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Photo Credit: © Alptraum | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Is orange really the new black? Would millions of people binge-watch the popular Netflix program if the women the show was about were denied showers and life-saving medications? Probably not. I mean there is nothing cool about seeing people denied their basic human rights. Well that’s exactly what’s happening at Ionia State prison in Michigan.

According to the family of one of the prisoners, their son and brother is not allowed to take showers, staff have taken his reading glasses, denied him television (…he may thank them for that one later), and most importantly withheld life-saving HIV medications. All from a prisoner who is mentally disabled. And guess what? This behavior is against the law. You see, prisoners are human beings and in the United States are protected by this thing we call the Constitution.

Warden Willie Smith must be held accountable for the actions of his staff. The buck must stop there! Prisoners are people too. They are human beings who have committed crimes. In some cases, really bad crimes. I get that. As a society we have chosen to incarcerate these criminals. We have not chosen to abuse them. Nor would we want to (I had a quick flash of Sarah Palin probably saying the exact opposite but I stand by my statement).

According to here are some of the basic rights of prisoners (to name a few):
1. Prisoners have a right to live in humane conditions (free of vermin or hazardous waste).
2. Freedom from sexual harassment.
3. The right to complain in the courts about their treatment.
4. Adequate medical care must be provided.
5. A right to keep their personal property (you know…like reading glasses).

This inhumane treatment of our fellow human beings must stop.

Call or write Warden Willie Smith

at (616) 527-6331

1576 W. Bluewater Highway
Ionia, MI 48846

Let him know you demand that prisoners be treated like humans!

Who am I? I’m someone who has never committed a crime but sometimes as a black woman, I’m treated less than human. And I’m tired of it. This type of behavior has got to stop!!  Until all of us STAND UP for what is right, injustice will prevail. Let’s call out the bullies, homophobes, bigots, racists, and elitists!

We can change the world…