Stories Direct from The InmatesLife in Perryville
Dateline Lumley Unit: Numerous women wrote in with very similar stories about Lumley’s lawless behavior. Residents complain about out-of-control smoking; in line to the store, to the chow hall, in the chow hall, on the runs, in the rooms – everywhere! They say there is “no such thing as a non-smoking area.”
Rampant illegal tattooing is taking place while the guards look away. On 9-5-19 Lumley had a “shake” (inspection) and before they were through the first wing, the supervisors had a notebook full of 27 names of people with new tattoos, and a box full of colored inks and tattoo paraphernalia. We don’t know how much they found by the end of the shake.
One inmate recently transferred out of an “overflow room” on “A” yard. She describes a room with no bunk, one dirty mattress on the floor, used tampons and filth littering the area, and an overflowing busted toilet. These rooms are obviously not cleaned between occupants.
Sounds like the Deputy Warden needs to “clean up” this unit in more ways than one!
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.
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
"A lot of women do not deserve to be in prison. Drug related crimes means they need help, both mentally and emotionally. There is a Root Cause to their Pain. If Arizona would sentence then to Drug Rehabilitation Program for their years to fit the crime, they could...read more
I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. My Corizon provider says it's "too expensive" to treat, so just take aspirin. This disease cause me to grow a beard. I got a ticket for not shaving! A.P.read more
In 2014 I had a stroke in prison. Half my face was paralyzed, and I was rushed to West Valley Hospital, where a CT scan confirmed the diagnosis. I kept telling my unit provider that my blood pressure was high, but they insisted it was "in range" and prescribed no...read more
"Just before Christmas 2018 my toilet stopped working. The button refused to flush. The guards gave me a bucket to pour water into the toilet - that doesn't completely fix it you know! After 3 days of being locked up in that sewer/cell, the grey shirts fixed it."...read more
In November, on D yard, we had raw sewage erupt from the drain on 3 pod. I saw residents picking their way around the feces near their doors. We counted 2-1/2 hours later 'til there was a response. Did we get men in HazMat suits? Noooo, we got other inmates cleaning...read more
Some new inmates to Perryville have not been issued underwear (panties.) Do you know how we keep our sanitary pad in place? We have to go ask a guard to let us borrow a panty to use for the week! Where does $1-billion go? Not enough for panties???...read more
Our showers have no light and few curtains. The old tile was ripped out, covered in quick-set cement and then painted - it's like showering in a dark cave. J.P.read more
Recipes Holidays behind bars doesn't mean we don't enjoy the time spent with friends we have made. With a little creativity we can get pretty close to traditional meals with the little we have to work with from the store. (Read the rest of the story and the recipe...read more