It’s important to keep in mind that jail is not meant to be pleasant or fun. You may have committed a crime and have to sacrifice your freedom to repay society for breaking the law. Whatever it is you did, it’s important to keep a cool head.

Jail isn’t like the movies. It’s a place of extreme order and confinement but not necessarily danger. Just be do your best to keep your head up until you get out.

What happens in Jail?

If you are convicted, you are taken into general processing to the jailhouse. There they will take most of your possessions on your person. Don’t worry, because all of it will be returned to you after you are released.

After that, they will take your photo and put you in a holding cell until they have a cell for you. It’ll be a large room with other inmates that are being processed at this time. The nickname for this cell is called the Fish Tank. You’ll stay in the holding cell for up to 30 days until prison officials process your paperwork. After that, you are taken to your cell.

Your cell

The average cell is eight by six feet and is equipped with a toilet and bunk beds. You may have your own cell if you’re lucky, but due to prison overpopulation, you’re more than likely to share a cell with another inmate. Think of this person as your roommate and try to keep things civil by treating them with the same respect you’d give yourself. Some cell blocks may have larger cells with multiple bunks.

Typically, larger jails and prisons are divided up in cell blocks or wings. The cells are arranged to allow guards to monitor prisoners to keep them safe and secured. Guards will walk the line as well as stay within a booth separate from the rest of the block. In the booth, guards can control mostly everything within the block.

What to expect before my trial date

If you’re out on bail, you may be required to wear an ankle monitor before your court date. The reason for this is simple — an ankle monitor works like insurance for the bail bonds company. If you’re out on bail, one of the risks that bonding companies run into is flight. This sort of thing is bad for both you and the bail bondsman. Missing court means having a warrant out for your arrest, but it also gets you in hot water with the bail bonds company. Wearing an ankle monitor allows the bonding company to make sure that you keep your agreement and appear in court as scheduled.