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Bernalillo County Jail

100 John Dantis Rd SW
Albuquerque, NM 87151-0100
(505) 839-8700

Interview with Karl, Christine and Drew

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Karl: I just had a hold for messing up my hold, until I did the drug counseling in there. I was in there between 3-4 weeks, close to a month. A little more than halfway through they got me into the program. I got kicked out because there wasn't enough room for me, and then I got shipped off to another jail. I was let out on the ankle bracelet for 3 months after I got out of jail.
Christine: 90 days suspended with 1year probation . Since I violated I got the full 90 days .
Drew: 10 Months with good time served 5 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?
Karl: When I first got arrested, I sat in booking for 2-3 hours because nobody knew I was there. Then after getting processed into the 3-4 hours before going to segregation to be classified, for between 12 and 24 hours. The holding cell is cold, you sit on the cement, no shoes, crowded, stinky. There is one toilet in there. They also have single holding cells also. 5-20 people in the group holding cell. I spent time in both because of overcrowding.
Christine: Yes, I spend time in the holding underneath the courthouse . It wasn't good . They left me there four hours by myself . It was cold and dirty . I just stayed in a corner , and didn't touch anything . It was depressing .
Drew: No Jail was overcrouded, Was in Seg on floor of pod. Was there for 3 days very stressfull because, since we had no cell we had to sit on mat on floor all day where only allowed to get up and walk twice a day for 30 min unless we needed restroom. After 3 days was moved to General population was there for 5 days then i was moved to school pod.

The Bernalillo County Jail, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is definitely not a pleasant place to be; if you know somebody going there, however, it is helpful to know what you can expect in terms of visitation and telephone rights. Read real reviews from ex-inmates of the Bernalillo County Jail.

Meals in BCJ
Jail food generally isn't very good. The one bright spot is that the jail offers a canteen where you can buy food and snacks to supplement (or replace) the food you are being served. You can get Ramen, soup, candy, chips and more. Eating healthy behind bars, though, is really a challenge.

The jail does have a handball area that allows you to get some exercise (you can either workout playing handball or just walk laps on the court) or you can do pushups. This is one of the few county jails in the country that allows you to spend a significant amount of time outside (usually whenever you are allowed outside your cell).

Visitors and Phone calls
You can receive up to two visitors per week but they need to get there early on your assigned day for you to have a chance at a visit. Only the first 200 visitors are allowed a visit per day so you don't want to run the risk of missing this cut-off. The "visit" is done through a video monitor so there is no direct contact (this cuts down on smuggling).

As an inmate you can use the phone pretty much every day (unless you are on lockdown for somebody causing problems or a riot). You have to either call collect or use phone cards to call the outside.

Most clothing is provided but if you get cold easily you will probably want somebody to put some money on your books to buy a thermal top on canteen. The jail is often kept very cool to prevent the spread of disease and infection.

Passing the time in Bernalillo County Jail
Inmates at BCJ have pretty much all of the standard time-wasters - cards, checkers, chess, reading, television, etc. They also have a handball court which is unusual in a county jail facility.

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