Waiting Months to See a Dentist

Medical Treatment behind bars

Waiting months to see a dentist is not unusual. knowing you are crying in pain doesn’t phase them. Prison staff should be locked up to find out how that feels.

This is a repost from three years ago.  I have written recently about what is going on with Jamie medically and how I am trying to get a Power of Attorney to have something legally I can use to get his medical records. This is a common problem I have heard about with many inmates. If the medical corporations don’t treat the inmates it means more profit.

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(Sonni’s Note: Solitary confinement is nowhere anyone wants to be.  You have to find a way to cope with real life issues pertaining to where you are, and normal issues liked a bad tooth and you have no one on your side.  No one cares.  It makes you angry. Pain makes you angry. It makes you depressed.  You miss your family and you know they are going on without you.  Where do you put all of that bottle up emotion?  It’s hard to keep it together.  People are kept in solitary, AdSeg, G-5 far more than what they should.  It’s place to put them to cage them, so they only have to do the minimal to take care of them.  Yes, I know there are bad people in Prison, but there are good people there as well and there is nothing to differentiate between the two and the are all treated badly.)

Dear Sonni,

There are things I want my son to understand. I wrote to Megan about it. I want her to drive it into little Jamie’s head. I want Megan to tell him that I never meant for this to happen. I don’t want him to ends up here like me. I hope she tells him often. I told her it would be hard for me to get through to him by her reading him my letters. Don’t get me wrong, my letters are a good thing and they won’t stop. However, I told Megan when the time is right I need to see Jamie. I want to see him. He’s at an age where he understands. He and I need to meet face to face again. It’s been over three years now since I’ve seen him. That’s a good long stretch. (Sonni’s note: It ended up being five years before he saw him again)

I sent a letter to Megan to give to my mom. I don’t have an address for her. She moves around a lot. I asked her a lot of questions. I told her that no one is writing to me but you. I’m not trying to make her angry. Just something to think about. I’m trying to see if I can get some help from her. And I asked about my family. I also told her I was sorry I made things hard on her in the past. And I told her how I was doing right now, which was not too good.

I’m waiting to have surgery on my wisdom tooth. It’s infected and it’s hurting really bad. It gives me headaches and everything. I’ve been waiting two months now. They keep pushing my appointment back. They don’t care. They want me to go off. I tell then about the pain every day.

It’s been crazy in here the past few weeks. Well, it’s crazy every day but I try not to pay attention to it. I do my best to take my days one at a time. They got me on anti depression medication because they say something is wrong with me. I don’t take it ’cause nothing is wrong with me. I go on hunger strikes off and on. The longest I’ve stayed on is a week and a half. I just have those kinds of days. I don’t want to do this or that. It causes trouble sometimes. Oh well, I I just have that I don’t care feeling at times.

Me and everyone else have been getting into it with the officers. We’ve been without hot water for over a month. We’re also back on lockdown for 30 days. Once again only peanut butter. I guess it’s part of the punishment that we, as humans, get treated in situations like this.

Then, on top of everything, an officer slammed my finger in the tray slot – on purpose. That’s the thing they open when they give us our food. He cut it open. A really deep cut. I made them take me to medial where they took a picture of it. I had to get an x-ray a few days later because it wouldn’t close. He told the sergeant he did it but that it was an accident. He said he didn’t mean to do it and he didn’t see my fingers. He lied. It wasn’t the first time he had tried to do that. I told him I wanted to talk to the lieutenant. This guy is the kind of dude that doesn’t like to be overruled by anyone. But the Lt. told me to tell them to call him about moving me to another cell because also, the cell I’m in leaks water from the shower. One night I fell getting up to use the rest room. I hurt my ankle and had to go to Medical.

They’re trying to hurt me. I know they are. The cell I’m also leaks bad when it rains and they know it because an officer told me the dude who was in here before got moved because of it. The want me to fall their trap but I won’t. I’m writing up this officer who hurt me because I feel he is a threat to me. I also feel he will try to retaliate once he finds out I’m writing his a** up. To go through this whole process will take 60-120 days. Long huh ?

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The Prison Stole My Books When They Moved Me

Hello mom,                                                                       April 1 st, 2016

How are you today? Fine and in the best of health I hope. I’m not too sure what the weather is like outside today. I don’t really go outside. However, I can tell that the weather is crazy just by sitting in this cell. When it gets hot and stuffy the walls will sweat. Then it will get child Then it has rained quite a but down here as well. Now that is Texas weather.

What kinds of herbs are you going to plant this year? Are you planting any flowers? I never took the time to enjoy the sight of a beautiful flower. My mom had a couple ivy plants and I’d water  our spray them every now and then.

So you know, you don’t have to keep worrying about the heat and me being hot. I just got a new fan today. Also the medical co pay is paid off. Thank you. I also write to Leah and thanked her, too, for helping me. My radio the property lady took? They are $20 and I should be able to get one soon. I miss not hearing what is going on in the world.

InsideOut,original music compositions by Sonni Quick,Jamie Cumminngs

Books. I never got my books back. I don’t know why they kept my GED study book. She told me I was not going to get it back. Why? Why did they take that one away? And she took the brand new one Melvin got for me. I didn’t get a chance to read it. I’m still pissed about that.  I wrote a step one grievance to try and get them back but I haven’t gotten it back with a reason yet.  That book is about a man who was framed for  three murders and was given a life sentence. He fought the system for 23 years for his freedom. I have his first book. She took the second one. I never got a chance to read it. I also would like to read the Jim Crow book. When I’m not sleeping or writing, I read.

I can read a book and be finished with it in a day and a half. I read them and pass them along to others to read. Where we are, on level three and two they take our property. So out of 83 people I’d say more than half have nothing to read. The ones who do have a few books they have read them over and over. So I’d let them read something. Then there is always someone to spoil everything. I let a dude read a book but I wanted it back because I hadn’t read it yet. He kept it. Anyway, I still have quite a few to read. Sending the books in the 30 book lots has really helped me a lot to keep my brain occupied. I’m okay.

I received some post cards from Sherrll and her husband, and Jason. I’ve been writing them back, too. Having other people write to me and having letters to write is so important. If people only understood it can make such a difference between making it and not making it. Doing time is easier when you know people care about you. I’m regret I agreed to do the 17 years. I didn’t think I had the choice. I lost so much I can never get back. So I have to make it worthwhile.

I meant what I said about showing respect and have so much determination to give it and show it. It is very strong.The nurse that returned your call about my seizure meds, remember, there are some who will help but most just try to cover their ass.  But she doesn’t really care and this is how I know. I just had that seizure that caused me to have those seven staples in my head. I was in a cell on row one. Now they have me in a cell on the second row. What am I doing on two when I have seizures. It is harder to get to me for help and more dangerous for me.

My seizure Med – Tegretal – I explained about the doctor taking away my meds at the last unit, Wynne unit. He told me the first time I saw him he wouldn’t put me back on Tegretal because my level was too low. Then he said he can’t do it because I had headaches. I told him when he asked me how I felt. I told them I HAD a headache which is common after a seizure. The doctor said he didn’t care he still won’t give the Tegretal. They want to put me on Dilantin, which I took as a kid and it has really heavy side effects – makes you feel like a zombie and made my gums bleed.

You said you sent a picture in your letter but there was no picture.  Someone took it.  I get your big envelopes when you print things out but I don’t know if anything is missing, so make a list of what should be ever in it.

I’m okay mom. Don’t wory.

Love to you, Jamie.

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This is the Internet radio show interview I did on the David Snape Show, and how to sign up for my new monthly newsletter about the book I’m writing, inmates who need pen pals,info about changes in the prison system, inmate stories that need to be told and other books inmates are writing.

Newsletter #1 Inside The Forbidden Outside

Newsletter #1, 4/6/2016

Inside The Forbidden Outside

Hi There! I have been asking people for addresses for my mailing list for quite awhile now, but this is the first time I have sent anything out. I decided to also make this a blog post for those not only the mailing list yet. a My goal is to create a monthly newsletter. Nothing overly long and probably only once a month, so you will not get a bunch of emails in your inbox. I’ve been testing different newsletter templates to find one that I like.

There are a few things going on I wanted to tell you about. If you visit my blog regularly you may already know of some of this, but I know how it is – if you are a blogger – it is hard to get back to all the blogs you like because you are busy writing one yourself.

Featured Image -- 74586http://davidsnape.me/2016/04/04/david-snape-show-2-4-4-16

david snape show

I did an internet radio show on the David Shape Show which was broadcast on April 4th. Because it is on the internet it can be listened to at any time. There are other shows you can tap into on his blog or Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/davidsnapeshow

The interview we did was is about the US prison system. Most of you know I write about Jamie Cummings, the father of one of my grandsons. During the interview we talked about how the prisons take care of inmates with medical conditions, and the care they don’t get that is often urgently needed. His main issue is with epilepsy, but he was recently diagnosed with a problem with his heart at a hospital, Pericarditis, yet the prison doctor told him there was nothing wrong with him and wouldn’t provide the medication the cardiologist said he needed. So many inmates have chronic conditions, often caused by the lack of nutrition in their diet that effects them over time, especially the elderly. If the prisons provided adequate care of medical problems it would cut to deeply into their profit margin. The prison system doesn’t care about medical care for the inmates.

When you go to the radio show it is a little over two hours. It’s a great show with music, and interview with a musician releasing new music. David talks about different topics in the news. My interview starts about one hour and twenty minutes into the show.

We also talked about the youth in juvenile detention and how children are treated in schools, using cops for discipline instead of detention; putting handcuffs on them and seating them in the rear seat of a patrol car. This action sucks kids into the school to prison pipeline that primes the next generation of prisoners. Their education has been disturbed and it ruins their chances of higher education. This has far reaching effects on the rest of their lives. It affects foster children the most. Over 70% of those incarcerated come from the foster system earlier in life.

We also talked about the book I’m writing about Jamie’s life, “Inside The Forbidden Outside”.  You can find chapters on the blog at http://mynameisjamie.net.  You can also find them on Jamie’s Facebook page at http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison. The book is more than half done and the editing process has begun. I’ve talked with several publishers and have gotten good feedback from them. I’ve started with a content editor whose job is to go over story content and make sure it is pulled together right and makes sense. I’ve had great help from a few bloggers who have gone over grammar and punctuation. I found you can’t edit your own work because the eye skips over errors. I could also spend all day editing one chapter and never get anything else written. I’ve been excited about the progress I’ve made so far.. It’s real now, not just an idea I’m working on.

David and I also discussed the piano music I’m writing for the book which hopefully will be included inside the back cover of the book. It depends on if it is too cost prohibitive or if I have to initially get too many books printed up front instead of them being printed as they are ordered. At the end of the show he played one of my more recent pieces with the title “From the Bottom of My Heart.” All of the pieces can be heard at http://soundcloud.com/sonni-quick.

This is the first of hopefully more media I will be doing over time to advertise the book. I hope will lead to being able to lecture on the prison industry. When Jamie is finally released he will be able to join me. He wants to work with the youth using his life as an example, in hopes of being able to turn their lives around before they, too, end up in the system. One in three black males end up incarcerated. Contrary to racist belief it is not because crime is in their genes. It is because of the government pushing the War of Drugs on to the black man’s shoulders, making you believe through the media that they are dangerous.

Kids don’t understand the ramifications of their choices until it’s too late. When someone has been incarcerated for a long time, and Jamie has been locked up for 14 years counting time in juvenile detention. Unfortunately, the four years in juvy was not because he committed a crime. He should not have been locked up. The same thing happens to more black kids than any other race, but it was planned to be that way, as John Erlichman, one of Nixon’s staff explained after he got out of prison. The war on Drugs was meant to target pot which was classified as one of the most dangerous drugs, like heroin, and it was meant to target blacks and the media was to portray them as dangerous heroin addicts people were supposed to fear. It worked. You need only look at our prison system and percentages of who is locked up.. It is time now to undo the damage we have done to people’s lives, and it is time to change the brainwashing the people were put to through to increase the racism going on. It is a tough thing to undo.

This story needs to be shared. I am asking for you to please share this on your own social media. The success of my hard work will be determined by how well this info gets pushed through sites on the web. Share the web interview. When you pull it up there will be links. The only way to have a successful book is if the people who know about it – share it – and earlier I start, the better it will be. Follow the blog, follow facebook.

This brings so much encouragement to Jamie as he sits in his cell 23-24 hours a day, working his way up through the levels once again. He has received letters from some of you. Knowing someone cares enough to write matters more than you know. Thank you for tuning in to the show. Let me know what you think.

IN THE FUTURE

In later newsletters I will also be talking about other inmates I write to who would like to have their stories told. Think of them as people, not just as felons. Some are guilty, and some are not. Even those who are guilty, I believe deserve a second change when they are actively trying hard to have a better life. None of us are completely guilt free. We should all know by now that our prisons have been filled by anyone and everyone our justice system could fill them with. Unfortunately most of them have been the black population. If the ratio were reversed and there were more whites than blacks it would have never happened. It’s been proven that crimes are not separated by race. That is what the war of Drugs wanted to make you believe. If the prisons housed only the ones that needed to be kept from society, and those who paid a reasonable price for a crime they committed, half the inmates that deserved it would be home with their families.

There are other inmates, or x-felons who have written books, or who blogs. Also parents and spouses have helped tell their stories. I want to share other books that have been written to help promote their hard work as well.

I read something today on a website written by an attorney. I was researching the legalities of writing someone’s life story. She mentioned inmates in particular and said, I’m paraphrasing, “You know you can’t trust felons to tell you the truth.” I was insulted by that, because she was lumping all inmates into one giant ball like their makeup of being liars comes with the package of being incarcerated. It took some self control not to write to her. She obviously thinks the worst of anyone locked up and being an attorney, she should know it doesn’t take a felon to be a liar. The ones I have gotten to know had nothing to gain by lying. They needed someone to listen because people like this attorney always assumes they are lying.

If someone has shared this with you and you would like to get future newsletters please send your email address to mynameisjamie2@gmail.com until I learn how to add that to final template. I am learning as I go. You can also fill out the form below.

Thank You

Sonni Quick

Female Prisoners In California are Hunger Striking In Solidarity with Detained Immigrants

There is so much injustice in the world and the center of it is in the United states. Many people in this country are snowed. They think we are a generous country who wants to help free people around the world from tyranny. But as is seen today, the kind Xristian people are not so kind after all and they are cheering on the corrupt GOP leaders as they attempt to use the inciting of fear to become our next president. God help us all – a worthless phrase, because if there were a God, and he was trying to make us in his image he would look at us as a total failure. There are truly people who need our help yet we turn out back as we prepare for the season that says, “Peace on earth and goodwill toward . . . ” Damn, the old Xristmas record I always played just broke into a million tiny pieces.

Prison Photography

rajashree

Rajeshree Roy with Carolyn Miller, a close friend, on a visit at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF).

IN SOLIDARITY

Something very significant is brewing in California right now. Female prisoners in the Yuba County Jail are organising in solidarity with immigrants n detention.

Yesterday (Monday 14th December) a group of women began a hunger strike, joining hundreds of other detainees taking part in hunger strikes at facilities across the country.

You may or may not have heard about the fasting and hunger strikes going on in immigrant detention facilities across the country. Up and down the country–in the Hutto Immigrant Detention Center in Texas; in an immigrant detention center in the high desert city of Adelanto, California; in the Krome Service Processing Center in Florida; and in Alabama, in El Paso, Texas and in Lasalle, Louisiana, too.

Vikki Law has covered these as a trend. And they are

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That Is The Connection of Love

RAIN UPON MY WINDOW CELL   by Sonni Quick  copyright 2015

Letter written, November 16, 2015

Dear mom,

I know it’s been hard on you the past few years due to all your surgeries and all, but please know – that was all in the past, so you have to look forward and never look backward. It’s a crazy life, but more important is that you enjoy yourself. You have a passion for music and I heard you play the piano over the phone and it was beautiful. Do what you enjoy doing and love yourself. I am proud of you because you were strong, encouraging and stayed confident through it all – the perfect success. The power of chanting paid off. Things take time but one must never give up.

Jamie cummings before prison
Jamie, the day we met, with my daughter and grandkids

(Sonni’s note: This is know.  People come into your life for a reason.  Some people come in and out of your life so fast you don’t even remember their name.  If life hadn’t taken the twists it did, the night I first met Jamie, ten years ago, could have very well been the only time I ever saw him.  I would only have a fleeting memory him because there would not have been a reason to remember him. If my daughter had not introduced me to him the night she brought him to my hotel room, when I went to Texas to visit for Thanksgiving, it would not have changed the things that happened to him, or the fact that Megan had another baby, but we would not have had an effect on each other.  He would have no one to be there for him and prison would be having far graver impact on him today, with seven more years to go. Although his life is still up for grabs, he now has a higher likelihood of having the life he dreams about.

Not crossing paths with each other would have probably lessened the chance of success of a better life when he gets out. How many people are sitting in prison who have no one who cares if they live or die? Some are very bad people, some were abused people, some were falsely accused and many fell prey to mandatory minimums and were sentenced harsher than than they should have. I would have never written this blog, or book I am writing, and my ignorance about our injustice system would not have changed. Helping him has enabled me to reach out and help other people. Once again I will say: At the end of our lives, the only thing that matters is the effect we have had on other people. We live on when we change their life – for the good or for the bad – and they use what they learned to influence others. That is cause and effect – karma – you reap what you sow – no matter how you look at it or what your faith, or lack of faith, means to you.

Jamie has learned the value of his life. Being in prison does not make him a lesser man. He has learned the uselessness of anger, unless that anger is used in a positive way. I have learned that just to say you aren’t racist doesn’t mean you aren’t racist, because saying those words are meaningless. It is in your actions, your thinking and your honest intentions that count.

For Jamie, to be sitting in a solitary confinement cell and still be able to encourage someone else and be able to say the words, “I am proud of you,” is amazing. I know I can’t completely understand what he is going through. I know he holds a lot back because he doesn’t want me to worry about him. So much has happened to him that would have many men thinking about nothing but anger and revenge, which hurts no one but the person thinking it. This success story in the making, with many ups and downs, is his story. His encouragement has helped me get through my own hard times. We feed each other the strength we think each other needs so it goes around and around. It is hard when you are in the middle of the experience, but later in life as we both sit and reflect how these years have gone by, there is so much we both have gained. I stay confident there is a reason for this that will affect many people in a positive way.

I have been so fortunate to have Jamie, and this experience in my life. He is a special person and I have learned so much. He will always be my grandson’s father and I will always be his son’s grandmother. I will always be the mother of his son’s mother. Nothing can take away that connection. That is the connection of love, which is of course his strongest love. I don’t mean that as a relationship love. He’s younger than my children. But not all relationships turn out to be positive. Not all last a lifetime. Good friends are often harder to come by and can last a lifetime or longer. Passion comes and goes and often you can’t remember their name. There is a bigger reason why our lives crossed, and it is because of that , that it has come to mean so much. I know him. He deserves to have a chance at life and also to be what he wants most – a chance to be a father.)


Mom, I will get back into writing the things you need for the book. Things are just crazy here. I tried to write up the officers like you said – fill out grievances – so there is a paper trail of what they do and don’t do. However I can’t leave a paper trail if my write-ups are being thrown away. I wrote up three different officers and I have yet to get the forms back. I have to get away from this unit because the warden is the one to investigate the form. I have to have the denial of the first write-up before I can write the second one. It’s stupid. The first grievance you file is ALWAYS denied and it always takes a month to get the denial. They are stalling for time hoping you’ll give up. Because this process rarely works, most  won’t even file a grievance because nothing good comes from it. But you said they are counting on that so don’t let them get away with it. I keep writing the grievances, one after another, to show that I tried to use the system that was set up for us so we have a way to settle problems. But they have the upper hand and I think they must be just throwing them away. If I don’t get the first grievance form back it is like nothing was ever filed.

Blacks and Hispanics always had it bad. Yes, we commit crimes, but so have all the races. Many people don’t understand history. A lot of blacks have been sent to prison for nothing. Back in the day it was nothing to send a black man to jail. Now, instead of sending us to jail, they just kill us. (crazy)

I did go back to the hospital last week. Yet again, the medical unit did nothing. I was told again I would be placed on medication for my heart problem yet I have yet to receive any. I asked about it but I was told things were backed up. Unlikely. Life is becoming real hard for me in here. I’m trying to keep it together. I get so caught up in my problems. They took all my stuff away and it is locked up in the property room.

You can send me the chapters you are writing for the book. Don’t black out nothing. As long as there is nothing that violates policy, send it, it should be okay. I don’t care what these people think. I’m not violating no rules. Wow, you sure do have a lot planned for the book – the whole nine yards, huh? It seems like a good idea to me if you can sell or give away the music to the people who buy the book.

Look, whenever you get ready to come visit make sure you tell me so I can stay clear of these people. I’m not going to beg Megan to bring Jamie to see me. I’m through with that. I have to stop letting shit take control of me. And when I get caught up in this bullshit with these people here, I lose myself because I am so upset at times.

I got the three books you sent. You asked me how much room I have in my locker for books, and I have a lot if you want to send a bigger box. (Sonni’s note: I sent him 30!) I need them to keep me busy doing something. Could you add some Westerns? Thank you. (This is the first time he ever mentioned he liked Westerns. lol)

Wow – Mike’s cooking for Thanksgiving? He can cook green bean casserole? I love that! It’s good. I’m sure Thanksgiving will be okay here. Not better than being home, though. I have to go for now.

However, till next time,
Love you, Son.

http://facebook.com/jamielifeinprison . . .Blog posts and news about injustice in the world

Sonni Quick piano music complete list

There Are No Judges Here – And Some Things You Can’t Let Fly!

Medical treatment behind bars

Hello mom, October 7, 2015

I received your last two letters. It’s been a bumpy road for me and I’m doing what I can to control myself. However to tell you the truth I have developed a bad temper in this place. I try to control it but it gets the best of me. I win over it at times at keeping it under control, but I’m being provoked a lot – because of my temper. I’ve been trying hard to stay in control of myself. I’m going to stop going to chow just so I won’t have to interact in any way with the officers. I will eat in my cell. I’ve been in a few situations with officers to where I have written them up. It’s the route I’m taking so these people will see I am trying to handle things differently.

Thank you for the photos you sent of the boys. It put a smile on my face to know they were both doing something for a good cause. What is my son eating? He has gotten so big!

Jamie and his little brother Ben
Jamie with his little half brother Benjamin

I’m sure you’re wanting to know about my trip to the hospital again. I spoke to the doctor. I do have around my heart. They never did do the MRI. They did an EKG and an ultra sound. They took pictures of my heart. The doctor told me he was going to give me something for the inflammation, however I was told it wasn’t in the paperwork so I haven’t been getting anything. I spoke with the doctor here on the unit and he said I have another appointment at the hospital in two months. So sometime next month I’ll be going back. I’m okay so don’t worry. I just have these off and on chest pains. I’ll be fine so don’t worry yourself.

Prison food
Source:brokenchains.us
I got into a fight with a dude, an inmate. He works in the kitchen with food. My cell is right in front of the kitchen. I can watch them do everything. Well one day I watched him put his bare hands on all the cornbread. We had a verbal conflict. Then I said, “Man have to eat that. Don’t nobody want to eat nothing you’re putting your nasty hands on.” I called a Stg. She gets on him about it. Well this dude goes around telling everyone I snitched on him. But he didn’t tell everybody that he put his hands all over everybody’s food. He just said I was snitching. So I told him he’s playing a dirty game and I was ginning to beat his ass when I caught up with him. It just so happened we bumped into each other when I was coming back from the hospital. It’s nothin so don’t worry about it. I was just locked down for a few days. Sorry, but things like that you can’t let fly. If I did, I’d have more than a lot of problems come my way. (There are no judges here)

I have to get this in the mail now. They will pick up soon. Could you send me some books? Thank you.

Love you, Son

(Sonni’s note: One of the best reasons to deny parole are the cases that are filed against inmates for disciplinary reasons, even though it is the Guards who push and provoke the inmates into reacting – and they know it. It is a rare human being who can continually turn away and ignore someone who mistreats and humiliates you. Keeping an inmate in the lower levels of restriction also keeps him from education – another reason to deny parole. Institutionalizing a man severely lessons his chances from making it on the outside after he finishes his extremely long and abusive sentence. I’m not talking about the seriously sick criminal. I’m talking about the man who pushed through the system and sentenced beyond common sense and used as slave labor.

What do you do when necessary medication is kept from these inmates, when life sustaining medication is withheld for a higher profit margin. The prison system gets away with mistreatment. Even if an inmate or x-inmate manages to file suit against the prison staff, the court will do everything it can to keep the prison from having to take responsibility. At the most, maybe they will buy off the inmate. But it is rare that the abusers have to take responsibility. 

Inmates are in prison because it was deemed that their crime demanded that they be locked up, often for decades. Why? Because they are supposed to be a danger to society. Many are – but not all. We all know the reasons now for our over full racist prisons and how it came about. Only someone fairly ignorant would actually believe anymore that black men are more dangerous. That is the white man’s propaganda. So where is the punishment for the legal criminals? Do you think these guards, who abuse prisoners, and get a kick out of it, change into different, respectful, compassionate people who go home and play with their kids and have loving relationships with their wives and friends? Can they forget their abuse of another human being who often does not deserve what was done to him. Can they just go on as if they did nothing? Does it matter if they use the excuse that the officer above him condones what he did? No. It doesn’t. Ultimately he doesn’t get away with it. The law of cause and effect or you reap what you sow – whatever you call it – is strict. These guards are damaged goods. They are criminals and they think their actions are okay. They are a danger to society. They. Are. Sick. And they get no help because they aren’t held accountable for their actions. This is not every guard,  just like not every inmate is guilty or innocent. But there has been enough reported incidents of prison guard abuse and brutality to know it is a serious problem. It is not a guard’s job to abuse whenever they feel like it. When an inmate dies because of abuse it is to late to change it for him. These murders don’t seem to count. Inmates don’t seem to have viable lives. When they die from lack of medical care it is still murder. I have heard the public sarcastically proclaim that inmates get 3 squares a day and free medical, because they believe the propaganda the media puts out. We could stop that guard from sadistically abusing another man, and we could stop the prison from allowing it to happen – but we don’t.

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You Can’t Have Both – Reduced Prison Population AND Build New Prisonsl

My my it seems as though both sides of the political fence is scrambling to see who can proclaim the loudest that prison populations need to be reduced. The public seems to finally be noticing there is something wrong with the percentage of black men locked up in prisons compared to white men and are realizing they’ve been sold a bill of goods making them believe black men are born with a stronger criminal streak than white men. Black men invoke such fear in the white man for his safety. Where did that fear come from? After the white men could no longer use them as slaves they had to come up with another way and that was through our prisons. Hundreds and hundreds of newly built prisons.

wynne unit,Huntsville Prison,solitary confinement,mass incarceration
Prison unit Jamie is in
photo source; brokenchains.us

The ego streak in many white people who still feel they are better than black people goes back a long way. There is a lot of guilt for what we did to another nation of people. How could we possible accept them as equals after what we did to them? Continuing to enslave them and telling the people they have higher criminal tendencies, over and over until people believed them. They made their family’s lives as difficult as possible and rounded up every black man they could find and doled out the longest sentences they could – to protect everyone else, of course. And now they have a change of heart? Really?
Is this a bunch of hoopla in the year before an election where politicians promise everything they think the people want, but when the returns are in they just go about their usual business of catering to the corporations and the issues that make them money? Each political side blames the other. But why is it that this is the first election where both sides are trying to look like they give a rats ass about the inmates inside the prisons who are brutalized, underfed and are given insufficient healthcare because the prisons don’t want to pay for it? The families of the inmates have screamed for a long time about the mistreatment yet no one cared enough to ever make it an issue. So why now?
Everyone is now saying to we need to reduce the prison population but I don’t hear anything about what they will do with these released prisoners. They are under-educated. They won’t be given jobs because they are felons. They won’t be able to make money. Their families on the outside are usually poor because they have tried to raise their families without the men in their lives. If they live in subsidized housing, the fathers won’t be able to live with them or they will all be kicked out. They won’t be able to get government services like food stamps so they can eat. So how will they be able to survive without resorting to some kind of crime? Then, when they are arrested again, the media will scream that a mistake was made letting them go. They were given a second chance but they blew it. Yes, they were given a second chance but with their arms and legs still shackled. So what are these politicians, who are jumping on the band wagon now, and saying inmates should be released going to do to help them be successful? They couldn’t even get a job at a fast food joint. We know how difficult it is to take care of yourself or a family with that kind of pay.
They will be setting them up to fail.
What do they do with the prison corporations who have 20 year contracts with the government and have promises that the prisons will be kept 80-100% full – or the government will have to pay them for empty beds? It will cost millions of dollars of taxpayer revenue to let these inmates go. In addition to that, these corporations have paid these politicians a shit load in campaign contributions so they can continue to rake in the money they do on the backs of these inmates. Do you think they are going to easily let their fountain of income disappear without a major fight? In addition to the prison corporations that make this money, there is a very long list of American companies who use inmate slave labor to make the products they sell to us. This list of companies would drop your jaw. They have contracts with the prisons. Do you think they are going to just back off and start paying decent wages to Americans who need jobs when they can get it for pennies inside the prison?
There is something wrong with this picture and I am not hearing solutions to any of it. All I hear are politicians who want to get elected, joining in with everyone else who is saying they are going to be the one who is going to take care of this problem, and I say it is a bunch of bull. Do you think the building of new prisons for more inmates has stopped? Really?

 

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Jamie Has Pericarditis. The Prison Doctor Told Him “You’re Fine”

solitary confinement, Jamie Cummings, ad seg, behind glass visitation
Jamie Cummings in Prison Whites

Around the heart is a sac called the pericardium. It holds the heart in place. During his 4 day stay at Houston Methodist Hospital, which had to cost fortune, after a bad seizure,it was discovered there was a problem with his heart. The prison usually does very little for his seizures. At most he’ll go to the medical unit and they will test the level of anti-seizure medication in his blood and adjust it, or give him a different unrecognizable one. They don’t tell him much about what they give him. He has often said he feels like a guinea pig.

Because of a possible infection fluid builds up between the two walls in the pericardium, there are a number of different reasons this could happen. The inflammation is red and swollen like what happens to a cut on your finger. The doctors know it is inflamed but they can’t tell the extent of the damage without a CT scan our MRI. The CT scan is useless with using iodine for contrast. He’s allergic to iodine. The prison doctor won’t okay the MRI telling him he’s fine. They also don’t want to pay for it. Prison politics and the medical part of the Prison Industrial Complex. This will not fix itself.

This can be treated with medication in most cases but it takes the willingness to monitor the meds. Left untreated it can the fatal. He could end up needing a catheter inserted to drain the blood and even surgery to remove the pericardium. The pericardium thickens and doesn’t allow the heart to expand and fill with enough blood to pump. Blood can back up behind the heart and then also go into the area of the abdomen. There is pain when breathing. It’s difficult to lay flat and breathe. You have to sit and bend forward to relieve the pressure. Jamie is feeling that pressure – a heaviness on his chest like an elephant. It also causes back pain, shoulder pain, and swelling and pain in the legs from the knees down. He has these symptoms as well. This condition, even with treatment can become chronic. Doing nothing is not an option.

I am gathering ammunition to blast them with. By now, they know, if they are reading his mail, if they think they can blow off treating this they better think again. My grandson is not going to lose his father. Aside from that, this shoddy medical care inmates get has to stop. So many inmates don’t have anyone to go to bat for them. Many die and no fuss is made. Or something bad happens and they get sued. I want them to understand it’s in their best interest to treat him.I need your help. One of the things I’m doing is asking people to call the prison. It would be great to co-ordinate it on the same day but that is to hard to do since people read this a different times. Call the Wynne Unit in Huntsville, Texas. 936-295-9126. Ask to speak to the warden. You will most likely get his secretary. Tell them:

phonecallI understand James Cummings #1368189 is not getting medical treatment for his heart that the cardiologist at Houston Methodist Hospital says he needs. The prison doctor, who isn’t a cardiologist says he doesn’t need it -he’s fine.  I’m calling to make sure this is taken care of. I’ll be calling back.

Ask to be transferred to the medical unit and tell them the same thing. Tell the doctor they take Hippocratic oath that’s states they will do no harm. This is important. Will you do this for him? It will only take minutes. They need to know other people know. My next step are prison reform activists, newspapers and media.

You could also write.  The address is :

Wynne Unit   810 FM 2821   Huntsville, Texas 77349  atten: warden

If you would like to write to Jamie directly, put his name on top with #1368289  B2-1-22. He’s feeling pretty lousy and the heat is unbearable. A get well card would do wonders.

I need to know how many people are helping with this in any way. Please drop a message at mynameisjamie2@gmail.com and let me know.

So often we see injustice in the world, and although we would like to help, we don’t know what to do.  This is something you <em>can</em> do that will help to change the life of one man and his family and hopefully, in the end, many other people. Only people can make the system change. If we do nothing then we have no right to complain about anything.

Thanks, Sonni   Please post this on all of your social media. If you use Stumble Upon I get more hits from there than anywhere else

Changing healthcare from the inside.

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In The Beginning I thought He was Safe in The Hole – Part 2

prison guard brutality
source credit:
a.w.i.p.com

PART TWO

by Sonni Quick

Still, in the beginning at least, I thought he was safe there. But he wasn’t, and the treatment this time in G5 is a lot worse than it was before. Either that or he just didn’t tell me everything so I wouldn’t worry. This is torture. This violent abuse. You get treated in ways no human being should ever treat another human being. When your captors get away with grinding your face into the floor, jamming you headfirst into a wall and split your head open, jump on you and beat you while your hands are cuffed behind your back, you know you have no place where it is safe. These are prison guard brutality is real yet there is no punishment. Why this kind of behavior is not only allowed, but also condoned, makes me very angry. It makes me feel helpless because I know there is nothing I can do to help him. Why is this allowed!?

Some of the guards exhibit worse, insanely criminal minds than many of the inmates, yet they are allowed to leave the building at the end of their shifts and go home. To their wives? To their girlfriends? Do they tell them the brutal things they did to other human beings while they work? Can they go home and say, “Hi, honey I’m home”, and then go outside and play with their kids? Or are their own heads so screwed up by the violence they perpetrate that they instead end up in a bar trying to drink their memories away? Because I know, from some of things I’ve read, only someone who is psychotic would enjoy the things they do to inmates, when the inmates can’t do anything about it.They say they are breaking prison rules. They will get ganged up on by five guys at a time, in armor, who’s sole purpose is to spray them with gas, rip them apart and make sure they are way beyond hurt. Prison politics have their own set of rules that have nothing to do with what is considered breaking the law in the land of the free.

Jamie has worked his way up the levels to reach certain benefits more than once. It never lasts for long. Jamie has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. He expects if someone makes him a promise to do something they should be accountable to that promise. When that doesn’t happen he gets angry and lets them they are wrong. The more he insists on trying to right that wrong the harder he gets punished. What does that teach him? How is he to learn to trust someone when they use the words, “I promise” yet that promise means nothing? He is constantly judged to be right or wrong so expects other people to behave accordingly, especially when the words, “I promise” are being used. Even through these situations he is expected to remain calm and not get angry? Because if he does get angry it is the excuse to make him feel  more pain and suffering.

Next up the ladder is level G4. On this level you get to leave your cell to go to chow and you get a little time in rec to watch TV. It isn’t much, but it is better than having your food put through a slot in the door. You don’t have to eat so many meals of biscuits and peanut butter, or two pancakes and peanut butter. When you can go to chow the food is at least a little better. Not by much, most of it still look like slop, but you can get a hot meal and there is more food.

I don’t think there is G3, at least not that I’ve heard of. When you make it to G2 you are allowed to make phone calls and you can have contact visits sitting at a table

prison jobs, prison janitor
photo source:
photgraphersdirect.com

instead of sitting behind glass talking on a phone. You can also get a job, perhaps in the laundry or as a janitor to clean the showers. Prison labor is very important to the profit margin of the corporations that own the prison. There is no pay in Texas, but at least you get out of your cell and do something productive, something physical that makes you tired enough to go to sleep at night. Jamie has only made it to G2 once in the years we’ve been writing, and that lasted only a few weeks. He could call me for twenty very short minutes. I was the only person to register my phone. Being able to make phone calls in prison is their lifeline.  Taking that away breaks their ties with their family and they may not get that back.  No one else. No family. I honestly don’t understand how family can just pretend you don’t exist, but it seems to happen frequently to inmates.  Out of sight, out of mind.  I think they will throw him a party when he gets out and then go back to their separate corners and let him figure out what to do next with no help from them.  There is no help now so why would that change later?

It doesn’t take much to get knocked back down to G5 again, A guard can file a case on you for anything they want, real or imagined. Another guard will always verify it is true. It snowballs from there. Inmates aren’t always allowed in the prison courtroom (UCC) when their fate is decided. The guard who filed the case doesn’t even have to be there. Another guard can stand in for him and swear it is true. Guards are always right and inmates are always wrong. It doesn’t matter what the issue is.

When Jamie reached G2 he applied to take a course to study for his GED and also to learn a trade. He wasn’t at that level long enough for it to take place. He has been in prison for nearly ten years and he has never been at a level to complete one program that would show the parole board in October of 2016, they should let him out. Without that they will most likely turn him down because without even a GED, and with at least that he has no chance of getting any kind of job anywhere. I understand that, but if they don’t allow him take any classes doesn’t that seem pretty deliberate? He’s not a hardened criminal. He wasn’t a gang member. He had no other convictions on his record. He was guilty of being black more than anything – and not being able to afford a real attorney. Is he guiltless? No. Does he deserve what they have done to him? Again, no.

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