From: NEFAC-New England <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Apr 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM
Subject: Women in House of Correction in Boston resisting! Call in this week!
CALL TO ACTION - FORWARD WIDELY
Women at South Bay are being served bug-infested food, are forced to live in flooded cells, and daily face unsanitary and dangerous conditions. Women are refusing meals and demanding that the situation immediately be put to rights.
Grievances have been filed about food infested with maggots*; rat droppings have also been found in prisoners' food. The late rain may have been an annoyance to some of us, but it was flooding the women's cells in the tower where they are held. One woman was given a plastic trash bag to deal with the leaks, which bag was soon filled with water. Another woman took to using her personal property, blankets, towels, sheets, and clothing to stuff up the leaks, all of which was soaked almost
immediately. Even the ceiling of the visiting room was severely damaged by recent rain.
The facility is fewer than 20 years old. In response to the complaints, the institutional grievance coordinator declared the food and flooding situations “resolved,” despite the fact that the leaks have not been fixed and the food sanitation situation is merely being “investigated.”
Hidden in plain sight, this Boston facility is right off Mass Ave by Boston Medical Center. The repulsive conditions at South Bay are bad enough in their own right, but consider that the captive population is much more likely to have compromised immune systems, whether because of
hepatitis C, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or an array of other conditions. For people suffering from chronic medical issues, South Bay's filth is nothing short of a threat on their lives.
Call Sheriff Andrea J.Cabral this week at 617.635.1000, ext. 2100 and tell her that she is responsible for the health and well being of those in her custody. An effective public relations machine is not enough. Demand that meaningful changes are made immediately with input from those women most suffering from the issues at hand. The two most important issues to the women inside right now are 1. the food and 2. the leaky cells. We encourage people to leave call back numbers and demand a response from the administration. We also encourage you to write email@example.com and tell how your call went!
A woman wrote, “I just need some help. No one helps the women here.” Please prove her wrong!
*When one prisoner complained to a guard about the maggots in her food, the guard retorted that it was “protein.”
Retiring Arizona Prison Watch...
This site was originally started in July 2009 as an independent endeavor to monitor conditions in Arizona's criminal justice system, as well as offer some critical analysis of the prison industrial complex from a prison abolitionist/anarchist's perspective. It was begun in the aftermath of the death of Marcia Powell, a 48 year old AZ state prisoner who was left in an outdoor cage in the desert sun for over four hours while on a 10-minute suicide watch. That was at ASPC-Perryville, in Goodyear, AZ, in May 2009.
Marcia, a seriously mentally ill woman with a meth habit sentenced to the minimum mandatory 27 months in prison for prostitution was already deemed by society as disposable. She was therefore easily ignored by numerous prison officers as she pleaded for water and relief from the sun for four hours. She was ultimately found collapsed in her own feces, with second degree burns on her body, her organs failing, and her body exceeding the 108 degrees the thermometer would record. 16 officers and staff were disciplined for her death, but no one was ever prosecuted for her homicide. Her story is here.
Marcia's death and this blog compelled me to work for the next 5 1/2 years to document and challenge the prison industrial complex in AZ, most specifically as manifested in the Arizona Department of Corrections. I corresponded with over 1,000 prisoners in that time, as well as many of their loved ones, offering all what resources I could find for fighting the AZ DOC themselves - most regarding their health or matters of personal safety.
I also began to work with the survivors of prison violence, as I often heard from the loved ones of the dead, and learned their stories. During that time I memorialized the Ghosts of Jan Brewer - state prisoners under her regime who were lost to neglect, suicide or violence - across the city's sidewalks in large chalk murals. Some of that art is here.
In November 2014 I left Phoenix abruptly to care for my family. By early 2015 I was no longer keeping up this blog site, save occasional posts about a young prisoner in solitary confinement in Arpaio's jail, Jessie B.
I'm deeply grateful to the prisoners who educated, confided in, and encouraged me throughout the years I did this work. My life has been made all the more rich and meaningful by their engagement.
I've linked to some posts about advocating for state prisoner health and safety to the right, as well as other resources for families and friends. If you are in need of additional assistance fighting the prison industrial complex in Arizona - or if you care to offer some aid to the cause - please contact the Phoenix Anarchist Black Cross at PO Box 7241 / Tempe, AZ 85281. firstname.lastname@example.org
until all are free -
MARGARET J PLEWS (June 1, 2015)