can’t phone home

“What are you in for?” the inmate of Lee County jail asked the new prisoner.

“Rolling through a stop sign in my subdivision.”

He had been trying to make his one phone call, to which you are supposedly entitled when you land in the big house.

The phone would only call collect, even for local calls. That meant that it couldn’t call cell phones. Most local services don’t even have collect-call options anymore. So you dial and dial but the phone might as well be a prop on the wall. There is no way out.

There is also no way for you to be called, by anyone. You have no cell phone. No laptop. No book. No watch, and there is no clock on the wall. No one knows what time it is. No one who does know will tell you. Not even a single scrap of paper are you allowed to take into the cell after your arrest. You can only stand there in your paper-thin prison clothes and plastic sandals