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Jamie Scott for organizing this list of prison issues at Central Missisissippi Correctional Facility, where she and her sister, Gladys, are imprisoned. This list is a work in progress and will be updated. Even those familiar with the prison industrial complex may be unaware that some of these policies / practices exist. ================ "We send convicts to prison as punishment not for more punishment...." -- a judicial official
2009 Parole Board Practices * No advocacy between potential parolees and parole board. * No statements are ever solicited nor are used by MDOC supervisors or staff. * The very people we see and report to every day are not allowed to express their opinion as to the potential success we might exhibit outside of a prison setting. * Entire prison record is not reviewed. * There are parolees who have left recently with violent RVR* offenses in the last year. * Community opposition provides the sole basis as to whether or not an offender is released from custody.
Meals and Food Services * Three starches are routinely provided at every meal. * Salads are rarely served. * Fruits are rarely served. * Offenders on special diets are not given the proper foods. (i.e.: How can a diabetic be given three carbohydrates?) * Offenders on special diets are not given their snack bags or their milk. These items are sold or stolen by kitchen employees and sold in the building. * Kitchen workers are not disciplined, terminated, nor receive RVR's for stealing food on a
routine basis from the kitchen. * Our own food is sold to us by kitchen workers. * Seconds are never provided. * Kitchen workers are abusive to offenders.
State Issue, Canteen, and Inmate Accounts * Inmates at CMCF are not provided with tennis shoes or fans. These items, donated by private companies or budgeted by MDOC or inmates, are sold to inmates at inflated, excessive prices. It is our understanding that this practice is fraud. * The canteen items sold at CMCF are three to four times the prices listed in private satellites or even in Wal-Mart. Not only are these prices not competitive; the contracted canteen provider is under no legal obligation to inform us of a price change. Shouldn't the very people using the canteen be able to choose their service provider? * Account statements are no longer provided to any offender.
Phone Service * Phone numbers may only be added every six months. * Phone calls are expensive and oddly disproportionate to the long distance services or toll calls provided by local carriers or an average South Central Bell customer. * These phone calls and the price gouging are an insufferable hardship on our families. Our families are not in prison. * Many of the phones in each building do not work properly and have remained in disrepair for years.
Visitation * Our families and friends are now drug tested at this facility. * The "sweat test" a notoriously unreliable and cheap test is being used and has embarrassed many, even clergy members who have come to visit inmates.
* We are only allowed to update our visitation list every six months. * If we cannot, for some reason, get in to see the case manager to update our list, our families, who have driven five hundred miles or more to see us (and have previously been approved) are turned away.
Offender Labor Pool * There is no liaison between MDOC and their free labor pool. * Offenders should have the same workers' compensation rights as any state employee. * Offenders have no consensus and cannot meet in groups in order to effect any changes in the workplace environment. * Offenders are routinely asked to do illegal and unsafe disposals (MMPIC) of hazardous (HAZMAT) products. (i.e. offenders have been disposing of monitors without proper protection or guidelines.) * State offenders are not paid even small wages for their labors. (Those working for MMPIC are paid a small sum; these are the only inmates that receive a wage.) * Our wages accumulated in the community programs are not used to pay victims or for any restitution whatsoever.
Health Care * Routine pap smears and mammograms are not available to women. * Requests for such services go ignored. * No preventative health care is utilized. * No outside consultations for chronic care problems are utilized. * No outside care for offenders has been negotiated by MDOC and its health care provider. * Psychiatric medications are outdated, expired, or administered without any psychiatric supervision; our assessments for psychiatric medications are routinely five minutes, not much more. * Anti-psychotic medications are administered routinely to offenders are not psychotic.
* Medicinal drugs are limited to an approved listing; the best medications or even marginally adequate medications for serious medical conditions are not utilized. * Asthma patients who depend on air temperature and air quality for survival are not moved to units with air-conditioning as there is no air conditioning. When it is 98 degrees in August with a humidity level of 100%, the temperature in our buildings is over 100 degrees easily.
Dental Care * Teeth are extracted rather than filled. * Antibiotics are not provided for abscesses before extractions are performed. * Virtually no fillings or cleanings are performed. * No preventative dental care is utilized. * No oral surgical referrals are ever utilized.
Water * Our water causes tooth damage. Teeth routinely chip and fall away. * Our water filters in water fountains are never changed. * Our water is not tested for impurities. * Sewage backup frequently stops up our showers and is ever present after a heavy rain in some of our buildings.
Administrative Remedy Process * Takes six to eight weeks for any administrative paperwork for grievances to come back to us. * Only one ARP** may be entered at one time. If there are more complaints or even a serious complaint, any subsequent ARP is denied. * The ARP process is needlessly complex; it could be much easier and more efficient; the very process is designed to discourage offenders from complaining.
Rule Violations and Assorted Other Dilemmas * Some offenders are treated differently than others. * Offenders in "A" custody are not afforded the guidelines in the handbook; we are still escorted all over CMCF campus. * Offenders in "B" custody rarely, if ever, obtain an opportunity to exercise. * No exercise period for those in work or in school during the day is provided. * By law an hour of exercise for offenders is the national norm. * Officers are allowed to put their hands on our person and to curse at us.
* RVR = Rule Violation Report ** ARP = Adminstrative Remedy Program