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Essex County Jail

50 W Market St # 2
Newark, NJ 07102-1692
Phone: (973) 621-4111

Interview with Clayton, Darryl and Kristofer

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Clayton: i was sentenced to 2 months
Darryl: I wasn't formally sentenced . But I had no where to go . My wife wouldn't let me come home and my family is in California and Florida .
Kristofer: i was offically sentanced for 8 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?
Clayton: yes until they were ready to transport me to the county jail
Darryl: The holding cell was very quiet and old . chipping yellow paint with brown paint showing through . The officers had on green instead of blue and there was a star wars looking control pod in the center of the room .
Kristofer: I was arrested and taken to a holding cell in the jail before processing. After I was processed i was taken to the cell that was my cell the rest of the time, before, during, and after sentancing

If you or someone you know is headed to the Essex County Jail, you may have wondered what life is like behind those locked doors. Going to jail can be intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to expect when you get there. Having the right information can help you feel more prepared for the experience.

We have interviewed former inmates of Essex County, who have shared their inside knowledge about how things work in this jail. Take a few minutes to read their stories and learn what life is really like in the Essex County Jail.

Essex County provides inmates with three meals per day. The food is rated as mediocre. One inmate said "the food was OK, but I wouldn't eat it if I weren't locked up and had a choice." One of the foods that the inmates enjoy most is the chili, while the spaghetti is one of the least favorites.

The jail does have a commissary store from which inmates can purchase snacks. The commissary charges much higher prices than stores on the outside for similar items.

Phone Calls and Visitors
For most inmates, keeping in touch with friends and family on the outside is a high priority. Essex County allows inmates to have visits twice a week for thirty minutes per visit. Visitors are typically required to wait in a long line, and can expect to be searched before being admitted to the visit. The visiting room is one big room with several small tables where each inmate can sit with their visitor.

Essex County allows inmates two free phone calls per week.  Free phone calls for inmates are rare in jail, so this is a definite perk while staying in Essex County. Additional phone calls cost fifty cents each, which is very inexpensive compared to phone calls out of other jails.

Medical Care
Getting in to see a doctor can take some time in Essex County,  but inmates report that once they saw the doctor, they were able to receive needed medications regularly. The meds are distributed at a window where inmates line up and medication use is recorded.

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