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Dallas County Jail

111 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75207

Interview with Charles, m ray, Leon, Jean, Accountant, Hot attorney, Lil Will, Cam, big boi, Claire, Walt, Carl, Ed, Devin, Mitch and Ronaldo

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Charles: 1st time 30 days work release, 2nd time I was released immediately after I saw the judge.
m ray: in 03 i did 20 days and then got 18 months probation and violated and got anthoer 40 days work release in 06 i got 9 months which is three months in 07 i got 1 yr which was a little over four months even though the last 2 charges were feliones i got motion granted to were i took the convection but instead of state time i got county time which therfore you get good time instead of flat time in state jail
Leon: The first offer was 5 years TDC .The second offer was for 3 years TDC and I accepted. Actual time in the court /in front of the judge is about 5-10 minutes.
Jean: My case was a probation violation. My last stint at Loose Sterrit (SP?) was damn near eight months before I was moved to the state jail, which is right across the street. They got me as long as they could because they get "X" amount of dollars per day. This has always been my theory: the reason they keep you so long and they don't tell other counties (because I was busted at the border, and they held me at Brownsville, Texas, which is on the border), for damn near three months before they shipped me up to Dallas, which is where my violation was. My theory was that it was because the state gets "x" amount of dollars per day to take care of you, if you have a felony.

In order to go in front of the judge, it could be anywhere from one day to 10. Right now in Dallas County, we're having a big problem. They're over-peopled, and, at one point in time, the Mayor here decided to change the computer program at the jail, and when they did, there was a glitch in the hitch, and they couldn't get the old computer back up, so there are still people sitting there that haven't seen a judge in 30 or 40 days. It makes the news all the time because they don't even know you're there.

As far as credit for time served, my understanding is that they have been releasing hundreds of people every month. (Non- violent crimes.) They're letting them go and get a second chance. Some of them are getting sentenced to out-programs and stuff of that nature. The big story in town was that a guy got picked up for a parking violation - he got pulled over, had an outstanding parking ticket, went to jail, and it was three days later before his wife could get him out because they just flat didn't know he was there. I can tell you that even when I got released - when you get released from there, they'll take you down there at 8am, and it will be around 5 or 6 pm before you get released. It takes a long time. It takes a lot longer to book out than it takes to book in. They don't care - you're a murderer as far as they're concerned. They treat you like crap.
Accountant: I posted bail the next day............after I had been there which seemed like forever. I immediately paid a bails bond-man to post my bail; however Collin county, Dallas county, and Irving all were confused on were my funds should be needless to say, they took their time about letting me out.
Hot attorney: I was in jail awaiting bond.
Lil Will: I got too many to remember
Cam: 10 Years probation.
big boi: 90 days in county jail , and 8 yrs probation
Claire: 4 mos,37 days.,65 days,6 mos.
Walt: They said to expect the EM device and breathalyzer for at least 6 months if I fail a breath test or UA I will be back in jail awaiting sentencing, so I am on a sort of alternative pre trial sentencing program. If I do well I think it enhances my chances of my case being disposed without conviction.
Carl: one year long was my sentencing
Ed: I received 5 years probation
Devin: 120 days. It was better than going to prison.
Mitch: Sentence was time served as I spent over four months waiting on court. No trial. I plead out.
Ronaldo: I was there for five days.

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?
Charles: A very short time in several cells trying to get back to my housing jails, but it was normally not terrible. The worst thing is when you have an empty docket call. The jail will send you to the court holding tank early in the morning, then leave you there just to pick you up at five that evening. The holding cells have no phone or TV.
Leon: You go back to the same tank as I described above.
Jean: One thing I remember is that they don't give you any additional clothing - you just wear the jail issue clothing at that point. Once they get you you might as well consider yourself a murderer because that's how they'll treat you.
Accountant: "Yes" I did. It was extremely cold, and you're in there with all kinds of people. It was over- crowded, causing you to have to find any space what so ever to sit in. There was no bed, no blankets, just the cold floor, and again you're still in your regular clothing.
Lil Will: They only put on in holding on court days. Sneak some snacks in your clothes cause they dont feed hot foods unless your lawyer gets a court order.
Cam: yes.. It was like i got the feeling that u was never gonna get out..The process was long.
big boi: holding tanks suck it took 18 hrs to get to my cell...
Claire: yes, spending time after you've been sentenced is the worst thing because you have handled your business know you not going home that day so you ready to get your bunk and eat;it was cold,hungry,exhausting and stressful
Walt: I did spend 1 or 2 hours waiting to be dressed out and moved to medicals detox cell. It was not good it is in a very old pert of the jail but luckily we were not there very long
Carl: Yes after everyone was seen by the judge they lined us up still in handcuffs and took us back to our holding cells one by one and the handcuffs did not come off until you got into your cell.
Ed: well at the time dallas county put all the people in one big cell that stank and they were bullies in there taking peoples money while they were sleeping people had drugs in there it was a nightmare
Devin: Yes. I was in the holding cell for another hour after I found out what I was facing. They seem to take people back to their housing units by the group.
Mitch: Initially the holding cells scared me and felt cold and dehumanizing. But after four months in with rapist, child molesters, murders, etc. Any chance you got to be in a holding cell with just a few people or ALONE, they became like vacation destinations.
Ronaldo: Yes. It was dirty, cold,and overcrowded. Guards were rude. Lunch was over an hour late. Food had green mold on it. Overall, it was not a pleasant experience at all.

Do you want to know what life in the Dallas County Jail is really like? The media does a terrible job of depicting real jail life in TV and movies. While Dallas can be a rough jail, it is nothing like prison.

The purpose of
This site is mean to prepare you for the realities of life in the Dallas County Jail - whether you will be serving time there or know somebody who will, we hope you find this information helpful. All of the information comes from ex-inmates of the jail.

On the left sidebar you will see some categories - go ahead and click whichever one you are most interested in. If you have a question about anything you read you can always ask a question at the bottom of each page or use our special section dedicated to questions and answers.

Getting along with other inmates
If you've never lived in a jail or prison setting you need to learn a few ground rules about how to treat other people. When you are on the outside you can generally talk pretty freely with people and state your opinions without worrying too much about being physically attacked. This isn't the case in jail - if you insult other people (intentionally or not) you will have problems.

If you find yourself an inmate at Dallas County Jail you should keep to yourself and always be respectful to other inmates. This doesn't mean you should let other people walk all over you because this will create other serious problems for you.

Telephone use and visitors
You will have to make collect calls from within the jail. These calls are not cheap - one ex-inmate recalled that they charged $7.55 per minute for a local call. These outrageous rates make visitations (which are free) seem like a downright deal.

You can receive two visits per week but each of your visitors must be on a special visitor list that you approve of.

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