Ex-Inmate Interviews: Pre-sentencing & Sentencing
Interview with Toby, J. Friday, Jeremy, Keith, Lisa, Jenny and Brian
Tell us about the pre-sentencing process
Toby: i spent 4 1/2 mos. in jail before i was finally sentenced.
J. Friday: Pre-sentencing is mostly communicating with your lawyer as much as possible so you know as much as you can before you go to court.
Jeremy: Not bad. Was placed in Central for 2 weeks until my court date.
Keith: I was wrongly arrested for burglary and simple battery which I didn’t commit, stayed in jail for 25 days for no reason. The Houston Police didn’t read me my rights and didn’t have a deaf interpreter because I’m deaf. The State Attorney had to let me go because not enough proof or information and dropped charges against me. So, I need to sue that Clearwater Police.
Lisa: I had a public defender and they don’t help the inmates with their sentencing. If one wants to have a fair trial then they need to hire their own private attorney. If there are no funds for one then the inmate most likely does jail or prison time.
Jenny: It seemed like it took a long time. First you are booked in, then sent to your housing. You sit there until you are called for court. You go several times before you are sentenced. First is the arraignment, then your case management, then your sentencing I believe.
Brian: Deceived by Sherrif’s department and was continually lied to following my and during my flying to Florida and turning self in.
Did you have police stop by your house for questioning?
If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
J. Friday: No, the only time the police came by my house was to arrest me for a VOP warrant.
Jeremy: Only to arrest me for a VOP.
Jenny: No, I was picked up by police for solicitation, then they found out I was wanted in Spring, TX for violation of probation.
Brian: I walked into sheriff’s office and turned myself in.
What was court like?
Please give as many details as you recall.
Toby: the judge talked while my public defender explained everything to me. it was all very fast and i felt like i was being pushed along something i didn’t completely understand.
J. Friday: My final court appearance, when I received my jail sentence, was nerve wracking to say the least. The state was looking for a year and a day in prison, and I was hoping for 11 months in county.
Jeremy: Nervous, but then happy afterwards, received time served and was released.
Lisa: I was in jail so I went to court in jail garb and was treated like a number, not a person.
Jenny: It was ok. But you were only transported to where they release people. Then we walked through a series of hallways, then a huge holding cell. You wanted there till you were called over the intercom, and told where to walk to, and what elevator to get on and the floor you needed to go to. Then you sat in another holding cell till you went in front of the judge.
Brian: Court was a joke there is so much graft and corruption it was very tricky knowing who to bribe.
What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Jenny: I cannot remember the actual charges in Houston, but I was also being held for Spring, TX.
Brian: Initial charges were based in fantasy. I walked away with a fine.
How long was your sentencing for?
Toby: 3 yrs fl prison
J. Friday: 270 days, with 103 days taken off for the time I had already spent in jail, on that charge.
Jeremy: None. My probation was terminated.
Keith: 25 days in jail for no reason.
Lisa: one day.
Jenny: I believe it was for about 4 months.
Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing?
If so, what was that like? If you didn’t where did they they take you instead?
Toby: not so bad since i was already used to jail.
J. Friday: I was already incarcerated when i went to court, so I just had to make the reverse trip back to my POD. It’s about an 8 hour round trip to go to court from jail. You go through a whole series of holding cells on the way there, and on the way back. The whole process isn’t pleasant at all, you move from one dank nasty cell to the next. With about 300 other inmates, all going to the same place. The closer you get to your courtroom, the less people there are in the cells with you. Finally, you’re in a tiny cell right behind the courtroom, it’s probably 6 by 9, with 7-8 people. After court, it’s the same thing in reverse.
Jeremy: Yes. Every inmate does. It was dark, nasty and stank like hell.
Lisa: Yes, it was long and cold. Too many inmates cramped into a small cell.
Jenny: Yes. Very boring. You’re in a room with people you don’t know, and it is always very cold there.
Brian: place was nasty.