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Jail Layout

Interview with Todd, Katie and Burl

JM: How many different blocks were there?
Todd: I don't really know. Oh wait, there were 4 or 8 blocks per floor.
Katie: I do not know that answer. In the new jail they had what was called "pods". In the old jail they had two floors 7th fl and 8th fl.
Burl: There were eight different blocks

JM: Did they have names? If so, what were they?
Todd: They had numbers and letters. The number was the floor. The letter was the block (or pod)
Katie: They did not have names..I believe that it goes by floor and pod numbers.
Burl: East wing west wing south wing north wing mental reg seg

JM: Which types of inmates were housed in the different blocks?
Todd: Severity of the crime and general behavior was the criteria that determined where you were placed, I think.
Katie: I know that in the old jail the 7th fl was for basic criminals and the 8th fl was for the harden criminals "murderers", "rapists", etc. New jail held all new incoming people that were arrested.
Burl: It depends on the charge and the crime they commited. Some blocks were for the mentally ill some were for cold blooded killers. Some were for people with minor charges like retail theft or something small

JM: What do you remember being the nicest and worst parts about the different blocks?
Todd: Dane Co. jail has a good general library and also a legal library. The book cart with selections was changed once a week but- this did not happen regularly. The worst part was not-knowing. Also, people were going through all sorts of withdrawal whether from alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs. I definitely recall "rules" being posted and then being openly ignored and not enforced except by the whim of the deputy. A prime example was a large sign that said: "No chairs in the bathroom" and the first thing you saw when you went in was a chair! It was veteran inmates that pointed the rules out to new inmates, not their job, but this pointed out to me their basic human goodness in wanting there to be some sort of recognizable order in their lives.
Katie: The new jail "pods" had newer beds and newer toliets, tvs, flooring etc....The old jail 7th fl and 8th fl was old and dingy...everything was old and beat up. Had a very bad odor and mildew. The showers in the old jail was the worst with bacteria and mildew. Was not a good place to get cleaned up in.
Burl: I was in seg for a while the good thing about that is you can't get in no more trouble if you in a cell by self but it can get boring at times because you do not have any one to talk to to even make time try to go fast

Read about telephone access in the Dane County Jail

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