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Brandon Clark Revels | We watch him get booked, again

Pasco County jail special report: Most inmates have been there before

Brandon Clark Revels, 40, staggered out of the locked chute where he had been waiting until Corporal Matt Helms was ready to book him.

"Other than this, how's your day going?" Helms asked in a cheery voice that carried over the radio tuned to Mix 100.7.

"It sucks," Revels muttered. He had been arrested that morning on a charge of domestic violence in violation of an injunction. He had just been here three weeks earlier.

Helms started to conduct a pat-down. "I've got no tattoos," Revels said, slurring his words.

"Oh, I can't get tattoos off you," Helms replied. "I'm not that good."

Helms instructed Revels to put his sandals in a plastic bin, and Revels started to remove his shirt as well. "We're not ready for that yet," Helms said before escorting him to a holding cell.

Helms, a six-year veteran of Central Booking who deepens his voice when addressing prisoners, tries to make small talk with inmates as he books them. He's seen high-school classmates get processed, and he even had an ex-girlfriend pass through.

As he copies arrest reports and keys the prisoners' information into a computer, he recognizes the people he has booked time after time, watching them move in and out of the prison's revolving door. After a while, he gets to know many of them; he sees them often enough.

A stay in jail often won't be that person's last. Nationwide, estimates of the likelihood that an inmate will be arrested again range from 50 to 65 percent. In Pasco County, it's even higher.

On June 24 at the Land O'Lakes jail, 77 percent of the prisoners had been there before — 23 percent with one prior arrest, 20 percent with two, and 34 percent with three or more.

Pasco County jail special report: Most inmates have been there before 08/08/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:49pm]
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