Stories Direct from The Inmates

Life in Perryville
 
“Letter From A Dead Woman”

“Letter From A Dead Woman”

( a letter passed to us—names of medical personnel deleted for this post. We have no way of verifying, but this woman has a right to her opinion.)
“Letter From A Dead Woman”
My name was Debra R, but Perryville saw me as a number. I died on Jan. 11, 2020, while in Lumley unit. I was incarcerated for shoplifting and received a 2-year sentence. Little did I know I had signed my death warrant.

The journey to my death bed began Thursday, Jan. 9th. At about 7:30 pm I experienced a sharp pain on the right side of my abdomen, and it was immediate. Shortly after that I had my first seizure and hit the back of my head on the cement. A guard witnessed this and called a medical emergency.

Nurse F. checked my vitals and my bp was 60/33, at which time I had another seizure. This “nurse” sent me back to the yard with diagnosis—U.T.I. On the way back I lost bladder and bowel control with my third seizure on Lumley’s main yard. I was escorted back to C yard cold, soiled, humiliated, and very tired. I have never had epilepsy, although I was taking meds for hypertension, so the low bp was unusual.

That night in my cell I couldn’t’ sleep because of the constant pain. At 9 am Friday I was shuttled to medical again for a bp check. While there I informed the nurse that I had vomited and could not even keep water down. This went on deaf ears and I was sent back to the yard. I received more care from my fellow inmates than medical, as they gave me crackers and broth to rehydrate me. All I did was moan and try to rest.

Saturday morning I felt much worse. My roommate told me I was cold and clammy to the touch and urged me to go back to medical. This time the two nurses told me I was “faking and only wanted pain pills” (this is on camera) and they threatened me with a ticket. I think this is when I gave up my fight for life.

I realized these people didn’t care and I was subhuman to them. As they half-carried me back I collapsed on the stairs because my legs just gave out. That’s when I told my friends I just wanted to die to stop the pain. Unfortunately, I experienced another seizure and was thrown in a wheelchair for my last trip to medical. I sat in the cold for 45 minutes and during that time a kindly clergy prayed for me, however, this was interrupted by the nurse who said “who are you to make me wait?!”.

Of course, I was sent back to the yard without treatment. I was delirious with pain, in and out of consciousness, but I remember my friends told me they had gotten a hold of my dad (with no help from the DOC). The last light in my eyes shone with gratitude as they told me he loved me very much. In my cold pain, I felt a little peace and warmth. In my dimming world, I recognized I was vomiting again. At about 2:50 pm an inmate checked on me and I was unresponsive and barely breathing. The guards were summoned and they called medical. Before nurses could respond, a COII risked his job and called 911, I was in cardiac arrest. Lumley’s heart portables were not charged, so they wasted precious time going to storage to retrieve one. At 3:15 medical finally brought oxygen. 3:25 the ambulance and fire went through the gate.

I left prison on a red bodyboard, red foam coming out of my mouth. As a peaceful warmth enveloped me, my last earthly thought was “I hope I can forgive the people that murdered me.”

No Social Distancing at Perryville

No Social Distancing at Perryville

God bless email capable inmates. Families are more than happy to share their loved ones’ email from the women’s prison. It isn’t a pretty picture. The phrase “packed together like sardines” was most prevalent.

One woman looked at her unit’s medical waiting area which was standing room only and observed coughing inmates right on top of each other. Of course, no sanitizer or masks are being distributed.

On minimum units, the women are stacked like orange cordwood. Maintaining a 6-foot distance is impossible. It’s more like 6-inches.

And then there are the constant lines for medical, property, store, and chow. Women from Carlos (population 1468) said the average wait in a packed line can exceed 2 to 3 hours.

The “cubicle’ in each “aircraft hanger”, called a bay is separated from the next inmate by 25 inches. How is the DOC going to quarantine them when they get the virus?

We will keep you updated as much as possible with stories direct from the women affected by this crisis.

This website and our Facebook page are where families can vent —a message board just for Perryville residents.

The Pregnancy from Hell

The Pregnancy from Hell

Ms. G arrived at Santa Maria R&A on October 23, 2019. She was 8-months pregnant. The staff did not give her prenatal vitamins or diet because the “paperwork” had not come in yet. She was taken to the hospital on October 27 and delivered her baby on the 28th.

After the required 3-day hospital stay she was returned to Lumley because there were no beds available at the infirmary or Santa Maria. She was wearing the same t-shirt she wore in the ambulance, a soaked hospital diaper, no bra or panties, a jumpsuit, and flip-flops for shoes.

During delivery, she lost three times the amount of blood as a normal delivery and suffered a broken tailbone. When Ms. G arrived at Complex Medical, she was not given a wheelchair to Lumley. A male guard made her walk the half-mile to get there! She told him “I just gave birth and I’m still bleeding.” He said, “Well I don’t care – walk faster.” He forced her to walk to Lumley while she bled, was in significant pain, had no jacket or shoes, and was hungry.

When she finally arrived she was told to sit on a metal bench, outside, in the cold, for 2-hours while they searched for a cell to put her in. It was 8 pm when they escorted her to a “suicide watch” cell. She had still not eaten. They put here there because no regular cells were available.

This is how Ms. G described her new room: “A filthy cement box, no mattress or blankets. The only thing there was a steel toilet, overflowing with blood and feces. The toilet even had blood on the seat, with bloody pads all around it. There was no toilet paper to clean it with, or to use.” When she asked for food the guard said, “Oh, we ran out of food.” They finally let her use a blanket they pulled out of the trash. She claims that no one checked on her for 2 days.

On Nov. 1st a psych worker came to see her and saw the deplorable conditions she was enduring. This man got her bedding, moved her to a regular cell, and began treating her for severe post-partum depression. Unbelievably, the yard officer assigned her to a top bunk! It was terribly painful for her to climb.

On November 6th she was moved again, to Santa Maria unit R&A. On that day she saw the provider for blood work. He had no idea she had recently given birth. As of January 6, 2020, she has still not seen an OB/GYN for any post-partum care. Mercifully, she leaves this hell hole on January 21, 2020.

The High Cost of Living: by K.D.

The High Cost of Living: by K.D.

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...

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Just in time – by G.V.

Just in time – by G.V.

"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...

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The Guard Let Me Fall – by J.M.

The Guard Let Me Fall – by J.M.

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...

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Just Drink Water – by C.A.

Just Drink Water – by C.A.

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...

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State Sponsored Gas Chambers!

State Sponsored Gas Chambers!

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...

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News from Lumley Unit – Jan 2019

News from Lumley Unit – Jan 2019

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...

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Interview with Inmate 1997 – 1/12/19

Interview with Inmate 1997 – 1/12/19

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...

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Health Horror Stories

"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...

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