So, as we pull into the back of the jail, it is starting to hit me that I am really going to jail. And I still don’t know why. Or if I will be able to get out tonight.
I maintain my cool as the, oh-so-polite police officer lets me out of the back of the car and walks me through a sliding door. As I walk into the first room, there is a long glass wall on one side where I can see numerous officers working. On the other side is a long bench and in the middle is a table about the height of my chest.
He tells me that I need to take off any jewelry, watches, and give him my cell phone (which immediately makes the situation seem scarier). I follow his directions as he goes to the window where the other officers are working and gets my paperwork. When he brings it back to the table, I walk over to him and ask him to explain exactly what my charges were and what is going to happen next.
He kindly takes time to explain that not only has he never heard of Linn County, but their summary of charges was considerably less detailed than he had hoped and he couldn’t tell me what exactly the warrant was for. The only thing it said was fraud and he couldn’t pull it up on Casenet (Missouri’s online network of legal documents and filings). He then informed me that although he didn’t normally believe people were innocent, he was starting to believe me. Unfortunately, he was unable to do anything to clear it up because Linn County Courthouse was already closed for the evening.
So, after I reassured him that I had no hair ties, bobby pins, or jewelry on, he walked me to another sliding door. This one opened to a small room about 5×5′ with another sliding door on the other side. As the first door slid closed, the second one opened and a female officer was standing there with gloves on. She had me stand against the wall with my arms and legs outstretched and she proceeded to pat me down like they do in the movies.
Once she finished with me, she walked me past the room full of cat-calling guys and over to an empty room that had a few chairs and a television. She informed me that they would call me to the counter in a few moments. Considering that the counter was in full view of the aforementioned men, I asked her if I could get some jail clothes to put on. After all, I was dressed for a girl’s night out. She was kind enough to go get me a striped top and bottoms that looked like they had been worn a few thousand times.
I sat down in one of the chairs and attempted to get comfortable and pay attention to the show on television (which I no longer remember).
About 5 minutes passed and an officer called me up to the counter and asked me a series of questions about myself and where I lived and my basic information. He then told me I could use the telephone, so I called Kayla and the babysitter and the women’s shelter where I was living to inform them all of what was happening.
Once I finished my phone call, another officer called me over to take my picture. They had to take my picture with 2 different cameras, which I found interesting and then they took out this big round thing that looked like a mix of something you would see in star-trek or x-men and something you would see at the eye doctors. That got me even more curious about their current technology.
After he took my picture, he explained to me how one of the cameras was used to measure the distance between features. He then measured the distance from my chin to the top of my forehead, the space between the inside and outside of my eyes, and the length of my nose. It was quite intriguing and as he explained exactly what they were doing and why, I found myself starting to enjoy my time with them. After all, who gets firsthand knowledge of the happenings BEHIND THE SCENE in jail???
Then he explained how the star trek machine takes a picture of your retina and scans it into the computer system, so no one else can ever pretend to be you, because your eyes are as distinct as your fingerprints. Really makes you ponder God’s creativity, doesn’t it? Lol
Then as he took my fingerprints, he explained how they go into the system and they will always be there and how nothing changes your fingerprints in your entire life. The prints you have as a baby are going to be the prints you die with (unless of course, you are some kind of psycho in the movies).
I sat there for a few more hours, joking around with the officers and listening to them as they talked about the different people who were coming into the jail. They also were kind enough to let me make calls about every hour to try to find someone to front the $300 it would take to bail me out.
Finally, my dear friend Lisa came through. She had just gotten in from a long trip and she was a champ about everything. (It was after 1am by this time!!!)
Once the police officers were informed that my bond had been posted, we laughed and joked some more until they had to manhandle a giant in and put him in one of the solitary rooms along the wall.
Once she had the bail process started the police officer behind the counter had me go and sit in the little, hard chair in the very cold room again. I was so sleepy by this time that I dozed off and on until they called my name.
Once they called my name, they had me sit in a row of chairs on the opposite wall of where the doors were that I had come in. There were 3 of us sitting in that row and soon an officer came to get us and let us out. Once I was out, I was still worried, not knowing what had happened and/or what the charges were yet.
But that is a story for another time. It definitely makes all of this make sense though, so I will try to post soon!