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Leisure Time

Interview with DC, Keith, Joe, Heidi, Kami, Linda, Gregg, Matthew, Damon, David, Shelley, Justin, Steve, Jack, Rachel, Conrad, John, Ted and Dillon

JM: What types of facilities were available to help pass the time?
DC: There was TV, and there were books. That's about it.
Keith: New Jail gets recreation (basketball or handball) every other hour, 24 hours a day. The old Jail you get to go to rec 3 times a week for 1 hour each time. Green Bay gets rec 2 times a week for 1 hour. All jails have a TV in each tank that stays on 24/7. An inmate can also go to the law library once a week for 1 hour. The New Jail has GED classes during the week.
Joe: gym,dayroom,showers.
Heidi: books, tv, classes, church, recreation time, and cards
Kami: tv books and gym which is just an open space really
Linda: Church and Counseling or going to the Law Library
Gregg: there is a room if you have good behavior you are allowed to go work out in but the equipment is so outdated and used up I did not feel safe to use them so I just did push up and set ups in that room instead of using the equipment
Matthew: you could read the bible, sit, lie down or sleep. there weren't many facilities available to help pass the time. i was never given the option to partake in the use of any types of facilities. I was there for only 5 days so the facilities may have only been available to inmates there for longer times.
Damon: In Tarrant County Jail, every other hour,you were allowed to go out into the gym that was connected to the pod. There was also another church programs that you could attend. You can also go to the day room and watch TV or play games like dominoes, spades, and hearts. In Hutchins state jail you were allowed to go to outside rack about twice a week. Or go in the day room and watch TV or play dominoes.
David: T.V. helped pass the time a lot, the news is what was mostly on but every once in a while something good came on like a rangers game. I also played a lot of checkers with one of my cell mates and drew pictures for my little girl. walking helped too
Shelley: Each pod had books (old paperbacks), checkers. You could buy playing cards from the commissary. Received outdoor rec on occasion, but volleyball & basketballs were flat.
Justin: The cell block I was in (60A) shared an outside gym with the next cell block over (60B), which we rotated use of with every other hour. The gym contained a basketball goal and handball court. Basketballs and handballs were provided by jail staff. The handballs lasted quite some time, but the basketballs were so cheap they would only last a few days or a week at most, leaving us without a basketball until the following month when the next basketball would be passed out (done monthly).
Steve: They have a gym with 3 or 4 basketball goals in there. They have a library and a law library. An inmate could attend religious services with the Chaplin. Being a trustee and being called to visit helps pass the time. It's not a country club or a summer resort.
Jack: We worked at the laundry or at the other facilities. When you worked at the laundry, you would work Monday thru Friday from 6 am to 2 pm. You get up in the morning and get on a bus to get to the laundry facilitie. Once you get there you have to be in that extremely hot building all day.
Rachel: Where i was housed boons were brought if requeated and 2 times a week we were allowed rev for 30 mins at a time. We had to go individually. And were shackled at our ankles and wrists. We could play basket ball or volleyball. We were allowed to walk laps.
Conrad: in green bay you can't really do anything but go to the gym once a week which sometimes you don't even get dat. In the county you are allowed to go on the onsite basketball court almost 24hoyrs a day the TV stays on most of the night so it sort of helps
John: Recreation time, 1 hour every other day or so, and you could play hand ball or basketball or just do situps or pushups. There was a TV in the day room, and lots of tables where you could play cards or chess or checkers. If you had paper and a pen, you could draw or write, and there was enough space to walk around in circles.
Ted: The rec area. The library. The law library. Visitation from 9 to 9. The tv was in the dayroom which was in the pod. The only time you had outside priveledges were library and rec. They were still in the building. Church came to the pod and were volunteers .

JM: Did you have regular access to the entertainment or was competition fierce? Give details.
DC: Well, if you call entertainment books and soap operas, yes, I had regular access.
Keith: TV 24/7. Those who try to control the TV usually get kited out or their butt kicked.
Joe: you either read,or watch shows.
Heidi: very fierce
Dillon: IT was whatever the blacks wanted usually BET.
Kami: i stayed up all night so it wasnt bad
Linda: Depends if anyone called to watch a show I never watched tv so I never cared
Gregg: There is a television in general population but the mexicans control the television as that race was the dominant race there so all I got to see was spanish speaking television and the competition was fierce, i never dared to switch the channel because they would hurt you if you tried
Matthew: There was one tv and the competition seemed somewhat fierce, but those dominant were the ones that chose the channels. The tv had only local channels. That was the only level of entertainment made available to the inmates in this particular cell block. For books, the only thing available was the bible.
Damon: We were allowed to watch TV and we could've asked the guard if you know we wanted to channel change. But you have to make sure that everybody was okay with it or you're going to cause a problem. There was like two tvs to share a monk's 58 people so you gotta make sure that you don't step on somebody's toes while trying to get TV change
David: No. Most of the men in my pod were wanting to watch pretty much the same thing. The only time we had problems was when the rangers game was on we all couldn't fit to see the t.v. so that part was king of frustrating but we seemed to do just fine.
Shelley: TV was available in each pod. About 8 channels. No trouble with what to watch.
Justin: The jail provided televisions on each cell block and most offenders would enjoy this entertainment. The channel to be watched, theoretically-speaking, was decided by popular vote. However, weaker offenders either would not vote because they were intimidated, or in the event of a close vote, they would bow out. The library also brought donated paperback books to the cell block every week.
Steve: It's a double bladed sword. Entertainment is television for the most part. Though I never really indulged, I can say that competition exists and can be fierce at times. Some C/O's unknowingly provoke competition and appear to show favor. Inmates play card games regularly and that takes some attention away from the television set.
Jack: There's a little tv in the tank but the guards would always turn it off because they all had god complexes. If it was on its rare you get to watch what you want. Someone would take control of the remote so you would have to get it first. I would mainly read books. They had cards and chess also.
Rachel: No we didnt have anything but books in rotation but the new jail had televisions that were not loud enough to hear and the women argued over the. shows. At cold springs it was too loud and they talked louder over the tv and then they would turn the tv up to hear over the voices
Conrad: Its okay as far as the basketball court but I was involved in a bit of a scuffle with a guy over the remote which led to me getting shipped to the green bay facility where I awaited my punishment which was 30 days in the maximum security building downtown
John: It was really laid back in my cell. Most of the time the people that were watching TV would take a vote as to what to watch. But rarely was there any altercation over the TV, or any of the tables to play cards or chess or checkers, a lot of times the games would get more attention than the TV.
Ted: The tv was so high up and the volume kept so low it was pointless to watch. Plus the inmates would have a schedule of things they wanted to watch. The books were shared and the rec was twenty four seven so it was the best pass time for me

JM: Did you have a hard time staying in shape while in jail?
DC: No, I actually lost weight there because I didn't eat the food.
Keith: Yes. The guards try to keep you exercising but those who want to usually do push ups and sit ups.
Joe: yes.
Heidi: yes, gained 30 pounds
Dillon: Only in 4 a total of 4 days 2 in arlington and 2 in tarrant county.
Kami: yes lol
Linda: yea gained 20 lbs
Gregg: Most of the time yes i did have trouble staying in shape while i was staying in the jail, there was minimal exercies and times i could exericise.
Matthew: I do not work out so i did not need to regularly maintain any sort of health routine. I did see others work out with no problems.
Damon: In tarrant county Jail I stayed in shape because we were allowed to go to the gym every other hour or work out in our cell. In Hutchins state jail is it was hard to stay in shape because you are allowed to go out twice a week and sometimes you didn't get that because they say they didn't have enough guards to watch you out on the outside court. You could not work out in the day room area or you buy your bunk area only outside so when you wanted to work out you was not able to do so.
David: No I did my share to keep in shape. Pushups sit ups and some walking kept me in pretty good shape.
Shelley: Was only there for the weekend but could see how it would be a problem. Food was terrible.
Justin: I did not have trouble staying in shape, as there was plenty of room to do push-ups, sit-ups and other recreational activities.
Steve: No. Actually, it was somewhat easier to stay in shape while incarcerated at Green Bay because I had a lot of free time. Some forms of working out are discouraged by c/o's. Some inmates exercise in groups or pairs. I prefer a solo effort.
Jack: Somewhat because you couldn't do any kind of exercise in the tank. If you weren't in the tank you were out working.
Rachel: Yes because i was confined to a cell that was about as big as a bathroom or semi large bathroom. And they only called us for rec 2 times a week. Plus i was taking seroquel
Conrad: the food isn't really enough to put a lot of weight on you due to the small portions and exercise
John: Not in the least. I started walking a lot and doing pushups and situps. I lost like 30 pounds while I was there.
Ted: No I was not in jail long enough for it to make a difference for me. I stayed 3 weeks

JM: How often did you get to go outside? What did you do outside if you were allowed to? If you were not allowed to go outside what could you do for exercise?
DC: Every other hour.
Keith: New Jail is every other hour all the time. Green Bay never gets to go or see outside. The Old Jail gets to go outside 3 times a week for 1 hour at a time.
Joe: never.
Heidi: never
Dillon: Every other day.
Kami: ever other hour
Linda: every other hr
Gregg: We did not get to go outside, i think its because there are so many inmates and compared to the guards so no one was allowed outside
Matthew: we were not allowed outside. for exercise you could walk around or go to the gym for access if you were allowed to do so.
Damon: In Tarrant County Jail I went out about 4 to 5 times a day. I would jog, walk, do pushups, squats. in Hutchins state jail we were not able to work out indoors only outside. The problem was we could only go out twice a week and if they had a guard that could watch us so most of the time we didn't go outside.
David: I wasn't aloud to go outside but once a week. I would walk when I was outside. I wasn't one to play basketball with the guys.
Shelley: For a weekender like me, only offered outside rec for 1 hour on Sunday. As mentioned, basketballs & volleyballs were flat. You could walk, job around the field or do push ups and sit-ups in your pod.
Justin: We could go "outside" every other hour for up to an hour each time. This outside area was an enclosed area built into the highrise building, with a fenced-in side wall up high that looked outside into the city.
Steve: There's no outside privileges that I'm aware of but you could go to the gym sometimes. You could attempt to run laps around the outer bounds of the court or do jumping jacks.
Jack: If the guards felt like taking us outside we would get one hour out there. You could either walk in a circle around the yard or play basketball.
Rachel: I was not allowed outside at belknap but at cold springs they have an outside rec yard. I was there on a 6 day sanction and not segregated for those days. We were allowed to walk laps and play basketball. Some ladies stretched and worked out
Conrad: Never even left the cell in green bay unless it was visitation. Downtown you can go on e basketball court almost for an hoyr at a timeall day
John: Downtown it was every other hour you could go outside, Cold Springs it was an hour everyday. You could play hand ball or basketball or just do situps or pushups or jog around the area. But no weights or anything.
Ted: Rec had screens but not an outside rwc area. The floors were at the top of the tower. Rec was 24/7 rotated hourly per pod

JM: Did the jail offer church services? If so, what were they like and when were they held?
DC: Yes, they did. I believe they were once a week. I didn't attend, so I'm not sure. All I remember is that a group of people with bibles would come in, gather all the inmates up who wanted to be a part of the services and find some tables away from everyone to conduct services.
Keith: There are lots of volunteer chaplains. In the New Jail chaplains would hold service in each tank on Wednesdays and Sundays. In Green Bay they go to the gym. I'm not sure about the Old Jail.
Joe: no.
Heidi: yes, they made us feel like people again- different groups from the outside would come in
Dillon: Wasn't there long enough.
Kami: on sundays it was like church
Linda: Sundays and Wed if the ladies showed up
Gregg: No the jail does not offer church services nor will they give you a Bible to read while you site and wait in jail.
Matthew: I am not aware of any church services that tarrant county jail offered to the inmates. There may have been some, but I did not participate.
Damon: Both Tarrant County Jail and hutchins state jail offered church services. They are both spiritual. Hutchins state jail had more spiritual classes to offer and church services. In Tarrant County Jail there was one church service on Sunday morning. In Hutchins state jail there was three church services 1 on Sunday morning and Sunday evening and one Wednesday evening all lasting about 2 and half hours long.
David: They did offer church services but im not sure when they were held im not a religious person but im sure they were ok.
Shelley: Was not offered or informed of church services.
Justin: The jail did not have church services per say. What they did have was every Tuesday night for about an hour or so volunteers would come onto the cell blocks and sit at tables with those offenders who wanted to join for Bible study and prayer.
Steve: Yes, Green Bay offer church services. I'm not sure when or how often they were held because I never attended.
Jack: Yes they offered church services. The jail would hold it for one hour in the morning. I never went to it.
Rachel: They did not have services out of the pods that i was ever aware of. They did have bible studies that volunteers brought in and some of the volunteers stayed and had a bible study in the pods. They also gave us bibles and devotionals. Faith to faith. Was the devotional
Conrad: The pastor was a hypocrite who barely showed signs of being a christian it was really more of a joke than Anything
John: They had different services every Sunday, in English and Spanish, and a few times a week they had Bible Study groups, again, in English and Spanish, and there was a guy that would bring study guides to the cells.
Ted: They had volunteers come in the pods and there were bible studies. Some had their own studies and group times

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