This story comes to us from John’s aunt Carol. What she describes in terms of the treatment both John and his family receive is not what we believe Kentucky justice should be, and what we are asking Governor Matt Bevin to set right.
I wanted to share my experience going to see John on Thursday (yesterday). Not only are prison visits logistically difficult (2 hours) but can be made even more difficult for families by the prison officials who may not put the accurate date on the permission letter you are mailed or can arbitrarily just decide you can’t visit period even if you’re there. When I was turned away early yesterday morning–after my 2 hour drive–because the Warden’s secretary had not put the right date on my visitation letter, I retrieved my phone in my car and called the secretary to see what could be done. You have to be tactful when you’re talking to prison administration because you don’t want to encourage retribution on your loved one or animosity towards you. She found an 11:00 slot for me (this was at 8am) and I said I would take it and just wait till 11am.
This is the rest of the story from my Facebook post:
“Sitting outside in my car trying to figure out what to do for three and a half hours in Eddyville Kentucky where it seems the prison is the only major employer. Wishing I had brought some work so at least I might be a little productive on such a crappy day. My phone rings, guess what? It’s Donna, the Warden’s secretary again. Hope rises in my chest, maybe they’re going to let me come in and visit right now! Oh, ye of too much faith in mankind. Donna informs me that the Warden put a nix on my 11 a.m. visit that she had just approved me for. My voice starts to get warbly but I do my best to appear not horribly angry because I have to kiss up to this woman who’s talking to me on the phone right now even though I know she screwed up, she knows she screwed up, she’s still screwing up, and the warden just screwed me and my nephew. But she may be able to help me one day or even help John in spite of her track record at this point. I try to appeal to her better nature and ask her if there’s any way she can fix what she messed up even though God knows we all mess up from time to time Donna! But Donna is having none of that- – she passes the buck to me. So here I am on my way back to Nashville, and yes I will be back at this God-forsaken place next Thursday where it’s just not a normal day at prison unless you sadistically punish prisoners and blatantly punish their families also.”
So that was my day, and so that was John’s day too–told 2x that his Aunt Carol was going to visit and told 2x that it wasn’t going to happen. Mind you, this is a “video” visit–John’s in one room somewhere near his cell in the “hole” (solitary confinement) shackled and hand-cuffed with 2 guards in front of a screen, and I’m in the prison visitation area in front of a tv screen. Keep in mind that John has been in solitary confinement for about 6 months, which is labeled cruel and unusual punishment by the UN when it is longer than 30 days. This is a way to make prisoners crazy and keep everyone in line, including the pesky families, and that is exactly what’s happening here. Please pray for John, please share this campaign today with others who might be able to help–and also we need more signatures on our petition to the Gov of KY to take a look at this case. In a couple of minutes, you–we all—can change John’s life.
Here is the petition to sign if you haven’t, we are still short the number we need to send a message directly to Kentucky governor Matt Bevin and every signature counts:
Thank you for joining our fight.