Sentencing: Surviving Your Stay at OCJ

Sentencing: Surviving Your Stay at OCJ

Facing jail time at sentencing is a scary prospect for almost everyone. However, the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC, has used its years of experience to put together information that could prove important for those facing incarceration at the Oakland County Jail (OCJ) or other local jails:

1. You will most likely be taken immediately to jail from the courtroom if your sentence involves incarceration.  Prepare your family to see you taken from the courtroom in handcuffs by Sheriff Deputies.

2. Come to sentencing with the following in your pocket:

– Cash for commissary

– One piece of paper with phone numbers and addresses and a list of any medications you are taking

– Wearing multiple pairs of underwear/socks to wash and use on alternating days

– Long or short sleeve undershirts because jails are often air conditioned / cold


– Jewelry, watches, or other items you don’t want taken into custody by jail staff

o Hand off all items to people in court with you before you step up to the poduim with your attorney

4. Be prepared for jail processing to take hours.

– Keep everything given to you including documents and items (toothbrush/toothpaste, pencil)

– When placed in the holding tank before being assigned a jail location, stake out an area to lie down, preferably away from the toilets

o People stay in the holding cell for an average of 2-3 days. This is reportedly the most unpleasant part of the stay, but it is temporary

5. Have someone on the outside set up an account to make phone calls.

– There are two kinds of phone calling accounts:

o Collect phone calls: an account is associated with one phone number and calls can only be made to that number

o Debit phone calls: an account can be used to call any US number.

6. Read the Sheriff’s guide and other paperwork while being processed and in holding:

– There is a detailed list of things ALLOWED and NOT ALLOWED. Most items are common sense, but some are not, like only being allowed to walk along the right side of all hallways.

7. Remember that you are not in jail to make friends. Most people don’t want to cause or have to deal with a hassle. But some people are looking for or can’t help causing trouble.

– Don’t ask anyone for a favor or promise anything to anyone

– Avoid people who want to fight or even argue

– Be courteous with your fellow inmates

– Be respectful with all deputies at all times, even if they haven’t “earned” it in your eyes