Friday, December 11, 2015

Nineteen Women At MRRJ: "Just Because We Broke The Law Doesn't Mean We Aren't People"

Middle River Regional Jail
I received the following list of grievances yesterday from a female at nearby Middle River Regional Jail, which houses over a hundred inmates from Rockingham County.

A total of eighteen from her dorm pod signed her statement, citing concerns about "hygiene, rights to protection of property, rights to confidentiality, the right not to be confined to their bunks for 16 1/2 hours a day" (during lock downs) and the need for changes "for the general welfare of the incarcerated".

The following are some of the concerns of the writer, supported by signatures of eighteen other women:

Medical Concerns:
* The doctor openly discusses inmates' medical issues in front of other people.
* When getting a pap smear, he speaks of "popping your hood".
*Any guard can collect and read medical request forms (HYPAA laws?)
* Medication distribution is questionable. Medications are pre-opened and separated into individual packages, some crushed.
* Several inmates, including myself, have been given the wrong medication.

Hygiene Concerns:
* There are only two commodes, two showers and two sinks for 42 women. One of the toilets was leaking for five months, and we had to walk through water to use the restroom.
* Bathroom area is unsanitary, with mold and mildew along the ceilings and floors.
* Cleaning supplies, which are to be provided three times a day according to the handbook are provided only once a day if at all.
* Two rolls of toilet paper are issued weekly, and the number of sanitary napkins provided are limited. I have personally had to beg for them.

Other General Concerns:
* Only two meals a day are provided on Saturdays and Sundays, at 6:30 am and 4:30 pm, which means ten and fourteen hours between servings. The handbook states that any food saved from a tray is contraband.
* When one person causes trouble our whole pod gets put on bunk restriction, often meaning we must stay in our bunks and not have our feet touch the floor for 16 1/2 hours at a time.
* Because of having filed several grievances I was threatened to be put in a segregation cell.

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