Across this country, there has been a tremendous outpouring of solidarity and love for imprisoned persons. We are thankful.
As an organizer, I often talk about the need for connections across the walls. Our success is relative to the strength of relationships. In this time of crisis, the deepening and forging of relationships between imprisoned folks and outside supporters and allies have created opportunities for prisoners to build better bonds amongst themselves.
These new bonds and the cooperation they engender among prisoners has not been met with joy from officers. Across the nation, especially in places like California and New York, any measures to prevent prisoners from being infected are met with hostility. Because the officers cannot openly display hostility toward their bosses, they take it out on prisoners. Measures put in place to mitigate the possibility of an officer or staff member infected prisoners, the only way it could happen, are railed against. Officers begrudgingly implement protocols designed to protect prisoners from infection. Often, they retaliate by denying us basic items and opportunities to contact the outside world. And these are considered light retaliation. Some officers have assaulted prisoners.
All of this makes staying connected even more important. You won’t know what is going on inside if you don’t stay connected to someone inside. The DOC’s continue to lie to the public about what they are doing and what has been done. So please stay in touch with people inside. Your support goes a long way. Sometimes, it is the only thing that keeps the officers from harming us.