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Shelby County Jail

201 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 545-5770

Interview with DL.Bliss, Keith, Michelle and Roxy

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
DL.Bliss: 120 days.
Keith: 13 months 3 years probation
Michelle: i was sentenced to 3 years
Roxy: I was sentenced for an 11-29

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?
DL.Bliss: the holding cells are in booking and processing. they give you a sacked lunch, usally a dry bologna sandwich, chips, and a soft drink. there is a t.v.
Keith: After sentencing you sit in a holding tank for sack lunch then you go back to your pod or annex building at 12midnight they wake so your transported back to shelby county jail
Michelle: i went back to jail east.
Roxy: I was taken back to my cell i was given paper basically and small understanding before i found out any information on what was going on once again nevrous situation

If you or someone you love is headed to Shelby County Jail, you might be wondering what to expect. Going to jail can be scary, especially if you have never been before. While we can't promise that jail will be worry free, having the right information can help prepare you for the experience.

We have interviewed former inmates of Shelby County, who have shared their tips and insight to help your jail time go smoother. You can access the interviews by clicking on links to the left. Take a few minutes to read their stories and learn what life is really like inside Shelby County Jail.

Good Time
Due to problems with overcrowding, many jails allow inmates the opportunity to get out earlier than their sentence states. This is called "good time" and is earned through good behavior during your incarceration. Shelby County Jail offers this time off to its inmates. For a misdemeanor sentence (less than a year) you can get as much as half off your time. To be eligible for this, you need to avoid fighting, talking while an officer is speaking to a group, and disorderly conduct.

Shelby County serves three meals a day to inmates. The food is rated as mediocre, or 4 on a scale from 1-10. Complaints about the food include that it isn't well seasoned and it is often cold once it reaches the inmates. If you have money on your books, you can buy snacks from commissary. Having this option can make your time a little bit easier.

Telephones and Visits
Keeping in touch with friends and family on the outside is usually a high priority for inmates. Shelby County allows frequent access to telephones. An unusual feature of this jail is that once you are on the blocks, you can dial out of the jail for free. Phone calls from jail normally cost and arm and a leg, so this is a huge benefit to those who are locked up in Shelby County.

Inmates are allowed to have visitors come on weekends. The check in process for visitors is reportedly lengthy, so if you are visiting, give yourself plenty of time. During your visit, you can expect to sit in a booth type area with glass separating inmate from visitor.

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