My Letter to Sarah Palin (part 1)

Part 2, Part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6

A letter was written by myself in response to my pain, shock and anger about some things I had been through in Alaska to Sarah Palin in spring of 2008. I was sure the governor of any state would want to intervene. Keep in mind I have PTSD and just writing about it was making me sicker by triggering the memories. I knew it had to be written no matter what. PTSD is not a mental illness, it is a psychological injury. I have been told by several mental health professionals and it is documented in the literature that when one trauma after another occurs in layers it is very harmful. I will publish this letter in it's raw form. I did not do much editing at the time as it was too painful to reread it. I did not wait to send it to her because at the time she had just endorsed Joe Schmidt after the COs union gave him the no confidence vote. I was livid. I now have much better perspective on why all of this happened. It is even funny now to me to be sending the likes of Sarah Palin such a letter, but at the time I thought she was a real governor. How could anyone even imagine such a psychopath running a state. I also now realize many of these events were calculated to harm me. This is just part of a letter which is fifty pages long(plus 20 pages of documentation) and I realize it is very disturbing both for what happened and for the emotional pain I was in. Do not worry. I am a very strong person with a giant sized sense of justice. I am still standing. My concern today is for the people in the prisons in this state. The discussion about Sherry Johnston's incarceration in light of her medical issues has prompted me to post this part of the letter today. It does not matter if she should or should not be on narcotics. What matters is the department of corrections abruptly stops every one's medication. They do as they please without regard for the welfare of the inmates. They will see her as someone who deserves to suffer. I had previously been charged with a crime and was on conditions of release when I was wrongfully charged and imprisoned for violating the conditions. The whole thing was fictitious from the man who lied about it, to ADA Earthman charging me with it, and to Judge Esch who issued a warrant against no evidence. I was living in Homer when this happened. Upon being threatened by the perpetrators with being accused of a crime I did not do I laughed at them and told them to go ahead. I thought I lived in America where evidence was needed for someone to be charged with a crime. It turns out I was not in America, I was in a third world country. The state troopers investigated and said there was no evidence I did what the sociopaths said I did. Then the sociopaths told ADA Earthman who had "issues" with me and he orchestrated the whole thing, with some help from the public defender agency. The PDs were told a hearing was scheduled. I was never informed of it and they did not go either, so I was imprisoned. In Homer I was taken before a judge who I told the truth about what was going on and asked to have time to get my cat and belongings somewhere safe. She said, "Absolutely not" in a nasty tone. This prompted me to say, "That's Bullshit", which it was and still is. She was angry, but certainly would never allow truth and justice to creep into her courtroom. That was at least the third time they had not told me about a hearing. Whatever your beliefs are pray for Sherry. I have tried to get the ADN to print my story, but they have used multiple excuses not to. What it comes down to is they are ignoring the horrible plight of inmates in this state just as they have ignored what was going on with the homeless for so long.

Excerpt from a letter I wrote to Palin in spring of 2008(It is part two, but I think I will post this first to try and help Sherry and the other inmates who need medical treatment):


"You Americans believe you must do something to get arrested." Muhatma Ghandi

At the Homer jail I screamed in terror at being arrested for something I did not do out of Nome where people are framed and go to jail for crimes they did not do all the time and then are rearrested for bogus violations of conditions of release or probation violations. I was afraid for my cat and my things. I called several different public defender agency offices. You would think that the attorney in the office that screwed up the hearing would be contacting me. You would think the director of the agency would send someone to talk to me, but he did not. I called Kenai, Nome, Juneau, Anchorage, the governor's office, the human rights commission, Quinlan Steiner and Gary Soberay. No one came to see me, ever. All I got was told no one could do anything. I know now it really means no one will do anything. It was clear no one gave a damn. Homer jail was appropriate and follows the DOC policies and is what I consider the only safe jail I was in and the only one which did not violate my civil rights. They gave me my medication. The guy who transported me to the next jail smoked in the car with me in it. I was stunned by that in this day and age.
I was told I was going to Nome for a hearing. I was taken to Wildwood Prison in Kenai. There they decided to keep me in one of the drunk tank cells as I was very distraught. When they asked if I was suicidal I told them, "not really." The thing was I told the person evaluating me that I am autistic and may have trouble being preyed upon in a group situation. So, she left me in the cell over their holiday weekend. I had also screamed in terror the night before in Homer. They put me in a horrible outfit in a freezing cold cell. I had a mat like the kind one uses to do exercises on to sleep on the cement floor with. The door to the outside was right next to my cell door. There were bugs crawling everywhere, mostly spiders and sometimes they bit me. The corrections officers thought it was funny when I complained about them and laughed. They would not allow me to take a shower or brush my teeth. They opened the food slot on my door and yelled, "you are a scumbag," "you are a criminal" and more. They were psychologically torturing me as they are extremely immature and unprofessional corrections officers. They checked on line to see if I had a security clearance in Washington state as I told them I had worked in prisons there. One said, "Well she might be telling the truth". I did not work for the DOC, I first volunteered with them for three years and then worked for short periods of time through agencies as I already had a clearance. The nurse would not give me my medication the way I told her I needed to take it. Then after that she withheld it just to be cruel. I told her I would throw up if I took them at the same time. She informed me I had to take them both or not at all. I took them together as I knew I would at least absorb part of it before I threw up. When I did throw up she said I made myself throw up. Why I would do this, I do not know. (I was not taking narcotics, I was on a high dose of an antidepressant called Trazadone and a seizure medication called Gabapentin for nerve pain, both common and safe)The telephones in this place went hardly anywhere. I could not call my friends or the animal shelter to get my cat help and none of them would help me. I have never seen a group of people enjoy the suffering of others like these people do.
One night an intoxicated woman was in the cell next to me. Now, the reason for a drunk tank is people die of alcohol poisoning and alcohol withdrawal. Instead of doing their job and watching everyone the corrections officers psychologically tortured me. They were goofing off as usual. This woman stopped breathing. They started running around like the keystone cops and yelling, "She isn’t breathing" over and over. I yelled for them to let me out as I am a critical care nurse. Instead they covered my window, but I could still see out the sides. When the nurse came she just started yelling, "breathe, breathe" over and over. Eventually paramedics came and intubated her and bagged her and removed her on a cart. I do not know if she lived or died, or even perhaps had brain damage from anoxia. Now with all of this I did something I never thought myself capable of. I kicked the door. Yes, sometimes even with both legs. I came to realize that most of the behavioral problems in prisons are created by the system and the sociopaths in the ranks of the corrections department. I can still hardly believe I did it. I was so distraught I might have done anything. I was so desperate to get help, especially for my cat. No public defender came to this jail either. While I was at Wildwood, I wrote up a grievance which I never got a response to. It made them angry and when I requested another one, they refused it. This is a violation of my rights as an inmate.
After three days a state trooper came to transport me as I was "going to Nome for a hearing." She made the immature idiots let me shower and brush my teeth. They gave toothpaste as hard as a rock to brush my teeth with. The state trooper told me to just brush my teeth and she would give me a piece of gum. She was a very professional officer and let myself and the other inmate know we were in capable hands. I was greatly relieved to be away from Wildwood. They put me on a plane to Anchorage. I was handcuffed and in prison clothing. I was out in public where anyone could see me and totally innocent of the charge. That afternoon I was in a holding cell with a bunch of intoxicants and prostitutes. I was not afraid of a one of them, they are mostly people who have lost their way and could use some kind of help. I lay on a mat for hours. I was a bit relieved as I was not being psychologically tortured by anyone. I was thinking, good I can get to Nome and clear this up and at least I can contact my friends and get bailed out. Huh! You know, because I was on my way to "Nome for a hearing", she said sarcastically. Then I was told I was leaving. I was chained to some other women and put in a van. I thought I was going to the airport. When I found out, I was going to yet another prison in Eagle River I said, "I am supposed to be going to Nome for a hearing, what is going on?" The correction’s officer said he did not know anything about it. Interestingly enough.


No, they have decent health care there.

At Hiland Mountain Correctional Center I was taken to an orientation unit. We were told we were to learn the rules and procedures by reading a folder. There was only one for about 20 women. The correction’s officer on that day was Jackson. She is infamous for being cruel and nasty. She is also mentally ill. There is a desk in the main area outside the four dormitories in that building. I kept asking these women questions. I needed to talk to my attorney, get a call to the animal shelter in Homer, be seen by a medical practitioner, get my medication, and get a call to the state troopers to tell them I was being held in a prison instead of going to Nome and they should make sure Robin Hume did not steal my things. Why I thought they would finally do their job I did not know. I was screamed at by this Jackson and told I was not allowed to ask questions and I may only read the folder. I told her they did not let me have my glasses and my only option was to ask questions as I could not see the words well enough to read the folder. At one point she came out of her office and screamed at the women at the desk to get me my glasses because I was driving her crazy. She is nuts. I did not get my glasses that day. No one could knock on the door jam to her office. She would flip out. The door would be all the way open and she would go nuts if an inmate did not knock on the door itself. The night I got there I told her I was innocent of the crime I was incarcerated for. This made her angry. In a nasty tone she asked me if I was innocent of the charge I took the plea deal for. When I said no, she looked surprised. I then explained that it was not even a crime in most states, it was treated as a mental heath issue. I then told her that was all I had done, all the other charges associated with that one were false. I witnessed her harassing another inmate. This inmate finally lost it and begged to be put in the hole which they obliged.
I was so distraught. For one thing I had no idea what the hell was going on at this point. I had not spoken with nor seen a public defender. One would think that the public defender agency who had screwed up the original hearing which would most likely have kept me from being incarcerated and charged would at least come and talk to me. Mind you I had contacted at this point, Quinlan Steiner’s office, Gary Soberay’s office, the Kotzebue office, the Kenai office, the anchorage office, the Nome office and others I do not remember. I remember counting and I called a total of nine of them. I was simply ignored. I begged for help, especially for my cat. I knew people go to prison all the time out of Nome for crimes they have not committed. Nome is like a small town in Mississippi in the 1950s. They set people up, people disappear, they destroy reputations of those who go against them, they trump up evidence and there is no justice or truth in the court. All one has to do is read the court section and see all the people sent to prison on absurd violations every week to figure that out(almost all native).
Some of the inmates helped me with information. I was never afraid of the inmates. It is the corrections officers and other staff who are the ones to fear. Inmates are in danger on many levels. There is unbelievable disregard for basic safety and medical needs. Then there is the psychological torture and game playing. I believe there must be physical abuse, but I did not observe any, except a woman who was chained to the floor in the mental health unit with a bizarre board in front of her cell. The inmates generally cooperate with each other to try and make things more comfortable. The exceptions are the ones who are coming off drugs and bouncing off the walls. There are forms to be filled out for anything one needs to do. I filled out these "copouts" to request to see a doctor. I requested my medication. I requested my glasses, notepad and pen.
When an inmate is first processed there is a stop to see a nurse. I told him about my diagnoses and medications. I had brought them with me. I assumed they would give them to me. That night when they called for people to go to the medication line I went. When it was my turn I found out I would not get them and was told I had to see a health care provider and they needed my medical records. I told them I could not wait until they got my medical records and asked why they could not just call the doctor and get him to fax them some information. I also suggested they contact the pharmacy or doctor who wrote the prescription. I now know the answer to that question. The answer is they did not want to give me my medication and they would extend no effort in establishing my medical history. I also came to find out they keep telling inmates they have to see a health care provider to get their medications, but they never allow anyone to see one without a big fight and then they just say they will not prescribe them. They further explained to me that they did not give out "street drugs." I explained that my medication was prescribed by a physician licensed by the state of Alaska and it came from a licensed pharmacy. Their definition of "street drugs" is anything which does not come out of their stock. Why? This is because there is no profit for them if the medications come from someone other than their contractor. It may even mean payola. At this time I still had hope that I would eventually get the medicine I needed, but I never did, ever. Even now I still suffer the results of that setback in my health. I have been ill since then and for the last three months pretty much bed ridden. I lay in bed curled in a ball from excruciating pain and dizziness. I told them if they did not want to pay for the medications I would.
Just because I am put in the prison does not mean my need for medical care ends. As soon as I was incarcerated, I was seen as a liar, scumbag and idiot. There is no system with which to call for help. If I was dying, they would not have intervened. They clearly even enjoyed my suffering. In fact I was told and observed others being told by a corrections officer that if we were dying he might consider calling someone for help. Here is the problem with that he is not a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, nor nurse.
The room I was to sleep in had two beds. They were simply cot size with thin pads over them. Very painful for someone with joint or musculoskeletal problems(my skin even hurts). If you are lucky there is a pillow. For those with breathing problems it is a problem. We did get sheets. I had the window and it overlooked a very beautiful garden. This was the only positive thing I had to focus on. I was a master gardener for years in Washington State and I enjoy plants and gardening immensely. I cried as quietly as I could and prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed for my poor baby to be safe and have food and water. I prayed the state troopers would have enough ethics to tell Robin Hume he could not steal my things or go in my room. I prayed they would figure out the mistake and let me go. I prayed a public defender would come the next day and explain what was going on. I was very confused about it all. I was traumatized by what had happened at Wildwood. I had PTSD from what happened in Nome. I went to Homer to heal from it. What went on there made it worse. Then I was wrongfully arrested and tortured at Wildwood. I was lied to all along the way about going to Nome. By the next day without my medication I was having a nervous breakdown and as my friend said, "Who the hell wouldn’t have even without the meds being withheld?" The inmates just told me what to do and lead me around. I could hear them whispering to other inmates, "She has been like this since she got here and they are not doing anything about it," or "She is supposed to be on some kind of medicine and they won’t give it to her." After lunch that first day we went into the gym. I climbed up to the top bleacher and just sat there and cried and prayed to myself. I knew that it was possible I might have a seizure from the abrupt withdrawal of the medications and I was afraid as I knew the medical staff must be as substandard as the rest of them. A woman came and told me she was from the mental health unit. She said they were going to help me. I told her I did not believe her. I did not know how right I was.
They put me in some kind of suicide outfit even though I told them I was not suicidal. In fact I told them I did not meet the DSM IV criteria for suicide on several occasions. This suit is like a dress which is held together with Velcro at the shoulders and back. It is very uncomfortable and stiff. It is misery for someone with tactile issues and painful skin. Then they gave me a blue quilted blanket. The bunk was just metal at this point. There was the little combination toilet and sink. I could at least rinse my hands. There was no soap or towel. The inside door had a little window. There was a camera, but my observations later let me know they do not monitor the cells just like the other prison. The cell did have a window to the outside. There was a fence blocking me from being able to see much. I spent hours looking out of it. There was one tree. I found that tree so beautiful and I felt connected to it. There was some grass. Some of the inmates from the mental health unit in a wing at a 90' angle to my wing would see how upset I was and get in the windows and frantically wave to me until I saw them. They were trying to cheer me up. On a rare occasion a bird would land in the tree which also made me feel better. I was in misery as I had no medication for my usual symptoms, but the withdrawal from the medication caused agony. The rebound pain from the interstitial cystitis and trigeminal neuralgia was something I try not to think about even now or I loose it. There was also the fibromyalgia. I have acute dog like hearing with sensitivity to noises. The medications also help this and the noise in that place was maddening for me. I cried for about 10 days straight often curled up in a ball.
I have some gastrointestinal problems which frequently result in diarrhea. There was no toilet paper in the cell. I had to beg for it and I was belittled when I did this. I asked them if they thought I was going to braid it together and hang myself with it. They told me they did not observe me having diarrhea. What observing were they talking about? The psychologist and psychiatrist were only there a short time every day and they did not observe me, they just came by to make nasty comments. The psychiatrist, Dr Lothian told me that diarrhea is not a part of autism. As it is common knowledge that it is, this is further evidence of her lack of knowledge(There has been some research published since I wrote this which says GI problems are not related to autism, but others dispute it).
The food for a person in the hole in the mental health unit is awful. The protein is lunch meat with nitrates in it. I cannot eat such things, it makes my trigeminal neuralgia worse. You get the same for all three meals. I lost 8 pounds in three days. There was no safety reason to deprive me of decent food. It was to punish me. The regular utensils can be replaced with plastic if someone is believed to be suicidal. I was not suicidal and they knew it. I was told this and a lot of the other things they did were to "break" me. It took a couple of days to even get a toothbrush. When I finally got one it cut up my gums. I never got dental floss the whole time I was incarcerated. My gums swelled up and I have periodontal disease now. I have pain in my jaws and no dental or medical insurance. I have a couple teeth that have snapped at the gum line since then. Toothbrushes and floss cost almost nothing. I could have ordered one if I could have had access to the manual that explains the ordering process and my glasses to read the damn thing with.
A couple days after I was put in that cell the psychologist presented in front of my door and told me I had no mental illness. I of course told him they had done no testing nor even interviewing and they could know nothing about me at this point. He then proceeded to tell me that the only thing wrong with me was that I was "arrogant and nasty’. Really now? After the torture I had been put through and all of my rights that had been violated this is what he says to me. This kind of crap went on from not just him, but the doctor. She told me I did not need my medication. They told me I had not been taking it. This is total fiction and they had no evidence to that effect. I of course said that I found it odd that the jail psychiatrist would be a better judge of my medical needs that the professors at universities and a medical director at a large psychiatric hospital who originally prescribed them. I thought of her as Dr. Mengele. Dr. Lothian needs to lose her medical license. I asked for grievance forms and they refused to give me one on several occasions. The ones I filled out I never got a response to(They disappear them).
It is hard to describe the grief I felt. I knew full well Robin Hume would go through my things and steal whatever he wanted and I was sure he would ruin the rest. I also knew he would starve my cat and probably be cruel to her. Whenever I could get to the phones, I called the public defender agency to no avail. I tried to call my friends, but the phones would not go to anyone. I found out later the phones only go to certain places. The staff knew this, but made out like I just did not know what I was doing. One nurse when I told her my cat would be starved in a nasty tone said, "Well isn’t that just too bad." Later I heard her tell another woman she had called to find out if her little dog was OK and it was. They were being cruel to me, this is clear. Now whether they decided on their own or someone told them to do it I do not know. I imagine it is a combination of the two, perhaps a symbiotic relationship of evil(I could not have imagined how evil even then).
On the thirteenth of August I was called out to get on the phone. The hearing in Nome was going on without my being there, why? Before the hearing I told my attorney I wanted a time to be able to speak. She assured me I had a right to. I asked her why I had not been allowed to go to Nome for the hearing as I had been told over and over. I further told her I had not waived my right to appear. She had no answers. I cried and asked her why no one from the public defender agency had come to see me. I told her of some of the abuses and that they would not give me my medicine. During the hearing I was arraigned and judge Esch would not allow me to speak. I tried to and then he cut me off. I was so upset that when the judge asked for my plea I could not speak. I remember that all I was ever able to get out was, "I am completely innocent of the charge".
I did not get a shower for days. When I needed something, I tapped on the door as there was no other way to communicate. They would ignore me. Then I knocked on the door and they ignored me. Then I pounded on the door and was ignored. After this I pounded with two fists and was ignored. Then I did the same unimaginable thing, I started kicking the door as hard as I could. They continued to not respond to anything I needed. they were just angry. They threatened to chain me to the floor. The woman in the cell across from me was very verbal. She was a black woman and it was clear one of the nurses on day shift who I could only describe as being mean and superior did not like black people. She would ignore this woman’s every request and she went even longer than myself without a shower. When she saw I got a shower and she did not she began to ask why the white people got to take showers and the blacks did not. I was wondering this myself before she asked about it. She was very loud and asked to talk to this nurse named Linda’s supervisor. I will never forget how she stated over and over in a sing-songy poetic way, "Linda, Linda, Linda, let me talk to your supervisor Linda because you know the little people they just can’t get anything done." This was because they used excuses for the neglect and cruelty as they were just following rules and procedures and if they did it any other way they would get in trouble from their supervisor. She also kicked the door and they did chain her to the floor. They also had this large piece of wood that completely covered a door. They put it over her door every day, usually when Linda was on. They left her for as long as sixteen hours behind this door. They ignored her every request. This includes the day she told them she was supposed to go to court and they refused to even check and she missed her hearing.
Linda at one point had told me I could not come out to shower because they did not know if I was dangerous or not. I said, "I have never hurt anyone in my life." I finally got a towel this way. I was after that able to wash myself using my water cup to rinse over the toilet. It was very degrading. This is not what I would call humane treatment of the mentally ill nor any kind of rehabilitation in any shape or form. I was in this cell accept to shower for a week. I never in my life thought I could feel so much pain and anguish. I never thought I would be treated so cruelly by such a corrupt government. I felt like I was a political prisoner and thought of the red stars the political prisoners wore in the Nazi prison camps. I felt I should be wearing one. When I was moved to another cell, they gave me red scrubs to wear, which I felt were appropriate for me in an ironic way. But if you think about it, here is the mentally ill population forced to wear red to signify that they have a disability. It is as if they are saying here are the freaks. There was a new inmate who said she did not want to wear a"crazy person’s clothes." This is a blatant act of discrimination. Of course they will use some ridiculous excuse that it is for security purposes.
I had constantly been itching for about ten days in this unit. I complained about it several times. They refused to do anything. I could not sleep and I scratched myself until I bled. The only thing they offered me was lard. They called it "prison lotion’. I had to smear lard all over myself or I could not stand the itching. It is disgusting and degrading to force someone to smear themselves with lard. Later I heard an inmate tell one of them she is allergic to wool. This is when I found out the blankets are made of wool of which I am very allergic. If I had not been so distraught and my brain had not been in lock down from the withholding of my meds I probably could have figured it out sooner. Then I of course said that I was also allergic and that explains the awful itching. They knew the blankets were wool and they knew I was scratching until I bled, just as they knew the phones would not go most places in Alaska. I was given one synthetic blanket. I put one of the wool blankets under my sleeping pad to act as a pillow. I could not get a pillow. Others would come in after me and have a pillow issued to them. One day I made the statement that I felt I should be able to get the same comforts as the other "poor wretches" locked there in "mental health hell." I finally got one two days before I left. That Linda nurse saw I was using the wool blanket under my pad and took it. She did it to be mean, but used the excuse that if I was allergic I should not have wool in my cell. I explained to her the allergy was not air born.
One day I was placed in the cell the farthest away from the desk. I believe one reason was I complained about one of the night shift nurses disappearing into the break room for most of her shift. If an inmate had a problem no one could get her attention, like they would respond even if there was a problem. It was a dangerous situation. I believe she was sleeping. The woman placed in the cell with me was very psychotic. When I asked her if she was on medication she told me, no. She said the judge had ordered her to go to API a month ago and they had not sent her. She went to court a day or so later and said the judge was mad that they had not sent her. She was still there when I left that unit. She was violent. It was fueled by a delusion that some woman had stolen her vagina which smelled good and given her one which smelled bad. I kept trying to explain to her that it smelled bad due to the staff not letting us take showers often enough and because she was stuffing her vagina full of toilet paper. I tried to show her how to wash herself sitting on the toilet and rinsing with her water cup. Her thinking was too disordered to allow her to understand me. She would punch and kick at the air screaming and yelling as loud as she could. I called one nurse and told her it was dangerous and I thought my safety was jeopardized. She simply yelled at me for bothering her. This inmate was stuffing all the toilet paper she could get up her vagina, one piece after another. This put her in danger of toxic shock syndrome. It was also the source of a foul odor which is not a good sign. She also would grind up Tylenol in the window sill and snort it. I kept trying to get the staff to let me talk to them and one of them told me, "I am not your maid." I wanted to tell her the inmate was stuffing toilet paper and eating toothpaste and more. It is information competent staff would have wanted. Her comment is one of the most disgusting and rancid of any I got from the staff at Hiland Mountain. This inmate went nuts most of the night. In the morning she began screaming and yelling and beating the wall and the door. The regular staff just ignored it. I believe they wanted her to harm me. It was clearly done without any regard for my welfare, nor the welfare of this poor mentally deranged girl. Yes, she was very young. She clearly needed an antipsychotic and was allowed to live in torment simply because the state of Alaska did not want to pay for her to be in a psychiatric hospital or take medicine. The corrections officer who was on that day came to make rounds. When she heard this woman screaming and beating the door she immediately came to our cell. It sounded as if there was a fight going on. When the CO looked in, she saw me lying on my bunk and the other inmate at the door screaming, yelling, kicking and punching she realized this woman was dangerous and immediately removed her and put her in a cell by herself. This particular CO is a large woman who may be Alaskan native, but looks Samoan was extremely professional and had the ability to talk to mentally ill people who are acting out to get them to calm down. She is an example of the kind of people you want working in corrections. There was also a male officer and a very short female officer at Wildwood who were professional and did not torture me. One of the day staff, I think she was a social worker looked in the cell and I said, "That went on all night, how would you like to be locked in a cell in this kind of situation?" I got no response. I asked for a grievance form that night and gave it to the CO that was on. I never got a response from it other than being told I was a "trouble maker." I believe this form and others were all destroyed.
One day I was told to go to a group. As I was walking to it, I was then told to go to the desk and talk with a woman. I needed some papers and went to my cell to get them. I was screamed at by the group facilitator because I was not in the group. I then said I was told to go to the desk area also, and told them someone needed to make a decision. This woman at the desk told me she was a parole officer which made no sense to me as I was not on parole. She yelled at me and told me she does not play games and I looked right into her eyes and said, "Neither do I." She backed down and said nothing. I believe she saw my sincerity. When I asked what, this was about she said I was to have a hearing to decide if I should be put in administrative segregation. I asked her what it was. She said it is away from the general population and isolated. Of course I said this is what I have been living in anyway. I then asked her what this was about and she said I had been labeled a "trouble maker." I said, "you mean because I practice my right to file grievances and voice a complaint when my civil rights are violated?" She said I was supposed to have a representative who had not shown up. She pressed me to go ahead and have the hearing as I was fully capable of speaking for myself and voicing my opinions. I told her the story of what had happened, being wrongfully imprisoned, my medicine withheld, the abuses, my things were being stolen and most important of all my precious cat was being starved by the monster who actually committed the crime. She had tears in her eyes which she tried to hide from me. Later other inmates said what they do is try to get someone labeled as dangerous to get them locked in the hole. This was purely retaliatory and not based on reality. The parole officer gave me a level one rating which is the least dangerous category of prisoner. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think anyone could ever do any of these abuses to me or any other soul in a prison in this country. How could they think anyone would believe I was dangerous? The parole officer recommended I be put in open population so I could have more access to phones and get help to get out. My danger was in the fact that I spoke up and told the truth. Oh, I was angry and practiced my first amendment rights, but I was not dangerous unless one feared the truth.
It was two days before I left the mental health unit. I finally told them I loved being locked in a cell. I described it as being peaceful and told them I couldn’t wait to go back whenever I had to leave. Within two hours I was called to prepare to leave. They had become very predictable. I had used reverse psychology on them. How perverse they are. But. I was never to go to open population.
Next I went to the orientation unit again. It is very regimented. They divide the buildings into a dormitory type setting. The unit consists of a main room, bath room area and several rooms. The bedrooms are tiny. They are just big enough for two children sized bunks. The room I was in was stifling hot and my room mate and I could not sleep. The heat actually made me sick. I was ill from coming off the medication and sweated profusely just from that. When I asked to get the handle to open the window, I was given two different ones which did not fit the window. When I told them they did not work they told me it was an old building. I told them I use to work in prisons which made this one look like new construction and when something did not work it was fixed, especially if it had an ill effect on health. Later I found out there was a handle that worked with the window. They were simply withholding it.
Not only did I sweat constantly I also had an odd odor. It was from my medicine being stopped abruptly and not being allowed to shower for days on end. No amount of showering or soap would help. I had no deodorant. I had some money with me, but had not ordered anything. Everything I read said someone had to put money on my books in order for me to buy something so I thought I had no money. Also, I was not allowed to access my bank account to bail myself out. This lead me to believe I had no way to buy anything. Some of the inmates complained about it and the corrections officers would ask me if I took a shower. Of course these inmates had seen me in the shower and knew I had. It was very embarrassing, but I could do nothing about it. I at least needed a decent toothbrush and floss, but could not get either. My gums swelled up and started to bleed. I have a couple of teeth which broke off shortly after I left there. Dental hygiene is a basic right. The state of Alaska caused huge dental problems for me and I have no money to pay to fix my teeth. I work on my gums constantly now. I do the best I can.
I have mentioned Officer Jackson already. I was fortunate because she was only on one or two days and then for the rest of my internment I did not have to see her. Officer Pass thinks of himself as a "nice guy" and he says so. I do not agree. The inmates think he is nice simply because he is not Officer Jackson. That parole officer told me she was recommending I go to open population so I could have better phone access and use the law library so I could figure out how to get out on bail. I would sign up to go to the law library which they made us do the night before. Several times just as it was time to go to the law library he would get angry about something and call a spontaneous meeting of the inmates. About the second time it happened I complained to him that he was violating my rights. He then threatened me that he would keep me in orientation "eighty three days". I wrote one of those copouts they use for inmates to communicate to his superior officer. This enraged him. He told me he was going to tell his superior I was a liar. He also had some trouble understanding one of the words I used and was yelling at me about his misinterpretation. He made me rewrite it two times. It was quite bizarre. In no way shape or form should these kinds of people be working with a vulnerable population of people.
When I did get to go to the law library, I got the only help with any of the things I needed to do. The woman who works there is an inmate and very knowledgeable. She helped me problem solve. She showed me how to fill out the forms for power of attorney. Understand I was so distraught I could not even function. I am very thankful she was there. It is a violation of the rights of the inmates for the staff to decide they cannot go(to the law library) due to one person’s misbehavior. In a prison someone is always misbehaving.
In this unit most of the inmates were coming off drugs and alcohol. They were bouncing off the walls and had poor judgement. Some of them did things to cause problems. It is to be expected in this situation. It was nearly impossible to sleep at night. They hung in the doorways and chatted and giggled all night. One of the symptoms of drug withdrawal is difficulty sleeping. Why they do not monitor the units closer at night I do not understand. When one complains about the noise and behavior issues they all give the same response, "This is prison." They say this as if no one has a responsibility to control it nor does an inmate have a right to not be tortured by it. But, if someone fills out a grievance form which is well within their rights they retaliate against them. I have health problems which make sleeping well a necessity.
This unit is where I found out they withhold everyone’s medications. There were little old ladies who could not get their blood pressure medicine. No one got their psychiatric medications and then when they acted out which they could not control unmedicated they were in trouble. There were heroin addicts going cold turkey. Some of the symptoms of coming off heroin are muscles constantly contracting, vomiting, incontinent diarrhea, a feeling on the inside that they are going to jump out of their skin and severe pain. They were throwing up all over the place and having diarrhea in their pants. We even had one woman who was passing blood in her stool and they acted like she was making it up when she complained. They did not supply her with extra clothing when she had diarrhea in her pants, another inmate gave her pants to her. One little girl passed out coming back from the dinning hall. Heroin addicts have low blood pressure and with the throwing up and diarrhea they become dehydrated. She passed out shortly after getting in line, after going from a sitting position to standing. I realized what was going on and went over and lifted her legs above her head to help her perfuse her brain. She came to almost immediately. The officer came over and yelled at me to let go of her. I was doing the right thing! He then proceeded to tell her she was faking a seizure. There was no seizure activity whatsoever. She simply passed out. This particular officer was the dumbest SOB I have ever seen in my life, officer Pass. Of course what do you expect from people who get about six weeks of training. They allow them to make medical decisions about the inmates. This is unconscionable. The worse thing I saw was a woman with a seizure disorder who was refused her medication. She had at least three seizures that I knew of and his attitude was that she would probably live. Not only did she have a seizure disorder, but she had been clubbed in the head by a cop. This made it extra dangerous to withhold the drugs as she probably had a concussion. She should have had neuro checks done frequently and been seen to by a neurologist. The inmates should have medical care available at all times. There should at least be a nurse for evaluations. Someone should be checking the vital signs of a lot of the inmates. The corrections officers are not medically trained. None of them have been to medical school. Their training is just a few weeks.
When I got to this unit, I continued to write copouts for medical care. Before I left the mental health unit I was told by the psychiatrist, that they were recommending that I be seen by the medical people. Nothing happened. When I finally saw someone, she was very nasty to me and after her exam she told me I was not going to get my medications. She really did not give me an explanation as to why. The only medication I could get from them was acetaminophen which I did take as I was in pain. Some of the inmates told me they do not recognize Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a real illness. That is 1980s medicine or are they using some other authority other than the American Medical Association for their diagnoses? If anyone would like to check, the CDC has issued a statement that it is a real disease and a very severe one. I was in so much pain I could not even think.
When a person who is an addict is imprisoned it is a prime opportunity. They are a captive audience. Where is the treatment for addiction? There was one program which the inmates who were to be incarcerated for at least a year could apply to. It is six months long. Of course the longer the treatment the better. Some people require one to two years of treatment. Those who are in the prison for shorter periods of time should at least be given the opportunity for treatment of their addiction. The whole time I was there only one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was offered. I jumped for the chance to go. At this point I had been clean for a year and about eight months. I did this on my own by going to AA and doing some other spiritual things. I could do this even in Nome where AA is pitiful and there is no treatment because I had a strong recovery before this short relapse and I know what to do. I was shocked that there was no help for the ones in early recovery. Most of them started using and drinking in adolescence. This makes it so much more difficult for them to stop. Alcohol and drugs stop people from maturing. Essentially whatever emotional developmental stage they are in when they start abusing chemical is where they stay. They are still adolescents emotionally and they may have personality disorders. Often chemicals are used to self medicate mental illnesses. So, what kind of rehabilitation is this? It is not going to change anyone. It is not going to benefit society. What goes on there only serves to make people sicker and increase profits.
Corrections is a $55,000,000,000 (yes $55 billion) industry. The companies that sell products to the prisons have lobbies. They did not come up with the idea of three strikes and you are out, but they lobbied to get the laws passed. They lobby for harsher sentences for minimal crimes. The unions for the corrections officers do the same thing. They want to increase business for job security. This country’s legislators have been used as pawns by them. Which of Alaska’s legislators were paid off? The prisons are all being privatized. It is a money making venture. The bottom line keeps them from giving health care. It keeps them from giving the inmates the most important programs which are needed such as chemical dependency treatment and education. Education would give them hope and maybe a chance to succeed when they are released. An inmate who is incarcerated for two years could come out with an AA degree. I worked in a women’s prison in Washington. The inmates had companies which were not a part of the DOC. They filled all of the positions. The least they could make was minimum wage. They had to pay for part of their upkeep. They were allowed TVs in their cells which they had to pay for. It was a privilege to be earned. They could go to college and even use their degree to get a better job in the company. They could come out of prison with education and very valuable work experience. There were programs for addiction. This is rehabilitation. What goes on in Alaska’s prisons creates people who are hopeless and helpless. The way people are treated causes PTSD. The inmates generally come out worse than when they go in. The prison system in Alaska is a revolving door. It is designed to create more business for the DOC. The judicial system is set up to facilitate this process.


Daphne Wilcox said...

This is too long and too complicated for the ex governor to read.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I am horrified at what I am reading on your blog...you need to contact your DA friend in cali and find out where to send all this..name NAMES, dates, copy records everything. Send to ACLU (not Alaska) and Perhaps Eric Holder? The corruption in Alaska is like a huge bedsore,that smells! It needs to be debrided and cleaned and heal from the inside out,no one in Alaska can be trusted...
I feel so sorry for you to go through this hell.
You need to get this OUT THERE!