Nearly a week has passed since I wrote last, about CSC’s proposals concerning visiting and searching. But the story’s not quite finished.
As I mentioned, CSC was obligated to inform us, and to accept any written comments or concerns we have concerning the proposals. I prepared a 2 page letter, focusing predominantly on the strip-searching portion, and, as per my instructions, handed it in to the V&C department (visiting and correspondence), at my family visit last Thursday.
When I did, I received much eye-rolling and under-the-breath murmuring. It was made apparent that I was foolish and wrong for submitting something. I found the reaction typical, and didn’t loose any sleep over it.
However, when Sunday morning (my next visit) came, and I had to watch my mom and 5 year old sister be turned away from the prison for the first time since they’ve been visiting (except once when a stabbing occurred), after having driven the hour long drive to see me, I began to wonder if the two events were connected.
Though no staff would tell me why they were denied, my mom later told me her experience went like this:
- She arrived, after booking her and my sis in 72-48 hours prior, as she has done every week since she was approved.
- Staff would not let her in, saying she did not book
- She refuted them, stating she was booked in.
- They replied, “okay, she had booked, but not confirmed” (conformation is not, and has never been apart of the process)
- She told them that conformation did not exist in their process.
- They told her, “fine”, but that it didn’t matter anyway, as was they were short on staff.
She was forced to leave, by the department that has never denied her before, by the department in control of collecting our comments about the proposed legislative amendments who made such a scene when I contributed (also I believe I was the only one to contribute).
So are the two connected? They could be, they could not be. Either way, it’s a glance into the prison. Uncertainty and anxiety accompany every interaction we have. I just really hope their denial was a one-time occurrence. It was too hard to watch my little sister leave in tears.
But I’ll move on.
Perhaps I will end this post, and begin to describe some of GVI’s conditions, and perhaps describing the max unit is the place to start.