Every county jail is a little bit different as far as schedules go but for the most part here is what you can expect even over a short term stay at county jail. If you are going for 3 days or less as part of your sentence your stay in country jail could be mitigated in favor of another sentence due to overcrowding but this isn’t something you should rely on. Here is a typical day in county jail:
5:30 AM Lights on: Cell doors and lights on usually starts early at 5:30 am. The majority of inmates will actually go back to bed after this happens but it can be tough to do so with the sound of transformers, the echo of the concrete and others stirring. At 7am most inmates get up for breakfast as the breakfast bell is rung. Inmates need to be out of the cell by 7 am for headcount as the locks on cells will close and will electrically lock again at this point.
Breakfast is usually served with eggs, juice, toast and decaffeinated coffee. Instant coffee is available at commissary. Most inmates usually eat quickly and head to their cells.
8:00 am: Medicine is given away at this point for those that need it and the rec room opens up. Video visitation begins at 8:30 and proceeds until 10:30 am. The pay phones are accessible from 5:30 am until midnight. From 8 until noon inmates have free range of the rec rooms, visitation halls and cell blocks under supervision.
12 Pm: The second bell rings for lunch at this point and usually the trays contains a hot meal at noon including chicken or simple pork dishes. Most eat fast again and the cafeteria closes up at 1pm.
From 1-2:30 inmates will be able to go back to video visits and have access to rec halls and cell blocks until 4pm. For the most part the final meal of the day is usually a sandwich, a cookie or chips. Supper is a lighter meal that takes place between 4 and 6.
Video Visits are available again between 6 and 10:30 pm and lock down is called officially at 9pm. This is when cleaning takes place and a few of the inmates are asked to help with the process of mopping, cleaning up garbage etc.
At 9pm the cells are let out in sections for showers, gym time, TV, rec room access and more until the 11:45 head count. All inmates must be in their cell at 12pm for lock down and lights out but some go to bed earlier only to wake up for head count at 11:45.
For a stay of a few weeks or longer inmates may experience some of the extra aspects of county jail life such as wash day, outside time in the yard, new prisoner intakes and more.
There is a lot of time to fill in a county jail through the day and while there are plenty of activities, the schedule can be quite demanding especially over a sentence of several weeks.