The following letter comes from W. He has been in jail for over a year now. The prosecutor hasn’t found any witnesses to bring forth in his trial and he continues to be kept in jail with no foreseeable time for release; his bail is set at 1 million dollars. He used to be destitute and is another example of the state’s response to homelessness and poverty. We withheld his name in order to protect him from any retaliation by prison staff.
Happy 47th birthday to me!!
_____ The D.A.’s office has yet to get me in court. Still no victim, no witness. Bond still 1 million dollars. A racial case!!
Hello ______. I do consider it a blessing as I said to you on the phone today, for you to answer my call on today. I’ve called you so many other times, and I had to leave messages on your phone, so finally, I got the opportunity to talk to you for once. Also, once I was notified of the inside-outside alliance, a part of me strongly felt that you was one the participants out there. For some reason, I felt this. Please let all those involved with you to know I (We) appreciate you all being our voice to be heard.
I’ve been told today that you gather together outside this facility faithfully every Thursday. In this section of the jail I’m housed at, we’ve got this brochures (Bulletin) on numerous places. Every inmate in this jail has gotten word of your organization’s work on all our behalves.
This gives us all strength, just to know that there are people who we’ve never met that cares about our treatment. Yes, the food that is being serves to us in here IS COLD, the cell temperatures goes from being ice cold to being extremely hot month after month, then if an inmate gets a cold, medical department charges a $10.00 cover fee. It’s called sick-call appointments. _____, this jail feeds us meals that are smaller portions than a happy meal for a child at McDonald’s. The juice coolers that are sent from the kitchen are not sanitized at all. They’re not cleaned. The juice itself, when it leaks onto the floor, eats the paint off of it. It causes a lot of us to have facial skin problems, bowel trouble, etc. The food-trays sometimes have food particles from other meals stuck to them. A lunch or dinner tray may have breakfast food dried up on it. When an inmate enters the jail him or her are given a rubber spoon that’s flexible, along with a rubber or hard surface drinking cup. If I’m not mistaken, all utensils (especially eating utensils), are to be sterilized in 350 degree water. Well, I’ve been eating with my same spoon-cup since getting it on 2-14-2012, and neither one has ever touched 350 degree water. The water in our cells is no where near that hot. Instead of the kitchen taking up our spoons-cups daily to be run through a dishwasher, we have to keep them in our cells, wipe them off, use them during the next meal.
We’ve even had nursing staff say that our spoons-cups are supposed to be sent through a dishwasher daily before usage. But again, I’ve still got the cup-spoon I was issued 2-14-2012. ____, It was a reason I could not share these things with you on today. In the wrong company at the time. People are charged a fee of $2.00 for 10 minutes to use the phones. They are run by the jail through pay.tell.com. A lot of us don’t have $2.00 to call with, so we’re out of luck. We use to get milks with our breakfast meals when I came to jail last year, but since October of last year, no one, except does who eat diet meals, get milk with their breakfast. It’s been cut out, and no one will tell us why. They’ve even stopped serving us cereal too. Overall ______, if an inmate don’t have money in their accounts, their doomed!! You’ll lay down hungry, and awake even hungrier. Seriously, it’s a fact that you need money to order canteen with in here to survive. A lot of the staff, male-female, conducts themselves no better than those of us who are locked up. Profanity is used a lot towards us by staff (some staff). If an inmate don’t have money to purchase thermal tops-bottoms, they’ll freeze to death!!
We are locked behind doors at least 16 hours daily. On some days, we do not even come out of the cells. The longest I’ve experienced is 2 days straight!! No shower, no room to stretch your legs, people can’t use the phone, miserable. It keeps a lot of friction between inmate to inmate, inmate to staff. They’ve also had inmates kill themselves, jump off the top tier to the concrete floor. A lot of deaths have taken place in here that the public has no idea about. A lot of wrong that goes inside this jail is kept between the staff. There is even a wood chair with straps on it on the 3rd floor of the jail that’s used to discipline men with. They are confined to it with clothes fully on or not for hours… as a lesson learner.
_____ The letters N.F on the envelope means I don’t have money for a stamp. I hope to hear from you soon.