Editor’s Note: Joe Power-Drutis drove from Knoxville, Tennessee to Ocilla, Georgia to check on the Y-12 prisoners of conscience at the Irwin County Detention Center. After his visits he made the marathon drive back to Knoxville where, after some well-needed rest, he is back at it. Here is his first update since returning to Knoxville, covering Jackie Hudson and Michael Walli of the Y-12 group, and Lynne Greenwald of Disarm Now Plowshares.
Update’s (from Joe Power-Drutis) June 5, 2011
It is important to remember that Jackie’s need for reasonable health
care very much continues.
In these last five days she has remained confined to a small non
descript room with a glass in the door where guards can periodically
look in on her. This room is called medical but I have grave
reservations about just how much medicine is practiced there. While in
this room she is completely cut off from the other inmate women who
very much cared for her. She is allowed no creature comforts,
including a bible I attempted to have sent in to her.
I believe the reason she stays secluded is in part because we forced
the jail to send her to the ER to evaluate her heart. Actually she was
sent once more to the ER in the last few days to determine if the pain
she was experiencing was due to a pulmonary embolus; a life
threatening condition much the same as a heart attack. I believe this
second trip to the ER, like the first, was authorized by the jail to
protect themselves from liability, given so many eyes were upon them.
It is my understanding that the acute pain Jackie has been
experiencing for the last 8 days has not abated. A few days ago Jackie
was once again in communication with her attorney and understands he
is willing to approach the court and request her release from her
present confinement for medical reasons. I am told she will make her
decision in the next few days.
A couple of days ago Michael was finally released from the dreadful
Blount County Jail and like the others was sent to the Irwin Detention
Facility in Ocilla, Georgia – to await sentencing. Michael welcoms
mail from anyone who wishes to be in touch with him. He is a member of
the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in D.C., is the primary care taker of
their gardens and trees and a dear friend of Kathy Boylan.
Michael does not yet have a sentencing date for the DOE Y-12 Complex
Irwin County Detention Center
132 Cotton Dr.
Ocilla, GA 31774
Lynne has settled in at the SeaTac Detention Ctr., I hope she is not
getting too comfortable. She will be released on September 9th and
will be on “house arrest” until the 26 of Sept. I’m not clear what the
house arrest is about; but, Lynne doesn’t feel it will be electronic
monitoring. She says if she is released in the morning on the 9th she
plans on being back at work at the Irma Gary House by that afternoon.
Can you get a picture of Theresa doing hand stands??
Lynne goes on to say “My life is becoming fuller with stories of
struggling lives. Every day a woman shares some heart wrenching
experience. I’m “Momma” to the Hispanic women and others. One woman
told me I reminded her of her mother and it was comforting to have me
here. So grandparents have a place in prisons. Mentor, counselor –
good listening skills are beneficial.”
Not long ago Lynne was visited by her son Noah, her daughter Alissa
and her first grandchild (Alissa’s son) Jack. Jack is around 8 months
old and is expecting a baby sister to play with sometime around
October 20th; just in time for Lynne to sharpen her grandmother skills
even more than before she went into SeaTac.
Alissa writes of their visit with Lynne:
“My mother seemed in good spirits. I know she was happy to spend time
with us, as this is the first time she’s seen Noah since before her
sentencing, and Jack always spreads his good cheer. Aside from that,
she generally had positive comments about her situation. She told us
of a guard there who is particularly kind in terms of treating inmates
humanely, making such routines as “lock down” humorous by over-
dramatizing it. She said she’s with a nice group of women in her unit.
Aside from a persistent cough that originated from being made to take
blood pressure medication for over a month that she knowingly has
adverse effects from (finally got switched within the last couple
weeks but cough persists, likely from having coughed for over a
month…) she seemed well. Being my mom I think she tries to present
as if everything’s okay, not wanting to burden me with complaints. I
know she gets bored, and practices escapism by walking around the unit
with headphones, imagining she’s at a park. She has never been one to
sit around all day watching t.v., of which there are 4 mounted in the
unit. Overall, she’s making the best of the situation, and greatly
appreciates the letters and caring thoughts of everyone who’s shared
them with her.”
It does my heart good to hear of a guard who practices compassion on
the inside of such a dark world. I can imagine she is the source of
much comfort to the women trapped inside of those walls.
Lynne received a sentence of 6 months in prison, one year of
supervised release and 60 hours of community service. Lynne’s address
# 40672-086 Unit DA
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198