“We have no books, we have no maps, we do not have pens,” Jeremy Wade said of his placement in the Bradley County Jail quarantine area. He says he could be out just two hours a day and had to share certain items with potentially infected prisoners.
Tiffani Dailey testifies:
When Jeremy was in prison, I was terrified. He told me that masks and sanitary ware were not provided. No one cleaned or filled the bottles with disinfectant. And it is up to the prisoners to clean up their areas and cells. Given the positive cases of Covid-19 in prison, he feared for his life – because there really was an epidemic inside. The administration says there is a quarantine period of 14 days, but no. There is indeed a quarantine zone, but during these 14 days people can enter or leave it. On the 14th day, when you are to get out of quarantine and go with the other prisoners because you have no signs or symptoms of the disease, someone may very well enter the area and be positive. And there you are.
There were 30 positive cases, all of which were in the same area as Jeremy. Now it’s like opening Pandora’s Box: all the people we have not taken care of are sick. These 30 people have had Covid-19. And some negative people have been forced to come into contact with positive cases.
When friends and family of prisoners in Bradley County Jail shared their stories and asked for help online, their approach became viral. On social networks, a productionrequired the provision of appropriate protective equipment and cleaning products to all prisoners was widely published. ONE Fundraising was also launched to allow prisoners to be released on bail. From June 29, Tiffani Dailey and other relatives of prisoners began organizing weekly protests outside the prison. It was during one of these gatherings that the prisoners began to hang the messages on the windows.
Translation: “Heartbreaking placards are displayed in Bradley County Jail today. Prisoners are denied all appropriate personal protective equipment (masks, cleaning supplies, etc.) and forced to use sheets as masks. Covid-19 positive prisoners are holding healthy prisoners.”
In response to the mobilization, the Bradley County Sheriff issued one declarationwhere he ensures that the hygiene rules are respected as a quarantine procedure. The statement said that cleaning supplies are provided to prisoners so that they can disinfect their own cells as well as objects they share, such as telephones. Family mobilization and internal calls from their cells have made it possible for prisoners to receive more protective equipment and cleaning products, especially with the distribution of masks.
As conditions improved, posters were obtained to send messages of thanks to activists and their families outside. On July 13, however, the criminal court decided to cover the windows of the cells and stopped all communication.
This internet user publishes a photo showing that the prison windows are covered to prevent prisoners from sending messages.
“Covering the windows is unfair, we are disgusted”
Tiffani Dailey was shocked by this decision:
When a person inside, a prisoner, called us and said, “Hi, I was the one who told me I needed help but they covered my window,” we just got sick. . It is unfair. We have started the fundraising campaign on GoFundMe for deposits but also to help them shop in prison because many do not have the funds, so we try to help them so they can join the members of their families and get what they need. There are still many people in prison. And that is why we are now trying to do justice to the people who are denied medical care, who are abused, who are locked up, excluded from society and who cannot reach their family members.
Friends and family of prisoners have continued to demonstrate outside the prison since then, and calls for help are still circulating online. A new non-profit organization,Bradley County jailed resolutions, was also created to support the county’s prisoners and advocate for better prison conditions.Article written by Pariesa Young.