What happens when you go to jail

Yep, it happens!

There are times in life when certain things happen, whether or not you have actually committed a crime will eventually be determined by a Court of Law and a Jury of your Peers (if you so choose). But until that time, you may have to spend a night or two in your County jail.


Hand cuffing process

For the most part you will be handcuffed by the officer who is taking you in. If you have a TRUE and valid reason you cannot be cuffed behind your back, the officer may decide to be nice and let you have the cuffs in the front. Provided you are nice and not belligerent, meaning cooperative with the police, they might be nice. But then again, they might not.

There are times when the officer will not be nice, no matter how nice you are. It happens, for the most part the police are human’s as well. I know some of you may want to debate that.


"You know the Drill" (really officer I don't!)

If this is your first run in with the law, your booking officer may not believe you. They expect to see repeat offenders, not ’A-liners’(the term for being locked up the first time). If your a woman it will be a little different from what happens with the men. You will be escorted into a ‘booking room’ and handed over from the arresting officer to the booking officer. This is generally done at a County jail.


Steps 1 thru 11

1. You will be checked for tattoos and scars or identifying marks, writing them down if they are found.

2. If you’ve never been arrested before you will be yelled at and disbelieved for not knowing the proper procedures. This is during picture time, when you don’t know what wall to look at or which way to turn your head.

3. Rather than just strip searching you they may ask you to ‘shake’ your clothes, this is done by “Pull your bra away from your breasts to dislodge anything you may have stashed in your 18 hour”. Next - Take the waist band of your pants, pull them away from your body and shake to dislodge any contraband that may be lodged in your pants. Then - Place your feet more than shoulder width apart quickly bounce to dislodge your ‘hootie’ stash.

4. You will be asked if you have any piercing. If you happen to have a tongue piercing the officer MAY want to stick his fingers in your mouth. Rather than bite his fingers off in disgust, you may offer to remove it for him. After your released from jail you will then pay to have to re-pierced.

5. You will be asked if you have any special needs - that they can ignore. When you tell them “yes, I have back severe issues” You may spend the next 35 minutes discussing your various surgeries and special requirements - that they intend to ignore. They want to document them so they know what to ignore. Ie; prescription medications, sleeping requirements etc.

6. After this you may/will be fingerprinted. This is certainly a treat for those who have never had this happen. In our county they know have a glass that scans your hand and goes directly to the computer. If you have dry skin you will be accused of having something on your hands to prevent fingerprinting. They will keep trying and exerting more and more pressure on your hand, resorting to alcohol swabs, exerting yet more pressure until they finally figure out that they can’t get a print. Eventually it may be given up.

7. You will be taken to a new room to obtain your new wardrobe. This room might be 2 x 2 at best. You might be given a beautiful ORANGE 2 piece outfit, that has worn by scabie infested meth-heads all over the County. One can only hope it has been washed. At this time you may be questioned about the scars on your back and body. God forbid if you should happen to have a scar on your wrist, you may be labeled as suicidal. They may also question you as to ‘Why do your scars NOT match up, and why are their so many?” I would not advise giving the ‘smart-ass answer’ - “Because officer I just KNEW I was going to be arrested and I quick had a bomb implanted under my skin in a suicide mission to take all you commies with me”… No - no, they will not think this is funny. Just calmly explain that you have had multiple surgeries for the spinal cord stimulator implant. That way when they feel it under your skin it won’t come as a big surprise.

8. If you by chance are LARGE breasted you will be in a fight for your life to maintain your 18 hour support system.

9. You will be given a pair of shower shoes that will be all the rage soon, of that I am sure. If you by chance have regular size feet you will only need to wear 1, because size doesn’t matter in jail. Apparently they also don’t need to match.

10. You will be handed some lovely bedroom ensemble, which consists of a cotton cloth approximately 2 feet wide by regular twin size length, disguised as a sheet. You will also receive 1 white cotton towel (for showering) that may or may not cover 1 butt cheek, that is so stiff you could cut a steak with it. You also get what can only be described as a wool horse blanket.

11. Oral Hygiene does not matter to jail officials. If they forget to give you a toothbrush and toothpaste, when you go to ask for one you may get yelled at. They must not like having their mistakes pointed out.


Just a few more steps on your way to those lovely accommodations

12. While your carrying you jailhouse goodies you may be paraded by the men who are also incarcerated. In this you might find the love of your life OR you may just witness WINDOW licking at it’s most basic form.

13. Then you will be shown to your accommodations, where you get to meet your new room mates (if you have them). As a Law Abiding ’A-Liner’ you could expect your New roommates to be similar to you. But in this case, these were hardened criminals who have been in and out numerous times. You will learn LOTS of interesting things. If anyone needs to know where to get the best price for your ’meth’ ingredients give us a holler!! Need a recipe for this? Gotchya covered!

14. Then you will shown your 4 star sleeping accommodations. Oops, they are sorry, they are all out of mats, enjoy that concrete floor.


Once you are settled in for the night.

15. You might get lucky and meet a ‘large new friend’ that wants to brush your hair for you. You may politely refuse, do not roll your eyes or be sassy. If offered to play cards, you also may politely refuse. If you have a good sense of humor ‘the gals’ might be waiting for you to pee your pants.

16. If your in need of floss, because that dinner got stuck in your ‘tooth’, a nifty trick is to roll up that leg of the jumpsuit and pull out a string, handy dandy floss from ‘helpful hints’. Or one more hand dandy trick is to pull a string from the mattress.

17. I hope your not shy, because there will most certainly be a camera directed in the vicinity of the combo sink/toilet. This comes in handy because you don’t have to wait to wash your hands, you can do it while your peeing.

18. When it starts getting loud don’t suggest to your roommates to quiet down… unless you feel like going to bed early…locked down so to speak.

19. You can expect to be awakened before its light out to enjoy your continental breakfast! Nothing like warm coffee and prunes! YUM! Even if you don’t plan on enjoying the tasty morsels get the tray anyway… your new Friends will be grateful.


Getting out of jail - if you dare.

If you plan on bonding out, you probably should have someone call your Attorney so that way he can at least get an idea of your bond, because your spouse or children are not high enough up on the food chain to qualify to know what it is. Your jailers may actually refuse to tell your family or friends anything.

Generally speaking if you happen to be the subject of harassment your bond will be excessively high, making it very difficult for your family to come up with the cash. You may want to procure a bondsman. This way you only have to pay 10% of your bond. The idea behind this is so if your bond is high enough the Prosecution can release one of those lovely pictures to the press, showing you in a most unattractive light. Because everyone knows a messy headed person MUST be guilty!!

Understand, for the most part if you are being harassed you will not be arraigned with the rest of the criminals, no-no-no, your crime is so horrendous that you must wait the entire weekend to see a Judge. After all, the gal with the 3 different meth labs, her crime is NOTHING compared to yours!! Tsk, tsk her bond is less than half of yours!!

You will be given your bill as you leave for approximately $52.00 per night at this lovely hotel. Oops, I meant jail.

When you are finally released, one can only hope there is a McDonald's or Burger King close by that does not have a camera pointed directly at the toilet.

After that, you must as loudly as possible, draw attention to everything that has been done to you and all of the injustices that you were subjected to.

This of course may cause you to spend yet another night at these 4 star accommodations. But if nothing else you will know that what you are doing is right. Next time make sure that your ‘driver’ (officer of the law) passes by your best friends house picking her up so the two of you can have a slumber party!


It could be you!!

These are words everyone needs to know incase, just like in this case… You could be next!!

More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I would hate to think that you are the star of this show!?! Very interesting to say the least.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

No I am not, but my best friend is.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

That is awful. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. It's sad when things like that happen to innocent people.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

It is all harassment from the part of police. Very sad indeed...


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I had never heard this before, though I drove one friend arrested for a DUI to jail and I've known others who have done time in county jail and one also spent time in prison -- all on drug related charges. Maybe they just didn't think I'd be interested in the details. It is kind of scary that people are treated this way.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

The saga continues.... Now my friend is being investigated for welfare fraud. I'm not sure exactly why, the only thing she receives is food Stamps. If she is arrested even on bogus charges she will lose her $10,000 bond and she will end up in jail while she awaits trial.

The man who came to her door today said "This is a routine investigation".. He is from 3 counties away.... Rather convenient wouldn't you say?


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I've known a few people who were arrested. All were guilty except one, and he volunteered, in order to keep his girlfriend out of jail.

Treat police with respect and do as you're told. Otherwise, you will be treated less than gently.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

This is a pretty deep story, one in where the Prosecution jumped the gun, made an arrest without all of the evidence locked up tight. Trusted the word of one drug addict, and 2 mentally ill people one of who was off his meds. Once the guy who was off his meds, got them straightened out again, he wanted to recant his story. The Prosecution already made a BIG 'to-do' on the News about this story. So now what do they do? Drop the charges and say 'Oh gee, we made a mistake, ruined your life, cost you an arm and a leg - we sure are sorry".... or save face with the public and keep filing charges against this family based on he said/she said, but making sure the media is aware??? I can for certain say they are not saying 'I'm sorry'. They are doing an awful lot of harassing and pulling strings.. Trying to recoup their losses by forcibly revoking BIG bonds....


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Hi Susie-

Unfortunately there is corruption in every profession and no one ever likes to admit that they might have been over anxious to arrest or be out to make a name for themselves by side stepping the rules just to make an arrest or get a conviction (or make a deal?)

When my son was a teenager, the police in our home town made a joke about "getting" his friends and him some day just because they were typical smart ass kids, some were too no doubt.

Well one day they did have their chance and destroyed many young lives and families in the process. Luckily, my son was not directly involved but a few of the kids he knew were locked up for years because of an alleged gang rape at a party that they had all attended. To this day, I don't know who was actually involved but it was a very politically motivated event and the ones that did go to jail have never been the same. Hard to talk about even now because it is hard to convince people that sometimes one must prove themselves innocent and that this kind of thing really does happen!

Thanks for sharing!


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

This is so frightening!! I want so much to help but of course I am afraid. My husband has begged me to keep my name out of it, if at all possible. She is my very best friend and it would devastate me if she was kept in jail which is their intentions.

The bond of course was outrageous, and in these times $1,000 (10%) is a lot of money. They know this, it is my belief that they are trying to break those involved so they cave and 'plea out'.

I, like the woman above, has NEVER had any trouble with the law.We are both registered voters, keep up our drivers license, don't get tickets, keep insurance on our vehicles, do everything we can to keep within the law. Which I do have to say is much easier than one would think!! As long as you do what is right and tell the truth, you'd think you would have no trouble.

The Insurance Agent herself says there was no wrong doing, she doesn't understand just WHY the State police would involve themselves when they have no complaints. She states that if they feel there is something wrong, they themselves would pursue it and take care of it internally. The Prosecution has subpoenaed the records from the insurance office.

To continue to destroy this family, the Prosecution has called the news BEFORE any arraignments have happened. They are doing their very best to disparage this family's name.

During the arrest of my friend, her brother was also handcuffed and arrested. He was told he owed $700+ in child support, so he paid the money in the driveway. It was discovered that he DID NOT owe any money. There was no warrant for his arrest. What he wants to know is, "Where did the money go?"

They are filing reports with the FBI, with our Attorney General etc.. To try and get this harassment noticed.

The Police involved have threatened witnesses, saying that "If you don't 'do this or that' you WILL be arrested". Honestly, people are really scared. I feel so helpless....


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

I think it should be a learning experience.The harder the head....the longer the road.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

So does that also include to mean 'the more innocent the greater the cost'? Or maybe "I am big - your small, I'm smart - you're dumb, I'm right - you're wrong and there's nothing you can do about it".

Normally I don't question authority, as my friend also didn't, we just respected it and always obeyed it. As well as staying as far away from trouble as possible.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Bad things too often happen to good people, Susie, and this seems to be an example of that. I understand your desire to help your friend but do not do anything that would put your or your femily in jeopardy with the "authorities." They may not be right but they have the power. You might want to talk to an attorney at your local Legal Aid office.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I am doing my absolute best to help without being too helpful!! I am also trying to take precautions to prevent anything happening to my family. I have already Spoken and shown (in person) my grand daughter/daughter etc... to my State Senator and have informed him that should anything happen to any one of my family he was to step in and help to his utmost. He and his Assistant agreed that they would.

My history and record is beyond reproach, yet so was my friends', so I have no doubt that should it be desired I could be made out to be something of a monster in the yes of the Public with this particular Prosecution.

What I think is the saddest thing of all... I had a very high regard for the Michigan State police, in my eyes they were always well respected, extremely professional, they put up with an awful lot of stuff from people without losing their cool.

Maybe it's just this one Trooper who has been too long on the job, I truly hope that is the case. But he seems to have 'lost it'.

My friend is pretty tiny, 5' 4" (maybe) about 115 lbs. She isn't what I would call frail, but she certainly isn't going to take on a 6'4" State Trooper, yet he treated her as though she was attempting to 'make a run for it'... When she explained about her 9 spinal surgeries that she might not be able to put her hands behind her back he stated "Not my problem" and proceeded to so a 'chicken wing' maneuver on her. For what purpose? Yep, he certainly was angry. The other trooper that was with him removed the handcuffs from behind her back and put her hands in front of her.

You are correct, they do have the power....


carol3san profile image

carol3san 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

It is wise to know these things I suppose. I just saw yesterday that 2 ladies were taken to jail while prostesting on wall street. The police took them to a precent out of there area, so therefore those who went to the right police percent to bond them out of jail couldn't find them. They were not breaking any rules, just standing on the sidewalk. So I guess I am trying to say that none of us really knows when or if we will be going to jail.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

This is so absolutely true!! One never knows what will happen on the whims of an over-worked, under-paid officer of the law. They get tired too, they are so used to dealing with hardened criminals (maybe?) that when they get one of us 'never before law breaker' they treat us the same, maybe even a little rougher because they HAD to arrest us!!

Kind of makes you want to stay inside and never go out don't it??

Thanks for stopping by!


jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 5 years ago

pretty scary.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes it is!! I didn't think this would be something that most peace loving people would need to know when I wrote it... BUT.. with things heating up across the County it is a very real possibility.


cometdog profile image

cometdog 4 years ago

This was scary, but I have to say you have a great sense of humor and I chuckled a few times. I had a similar experience about 17 years ago, and though the charges were later dropped, I spent nearly 2 days in the workhouse. It was something I'll never forget.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

My friend (who this happened to) was both scared and angry. She was angry for having spent a lifetime keeping her nose clean, not doing the bad things that some do etc.. only to have an allegation thrown her direction and be arrested without being questioned. She is still waiting to go to trial, which is now costing her a small fortune in legal fees.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A.

I finally broke down and read it Sweetsusieg. You described the jail to a "t". My favorite part was about getting your tray of food anyway because of the "new friends". Voted up and shared!!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa

Overall rather frightening but you managed to put a funny twist on the situation.

I can tell many a story when it comes to corrupt police after all I lived on the African continent but promise I won't go there!

All the best for your friend. Let's hear how it all pans out.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks JenJen - I couldn't have done it without the help of a friend that is for sure!

@ LadyLyell - Well that life really, you can take a scary situation and let it rule you, or you can take control and make it anyway you want it. My friend, she decided while she had her 'overnight camp out' that she couldn't wait to tell me all the details. with the hope that I would make a hub out of it.

It is still in the planning stages at court. There was an article that came out in our weekly newspaper (yes, I said weekly) Thursday that reports a Court motion of Prosecutor corruption by a defense Attorney. The Judge gave the Prosecutor a verbal slap on the wrist but I'm sure there was a wink tucked in there for coffee later.

Judicial corruption is probably one of the hardest things to fight!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This is both sad and frightening, but because I have heard these horror stories from people who KNOW first hand.....I have no problem believing every word. It is a serious atrocity of our legal system. Take an ordinary, normally "cowardly" punk.....put him a uniform, with a badge and a gun, and he's transformed into a dangerous, crude, rude bully who gets off being nasty and rough with ANY and ALL whom they arrest. These are men who have no control and/or authority in their own personal lives....so they get to play "Fantasy Ogre," on the job.....and they do it up big. To be fair...there ARE cops who behave like human beings....few and far between.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Traveling all over this Country I had always believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Michigan selected their State Troopers from the best and the brightest.

I had occasion a couple of years ago to meet with this very same Trooper. It was not pleasant. At the time I thought maybe he just had an off day (well one can hope!).

Now I'm thinking that just maybe he needs to think about changing careers. He seems to be having a difficult time dealing with the public. He is failing to realize that we still live in this world with him and yes we do have complaints and yes we are human.

Up until meeting this Trooper every single State Trooper behaved with the utmost respect regardless of how they were treated. I've even seen some of the videos of people behaving very badly, yet they still showed respect. Yes, I did wonder how they maintained their control (this is why I say the BEST and BRIGHTEST). I certainly hope that at some point Michigan will take this Trooper off of the payroll or put him either behind a desk or give him something else to do. He is giving the Good name of Michigan State Trooper a serious turn for the worse.

Thanks so much for stopping by!!


cebutouristspot profile image

cebutouristspot 4 years ago from Cebu

Honestly. I dont think I can survive in jail as I hate tight spaces. I became agitated.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Well the 2 x 2 changing room is just temporary, you are then re-located to a holding cell of sorts. Some of them are quite large from what I understand.


mandymoreno81 profile image

mandymoreno81 4 years ago

I'm not surprised that there's so many procedures for being processed into jail. They want to make sure you don't have anything you could use as a a weapon and at the same time they want to minimize any possible risk of being sued if they lay a hand on you beyond what's necessary.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Well this is very true. But one would think that they would have a person's record in front of them to be able to determine if they had done this before. Oh well I guess we all just need to start getting used to mistreatment from the Authorities... The way things are going it's "Arrest first ask questions later"...

Thanks for stopping by!


Stephen 4 years ago

A very scarey story. It is not much better in Britain, where the instinct of the police is to arrest first and ask questions later. They have an incentive because your DNA profile is taken at arrest, and even if you are released without charge or acquitted or even wrongfully arrested, it stays on the database for life. Even though the European Court of Human Rights has ruled this practice unlawful it continues. The state has become so fearful, of protest particularly. Though one positive thing is our police are usually not as aggressive as yours. For example, handcuffs are not routinely used on arrested persons and on the occasions they are used, they are usually applied in front.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes it is very scary and it is getting much more scary since some new laws went into effect recently. Apparently you now can be detained without bond for as long as they want to keep you. The laws were set up to protect people from cruel and unusual punishment, but they are not being followed.

I have recently seen a video of a woman who reported a crime, the officer misunderstood (deliberate??) that she was a victim and threw her around, hauled her off to jail where both men and women officers ripped her clothes off. She was terrorized as well as charged for resisting arrest. It makes me fearful of making any report.

With the way the law is behaving I see anarchy in our future as a country unless some drastic changes are made. Very sad indeed to have gone from we were to what we are now.

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