Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Have any of you been to jail and if so, what was your experience like?

Asked by KNOWITALL (15285points) March 18th, 2014

Be as detailed or vague as you’d like in regards to your own experiences or someone else’s.

My mother used to drink a lot before getting sober, and once I bailed her out at age 19 in the middle of the night. It was horrible, I was furious since I had to work the next day.

She told me she had banged on the bars and sang every jailhouse song she knew, until they were all laughing with her.

Personally I’ve never been and hope to keep it that way.

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44 Answers

jca's avatar

Never have and hopefully, never will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I haven’t. But they tossed my hubs in the clink in Wichita for a few hours for something he’d clean forgotten about that had happened about 10 years earlier. It was about 2 in the morning. I had to bail him out. It was, actually, a very cool experience for ME. When I was walking up to the building the inmates would whistle exotic-sounding bird calls down on me. The building was about 5 stories tall. The bird calls would just float around me. Seemed like they just came out of nowhere because I couldn’t see anyone. But I smiled in delight and waved. It was neat.

Inside I wound up sitting next to a black guy who had on a fake leopard fur coat, tight leather pants and some knee high boots. Lots of jewelry. He was really nice. In fact, EVERYONE, all the people waiting were the nicest people I’ve ever met. They seemed very well acquainted with the waiting room. All those street people, the pimps, the prostitutes….they were so helpful and reassuring. They were gentle and kind.

When they finally let Rick out he said, “Let’s get OUT of here Bonnie!” It was not a cool experience for him.

gondwanalon's avatar

When I was a young child in grade school I stole a wallet from Sears department store. The cops came and took me to the police station, fingerprinted me, took mugshots through me in the cell. I sat there all afternoon to my mom got off work to come and pick me up. I never stole anything since then. (53 years ago).

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca Ditto. Do police scare you or are you just a natural goody-goody? lol

@Dutchess_III Great story!!

@gondwanalon Wow, did you get a whuppin when you got home? :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

@KNOWITALL I am SO sorry to hear about your mom, though. I can’t imagine how awful that would be.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, it wasn’t pretty, and I have many more stories, but she has completely turned her life around and is helping others now, so all’s well that end’s well. Getting sober was the best thing she could ever do to show me how much she loved me, and herself. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

My mom used to drink too much. It was horrible, especially if we were out in public.

zenvelo's avatar

I had a few episodes when I was drinking – a couple DUIs and another couple incidents where I was drunk and misbehaving but not driving, The longest was about 36 hours.

When my marriage was falling apart, my ex called the sheriff and then told them I had scratched her arm. They took me away and booked me, my dad had to bail me out, but charges were never filed. That one was scariest, because they actually had me change to an orange jumpsuit. Thank God I got out within about five hours.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m sorry. I know the lack of trust I still have for other people is rooted in my mother’s choices and behavior.

I did have my house surrounded by a SWAT team once rifles up, scary. A neighbor had been robbing people and happened to be at my house hanging out when his wife turned him in.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^^ O shit!!! What did he do??

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III The neighbor? He tried to run out my back door, got scared by my dog, then ran to my bedroom and hid under my bed. Of course I told them where he was because he wasn’t a friend and they did have rifles pointed at me.

1TubeGuru's avatar

Many years ago i spent five weekends in jail for a DUI and another time I spent a night in jail for a felony assault charge that I later beat in court. the worst part about jail was the food.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What law had he broken @KNOWITALL?

5 weeks on your first DUI @1TubeGuru?

Cruiser's avatar

I have never been arrested but came as close as you can get. A now ex-friend was arrested and he ratted me out to the US Marshal for something I was very indirectly involved with. I was doing remodeling of an office and found $10,000 stashed in the drop ceiling. The previous tenants were long gone having skipped out on the lease. I kept the money in a safe for 6 months in case someone claimed the money. After 6 months I spent $700.00 it on various things food and gas. There was something not right with the money as many of the bills had that black marker mark and to my horror some of the bills had the same serial numbers. I knew it was counterfeit and was going to just throw it away. My neighbor asked for the money instead so I gave it to him. 2 years later I get a phone call to come downtown and talk to the US Marshal. My friend sold the money to a drug dealer he and that guy got busted big time and it all trickled back to me. The FBI was there and really wanted to send me to jail for 20 years. I told them I found the money and didn’t realize it was fake at the time I spent it. The Marshal was a little more diplomatic. He believed my story and let me go with a huge warning that charges will be brought up IF I ever do anything stupid like that again. Pucker factor 10 TIMES 10!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh, he had been breaking into people’s houses during the 8a-5p hours and robbing them, for quite some time I guess.

@Cruiser Whoa, that is crazy! You are much braver than me. Our bank gave us some $20 bills that wouldn’t pass inspection and refused to exchange them (and caused my husband to have a seizure from stress) and we chose to send them through the local FBI office, and our account was credited. It was scary.

Coloma's avatar

I went to jail once for a few hours when I was 17 and then I was flown home to my parents. A girl friend of mine who was 18 and I took a road trip to Oregon for the weekend. We were arrested for stealing a blanket from our hotel room to sit on the beach. The hotel owner saw us putting the blanket into the trunk of our car and called the police and detained us.

Being a minor I was given a slap on the hand and put on a plane home to my parents who were none too thrilled. haha
My friend was charged with misdemeanor theft and, this was the 70’s also drug charges for amphetamines and marijuana.
My life of crime, stealing a funky hotel blanket.

I have been a model citizen ever since, unless you count the fact that I still enjoy the herbal essence from time to time. Come and get me, I dare ya! lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh @Cruiser! How terrifying!

Oh, you said @KNOWITALL! Sorry, I forgot!
The bank gave you counterfeit bills?

CWOTUS's avatar

Not yet.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, they gave it to hubs when he cashed a check. He tried to buy gas with it and went to a second place, and the marker test didn’t pass them. So he called the bank they said they’d exchange so he went right back that day.

When he went back, the girl was really rude and said she had a drawer full and wouldn’t test them all for him, so he got mad and told her that was poor customer service. He went to the parking lot, called me on his cell and asked what he should do, and the idiot girl had called the cops on him for sitting in the parking lot after being mad. The very next day he had a seizure he was so furious, and I should have sued their butts off.

We just asked my bank (not his) to send them to the FBI and credit our account, so we were out a hundred bucks for about four days.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s INSANE! Why didn’t he go to her boss??

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III She was the manager. If you knew my husband, who is very good-natured and pretty passive, it was just crazy. He said he was so mad he literally didn’t know what to do except call me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, she had a boss too! I think there has to be some sort of organization for banks, like lawyers are accountable to the Bar. I would have…Oh, man. I would have raised 6 kinds of hell, but very quietly.

1TubeGuru's avatar

@Dutchess_III,I spent five weekends not weeks.

ucme's avatar

Only on a monopoly board, i’m a good boy I am.

trailsillustrated's avatar

I have, a couple of times. An american jail. It was pretty bad, the food was inedible, they put you in an underground chamber while you wait for transport, you’re in pajama-like clothing, it’s so cold you think you are going to die. Then they load you in a big van and drive it so crazily you think it’s going to roll over, men and women separated by a wall with holes, so there’s a lot of screaming and flirting. I was a level 4 which means your hands are chained to your waist and your feet are chained together. It’s a real job to not get hurt in this van like that, or when you have to get in or out. Some of the guards are very sadistic, others are kind and caring. It’s also very noisy, clanging and screaming. It was weird, the experience will never leave me.

Brian1946's avatar


May I ask for what charges you were incarcerated?

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Brian1946 at the time, I was unable to pay child support, and I kept getting picked up. Once in, the night nurse. (whom everbody hated), kept saying she wasn’t getting the paperwork that I had submitted for my medication. In sheer frustration, I trapped her hand in the metal file book and socked her in the face. I was tazed, everyone in the cell block stood and cheered, and I was charged with a measure 11 crime. ( it was all dropped later), I got 30 days in the hole.

kritiper's avatar

Very pleasant, but I wasn’t under arrest.
I was hitch-hiking through Lapwai, Idaho in 1970, 2 AM. My clothes and coat were damp from a light rain earlier in the evening and I was FREEZING! The town sheriff came along, asked me what I was doing and offered me some shelter. I didn’t know he was a cop until he asked me for some ID when I got into his VW van. We went to the little jail, where he checked me for a run away (I was 16), then fed me peanut butter sandwiches on white bread with black coffee. We sat there and BSed for about 2 hours. Then he made a final check about me with the state police, locked me in a cell (a mandatory procedure), and taped a note on the door telling the morning deputy to let me out when he came in. I stripped my damp clothes off, hung them on the upper bunk to dry and fell asleep between wool blankets.
At 6 AM the deputy came to find me awake and alert. He read the note and asked if I was ready to leave. I said “yes” and I was set free to continue my journey.
(Got the weirdest look from some other guy who was walking into the jail as I was walking out!)
That sheriff’s kind nature that night has always been a fond memory for me at that time in my life that was so full of parental turmoil.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Wins…the craziest, scariest, jailing experience ever.
I remember that sharing, insane!

CWOTUS's avatar

Finally, I get to give two GAs to one response. I may just come back with my other accounts and do it again, too. Jaysus.

rojo's avatar

My son spent a month in jail because I would not bail him out and none of his broke-dick friends had the money to do it.
He did not have a good time, I checked on him every couple of days but left him in. After about a week he came into the visitation center with a black eye. I asked him what had happened and he said that, being a young, skinny white kid, there were a couple of people who picked on him constantly and made his life miserable. After he got punched out one day he waited until late that night and went apeshit crazy on the guy that did it while he slept. In addition to jumping up and down on him while he was in his bunk and trying to break as many bones as possible he screamed and howled and acted as fucked up crazy as he could. When pulled off he went after the guys who were pulling at him as well.
He said he had not had any problems since. Everyone just stayed away from him and left him alone.
I guess you do what you have to do.
BTW he changed his lifestyle and never went back once he got out.

He doesn’t talk about it anymore except to tell others that they do not want to be jailed.

Berserker's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Ugh, that’s insane. I read a couple of ’‘top ten lists’’ of the worse jails ever, somehow I’m not surprised. Man, 90 days in that place? Understatement when I say that must have sucked ass.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

There was another time, after my big brother had enticed me off a commune in northern California with a job on the Burlington Northern RR in Chicago in early 1973. He was working on the repair track in the Eola yard in order to make money for medical school after two tours as a medic in Viet Nam. He got me on as a brakeman on the run between Chicago and Seattle.

A month later he was killed on the track. Before I was to escort his body back to the family in Florida, the men on his crew took me out for a kind of wake at a railroader’s bar near the yard. First and last time I ever drank tequila. Sometime in the night some non-railroaders came in, a brawl broke out—something like those old westerns with punches and chairs being thrown indescriminately—and we were all taken down to Cook County Jail. I don’t remember much except some guy complaining about the toilet paper.

“This is useless.”
“It’s John Wayne toilet paper.”
“What the hell is John Wayne toilet paper?”
“It don’t take shit off nobody.”

I was bailed out for what I thought was a drunk and disorderly charge and flew home with my brother’s body the next day, still tequila sick. I never returned to Chicago. My mother needed her remaining sons to stay close.

Almost twenty years later I was driving a cab in Florida to get through nursing school when I applied for a gun permit and was refused. When I inquired why, the guy at the gunshop told me Cook County, Illinois had an outstanding warrant on me for contributing to the delinquency of a minor from back in 1973. No shit. Even the gun guy was surprised. I called Cook County and explained that if they would match up my birthdate with the date on the arrest they would find that I, at 20, was the minor being contributed to that night. They did and they vacated the warrant. (Aren’t there statutes of limitations on these things or is it just Cook County?) It is amazing how thorough that background check for the carrying permit is. Not even the Florida Board of Nursing caught that one.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus You have had quite a life so far. You need to write a book.

My experience in jail was more “Andy Griffith” compared to that. At 17 I got busted with a couple of friends drinking beer while camping in a state park. I had two and was getting ready to go to sleep. One of my friends got shit faced and obnoxious enough to make a little noise. Park rangers find us, call the cops who hand cuff us all and drag us to jail. I remember thinking “seriously I was just minding my own F*!&$ing business” I get handed the phone at the jailhouse and call home….” Hi dad, um.. could you possibly….um…jeeze, well uhhh…I’m in jail…so….”
We ended up spending a Saturday washing police cars to keep that off our record. The officers who were supervising our work were very apologetic because the officer who decided we needed arresting apparently had issues. Most of them said that we only deserved a stern scolding for disturbing the peace. I would recommend any cocky trouble making 17 year old have that experience because it’ll inject a little reality into their worldview.

CWOTUS's avatar

I was thinking along the same lines, @ARE_you_kidding_me, that I should have a drink (NOT tequila) with @Espiritus_Corvus sometime.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Lordy. We need to rename this place “” Maybe turn it into a dating site. I thought my hubs getting tossed in the big house for a few hours was bad, bad, bad. These are some amazing stories you guys. Interesting the difference between the 70’s experiences and the more recent ones.

I forgot…I used to teach in a jail. Does that count?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh my God. Reading through this thread, and through the one @Espiritus_Corvus linked to…wow. Just wow. This is the first time I have ever started at the beginning of a long, long thread and read each and every answer from beginning to end. I did it on both of these. Now I’m going to be late for something!

Strauss's avatar

This thread reminds me of something I heard when I was in the Navy:
Q: What’s the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story?
A: A fairy tale starts with Once upon a time, and a sea story starts with This is no shit!

In 1970 I was being transferred from Vietnam to my new duty station on the east coast. I had a 30-day leave approved, and was flown to San Francisco, where I was supposed to catch a flight to my home, and then I was to proceed, after a little rest, to my new assignment. To begin with, my departure from Vietnam was delayed for two weeks, but it was never reflected on my papers. I asked about it, and was told it would not pose a problem for me.

When I got to San Francisco, I thought I would take a few days and visit some friends before heading home for the rest of my leave. We spent a few days partying, with several kinds of recreational drugs. One thing led to another, and one of my friends ended up being busted for possession with intent to distribute. Her bail hearing was set for two days later. While we were at the courthouse, I saw an acquaintance, whom I had met partying with my friends. He told me his truck had been impounded and he could not get it out without a license, and asked if I could have them release it to me. I was young, naive, and eager to be of help to my new-found “friend”, so I agreed. I was also stupid! Instead of releasing the truck to me, it was I who was impounded! Charged with stealing the truck!. I did not have enough money to come up with bail and get transportation home or to my new assignment, so I ended up spending a few days in jail while they sorted it out.Eventually, they found the real perp and the truck theft charges were dropped. By that time, my papers made it look like I overextended my travel time and was AWOL. So they held me another day until they could transport me to the nearest Navy installation, which at that time was on Treasure Island. The Shore Patrol there had my situation cleared up in about 45 minutes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh what a heinous set of circumstances @Yetanotheruser!

Paradox25's avatar

No, and I find it highly unlikely you’ll find too many on this site, though I’ve come close a few times. Even if I did I wouldn’t admit it on a site like this based upon past comments I’ve seen from people who obviously never lived in the real world.

I’ve worked with many guys who had though, but outside of complaining about the food they didn’t say much more. My one uncle that I was close with spent five years in a federal prison for stealing dynamite from mining companies and blowing up abandoned buildings with it. Sometimes he and his buddy detonated as much as a thousand pounds in one shot from what he’d told me. He said he was scared the entire time he was there, and told me of the time another inmate tried to kill him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Paradox25…. read the previous comments. You’d be surprised at how many of us wound up in jail!

Paradox25's avatar

@Dutchess_III My point was shit happens, and not everybody lives in a bubble. Anyone is capable of ending up in jail, or even prison.

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