Posts Tagged ‘Sheriff Woody’

Richmond Anarchist Black Cross

On the Richmond City Jail

In the context the possibility of a new Richmond City Jail, the Anarchist Black Cross must make it clear that we are against the existence of all jails and prisons. We believe that no new jails or prisons should ever be constructed, and that the old ones should be emptied and dismantled.

Jails and prisons are tools used to oppress people largely based on their race and class. They exist to intimidate and coerce into passivity all who are not incarcerated. Jails and prisons exist to perpetuate slavery (see the Thirteenth amendment which allows for the slavery of incarcerated individuals) and to make profit for the capitalists who have created industries around incarceration.

The Richmond City Jail has a long history of being overcrowded, inhumane, dangerous, and unhealthy. The new Sheriff prides himself on not providing inmates with the medical care that they need. Bails are set too high to be accessible to many of Richmond’s most destitute. As a result, Richmond City Jail has killed many inmates over the years. Five inmates of Richmond City Jail died in 2010 alone.

The solution to the overcrowded, inhumane, hot as hell jail is NOT the construction of a new larger jail. A new facility with more beds will only encourage more arrests to fill the space.

Richmond City Jail should never have been allowed to become overcrowded. Inmates over its capacity should be released immediately, which is what the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross called for in July of 2010 when Kerry Wayne Bennett and Grant R. Sleeper died from the heat. The Sheriff’s department is clearly too callous and incapable to keep people alive. They should not be entrusted with a larger population and they should never be allowed to exceed the official capacity of any facility. A new jail facility will not solve the problems of the old facility. (more…)

Inside of the cover of the handbook

We came across a copy of the “Resident’s” Handbook for the Richmond City Jail, and decided it might be more useful to people if the information was available online. If you or anyone you know is engaged in any sort of less than legal activity- like a civil disobedience- it might be beneficial to read the handbook in preparation. That way you can be mentally and emotionally prepared for the situation, which might make it less stressful.

Some aspects of the handbook are clearly troubling. The whole thing has the potential to help people understand some of the conditions within the Jail, the way inmates are treated, etc. The contents of the handbook clearly dispell the conservative myth that Jail’s are nice places to be. And the conditions listed in the handbook are simply the ones that the Sherriff’s department wrote down – other less than legal or humane policies and practices are obviously not recorded in this document.

The back page of the handbook says that AIDS is FATAL!! – some sort of cautionary statement to the inmates perhaps. However, what is significant to note is that AIDS is more likely to kill in the Richmond City Jail because Sheriff Woody takes great pride in his budget cutting policy of not providing people with AIDS medicines and treatment unless they were receiving it prior to their incarceration. AIDS kills, Sheriff Woody helps. (Don’t forget the 5 dead inmates in 2010 at RCJ).

You can download the PDF here:

http://www.archive.org/details/ResidentsHandbookForTheRichmondCityJail

We will be doing our best to add insight and analysis about this handbook, so check this website for more down the line.

Ring in 2011 with the Richmond Anarchist Black Cross during a solidarity noise demo at the Richmond City Jail!

Friday December 31st at 11:30pm at 1600 Oliver Hill Way!

Our intention is to show solidarity with prisoners locked behind those walls, and also as an act of solidarity with people incarcerated and struggling against incarceration throughout the world. This action is an attempt to break the isolation between inside and outside the prison walls.

Bring your voice, whistles, drums, pots and pans, musical instruments, and other noise makers! Count down to a new year of struggle against the prison industrial complex. We want a new year without prisons, without the institutionalized slavery of prisons, and without the racist and classist institutions that proactively oppress and lock up our friends.

Make New Year’s Eve meaningful by letting people incarcerated know that they are not forgotten. Inside the Richmond City Jail are our friends, families, and neighbors. Even if you do not know someone locked up personally, the mere fact of so many members of our communities being incarcerated does have an effect on your life.

The Richmond City Jail is a notoriously overcrowded and unsafe place. Sheriff Woody takes more pride in cutting costs than in the actual care given to inmates. Adequate heating, cooling, water, medical care, and programs are simply not provided. The conditions are dangerous. There have been 4 reported deaths in 2010 alone. (more…)

Please go to the link below to sign this petition in regards to the conditions at the Richmond City Jail. Inmates in the jail need better conditions immediately!

This letter is intended to put pressure on City officials in Richmond, VA to improve conditions in the city jail right now! There are things being done in the courts to improve conditions long-term, but there are 2 more months of hot summer left to go, and the current inmates can not wait that long to have a decision made. We hope you will sign this petition to insist everyday conditions improve IMMEDIATELY.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/towards_a_more_humane_city_jail

The Richmond City Jail needs to be EMPTIED NOW!!!! The inmates need to be let out, today.

2 deaths in one month due to the horrendous conditions at the Richmond City Jail are  2 TOO many. No one should get the death sentence for committing misdemeanor crimes. One person who died in June in the Richmond City Jail had not even gotten a chance at a trial.

The Jail is overcrowded. The jail is too hot. 120 degrees is TOO hot. Giving the inmates ice and water 4 times a day is not enough. Inmates do not receive adequate food, water, medicine, or medical attention. The Sheriff and other officials pride themselves on their ability to cut spending on the inmates- thus providing fewer of the services necessary to keep the inmates healthy, and alive.

The inmates in the Richmond City Jail need to be released NOW! They do not have time to wait for the bureaucracy to figure out ways to fix the current jail or construct a new one. People are dying.

The Richmond City Jail needs to be emptied and closed down. Adequate repairs etc. will not be possible with inmates still inside. And the risk is too great for the inmates.

If the sheriff and city officials all acknowledge that the conditions in the jail are horrendous and unacceptable then it is LONG past time that something be done about it.  Let the prisoners go. It is the only humane solution at this time. We have months of summer left, with many days of over 100 degree heat expected. If we, as a city, allow inmates to remain locked up in Richmond City Jail then we are accountable for their pain, suffering, and deaths.

EMPTY the Richmond City Jail NOW!!!!

On June 30th an inmate at the Richmond City Jail, died. RIP Kerry Wayne Bennett.

That was the 2nd death in the month of June in the City Jail. Previously, Grant R. Sleeper, died after being moved from the Jail to the Hospital.

These are not the first inmates to have died at the Richmond City Jail due to overcrowding, poor facilities, intentionally cruel management, lack of access to food, water, medicine, and medical care etc. The Richmond City Jail is an atrocity.

The proposed solution to the torturous conditions at the current Richmond City Jail is the construction of a new jail facility.

We call for the immediate release of all prisoners currently being held at the Richmond City Jail. Moving them to a different facility, even as a temporary measure, will undoubtedly result in the overcrowding of that or those facilities. It will likely also result in the removal of those inmates from the Richmond area which will make it more difficult for them to receive support and visits from their family, friends, and lawyers.

In the long term we also oppose the construction of a new jail facility, particularly if it is an expanded facility. When our prisons and jails are all over crowded, we question the need to have so many people imprisoned.

The Richmond Anarchist Black Cross is an autonomous Collective committed to prison abolition and prisoner support. As anarchists we are oppossed to all systems of oppression and repression and have concluded that prisons serve no positive function in society. We actively seek to abolish the institutionalized slavery of the Prison Industrial Complex. We are dedicated to working in solidarity with prisoners and drawing connections between a multitude of struggles.

http://www.criticalresistance.org has more information about reasons for supporting the abolition of the Prison system in the United States.

This Article, from the Richmond Times Dispatch has more details:

Richmond, Va. –

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate what it calls “punishing” conditions at the Richmond City Jail after the deaths of two inmates last month. (more…)