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What happens when you go to jail


Yep, it happens!

There are times in life when certain things happen, whether or not you have actually committed a crime will eventually be determined by a Court of Law and a Jury of your Peers (if you so choose). But until that time, you may have to spend a night or two in your County jail.

Hand cuffing process

For the most part you will be handcuffed by the officer who is taking you in. If you have a TRUE and valid reason you cannot be cuffed behind your back, the officer may decide to be nice and let you have the cuffs in the front. Provided you are nice and not belligerent, meaning cooperative with the police, they might be nice. But then again, they might not.

There are times when the officer will not be nice, no matter how nice you are. It happens, for the most part the police are human’s as well. I know some of you may want to debate that.

"You know the Drill" (really officer I don't!)

If this is your first run in with the law, your booking officer may not believe you. They expect to see repeat offenders, not ’A-liners’(the term for being locked up the first time). If your a woman it will be a little different from what happens with the men. You will be escorted into a ‘booking room’ and handed over from the arresting officer to the booking officer. This is generally done at a County jail.

Steps 1 thru 11

1. You will be checked for tattoos and scars or identifying marks, writing them down if they are found.

2. If you’ve never been arrested before you will be yelled at and disbelieved for not knowing the proper procedures. This is during picture time, when you don’t know what wall to look at or which way to turn your head.

3. Rather than just strip searching you they may ask you to ‘shake’ your clothes, this is done by “Pull your bra away from your breasts to dislodge anything you may have stashed in your 18 hour”. Next - Take the waist band of your pants, pull them away from your body and shake to dislodge any contraband that may be lodged in your pants. Then - Place your feet more than shoulder width apart quickly bounce to dislodge your ‘hootie’ stash.

4. You will be asked if you have any piercing. If you happen to have a tongue piercing the officer MAY want to stick his fingers in your mouth. Rather than bite his fingers off in disgust, you may offer to remove it for him. After your released from jail you will then pay to have to re-pierced.

5. You will be asked if you have any special needs - that they can ignore. When you tell them “yes, I have back severe issues” You may spend the next 35 minutes discussing your various surgeries and special requirements - that they intend to ignore. They want to document them so they know what to ignore. Ie; prescription medications, sleeping requirements etc.

6. After this you may/will be fingerprinted. This is certainly a treat for those who have never had this happen. In our county they know have a glass that scans your hand and goes directly to the computer. If you have dry skin you will be accused of having something on your hands to prevent fingerprinting. They will keep trying and exerting more and more pressure on your hand, resorting to alcohol swabs, exerting yet more pressure until they finally figure out that they can’t get a print. Eventually it may be given up.

7. You will be taken to a new room to obtain your new wardrobe. This room might be 2 x 2 at best. You might be given a beautiful ORANGE 2 piece outfit, that has worn by scabie infested meth-heads all over the County. One can only hope it has been washed. At this time you may be questioned about the scars on your back and body. God forbid if you should happen to have a scar on your wrist, you may be labeled as suicidal. They may also question you as to ‘Why do your scars NOT match up, and why are their so many?” I would not advise giving the ‘smart-ass answer’ - “Because officer I just KNEW I was going to be arrested and I quick had a bomb implanted under my skin in a suicide mission to take all you commies with me”… No - no, they will not think this is funny. Just calmly explain that you have had multiple surgeries for the spinal cord stimulator implant. That way when they feel it under your skin it won’t come as a big surprise.

8. If you by chance are LARGE breasted you will be in a fight for your life to maintain your 18 hour support system.

9. You will be given a pair of shower shoes that will be all the rage soon, of that I am sure. If you by chance have regular size feet you will only need to wear 1, because size doesn’t matter in jail. Apparently they also don’t need to match.

10. You will be handed some lovely bedroom ensemble, which consists of a cotton cloth approximately 2 feet wide by regular twin size length, disguised as a sheet. You will also receive 1 white cotton towel (for showering) that may or may not cover 1 butt cheek, that is so stiff you could cut a steak with it. You also get what can only be described as a wool horse blanket.

11. Oral Hygiene does not matter to jail officials. If they forget to give you a toothbrush and toothpaste, when you go to ask for one you may get yelled at. They must not like having their mistakes pointed out.

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Just a few more steps on your way to those lovely accommodations

12. While your carrying you jailhouse goodies you may be paraded by the men who are also incarcerated. In this you might find the love of your life OR you may just witness WINDOW licking at it’s most basic form.

13. Then you will be shown to your accommodations, where you get to meet your new room mates (if you have them). As a Law Abiding ’A-Liner’ you could expect your New roommates to be similar to you. But in this case, these were hardened criminals who have been in and out numerous times. You will learn LOTS of interesting things. If anyone needs to know where to get the best price for your ’meth’ ingredients give us a holler!! Need a recipe for this? Gotchya covered!

14. Then you will shown your 4 star sleeping accommodations. Oops, they are sorry, they are all out of mats, enjoy that concrete floor.

Once you are settled in for the night.

15. You might get lucky and meet a ‘large new friend’ that wants to brush your hair for you. You may politely refuse, do not roll your eyes or be sassy. If offered to play cards, you also may politely refuse. If you have a good sense of humor ‘the gals’ might be waiting for you to pee your pants.

16. If your in need of floss, because that dinner got stuck in your ‘tooth’, a nifty trick is to roll up that leg of the jumpsuit and pull out a string, handy dandy floss from ‘helpful hints’. Or one more hand dandy trick is to pull a string from the mattress.

17. I hope your not shy, because there will most certainly be a camera directed in the vicinity of the combo sink/toilet. This comes in handy because you don’t have to wait to wash your hands, you can do it while your peeing.

18. When it starts getting loud don’t suggest to your roommates to quiet down… unless you feel like going to bed early…locked down so to speak.

19. You can expect to be awakened before its light out to enjoy your continental breakfast! Nothing like warm coffee and prunes! YUM! Even if you don’t plan on enjoying the tasty morsels get the tray anyway… your new Friends will be grateful.

Getting out of jail - if you dare.

If you plan on bonding out, you probably should have someone call your Attorney so that way he can at least get an idea of your bond, because your spouse or children are not high enough up on the food chain to qualify to know what it is. Your jailers may actually refuse to tell your family or friends anything.

Generally speaking if you happen to be the subject of harassment your bond will be excessively high, making it very difficult for your family to come up with the cash. You may want to procure a bondsman. This way you only have to pay 10% of your bond. The idea behind this is so if your bond is high enough the Prosecution can release one of those lovely pictures to the press, showing you in a most unattractive light. Because everyone knows a messy headed person MUST be guilty!!

Understand, for the most part if you are being harassed you will not be arraigned with the rest of the criminals, no-no-no, your crime is so horrendous that you must wait the entire weekend to see a Judge. After all, the gal with the 3 different meth labs, her crime is NOTHING compared to yours!! Tsk, tsk her bond is less than half of yours!!

You will be given your bill as you leave for approximately $52.00 per night at this lovely hotel. Oops, I meant jail.

When you are finally released, one can only hope there is a McDonald's or Burger King close by that does not have a camera pointed directly at the toilet.

After that, you must as loudly as possible, draw attention to everything that has been done to you and all of the injustices that you were subjected to.

This of course may cause you to spend yet another night at these 4 star accommodations. But if nothing else you will know that what you are doing is right. Next time make sure that your ‘driver’ (officer of the law) passes by your best friends house picking her up so the two of you can have a slumber party!

It could be you!!

These are words everyone needs to know incase, just like in this case… You could be next!!


Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on April 12, 2012:

Yes it is very scary and it is getting much more scary since some new laws went into effect recently. Apparently you now can be detained without bond for as long as they want to keep you. The laws were set up to protect people from cruel and unusual punishment, but they are not being followed.

I have recently seen a video of a woman who reported a crime, the officer misunderstood (deliberate??) that she was a victim and threw her around, hauled her off to jail where both men and women officers ripped her clothes off. She was terrorized as well as charged for resisting arrest. It makes me fearful of making any report.

With the way the law is behaving I see anarchy in our future as a country unless some drastic changes are made. Very sad indeed to have gone from we were to what we are now.

Stephen on April 12, 2012:

A very scarey story. It is not much better in Britain, where the instinct of the police is to arrest first and ask questions later. They have an incentive because your DNA profile is taken at arrest, and even if you are released without charge or acquitted or even wrongfully arrested, it stays on the database for life. Even though the European Court of Human Rights has ruled this practice unlawful it continues. The state has become so fearful, of protest particularly. Though one positive thing is our police are usually not as aggressive as yours. For example, handcuffs are not routinely used on arrested persons and on the occasions they are used, they are usually applied in front.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on February 03, 2012:

Well this is very true. But one would think that they would have a person's record in front of them to be able to determine if they had done this before. Oh well I guess we all just need to start getting used to mistreatment from the Authorities... The way things are going it's "Arrest first ask questions later"...

Thanks for stopping by!

mandymoreno81 on January 28, 2012:

I'm not surprised that there's so many procedures for being processed into jail. They want to make sure you don't have anything you could use as a a weapon and at the same time they want to minimize any possible risk of being sued if they lay a hand on you beyond what's necessary.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on January 21, 2012:

Well the 2 x 2 changing room is just temporary, you are then re-located to a holding cell of sorts. Some of them are quite large from what I understand.

cebutouristspot from Cebu on January 21, 2012:

Honestly. I dont think I can survive in jail as I hate tight spaces. I became agitated.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on January 21, 2012:

Traveling all over this Country I had always believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Michigan selected their State Troopers from the best and the brightest.

I had occasion a couple of years ago to meet with this very same Trooper. It was not pleasant. At the time I thought maybe he just had an off day (well one can hope!).

Now I'm thinking that just maybe he needs to think about changing careers. He seems to be having a difficult time dealing with the public. He is failing to realize that we still live in this world with him and yes we do have complaints and yes we are human.

Up until meeting this Trooper every single State Trooper behaved with the utmost respect regardless of how they were treated. I've even seen some of the videos of people behaving very badly, yet they still showed respect. Yes, I did wonder how they maintained their control (this is why I say the BEST and BRIGHTEST). I certainly hope that at some point Michigan will take this Trooper off of the payroll or put him either behind a desk or give him something else to do. He is giving the Good name of Michigan State Trooper a serious turn for the worse.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Suzie from Carson City on January 21, 2012:

This is both sad and frightening, but because I have heard these horror stories from people who KNOW first hand.....I have no problem believing every word. It is a serious atrocity of our legal system. Take an ordinary, normally "cowardly" punk.....put him a uniform, with a badge and a gun, and he's transformed into a dangerous, crude, rude bully who gets off being nasty and rough with ANY and ALL whom they arrest. These are men who have no control and/or authority in their own personal they get to play "Fantasy Ogre," on the job.....and they do it up big. To be fair...there ARE cops who behave like human beings....few and far between.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on January 21, 2012:

Thanks JenJen - I couldn't have done it without the help of a friend that is for sure!

@ LadyLyell - Well that life really, you can take a scary situation and let it rule you, or you can take control and make it anyway you want it. My friend, she decided while she had her 'overnight camp out' that she couldn't wait to tell me all the details. with the hope that I would make a hub out of it.

It is still in the planning stages at court. There was an article that came out in our weekly newspaper (yes, I said weekly) Thursday that reports a Court motion of Prosecutor corruption by a defense Attorney. The Judge gave the Prosecutor a verbal slap on the wrist but I'm sure there was a wink tucked in there for coffee later.

Judicial corruption is probably one of the hardest things to fight!

LadyLyell from George, South Africa on January 21, 2012:

Overall rather frightening but you managed to put a funny twist on the situation.

I can tell many a story when it comes to corrupt police after all I lived on the African continent but promise I won't go there!

All the best for your friend. Let's hear how it all pans out.

Jennifer McLeod from Detroit, Michigan on January 20, 2012:

I finally broke down and read it Sweetsusieg. You described the jail to a "t". My favorite part was about getting your tray of food anyway because of the "new friends". Voted up and shared!!

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on January 09, 2012:

My friend (who this happened to) was both scared and angry. She was angry for having spent a lifetime keeping her nose clean, not doing the bad things that some do etc.. only to have an allegation thrown her direction and be arrested without being questioned. She is still waiting to go to trial, which is now costing her a small fortune in legal fees.

cometdog on January 08, 2012:

This was scary, but I have to say you have a great sense of humor and I chuckled a few times. I had a similar experience about 17 years ago, and though the charges were later dropped, I spent nearly 2 days in the workhouse. It was something I'll never forget.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on October 27, 2011:

Yes it is!! I didn't think this would be something that most peace loving people would need to know when I wrote it... BUT.. with things heating up across the County it is a very real possibility.

jfay2011 on October 27, 2011:

pretty scary.

Sweetsusieg (author) from Michigan on October 22, 2011:

This is so absolutely true!! One never knows what will happen on the whims of an over-worked, under-paid officer of the law. They get tired too, they are so used to dealing with hardened criminals (maybe?) that when they get one of us 'never before law breaker' they treat us the same, maybe even a little rougher because they HAD to arrest us!!

Kind of makes you want to stay inside and never go out don't it??

Thanks for stopping by!

Carolyn Sands from Hollywood Florida on October 22, 2011:

It is wise to know these things I suppose. I just saw yesterday that 2 ladies were taken to jail while prostesting on wall street. The police took them to a precent out of there area, so therefore those who went to the right police percent to bond them out of jail couldn't find them. They were not breaking any rules, just standing on the sidewalk. So I guess I am trying to say that none of us really knows when or if we will be going to jail.