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  1. I was recently an inmate here at the LSJC. I had never been to jail before, and this was a bad enough experience to convince me that I never want to go back to any jail. I was arrested at around 10 PM on a Monday, booked into the jail at 11 PM, and was led to the waiting room you sit in while you wait to see the arraignment magistrate. They seem to have the AC on full blast 24/7, so if you didn’t come in with a sweater on (i.e., in the middle of summer), you can guarantee you will be freezing. You are permitted to sit in cold, hard plastic seats with your feet on the ground for hours, waiting for your turn to see the magistrate. they call you into the courtroom in groups of about 16 every 3 hours or so. I finally got to see my magistrate at around 7 AM. You are ushered into a courtroom where your charges are read to you in front of everyone else, and your bail amount is set. You are asked if you’re a US citizen and if you will need an attorney. That’s it. They call it an arraignment, but you are never allowed to enter your plea. Afterward, you’re ushered out for mugshots and fingerprinting and given the opportunity to pay your bail in full (which most of the time you can because most banks place a restriction on how much you can withdraw, which is always less than what your bail is) and then it’s off to the holding tanks. I waited in one holding tank for about 2-3 hours before my TB test was administered, and my personal belongings were finally removed from me (cell phones are confiscated at the time of booking, and you are not allowed to see them again, so if you weren’t smart enough to grab phone numbers from the contact book you’re screwed. Then it’s off to dress out. You’re ushered into a shower room where you are split into individual stalls and ordered to strip, and are given your very attractive striped outfit and shower shoes. For me, they ran out of socks, so I didn’t get any and had to suffer very cold feet for three days until laundry came around and I could get a pair. After you dress out, you’re given your wool blanket and towel in a mesh bag and ushered into yet another holding tank (by this time, it was approximately 12 PM–any sense of time at this point was pretty nonexistent) to await cell assignment. it took them about another 3 hours to figure that out for me…but before that, they pull you aside for an intimate interview and ask you if you’ve ever been a victim of a sex crime…do you think you will be raped and if you’re a homosexual. I am gay, so I did say yes and was asked if I preferred to be assigned to homosexual housing (colloquially named the “gay tank” by the inmates) or if I wanted to stay in General Population. I elected to be assigned to the “gay tank.” At this point, I was then given my wristband (which I had to show more times than I could count). I was taken to the west tower, where I was given my mattress pad, silicon cup, plastic spoon, and roll of toilet paper and was escorted to my tank. Apparently, there are two types of tanks: 8-man and 24-man. I was placed in a 24-man which consisted of a common area, the toilet/shower area (whats privacy?), and then there were the actual cells…8 men to a cell on four bunk beds. Finally…16 hours after I was booked into the jail, I was in my cell. The next four days were equally as unpleasant. The meals were food that tasted like the cardboard box they came in, and they never arrived at the time they were supposed to (430 AM for breakfast, 11 AM for lunch, and 430PM for dinner). The air conditioning was blasted 24/7, so at night, it got very cold, especially when lockdown happened from 12A-430A. I heard about fights on a daily basis, and because of this, I decided to pass up the opportunity to be escorted to the recreation area. The detention officers were careless people who we extremely unconcerned about the welfare of the inmates. I would observe that it would take hours for them to respond to any requests that an inmate would have. 4 days after I was booked, a friend of mine posted my bail, and it took 6 hours for them to inform me that I was bonded out and to pack my things. I gathered up my things and was taken back to where I surrendered my belongings and placed in yet another holding tank that smelled very strongly of body odor and unshowered people. you were called out one by one and given your clothes back and allowed to change into them, and then it was back into the holding tank. we were then taken out in a group of about 12 people and given back our personal belongings one by one, but we weren’t allowed to open the bags that held our stuff. We were ushered into another line, where we were then crowded into one of the elevators down to the first floor. We formed one more line before the last door opened….the door to freedom. All in all, those four days I spent in The LSJC were four days I would never wish upon anyone. I’ve read so many horrible things about this jail since I have been out and personally, saw most of what people complained about.

  2. You are very accurate in your description. Once you arrive the wait to get on the the next point of being dressed out takes appsalutely forever. Some people say it’s taken 18-20 hours and all this time you are sitting in a cold as hell room with annoying people all around you, guards who do not care for anybody who is not one of their own nor even treat you like a regular person. (When I was in city jail before this I was told I had stayed in that jail the longest but was one of the nicest people they’ve had come through in some time. Once I got to Dallas no matter what I was disrespected over and over and over by those a**h****.) And all you have are 2 20 year old tvs (“when I was sitting there for 13 hours when I had already been arraigned at city jail”) there was an hour through the night where on the men’s side they had a bra infomercial playing. The food is appsalutely horific.. and they do not even provide you with enough of the nearly inedible food to go to the bathroom regularly. (I couldn’t go but every 3 or so days). If your withdrawing from drugs they place you in west tower with the mentally ill inmates and I’m telling you some of them are freaking nuts. And the pods are as disgusting as the holding cells mentioned above. While in these pods the other side of the hall the actual cells probably 15-20 ft away are nothing but people on 23 hour lockdown. Basically solitary confinement. I’ve never gotten to see this in person before then but just WOW does that raise a whole other topic on its own and really helped me to understand just what torture solitary is. Once I was I got moved from west to Keys (the new) tower. Things weren’t so bad considering have been in west tower. They have flat screen tvs an ice maker and microwave. I guess to nuke the horrendous food unless you have romen to heat up. All things considered Lou Sterrett was by far the worst jail or experience I’ve even been through. Was in Dallas for 6 days and i would take the month i spent at neighboring Tarrant county any day. That place is just down right disgusting and your treated like scum on the bottom of the man’s shoe. People do whatever ever you can to make sure you never have to go through this hell and any other jail for that matter. You do not have to to have an appreciation for a good noble and honest life.

  3. Its horrible. My son was having a gall bladder attack which we know is so dangerous and extremely painful. This lasted about a week and he kept filling out those request thingys and NOTHING! I could do nothing but sit home and cry. Some of the folks there are rough people but there are a lot there that are good people but they just made a mistake. Those guards could get so much more out of the inmates if they would show they really cared and wanted to help them. I have met a prison guard that swears by this. He says he works with a bunch of guards and they all try to show respect and care and its amazing the difference. I guess some just let the power go to their heads and/or just dont care. I pray my son is in an area where he has a few caring guards. Thats our only hope is to pray this. Treat them like animals and they will act like animals. If anyone knows of anything to do I will be on board. Other than that just pray!

  4. I was arrested 8 years ago for trespassing . i spent 4 months in jail pregnant. I had hypormisis i was only taken to a doctor to prove i was pregnant. I told the arresting officer id been invited and had three witnesses to the fact id be renting the extra room.the officer called me a liar. I have epilepsy, asthma, type 1 diabetesand,and im supposed to wair hearing aids but the officer nocked them out when i went to seizing.this was due to the stress of being woken at 3 am, yelled at, the car lights, and being told i was going to jail. meaning i would lose the 2 part time jobs, one at McDonald’s the other taco bell i was supposed to start that morning. He said i was trying to hit him. sorry but those People here saying everyone in there are criminals and deserve the bad treatment are the ones who sound ignorant to me.

  5. I agree with Steve A. It is a horrible place to be. It’s almost impossible to sleep at night and the food is disgusting. If you ever think you might be arrested in Dallas County, make sure you have at least $100 on you to put into your commissary account so you can buy decent snacks to eat while you are awaiting your bonding out. And, the pods are unbelievably nasty. Make sure you wear your jail provided shower shoes when taking a shower–it’s easier to do that than to have to first spray down the shower area with disinfectant. Also, before you lie down on your assigned bunk, wipe it down completely with the disinfectant, even spraying it on the sheets and allowing enough time for the stuff to dry.

  6. All of these exact same bad things were said about, “Dawson State Jail”, where I was an officer there, but, I loved my job at, “Dawson”, and I consider myself as having been a good, and caring, officer, I was well respected there by both staff, and inmates, there are good officers, and there are the bad. Do they not have, Hall Porters, at, “Lew Sterrett”, to keep the restrooms clean when needed? As far as the food, most the time it looked pretty good to me, especially, on Mexican food day!

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