Stories Direct from The InmatesLife in Perryville
8-7-19 3:34 PM Townhall Meeting
Dateline Santa Maria: from a 70-year-old woman. “I told D.W. Compton that the elderly have special needs, as we cannot dissipate heat from our body. plus we take medications that make us even more susceptible to heat stroke. I asked if women 60 and older could go to air-conditioned areas (visitation, WTU room, medical) to temporarily (not all day) to cool our core temperature. He suggested we go to the kitchen on the yard to cool down.
This is how far out of touch with reality this man is! There is no cooler in the kitchen! In fact, it was so hot in the kitchen the other day that his very own officers shut down the evening movie because the temperature was over 97 degrees!!!
To add insult to injury, Lt. Burski ordered us out into a 40-MPH sand storm after the town hall meeting. Another officer saw me struggling and ordered me to return to the building. Lt. Burski told me to walk back to my yard, even though visibility was zero. To further humiliate me, he made fun of me for walking too slow! I yelled back “See how fast you go 45 years from now!” I think the wind took my words away.
This is how senior citizens are treated at Santa Maria.”
There are many stories on this website that are tragic but true. I want to submit a good story for a change. This is a conversation I recently had with my CO-III about the future of incarceration.
He told me that he got into corrections “to make a positive difference in the lives of inmates.” The most startling statistic he shared with me was that all recidivism rates. both nationally and state, are based on 3 years after release, and that it is 40%. If you go out 7 years from release 90% come back to prison!
This gentleman told me about the “2nd chance” program here at Piestwa unit that boasts a 10% recidivism rate after 2.5 years. This outstanding program only has 50 slots available, which means a very small percentage of Perryville’s 4,000 women will be able to take advantage of this fine program.
I asked him about the Scandinavian model of corrections that has almost zero recidivism due to the many programs available, and because their staff all have college degrees in psychology or sociology. My CO-III argued that countries like Sweden and Norway have a much smaller population and their citizens bear a much heavier tax burden than Americans are willing to pay.
As I left his office I said, “You’ve given me hope.” What if all staff was as dedicated as this counselor to restorative justice rather than punitive justice? Perhaps we could stop warehousing people and instead, restore them to productive lives.
Dateline 6-27-19 – Five women on Santa Maria yard crew were forced to repair a broken water main by digging a 4-foot hole in the packed dirt. Office Stratling, the supervisor, refused to let them wear gloves, even though the gloves were available. He told the women that he would give them disciplinary tickets if they didn’t keep on digging for 1-1/2 hours.
I am an eyewitness to my yard crew roommates’ blistered and bloody hands! T.M.
For 3 months I've had a lump in my breast with a greenish discharge from the nipple. Corizon (Medical) won't get a biopsy for it because "it's too expensive and it's probably a cyst anyway." How large will it have to be before I'm seen by a real M.D? Update: After...read more
Death isn't just for the old, they kill the young too, P. was a 20-year-old vibrant young woman when she arrived at the prison. After a few months, she grew more fatigued and tired. For 5 months she begged Medical to take lab tests to find out what was wrong with her....read more
I was K.T.s neighbor. We'd lived next door to each other for two years amd became friends. K.T. was 62 years old, walked with a cane, but was otherwise healthy. We first thought she had come down with the flu, but her coughing and respiratory distress lingered for...read more
I don't know anyone who, at one time or another, hasn't mentioned how things have gotten so high at the store. We are about to have yet another price hike. Even though Keefe Company is under contract and are only supposed to raise prices at the start of the fiscal...read more
"I have scaly skin lesions on my face for over a year, and could not talk my "provider" into a dermatology referral. As luck would have it, a real MD walked by as I was in my wheelchair and I asked him to tale a look at my face. He said it looks like cancer, I'll...read more
I went to the hospital for heart failure. Just before I was discharged, I had to go to the bathroom. I'm 72 years old, and they had me shackled with a belly chain, hand cuffs, and feet cuffed. When the female guard started to help me up, she let go too soon and I...read more
I have had Crohn's disease for 6 years before I came to Perryville. Corizon said "it's cured" even though they gave me no treatment for it. The provider prescribed medication for I.B.S. (totally different disease than Crohn's) and that caused me to start throwing up...read more
Here are 2 inmates with COPD from inhaling second-hand smoke. Both began to get symptoms some years into their incarceration at Perryville. A.G.V: "I am a life long non-smoker. After 10 years incarcerated in Oklahoma, I was transported to Perryville prison. There is...read more
This editor personally interviewed four new inmates that came from Lumley to Santa Cruz unit. They were interviewed separately, but all had the same story. A Yard: showers and sinks, and all water available to the women is cold. (How would you like a cold shower on a...read more
This I/M (inmate) arrived at Perryville in November of 1997. She was 52 years old at the time, and had never smoked. The AZDOC was always lax about enforcing the no-smoking in the room policy, but in the 90's apparently it was non-existent. Her roommates smoke in the...read more
"Our Medical Department is so lacking for proper care. Us prisoners are covered by Access - yet every prisoner pays D.O.C. $4.00 for medical or dental. Why? Where does our $4.00 go? Last time I checked Access was free for people who need help. Women have gotten cancer...read more
"Department of Corrections is in NO WAY a correction for anyone. The taxpayer is being drained for things we don't even have, or hope to have. The only things we receive is toilet paper, pads, tampons, but only received enough of these recently. We don't receive soap,...read more