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Travis County Jail

500 West 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701-2121
Phone: (512) 854-9889

Interview with Burt, Daniel, David and Donald

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Burt: I was sentenced to 180 days.
Daniel: My first sentence was 15 months state jail, then 3 years TDC, then 6 months county time, then lastly 8 months state jail.
David: 3 years.
Donald: 45 days in jail /

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?
Burt: Yes, in a holding with a group of inmates waiting to be taken back to Del Valle. It was okay, not too bad everyone was talking about their cases. some were mad and banging fists on wall. but i knew what i have done was wrong so when i got my sentencing i was prepared.
Daniel: Um, just like 1 month each sentence while waiting to be transferred to another facility. It was much better waiting to be transferred after sentencing than on waiting for the court to make a decision. I guess cause there's no more questioning of what's going to happen, I knew when I would be getting out.
David: Didn't spend any time in a holding cell. The lawyer pretty much walked me in. After my trial I had two months before I had to report for jail time. I checked myself in.
Donald: Yes I spent time in a holding cell after sentencing. It was very over crowded and they had too many of us in that one cell. And was hard to hear your name being called.

If you or someone you know is headed to Travis County Jail, you might be wondering what to expect while you do your time. Going to jail can be scary, especially if this is your first time.

Knowing what life is like on the inside can help to ease your anxiety, and help you feel better prepared for the experience. The following information is based on interviews of people who have served time in this jail. To the left are links to the actual interviews. Take a few minutes to read their stories and find out what life in the Travis County Jail is really like.

Getting Along with other Inmates
Whenever you have a group of people living together, there is bound to be conflict. Jail is no exception. If you know people from the outside, it may help you feel more comfortable. If you don't, former inmates advise that you keep to yourself, especially until you have had a chance to observe the other inmates to understand the dynamics of the group.

Treating other inmates with respect will also help you get along with them. Just be careful that your respectful gestures don't give the impression that you are scared. If you are perceived as being intimidated, you risk being treated very badly. Overall, just try to be aware of who you are around, and try to avoid volatile people and situations.

Passing the Time
One of the most challenging parts of being in jail is figuring out how to pass the time. Travis County Jail has activities available to help you stay busy. There are cards, dominoes and books available. TV is available, and inmates usually have a group vote about what they will watch.

It is helpful to have your own radio that you can set to the TV channel so you can actually hear the TV show. Inmates generally go outside in the yard on a daily basis. The yard has a track, basketball and some weights. It's up to you to decide if you want to stay in shape while you are there. Some inmates report they were in the best shape they had ever been, because they had so much time to spend working out.

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