Inmate Guide

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Maricopa County Jail Inmates

Some county jail facilities are segregated by race or religion, but Maricopa County Jail is split by education and upbringing. Because of this wedging inmates often choose to associate with those of the same education, ages, and social economies.

Jail life
Fighting is definitely not unheard of, and many acquire self-defense skills while serving in Maricopa County. In arguments there is usually only one thing that intimidates fighters: body size. Many inmates choose to keep to themselves and are sometimes rewarded. Very few inmates are allowed off for good behavior. A majority is kept in Maricopa County until midnight of the day of his or her releasing. The very few who are let off for good behavior do so by obeying jail rules, staying out of fights, and remaining free of violations.

Food selection
Maricopa County inmates are provided with two meals a day: one at ten in the morning and another at five in the evening. The first meal typically provides bread, bologna or ham, a fruit drink, cookies, and fruit-either an orange or kiwi. The second meal is a more dinner-like meal. Hamburgers and hotdogs are usually deemed as the favorites.

Snack availability
Every day inmates have access to vending machines once during the day. Many times the machines are not stocked and the prices are quite high.

Uniform exchange and cellmates
Every inmate wears the same uniform as the next. When entering Maricopa County, street clothes are exchanged for orange pants and matching top, socks, undergarments, and flip-flops. Those serving through work release are allowed to wear street clothing. Those on work release also have the option of choosing a cellmate.

Jail complex
At Maricopa County blocks are called tents and are separated into differing groups. The women have a separate tent from the men. The work release tent is separate from the rest. And the work furlough tent is separate from those serving hard time. Despite where inmates may reside, all are enclosed in ten-foot fences that keep them from the outside. At times tents are given nicknames, like "Easy Street" and "Little Hanoi," which describes those inside. Each tent has the same amount of bunks. Inmates often complain about the room temperature, which can rise above one hundred degrees during the day.

Phone restrictions
Inmates are allowed phone access at particular times. There are only two phones for twelve hundred inmates, so arguments erupt regularly. This leads to the guards shutting off the phone system as punishment. Local calls may be made to those on a pre-approved list and can cost as much as eight dollars for five minutes. Those on the list must be able to accept the charges or the calls cannot be made. All calls are screened.

Visiting the jail
If a tent is placed in lockdown, then visiting privileges are suspended for the day even if inmates have visitors already present. Visitations take place in twenty booths with several guards on the floor. No contact is allowed.

Free time
Inmates typically spend their time quietly. Television privileges are given for four hours a day, and picnic tables are available for reading and card games. Maricopa County inmates are not allowed outside. Instead of having church services, many inmates choose to read scripture together or read bibles alone.

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