Changes at Perryville Women’s Prison (Part 1 by Lifer Renee)

Renee – As a teenager, Renee received a 60-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. 15 years into her sentence, she’s writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

After Marcia Powell died because of the guards, so much has happened. I went a round or two with depression. Her death was a slap in the face of what the reality of my life is. All of us who reside in this prison felt it. It was hard to deal with, but life goes on.

Her death has changed the dynamics of life here drastically. There are now larger “rec enclosures” no longer to be referred to as cages. In the guards’ inner circles, they are referred to as “play pens.” There are mister systems and shade structures.

There is a new administration: DW [Deputy Warden], ADW [Assistant Deputy Warden], and captain. The DW is out of control. If you have an opinion, something to say and it goes against what he says, you’ll find yourself moved to the hole in the blink of an eye. This has happened to several women. They also move you into the kitchen with 56 other women if you ask for a room change because you do not get along with your roommate, and this is escalating the fighting.

26 yard (closed custody) has lost an increasing amount of rec time. The women who are trying to be responsible and have a job miss out on rec when they are at work. They are not even allowed to take showers anymore when they get back from work. The response from the officers is “Take your shower on your rec time.” But they can’t just leave their job to take a shower. So either the ladies chance a ticket by getting a shower anyway, not bathe, or wash up in the sink (referred to as a “ho bath”) [known as a “bird bath” in the men’s’ prison].

Well two days ago, 100 inmates had had enough. They refused to lock down. Simply, they were tired of not getting their rec. 100 disciplinary tickets were written.

Administration said there were fights, people were taxing people, robbing, breaking/rigging their cell doors and God knows what else. So they locked 26 yard down for 48 hours. They moved all of the “problem inmates” to D pod, next to the control room so they could all be supervised. They received a nice green bologna sandwich for breakfast.

Click here for Renee's previous blog about the guards pepper-spraying a dead female prisoner.


Shaun Attwood

19 comments:

leigh said...

thanks for writing Renee! i hope you'll write again (and that maybe people reading this will be able to change the situations there). i have several questions and i hope i won't overwhelm you with them! maybe Shaun will have some answers, too.

you mentioned that women who speak up about cellmates get moved to the kitchen----is that an actual kitchen? is it still functioning as a kitchen? that AND the lack of access to showers for women who work seem like something that might violate (or you would hope would) some kind of SOP or maybe health department regulations? i've heard of the fire department going after these outdoor cage-yards and wonder if that might be another route...

i guess it is better to have some kind of shade and mist in the "rec enclosures" but do you think it makes enough difference? is there more access to drinking water? it is good to hear that some of the women have been able to stand up for themselves, banding together but the retaliation is a big problem! are you able to file grievances about that or other issues? what has the response been after the 100 women refused lock down?

what do you think people on the outside could do to advocate for women in the AZ prison system? if you had a list of the issues with the prison that need to addressed (as of now) what do you think they would be?

Jon said...

leigh,

the state of prison overcrowding is such, places like the kitchen are used to warehouse inmates, who simply sleep on thin mattresses on the floor

and denying prisoners showers after they put in a full day's work does sound like a human rights violation

it takes lawsuits and court rulings to get these things fixed, but in the meantime the prison gets away with what it wants

Anonymous said...

Fact: Marcia Powell died because she was too stupid to drink from the 10-gallon jug of cold ice water at the back of her 'rec enclosure'.

And the reason there was no cover on her 'rec enclosure'? Because Marcia herself had torn it down on a previous occassion.

Anonymous said...

sounds like they're punishing the prisoners for the death

syncopated eyeball said...

Hello Renee, I am truly sorry for your loss of your friend, Marcia. What an tragic death and so obviously caused by the cruelty of the prison workers. Your life sounds unnecessarily hard - I believe that all people are entitled to, and should receive basic human rights. I am shocked to hear that so many human rights violations seem to occur where you are so frequently; infact it sounds like daily. May it one day change. Soon.

Anonymous said...

I am against treating prisoners poorly however, it seems as though people refuse to acknowledge that correctional officers go to work every day with the fear on their minds that they could be killed by an inmate at any time. Corrections is a high stress job because as a CO you constantly are looking over your shoulder and are on edge because many prisoners are mentally unstable and unpredictable... Why do people ignore this fact?

Heather said...

HiRenee,
(FIRST TIME IN TROUBLE IN MY WHOLE LIFE)I spent 2.5 years at that pathetic place.I spent 3 months in R&A Then I was moved to 26 yard (MAX CUSTODY) as a minimum inmate to the kitchen on 26 yard. We had 56 women 1 toilet and 4 port o potties that were convienantly p[laced at the front doors to the kitchen (nice and ripe in 110 degree weather)it's sad because yesw we committed our crime our fault we were put there but nowhere in my court papers did it say " you are sentenced to 2.5 years at perryville hell where the guards and majority of all staff will belittle, berate,judge, assuume and abuse you whenever they feel the need.This is in noway a "CORRECTIONAL" facility. There are no(or ther ones they have are a joke) classes for drugs rehab, AA,etc.The cage thing at medical is plain and simple disgusting. We are not animals. The majority of the guards there are to busy being assholes or trying to "get some" from the girls (you'll find them still working there even after being caught just assigned to the mail room for a bit)I could go on and on about this pathectic place they call Department of Corrections but I will focus on my efforts out here to let people know and try to make some changes for all of you still in there. NOTHING ABOUT PERRYVILLE PRISON IS UP TO ATLEAST THE MINIMUM STANDARD OF OF A CORRECTINAL FACILITY.

heidi said...

Hi Renee, my name is heidi johnson and I spent 4 1/2 yrs at perriville. I have been home now for a year. I was there wen marsha died it was very tragic and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm happy to hear that some changes have been made. If there is something I can do from out here please let me know. I live in colorado now but I have some people I can talk to. I can't believe whatt there doing to 26 yard. I have a dear friend of mine there. 2 of them actually liz repp and jenifer thorne. Perhaps you know them. Any way I commend you on speaking out. Keep itg up and ill stay posted.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on the post from Anonomys who wrote " people refuse to acknowledge that correctional officers go to work every day with the fear on their minds that they could be killed by an inmate at any time. Corrections is a high stress job because as a CO you constantly are looking over your shoulder and are on edge because many prisoners are mentally unstable and unpredictable... Why do people ignore this fact? With all due respect that statement is so far from realaity I'm sorry to tell you. I spent 2.5 yrs at perryville and you would be soooo surprised at how it really is..for example on Kerioki nite the GUARDS come back after work all dressed up to sing Kerioki with the "mentally unstable dangerous inmates"...lol..on everything I love thats the gods honest truth!Or would the fact that MANY guards female included have relationships with inmates, ie: putting money on thier books, smuggling special items in to inmates, ummm yes and having sex in the supply room on the yard!!!I would come home from work at Central Office and it was like prom nite at perryville all the girls were primped and proper hair and nails all did why you ask well "a new CO was in the house and it was game on...lol..they would be lined up at the desk waitin there turn.. I could go on and on so you see your TV/Movie perception of what PRISON is like and the High Stress job the CO's have is just that a perception..truth be told PerryVille is like a big playground for bad girls and even badder boys CO's to play together. And trust and believe friend there is the elite ASSHOLES at perryville who get extreme pleasure in belittling and berating the inmates every chance they get! There are the few who deserve respect and kudos but very few..Walsh you are amongst the few, thank you for your compassion and for treating us as human beings, you were strict no slack but human and treated all with respect and dignity. You Rock!!

Anonymous said...

believed the majority of people pay off his or her's personal loans when they're due in addition to lacking fees and penalties
A respected consumer debt charitable organisation should expect the numerous people making use of individuals meant for help above payday loan obligations to help double this particular. unsecured debt charitable trust tells available purchased any temporary, high desire fiscal loans this season. A nonprofit charities reveals several years gone by how many prospects with them was initially simple.
pożyczka na 96 miesięcy
kredyty bez bik
pożyczka gotówkowa ranking
pożyczki prywatne
kredyt przez internet skok

http://pozyczki-prwatne.net.pl
http://pozyczkanadowod24.com.pl
http://kredytybezbik24.net.pl

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how quick you'll be able to put on weight, though, as it takes just one or a fortnight away for you to definitely pile for the pounds. This is much simpler on your system along with juice made out of fruit or vegetables, you will be digesting some nutrients into the body phen375 fat burner others note that men and women would complain if facebook weakens its anti-spam programs a lot of, since spam would surge. If you find some that do work they are only temporary because they don't teach you the fundamentals of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Simple Checkout - If you desire to lose customers for a ecommerce site, one of the finest solutions to do it would be to make checkout process long and sophisticated http://www.phen375factsheet.com fats, for the other hand, is well-nown to be the richest source of calories. After this perform 5-10 mins of stretching exercises and techniques, after which lay down for 5 minutes to allow your system cool-down [url=http://www.phen375factsheet.com]phen375[/url] ginseng will aid in the movement of nutrients and fluids during the entire body.

Anonymous said...

Hi I don't know if this is still an active blog, but I will be going to this place soon and from what I've read, I'm completely scared and freaked out..just venting

Anonymous said...

SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT PLACE FOR JODI ARIAS TO SPEND THE REST OF HER MISERABLE EVIL LIFE. SHES NOT TOP DOG ANYMORE AND HER EFFORTS TO MANIPULATE AND CONTROL WILL BE MET WITH, PROTEST. AND THATS PUTTING IT MILDLY. PERHAPS WOMEN SHOULD THINK ABOUT COMMITTING THE CRIMES THEY COMMMITTED AND WERE FOUND GUILTY OF..... BEFORE THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY "RIGHTS"

Anonymous said...

Your right! While I do feel basic guman needs should be given,my cousin is a female officer on dearh row for men. EVERYDAY shes called every name in tje book, spit on, pee tossed in her facd Etc. what does she do. Ignore all tje filthy Names she is called, what else can you do to someome on dearh row. If she were to do any otherthing shed be the one punished.shes worked in many prisons, with wimen. Now trains nrw guards. Its a thankless dangerous jib. Don't blame them for the rules they too are firced to go by. I feel that there should be seperate prsions for violent and non violent offenders. When i think of Travis Alexander ...he was trying to take a shower too when Jodiaries shoved a knife in hos gut... Cutting off hid head-so how can I feel bad for someone like her who complains about not enough shower time! I feel though its mportant for the sake of all and heath that showers and soap should be a guven. I want to have compassion for your plight but prison guards do NOT have enough help! Thry have to be on guard all the time. One mouthy person can insite a riot. The killers ger housed and fed. They get TV's. They get to talk/see their loved ones. The victums are nothing but a pile of dust 6 feet under. Where was an mercy or compassion shown to women who were raoed tortured,murdered. Now, we R seeing more violence against men. Those womem showed no concern for their victums. We ALL lmow we have to and do have laws an concequences,and prison is to punish. It serms if you want good good, shelter, showers, how about not nreakung the law! How do you think it feels for families who have lost their loved ones to know their killer is buying chips,watching TV,soon will
b video chats and you can get a FREE education. Can you even imagine how much it cost to. House prisoners now at Periveille?! Again,i speaking about violent affenders. Marrissa DeVault hammered her husband head in and it took him
Almost a month to die. Yet, in 6 months shes got a job and in the GP. I coulnt care less if she misses a shower! I do not know you or yoir crime. So pleaee try and ask yourself, if you caused harm to someone and now are in jail,,, you want ppl
To feel bad you lost yoir friend but where was your compassion when you harmed others. All victums and families lives are changed forever, they suffer daily for something they did not do, Do any of the women there shed tears for the damage theyve caused. Yet you all are only concerned with your situation-yet you made the choice to commit the crime, my prayers, my concern,will be placed where it should be,on the victums. I feel
Sorry for anyone who has to make s living beung a guard. Its a dangerous and thankless job, and if they have to defend themselves yet as a result a prisoner gets hurt its the guard that faces the squad. No thanks!

Mrs Sharon Sim said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com)Thank you

Mrs Sharon Sim said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com)Thank you

Anonymous said...

My sister is at Perryville for a DUI. She got 2 1/2 years hopefully out in a year but who knows. She wrote me the other day and said Perryville is the worst place ever.. She was in R and A for 15 days 247.. Bathing in a sink Andreas a lot to stay alive. She thought she was going to die from what she experienced. Then she got moved to San Carlos unit.. Have no idea what that is like..She has never been in this kind of terrible ever.. She canes from a great family and is educated.. I think the punishment was harsh. I think community service and treatment for alcohol would of been better. The courts in this state just want to throw the book at you and not address the problem... In California your in jail for a few hours and out with a ankle cuff... I know she will do everything she can to be a good inmate. She is a worker bee and will do what ever is needed to survive in their.. It is very heart breaking for our family.. No one has ever been in jail ever.. We love her and are counting the days when she gets out.. A hard lesson learned here.. I know this will never happen again.. Good luck out there for all of you searching for facts on Perryville.. Not a place you ever want to be at.��������

Unknown said...

You think the punishment was harsh? Fuck you! My daughter was murdered by a filthy fucking scumbag drunk driver. Your sister should have gotten the book thrown at her. Idiot

Shannon Puerta said...

Doesn't sound like a very " educated" family to me. Only stupid people drink and drive