View Full Version : total newbie - lots of basic questions (LA COUNTY)


halebop
04-06-2009, 11:44 AM
My hubby was sentenced to 180 days in County (no prison) for possession (failed attempt at Prop 36). It's his first conviction.

I have all of the most basic questions if anyone has the patience to walk me through....

He surrenders himself in court in June.

From there - will it be awhile before I know where he is?
Is it likely he'll move around a lot the whole time? (weekly, monthly, daily?)

Will I know where to reach him by mail or not for awhile at the beginning?

What are the times he's able to call me? Are there hours they can and can't make calls during? Any tips on avoiding the really expensive collect calls?

He told me it will be harder for him if I visit. Is that common or a really weird response?

When its time for his release - will i be able to tell from the online inmate information system that he's coming home or is that sometimes behind and might not show the real date?

I think I read that I can't really send him anything except letters and already made up care packages. Are those any good or a huge waste of money?

How can I get him money so he can buy stuff himself? Is there a period of time where that can't be done at the beginning?

I just figure I may be less scared if I'm prepared. (like if I know I won't hear from him for awhile at first - I won't panic as much)

Also, are the racial problems in LA County so bad that he may be seriously hurt or even killed if he isn't a violent guy himself? Will he be with serious violent criminals if he's in County the whole time or will he be housed based on the fact that he's only got 1 conviction for possession?

Any tips, wisdom and experience would really really be appreciated.

At first I was so glad to have some time before he goes in June - now I realize how horrible it is to have this hanging over us. (yes, I'm a wimp I guess - but I'm going to do my best not to let him see how scared i am)

grayworldangel
04-06-2009, 03:59 PM
First of all, you might get lucky and he will be selected for "electronic monitoring." That's the home arrest thing, where he wears a ankle bracelet and has to stay inside the house. It used to be that you were charged for the 'privilege' of home arrest, but I understand that has changed recently.

If your hubby doesn't need to see a doctor, he will pass through Reception within 24 hours. He will probably spend his first night in Central Jail. My guess is that he will be assigned as a trusty--working in the kitchen, laundry, or cleanup crews. As a trusty, he could end up at any of the jails but the dorms are generally better than the regular cells.

Phone time depends on the facility and the deputies mood. Some jails don't like to give you phone time, and some deputies think it's their job to deny every little pleasure. Other facilities leave the phones on all the time, and he will be able to call as often and as long as he wants. It's sort of a coin toss to try to predict which he will end up with.

There is a web site that you can send money to your hubby's account, so that he can order from the commissary once per week. He can also buy cards to use int he vending machines (access to those is kind of like the telephones, only worse).

I don't think the racial problems are any worse inside than out. The faster your hubby learns to never show weakness, stay out of other people's business, never snitch, and don't trust anyone, the less trouble he will have inside.

good luck, and stay tough

halebop
04-06-2009, 04:12 PM
Thanks. I appreciate your help. I didn't know about the trustee thing.

I have to just remind myself - plenty of people have endured far far worse so I need to stop letting him get me more upset than I already am (he likes to suggest he may not make it back home b/c you never know what could happen in there) I keep insisiting I feel like I never know if he'll make it back home from a night of using - but he doesn't see it that way.

He's pretty wise and will probably handle himself pretty well. I hope he stops feeling so sorry for himself soon. It's weird - I feel sorry for him (sometimes) but it pisses me off a little when he does b/c he had a LOT of chances to make it right and he really pushed it for things to come to this point. I'm worried about him - but I also blame him for not pulling his sh*t together before it came to this.

He of course blames the judge, the public defender, the court, the DA and everything but himself. I'd say chances of him emerging any wiser (and sober) aren't so good. I'll hope for the best.

Thank you again for the info. Much appreciated.

grayworldangel
04-07-2009, 09:55 AM
There's another option I nearly forgot...and he has a pretty good likelihood of getting it. He could be assigned as a police station trusty. If he gets that, he will live at a sheriff's station and do things like washing cars. If he gets that, you'll get better visits including getting to have dinner with him.

halebop
04-07-2009, 02:16 PM
There's another option I nearly forgot...and he has a pretty good likelihood of getting it. He could be assigned as a police station trusty. If he gets that, he will live at a sheriff's station and do things like washing cars. If he gets that, you'll get better visits including getting to have dinner with him.

THAT would be a very fortunate outcome. When he surrenders in court in June I figure we won't find out anything. He'll just go through the usual processing in (I think?) I figure it might be a week before I know where he ends up. Is that reasonable?

This police station trusty situation sounds almost too good to be true. Wonder who decides who gets that "assignment". I'm not going to mention it to him so he doesn't get his hopes up - but this would be a really good result for him.

Thanks!

grayworldangel
04-13-2009, 03:31 PM
When he processes in, it takes hours...if he doesn't have any medical problems. If he does, it can take days. Assuming he's OK, you should know where he is assigned within a couple of days--the first night will probably be at Central Jail downtown, then they will make the decision whether to make him a trusty, put him out at a station, or just throw him in with the rest of the men in jail. It may take a few days to go to a station...I'm not really familiar with that (which is probably why I forgot about it) :-)

good luck

bunnieRR
04-14-2009, 10:21 AM
my fiance was sentenced on april 3... on april 4th it was posted on the inmate site were he was he was sent to twin towers... he was able to call me on april 5th but i wasnt able to make it intime to see him but i went on april 6th on april 8th i logged on to the inmate sight and they had moved him accross the street to mcj i saw him the next day... he told me that friday april 10th that they were gonna move him to wayside but then he became a trustee so hes staying in mcj... they do wat they want with them down there... just check the inmate site often... thats how i keep track on him

South Bay
04-15-2009, 12:02 AM
My hubby was sentenced to 180 days in County (no prison) for possession (failed attempt at Prop 36). It's his first conviction.

I have all of the most basic questions if anyone has the patience to walk me through....

He surrenders himself in court in June.

1. From there - will it be awhile before I know where he is?

2. Is it likely he'll move around a lot the whole time? (weekly, monthly, daily?)

3. Will I know where to reach him by mail or not for awhile at the beginning?

4. What are the times he's able to call me? Are there hours they can and can't make calls during? Any tips on avoiding the really expensive collect calls?

5. He told me it will be harder for him if I visit. Is that common or a really weird response?

6. When its time for his release - will i be able to tell from the online inmate information system that he's coming home or is that sometimes behind and might not show the real date?

7. I think I read that I can't really send him anything except letters and already made up care packages. Are those any good or a huge waste of money?

8. How can I get him money so he can buy stuff himself? Is there a period of time where that can't be done at the beginning?

9. I just figure I may be less scared if I'm prepared. (like if I know I won't hear from him for awhile at first - I won't panic as much)

10. Also, are the racial problems in LA County so bad that he may be seriously hurt or even killed if he isn't a violent guy himself? Will he be with serious violent criminals if he's in County the whole time or will he be housed based on the fact that he's only got 1 conviction for possession?

Any tips, wisdom and experience would really really be appreciated.

At first I was so glad to have some time before he goes in June - now I realize how horrible it is to have this hanging over us. (yes, I'm a wimp I guess - but I'm going to do my best not to let him see how scared i am)
Iíve numbered your above questions (and my answers) for convenience.

But first, if he can instead turn himself in straight to the main jail downtown as opposed to the court, that will save him half a day in waiting and the bus ride to the jail.


You can check online at any time. Their records are updated frequently, and you should know within 24-36 hours where he is located. But he will probably be transferred to another jail (such as Wayside), so be patient for a few days.
As a sentenced prisoner, once he is settled in, he should stay at that particular jail (unless he has medical problems that would necessitate going to the medical section at the Twin Towers jail).
All mail can be sent to: name & booking number; P.O. Box 86164; Los Angeles, CA 90086-0164.
As another poster said, it depends on the jail (and what mood the deputy is in). Some of the phones are turned off during meal times (if he is housed in a dorm), and many of the phones may be turned of at night from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am the next day. Supposedly, Global Tel Link (GTL) gives a 10% discount on calls by setting up an AdvancePay prepaid account, and also through the use (by inmates) of the GTL prepaid calling cards sold at the commissary (and sold online). See this post for GTL rate info: http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4580808#post4580808 (http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4580808#post4580808)
Not wanting visits is not weird at all. Sometimes itís easier to just do the time, without all the constant visiting. Since itís fairly easy nowadays to talk by phone, it may work out better to not visit (or visit just a few times) and talk more frequently by phone. If, however, he gets a substation trustee job, visiting him there would be far better than regular visiting at one of the jails.
The online inmate info should show his 2/3 date (by law, he does 120 on the 180 days with the good time / work time credits). His date may also be advanced by a few days to a few weeks by an official early kick program. Don't be surprised, however, if they release him even earlier than his scheduled release date.
The care packages listed on the Keefe website (www.lasdpackages.com (http://www.lasdpackages.com/)) are generally a waste of money because they are overpriced and may contain many items he may not want. Other than a one time initial package, itís better to just send him money and let him make his own choices.
Send him money orders to the above-listed address. As soon as you know his booking number, you can send it (or go to the jail and post it with the cashier). The online payment system is no longer working. Check the specific information link at the bottom of this page: http://app4.lasd.org/iic/ajis_search.cfm (http://app4.lasd.org/iic/ajis_search.cfm), for further info. He may not be able to buy items from the commissary for the first week, due to moving around. Once you know his jail location, you can check the Keefe website and find out when his facility gets commissary, and then (up until 10 pm the night before) order him a prepaid calling card and a care package of food and candy items. With the food and goodies, he can then trade with other inmates for needed items such as shampoo and stamps (until he makes it to the commissary himself).
Thereís not really anything to be scared of in LA County jail. If he minds his own business, and does what the cops ask (like keeping his hands in his pockets when moving about the jail), then when the deputies get mad theyíll pick someone else to mess with. Ask him to try not to borrow from anyone, not do drugs, and donít gamble (or incur debts he cannot pay). Before he goes in you should find out what books he likes to read, and later order them online from Amazon, Borders, or B&N to be sent directly to him at the jail (books and magazines must come directly from the publisher, vender, or a bookstore). Don't order more than 5 books at a time (soft bound), and don't order any used books.
He will be housed according to an assigned security level (from 1 to 12), with 1 being the lowest and 12 the highest (I believe). So for instance, those with a 6 level are housed with others in the 5-6-7 range. His security level will be determined at his initial classification right after booking, and various factors come into play such as whether the current offense is a felony, whether an assault was involved, the number of prior felony convictions, pending warrants or other charges, any past institutional behavior problems, local family ties or history of recent employment, and whether or not he is sentenced. Based on these factors (and what you indicated), he should get a very low security level.
He should ask the classification deputy for a job as a substation trustee. If he gets it, he would be housed in a small prisoner dorm at one of their substations (Lomita, Lakewood, Carson, Commerce, Compton, Lennox, Malibu, Santa Clarita, Temple City, San Dimas, Lancaster, West Hollywood, Walnut, Norwalk, Pico Rivera), and would work cleaning the station, washing the sheriffís vehicles, and similar work. Itís the best trustee job in the system, is a really relaxed atmosphere, and will get him away from the hum drum (and potential trouble) in the larger county jail facilities.

When he turns himself in he should take some money with him, so it will immediately be put on his books (the deputies will take it from him at the holding cell and he should be given a receipt).

Hope these answers help.

South Bay