I received a letter from an inmate I know. He had this to say:
When visitors came to our prison, they found three washrooms that were provided for them. They could change a baby in one of them.
A few weeks ago we got a notice from the deputy warden:
“Access to the visitor washrooms which are located inside the Recreation Building will not long be available for use during Family Events. Any visitors requiring use of a washroom will be escorted to the Principle Entrance. Visitors with infant/toddler children will no long be permitted to change diapers of their children in the Recreation building. They will be escorted to the Principle Entrance. Visitors will be re-processed by the Principle Entrance Staff prior to being permitted back into the Gym area. “
So if a visitor wanted to use a washroom, they had to be escorted back to the principal entrance. After they were finished with the bathroom, they would be inspected again, their purse, their pockets etc. etc. For people with compromised bladders and for parents with a small baby who needs to be changed, these rules make a visit to see their inmate very difficult.
Family support is vital for an inmate. The prison system says they believe this and support it, but then they show by their actions that families are just a big pain.
All right, so somebody obviously broke a rule, perhaps brought in something illegal. Will every visitor from now on be punished for that infraction?
A small point – as a teacher of writing I would hold up the deputy warden’s memo as an example of how NOT to write. There are at least a dozen mistakes.