Well its [sic] nice to think that somebody is thinking about me. But your computer is ok. I didnt [sic] hear anything after I sent that letter to you. Its [sic] good to know that someone knows what is going on here. If ochea [sic] ever came in here they’d shut it down. The only reason they can get away with it, is because its [sic] a state oned [sic] place.
They delivered my medicine for a year now. And all of a sudden they want me to go over and get them. Like one C.O. said this is a prison and were not supose [sic] to cater to you guys. And I quote. So I am trying. [omitted for safety] I try to get along with everyone.
Yes Im [sic] doing ok. Im [sic] still in a lot of pain. But I cant [sic] get help for that until I get out. Im [sic] in [omitted for privacy] by the way.
I wish more people would write to the blog. But they say they would be waisting [sic] there [sic] time. Because nobody care about us.
Well it was good to hear from you. And take care.
[name omitted for inmate safety]
Maine Correctional Center
A note from Sophie:
Previously I published a letter by this inmate that outlined serious fire hazards in his pod (along with other very serious health concerns for prisoners). He wrote to the blog that every fire exit and door is currently blocked with heavy things. After receiving his letter I immediately emailed the fire chief in the town where MCC is located Windham, Maine. Here is my email and his flippant dismissal of the issue:
Dear Chief Charlie Hammond,
I am writing out of a grave concern for the inmates and staff at Maine Correctional Center (MCC). I am a prison advocate and today I received word from an inmate in MCC that the doors to the outside AND the fire exits in his pod are blocked. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly which pod he lives in but I felt that it was imperative that I inform someone given the seriousness of the matter. The letter from the inmate can be viewed here: p1yroD-40
I do know from reading the letter that wherever the man is housed is with other handicapped/disabled men, which of course adds to my concern. These men are crippled and would have trouble with a normal evacuation where the doors are accessible. Therefore, having doors and fire exits blocked is an extreme safety hazard for them. This in turn puts the MCC staff at a greater risk for injury in the event of a fire because they would first have to unblock the doors and then help crippled men out of the cells and into the air. I do not have to go into details about the risks and unlikelihood that this could even be accomplished in an emergency situation.
I hope that this letter prompts an investigation that leads to a swift resolve. Thank you very much for taking time out of your day to check into this matter.
Solidarity in Struggle,
Charles Hammond to Charles, me
show details Jul 20
Please contact the individual(s) and identify the building. I don’t want to spend the days correcting problems specific to one or two doors. We’ll do a random when we go to the facility. I am also forwarding this to the Fire Safety Officer at MCC.
As you can see, Mr. Hammond was not very interested in the conditions at MCC. The inmate did tell me which pod he is located in, but I feel that for his personal safety, I cannot disclose his exact location. The fire chief and his crew should have no problem finding the numerous violations at MCC in EVERY pod, I refuse to place this inmate in more harm so that Mr. Hammond can dismiss his claims.
Although I only used an initial when I published this inmate’s original letter, I believe that the reason that he is “suddenly” being told to walk and get his food (he is handicapped) is blatant retaliation for publishing on Voices. I have taken the initial out of the original post, but of course, this person is still at risk.
Also, the inmate says in this new letter that the safety conditions have not changed in his pod. Clearly, MCC does not care about the safety of their inmates OR staff. If anyone reading this would like to contact Mr. Hammond and kindly suggest that his office make the visit to MCC soon (and preferably UN-announced) his email is: firstname.lastname@example.org