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Houston County Jail

3330 Highway 149
Erin, TN 37061-5349
(931) 289-4614

Interview with Denise

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Denise: I was released on November 10, 2008 which was my sentencing date. I got 7 years community corrections

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?
Denise: yes I had to go back and wait to be processed out . You have a stainless steele sink connected to a stainless steele toilet a concrete bench which is also your bed and a steele door with a window on top and bottom. You could see various mens cells and could communicate even though you werent supposed to.

Life On The Inside
Many county jails provide incarceration for both men and women and the Houston County Jail in Erin Tennessee is no exception. There are four men's pods, 1 maximum security pod and 1 woman's pod. Within each pod there are single and two person cells. One distinct difference at this particular jail is that the women arenít allowed to be trustees which limit their ability to earn extra perks and work around the jail in good jobs.

The meals at Houston County are broken down to breakfast served at 9 AM, dinner served at 3 PM and a "snack" provided at 8 PM. Not exactly three square meals a day, but inmates are given the opportunity to buy snacks and sodas from the commissary.

During the week church services are offered on Tuesday and Sunday with bible study being held on Wednesdays. The inmates are allowed to go outside at least one hour every day except when there are men working outdoors. Then the women aren't allowed outside.

There is also a library made available to the inmates during the day. As far as the attitude of the other inmates is concerned one former female inmate reported getting into a fight with a fellow inmate and seeing another inmate carry on an affair with a guard. Never a dull moment.

Good Behavior Policy
The policy for earning good behavior time in the state of Tennessee is a maximum of 41 days off per year in the county jail system. These days are awarded up to the discretion of the warden. Things like fighting, being caught with contraband or talking a back to a correctional officer is not going to win an inmate any time off.

Visitor and Telephone Policy
Inmates are allowed visitors once a week. To visit someone in the Houston County Jail a visitor must present a valid photo ID and subject themselves to a search. The visitation is conducted through a glass partition and over two way phones.

Phones in the pods are turned on during the day to provide inmates with the opportunity to make outgoing collect calls only. Inmates can buy prepaid phone cards to help facilitate their calls.

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