Yesterday at 3pm, I went on a Jail Tour at 77th Station. When I entered the station, it looked like a regular Police Station, except to the right there was a door leading to the Jail Carcel. I entered that door, went down a lot of stairs, passed two doors, and stopped in a big room. In the front of the first door in the big room, it said “Authorized Personnel Only”. Next to this door, was a huge window of a holding cell with seat that said “Jail Carcel”. I waited outside the door for the Jail Watch to make a copy of my I.D. and from there he unlocked the door and I began the tour.
In my tour, the Detention Officer showed me a lot of areas and explained the process that the inmates go through. I also got to see inmates being brought in, some on drugs acting incoherently. I also got to see the inmates through a window from the housing area and they were glaring at me and making comments.
1st Floor: inmates are kept in a holding cell for 2/3 at the most and then are transported to the 2nd floor. Where all the fingerprinted, phone-calls, photos being taken, and visitations occur.
*In the cells men and women are separated on sides. (Both 1st floor and 2nd floor)
Intake area: Where they first bring the criminals in handcuffs to be seated.
Detox Cell (ex. below): A holding cell where they keep inmates who are under the influence and need to be observed a little more; the officers check in every 30 mins. In this cell, there are no beds because they might fall off, so there are only padded mats for them to lay on, on the floor.(Most of the time, many get naked because they are so effected by drugs)
*Most common cause of death of inmates is because they are under the influence.
Safety Cell: If inmates were thought to be too dangerous around others or to officers. It is like solitary confinement; a room with no windows, one door, a bathroom (like a gutter on the floor), and an intercom for them to speak with the officers.
Regular Cell (ex. below): A room windows, a water fountain, urinal/toilet, phone, intercom (to speak with officers), and a bed.
Medical dispensary: Medical help for the inmates. If they need medical attention due to health issues, drugs, being tasered, etc.
Booking area (Ex. below): Where inmates go after holding cell (2/3hrs.) to get fingerprinted, their photo taken, and information, etc.*Most dangerous part for the officers because when inmates exit the cell to get “booked” they aren’t in handcuffs and are in close contact with the officers. They can hit them or hurt them easily because there is usually only one officer there doing the booking. (As seen above)
Search Room: If inmates are suspected to have drugs/weapons they are taken to this room. The different searches are being patted down, stripped searched, a visual cavity search (just by looking). If suspect of objects in body, the officers need a search warrant and it needs to be done by a medical professional.
Visitation Room (ex. below): There is a window; the inmate on one side and visitor is on the other.
*When I went, there was a cell behind this room, where the inmates sit. This cell was tinted because sometimes the inmates in that cell will display/put their sexual content , actions, on/from the window so the visitor can see.
From this area, after this process is finished, the inmates grab a blanket and sheets and are transported to the 2nd floor.
2nd Floor: inmates are kept in housing cells, at the most 72 hours and from there are taken to the Criminal Justice System (Court).
Housing Cell (Ex. Below): The inmates are separated either on the top floor or the bottom floor. The top floor is for the inmates who are too hazardous because of drugs, race issues, gang issues, etc. and need to be separated. The bottom floor is for the general inmates. There are tables, water fountains, and a television they can watch.
There are typically four blocks: A, B, C, D (sections/rooms) and the numbers next to the letters are the room numbers. In between each block there is a door which the inmates can pass through and each door has like a letter box, where they distribute food, etc.
The inmates receive 3 meals a day. The officer told me that for some of the homeless people who are taken into custody here are better off here. They receive 3 meals a day, a blanket, a bed, can watch television, can make calls, etc.
There is still a lot to be talked/written about, but will be included in my presentation if you would like to know more. 🙂