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Interview with pete, Jake, Billy and Kara

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
pete: It was pretty quick
Jake: Upon arrival at Williamson County jail I was put into a holding cell approximately 12' X 15' with about 30 other people, ONE open toilet and no TP (they told us they took it away because people were using it as pillows). By the time I was taken from this cell, processed and sent to the magistrate about 22 hours had passed.
Billy: when u say presentencing i assume you mean being magistrated.Basically you go into the (drunk tank) which is a small very cold room that they leave you in usually for 24 to 36 hours until you get then get lined up and go before the judge 1 at a time to hear the charges and if you will be posting bail.If you can afford bail and it is a minor offense then you are then told if you qualify for posting your own bond on your word that you will show up for court.basically a personal recognisance bond. usually this is done very fast and really not much time to explain any situation or matters involving your case.
Kara: This is a blur of activity that you generally know nothing about. You are hauled to jail with no attorney, are yelled at by the judge as to where your attorney is or if you want one. No one does anything to educate an inmate as to their rights. You wait, get a piece of paper to tell you of a court or you find out on a morning when your name is called and they tell you that you are going to court.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
pete: No, they picked me up at work
Jake: First of all, I was raided at 7:30am, horrible wakeup call, pistols to the face! Not cool. Not just me though, completely
Billy: Yes I actually had them come to my place of employment which was actually in travis county and arrest me in front of my boss and all my co- workers.I also had them come and arrest me and my wife one time for non payed tickets in front of my kids neighbors and it was very emotional for my kids to see there parents getting arrested.
Kara: No.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
pete: Not to good
Jake: Very early morning, it took about 10 minutes. There were about 10 people in the room with me. the magistrate went through one by one, called each of our names, read outloud our charge & asked for a plea, read our bail amount if any, then walked out in a chain gang just the way we came in. It was a bonding experience.
Billy: My court appearance was ealy to mid morning were the cuffed us and took us through a corridor i would assume under ground to the court house. I was very humiliated by the appearance of my self as they did not allow any time for have no idea when your court date is until they come and pull you out of your cell.
Kara: Frightening. There are few times that you are treated well in jail but court is the ultimate in dehumanizing any experience. You are considered an animal to be housed. You are treated very badly by court personnel; even being yelled at and told "you don't deserve to do anything the rest of your life but flip burgers. You are scum."

Read about sentencing in the Williamson County Jail

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