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.
We have 300 inmates here and roughly 200-250 of us eat in the chow hall. They claim to give us 15 minutes to eat but they give us only 5 -7 minutes. We barely chew our food. We’ve learned just to eat as fast as we can and swallow without barely chewing the food. The food comes out of the server so hot it burns our mouths. All we get are starches. We get 1 apple a month and 1 orange a month. Breakfast, the most important meal, they give us 2 tablespoons of eggs, ¼ cup of grits or oatmeal and 1 biscuit that is the size of a golfball.
We used to get desserts at lunch and dinner, but they cut the desserts down to 4 times a week. The stewardess alters the menu all the time. We are not fed according to the food pryimid. On 2nd shift the officers argue who is going to feed us. We’re supposed to eat at 04:30 but we don’t get fed till almost 5 and then we are yelled at the whole time whilst eating and are rushed to eat.
SUPPLIES – We’re supposed to get 1 bottle of shampoo, 4 bars of soap, deodorant, 1 razor, 1 tube of shower cream. The black folks get a shampoo and conditioner for their hair as well as hair grease, but the officer in charge of our supplies never orders enough. Today we ran out of the bottles of shampoo for white people and when the officer was asked, what was we who got no shampoo to do, her reply was “I guess you won’t have any shampoo”. We’re supposed to get supplies every 30 days, yet our supplies are every 45 days. This same officer was supposed to give us 3 pairs of state shorts along with 3 t-shirts, but she gave us only 1 pair of shorts and 1 t-shirt.
The other 2 female prisons got their 3 shorts and 3 t-shirts. We’re also supposed to get 2 pairs of shorts pyjamas and 2 pyjama pants, yet we get none of either. We get 6 panties 4 bras every 6 months. The panties tear up within a week and she never has our size. The panties are either too small or too big. The bras for big girls are rarely available, size 40 or bigger. We get sports bras, either too big or too small. I am out of panties altogether but cannot get any for another 4 months, so now i go without, which is against regs, yet its not my fault that i can’t get anymore.
Here at Montgomery Women’s Facility bullies are everywhere. Us who fall victim to the bullies and report it, are told we have to have witnesses to verify the bullying done to us. I was verbally attacked by another inmate right after our PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) video. This inmate called me names, made fun of my body and mocked me for some PREA incidents i had reported. She then came to the shower i was in to threaten me bodily harm. I left the shower in tears. The officer right outside the bathroom heard everything yet did nothing.
I reported all this to our PREA rep and she called me a liar, said i had no proof, the officer who witnessed it said she heard nothing. I left in tears feeling hopeless. The next day, the inmate who got into it with her employer, the notorious canteen lady, threw my canteen at me for retaliation. I reported this as well and nothing was done. I was told to walk with a “bodyguard” at all times, so if the bullies picked on me again, i would have a witness. What bully picks on another in front of others?
This inmate violated everything that PREA says another inmate cannot do to another inmate, yet that inmate still resides at Montgomery Women’s Facility, bullying still. Overtime she passes me, she bumps into me, trying to instigate something. I say nothing because it does me no good to report to ones who are crooked and cover up stuff.
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.
I have seen numerous white women go to Sgt. Jene for bed changes, who had legitimate reasons for the move just to be told No! On these same days i have seen black females go to Sgt. Jene and be moved with absolutely no hesitation.
When i slept in the SAP area up front Lt. Mason came and made a white girl who had already had permission to have been on the bottom bed move, and told her she had better not see her on a bottom bed again. This girl had been on this bunk through 2 bed rosters and had never been asked to move. She moved off the top to begin with because her top bed win the corner was falling in. This girl did not have a bottom bunk profile, but the very same day Lt. Mason let a black girl move from top to bottom, also in the SAP area who also did not have a bottom bunk profile. All it came down to was the color of skin.
Also, when i slept up front in the SAP area before Sgt. Snow became Sgt. and was just an officer, she closed both bathrooms at the same time for cleaning. No one could use the restroom and a bunch of women were waiting. A white girl couldn’t hold herself anymore and went in the big bathroom to use it. When she came out (officer Snow) at the time, Now Sgt Snow actually put her hands on the little white girl and jerked her out of the opening of the door. The white girl demanded to see a Sgt. or Lt. and was not allowed to see one. I’m not sure what happened after this, but officers should not be allowed to put their hands on any of us inmates, we’re people too who are being punished already by being here and the guards try to find any reason to punish us or degrade us more than we already are.
The agreement outlines steps ADOC will take to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A monitor will oversee the implementation of the agreement’s provisions.
“This agreement is an important commitment by the Alabama Department of Corrections to address the discrimination and hardship these prisoners have faced for far too long,” said Maria Morris, SPLC senior supervising attorney. “Prisoners with disabilities must have an opportunity to serve the sentence they have received – not the sentence they must endure because the state fails to respect their legal rights.”