Well, it's been awhile since writing. I have been extremely busy being an activist and advocate for incarcerated women. Always trying to rally the troops. Eventually we are going to organize a March for Incarcerated Women.
Nothing has changed at Lowell, the prison where Sadie is. Lowell is the largest women's prison in the country. It continues to be fraught with abuse, medical neglect and at times the harshest of conditions when the air goes out, the hot water goes out for weeks and now they have decreased visitation to bi-monthly. There are many petitions and letters to Tally protesting this. They say it is due to contraband from visitors when, in reality, we all know that most of the contraband comes in from the guards.
A young girl died their recently due to medical neglect and Lowell trying to cover it up. Many women die at Lowell but you never know because there are no obits, no newspaper articles and no oversight. Almost every incarcerated woman has seen a friend die from medical neglect at all the women's prisons in Florida. I am inserting a letter from an inmate about the death of the young girl who died. They told the family she died in her sleep. The inmates have another story.
Sadie is doing well. She still works canteen and is a beacon of light and hope for other inmates. She always walks a fine line. In prison you can go to jail on a whim and lose your gain time just because a guard may be having a bad day so you can never truly relax. All the women I have talked to that have been out for years still suffer from PTSD. One women recently likened it to being in battle. She said your sleeping soundly and then your bed is kicked hard, lights come on and someone is throwing everything you own (which is not much) around. They all say the clinking of keys causes them anxiety, having a police car drive behind them sends them into a panic. Loud noises scare them. And it goes on and on. No human being should be treated like an animal robbed of dignity, self-worth and hope.
Please watch the videos on my website www.inmateslivesmatter.net because no one tells their stories better than former inmates.
So recently a former federal PD and I have done a couple small public venues with statistics and information about inmate abuse. People are always shocked and appalled. Inmates truly are the lost and forgotten yet most of them will all get out someday and possibly be your neighbor. They pay for the rest of their lives. We shun them, judge them and don't allow them jobs or housing. And yet we consider ourselves compassionate, empathetic and forgiving human beings. If it's not your loved one in the abyss of hell not your problem-right?
We can learn a lot about ourselves when we look at the way we treat fellow human beings who made mistakes-just as we all have. ALL OF US. Until it happens to your loved one you will never understand unless you are a person of compassion, empathy and forgiveness.
About her death: