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Cowlitz County Jail

1935 1st Ave
Longview, WA 98632-3224
(360) 577-3094

Interview with Tom and Candy

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Tom: 90 months
Candy: i was in jail for 6 months before i was released to drug court

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?
Tom: Small and I was there for about 3 hours before I went in to court and about 2 hours after.
Candy: nope dinted

Life On The Inside
Every inmate who goes into a detention facility will spend their first couple of days on the inside being examined and assessed. This is a benefit for the staff and the inmate population. It's important to make sure that the incoming inmate is healthy. It's also essential to determine the best place to house them which will result in the least about of trouble.

Cowlitz County Jail
At Cowlitz County Jail, inmates are classified into three categories: High risk, medium risk or low risk. The high risk inmates are put in 23 hour a day lockdown. Medium risks inmates are allowed 7 hours out of their cells. The low risk inmates are housed in open dorm style environments and are given the most access to programs.

The average inmate count at Cowlitz is around 310. For inmates who aren't on lockdown, they will be able to enroll in a GED class to obtain a certificate of high school equivalency. There is also a Domestic Violence or DV class which provides inmates in therapy and instruction on how to cope with being a victim or abuser of domestic violence. For female inmates, there is a voluntary family planning program which provides basic instruction in child care and prenatal care.

Inmates who have exhibited good behavior can also take advantage of work search program that is sponsored by Goodwill Industries. These are classes to help inmates prepare for employment when they reenter society. There is also a work release program which lets qualified inmates go outside the facility for work details and return for lockdown.

Good Behavior Policy
The good behavior policy in Washington State provides for up to one third reduction of a sentence to an inmate who conforms to prison rules and regulations. The only inmates who would be available to these programs would be non-violent offenders.

Visitor and Phone Policy
In order to visit someone in Cowlitz you will first have to be put on the approved visitor's list. It will be up to the inmate who they want to come see them. Visits only last 20 minutes and can be canceled without notice if the inmate has gotten into hot water with the staff. Inmates can make phone calls during the day but these are only collect cards. An inmate can use a prepaid phone call if they have the funds to buy one.

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