Stories Direct from The Inmates

Life in Perryville
 
Drug Scandal on Santa Cruz

Drug Scandal on Santa Cruz

[Disclaimer: This website does not independently verify inmates’ stories. We only give them their First Amendment right to speak. An inmate wrote us this account and said she was working as an informant on behalf of the D.O.C.]

Dateline Santa Cruz: “Ms. R, a 20-year-old self-proclaimed member of the Bloods, is in Perryville on several aggravated assault charges. Her “homegirl” on C yard (the closed custody yard) had a ball of heroin the size of a baseball to sell to the unit. Alleged street value, $30 for an aspirin sized tablet. “Homegirl” managed to slip parts of this heroin through the fence from C yard to R, who lived on D yard. The women are barred from visiting between yards, but apparently this is rarely enforced.

I was roommates with R and I saw the whole thing go down, but I hate illegal drugs and have never taken them. R bragged to me that C.O. J______ was in her hip pocket and said: “He lets me on C yard to do my business and knows exactly what we are doing.” R did not escape the cameras, however, and was seen toting large bags of store from yard to yard. R told me if I snitched on them she would “{set me on fire” and flicked her lighter at me. (Ed. note: inmates are not allowed lighters, but allegedly they cost $10 and can be bought.)

I made a report to SSU, the drug enforcement and gang unit of the D.O.C. I identified all five members of this drug ring and the officers that let them get away with it. I was transferred to another unit for my own safety.

In my opinion, D.W. A is a bad administrator of Santa Cruz. The inmates run the yard. Every day they smoke with impunity anywhere they want and drugs are rampant. To be fair, the staffing shortage is so acute that we only have one guard per yard, all shifts. We had a CO-III pull a shift from 6 am to 10 pm straight on D yard. Someone is going to get hurt.”

I was hooked up to a broken EKG machine during my heart attack!

I was hooked up to a broken EKG machine during my heart attack!

Dateline Santa Maria: This is L.B.’s story, corroborated by her daughter.

“I am a 50-year-old woman with a history of hypertension. In the last 2 years at Santa Maria, I have struggled with Medical to get my blood pressure under control. My everyday range, with medication, is 188-195 over 92-114.

In 2014 I had a full hysterectomy which exacerbated my blood pressure because of lack of estrogen. I was prescribed estrogen following surgery. Recently, I was running out and was unable to get more, even though the Rx showed approved refills. The computer system would not renew it. [See story about the outdated computer system here.]

While I was waiting for the computer to release my estrogen Rx, the provider substituted clonidine, an anti-hypertensive used to curb hot flashes. This drug has a “rebound” effect and stopping it increases blood pressure.

After 4 days without proper meds, I felt my cheeks turn numb, and my chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it. I was at work in the education room when I rose to get help. My daughter saw me clutch my chest and left arm as I collapsed on the floor.

When I woke up I was hooked up to a machine and oxygen was being administered. I recall a nurse on the phone telling someone “Yes, she is in tachycardia, and her oxygen level is 60.” When the provider saw that, he cranked up the O2 machine to max. At some point, I remember throwing up.

Mr. R (the provider) looked at my EKG tape and concluded I was NOT having a heart attack. He told me this episode was probably just stress and anxiety, combined with being without estrogen. I was prescribed an anti-nausea pill and 3-days bed rest.

In the seven days after this event, medical never once followed up to take my blood pressure. Another week went by, still with no blood pressure monitoring. I confronted Mr. R on his way home on a Friday and he told me that he’d left instructions for B/P reading and to go tell the nurse to take my reading throughout the weekend. Not only was my B/P dangerously high, but my resting heart rate was in the 112-137 range.

When I finally saw Mr. R again, we reviewed the EKG tapes from August 27 and noticed that the tape had “LV5 error – normal” printed on it. So he had me tested again, even though I felt no symptoms. The EKG spit out another LV5 error. Mr.R googled it and learned that it indicates “connections or leads damaged or broken.”

He yelled for Nurse F, who actually laughed and said, “Oh, that old thing doesn’t work. It’s busted. The new EKG machine is still in the box.” The staff had no idea they had been using a broken machine.

I have 5 more years before my release date, but I think they will kill me before then.”

$7 Lightbulbs, and 24-Hour Boots

$7 Lightbulbs, and 24-Hour Boots

Up until recently, an inmate could buy a lightbulb for $0.78. Then came the outrageous $2.00 lightbulb. But Keefe/Trinity, not done bilking the inmates out of ther hard-won dime, jacked up the price to $7.00!!

I’ve heard of $2,000 toilet seats purchased by the government, but a company charging $7 for one lightbulb – and not offering any cheaper alternative is PIRACY. It is GREED! A prisoner, making 10-cents an hour would have to work 70 hours to get one.

This summer the DOC got “a good price” for work boots made in China. These are the boots supplied to the ladies that work in the kitchen, yard crew, painting, and maintenance. There was a reason they were a “good price.” These boots literally fell apart after one day. Inmate N.C. said “I got my boots on Tuesday, and after working my shift, the sole had peeled away from the shoe, and the “leather” upper shredded into what looked like dark paper.”

Yep, your tax dollars getting the very best.

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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Prison Slavery

"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,...

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Programs

"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...

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Just take aspirin

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.

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Stroke

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...

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Plumbing?

"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." D.B.

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