Inmates matter.Wetzel,commit to thorough searches of staff,and keep in-person visitations.

Inmates matter.Wetzel,commit to thorough searches of staff,and keep in-person visitations.

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Alyce Thompson started this petition to DOC Secretary John Wetze and

 

Staff of these prisons are human too. You have good and bad ones, which mean, they should undergo criminal investigations just like inmates.

It's clear that drugs have been getting into the prisons for decades, and the majority by CO's and staff of the facilities, but they are going to stand together and abide by the code of silence.

The problem goes deeper than this sickness that officials are claiming to be the reason for this lockdown of all state prisons. No samples of this so-called substance have been found and countless employees have been hospitalized for the same symptoms and a few inmates have died. Could this just be a virus going around, a ploy to get rid of inmates, a way to capitalize off inmates, and it's backfiring and impacting those in authority or is this so-called illness a lie to control our loved ones and to keep us from them so they can enforce this new system by Securus called, "video visitations?"

Let's go deeper, because there is a bigger issue at hand. Retired corrections officer and current state Rep. Cris Dush, and other members of the corrections family, demanded Secretary John Wetzel and Gov. Tom Wolf to stand behind them because prisoners are out of control. He called them out for not having a handle on the prison system, saying there has been a massive increase in assaults on staff members, and the influx of drugs inside the facilities is starting to impact local hospitals and communities. Some state reps, mates of CO's, and retired staff members all criticize how inmates are given televisions, laptops and other means of communication to contact other inmates at other facilities.

Dush also said that the process within the department used to be custody, control, then care, but in recent years it has been flipped to care, custody, then control. He wants to up the ante, because inmates don't respect authority and DOC officials put inmates ahead of their own staff.
 In a recent article Dush said, “I’ve watched Sec. Wetzel blow right past uniform staff and start fist bumping inmates." Sounds bitter, right?

Dush was also upset that Wolf did not attend the funeral of Sgt. Mark Baserman, who was killed in February at SCI Somerset. 
However, Gov. Wolf's team said, "Rep. Dush routinely politicizes tragedies and spreads misinformation about the department and that is unfortunate." This seems personal to me. It is a war inside a war. This is all about power, politics and control; and our loved ones (INMATES) are being used as pawns.

In almost every article I've read about the lockdown of PA prisons, the concern is the staff, while our loved ones are treated like animals. Officials claim the current system is just not working. They say it's time to put corrections back into the department with corrections. New leadership is needed. It's time for change. And I agree, change is needed and it should start with those in charge.

John Wetzel, animals are treated with more dignity and respect than our loved ones. They shouldn't be locked in a cage 24-hours without a shower. This could create more problems than solutions. Now, if they're mentally disturbed and pose a threat to others than take the proper steps to have them treated, but don't punish every inmate for that reason. 

Dush said, "searches take time and a lot of effort. Let staff take their time and do it right. Do not rush them through for the sake of getting things 'back to normal.' Well, this should apply to the staff as well.

Wetzel, apply that same pressure on Dush, and all those in power, to create a safer environment not only for the staff, but inmates. And, please do not allow this new video visitation system to replace in-person visits saying it will reduce contraband--drugs, weapons and more from getting into the prisons. This is just another scheme to make more money off us. In-person visits used to be free. We spend hundreds of dollars a month to keep food in our loved one’s mouths, to hear their voices and to see them on visits; and Securus charges $12.99 for 20 minutes per video visits. 

Clearly, this move is about power and money, and without inmates there are less jobs for staff. No in-person visits also means cutting back on CO's, and without staff who will oversee countless inmates? 

Inmates matter; they are fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, siblings, etc. They are paying for the crimes they've committed repeatedly, and some are being held unjustly. This treatment is dehumanizing, and may be illegal.

I believe, this is a move in the wrong direction. Inmates need more human contact, not less. We vow to stand with our loved ones until we see change.

Wetzel and Wolf, we need you to stand behind us, and if you do not take a stand for our loved ones, we will take this signed petition before a federal judge, in hopes that he/she rules in our favor to have staff undergo thorough searches just like inmates, and not to have video visitations replace in-person visitations.

Alyce C. Thompson  

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