Author: Wes Denham
Table of Contents
1. Starlight, Star Bright, Get Me Out of Jail Tonight!
2. The Golden Road to Samarqand
3. You the Gumshoe
4. Toss Your Crib, Car, and Computer
5. Going to the Big House
6. “Give Your Hearts to Jesus, Boys…”
7. Sick, Confused and Crazy
8. Bureaucratic Heroin and Black Holes
9. How Chancroid Saves A Twink
10. As The Worm Turns
11. Does The Elevator Go Up To The Top, Or Not?
12. Hitting Bottom
13. To Help Or Not To Help?
14. Why Gung-Ho Is Good
15. The Tickle of the Trocar
16. How a Wino Saved the Sixth Amendment
17. The Pin-Striped Mafia
19. Show Me the Work; I’ll Show You the Money
20. Negotiating a Contract for Legal Defense
21. How to Help the Defense
22. Money! Money! Money!
23. Outdoor Jail
24. To Snitch is a Bitch
25. Your Personal Witness Protection Program
26. The Family Management Plan
27. Why Are So Many People In Jail?
Appendix A Library of Forms and Letters
Appendix B How To Dispute Attorney Credit Card Charges
Appendix C The Dictionary of Crime and Punishment
Whether a defendant is charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct or first-degree murder, this is an
indispensable guide for those who want to support family members, partners, or friends facing criminal
charges. Draining away the confusion by explaining legal proceedings and jail procedures, it identifies
common bond scams and lawyer rip-offs and helps organize inmates to assist in their legal defense. In
addition to the most common legal motions, challenges, and investigations, this resource also provides
additional coverage on how to avoid fights, sex, gambling, and scams that can result in injury while in jail
and cause additional criminal charges to be filed. Detailed budgeting forms to calculate the true,
multiyear costs of legal defense—all the way through the years of probation, parole, and reentry into
society—are also included.
STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT, GET ME OUT OF JAIL TONIGHT!
Those Terrible Telephone Calls
It starts with a phone call, almost always at night."I'm in jail! I can't stand this. I didn't do what they say I
did. You've got to get me out of here. Please, please..."You mutter, "I love you." You say, "I'll stand by
you." But what else? Is there something you should be saying?Now your loved one- the defendant- is
begging, sobbing, yelling. In the background there are shouts, hoots, jeers, in English, Spanish, Hindi,
and Chinese.A mechanical voice cuts in. "Reminder: This call is being recorded. This call will terminate in
15 seconds.""Please, please..."Click.Each night, thousands of people like you receive phone calls like
this. Your family member, friend, or loved one has been arrested and is in jail. Even before you put down
the phone, you realize that your life will also be upended and that this nightmare has only just begun.In
your home, things get crazy. Lights go on. Doors slam. People mill around and start talking all at once.
Children start to cry. And what's with the dog? How do you make decisions? How do you even think amid
such an uproar?What, you wonder, will it take to procure freedom or a shortened prison term? The
defendant mentioned bail. Should you throw on some clothes and grab your checkbook and credit cards?
Should you call relatives and ask them to get their credit cards and checkbooks? Should you all pile into
a car and rush to a bondsman's office in the dead of night?No! Absolutely not. That's a sucker play. I'll
explain why shortly.During the first call, here's what you do. First, get the defendant to read his or her jail
number to you. It's probably on a plastic wristband. Write it down. You can't send mail easily or find
anything out from police, jails, or courts without it. You have limited time on jail calls, so emphasize
these important points:
1. Tell the defendant not to talk to police, prosecutors, or probation officers without an attorney present.
2. Tell the defendant not to talk to other inmates, who will snitch.
3. Tell the defendant not to sign any statement without an attorney present.
4. Tell the defendant not to waive the right to an attorney, no matter what.
5. Promise help and support.
6. Do not promise to bail out the defendant or hire a private attorney. Not now. Not yet.The defendant will
be stressed. It will be dfficult for him or her to remember what you say. Make the defendant repeat each
important point back to you. Not talking is the most important advice in criminal law. An O.J.-style Dream
Team will tell you this for $5,000 an hour; a public defender will give you the same advice for free. The
shock of jail makes people nuts. They babble; they snitch; they confess to other peoples' crimes. Cops
take advantage. A certain amount of trickery and deceit during interrogation is legal- that's right, legal. If
your defendant has difficulty understanding this important concept,...
Wes Denham is the coauthor of Arrest-Proof Yourself. He has spent years interviewing men behind bars
as an investigator and Spanish translator for a criminal defense law firm and writing family management
plans for criminal defendants. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida.<br/>