MIAMI -- (November 27, 2003) The Dade County Women's Detention Center prisoners express their solidarity with the protesters of the FTAA. Many of the conditions the protesters found in the jail and detention centers, however horrific, are just examples of what we live with every day. There are many health code and civil right violations in the Dade County jail system. The women prisoners would like the following conditions to be addressed immediately:
1) There is black mold in our showers that cause rashes and breathing problems.
2) There are large amounts of bugs in our cells and in our showers.
3) The food is often in terrible condition, sometimes even rotting. We have no salt or pepper and are fed mostly starches and sandwiches.
4) We are not given enough opportunities to clean ourselves. Not enough cleaning supplies.
5) Though there is a 24-hour health clinic with a nurse, we are rarely allowed access to it or her, and our medical requests are not dealt with promptly. Prisoners with serious illnesses such as TB are neither attended to regularly or segregated from the rest of the population. We have almost 400 prisoners and access to one doctor (during an 8 hour period) per week and only one OB/GYN visit a week. So many women need access to more health care.
6) We were promised pillows--nobody has pillows. We only get one blanket, dspite the temperature being kept at 50 degrees. Our blankets are threadbare and holey.
7) We have to beg for paper, pencils, and envelopes so we can write to our loved ones.
8) Despite what they promise, there is not enough access to regular libraries and never any REAL access to the law library.
9) Our guards are often whimsical and brutal, often beating us for simple requests such as a phone call.
Please add our cause to yours and do not forget us!