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Interview with Lisa, Bill, Ron, Cindi and Holly

JM: Did you find it difficult to get along with other inmates? Please give examples to explain why you did or didn't.
Lisa: Not at all. I felt bad because I knew that I was getting out and my circumstances were better than some of them. I was shocked at the boredom and having nothing to do. It was really rowdy at night when everyone finally rolled out of bed late in the afternoon. All the women were pretty nice.
Bill: No
Ron: No, but I was Jail rich. I had tons of phone cards, two decks of cards, and about $90 bucks in comisary a week. Therefore I was able to trade with people, and always had the best books and stuff like that...I was also very friendly, and could be generous. I would make games for myself based on these two guys nobody liked. Like I knew they loved the juices and oranges, so one day I made trades and ended up with like 20 juices and 15 oranges...and I would pace back and forth with all the juices, just giving them away. Keeping some.
Cindi: Some were drama filled, but for the most part it was fine. Most of them slept all day, most were kicking some drug or substance so they didn't interact a whole lot for the first week or so that they were there.
Holly: Yes, I found it difficult because the inmates are so angry and a lot of them were friends before. The women are very angry and many of them are detoxing from drugs or alcohol so it is a very hostile environment.

JM: What types of things did you have to do to avoid problems or fights with other inmates?
Lisa: I talk too much so I kept my mouth shut. I didn't ask personal information unless it was offered. Like I said, I thought all of us got along pretty well. There were no fights that I witnessed and everyone treated each other pretty fair.
Bill: I kept to myself and read the Bible. I talked with some of the inmates about general topics such as how long they were there, offenses
Ron: One most everybody was cool except for two people. But I had a lot of people that had my back. Namely this big stupid Mexican dude who had 9 months to go...I was very nice to him, and gave him free food, and explained his legal matters, and relayed a message for him...I didn't really like the guy, but I deceided I wanted the person nobody wanted to mess with on my side.
Cindi: I sat on my bunk and read a lot of books or I wrote letters or I tried my best to sleep the day away. There really isn't a lot to do or a place to go to get away from people so you just did what you could to be nice to everyone.
Holly: I had to share food with other inmates and listen to their problems in order to avoid problems. I also had to figure out the social rules for the housing unit because there were unspoken rules that you only know about after you have been there for awhile. I also had to be careful who I hung out with.

JM: Were you able to choose an inmate as your cellmate if you knew one? How often would your cellmate(s) change?
Lisa: No, but I didn't know anyone so the point is moot.
Ron: No, their were not a whole lot of choices in the process.
Cindi: I was in a dorm with 18 other women. So we had bunk mates that we did not choose and those did not change unless some one left the jail.
Holly: I was not able to choose a cellmate, they were just given. The cellmate changed many times... about 4 or five times while I was there. It was frustrating because one of my cellmates was detoxing heavily and was screaming in her sleep.

Read about time off for good behavior in the Clackamas County Jail

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