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We are sending you the attached petition on behalf of the female inmates at the Coleman Correctional Facility Satellite Camp in Sumterville, Florida. Inmates at the Camp are classified as non-violent, low security. This facility is part of the larger Coleman Complex where a sexual harassment lawsuit involving hundreds of current and former staffers is currently pending a $20 million settlement, the largest such case of its kind in history. While the harassment was ongoing, 4 senior executives at Coleman received bonuses, one of the Coleman officials, Tamyra Jarvis, the warden at the facility, received performance awards totaling $34,500 during the past two years before retiring in January. Sandra Parr, a vice president of the national union of prison workers, said the Coleman bonus recipients were made aware of the deep problems at the prison but "did nothing to fix anything.''
Problems at Coleman continue, this past August 22, a corrections officer was arrested for taking bribes and supplying drugs to inmates. The following issues have been presented by inmates and verified by family, these conditions require urgent action:
· The Bureau of Prisons has ended contracts for many Halfway Houses keeping inmates locked up longer, penalizing families. Privately funded prisons come with contract guarantees requiring the Justice Department to fill beds, an incentive for the Bureau of Prisons to circumvent the early release program
· Early release placement in Halfway Houses has been suspended for female inmates while male inmates continue to receive this opportunity
· The amount of food has been reduced and inmates are being fed expired food
· Medical service has been reduced and inmates are being given expired medications, insulin treatment is not available and meds are limited to once daily – many inmates require twice
· The facility has mold contamination which has not been properly treated, simply painted over
· Female inmates are doing physical factory labor resulting in injuries. The Justice Department's inspector general concluded private prisons were more dangerous than government-run facilities.
· Female inmates are sent to do housekeeping at at the houses of director, staff administrators, and also sent to clean the men’s prison putting the women at risk
· Reduced staffing levels have led to longer visitation processing and wait times up to 2 hours
· Inmates are being utilized in roles in which they have no training or qualifications, such as teaching classes and providing elderly care
· A screened outdoor visitation area has been closed for repairs for several months with no indication that repairs will proceed. This has created visitor overcrowding and staff has forced visitors, many who have driven long distances, to leave early
The aforementioned conditions are a direct result of private prisons that cut corners to boost profits, putting inmates, staff and the public at risk. In light of these conditions, we are requesting these non-violent inmates be released to home confinement and allowed work release. This will save taxpayer money, increase restitution, and lessen the impact on families.
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