Karla H. Edwards | Information from Detainees

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I’ve been unable to attend trips to the (Adelanto Detention) Center for a couple of months but I keep in touch, via the U.S. Postal Service, with the women I visit when I do attend. Since I don’t want to be responsible for causing any of them to experience retribution from the staff at Adelanto, I won’t be using their country of origin. This information provided by detainees I know and ones I don’t know:

One woman was released. When departing, she was given a bag of mail that had been sent to her over the months, but was not given to her until the day she was leaving. It included many birthday cards, which would certainly have brightened her days. 

Another told me she was unable to eat the food served detainees since the food in her country of origin was so different. Detainees are able to purchase some food from the commissary, if they are fortunate enough to have money to pay for it. I asked her if she was a able to purchase an apple, orange, or any other type of fresh fruit from the commissary. She checked it out with the Center and was told that her (or anyone’s) request would be not be granted because some detainees ferment the fruits and consume the alcohol that results from fermenting. This sounded strange to me, so I looked up the process for fermenting fruit and there is NO WAY it could be done by detainees since sugar, yeast, boiling water, and a bucket that can be sealed with a lid are required, in addition to the fruit. The fermenting process takes at least a week.

There has been a “lockdown” at Adelanto due to the threat of violence. During the “lockdown” detainees were not allowed out of their beds….meals were served to them while in their beds in the dorm. There are 52 women in one dorm….no privacy… no quiet time, nothing to do. Visitors are not allowed during lockdown.

From the Regional Detention Center in Calexico, California: 

A gay man was attacked in the yard by another detainee. This occurred after a guard announced over the intercom the man’s pending wedding to another gay. The guards then prevented him from filing a complaint after the attack.

One of the volunteer visitors spoke with the daughter of a man who has been detained at Adelanto since Dec. 5. Neither she nor her mother have been able to visit him. They have made seven separate trips and each time they are told that he was “in quarantine.”  She had called in advance and was told it was OK to visit and was then turned away when she arrived. In addition, the father is not being given his blood pressure medication.

Please check out Detention Centers 101 in the internet for details of how your tax dollars are going to private corporations that run these prisons, called detention centers.

Karla H. Edwards

Santa Clarita

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