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Shelby County Jail Inmates

Shelby County Jail is a more social scene than some other jail facilities. Inmates often find themselves making friends with others and having an agreeable time - as much as once can have while in jail. For many there are few fights and misunderstandings between inmates. Although there are the occasional outbursts, as every jail tends to have at one point or another. Conflicts are voided through interaction among other inmates.

Inmate sharing time
At Shelby County activities are done together. Together inmates play cards and join in outdoor activities. Inmates are normally allowed outside three times a week. Others pass the time together not just playing card games but also playing dominoes, checkers, and chess. Basketball is also an activity that many choose to join. But for the less social there is regular access to television and a law library full of books to be studied. Shelby County does not offer church services.

This social atmosphere is kept as inmates keep to themselves and stay in the mindset that everyone is the same, no one is better than anyone else. This has come about given that all are in jail whether it be for the same crimes or not.

Other random Shelby County Jail information
This unity is solidified by jail attire. When entering Shelby County inmates are given a navy blue uniform that looks similar to hospital scrubs with matching top and bottoms. Flips flops are provided for footwear. Both men and women wear the same uniform as well as every inmate not matter the crime committed. This is different from other county facilities where inmates of more dangerous crimes wear different colors. One former inmate commented that the social environment is nice during the day but the constant talking at night can be irritating.

Time off for good behavior
There is in fact a small "reward" system in place for those inmates with good behavior. Some get time off their sentences for not fighting, keeping quiet while officers are speaking, cleaning up after themselves, and keeping conduct orderly. This may be difficult at times with six floors of inmates with twelve blocks on each floor. These blocks are identified by a letter of the alphabet.

In these blocks inmates are served three meals a day, which is normally rated below average. Shelby County meals resemble school cafeteria food. Inmates acquire snacks, personal items, and other foods through commissary, but only if they have money on their books to do so. Commissary comes once a week but only if a form has been filled out the week before. Medications are also provided. Those that abuse drugs while serving an existing sentence are filed on felony charges and placed in solitary confinement. This time, which is referred to as "ghost time," does not count toward the existing sentence.

Shelby County inmates are given phone privileges on a regular basis. The phone system is fairly simple: dial out free of charge. These calls are not screened by the Shelby County facility. Visitors are allowed on weekends. There is usually a long waiting process before seeing an inmate, which takes place behind clear glass and over a telephone.