Inmate Guide

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Multnomah County Jail Inmates

Many jailing facilities do not let their inmates outside at all; however, Multnomah County Jail is different. Multnomah County allows its inmates outside up to three times per week for one-hour intervals. But this only happens if an entire block has been good.

Housing system
Inmates are kept in a block system, which are lettered alphabetically. Inmates are usually split up according to sentencing, such as the more violent inmates are kept in a separate block. At times Multnomah County is on lockdown for up to twenty-three hour periods. Because of this inmates are kept in their cells more often than at other county jails. Lockdown can happen for various reasons, including fighting and disobeying the staff.

When these things are avoided, inmates can receive time off their sentences through good behavior. Good behavior consists of one day off for every ten served. Depending on the sentence this can be many days or only a few days. Even as this system is set in place, some inmates are only interested in serving their set sentences without good behavior. Good behavior includes not fighting, keeping cells clean each day, listening to the guards and staff, and keeping to the inmate rights and responsibility handbook. With these "rules" many inmates choose to keep to themselves, do not approach others, and stay in their beds reading instead of joining the others. One former inmate said it was easier to be neutral and safe than to take a side. Inmates are placed in solitary confinement with new charges if found abusing drugs while incarcerated.

Meals, medication, and clothing
Inmates are served three meals per day. These meals resemble cafeteria-style lunches with everything steamed. No other meals are provided outside of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Inmates are not allowed to save food. Only necessary medications are provided at Multnomah County. These are provided by a nurse wagon in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Inmates are also given a jail uniform upon arrival. These include cotton pants and white t-shirt with socks, undergarments, and flip flops for shoes. Both men and women wear the same clothing.

Leisure and exercise
Multnomah County inmates spend their leisure time reading books from a limited selection, watching television in separate room from the bunks, and exercising. Exercising usually includes push ups, jogging in place, pull ups, and sit ups. An empty room is open for exercise for one-hour periods three times a week. Fights and competition often breaks out over television show choices and the books. provided With this one former inmate said it was best to stay out of the mess and go with the program.

Phone and visitor policy
Phone access is given on a regular basis when inmates are out of their cells. This is restricted to one hour each day. All calls are made collect with a connection price and additional fees per minute. Before a call is made a recording tells each inmate that the call will be record and later screened. Visitors are allowed twice a week, and all visitors must be on a preapproved and screened list. Visits take place over telephones. Inmates and visitors are separated by a glass window. Guards stand watch on the inmate side.