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betterdaysahead 02-23-2005 03:17 PM

Jail versus Home Arrest
For over the past year and a half, I have found strength, courage, and hope on PTO, but for some reason never had the inclination to actually post anything because I was sorting things out at the time on my own regarding my court case, and partly because I was still unclear what would become of me in terms of sentencing--it seemed there were numerous directions that my case could take.

Today, I have a better idea of the outcome of my 1st time offense which involves a non-violent (non-drug related) crime. Forgive me if this is the wrong section of the PTO forums to make such a post, but i need input to help me to decide between a year of county jail versus home arrest with electronic monitoring. It would seem like a clear choice, but it's a bit more complicated than face value. I am in Los Angeles County and the county jails are, as I am informed by my council, over packed such that they are releasing non-violent offenders after serving approximately 10% of their time. Alternatively, I could serve out my sentence under home arrest which in theory can be shortened down to 8 months.

I realize this question is not directly related to prison, but I am hoping PTO members out there can give me some insight on life in jail. How dangerous is county jail? I'm not a physically strong guy, so I am wondering if a guy like me can go through 4-6 weeks of county jail relatively unharmed. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that people in jail are there for the short term and are probably just as worried as I am and hoping to survive the ordeal without getting into trouble with anyone.

What is the situation in jail? If the jail is over crowded, do I end up sleeping on the ground? What are the likely and unlikely dangers I will have to face?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to "BetterDaysAhead"

eggman 03-02-2005 04:39 AM

you must be crazy
take the house arrest
if you cant behave for a few months...

MomsInTrouble 03-02-2005 08:16 AM

I can see why it is a hard decision for you. I mean, on the surface it appears just to snap up the home arrest and avoid jail altogether, but then you know for sure you have 8 months of unproductive time on your hands. IF you are lucky enough to truly get out doing 10% time, losing only 6 weeks of your life, even if they are somewhat hellish, seems the way to go. I would be more concerned with the IF factor. You have no guarantee that you'll get out in 6 weeks, right? Other factors to consider, do you have a job to go back to? Would you be able to work from your home?

Obviously, I don't have a clear choice answer for you. Not sure how CA county jails compare to NC counties, but here, they are depressing as heck and you have very little to do with yourself - no job to do, etc - just stare at walls. Makes for long long days. If you opt for the jail stay, especially a short stint, here's the advice from my husband: Keep your mouth shut, mind your manners, act respectful, don't offer to do anything for others (mail stuff, laundry, give food, etc) and don't accept offers. As he says, it's Halloween, put on the mask. For a short time, ANYBODY can do it.

Good luck sweetie.

eggman 03-03-2005 01:11 AM

sorry to sound harsh before but i think it IS sketchy to gamble "that they are releasing non-violent offenders after serving approximately 10% of their time". Ive heard all those tales and yes I have done time. To me that sounds like a trap. If you can do your time on the street I suggest to do so. I have done 1 year of 'house arrest' time + 2 years of regular probation - in addition to prison time... and I can tell you this - the street time is a WHOLE lot better and if you dont break any laws you are straight. It's not that hard. But if you do take the street time, be on your toes ok?

itscindergirl 03-03-2005 08:13 AM

Well I have done time in dallas county jail 6 months before going to prison if I had of had my choice I would have taken house arrest in a minute at least you can feel the grass under your feet you can call anyone you can have visits not thru a glass you know that the person sleeping next to you is not going to flip out and slit your throat in the middle of the night or try to do something else if you know what i mean. If you want a balogne sandwich you can have one not eat it everyday for lunch and all those rumors are probably just rumors. I don't see where there is alot of choice here give me hell or give me my home UMMM lets see what part of this do you not see. But hey its your choice thats just my opinion on the subject freedom is something you come to respect I guess after being locked up a while I'd never choose to be locked up for any amount of time

ocgirl 03-11-2005 09:43 PM


Currently, yes LA county is serving 10% but you have to understand nothing is ever guaranteed. Anyone I know hasn't had much trouble serving time there as long as they stayed out of the mix.

Agaveman 04-05-2005 08:57 PM

I would choose 4 weeks of jail as opposed to 8 months house arrest.

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