Embassy of Heaven

Going to Jail

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Population Area

Going to Jail If they have succeeded in getting you into jail clothes and showered, then you will go into what they call a "population" area. If you decline to take off your street clothes, they won't put you in the population area - that's jail policy. If you fail to comply with other booking procedures, they may put you in solitary confinement or leave you in the drunk tank. I know of one individual who declined to submit to fingerprints, jail clothes, or booking procedure. They took him to court and the judge said, "If you won't submit to fingerprinting, you can go back to jail and rot." The next day he was released without signing any forms or submitting to their booking procedures.

We'll assume you are now in jail clothes and have been introduced into population. In the county jails where I have been, population consists of approximately 10 to 40 people in a single, noisy room. There is a television blaring and maybe a radio playing on another speaker and people are talking. Depending on jail policy, the room may be so full of smoke you can hardly breathe, or it may be a "smoke-free" jail.

In the population area there are bunks, tables, showers, toilets and sinks. They will have you change clothes and bedding about once a week. The jails I visited were large concrete rooms, rather than the small cubicles with bars that you see in the movies. If it's concrete, then the view ports are made of heavy-duty glass. There are usually hallways between rooms and several guards on duty. There is a hole in the wall used to pass small things from inside the room to the outside hallway. When you change your clothes, they shove your new clothes through the hole. If you need pencils sharpened, they are passed through the hole.

You cannot have paper, pencils, or soap unless you buy them. But that is not an absolute. If you don't have any funds, they cannot deprive you of pencil and paper. But you'll have to speak the Word of God to obtain them. Even so, they will only give you a single pencil and one or two sheets of paper. When you need more, you'll have to ask again.

As far as mail, they cannot prevent you from mailing. If you want to send a letter or two, they are to provide the envelopes and the stamps. Some jails require the envelopes to remain unsealed. They look at everything that comes in and everything that goes out.

When you are finally placed in your jail cell, relax. Put a smile on your face. Rejoice that you have been found worthy to suffer for your allegiance to Jesus Christ. Use the time to read and meditate on the scriptures. Sleep. Look for ways to serve. Help tidy up the living area. Clean the bathrooms and sweep the floors.

Once you're in jail, put all worldly cares aside - do not entertain thoughts about your wife and family, or your business affairs. Use your time in jail profitably by building up your spiritual armor reading and meditating on the scriptures. Once I arrived at jail and asked if there were any Bibles available. The inmates said, "No, there aren't any here." I said that was fine and went to sleep for the night. When I awoke the next morning, a Bible was sitting on my pillow. I have no idea who put it there, but somebody knew I needed a Bible.

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