Our readers who have been in Perryville know about this shameful fact. There is a large population of 65+ ladies in prison due to Arizona’s draconian sentencing laws. Here is a letter we received recently from a 71-year-old at Lumley Unit.

“I was initially transferred by accident to Closed Custody B-yard. I was immediately accosted by 3 inmates, armed with spray bottles. All they made off with was a blanket, and I was not physically harmed. 48 hours later I was assigned to C-yard with medium custody inmates.

The girl who was to be my roommate did not want me there…at all. She was expecting her “wife” and did not want to give up her lower bunk. This gal made her displeasure known by blowing smoke in my face to cause an asthma attack, yell and spit on me, and threatened me with physical harm.

At last, the guards took me to another cell, but I was a nervous wreck. Welcome to the Lumley unit! But it gets worse. Because I have medical reasons to be in an air-conditioned cell, they moved me to A yard. At first, Z seemed like a nice young lady. Then she told me things that you wouldn’t tell a stranger, like “I’ve lived in mental hospitals for years.” “I beat a former bunkie so bad she had to go to the hospital.” Z started to compile a list of reasons as to why she didn’t want to live with me anymore. “You snore, you here too much, you can’t clean floor, it like living in an old folk home, you stink like medication.”

I watched her go to the movement officer so many times to be moved, that they finally told her to stop. Her agitation increased and she began to take out her frustration on the furniture. I wasn’t concerned as I was twice her size and thought my elderly status would protect me. Wrong! Z was doing laundry in the sink when I asked to use the bathroom. She turned away and I sat down on the toilet. Then without warning, she put both hands around my neck and choked the livin’ daylights out of me! I had never been attacked in my life. In one movement I ran, yelled for help, and pulled my shorts up. I think I broke the land speed record for a 71-year-old in flip flops.

I wondered later why I didn’t fight back, but it just didn’t occur to me. All I could think of was getting away and finding a cop.”

We, at this website will continue to share these stories with you.