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Christmas in jail a yearning experience

Inmate misses family’s holiday traditions
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be in jail for Christmas? One Placer County inmate shared his story and how he feels about not being home for his family’s annual traditions. Ryan Patrick Adams, 23, was sentenced for driving under the influence and violating his probation. He was booked into Auburn’s Placer County Jail Oct. 13 and won’t be going home until Feb. 4. Adams is a Roseville resident. His mother, younger brother and younger sister live in Roseville. “I grew up in Roseville,” Adams said. “I graduated from Roseville High School in 2006. I have been going to Sierra (College) here and there. I have been studying mechatronics. It has to do with robots, and hydraulics and electronics all shoved into one. I’m probably going to start taking automotive classes.” Adams said although his family visits him fairly often, it’s not going to be the same being away from home this Christmas. “My grandmother, my mother and my sister all come up every other week or so,” he said. “It’s tough not being able to spend time with the family and everything, and not being able to see them pretty much, and not being able to go up snowboarding with friends.” Adams said his family has traditions it always observes this time of year, including Christmas Day celebrations with about 10 relatives. “We always have traditional family dinners with grandparents, and the whole family gets together,” Adams said. “Every winter me, and my brother and sister try to go up snowboarding together. We always, early (Christmas) morning, open our stocking stuffers and have a big Christmas breakfast, and when all the family is there we start exchanging gifts. And we play a lot of games and watch a lot of movies.” So what is it like to be in jail this time of year? “We are always thinking about our families and what we could be doing,” Adams said. “It’s pretty tough on us around this time, and luckily the guards understand that. They try to make it easier. We actually have a Christmas tree set up in there. We have Christmas decorations and lights.” Capt. George Malim, corrections commander for the jail, said on Christmas inmates get a special meal. During the holidays the jail chaplaincy holds its Angel Tree toy drive for the family members of inmates, Malim said. The drive is held in conjunction with the Salvation Army, and the chaplaincy helps ensure the toys are delivered to inmates’ families’ homes, Malim said. Malim said there were 50 Angel Tree applicants this year. Besides the special dinner, jail procedures continue as normal with a full corrections staff on duty on Christmas, Malim said. “The jail, as far as operation, it’s business as usual,” he said. Adams said in the future he might like a career in the automotive field, and he is eager to put his time in jail behind him. “I’m pretty much just hoping to get back out, get back to working in my life, moving forward with everything,” he said. Adams said he has definitely learned from his mistake. “(I have learned) not to drink and drive,” he said. “It’s taken way too much time out of my life. I could be doing a lot more important things. It’s made me watch myself more. It makes me question myself to make sure I’m doing the right thing. It just makes me think about the consequences more than I used to.” Adams also said there is something the community should know about the inmate population. “I guess (it’s that) not everyone is too bad in here,” he said. “A lot of people screw up and come in here, but not everyone is violent or crazy in any way. Normal people are actually in here.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com