"We do provide more than the necessities of life." -Sgt. Rodney Birkle
The quality of life for inmates in jail is a frequently debated topic. While some say it could be stricter, others say it isn't humane enough. News 13's Jeff Platt went to the Natrona county detention center to see how their inmates are treated.
Every jail is different, but here at the Natrona county jail those in charge say they try to accommodate inmates.
Lt. Jerry Clark said, "We try to make the individual come to jail understand that while they are here we'll do what we can for them."
During their time here inmates have access to cable television, 24-hour nursing, fresh clothes and towels, and 6-inch mattresses with blankets.
Sgt. Rodney Birkle said "We do provide more than the necessities of life."
Some people would say all of that sounds pretty good. Clark says it may be jail, but inmates are still people.
Clark said, "It's not a hotel. But they are also treated right. They are given three meals a day; three hot meals a day."
The kitchen churns out 900 meals a day Clark says he tries the meals to make sure they are good. However there's no cafeteria, inmates eat in their pod.
This is where all the inmates live.
Clark said, "This is the housing area. This is where they sleep basically and spend a majority of their time."
Typically inmates will spend their time in a cell like this, but Lt. Clark says if you just follow the rules; it's pretty easy to get out.
Good inmates who work in jail live in open dorm-style areas where they can interact. There is an area to get some fresh air, because Birkle says inmates can be rewarded from time to time.
Birkle said, "Our job necessarily isn't to punish the inmates that are here."
He says his job is to rehabilitate. That's why there is a library where inmates can work towards a GED and attend AA, NA, and Sunday services. Birkle and Cark agree jail isn't a hotel, but if you behave and work on yourself; you can enjoy your stay.
Clark adds that while some inmates may ask for more than they have; managing a jail requires balancing inmate care with tax payer dollars.