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Life in Perryville
 
Taliban Bendel Continues to Make Women’s Life Miserable

Taliban Bendel Continues to Make Women’s Life Miserable

We received so many emails and letters from Lumley Unit, we’re going to split it up into short, individual, stories.

#1. “I thought this new dude, Deputy Warden Bendel, would make his draconian rules temporary. Rules like being escorted everywhere by a staff member. It will be a year in April, and he hasn’t let up a bit. He cracks down harder and harder. About the only place you can travel unescorted is your own bathroom.”

#2. “I’ve been on every Unit in Perryville, and Lumley, run by Taliban, is the most oppressive Unit there is. This man is brutal in his attitude toward women. There is no Redemptive justice, only Punitive Justice, in his world.”

#3. “I’m worried about my roommate. When she gets anxious she hurts herself. We have been on Lumley for 4 months now, and I can see the razor marks on her arms. While we were on Cruz she had a good counselor and she stopped cutting herself. Here, there are no programs or recreation, so she dives inward into her dark space. She went to a mental health counselor here, and all they gave her was a coloring book. I’m afraid of what she’ll do when I leave the room.”

#4. “I feel totally stripped of any dignity I had before I transferred to Lumley. The atmosphere here is dark and oppressive. The women never smile, they go about their chores in a zombie-like countenance. The officers constantly gripe about their boss, (Bendel) and plot to get another job. Sometimes I think this place is cursed. The man they named this Unit for was stabbed to death by a male inmate. In 2009 a woman was roasted alive in the hot August heat till she died. No water, no shade. There have been many more deaths here than other units….it’s creepy.”

#5. ” I wrote the Governor that I want the lethal injection. Better dead than dying here every day.”

#6. “When was the last time I was told to walk in a single line? Kindergarten? Maybe. When Taliban Bendel tells you to march, you MARCH. No getting out of line ladies. March and escorted to chow, shopping, medical, ” recreation “, property, and all points north and south. And if you get out of line you have to go back to the yard and do it all over again. It gets pretty bad in 112-degree heat. We are done with our medical appointments after 45 minutes, but it can take 3 hours to get back to our rooms. We are so short-staffed that we can wait hours for an officer to march us back to our yard. We are treated like pond scum.”

#7. “I haven’t had any rec time since I got here a year ago. Not because I haven’t been offered. But I’m not a dog, and only dogs rec in kennels. Four ” kennel” cages for your recreational pleasure. I long to walk the track and play softball again on main yard, but alas, no. There’s only so much abuse a person can take.”

Why my best friends are CNN news anchors

Why my best friends are CNN news anchors

I am a prisoner at Perryville. Arizona Department of Corrections is infamous for its nonexistent mental health care. The women live in a dark place, isolated and alone, which is only exacerbated by Covid restrictions.

Recently, I was transferred to the Lumley unit, which is guaranteed to make a sane person go nuts. The Deputy Warden of this unit believes in punitive justice, not restorative justice. As soon as he was installed, he demanded all his women be escorted everywhere they needed to go.

Imagine being through with your medical appointment in 20 minutes, or shopping that takes 5 minutes, and waiting in triple-digit heat 2 HOURS for an ‘escort’ home. Crippling short-staffing makes this draconian rule difficult for inmates and guards alike. It takes away what little sense of autonomy a person has.

We are not allowed to mingle or visit with anyone but the people on our own yard. What if your BF is on ‘D’ yard, and you’re on ‘A’ yard? You are S.O.L. Even if that’s the one person that can talk you off the ledge, you won’t ever see them. So you turn to the DOC ‘mental health professional’. And after pouring your heart out, they pat you on the head and hand you a coloring book. Wouldn’t your dark place get darker?

So for sanity, I watch CNN. These are congenial, intelligent, people you’ve gotten to know during your long confinement. They seem like real friends. At least they talk to you. They seem caring. You know when they’ll laugh or cry at a story. You’ve seen pictures of their kids. And they are always THERE when you need them…..at the press of a button. A real psychologist would have a diagnosis for the poor sap that feels that way. But for the inmate on Lumley, they’ll never see a real psychologist. This is their dark reality.

An Amputee Tells Her Story

An Amputee Tells Her Story

I had my leg amputated above the knee on 7-30-21. This nightmare starts on Lumley, the most horrible unit on the planet. DW Bendel’s motto is “I don’t care,” in fact he’s quoted as saying that in Townhall meetings.

There is only one ADA shower on the whole unit, and that’s on the max custody yard. They (staff) told me I’d have to be locked down 23 hours just like them if I transfer to an ADA room/shower. I have to wear diapers, and sometimes I don’t make it to the toilet in time, so I need access to a washer/dryer…..which doesn’t exist on this unit. My room is not equipped with a grab bar or riser to help me transfer to the toilet. In fact, my wheelchair doesn’t fit through the door. Imagine trying to get around my room with only one leg! Lumley does not provide wheelchair pushers like other units. They say they do, but I have to pay out of my own pocket to get them to push me.

Medical here is another disaster. I need the dressings on my stump changed regularly, but with Bendel’s escort nonsense, that is an all-day affair. When I have to go to Banner Hospital to see a real doctor, the guards wrap a chain around my belly and handcuff both arms to the wheelchair! It is an hour and a half travel time one way, completely enclosed in the darkness of the van….no light no window. I was crying because I was in so much pain, and the guards told me to shut up or they’d turn around and take me back. All they will give me is Tylenol for pain….and the pain is unrelenting.

I was supposed to be in the SNU (Special Needs Unit/ for post surgeries and Hospice) but there wasn’t any room. How did Central Office plan only 10 SNU beds for 4,000 women??

Nightmare on Shingles Street

Nightmare on Shingles Street

(This is a true story by one of our favorite reporters on Lumley---Ed.) "At age 71, I take chest pain seriously. On Monday morning I told the guards I was experiencing severe chest pain. I was transferred to medical via wheelchair immediately. The nurse hooked me up...

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Interview with 2 Lifers

Interview with 2 Lifers

(Some thoughts from two women who have 'natural life' without possibility of parole---Ed.) "I'm a Navy veteran that served in Afghanistan and returned diagnosed with bipolar and PTSD. The VA prescribed prescriptions for my night terrors and I was heavily medicated. To...

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From Santa Maria, notes on lockdown

From Santa Maria, notes on lockdown

"At least we don't have to rec in a cage." (Maria only has 2 yards. A yard is R and A and MDU---who don't get outside rec, hence no cages on the main yard. B yard is regular medium inmates..Ed) "They have a schedule that is only good for 48 hours, then they change it...

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From Santa Cruz: Notes of Despair

From Santa Cruz: Notes of Despair

Overheard on 2-10-21. " My roommate has started cutting herself again." "Is this Arizona's idea of rehabilitation and re-entry????" "I feel meaner than a junkyard dog." "D yard has had 3 fistfights over a shower. This yard only has 5 working showers for 197...

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More cruelty from the DOC

More cruelty from the DOC

Just when you think the inmates can't take anymore, the DOC delivers more pain. Because the Florence prison screwed up and let 2 male inmates escape, the DOC is determined to take it out on the girls too. We are waiting for our sources on Maria and Cruz to come in,...

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Karma’s a Bitch

Karma’s a Bitch

(Update on 71 year old abuse victim--see prior story) "After I was strangled by that young woman, I was put in a cell by myself. It gave me time to decompress and recover. I then started to worry about what kind of inmate they would put in my cell. The evil person...

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BREAKING–INMATE DIES ON LUMLEY

BREAKING–INMATE DIES ON LUMLEY

January 1, 2021, approximately 8:30 am women on A yard were locked down amid a flurry of staff activity. Shortly, an ambulance and firetruck were parked outside A yard. The inmates watching outside their windows knew it was bad news when the paramedics slowly left the...

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Observations from a Former Inmate

Observations from a Former Inmate

Messages share with us that we have permission to share with you "My friend just informed me that the past 2 days there has been no heat in her cell. It's 36 degrees outside and the metal doors suck any and all heat out of the rooms. the prison refuses to issue extra...

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Everything Broke on Lumley?

Everything Broke on Lumley?

Our staff has gotten so much mail from this Unit, we have to share what the inmates are alleging in their own words. "Everything is broken on Lumley! No one can access WiFi, we run around like chickens looking for a hotspot. We can't even open our tablets without it....

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Lumley, the ass end of Peeville

Lumley, the ass end of Peeville

I'm starting the HALL OF SHAME for guards who refuse to wear masks here. L. Garcia, lets start with you. This guard went his entire shift with no mask! There will be more. Today started with my morning jog as usual. I'm as deaf as a post, but I could hear a loud...

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More medical nightmares

More medical nightmares

Dateline Cruz: I was diagnosed with back injury and anklosing spondilitis. I resisted the spinal shots they wanted to give me, but I was in 24 hour unrelenting pain. The first shot went ok but did not give me pain relief. The 2nd almost killed me. When the doctor put...

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