March 15, 2013

Institution Lockdown

by Marteze Harris (author's profile)



Saturday, March 2nd 2013

Marteze Harris #161543
Waupun Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 351
Waupun, Wisconsin

We have been on lockdown, here at WCI for 6 days and will be for the foreseeable future. The institution administration says, that for the safety of the community, staff, inmates and the humane treatment of prisoners, we're to be lockdown while they do a thorough search of the entire prison.

Okay, that sounds good, but what does searching the prison have to do with community safety? And staff safety? No prison guard in the state of Wisonsin, has been killed in the line of duty in about 50-60 years, if not longer. And I may be mistaken, but I can't remember one.

Now they talk about the humane treatment of prisoners. These people probably had to look in the dictionary just to get the spelling correct, HUMANE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS...go figure! So let's talk about how humanely we've been treated these past 6 days; no showers, no clean clothing, the only "supposedly hot meal" we get is lunch, and that is not "HOT". It is ice cold! To transport meals, you must go outside, and since they use styrofoam trays, the heat doesn't hold. And seeing as the guards are the ones preparing our food, they may intentionally allow the food to get cold. Now that is just from the kitchen to the cellhouses - once the trays get to the cellhouses, the guards are in no huury to pass the food out. Again, this is the only "SUPPOSEDLY HOT MEAL" of the day. I know I can hear you say it, REALLY! That is the same thing I say, it's good to see that like-minded people actually do think alike. :)

Now let's talk about the other two meals, breakfast: two peanut butter packets, two jelly packets, one 28g bowl of cereal and two pieces of bread. Every day for the past 6 days, and into the foreseeable future. Dinner, which they just served and that is still sitting on my floor, and will sit until I get so hungry I am forced under the threat of starvation to eat it. And that dinner consists of, how did you know? Yeap, you guess correctly, peanut butter and jelly, two slices of bread, a rotten apple, one cookie and a note that says, drink lots of water with this or you will suffer painfully thru the night! Okay, I may have exaggerated the latter part of that, but I swear, cross my heart and hope to die, the rest is true! This has been our dinner for the past 6 days, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Now some of you may be saying, hey, you're convicts stop complaining! And that is true, but I am no less a human being; thus, the humane treatment part...get it? Sorry, I digressed a little bit, back to the point. And that is the humane treatment of a person, a human being. If you treat a person in such a way, especially, prisoners, you confirm for us that society just doesn't get. I committed a crime and I accept that responsibility, I will never hide from or try to sugar coat what I was a part of. However, that is the court's responsibility to dispense justice. It is the DoC's responsibility to keep the public safe and make sure that we serve our time. It is not the DOC's authority to mistreat, abuse, neglect nor practice draconian tactics on us.

It is for society to expect that prisoners will be treated with due care, to hopefully try and make sure that we leave prison better than when we entered it. Prison staff will say that's not their responsibility, okay, then, if that's the case why then pretend at drug treatment, educational treatment, mental health treatment, etc? No it is not their duty to try and fix us, but it is their duty to give us the tools to try and fix ourselves. Nevertheless that duty does extend to the humane treatment of our persons while we are in their care.

So for members of society, it is your duty to make elected officials make sure that prisons are run with proper care, because those same prisoners will one day "probably" be your neighbor. It is imperative that society learns to embrace those ex-felons in your community, that is the only was the recidivism rate will ever lower. Exprisoners need housing, jobs, continued education, love and support. Society must recognize that, yes, we've made mistakes but some of us are redeemable if given the chance.

There was a much better way for the administration to conduct this lockdown that the way they have. Peanut butter and jelly two meals out the day, and then the one meal that's supposed to be hot is ice cold. Yet, their mantra, is the humane treatment of prisoners. If you have no family support, this week here and those in the future will make you feel like a third world refugee. Because having canteen in your room can make all the difference in the world.

Okay, I am done complaining. Like any of you care! Stop being so mean people! :) I wish you all a blessed and healthy year. Until next time.



Replies (3) Replies feed

Goldfish1871 Posted 9 years, 6 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.
I hope the lockdown doesn't last much longer and you get a break from peanut butter and jelly on bread. (What if you have a nut allergy?)

KeepLookingUp Posted 9 years, 6 months ago. ✓ Mailed 9 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
Hey Marteze, it was so interesting reading your letter. I hope when you write again next you're no longer in lockdown and are getting some super hot food! :D

Marteze Harris Posted 9 years, 5 months ago.   Favorite
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