Our telephones are outside. They are in the glass booths from the old days. Some glass panes are missing. There are no doors on them. During the summer we burn up fighting wasps that make their nests inside the phone booths. During the winter we freeze. The winds and rains reach us while we use the phones. When the yard closes we do not have access to the phones and shift officers are supposed to give us 2 phone breaks, but these breaks are only 10-15 minutes, when a phone call lasts 30 minutes.
We have 10 phones for 300 women, so if you’re not in the 1st 10, you do not get to use the phone. Then 2nd shift is filled with very young and very immature officers who give us phone breaks when they feel like it. Then when an inmate is on the phone and its count time or the yard closes, officers come out there screaming “Get off the phone!, Get off now!”. Yet when they get ready to count they warn the inmates in the shower, that they have 5 minutes to get out before count time.
Why can’t we get a warning on the phones instead of all that screaming, which scares our loved ones on the line? Also PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) states they are supposed to give us a 15 minute warning to get out of the showers, yet Montgomery Women’s Facility officers DO NOT follow PREA guidelines at all.
Our access to dial PREA is fake. Oh we can dial91 to leave a recording, yet we do not hear back from anyone form the outside. The most we get is our in-house PREA representative Lt. Bendford calling us to her office. We already know it does no good because:
- She cannot be unbiased because she has worked with everyone for over 8 years, she goes to lunch with these people.
- In the past, her co-workers have covered for her when she broke regs and rules, so she cannot properly investigate them.
- She is expected to keep everything in-house, in other words KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT about what goes on here at Montgomery Women’s Facility.