Sussex I: Lack of sanitation, basic supplies and grievance procedure

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[Abuse] [Sussex I State Prison] [Virginia]

Sussex I: Lack of sanitation, basic supplies and grievance procedure

This prison that I am housed at is a walking bed of human rights violations. And I want to explain in detail. First, the toilets. The way the system works is that the prisoner gets one four-second flush every five minutes. If the prisoner flushes twice within five minutes, the system punishes the offender by automatically shutting off all flushes for at least half an hour. There are several problems with this. One flush every five minutes is not sufficient for bowel movements, which occur according to the individual's excretory system and not a clock, the prisoner must literally go to the bathroom with a stopwatch, sitting in the stink of his waste until they can again flush. When the prisoner does flush the toilet, the four-second flush does not remove all the waste from the bowl. The more solid the waste in the bowl the more that is left after the brief flush.

A serious health hazard is created when waste is left in toilet bowls because mistakes are made in flush rate. Keep in mind there are 2 people in the cell. There will and already are rising medical costs due to health problems that occur because of human wast lingering in toilet bowls that breed germs and attract insects. It is oppressive and inhumane to take away or restrict a human being's ability to flush their waste products away from their living environment. It is bad enough living in a cell, which is nothing but a bathroom with a bed in it. No one wants to live in a sewer and no one should have to.

Second, the building I am housed in, 4D, we are supposed to do cell cleaning every Thursday. Anyway we are only given two cups of chemicals to clean our cells with. We are not provided with a broom, mop, sponge, sanitary napkins or anything that we can adequately clean our cells with including no toilet brush to clean our toilets. So imagine as I explained about the waste in the toilet building up. This is a violation of our 8th amendment rights.

Prisoners here at Sussex I State Prison receive inhumane treatment on a daily basis. They have taken our drinking cups from us, and now we have nothing to drink our water from. We have to save our Styrofoam cups from our meals. Taking our cups is unnecessary, because it doesn't hinder or interfere with security. At every other state prison, including the other supermax prisons in Virginia, Wallens Ridge and Red Onion, drinking cups are allowed.

There is no system of checks and balances here at this prison. Staff's bad and unprofessional behavior towards us goes unchecked. We have a grievance coordinator here at Sussex I State Prison who repeatedly has suppressed the grievance process and has hindered my and other prisoners' right to redress of grievances. The grievance coordinator is supposed to serve as a human rights advocate, instead Ms. Witt the grievance coordinator at Sussex I State Prison has been a human rights nightmare and she is very unprofessional and she is corrupt. When we report guards or other prison officials, no disciplinary action is ever taken, no matter how large or small the issue is.