I was just released form the Montgomery Women’s Facility yesterday, 06/07/2016. The medical staff there has got to be the worst in the world. I spent 1 1/2 years in pain and sick only to find out last month I had “some kind” of mass in my side. I was given meds that I was allergic to, causing serious side effects. I have witnessed individuals become ill and need immediate attention and told to put in a sick call.
The heat inside the warehouse is over 100 degrees as we speak. Yet when organizations offer to donate a/c systems they are turned down even though women are falling out with heat exhaustion. Rules change not just on a daily basis but on the same shift from officer to officer. Why? Because the officers are allowed to run this camp, not a warden.
This facility is supposed to be for work release, yet over half are not. This facility currently houses 300 people in an 75 x 95 tin building. It is filthy, over run with rats, roaches and flies. The septic system must be emptied at least once a month and the fumes are toxic. There is a constant gas leak outside the building that causes nausea and head aches.
The water is from the prison next door and is constantly being shut off. State jobs are not assigned to age appropriate individuals. Often women over 50 will be put on outside/inside grounds working harder than some men. Not only are women punished for infractions with write ups they then must do extra duty. Does not matter if you are smoking in an unauthorized area or have a dirty urine the punishment is the same.
Mass confusion is an everyday occurrence inside the walls of Montgomery Women’s Facility. There are rules written out in the S.O.P’s (Standard Operating Procedures) that aren’t set forth and then there are rules given by the Warden, the Captain, the Lieutenants, the Sergeants, and Officers. On a daily basis a new rule is issued and usually unbeknownst to all inmates, therefore most are unaware.
We never know which rule to go by because there aren’t any memo’s posted and most of the rules are contradictory to other rules. We also have to be aware of Staff members (Cynthia Steele) reading confidential mail from an inmate to the warden, to another inmate, which could have caused a major uproar between the two inmates. There’s no one here to trust with crucial problems that arise.
There are posters, posted everywhere stating that we should report our concerns about abuse and extortion, but when we do, the accused is forewarned by the P.R.E.A (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Officer Lt. Bentford. The accused lies and states that there was no such of an occurrence and then the investigation is thereby dropped. No witnesses for the defendants are ever called.
On one occasion during a P.M smoke break, Officer Williams walks through a crowd of inmates who are smoking “Spice“. She makes the sound of a siren, forewarning the “Smokers”. On another occasion, Officer Dickerson walks by a table outside where there are about 10 inmates who are smoking “Marijuana”. She passes them by to go to an inmate who is sitting in an open “wooden closet” to tell her she can’t sit there.
An inmate received a mail rejection slip from the mail clerk yesterday evening. The rejection slip stated that an item within the envelope contained an image that is prohibited as it displayed nudity. The husband of the aggrieved inmate was dumb founded, and taken aback trying to recall what he had enclosed in the offending envelope along which also contained a recent publication depicting the many names of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Then it dawned on him, the picture that he had included was the Crucifixion from the Weingarten Missal, 13th century, showing the four evangelists’ symbols in the corners. It shows a very Old Germanic style, before the influence of the Italian Renaissance.
So, in accordance with Alabama Department Of Corrections policy, the inmate, not knowing what the image was of, or indeed the identity of the mail clerk who deemed this as an offensive image, is supposed to be able to have the offending item returned to sender, at the inmates expense of course, otherwise it is supposed to be held and then destroyed after 30 days.
Its a pity that ADOC employees and Officers aren’t as diligent in their duties of care and protection of inmates health and well being as they are at withholding images depicting “nudity”.
Here at Montgomery Women’s Facility we have been suffering sexual abuse, yet when we speak out we get ridiculed by our peers. Officers treat us like its our fault, we walk on eggshells fearing retaliation and the guilty Officers of abuse, are only transferred. Our story becomes well spread between the inmates and other Officers at the other female facilities – Tutwiler and Birmingham Work Centre.
There is no peace for us anywhere. One woman spoke out here about her suffering of sexual abuse form an Officer as well as mental and emotional abuse from his co-workers and she became ostracised from inmates, from all 3 female facilities. The Officer she reported, told her if she ever told, he would make sure that she was protested at each parole hearing.
In Alabama, if one has protesters then the individual is denied parole and put off for 5 years. Here at Montgomery Women’s Facility we also suffer verbal abuse from Officers as well as employees who work here.The employee who runs our canteen, abuses us constantly. She has cursed some of us, calling us “bitches and hoes”. When we report her, she retaliates by “losing our store slip” and prevents us from getting our food and hygienes.
The other day, a girl left the canteen in tears after this employee called her a heifer and told the girl she could talk to her anyway she fashioned. Then a few minutes later this employee was yelling out another girl, telling her to get her greasy hair head away from her. These girls went to the Officer who is a Lieutenant, who is in charge of grievances against Officers/Employess and this Lieutenant told them that she didn’t have time for this trivial crap.
I write in hope that all who read this, take it to heart. When a person loses their liberty and becomes incarcerated, the punishment is the loss of said liberty. According to Websters New World Dictionary, the definition of liberty is “Freedom from slavery, captivity etc.”. A particular right, freedom etc. The definition for inmate is “A person confined with others in a prison or mental institution”. The definition of prison is “A place of confinement for convicted criminals or persons who are awaiting trial”.
Nowhere in these definitions or even the law does it say that during an inmates loss of liberty whilst being confined to prison, is it acceptable to abuse, mistreat, belittle or otherwise punish an inmate. Here at Montgomery Women’s Facility all of the above and worse take place. The reason people, yes i said people, here don’t speak out is because they are in fear of retaliation.
There are posters all over this facility about PREA and extortion. It is for show only. They went through PREA “Training”. They say they know what is supposed to happen, how we are supposed to be treated, but do as they please anyway. It is all for show for the Department Of Justice, lawyers and Commissioners, They do not follow it.
I personally know things about this place, things i have been through and have witnessed, but to come forward would be huge retaliation. All you have to do is look at the outcome of one inmate who came forward, to see how said retaliation degraded her. It mentally, physically and spiritually broke her down and left her feeling even more abused.
An inmates statement about Montgomery Womens Facility, revealing allegations of sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual relationships between officers and inmates, medical neglect and financial inaccuracies on inmate accounts.
Since 2007 Montgomery Women’s Facility has had many sexual allegations against officers having sexual relations with inmates. These officers were transferred to male facilities. Since 2007 officers Brown, Shine, Woods, Taylor, Munderlin and SGT Lewis were transferred because of sexual allegations.
Then in 2015 an inmate came forward to tell about her sexual relationship with officer McMillan that went on for three years. And through this, several other officers were exposed. Three were women who knew of the relationship but didn’t report it. They were officers Rowe, Bogan and Haywood. They were transferred to male facilities. SGT Whatley and Captain Smith were exposed for sexually harassing the same inmate. SGT Whatley and Captain Smith were transferred to male facilities.
Officer McMillan was transferred to a male facility. They, the Alabama Department Of Corrections refused the inmate counselling and she ended up, cutting herself up. How is it these officers kept their jobs and suffered no legal repercussions?