Escape Attempt at Perryville Women’s Prison? (by Lifer Renee)

Renee – As a teenager, Renee received a 60-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. 16 years into her sentence, she’s writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

Yesterday, the entire prison went on lockdown status.
“Why are we on lockdown?” someone asked.
“Who knows,” I replied.
The answer came over a guard’s radio: “Search team report to command center…What the hell’s going on?…Maintenance lost a wrench….”

Our work day seemed unaffected. We finally received a break. We were sitting in the visitation area when the captain and lieutenant came over and asked for Donna and Jackie. Donna was outside, Jackie inside.
Donna walked up to the lieutenant and asked, “What’s going on?”
“Turn around and place your hands behind your back!” the lieutenant said.
He was cuffing her up when she again asked, “What’s going on?”
The captain went inside the call center and came out with Jackie in cuffs also.
No one had a clue as to what was going on. We were all whispering back and forth, shocked because Donna and Jackie never really got into trouble or drama.

About an hour later, I was standing in line for the restroom, and I saw Donna walk back in, but not Jackie. There were huge tears in her eyes.
“What’s going on? Are you alright?” I asked.
“They’re taking Jackie to CDU [Central Detention Unit] and they’re talking about escape charges.”
“For what?”
“She had a screwdriver in the cell.”
“She left maintenance two weeks ago for this job, why did she have a screwdriver?”
“All she wanted to do was fix the outlet.”
I didn’t know what to say. “It will all work out,” I said, but I didn’t believe that statement.
Huge tears rolled down her face. “They said she’s going to the hole.”
“It’s possible.” I couldn’t comfort her in any way because I knew they were going to bury her girlfriend.
“She took the rap for all of it. They said she’s going to the hole, but I was salvageable.”
I still didn’t know what to say. I’m going on 16 years in here, and I’ve seen people busted with all kinds of things, never a screwdriver.

Later that evening, they released the pod for dinner.
I went down to the lower run to see Molly. “Girl, what the hell?”
“I don’t know,” Molly said.
An officer walked by to secure the chase closet doors.
I asked her, “Did they really find a screwdriver?”
“Oh, they found more than that,” she said, turning around to face us. “She had a screwdriver, razor blades, black shoe polish, J-B Weld, sandpaper, wires, screws, and an outlet.”
Again, I was in disbelief. Molly and me looked at each other, eyes wide.
Then the officer said, “Hey, we were searching for a wrench, and found a screwdriver. Go figure.” She laughed and walked away.
At that moment, a second officer started screaming, “Lockdown now!”

With people getting robbed, taxed, the endless fights, and now the screwdriver, who knows what’ll happen next at Perryville.

Click here for Renee’s previous blog

Shaun Attwood  


Chris Phoenix said...

Could these things actually help in an escape attempt? Or is Jackie just suffering some kind of compulsive-theft syndrome, or perhaps stealing for resale, and the guards are claiming escape because it's the easiest answer?

syncopated eyeball said...

Hi again, Renee. Will Jackie be allowed back eventually? I guess that remains to be seen. I'm also wondering what you ARE allowed to keep in your cells?