This site amplifies the voices of prisoners in South Central Regional Jail by sharing their stories & publishing their letters about the jail’s mishandling of the January 2014 chemical spill, and about the general conditions of life in the jail. This project also provides direct support for prisoners and their friends & families.
Hey, it’s late Sunday (Easter)! I figured I would get a fresh start on the week doing positive. There was a bad situation in the jail this week (Thursday evening & Friday):
At 5 o’clock Thursday evening the phones were shut off, we were told it was a security issue. We then were locked down in our cells the rest of the day. We woke up the next morning still locked down, which happens and isn’t a issue. At 2 pm I estimate 15 people with SWAT hats and camouflage ran in the pod with multiple shotguns, canisters of tear gas and a gun that shot bean bags (which is very painful). They were screaming get on the floor, hands behind your head, if you move we will shoot. Mind you we are locked in our cells. Once on the floor they popped the doors, threw handcuffs on us jerked us up by our shirts made all of us line up on the wall on our knees, touching our foreheads to the wall. I am by no means soft, but many of the guys including myself were in a lot of pain supported by our knees only on the hard concrete floor for about 45 minutes. If we looked left or right, or if our foreheads left the wall, we were made to lean forward hurting worse. We all lined up had shotguns pointed at us receiving threats and screams “if you move we will shoot”. They pulled us up 1 at a time put us in a dirty shower, where we stripped bare feet on that nasty shower floor. Then threw us back in line after the private search. While we were being searched they threw everything out of our rooms, I’m on the 2nd floor so they threw some of my most important federal paper work off the balcony, there was a massive pile of everyone’s belongings. They threw away legal paper work, tooth brushes, soap and much more. These things were thrown away. I can never get my federal evidence back. After everyone was dehumanized they put us back into completely empty cells at 10 till 3 pm. We sit with nothing at all till 9 pm that night. At 3:30 am they allowed us to get the personal things that they decided wasn’t trash back. We were let off of lock down Saturday morning. I heard during their “Raid” they shot at least 3 people with bean bag rounds, strapped some into chairs putting masks on their faces and dragging people out in the hall. I have been to prisons (2) and many jails. Never have I seen so many people dehumanized for no reason. They went from pod to pod doing this same thing. There’s more detail but I don’t have time to write that much. The raid happened April 18, 2014. If you need more information feel free to write.
Also I want to thank you for the books. If you hadn’t read the Autobiography of Assata Shakur it’s definitely a must read. I don’t really agree with her stance on racism, seeing that I have a 8 year old biracial little girl and respect her mother who is white and a great woman. But Assata’s revolutionary mind was worth the read. Thank you.
Also I’m closing in on my trial date, I have tried to fire the lawyer they gave me twice which they denied me. Do you know any pro bono federal lawyers. My family is working hard to get the last 25k of the 75k lawyer that I need/want. The court is trying to really railroad me. If you saw how my lawyer has denied me a fair chance you would truly be surprised :-( Civil Rights ….. I’m not sure if I believe they exist without money. Gotta go. Any other autobiographies or good books feel free to send. Thank you.
(Sorry so sloppy, in a rush)
(Letter transcript is below.)
Continue reading Letter from Michelle Blake (4/28/2015)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 12, 2015
For more information, contact Chris Gang, 681-214-0884, [email protected]
West Virginia Prison Phone Call Rates Drop by 87%
Prisoner Advocates Call for WV Regional Jails to Follow Suit
Charleston, West Virginia — Phone calls from West Virginia state prisons are dramatically cheaper starting this week, now costing just 48 cents for a 15-minute call, compared to the previous rate of $3.75 for the same call. According to the new phone service provider, this is the lowest rate for any state in the country — and it has just taken effect for all state-owned and -operated prisons.
“It would’ve been a hell of a lot better to have these cheap calls when I was inside,” said Eric D. Ayers, a formerly incarcerated volunteer with the prisoner support and organizing group Stories From South Central. “$3 a call is ridiculous, and they charged $5 just to put $20 on your account. You get depressed and have nobody to lean on, nobody to talk to. You miss your family and if you’ve got kids it makes it even harder.” Continue reading Press Release: West Virginia Prison Phone Call Rates Drop by 87%
Letter transcript is at the end of the letter.
Jonathan, Margaret, Kim
Hey! How are you? Im doing kinda ok despite the circumstances. I’ll tell you what I want to sue the shit out of the regional jails for letting my GI problems go for so long and for forcing so many pills on me when when I repeatedly requested to see a GI doctor because I wasn’t digesting food or pooping and the pills were making my liver hurt. I wanted to see an outside doc for that too.Now I’m shitting blood and I don’t know what is going on with my liver but it hurts. They are taking 3 stool samples to check for blood. 1# was positive, I still have #2 in a cup to give them yet but I can see the blood in it. I am sure #3 will have some to. I don’t know if they take you to a hospital if 3 show up positive or not, but why else would they check three times instead of one.