True Stories of Women Behind Bars

 

From the Editor

How Many Are Going to Die!

On Monday, March 30 the ADCRR (Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry) released their 5th COVID-19 Management Strategy Update.  You can get the latest updates here: https://corrections.az.gov/.  They stated “Currently, there are no known COVID-19 cases at any of ADCRR’s 16 prison complexes which house more than 42,000 inmates.”

But what are they doing to keep it that way? (If indeed there really are no cases.) There are a significant number of at-risk, and elderly women in Perryville. Other than taking the temperature of every woman over 50, what “slow the spread” strategies are being implemented?

Social distancing? Nope. Not happening. Yes, it would be difficult, but with planning, logistics, and commitment I’m betting something could be worked out. Better now than once the virus rampages through the population (not if, when!)

Masks? Nope. Not available. One creative at-risk inmate discovered that Tucks Pads contain some alcohol so she’s been using them as masks. Slightly better than nothing and far from adequate. Fortunately for her, she can afford to buy items like this. Many can’t.

Sanitizer? Nope. The smokers might accidentally set themselves on fire. And don’t get me started on the whole smoking thing and the blatant disregard for national and state law, prison regulations, and common courtesy. If those were enforced the likelihood of accidental sanitizer induced self-immolation would be significantly reduced.

Soap? Well, maybe a little. “Until such time as the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration has expired, ADCRR will provide free hand soap to all inmates UPON REQUEST.” (Emphasis mine.) If you’ve been reading these posts you should have a good idea of how well staff responds to requests for hygiene supplies. Why would we expect them to be any more responsive about soap than they are about menstrual products and toilet paper?

Isolation for at-risk populations? Not happening – see social distancing above. There is no sign that Perryville is doing anything to plan for isolating diagnosed cases, let alone at-risk women. When inmates sick with the virus start showing up it’s too late to start figuring out what to do.

About PerryvilleWomen.com

 

The D.O.C. has a new health care contractor, Centurion, who took over from Corizon on July 1, 2019. However, Centurion has faced similar accusations of inadequate health care arocc the country.  See what our women endure in “Health Horror Stories.”

Under our heading “Prison Food” we spotlight for-profit food companies like Keefe/Trinity, contracted by AZ DOC. Anything an inmate eats comes from this company. This monopoly victimizes not only the prisoners, but it’s a multi-billion dollar industry aimed at enriching their profits by bilking the inmates’ families.

We added a page on “Censorship” in this prison because there’s a war on the written word. Prison officials and their lawyers can find some way magazines and books might have an obscure effect on prison order and efficiency. I personally had a book censored because it showed an 1863 map of slaves’ underground railway on the East coast. The reason? The censor form said “escape routes from AZ .”

The “Smoking” page focuses on Arizona’s shocking disregard for the Supreme Court’s decision that calls second-hand smoke a “violation of the 8th Amendment for cruel and unusual punishment.” Imagine, if you will, a non-smoking prisoner locked in an 8′ x 15′ cell with no windows, subjected to smoke from 3 adjoining cells that share the same ventilation system. That is a gas chamber from which there is no escape

I’m sure there are some out there who think inmates should be punished every day for their crimes. Are you the sum total of your worst moment? Should they pay with their lives? I saw a chart in the paper that shows women in Perryville have a mental illness rate of 82%. I’ve talked to these women for a decade now, and almost all have been subjected to severe mental and physical abuse. The majority of ladies have committed non-violent crimes. Arizona sentences a lot of them to “flat-time,” which means no time off for good behavior – period! Arizona is one of the worst in the nation for recidivism. Arizona is a prison state that makes its money off taxpayers, inmates, and their families. Hopefully, this website will convince you to support prison reform

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11 Comments

  1. Melissa Gomez

    They left me on my period for 3 years and while waiting for surgery… I caught another case and had to get a court order for hysterectomy because doc didn’t want to pay for it… now my son in Florence is sick for 4 months and lost 40lbs and still no tests… god help all the Arizona inmates.. Charles Ryan and the medical contractor need to go

    Reply
  2. F

    These stories are heartbreaking. I came across this site per chance, never knowing it existed. I suspect most people have no clue it’s here, or that the treatment of inmates at Perryville is so inhumane. You should try to bring this site to the attention of E.J. Montini or someone at the Arizona Republic or better yet, New Times. Good luck.

    Reply
  3. Carla M Jerrel

    How much is the not enough “Insulin Related to the commissary you get every week?

    Reply
  4. A concerned citizen

    Please keep this website going. People on the outside need to be made aware of what is going on instead of things continuing to be covered up and lied about. There are things called “civil rights” and “humanity” and “love for fellow humans” that need to be addressed. It’s not happening in there. Why should people come out of a situation like that changed when they are treated like this? This will only teach people to become angry, and then when you can’t get a meaningful job when you get out of prison because you have a record for whatever may have happened, you will be right back in there. We can do so much better as a state and as human beings. Keep these stories coming and we will keep distributing them to the world. It is the only way to make change. Let these women know that we really do care about them, all of them. I will ask all of my friends to distribute this website all over the country. How can we help? Let us know.

    Reply
  5. S B

    I happened upon this website after a story on the news about Perryville. Unfortunately I have spent some time there as an inmate. Some of these stories shock me and some I have witnessed first hand.
    I was put in the Behavior unit for a 8 days because I got lice from more than likely my intake cell at Lumley. A cell that is NEVER cleaned thoroughly between inmates arrival and departure!!! NEVER in my life have I had lice before. Upon arriving at the Behavior unit I was given a lice shampoo and a little tiny comb. However I was NOT offered a shower to use this shampoo nor was I given the follow up shampoo that is supposed to kill the eggs. I had to wash my mid back length hair in the sink and used the comb provided with the lice shampoo to “comb” the lice out. Of course the prongs broke on the comb almost immediately. I wasn’t given another one. Three days after arriving in the CTU unit I was allowed to shower. I was shackled and cuffed as I was escorted to and from the shower. I came from a low risk yard and for time in CTU was treated worse than the person in the concrete cell next to me who was apparently in the behavior unit because she got into a fight with 3 people on her yard. Only after I shaved my head and begged for a nurse to check me for lice was I allowed to leave this unit and went back to the low risk yard I came from. The cells in the CTU are all concrete as are most individual cells. I was in this unit in late June. The west facing wall was so hot I couldn’t even touch it for pretty much most of the day. There is NO air conditioning and getting cold water from your sink is NOT going to happen. When I went back to the yard I came from I had to wait 2 days to get my things back to include my clothes which I had to wash immediately just in case they had lice on them. It was the most horrifying experience I have ever had. To say I was treated poorly is in understatement. If I hadn’t have begged and cried to keep my Bible with me I would have lost my mind I have absolutely no doubt. I realize there is a need to separate an inmate with something like lice but to be treated like that is absolutely inhumane!!!

    Reply
  6. Concerned is a understatement

    My friend c . Cannon was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in Perryville I looked at her Facebook a lot over the last 3 years and I just now came across this website. I too have been to jail not prison but when I went on her page today and actually took the time to re search this place I came across this website. Hot boxes? No AC? Women sentenced to 8 years with no record? No gloves? Nor do you get any medical attention until it it’s too late? I get it Iv been to jails but THIS!? This has to be against some type of law legal or a huge legal issue here? Please hang in there take deep breathes in threw your nose out threw your mouth and keep telling your story!! They can try and tell your story for you but you just take it and tell it LOUDER girls! With love D.P

    Reply
  7. Sue Jones

    I could write a book about the current problems within the walls of Perryville but I’m busy writing a book about Estrella first! Change needs to happen.

    Reply
  8. Roxane

    I don’t know how I came across this page, but I was an inmate at Perryville for a out 4.5. I recently went back and thanks to all you wonderful ladies out here they were doing better on the hygiene issues. I’m so happy I came across this.

    Reply
    • Dominic James. Passarelli

      I was hoping for better word of living conditions, this makes me sick and now that I have to have this heartache for my fiance on the outside, this is gonna make me feel worse.
      Sherry Urban I love you. San Carlos.

      Reply
  9. Laura

    I was just released from Perryville prison on 4/15/2020 and I’d love to tell you all about what’s really going on in there with this mess! First, let me say there IS No social distancing and their idea of monitoring is to ask you if you have a fever, not to check. Also if you ask for soap they will come to search your house before you’re allowed to have it. You have to get it at the yard office.

    As far as the five people in medical at one time, that’s a joke as you know. On San Carlos there are 1400 + girls and the lines are taking at a minimum of an hour when the officers do come on shift. Yes, they have face masks but most were around their neck. They still stand over your bunk and yell. They do not wash their hands. They take the mask off to talk to you if it happens to be on their face, which is only on if a Superior officer is there. If you are running a fever and you go to medical you are being told to put in an HNR. Never have I seen an officer wash his hands. They are not offering us sanitizer. They are coming in to clean the bay area’s once a week, Wednesday morning. This smells like water. There’s never any sprayed uncommon areas like the walls that separate our cubes! They’re still doing yard to yard movement. They’re still bringing officers from other units over to work San Carlos unit which happens to be the largest unit in Perryville. When we asked questions we are told they are taking precautions, yet we don’t see them.

    The girls who work are no longer allowed to go outside Cruz which means they have lost their income and puts us all together, even more. The girls who work in garment are still working and making face masks. We are not offered masks. They are working 7 days a week

    Reply
  10. Jeremy

    An ex girlfriend of mine was in Perryville for 3 years. The stories she told me about that place were shocking. For one thing, like any prison, most of the drugs are brought in by guards. Then they’re traded for sex to the inmates. The male guards at Perryville are always having sex with the inmates. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as to the corruption and abuse that goes on from the male guards to these women.

    Reply

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