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
Megan: Not enough. If I didn't live so far, I would donate all of my used books to them. The library cart came once or twice a week with books. You could only take one at a time. There was a law library, but I didn't use it. The rec room, as previously described, didn't have much for recreation. No excercise facilities (other than walking in a very small circle) were present. It would have just been nice to walk without getting dizzy.

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
Megan: There was a, maybe, 16" old TV that was suspended about 10' off the floor (very difficult to see). There were always fights over the TV. Each cell selected programming for the day in return for cleaning the common areas and showers. There was still infighting over that. It was insufficient space to have TV on with all of the other conversations, card games, etc. going on which cause a lot of conflict.

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
Megan: Yes. Inadequate facilities to walk/jog/stretch. There was no room to do anything. Putting 24 women in the rec area didn't really allow for much aerobic activity. I didn't expect a club by any stretch but the lack of space for excercise was disturbing.

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?
Megan: Never. We could walk around the rec area. That was very difficult with the amount of space allowed. I didn't so much as SEE the outdoors for over three weeks. No fresh air. We had windows in our cells that were approximately 1' high by 3' wide that were painted dark brown except for about 1/4" around the edges. So covered that you could barely tell if the sky was blue or grey. You could distinguish day from night. That was about it. Terrible. Not healthy mentally or physically. There would be less conflict if inmates had more exercise or outdoor time.

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
Megan: There was a Baptist minister that came once a week. He seemed pleasant enough and I started to listen in to the first session. However, he was openly critical of Jews and Catholics. Repeatedly. As a Catholic, I was deeply offended by what he said, particularly given that his services were not "billed" as Baptist and I was shocked that he would say such terrible things in a setting where he could not possibly have known the religious preferences of every inmate. It was insulting and disheartening all at once. I wanted so much to see a priest, but was not comfortable asking.

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