Some help please.

Okay Peeps,  I need your help.

My current work in progress has an alcoholic character who wakes up in San Diego’s drunk tank. Since this is something I’ve never experienced,  I’m hoping some of you  or someone you know has enjoyed police hospitality in the US due to intoxication and would be willing to anonymously share those experiences with me. I will not publish your responses.

Below are the kinds of the things I’d like to know. This is not a test so please answer as little or as much as you want in the manner that you’re most comfortable with.


Interview prompts:

Describe the circumstances leading to your arrest:

Has this happened more than once? If so how many/often times?

When, where  and what were you doing?

Were you charged?

How old were you?

What was your occupation at the time?


Race? (I understand this is a sensitive issue. I’m asking because it might have impacted your experience.)

Please describe what occured before you were placed in final holding:

Approximately how long did in-processing take?

Were you searched as part of the booking/induction process? What did that entail? How were you treated? Spoken to? Handled? How did that make you feel?

Were you handcuffed the whole time you were processed? If not, when were they removed?

What were you issued (toiletries, tp, wrist bands. Please describe these items in as much detail as you can.)

Were you issued prison garb? If so:

  • what were you wearing (sweats, scrubs, jumpsuit, footwear, slippers, shoes…)
  • what did they look like (faded, bright, stained, color, writing…)
  • how did they fit (large, small, loose, tight, long, short…)
  • how did they feel/smell (thin, heavy, scratchy, soft, clean, stale, chemical…)

What was going through your mind as you were being processed?

What, if any, moment/thing/thought stood out while being processed? Why?

Please describe the physical environment where you were held:

What was the room like? Size, shape, layout, colors of walls, floor, furnishings (benches, cots, tables, toilette, metal, wood, fixed or movable)

Doors, bars, windows?

Could you see anything outside this location? If so, what?

Please describe your sensory experience:

Sound, immediate/distant:

  • Mechanical (air conditioner, doors opening/closing, announcements…)
  • People (guards/prisoners talking, walking, moving, snoring…)

Temperature/air: (warm/cold taste, smell, changing or constant, vents, movement…)

Surfaces/textures (hard, rough/smooth, slippery, scratchy…)


  • water (taste, temperature, fountain or container?)
  • food/drink (sandwiches, hot meal, juice,fruit, cookies…)
  • taste/texture (dry/moist, stale/fresh, spongy,crumbly, lumpy/smooth, gummy, salty, sweet…)

Please describe your physical state.

How did you feel physically when you first entered? (sober, drunk, high, hung-over, thirsty, hungry, sick, sore, tired, energized…)

How did this change over time?

Please describe your mental/emotional state.

How did you feel emotionally when you first entered, and how did that change? (nervous, angry, sad…)

How did you feel mentally? (confused, sober…)

Please describe your personal encounters.

How many people were in the room when you arrived? Did that change over time?

What was everyone doing? (sleeping, pacing, talking to themselves/to others, fighting, snoring, crying, joking…)

What did you do first? Why?

How did new arrivals behave when they entered?

How did you and others pass the time?

Where did people sit/sleep? (floor, benches, cots)

What did people talk about?

Did you make any friends? Do you keep in contact?

Did anyone stand out? Why?

How long were you there?

Can you recall any specific incidents while in holding? If so, what happened?

Out Process:

What did the process entail?

What did you think about?

Were you treated differently than when you were in-processed? How?

What did you think about as you were leaving?

What did you do immediately after leaving?

How did this experience change you?

Do you have any additional comments regarding your experiences?


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    If you’ve ever been in a drunk tank in the States Candace Vianna needs your help!


    1. Thank you so much. This scene is a critical turning point in the antagonist’s story arc and so far I haven’t received much response. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I find something I’ll forward it to you…

        Liked by 1 person

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