Behind the Scenes of the County Jail

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Behind the Scenes of the County Jail

Someone, suspected of a crime, is arrested by police. Later on, the suspect goes to court to face their charges. A classic episode of Law & Order. But, where do these suspects go in between the two events. They are held in their local jail of course. While people are familiar with the arrest and courtroom scenes from TV, many are unfamiliar with the jail scene, which becomes home to the suspects who cannot make bail until a court rules a verdict for their case.

So, let’s expand a Law & Order episode, and place the scene at the County Jail, located at 100 W. Washington St., Muncie. A suspect has been arrested, and is taken to jail. Upon arrival, the suspect will be given an orange jumpsuit, underwear, t-shirt, socks, and shoes without laces to wear, and a mattress pad for their bed, all jail issued. The suspect will be handcuffed and shackled for any movement he will make within the facility before he is placed in his cell. The suspect receives an arm bracelet with a picture of himself to be worn at all times as identification. They can make a call for bail, and if they cannot get the money, the jail becomes their new home.

The process listed is standard for many booking procedures. It is not very exciting, which is probably why the process is left out of TV dramas. However, there is a lot of important work done behind-the-scenes to keep inmates in their place, and keep officers safe.

Captain Earl Davis of the County Police Department is in charge of the county jail. Davis said that the jail has an elaborate locked door system. When one door in a hallway of two or more doors is opened, all of the other doors are locked until the open door is shut. The system, Davis said, is to prevent any prisoner from escaping. Each door is opened by a person in an operating room, and each officer who enters through a door must receive clearance from that operator.

County Jail is equipped to hold 221 prisoners, each who must eat three times a day, and have an hour outside for recreation.

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