Santa skips over county jail
The festive air of the Christmas season permeates most of the county, but not at the jail.
“It’s business as usual,” jail supervisor Jim Philpott said. “It’s not really a lot of difference.”
Maintaining routine contributes to overall jail function and safety, Philpott said.
There are no decorations, and unlike many long-term facilities, no special Christmas meal will be served.
There won’t be any Christmas Day visitors, either. Visiting days at the jail are Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“They’re assigned a day, either Tuesday or Thursday between certain times of the day, and they’re allowed to have 25 minutes,” Philpott said. “They speak to each other through the glass on phones.”
Only two visitors at a time are allowed, Philpott said. If three or more come at the same time, they have to take turns within the allotted 25 minutes.
No gifts or food are allowed.
Someone thinking about paying an impromptu visit to pass along season’s greetings should think again, Philpott said.
“They’re generally not allowed,” he said. “They have to be on an approved list that’s filled out by the inmate.”
Visitors also are subject to screening, Philpott said.
“The first time we might ask for a driver’s license and run their information,” Philpott said. “We always make sure there’s no violation like a no-contact order or anything like that.”
Inmates can receive Christmas cards, Philpott said. Like regular mail, cards are opened and screened by jail personnel before being delivered.
“They can keep them,” Philpott said.
A card is likely the only bit of Christmas an inmate would have on Christmas Day.
“It’s just another day in the jail,” Philpott said.
Last modified Dec. 20, 2017