A night in the Cole County Jail: What we learned

Dinner menu: turkey casserole, navy beans, cole slaw, corn bread, and bread pudding.

About 100 people paid for the privilege to spend a night in the brand new Cole County Jail last weekend. KRCG TMs Meghan Lane and I were two of those people.

We were jail newbies I guess you could say. Not only has neither one of us spent a night in the slammer, we TMve never even stepped foot in one.

That changed on Friday when we went for the full experience.

The jailers treated us like inmates, but only to an extent. We didn TMt get the full jail experience, but it was enough!

During our 24 hours in the pokey, we got our mugshots taken, 2 authentic jail meals, a tour, and about 3 hours of sleep.

Even though we work in news and report on jails and inmates almost daily, Meghan and I still learned a lot during our slammer slumber party.

Here TMs a list of things we didn TMt know before spending a night in the Cole County Jail|

--The lights are on 24/7. As Deputy Pitman put it, the lights never go off in prison; they just go down. And he was right. The lights dimmed very slightly during sleeping hours. They were so bright it was still difficult to sleep. But we understand why they need to stay on!

--The pillows are built into the mattresses.

--There is no room for divas in jail| there are no true mirrors (can TMt have glass!)

--Men and women can shave if supervised and as long as they TMve been on good behavior.

--Contact lenses are seen as a luxury.

--Leave your privacy at the door! Each cell has a window and the stalls are right out there in the open.

--Inmates wear crocs (the shoes).

--Men wear orange and women wear green.

--Everything is electronic, including the doors, but there are keys just in case.

--There are handicapped-accessible cells. These are a little bigger than the other cells.

--Prison food sucks. However, the jailers told us it TMs miles ahead of the food at the old jail.

--The sheriff TMs department is still deciding if inmates will get coffee.

--Each pod, which is made up of 12 cells, has a 32 TV. It TMs situated high up on the wall so it looks more like a 9. While we were there all the TVs were on KRCG!

--There is no jail yard where inmates can hang out outdoors. There is a concrete room with a big window. They don TMt get to use weights because they can be used as a weapon.

--The only contact inmates have with their family and friends is through a video conference. They do not get to see loved ones face-to-face.

I'd say the most authentic part about our night in jail was the food. Here, Meghan shows off what we got for breakfast...


You can watch Meghan's story about spending a night in the jail by clicking here.

Did you participate in the "Bed, Breakfast and Bars" event also? Share your experiences and things you learned by commenting below.

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