30 Days in the Hole (and other prison experiences)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Christopher P, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    OK, so it's more like 15, but I'm headed to the pokey, luckily on work release. I'm not too concerned...On the one hand, I got off lucky; on the other, I'm pissed I got screwed into the position I'm in. (No, a lawyer didn't F*$& me, but I had no intention of getting into the situation I ended up in).

    So, anyone here ever do time? I'm more curious and anxious than scared. It will be a new experience for me. Since this is a fairly personal forum, I understand if no one wants to share their personal experiences. If you like, feel free to PM or email me.

    Chris
     
  2. Jeff Peake

    Jeff Peake Supporting Actor

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    what did you do?
     
  3. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    GREAT Humble Pie song....


    Ummm...have lottsa cigs to bribe the guards with?!?!?!?!
     
  4. Chris Knox

    Chris Knox Stunt Coordinator

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    Let me tell you the truth,

    I spent one night due to the FVA (Family Violence Act). Before you ask, I did nothing. I had just broken up with someone that I was with for over two years because I couldn't take the drinking problem and the lying about it anymore. We had a home we were trying to sell. Anyway, I had already started seeing someone else and she wasn't taking it too well.

    The night I was in another town (with my new girlfriend) she called the police over to her new apartment and made a false claim that I was hanging around her new apartment spying on her and threatening her. They made a report and all the rest, took her word for it (which I understand).

    They told her to call if I came around her again.

    The next day she called me at work and asked me to come by her work and sign some paperwork because (hooray!) we were finally going to sell the house. I was elated.

    I went by there on my lunch break and as soon as I pulled up to her place of business, she had her boss call the police. When I came in I was politely told to have a seat and she would be with me in a second. The police showed up and the rest is history. Yeah, she's a real sweetheart.

    I spent the night in jail and let me tell you, it isn't pleasant. I wasn't concerned that anyone was going to bother me, everyone was cool (maybe because I am a big guy) but the one thing that nearly destroyed me was the complete lack of peace and quiet. This may not sound like a big deal to anyone, but when you're stuck somewhere and all you hear is screaming and hollering 24/7 and a bunch of hoods that are screaming and yelling and making noise, it gets to you.

    Even after the nightly lock down, when you are supposed to be in your cell with your roomate, it is louder than ever because they are yelling at each other through the ventilation system. Sort of a poor man's intercom party line.

    Plus the food absolutely SUCKED!!! I'm all for prisoners not exactly getting the best food on the planet, but this was awful! I mean POWDERED EGGS THAT YOU PUT WATER ON AND STIR UP BEFORE YOU EAT THEM?? AND THAT WAS THE BEST OF IT!!

    It was one night and it felt like a week, I don't want to think about 15 days...

    Anyway, they dropped the charges and gave her a warning about making a false call. I was pissed.

    I feel for you dude. Maybe it was just me but I could never hack it in jail for a prolonged period of time. Your milage may vary...

    Chris
     
  5. Jeremy Illingworth

    Jeremy Illingworth Supporting Actor

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    I have a friend who did some small time like what you've got coming. Where he was you get a daily coffee ration with each meal which is has great bartering power. I think smokes were also rationed, so if you can do without either you can trade for stuff you like.

    jeremy
     
  6. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    I've been in a few times. I got a couple DUIs, DUSs, possession of marijuana and drug para, and last but not least Reckless Endangerment which is a class c felony.

    If it's small, like a county jail, it's not that bad. I'm not exactly a big tough guy. (i've never been in a fight before) The first time is usually the worst though.

    Just be glad you don't have a felony on your record. You have no idea how tough life is when you do. I'm only 23 and my life is pretty much over because of it.
     
  7. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    Quick disclaimer: I have never been in jail or prison overnight so my observations are second hand information gathered from someone who has done time in a jail and prison.

    Chris's observations about the lack of quiet and the food are two of the things that my friend has also mentioned.

    Since you are only going in for 15 days you are obviously going to a jail and not a prison. Make no mistake about it there is a world of difference. Even those who have done more then one stretch in a jail will tell you that a prison is ten times worse.

    I think the biggest adjustment you'll face even for such a short time as 15 days is the realization that you are not free to do as you please.

    I know that if my friend were to give you any advice it would be to use the 15 as constructively as possible. If you are allowed books, (hay in some jails you aren't) perhaps those 15 days would be a good time to do some reading.

    Good luck and by all means let us know how it goes
     
  8. Michelle Schmid

    Michelle Schmid Stunt Coordinator

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    I have no personal experience in jail, other than visiting, so my observations are all second-hand as well. However, my soon-to-be ex-husband has spent several different times in various jails. (No--that's not why we're divorcing). The lack of quiet and food are also things he's mentioned, so that must be universal. In addition, meals are very scheduled--if you are not in line by X time, you do not eat.

    During one of his trips he was also allowed out on work release. Each time he returned from work he was given a full cavity search (yes, that's exactly what I mean), to be sure he was not returning with contraband. No one else has mentioned it, so I will, just in case where you are going does this too, so you won't be really shocked if they do. Also, where he was, work release programs cost more money. Normally when he went in the actual jail time didn't cost us anything (of course fines, court costs, etc., did). On work release, though, they've decided that since you a) have a job, b) are graciously being allowed out to do said job, c) will receive payment for work you do while they graciously let you out, and d) are costing them more money by having to search you each time you return, then e) you will pay X amount extra for such privilege. His 30 days of work release cost us about $300.00 extra.

    In addition, he's a smoker, and our local county jails are strictly smoke-free, so cigarettes were not allowed.
     
  9. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    I feel for you. As a college student I ended-up in Routt County Jail in Steamboat Springs because a refrigerator was considered communal property and my roomie knew I never used margarine. Apparently one of his customers got pinched and so ratted to save his skin. I come home from a long weekend to find the sheriff in my apartment going through the place.

    Jail SUCKED. I was locked down for seven days until I could raise bail. It was cold, depersonalizing, and completely traumatizing. I was strip searched and then given a cell of my own. It seems the deputies felt bad for me and kept me out of the general population. Thank God.

    What drove me insane the most was not knowing the time. I had no watch, no clock, and only smoked glass windows. It was cold and bare. I could barely concentrate to read but forced myself to do it anyway to pass the time. I couldn't eat any of the food. It was horrible beyond description save for the one box of Fruit Loops we got in the morning. My nerves were so frayed I couldn't even keep that down most of the time.

    In one week I lost 10 pounds.

    The last day they put in with the general population room. There was a murderer in there. Man killed his wife and the guy she was sleeping with. The toilet just had a waist-high divider from the rest of the room and thank God I didn't have to use it. I can't pee in front of other people as it is. Couldn't imagine using that. I did take a shower when they brought me in in the morning but when I was drying off another guy walked over with what was probably morning wood but to my mind..... well...... you get the point. I flew out of the shower half dressed. I spent about two hours total in there before my lawyer showed-up with the bail.

    Maybe now that I'm older it wouldn't have seemed so traumatic but it was singularly THE WORST experience of my life. Not being able to go anywhere or do anything was horrendous. Feeling that society wanted me in that shithole, what people thought of me, losing my job, having to go through court, spending another ten grand (of my college money) just to convince the court of the truth, and being taken aside by the DA and the sheriff at the end of the whole thing and being told to get out of town just about ruined my life. I went home and a few months later attempted suicide because of clinical depression.

    My advice is try to spend as much time as possible at work and eat while you're out. Follow the rules and be prepared for strip searches. Having someone do those kinds of things to you can trigger some serious anger. Bottle it. Get through the whole damn thing and put it behind you ASAP.
     
  10. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Molested a dead horse. (Just a joke from "Fletch Lives." Trying to keep my sense of humor)

    Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. Like I said, my biggest fear is of the unknown. This has been going on for nearly 6 months, and just last week I got my sentence. I almost wish I would have done my time right away so I had less time to think about it. I know my biggest issue will be the privacy & noise. I am used to keeping to myself though, so hopefully I will be able to somewhat do that inside.

    Still have a few weeks before I go in...I'll check in here though while I'm on release.

    Chris
     
  11. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  12. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    I edited my earlier post.
     
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  14. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    Is it my fault not everyone has seen that masterpiece? :p)

    Chris
     
  15. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] That was a great line. I've never been in jail myself, but have known people have been. They said it wasn't too bad for the most part and that the lack of privicy was the worst of it. Also the food was home cooked style. Of course these were small town jails so in a bigger city I can only imagine what it would be like.
     
  16. Scott Falkler

    Scott Falkler Second Unit

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    I was just in for 44 days. It does suck, but it's worse when you don't know when you will get out (like me).
    It's kind of not having anything to look forward to. It would have been ALOT easier if I would have known theexact duration of my stay beforehand.
    Where I was, the food wasn't terrible (there's always better) and you couldn't smoke (which I don't anyway.)
    I made it through without any problems, and I'm not the "jail type" of guy like most in there were.
    Then again, I'm a practicing and active Christian, so that helped as it gave me time to study that I normally wouldn't have as well as alot of opportunities to encourage people that were in for much more serious offenses and needed a reason to keep hope alive.
    Don't sweat it, you'll be fine!
     
  17. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

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    I don't have any relevant advice or anything, but I just wanted to say thanks to all the people who had the guts to post advice and stories in this thread... wow.
    I think I'll drive a little slower on the way home from work today. [​IMG]
     
  18. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    Everytime I've been in, there will always be a couple "tough guys" who will be complete assholes. There will always be a few regular people who are actually be pretty nice and will b.s. with you.

    As far as the usual jail stereotypes go of rape. Never encountered any of it. Maybe in the prisons it happens, but in county jails it's something you don't have to worry about.

    I was on work release for 20 days before and it goes by quick. It's nice to be able to go outside and to your job. It costs $$$ though. So, I guess you are getting raped. [​IMG] Don't sweat it though, after the first couple days you'll understand how everything works.
     
  19. Christopher P

    Christopher P Supporting Actor

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    So I get the work release papers today, and it reminds me of elementary school, when they would give those papers before you went on a field trip that said what you could and couldn't bring along. Like I'm going to some messed up camp. Saw I could bring books (NO porn, they made that crystal clear about 5 times) so that's nice. No smoking, but again, I don't smoke. Found I can even bring a pillow, and I have had the same pillow for as long as I can remember, I take it everywhere and hate being in hotels or at someone's house without it.

    I haven't really told anybody about this, so it's nice to sort of "talk" about it here, where people are nice and personable, while there is still some anonimity.

    Chris
     
  20. Leif Wall

    Leif Wall Second Unit

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    When I had work release, when you were bringing in personables (toothpaste, shampoo, etc...) they had to be brand new and with a receipt. Call and make sure.
     

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