Working at the County Jail

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 14, 2007



There were 162 prisoners &045; 90 percent black and mostly male

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&045; in the Dallas County Jail last week.

Most are there for crimes involving drugs.

Brown has worked at the Dallas County jail off and on for about 20 years, but he said it feels like 40. He enjoys it and feels like it is a challenge. &8220;Its an ongoing job,&8221; Brown said. &8220;Some guys you can turn around, some you can’t.&8221;

There is still plenty of extra room. The facility can accommodate over 200 prisoners.

There are 21 employees &045;seven female, three white.

Chief Matron, Thelma Geeter has worked at the Dallas county jail for 32 years.

She says her job can be rewarding.

Geeter said she would recommend corrections as a career to others.

Unlike a federal institution where a convict rarely serves his full sentence, the average County inmate serves about 2 years.

&8220;We don’t give good time,&8221; Geeter said.

&8220;If you get two years you do two years.&8221;

Brown and Geeter think life for an inmate at the county jail is pretty comfortable.

Every inmate has a TV and access to a cell phone &045; not a cellular phone, but a phone in their cell.

The inmates cook under supervision in the kitchen. Geeter says

&8220;its just like a restaurant.&8221;

For lunch on the day of this interview the menu included fish, fries, coleslaw and ice tea. Sunday dinner usually consists of Chicken, rice and string beans.

The &8216;trustees’ as Brown calls them, clean, and paint and do yard work and then there is work relief that goes out to jobs.

Some of them don’t know how smart they are. We’ve got some real talented men, some real artists.

We also have some real conartists.&8221;

Brown said they have had some trouble with drugs but they have good officers who check for contraband.