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New Jersey Prison and Jail Specific Discussions + Lock Down Status This forum covers topics & discussions specific to Jails and Prisons located throughout the State of New Jersey, including lockdowns.

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Old 02-21-2019, 11:08 AM
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Default Any previous inmate knowledge for ADTC (Avenel)?

Hello everyone, 1st I want to say that this site is a wealth of knowledge and information for someone like myself who is about to be like my name says going into the NJDOC system.

Without dumping the whole back story on to this site the basics are that after taking a plea deal because there was no way to prove my innocence and it's always their word against mine I have no choice but to wear this SO badge of shame now that I have said I was guilty just to get a good offer. As a result I'm preparing to do a 10yr (8.5yr NERA) sentence that consists of two 5's and a 10. After reading up on "safe places" and with what my lawyer said about ADTC how it'd be better there I requested to do it at the ADTC facility. I know the facility is setup with counseling services which they put a emphasis on as I am looking forward to as this has all been a life shock and downward spiral for me the past six months and have lost everything in my life, friends, family, a career, my home and everything I own for something I didn't do and can't prove otherwise.


I'm looking to get specific information for what life is like on the inside of this facility such as

Are they setup as large dorms where all 70 inmates sleep like miliary bunks or do they have two man cells?

I know they have TV's that you can get but how's the reception on them?

Are the JPay tablets worth the money and do they have decent games or even movies rentals on them?

Any gang problems there or is it like they say and if your a behavioral problem and don't participate do they toss you out of the program?

Do the vocational classes actually still happen or is that just some great public relations BS?

Anyone share details on commissary specific to that location?

What is the actual parole possibility for someone who follows the rules, plays the phase system game and wants to have a life after all this?

Anyone with experience inside as to what a potential Inmate is walking into would be great not only to myself, but also the next guy in line. I know that no one in this world should be looking forward to any amount of time at any correctional facility, but I have to keep my head in a good place and prepare for the future and what it holds.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:12 AM
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Hi going in, and welcome to PTO.

I don't have any experience with ADTC specifically, but some answers I can give you seem to apply to all prisons in the US.

TV reception: most prisons bring in one big cable line, so your reception will be as good as the cable feeding it. The TVs are relatively small, but you'll be wanting that as space is at a premium (whether your in a dorm style unit or in a cell), and you'll be wanting headphones to go with the TV. TVs are usually incenctive items, meaning you need to have a clean record for a year or so before you're allowed by buy one, and they're typically expensive.

Expect purchasing anything to be a slow process. You'll order it, maybe a week later you'll get it, if you're lucky. Your funds are in an account and you have to have the funds to cover it when you place the order. As for prices, expect it to be akin to living life inside an airport - everything is small (no costco sized packs of anything) and it costs far more than is reasonable.

Gang problems are everywhere. As an SO, you will be tested when you first arrive. I strongly recommend that you find the "Loving a Sex Offender" forum here on PTO and read, post, ask questions.

Quoted below is a generic letter I send out to people with the SO tag stuck to them for how to stay as safe as possible. I've been told that it helped people new to the system tremendously.

Quote:
I’ve been finding information given directly from people who have been in the exact situation you’re in now and made it. The following is information on how to keep yourself as safe as possible, as told to me by people with remarkably similar circumstances to your own.

Some pointers on "prison etiquette":

1. Always show respect to everyone.
2. Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth SHUT.
3. STAY AWAY from fights and trouble. You DO NOT want to be tagged as a witness.
4. DO NOT SNITCH, it can get you beat up or worse.
5. Do not borrow or become indebted, or the payback will more often than not be much more than you got.
6. Do not gamble, if you lose and do not pay you can get your ass kicked or worse.
7. Don't start a fight, but don't be a coward either, defend yourself, but don't start anything.
8. Follow the rules to the letter, but don't kiss up to staff. Treat staff with respect, but don't be buddy-buddy, that will make people suspicious of you.
9. Don't become someone's "friend" too easily. People in prison generally aren't there because they are a nice guy or trustworthy. Often people will be "friendly" expecting to gain something. Be wary, make people gain that trust, don't give it too freely.

Neither a borrower nor lender be.


This quote, from a person who has finished his sentence inside a really horrible institution:

“People were murdered there. People were beat up there on a daily basis.

But you know what. Those people were inmates who involved themselves in "extracurricular activities". The one that was killed was over a basketball game. I witness a number of fights. Disrespect is a very big deal there. Especially if you disrespected a Lifer. Also, borrowing money for cigarettes and drugs is another thing that will get you beat up or killed. Being loud and overly boisterous draws attention to you. Every sex offender I know that had issues was because he was constantly talking about how he was innocent and yet he never told the same story twice. Or he borrowed cigarettes. He got himself involved with illegal activities. He told on someone. Or he lied to someone.”


Another anecdote from someone recently released (again, all of this information is from people whose status was the same as yours, and who have finished their sentences):

“When I first got to the prison I was walking to the bathroom from my cube. As I was walking two guys called me over. I sat in his cube and said hello. They were trying to figure me out. I was new and knew nothing about me. One guy says to me, "What would you do if you were confronted and was forced to fight?" Without thinking too much I responded, "I don't think I will have that kind of problem. I'm not going to do anything that would cause that kind of problem." They accepted that and I moved on.”


One person commenting on her husband, who is now released:

“He did as suggested. Eyes, and ears open, mouth shut.
Didn’t borrow, gamble, fight, and basically had very little problems.”


On the topic of murders in prison: of all the people I’ve spoken with who were in prison with the same label as you will have? All have said that the only murders they knew about with certainty were gang or drug related, or a bad debt or snitching on people. In other words, if you do what these people have shared above and follow their advice, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.

Here is what one person said about reports of murders amongst the culture (underscore mine):

“First off, if he is hearing about murders from inmates. I would guess that 90% are made up. Inmates like the unrest it causes within the prison. Someone dies of natural causes. Someone goes to the box and transferred to another prison while in the box. Someone gets sick and transferred to another prison that can handle his sickness better. The inmates change it to murder by the CO's. If they don't know all the facts of why an inmate left the prison, they make up their own facts to fit what they like.”


My father died at the Oregon Pen. He bore the same label you do. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, he offered these tips for me to pass along to people entering the system with the label you carry:

1. Most sex offenders, especially older ones, worry about going outside to yard. Pretty much all the institutions have a walking/jogging track My dad highly recommended you start doing going to the track as soon as you can (you won't be allowed out if the weather is bad) - being outdoors will help with your mood and physical health, and you'll meet other people who are not as judgmental on the track. From what my Dad heard from people who have been at other institutions, this is true for pretty much all institutions in the system.

2. If someone does confront you, just leave. There is no reason to engage with hateful people or people with low self-esteem trying to make themselves look big. There is also a sort of unwritten understanding that you don't get in fights with lifers and you don't start fights with people over 50 (it's looked upon as something like stealing a kid's lunch money - beating up "old" people doesn't make you look tough, it makes you look like a wimp). So as long as you refuse to engage with them, no one is likely to do anything more than say ugly things. “Walk” away.

3. Keep your mouth shut and eyes open to learn how things work - it is a completely different culture and you need to treat it like you’re living in a foreign country where things we normally think are okay actually can land you in big trouble. There is a big difference in the culture from one institution to another - at OSCI, an inmate can talk to the guards about things like job openings and the like. From what my dad heard, at Two Rivers, inmates DO NOT talk to the guards unless they absolutely have to.

4. On the topic of extortion by other inmates and/or guards: the people most likely to get sucked into "paying rent" or being extorted are the young men who are desperate to fit in somewhere. If you simply refuse to pay anyone for anything or buy anything for anyone, you'll be fine. You will be tested once or twice when you first get there – if you haven’t already. If you refuse, most will leave you alone from there on out. If you do get sucked into an extortion situation, you have almost no recourse without making things more difficult on yourself (don't be a snitch).

I send this to you [post this] in hopes that you have the information you need to stay safe.
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Old 02-23-2019, 02:51 AM
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Thank you for the advice and guidance. I will definitely read the "loving a sex offender" section more in depth. As I said in my OP any information helps me to prepare for my upcoming incarceration
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:40 AM
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If you stay out of trouble, the biggest issue you'll have to contend with is boredom. You'll make friends, just don't rush things. Eyes & ears open, mouth closed for a bit. It's been described to me as going to a foreign country where the social rules are very different. You have to accept the culture for what it is, then play by the cultural rules.

I have 3 friends still inside on counts like yours (in Oregon, but still). None of them have ever been in a fight. None have ever gotten in trouble. They all get bored, so I send them books as fast as they tell me they have room for them. Once you've figured out who is okay to hang out with and who you need to avoid, then you can look at joining a club (if they have them) or getting a job (if any are available) or joining the chapel choir or whatever you can do to make the time go faster.

I wish you luck.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:30 PM
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Just so you are aware, ADTC is strictly an SO facility. It's for the treatment of high risk Sex Offenders... My husband is an SO and was told that Avenel did not apply to him since he was not high risk and he didn't have to do any interviews there. There are tons of SOs that wind up at SSCF or Southwoods. I'm sure they wind up at more max facilities too based on the crime and how violent it was. I don't know yours, and it's none of my business anyway.

I will be careful because I have been told/heard that THEY will decide when you are ready to see the Parole Board... you don't just get a date to go in front of them. with a 8.5 NERA you're not going to be seeing them for a while anyway. With the parole board you Do have to admit guilt and show remorse for the crime. They basically said everything you could imagine to my husband short of calling him a pedophile trying to get him to react. He didn't because he IS remorseful and he has multiple doctors stating that it was not pedophilic in nature... but that's a story for another time.

You won't be able as an SO to go under min. security either way, and he was told he'd never be able to be in a half way house.

I would just certainly weigh the pros and cons of ADTC vs something else. I haven't really heard of people asking to go to ADTC, but I suppose requests can be made for anything. My husband didn't ask for SSCF but he was happier he wound up there since it was more like dorm living than cells, and he wasn't the only SO there. There were one or two others that knew he was now that i recall, but they were too and they didn't really rat on each other...but that seems to be the exception and not the rule.
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Old 02-25-2019, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerM View Post
If you stay out of trouble, the biggest issue you'll have to contend with is boredom. You'll make friends, just don't rush things. Eyes & ears open, mouth closed for a bit. It's been described to me as going to a foreign country where the social rules are very different. You have to accept the culture for what it is, then play by the cultural rules.

I'm not going to play the tough guy and say that 16 days in county helped me prepare for that, but it was a rookie experience that did let me see what to sort of prepare for. When I first went into county before getting out on the bail reform I spent the first 72hrs of my 1st 8 day trip in solitary until they evaluated me and moved me to PC at my request to "check-in" when I first arrived. The 2nd time I went back 2 months later for just another 8 day trip for a bail reform violation (later dropped) had me back in the PC unit and was welcomed among some of the people I first met going in two months previously. Either way I know that prison is rough and nothing like county so keeping my head low and eyes open until I get the feel for where ever I go is my current plan of action. I can't pretend I'm not nervous over whats to come, but I'm keeping my faith and thoughts positive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerM View Post
I have 3 friends still inside on counts like yours (in Oregon, but still). None of them have ever been in a fight. None have ever gotten in trouble. They all get bored, so I send them books as fast as they tell me they have room for them. Once you've figured out who is okay to hang out with and who you need to avoid, then you can look at joining a club (if they have them) or getting a job (if any are available) or joining the chapel choir or whatever you can do to make the time go faster.

I wish you luck.

I know from reading other posts on here to prepare for the time I will have to do and have already written up lists of books so my fiance and friends can order me books. The way I see it 1 book a week is only 520 books to read till I'm out. I've worked my whole life so your advice of trying for a job is the way I was going to go as well as getting into some form of a NA group and church services.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Have2BPatient View Post
Just so you are aware, ADTC is strictly an SO facility. It's for the treatment of high risk Sex Offenders... My husband is an SO and was told that Avenel did not apply to him since he was not high risk and he didn't have to do any interviews there. There are tons of SOs that wind up at SSCF or Southwoods. I'm sure they wind up at more max facilities too based on the crime and how violent it was. I don't know yours, and it's none of my business anyway.
My crime apparently happened 4 years ago and was inappropriate contact. The crime is not listed as violent (thank god) cause I know that changes everything with regards to the Tier system here in NJ and that the Tier system determines a lot upon release. I don't know if it was on this site or another Google search I came across, but at one point I did find a reference card and scoring for the NJ Tier System and I'm very low on that scale so hopefully upon release I will be a Tier 1. I do have a interview at the facility to see if I"m and I quote "compulsive and repetitive" which my lawyer is helping me prepare for.

Did your husband ever have to go the PC route while at SSCF?

Did he use a cover story when questioned about his charges? I know other inmates can sometimes use outside sources to lookup other cons on the NJDOC website to see what someone is in for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Have2BPatient View Post
I will be careful because I have been told/heard that THEY will decide when you are ready to see the Parole Board... you don't just get a date to go in front of them. with a 8.5 NERA you're not going to be seeing them for a while anyway. With the parole board you Do have to admit guilt and show remorse for the crime. They basically said everything you could imagine to my husband short of calling him a pedophile trying to get him to react. He didn't because he IS remorseful and he has multiple doctors stating that it was not pedophilic in nature... but that's a story for another time.
The Parole part does bother me and was explained to me when I did my plea agreement in court. My lawyer did tell me since the NERA is 8.5 if after 8 years I'm not eligible for parole then something isn't right with their treatment program and I shouldn't have a issue if I follow the rules and do what is expected of me.

I know after some reading on Google most people may and do max out, but it seems the ones that max out are in for 5yrs or less and the ones they keep or try to keep with Civil Commitment never make it past Phase 2 of a 4 Phase system, refuse treatment, etc.

I didn't know the board went that far with trying to get people to react and will keep that on my mind when my time comes to see them. I have no problem with admitting guilt and getting called a "cho-mo" or "tree jumper" as I know it's a label that I will have to live with now that I took the deal and admitted guilt.

Last edited by GoingInNJ; 02-25-2019 at 02:19 PM..
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