Life at Sussex 2 State Prison – Revisited

May 29th, 2018

NOTE: JPay, the app/program that is basically prisoner email that you have to pay for, indeed, pay more for then it costs to mail a letter, and the Virginia DOC censored the following.  But here it is in its entirety.

 

Well, it finally happened!  The harsh and overly oppressive conditions we are subjected to at Sussex 2 State Prison (S2SP), which I described in a similar-titled post back in December of 2016, made the front page of a mainstream newspaper.  But it didn’t get there without sacrifice.  Dale Lee Pughsley; also known as Askeri Danso, upon arriving at this maximum security prison in march of this year, was appalled by the level of passivity among the prisoner-class in the face of inhumane prison conditions.  And so he did what any politically active prisoner would do when confronted with similar circumstances: he organized others to peacefully challenge those conditions by filing complaints with the prison’s grievance department.  As expected, retaliation was swift.  On April 24th, while on his way back to his cell from the prison’s law library, he was accosted and shackled by guards and immediately shipped across the street to Sussex 1 State Prison – a level 5 security prison – and placed in solitary confinement.  Because he is supported by several activist and human rights groups such as – the Coalition for Justice, the Defenders of Freedom, Justice and Equality – his ordeal made headlines in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on May 7th.  The front-page article, titled “Politically Active Va. Prisoner Moved Three Times Since ’16,” allowed Askari to expose conditions like poor water quality, substandard medical care, and overcrowding.  He was quoted as saying that S2SP “is the worst prison in the state.”  I agree!

Continue reading “Life at Sussex 2 State Prison – Revisited”

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My Continued Efforts To Expose and Resist The Contaminated Water Problem in Virginia Prisons. Part 2.

Part 2

In yet another incident at BKCC on August 26, 2016, at approximately 11:35 AM, the water in my cell turned a dark-brown color and had a foul taste and smell. I again developed severe nausea minutes after consuming about two cups of the water from the sink in my cell.

About ten minutes later, I filed an Emergency Grievance (Log # 013070), dated 8/26/16, demanding to be seen by a nurse as I believed the water was contaminated, and as a result of me drinking it, I had suffered a personal injury.

Continue reading “My Continued Efforts To Expose and Resist The Contaminated Water Problem in Virginia Prisons. Part 2.”

My Continued Efforts To Expose and Resist The Contaminated Water Problem in Virginia Prisons. Part 1.

My Continued Efforts To Expose And Resist The Contaminated Water Problem In Virginia Prisons
By Uhuru B. Rowe
December 4, 2017
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

“WE WANT the Abolition of any VADOc policy, practice, or procedure which violates the human/constitutional rights of incarcerated people and endangers/hinders their…physical health…including but not limited to…VADOc inhumane practice of not providing incarcerated people with access to clean drinking water. The water in Virginia prisons is discolored, foul-tasting, and foul-smelling as a result of being contaminated with high levels of rust, lead, and other contaminants. Whether free or incarcerated, having access to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental Human Right!” — Demand #16(J) of the Free Virginia Movement

Continue reading “My Continued Efforts To Expose and Resist The Contaminated Water Problem in Virginia Prisons. Part 1.”

A Rigged System: Why Prisoners’ Grievances Are Designed To Fail

By Uhuru B. Rowe
December 31, 2016
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

“This operating procedure provides an administrative process for resolving offender issues and complaints through fair, prompt decisions and actions in response to complaints and grievances from offenders incarcerated in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) institutions.”

The above is a verbatim quote of the VDOC Operating Procedure (OP) 866.1 (I), which governs the Offender Grievance Procedure in all Virginia prisons. But the offender grievance process DOES NOT operate to resolve offender complaints and grievances in a fair and prompt manner. Instead, it is designed to hinder them.
Continue reading “A Rigged System: Why Prisoners’ Grievances Are Designed To Fail”

Fight Toxic Prisons: Water Contamination and Air Pollution in the Virginia Prison System

By Uhuru B. Rowe
September 28, 2016

Just imagine: One day you go into your kitchen to get a glass of water. You turn on the water and out from your faucet flows water that is yellow or dark brown in color. Or the water may be somewhat cleat but contains black specks that resembles oil or coal and wreaks of chlorine or ammonia. Would you drink it? Even if the government tells you it is safe to drink?

Continue reading “Fight Toxic Prisons: Water Contamination and Air Pollution in the Virginia Prison System”

The Visit That Never Was: The Continued Efforts To Destroy The Bonds Between Prisoners and Their Loved-Ones

By Uhuru B. Rowe
September 25, 2017
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

Anyone who has ever served time in a jail, prison, or a detention facility, or has been an inpatient at a hospital, knows the importance of receiving visits from loved-ones. Visits from the people we care about functions as a temporary reprieve from the drudgery of institutional life. They remind us that we are loved, valued, and cared for in a harsh and punitive environment which seeks to strip away every ounce of our humanity and self-esteem. Most importantly, they remind us that, despite being isolated away behind concrete walls, we are still part of a family unit; part of our community. So, when I was called for a visit on Sunday, September 24, 2017, here at Sussex 2 State Prison, I was overjoyed! But this feeling of being overjoyed was short-lived, and was quickly replaced with anger and frustration. Here’s why:

Continue reading “The Visit That Never Was: The Continued Efforts To Destroy The Bonds Between Prisoners and Their Loved-Ones”