by Allen Williams
I suggest the DC jail facility is a virtual soviet style Gulag intended to break those incarcerated for political 'crimes' and inculcate them with anti-American propaganda. I will provide excerpt examples to illustrate the point, [emphasis mine] Basis: https://greene.house.gov/sites/evo-subsites/greene.house.gov/files/evo-media-document/Unusually%20Cruel%20An%20Eyewitness%20Report%20From%20The%20DC%20Jail.pdf
First ..Page 2 "The purpose of the congressional visit was to inspect the conditions of the two facilities, specifically the treatment of inmates held in the CTF in relation to the events of January 6, 2021.
The November 4 tour was only accomplished after months of persistence. Representative Greene and her congressional colleagues, Reps. Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, and Paul Gosar, were denied entry to the jail on multiple occasions—July 29 and November 3. In July, the Deputy Warden of the facility—Ms. Kathleen Landerkin, charged a congressional delegation led by Rep. Greene with trespassing, avoided and evaded Representatives’ questions, and forcibly locked congressional members out of the facility."
For example, cells in the January 6 wing of the CTF were extremely small, composed of a single toilet, sink, and a small bed cot. The walls of the rooms had residue of human feces, bodily fluids, blood, dirt, and mold. The community showers were recently scrubbed of black mold—some of which remained. The interior walls of the common area were also freshly painted. According to the inmates, the U.S. Marshals had recently visited the area just days before, which caused a flurry of activity by guards to clean up the January 6 area while the U.S. Marshals were inspecting another area.
Inmates explained that they did not have access to their attorneys, families, or proper nutrition from the jail. Shortly after entering the January 6 wing of the CTF, inmates assembled for their daily salute to the American flag and singing of the national anthem. Following almost an hour of personal interviews with January 6 detainees, all in attendance—except the DC jail staff— gathered in a circle while Congresswoman Greene closed the group in prayer. At approximately10:15 p.m., Members and staff exited the facilities. "
and we have peers come to mentor another inmate who has been in an altercation; Growth/Progress/Support (GPS) Teams are able to work with other inmates to resolve disputes and to advocate to prison staff (e.g., Dr. Lopez) on behalf of inmates.
Very inclusive conversation in this program to show growth and that this facility really cares about us. [I] can’t speak about the others, but they really care about us.
I would like every institution in the country to be like this one. I will now allow you [Reps. Greene and Gohmert] to introduce yourselves.[Continuing to speak]
I did not and would not vote for a lot of you. But I appreciate you being here. At the end of the day, we’re all Americans and we all live in the same place. All the individuals in this room will be released from confinement one day. You all live here, or at least have
an apartment in D.C. With that being said, we appreciate you being here."
At every stage of the criminal justice process - plea bargaining, sentencing, prison conditions, rehabilitation, parole, and societal reentry - the U.S. is harsher and more punitive than other comparable countries.
In Unusually Cruel, Marc Morjé Howard argues that the American criminal justice and prison systems are exceptional - in a truly shameful way. Although other scholars have focused on the internal dynamics that have produced this massive carceral system..
In summary, the curriculum foisted onto the YME’s for at least 5 hours a week includes academic studies and other books about how the United States is especially cruel relative to other developed nations and perpetuates a racial caste system."
Rep. Greene: No, the tour’s not over. The whole point of it was to see the entire place, and to
see the January 6 defendants.
Landerkin: That’s not my call. That’s the Director’s [decision].
Rep. Greene: Why though? What is the reason?
Patten: Let me say this, there is nothing to hide.
Rep. Greene: If there’s nothing to hide, we should be seeing it. It’s not about the first group
[D.C. City Council delegation].
Kinlow: Everything that the first group [D.C. City Council delegation] has seen, you have seen.
Rep. Greene: We don’t care about the first group.
But the physical conditions of the area were just the start. Inmates were only allowed out of their cells for five hours a day, a small mercy. Prior to this relative freedom, inmates were kept in their cells similar to the maximum security inmates: 23 and 1 (23 hours in the cell, 1 hour out), 22 and 2, (21 and 3), etc. One inmate, who had been detained since February 3, 2021, explained that he had been subjected to “23 and 1” for four months, followed by two months of 22 and 2. This inmate stated that he had gone through 200 days of solitary confinement. This type of treatment is being used against inmates who are all pre-trial. They have been convicted of nothing !
Despite remaining innocent until proven guilty under the law, the January 6 inmates are allowed few, if any, basic human needs. For example, to supplement their lack of nutrition from the jail, inmates must buy food from the commissary with their own money, limited to once-a-week with a maximum of $125. Inmates cannot receive a haircut unless they are vaccinated. They cannot receive communion without being vaccinated. Many have been reduced to using Nair to chemically burn their hair off to keep themselves partially groomed. Most cannot speak to their families. Some are not even sure whether their family members know they are alive or their condition.
Page 19 "Representatives Greene and Gohmert continued to talk with the inmates, sign their Bibles and Constitutions, and listened to their stories. Staff received information from many of the inmates on the status of their cases, conditions in the January 6 detainee wing of the CTF, or requests to contact family or attorneys.
Inmate: On June 1, 2021, we [the inmates] sang “God Bless America” at 11:45 p.m. and Corporal Holmes, who was not normally stationed there, into their area and told us to “shut the fuck up.” We replied that we were singing “God Bless America” and the guard replied, “fuck America” and then went up to one cell, turned his camera off and said he would ‘beat his ass’ (referring to the inmate). The guard came back at 4:30 a.m. on June 2 taunting and harassing us... We wrote multiple grievances about this officer, and they were all returned by the guard himself."
The congressional visit to the D.C. jail on November 4 unquestionably proved that there is a two-track justice system in the United States. This two-tiered system is not based on race, violence, or conviction of crime, but politics.
This report demonstrates that pre-trial inmates related to January 6 are treated more harshly than any other inmates in the D.C. jail, even though they have yet to be convicted of any crime. While Young Men Emerging (YME) and other convicted inmates are given access to flat screen TV’s, moot court lessons, and educational iPads, January 6 detainees are denied basic medical care,
bathrooms, exercise, religious services, haircuts, and a nutritious diet.
If that were not enough, the outright duplicity of those overseeing the jail could not be more evident. For example, DOC staff were overly conscientious about every person wearing masks in the general population area but could care less about masks or face shields when the congressional delegation interacted with the January 6 inmates in close proximity for over an
Moreover, almost every hallway of the jail was covered in advertisements encouraging inmates to register to vote while some inmates cannot see their families or contact their attorneys. Furthermore, it remains difficult to resist the conclusion that DOC staff support the dissemination of racist and anti-American propaganda to inmates, whether in the form of Nation of Islam newspapers, Critical Race Theory articles, or academic studies teaching young inmates that the United States perpetuates a racial caste system. While these materials are ubiquitous throughout the jail, many inmates cannot get Bibles or basic legal materials to aid in their case work.
The sad, but unsurprising, reality of the D.C. jail reveals that the primary programming goal was centered around access to voting and anti-American propaganda. If preponderance of the evidence is any indicator, it seems more likely that the jail staff was more concerned with inmates voting and understanding that America is racist than ensuring basic healthcare, diet, and civil liberties are preserved. While it cannot be denied that the jail does provide educational resources to some inmates, it is largely dependent on whim rather than equal access about who receives it.
While the delegation sincerely appreciates the DOC staff for providing the tour of the facility, it should not have taken three visits, one congressional letter, and a forced confrontation with the D.C. Mayor’s representative and DOC staff for Members of Congress to inspect a jail they have the constitutional duty and prerogative to oversee. As Representatives Greene and Gohmert pointed out, if there is nothing to hide, there should be no issue in seeing these inmates or their
Since the Marshals Service has already declared a portion of the facility unhospitable for more than 400 inmates, and the D.C. Mayor’s Office has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Marshals admitting that there is a need to correct certain problems, clearly more work remains to improve inmate conditions throughout the jail.