The Inhumane Treatment of Prisoners & the Organization Affording them a Voice
By TLB Staff Writer: Christina England, BA Hons
For many years, I have been supporting men and women from around the world who have been falsely accused of child abuse after a vaccine injury has occurred. Much of my work has involved working directly with men and women facing a life sentence in prison for crimes that they say they did not commit. See the links below for details:
Through my work, I have been fortunate to meet many professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes, supporting prisoners in their fight against injustice. One such professional is director of Prison Radio Noelle Hanrahan.
Prison Radio is a radio network solely dedicated to prisoners, allowing them to not only have a voice but to share their stories.
In a mission statement, they stated:
“Prison Radio’s mission is to challenge unjust police and prosecutorial practices which result in mass incarceration, racism and gender discrimination. We do this by bringing the voices of men, women and kids into the public debate and dialogue on crime and punishment.Our radio broadcasts help spur the public to examine core issues that create crime and heighten disenfranchisement. Our educational materials serve as a catalyst for public activism, strengthening movements for social change. Prison Radio’s productions illustrate the perspectives and the intrinsic human worth of the more than 7.1 million people under correctional control in the U.S and those not served by the justice system.”
I was originally introduced to Ms. Hanrahan by a Pennsylvanian prisoner by the name of Bryant Arroyo, who had been incarcerated in 1995, for the murder of his stepson Jordan, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
After reading Mr. Arroyos paperwork in depth, it soon became apparent that Jordan had been an extremely sick little boy, particularly in the months prior to his death. The reports had indicated that, on many occasions, the doctors treating Jordan had neglected to diagnose that he was suffering from a life-threatening genetic illness.
Instead of giving this baby the special care he so obviously needed, the doctors caring for Jordan proceeded to vaccinate this chronically sick eight-month-old baby with multiple vaccinations containing mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde.
Eventually, Jordans little body gave up, and instead of owning up to their mistakes, the doctors treating Jordan accused Mr. Arroyo of murder. For the full story, read:
At the time, Ms. Hanrahan was one of the few people supporting Mr. Arroyo, and in March 2014, she allowed him to voice his story live on Prison Radio
Prisoners Denied Life-Saving Medical Treatment
Over the years Ms. Hanrahan has campaigned for the rights of many prisoners, including the political journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who, despite being innocent, was sentenced to death for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.
Mr. Abu-Jamal was forced to endure the next 30 years on death row before his case was overturned on constitutional grounds.
Today, Mr. Abu-Jamal has been fighting for his life once again, this time due to medical neglect. This is because Mr. Abu-Jamal has become one of a growing number of prisoners who are being refused lifesaving medical treatment by prison authorities, for hepatitis C.
Appalled by his plight, Ms. Hanrahan has worked tirelessly around the clock campaigning on Mr. Abu-Jamal’s behalf. Not only has she been working with legal teams, she has also been fundraising in an effort to pay for his much-needed medical care.
Her work has also included speaking out on radio and in the media and in December 2015, she stated:
“Mumia Abu Jamal has been very ill for over a year. He’s had a full body skin rash, that’s 80 percent of his skin was broken, open wounds. This has been going on for a long time.‘
Now, early in 2015, he went to the infirmary, he was put in the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy, and they started treating his incredible skin rash with topical steroids. The topical steroids triggered a diabetic reaction. They noted it in his charts. If he were out here, and not in prison, they would have sent him to the hospital.
They noted that it needed to be monitored, and then they didn’t monitor him for three weeks. Mumia went into a diabetic coma on March 30th and was transported to a hospital, an outside hospital, unconscious, in renal failure, and was minutes from death.
They stabilized him at the hospital and very quickly transported him back to the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy, within three days, with no diagnostic testing, with newly stabilizing his blood sugar levels. Mumia filed a grievance, he demanded that they diagnose the underlying condition to the skin rash, this horrible skin rash. And he then has pursued it till now.
So we are in court, this is the follow up for Mumia’s grievance, and then a lawsuit forcing the Department of Corrections of Pennsylvania to both diagnose him and then treat him.” Mumia Abu Jamal seeks injunction to force Pennsylvania prison officials to treat hepatitis C
As you see, Prison Radio has become a lifeline for many prisoners, and if it weren’t for the hard work of Ms. Hanrahan and her team, prisoners would be prevented from having this much-needed lifeline.
In 2014, US Government Attempted to Gag Prisoners
Unsurprisingly, the network’s activity has not gone unnoticed, and, in 2014, an attempt was made by the US government to halt their much-needed work. Silence of The Laws: A Gag on Mumia and All Prisoners’ Constitutional Right to Speak…
In October 2014, the Pennsylvania Senate tried to pass a bill making it illegal for prisoners to speak publicly. Popular Resistance stated:
“THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION:
Unconstitutional State Legislation Targets Mumia’s Ability to Speak! Vote to Happen This Week!
ICFFMAJ/Prison Radio/Campaign to Bring Mumia Home/HRC/ and Decarcerate PA are seeking your support.
The Pennsylvania Senate will vote this week on House bill HB2533 and Senate bill SB508. The Governor has pledged to sign it. This bill will make it illegal for prisoners to speak publicly AND allow the AG or DA to sue prisoners and the folks that assist them. This legislation was fast tracked in direct response to the positive support Mumia received for his Goddard College commencement speech.”
“This legislation was created to silence political prisoners like Mumia Abu Jamal, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, Bryant Arroyo and Russell Shoatz whose voice can be heard around the world, in spite of their physical captivity. Consider how much their voices have contributed to our intellectual heritage and collective growth. Consider all that we have learned about prison conditions and prisoner rights violations from those imprisoned.”
Popular Resistance are absolutely correct because over the years, Prison Radio has enabled prisoners such as these to have a voice, and for the first time, be able to inform the world not only about their cases but about their treatment behind bars.
Forgotten Majority stated:
“We believe that this legislation is a cynical move by legislators to stop people in prison from speaking out against an unjust system. The legislation could be voted on as early as Wednesday, October 15, 2014. If this bill passes, it will be a huge blow to the movement against mass incarceration. People inside prisons play a leading role in these struggles and their perspectives, analysis, and strategies are essential to our work. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who write books, contribute to newspapers or even write for ‘Voices from the Inside’ would run the risk of legal consequences just for sharing their ideas.”
Fortunately, the US government failed in their attempt to silence both the prisoners and Prison Radio and on September 23, 2016, I was informed of yet another disturbing story involving the maltreatment of prisoners.
Prisoners Forced to Bathe in Brown, Foul Smelling Water
According to Prison Radio and information leaked to me from an inmate, the water supplies at the Mahanoy facility in Frackville, Pennsylvania, are contaminated and for the past month the prisoners have been forced to bathe in disgusting, brown, foul-smelling water. However, according to my informant, due to deluge of complaints, the prison authorities have at least provided the prisoners with the luxury of three small cups of clean drinking water a day.
Appalled by their situation, Prison Radio, have organized a rally outside the prison gates for the right to clean water and decent health care, stated:
“Our loved ones in Mahanoy, Frackville, and other prisons are being forced to bathe in water that’s brown and smells bad. Prisoners are only allowed 3 small cups of clean water to drink at meals.
In addition, more than 6000 PA prisoners have hepatitis C but the Department of Corrections refuses to treat them.”
No Improvements Since August
On August 23, 2016, prisoners received a memo from Acting Superintendent G. Miller, which stated:
“Subject: Drinking Water
Please be advised that there was a water main break on 8-22-16 that has directly affected the water supply to SCI Frackville.
As of this morning, the break has been repaired, but until further notice all water must be boiled before drinking. Testing is currently being conducted to ensure the water is potable, therefore, drinking water will be provided to the facility until such time that the water testing results are received and the water is cleared for consumption.
There are currently no limitations on using the water to flush toilets. You should use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth until further notice. The institution will continue to run as normal a schedule including showers. However, as a reminder you are not to consume any water until you are directed.”
The memo continued with the usual mantra, reminding prisoners that their safety was of great concern; however, if their safety was really such a concern, then why do prisoners still have to bathe in filthy, stinking water, which is clearly contaminated?
The situation is appalling and has gone on long enough. All prisoners, guilty or not, should at least be entitled to clean water and adequate health care service.
About the Author: Christina England, BA Hons was born and educated in London, U.K. She received an A Level in Psychology and a BTEC in Learning Disabilities. She has spent many years researching vaccines and adverse reactions. She has an HND in journalism and media and is currently writing for The Liberty Beacon, American Chronicle, the Weekly Blitz and Vaccination Truth on immunization safety and efficacy.
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