Inmate Guide

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Sacramento County Jail Inmates

Sacramento County Jail provides programs for inmates while incarcerated. Inmates can build "good time" through good behavior and participation in a provided full-time drug program and/or school. In doing this inmates can "earn" back their freedom.

School and good conduct
An inmate can attend school somewhere between ten and twelve hours a day for four months. An in-house drug program is also offered for up to one and twenty days. These times and spans depend on the inmate and the sentence. "Good time" is given in batches of three days for every ten days and is only earned if the rules are followed. Those that cause fights or steal food lose their "good time" opportunities. Most inmates recommend following suit to the rules and keeping to the self to avoid trouble. Those that cause trouble often do for personal reasons, which usually include safety, survival, and morals. While serving at Sacramento County inmates wear orange pants and white shirts, but those with special needs wear brown pants instead.

Sacramento County holds its inmates in six pods. These pods are separated into threes on two sides. The sides are named East and West. Each pod is given a one hundred number, such as West 300. The 300 pods hold those that make Sacramento County a habit and return regularly. The 100 pods are for those on their first offenses. Each pod is split into two parts, upper and lower. Each part is designated different times of leisure in the day room so they are not together at the same time. Each of these pods has a handful of cells with only one inmate inside instead of two.

Phone policies and costs
Phone access takes place in the day room, though it is difficult to get on a phone given the many inmates. Calls cost around five dollars a piece and all are made collect. These calls are screened by the Sacrament County staff.

Leisure time
To pass the time inmates are given the option of television, sleeping, books, or exercising. These exercises including walking laps around the pods, sit ups, and push ups. The time inmates are allowed outside varies from pod to pod. Some pods are allowed outside once a week for thirty minutes at time while another pods are allowed outside once every two to three days for an hour at a time.

Visitor policy
Visitors are allowed twice per week for an hour, but the jailing staff can deny visits as needed because of the many inmates to be accommodated. Visitors wait anywhere between one hour to two hours to see an inmate. Visits take place behind a glass window and through telephones.

Inmates at Sacramento County are served three meals a day. These meals are often rated low on a scale from one to ten. Breakfast is served early in the morning with dinner being served between three and four thirty in the evening. A breakfast of gravy and rice is often the favorite.

Commissary and medications
Inmates are able to buy additional foods on commissary if they have money on their books. In doing this many inmates can spend over one hundred dollars purchasing candy each week. Commissary offers almost anything an inmate could want as long as the money is present. Medications are disbursed daily during pill check. Those that abuse drugs are written up, placed in a special cell called "the hole," and usually brought to court.