Urgent Call to Action: Water Crisis in the Prison, DOC in Contempt of Mumia Court Order
From Flint and Standing Rock to SCI Mahanoy and prisons across the country, people are defending the life-saving right to clean water.
At SCI Mahanoy, the Pennsylvania prison that houses Mumia Abu-Jamal, the water is unsafe for prisoners to bathe in, shower in and drink. It is "dirty, brackish, turbid, even black water" —that is how Mumia Abu-Jamal describes the dramatic situation in a grievance he filed last week. The grievance includes 6 demands, including 1) the immediate provision of an alternative source of "clean, fresh, safe, and untainted water" for bathing and drinking and 2) "testing of the water piped into the infirmary tub and showers."
Please help amplify the voices of all prisoners. Take action. Call the prison and publicize Mumia’s grievance widely (see transcript below).
As you know, Mumia has a severe skin ailment, a symptom of his untreated HEP C. The water contamination at the prison, therefore, poses a serious threat to his life through infection. For this reason Mumia has refused the three baths a week that prison doctors prescribed to alleviate his symptoms. In addition to violating the January 2017 court order of a federal judge mandating that Mumia be immediately treated with the HEP C cure, which is the root cause of his skin problem, the DOC is in violation of its own woefully inadequate "baths prescription" for the treatment of his skin condition and HEP C.
TAKE ACTION.Call the prison, the DOC & the PA Gov
LANGUAGE TO USE and DEMANDS
Hi, I am a concerned citizen from______________. I am calling to demand that the Mahanoy prison administration
1. Immediately provide all prisoners clean water for bathing, showering and drinking.
In addition, I am demanding that the institution
2. Comply with Judge Mariani's court ruling of January 3, 2017, which ordered the immediate treatment of Mumia Abu Jamal with the Hep C cure by the DOC. Give Mumia the cure he needs.
3. Tom Wolf, PA Gvrnr: 717-787-2500 | governor@PA.gov | 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg PA 17120
IN ADDITION, TAKE ACTION IN THE STREETS.
RALLY in Philadelphia at the Governor's Office
When: Thursday, February 9, 2017 --- 4-6PM
Where: 200 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia
Transcript of Mumia's Grievance.
OFFICIAL INMATE GRIEVANCE
TO: FACILITY GRIEVANCE COORDINATOR
Jane Hinman, Asst. to Supt.
FROM: (INMATE NAME & NUMBER)
M. A. Jamal #AM8335
A. Provide a brief, clear statement of your grievance. Additional paper may be used, maximum two pages …. State all relief that you are seeking.
Over the last several months, I have repeatedly complained of dirty, brackish, turbid, even black water in the infirmary’s tub. In my discussions with c/o Easterday, I’ve confirmed this situation several times. I’ve received several responses from my prior grievances, which I believe are misleading, incorrect and untrue.
Several weeks ago, c/o Easterday informed me that he was told by someone looking into this issue that the water’s discoloration stems from the water pooling in the pipes (or words to that effect), and if one simply let the water run for 5 minutes, it would clear up.
When I reported for my medically-prescribed bath today (around 8:30 due to waiting some 20-25 minutes in the pill line(!) because of the length of the line), I found the water, upon running, dark, turbid, and quite discolored. I again showed it to c/o Easterday, who repeated what he told me several weeks earlier.
I let the water run; for 5 minutes; for 10 minutes; for 15 minutes; for 20 minutes—and not only didn’t it clear up—it got worse! While the water appeared like tea in the beginning, it looked more like coffee after a 20-minute run. I left the stopper in after the last run, and showed it to the c/o, who replied he ‘understood,’ when I informed him there was no way I could/would get into a tub in that condition.
He made a call (to whom, I don’t know) and he explained (as I was then outside the room), he explained that the water in the shower room also was running dark, discolored, coffee-colored, and dirty, despite the fact that a man in a wheelchair had just showered in this stuff! This was clearly a situation that went beyond ‘a dirty pipe.’ How am I supposed to clean myself in dirty water? I left the water in the tub, and thereby left it ripe for testing by the person contacted by c/o Easterday.
If this was not done (why wouldn’t it be?), I hereby request the following:
B. List actions taken and staff you have contacted, before submitting this grievance.
(As shown in the text, I showed this matter to c/o Easterday, several times this morning.)
1. Immediate testing of the water piped into the tub and shower rooms; 2. A clear determination of what substance (or substances) turned the water such a dork, turbid color; 3. Immediate correction of this situation so that people won’t be further harmed by whatever is in this water. 4. Please explain how, and when this matter will be corrected. 5. Please provide an alternative, which timely provides clean, fresh, safe, untainted water, not just for bathing, but for drinking.
“Prison is a second-by-second assault on the soul, a day-to-day degradation of the self, an oppressive steel and brick umbrella that transforms seconds into hours and hours into days.” -Mumia Abu-Jamal