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November 11, 2019

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How Immigrants Struggle in Prison

Peace to all partners of our beautiful struggle!

My name is Jerry Mendoza i am a 25 year old Hispanic American that has been in the VADOC for 7 years now and I'm honored to share a concise but accurate account of the deficiencies many illegal immigrants face while being incarcerated within the VADOC. 

Since my incarceration at Augusta Correctional Center (acc) I have been previewed to significant changes and /or negligence of equal services for individual persons with immigration detainers. Most significantly, is the ceasing of educational courses such as English and Grammar which came to an end in 2013 due to the Department Of Corrections inability to upgrade/ transition with the program's parent sponsor's ( the Mexican Embassy) curriculum. For many this was a halt and a vision shatter for reintegration plans as well as the comparative advantage for the scarce jobs which deem one must have certain criteria i.e (a G.E.D. or ABE) in order to meet application prerequisites. The "Plaza Program" (adult basic education/ Spanish class) as it was dubbed, was facilitated by a state licensed bi- lingual teacher who was employed by the VADOC. Once the transition occurred acc discontinued the Plaza Program without any contingency plan(s) and furthermore did not offer these men an equal opportunity to continue any form of education on the grounds that they had a immigration detainers and were deemed less of a priority to such courses than men who would stay in this country. This program was the stepping stone to the ESL ( English as second language) class which was made available upon completion of the Plaza Program.

It begs to metion, hearing from those actually affected caused me to be empathic to their powerlessness, I was able to comprehend their disadvantages that are seldom brought up let alone contested. Perhaps the most nonsensical of them may lay on the notion of not being able to set up an international phone account through the dominant corrections telephone marketer that exploits most institutions: GlobolTel. INC. Acc allows a limited and insufficient 3 calls a year per person and this is administered through a counselor which can take up to 3 weeks to schedule. Needless to say, if emergencies would arise family may contact facilities to notify their incarcerated loved ones.

In closing, it should be noted that although I emphasized on the Hispanic immigrants all stated injustices don't exclusively apply to such but rather any and all "illegal aliens" currently in the custody of VADOC are subject to these inconveniences.

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