We Have Names

Written by Inmate Contributor

August 17, 2022

Photo by tristan on Unsplash

This morning we woke up to gun fire right outside our windows. We look out and there are targets posted in the yard shaped like humans. Officers from the tower were doing live fire target practice drills in our yard. In my whole time ever in prison, I have never not one time seen anything even similar to this. It is an obvious attempt at intimidation. Tensions on both sides are up. We are not animals, we are human beings, we have names!!!

I was in the office this afternoon with the onsite Ashland Unit staff. I was recording my speech and afterwards I was speaking with him and checking his temperature to see were he’s at mentally ya know. So I ask him what he thinks about this place and he says the way they treat the inmates is mind blowing. He never thought, especially in the United States, that it would be even legal to treat human beings like this. He also said that one of the female administration staff asked him why he “talked to us like that.”

“Like what?”
“Like people.” 
“They are animals, they aren’t people.”
He told her “I don’t see a zoo, I see nothing but human beings here.”

And she copped an attitude and walked off.

Anyhow, that is the culture I’m dealing with and have been dealing with. I’m dealing with a group of people that don’t even think I am human. How can that be in the twenty-first century? How is something like that acceptable? How can people with that kind of disregard for human life be in a position working for the Arizona government? That is a viewpoint that clearly displays dysfunction, and they have no problem voicing that viewpoint out loud which displays a kind of mental instability. Yet, I’m the one that deserves to be in prison for years and years?

I have never been more scared for my own well-being and safety as I have in the last couple of months. This does not stem from my peers either, this genuine fear is rooted in my captors and comes from their utter disregard for human life. How am I to feel safe when my captors legitimately think I’m equal to a dog that needs to be put down?

Arizona Prisoner

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