How 150 Inmates Live, Crammed Into Richmond City Jail


The Richmond Times-Dispatch describes in vivid detail what life is like in the city’s jail, which houses 150 inmates. In “the park,” dozens of men sleep on tables or mattresses on the floor, as many of them do on park benches when they’re on the street. There aren’t enough beds for all the men in F-1 tier. They’re in F-1 because they’re dangerous — most have several jail stays under their belt. They’ll spend 23 hours a day in the cage. They say it’s the hardest time there is. Most will go out, commit crimes, come back.

After breakfast, most head to “the jungle,” the dark rear of the cage, to sleep the day away. Card players shout, others mill around, trying to avoid the puddles from the three toilet stalls and the sleepers on the floor. They’re happy to have some peace before the easy-to-anger crowds start fighting over what to watch on TV.


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