Remember when we said Demi’s lawyer spooked South Woods into the endocrinology appointment by asking to make a legal call? Well, he never got that legal call, and now Demi is back at South Woods and locked in quarantine, and they’re saying she can’t take legal calls in quarantine. Also, they won’t fill her hormone prescription for the same reason.
Life in Quarantanamo Bay
The quarantine unit has been used since its inception as a torture chamber for administrative retaliation since its inception in March. Inmates have reported being thrown into cells with feces and vomit on the floors. Being locked down for weeks at a time. Being denied phone calls, emails, showers, and even shoes.
Inmates are not given a reason for being in quarantine. They are not allowed to see their test results and are being denied tests altogether. Nursing staff does not follow sanitation protocol when moving between patients. Correctional staff does not follow social distancing protocol. If this were a ward designed to prevent the spread of a deadly virus, you wouldn’t know it.
Our Next Steps
Over the last few weeks we have been circulating a petition calling on the Governor to immediately rectify all the abuses being perpetrated under the guise of COVID. We demanded the following:
- An immediate investigation into the conditions of the South Woods quarantine ward including anonymous interviews with inmates and their loved ones
- Inmate access to electricity, air conditioning, daily showers, toiletries, toilet paper, shoes and commissary items
- An immediate end to solitary confinement conditions in the quarantine ward
- Clear guidelines for health, housing, and sanitation in the quarantine unit for staff and inmates
- Normal access to communication with the outside world
- Video visitation comparable to in-person visitation as has been implemented in other states
- Provision of necessary medical care currently being denied to inmates due to prison transport restrictions and neglect
- An ad hoc agency tasked with directly overseeing procedures used to quarantine inmates at South Woods to ensure that guidelines are being followed and that it is not being used for discipline or retaliation for the duration that your emergency orders remain in effect
We are also continuing to fight for Demi’s legal call. Demi’s lawyer has issued a final warning that they are not only violating Demi’s eighth amendment right to proper medical care while incarcerated, but also her sixth amendment right to an attorney. We are preparing to file in the courts to seek some sort of court order–something we have been patiently trying for weeks to avoid.
We have also organized a noise demo outside of South Woods demanding they close Quarantanamo Bay. Come join us!