This site was developed by a group of volunteers from the WV Clean Water Hub and Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival (RAMPS) who began visiting inmates in West Virginia’s South Central Regional Jail (SCRJ) after the Jan. 9th chemical spill into the Elk River. Through numerous jail visits, phone calls, and letters, we’ve learned that SCRJ failed to provide clean water and humane treatment during and after the spill. Inmates have told us that they consider SCRJ’s egregious response to the chemical spill to be an example of a broader pattern of abusive and negligent behavior by the jail staff and administration that inmates have experienced regularly.
We created this website to amplify the voices of the inmates in South Central Regional Jail. In sharing letters written by the inmates, we hope to shine a light specifically on the jail’s inhumane mishandling of the chemical spill crisis, as well as more broadly on the everyday reality of existence inside South Central. While the primary focus of this website is to share stories from inmates, as well as their family and friends, we act in solidarity with broader movements of resistance to the growing prison state and poisonous extractive industries, both of which disproportionately impact indigenous people, people of color, and money-poor people across Appalachia, the United States, and globally.