‘I have rights too’
By Miley Selena Fletcher
The following letter is from a transgender incarcerated worker at SCI Forest in Pennsylvania.
When I write for Workers World about the wrongs going on here and the unprofessional abuse of authority by correctional officers or staff, I am called down to a security office. I am told: “We’re only concerned about your safety.” Or they will say, “Why don’t you write us first?” even when I have written them first.
When I write them, nothing is ever done — or the correctional officer or staff alike are still around you, so the individual can retaliate against you by filing false misconducts or try to intimidate you. Or as a prisoner, you are moved to another block or transferred for speaking up.
I am an advocate for transgender rights and for others who cannot speak for themselves. It makes sense to me, but to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections or institutional administrations it does not. And that is because you are interfering with their monopoly!
“You are problematic; you are a chronic complainer,” etc., etc. That is how the PA DOC and administrators classify a prisoner who exposes the corruption, deceit and lies that govern the institutions. But you are telling the truth, and they fear the truth because of their lies.
My being an advocate, a voice for the people, scares them. That is why you are moved to another block or transferred to another prison. They have been getting away with this for so long. They don’t want us to have a voice or a place that will print and expose them.
It is the standard policy of the PA DOC and their administrators to do what they want when they want to — always remember that. Yet can’t I write and say what’s right or wrong without being called down and subjected to questions? I have rights too.