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Full House

Full House: Life inside the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center

Life inside the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center

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An inmate sleeps on the floor of the jail library, right, as another is seen by a judge via teleconference, top center. Due the high number of inmates inside the detention center, the library acts as an overflow area where inmates sleep on padded mats, while fellow inmates wait their turn to speak with the judge. 

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Lewis and Clark County inmates play handball in the "rec yard" while a fellow cell member feels the sun on his exposed skin. Entire cells are rotated at different times, on different days so the inmates can be exposed to different types of light and temperature.

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Officer Keith Greaney asks an inmate to have a seat after a medical episode caused by the effects of drug withdrawals. The present hallway is not only used for prescription distribution but seconds as a sobriety testing area when inmates are freshly booked.

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Inmates are transferred from the courthouse to the detention center via a skywalk after meeting with a judge.

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Nurse Callie Diehl prepares to give a shot to an inmate worker during morning ‘med pass’. Inmates have the opportunity for medical attention twice a day, and if an inmate is not able to leave the cell, Diehl will go to the inmate.

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Officer Keith Greaney wipes off messages written on the floor of the ‘rec. yard’. Inmates write on the floor, walls, and even basketball to pass information within or outside of the jail.

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An inmate worker puts away cleaning supplies between preparing meals and conducting laundry duty. An inmate worker must first apply for this position and the detention staff will evaluate past history for approval

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Officer Tony Galahan communicates with an inmate in his cell prior to medication being issued.

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Inmates are forced to sleep in the library due to the unavailability of beds for all inmates. “I’ve worked here for 11 years and I can remember when one or two people came to jail a day, now we have 15 a day,” says Officer Tunde Zimmermann.

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Officer Sean McCarthy confiscates fermenting apples, which can be made into moonshine, from inside one of the cells. Regardless of inmate numbers, officers still must go into each cell and check the welfare of each inmate. This task is often done alone.

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An inmate rests in a makeshift personal area on the floor of a housing cell.

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Inmates try to get a few hours of sleep before morning medical checks are made and laundry is issued. Many of the inmates plug their ears to drown out the noise of locking and unlocking doors, and cover their eyes when the lights are on. 

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