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Wake County Jail

330 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-1729
(919) 856-2673

Interview with Reggie, Sarah, Brenda, Mike and Will

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Reggie: 7 to 9 months
Sarah: Sentenced to 60 days in the Wake County Jail, allowing me to purge my civil contempt if I do not file anything without a lawyer for 30 days. I had not filed anything without a lawyer for 35 days before the hearing, but there was no opportunity to argue that I had already met the purge condition after the sentence was handed down. I was cuffed and hauled off to jail.
Brenda: 45 days to long an until safe
Mike: For the assault charge, I am currently facing 15 months probation along with domestic violence classes. For previous drug charges I was sentence to 6 months in jail and I have upcoming charges for drugs as well. I have not been sentence by any means for those at this time.
Will: My sentence was for 18 months in prison but under NC law, the sentence is cut in half provided that I maintain good behavior while inside.

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?
Reggie: I was returned to my dorm at the Annex.
Sarah: Yes, several hours. The women sat around on the wooden benches saying nothing, seemed very hostile to conversation. Then I was moved to another larger holding cell with a phone with several women yelling, screeming, crying. I did not get to use the phone. The potty was in public view, except for a short cement block wall that afforded some privacy. The cell was solid cement block. The door was very thick steel and bolt latch that scared me when it slammed shut. The windows of sorts were thick plastic. We could near nothing outside, and they could not hear us, that we knew of. We were totally ignored, like caged animals, having no idea of what to expect, and when, or if. As I understand it, they deliberately try to scare inmates on intake to get them to submit to the charges and confess.
Brenda: yes the put you chain together in a small room until you go back to the ponds and then you go to your cell that suck really where you all lone and scare to death
Mike: I was once in a holding cell for more than 24 hours. It was cold, uncomfortable and I was just barely baring it. But I knew that this was only the beginning and that it was only going to get worse than this.
Will: After my sentencing, I stayed in the jail annex for about two and a half more weeks before the tranfer bus picked me up to go to the processing prison.

If you or a loved one will be serving time in Wake County Jail, you may be wondering what life is really like on the inside. Having the right information can help you feel more prepared for the experience.

We have interviewed former inmates of Wake County, who have shared their stories and insight that can help you know what to expect. We have compiled the following information based on these interviews. You can click on the links to the left that will lead you to the full interview questions and answers.

Unfortunately, the food in Wake County Jail doesn't get very good reviews from former inmates. Some felt that the portion sizes weren't enough to satisfy hunger. If you have money on your books, you can order snacks from commissary to supplement or replace the food the jail serves you. If you can do this, it can make your time a little easier.

Former inmates agree that while none of the meals are great, the cornbread is one of the better things the jail serves. Meals are served on an early schedule, starting with breakfast in the very early morning hours, between 4 and 8am, and dinner being served between 3 and 6 in the afternoon.

Wake County Jail provides inmates with access to telephones. To make a call, it is necessary to call collect but beware that the prices are higher than a normal collect call. If you try to call someone and an answering machine picks up, the jail will automatically block you from calling that number again, because the system will assume the call was unaccepted. Therefore, if there are people you will be calling regularly, you may want to ask them to stop using their answering machines while you are incarcerated, or you could set up a certain time of day that you will try to call them.

You will have varying levels of access to phones depending on which part of the jail you live in. If you are in general population, you will have access every day. If you are in solitary confinement, you will have access only when you are let out of your cell into an area that has a phone.

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