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Caged and Exploited

Good day everyone reading this post and how are you?  I hope you are all doing well.  I’m Steve Allen Riddick and am an inmate at Red Onion State Prison in Pound, VA and my post is about, despite the coronavirus (covid 19), Red Onion staff have myself and the inmates in 2 Bldg. recreating in cages that are filled with bird feces and human urine and the cages routinely go several months without cleaning.  This prevents exercise because it’s not safe to touch the cages or anything inside them or to sit in them because of the risk of sitting or touching urine, feces, or someone’s spit.  The inmates aren’t allowed water or bathroom breaks and if they go back in their building or cell to use the toilet or to wash their hands during their rec time, they forfeit the remainder of their recreation.  And so, some inmates relieve themselves in the cages a number of times during their rec hours. We’re in cages for four hours without water and get dehydrated.  We shouldn’t have to choose between our rec and water or relieving ourselves.  On 4/21/2020, an inmate in 2 Bldg defecated in a rec cage.  I’ve been in rec cages in 2 Bldg recently that had urine and bird poop in them and had a strong urine smell that would knock anyone’s nose off.  

 

It’s depressing and humiliating, frustrating, disgusting, unsanitary, unsafe, unhealthy, sickening, degrading, negligent, irresponsible, uncompassionate, immoral and cruel and unusual punishment.  Often myself and other inmates refuse outside recreation for not wanting to be in these cages, which means spreading 24 hours in our cell for maybe 7 days a week, which is what I prefer over being in cages.  I’ve heard medical doctors say that bird feces can cause respiratory issues and I and other inmates have respiratory issues including asthma and at times require an inhaler.

 

2) Food service staff

B. Taylor, T. Hall, etc. are continuing  serving the inmates in 2 Bldg meals on badly damaged, split open, cracked and broken trays leaving our food exposed even when there’s a tray lid on the tray.  I’m participating in Ramadan and last night I received a Ramadan meal on a tray that was badly split open.  I’ve addressed the issues in this post with food service staff, unit manager fo