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Treatment Of Prisoners/Inmates – Commissary

Since the outbreak of COVID 19 prisons all over the country had to developed a new normal. One of the biggest changes has been in the commissary department. Prior to COVID prisoners/inmates would pick up our commissary at a window located in the corridor, but once COVID hit commissary had to then get delivered to each housing unit.

The reasoning for this was due to the fact that prisoners/inmates have been on a 23 hour lockdown, and that hour has to be divided up meaning, 15 minutes for a phone call, 15 minutes for a shower, and 30 in the dayroom which is when we can send and receive emails.

I mentioned in a prior blog how the commissary lady can be extremely disrespectful in the way she speaks to prisoners/inmates. Well a few weeks ago she received a reality check regarding just how dependant she is when it comes to inmate labor.

Since we are on lockdown only the commissary department (not inmates) could pass out the commissary, and they only consist of four individuals. They not only had to deliver over 180 bags of commissary, but they then had to pass it out. Within 20 minutes they were bent over and breathing heavily, and then they began to argue with the correctional officers in an attempt to get them to let out some prisoners to help them.

One would think this would then lead to better treatment of the prisoners/inmates who were eventually allowed to help; right? Wrong. She immediately reverted to her ways and begin lashing the men, and demanding they don’t touch anything, and that “her commissary” better not come up missing.

Really? Had no one been allowed to help, then what? If commissary gets too backed up then she gets fired, so one would think she would appreciate us at least in that moment. Prison can be a vile and disgusting environment and after 15 years behind these walls the treatment gets worst and worst, and never fails to amaze me.

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Diane Winbush
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This is a great article. Many times, we should expose injustices within a penal institution, and how staff may or may not consider respect for prisoners. This is the top priority of his or her duties, and that is to care for and maintain security for prisoners.