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November 11, 2019

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Environmental Justice & Mass Incarceration

Since October of 2017, Augusta Correctional Center has been on a water restriction whereas prisoners are only allowed to take showers from 8:30am to 10:30am, and 6:30pm to 10:30pm. Recently, on or about January 9, 2018 Augusta went on a two flush toilet restriction where prisoners are only allowed to flush twice in five minutes, and if you flush any more than that, the toilet will lock for an hour, before it can be used again. This is not only inconvenient but it is unsanitary. This current practice causes feces and urine to sometimes remain in the toilet for an hour before flushing. The obnoxious mendacity breaks throughout the cells and pods. These oppressive policies are a direct result of prison being over crowded.

Augusta was originally designed to hold 768 people as a single occupant facility. Due to mass incarceration the facility is now operating beyond capacity with a number of over 1300 prisoners. This is causing a strain upon the water supply for not only the prison, but also the people of the town of Craigsville where the prison resides. Years ago a lawsuit was filed by Craigsville because of the facilities use of the water. The town won, and Augusta was supposed to ensure that the water table stays at a level which reflects a 768 occupant capacity. Of course this is not being done, so to compensate for the overcrowding, Augusta has been on a water restriction for the last three months. This is clearly turning into a case of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

***In addition to this, the ventilation system here is never cleaned, thus prisoners are always in danger of being exposed to mold and other airborne sicknesses.

In solidarity, 
Hassan Shabazz
 

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