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Welcome to My Mommy Thoughts. I originally created this blog to document our lives hosting foreign exchange students in our home but I quickly discovered a passion for writing and blogging. This blog has become a little bit of everything.

So sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy!!

~Randi

Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I thought I was too old for Juvy???

Well, jury duty is over. I have completed my 3 month term to serve. I have done my duty! Sadly, I dreaded to see it end. I had a BLAST being on Grand Jury. There is only 1 Grand Jury at a time in Jefferson County, so I was 1 of 18 honored with that title for the last 3 months. Not everyone would agree with me though. Some people were ready for it to be over with on the first day.

But I truly had a blast. I enjoyed meeting new people, I made some very good friends and enjoyed a great lunch everyday! Ha - is it not always about the food??  Some of the cases were very difficult to hear, especially if they involved children or rape. We even heard 1 case that made national news --- now, I am not supposed to talk about it, so that is all that I can say. But I will add this - WOW to that one!!

Our second month in duty was by far our biggest month. That is when we heard the national case and we also had 2 other cases make Birmingham news. We also got to go to jail that month. Yes, a part of Grand Jury is going to the Jefferson County Jail and the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center. They fed us lunch at both locations and then gave us a tour and then we had to complete a "report" (that was written for us) and present it to the Judge. It was a .... enlightening experience, I guess! Our first trip was jail. We ate lunch in the "employee dining area" and had baked chicken, mixed veggies, green beans, salad, roll and dessert. We learned that we ate a variance of the what the inmates ate. The inmates obviously don't eat chicken on the bone because the bones could become a weapon - interesting, huh? Our meal was good, the food was actually decent - not my favorite. I think I had a mental issue knowing that I was eating jail food. To clarify, the inmates do not assist with cooking the meal. They assist with the clean up, but not the preparation. After lunch, we headed up to the 4th floor for a visit. Talk about eyes being opened! They told us that the inmates clothing is color coded according to their crime - red stripes are dangerous criminals - meaning the crime that they committed was violent. The black stripes were not violent crimes, we never figured out what the blue was and I think the females wear green stripes. The Jeff Co inmates have individual cells but there is a "common area" within each group of probably 12-14 cells. This common area has 1 tv, pay phones, showers, and a few tables. They cleared a group of inmates to their cells and let us visit their common area. One of the inmates was in the visitation room so we actually walked into his cell. It was a tiny room. Probably an 8x8 in size - if that big. It has a cot, a sink and a metal toilet and probably a mirror. While we stood in the common area, the other inmates were in their cells. It was so erie having them stand in their cells looking out their windows at us. And yes, every one of those particular inmates were in red stripes. They had all committed violent crimes.

Last week was our final week and Thursday we headed to juvy! We knew that the juvy center was a ways away from the courthouse. We wondered how we would get there ..... by bus.

It was hilarious to watch the cars pass us, looking in the windows to see prisoners and they would see us. The officer that drove us was so pleasant. He even had Christmas Music playing in the bus -- no, I don't think he is that nice to the prisoners! LOL!

The food at the detention center was much better to me. We had fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, turnip greens, cornbread, salad and homemade peach cobbler for dessert. Our understanding was the youth had the same lunch. They were all in class when we visited. It is nice to know that they are required to have 8 hours of school even though they are technically in jail. Their cells were about the same as the big jail and they also had a common area. They do have a bigger gym area then the big jail.

Below is a few of my pictures from the trip. I couldn't go without taking a few pics of the bus. And yes, sadly they were loaded to fb on our way back to the courthouse! :-)

Maybe I will be randomly selected for Grand Jury again one day -  I doubt it though. Too bad you can't have a full time job on a grand jury. Well, I know that I could not survive on the pay - a whopping $10 a day. Oh well!

The Bus






Jacob - our "Foreman"


Our "Group"
Jacob, Me, Amanda, Lisa, Elizabeth, Susan & Margaret





The back of the bus -- notice the hard seats
 
Lisa, Susan & Elizabeth
notice the locked "gate" at the front


~Randi


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