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Support Queers (and everyone) In Prison!

This post was actually written by another QueerToday member, Jason, and I first read it via a social networking site. I think it's REALLY important that we take steps to advocate for this person, and for other folks suffering under the "justice" system in this country, so I am reposting it so you all have a chance to take action. I called her and got her voicemail, and you probably will too, but let's pack her machine! Here's Jason's text:

**URGENT** Calls needed in support of prisoner in Mass.

***100 phone calls needed Friday, March 30th ***

***Support the safety of a targetted out gay prisoner***

Tod Walsh has been targetted for violence in nearly every prison he's been at in Massachusetts. Souza Baranowski and Cedar Junction have been two of the worst. They are also the highest security facilities within Massachusetts. With the new classification process Tod is being threatened with a transfer to Souza Baranowski, the prison where he experienced months of sexual violence as guards stood by and watched.

The demand is simple. DO NOT TRANSFER TOD WALSH TO CEDAR JUNCTION OR SOUZA BARANOWSKI! Tod is willing to be moved to any other facility in Massachusetts and is even willing to be placed in isolation. Tod would be willing to go out of state if that was possible. Because he has continuously advocated for himself and got prison guards in trouble, there are few safe places for Tod to finish his sentence, but Cedar Junction and Souza Baranowski are OUT OF THE QUESTION.

Please call Carol Mici, Director of Classification for the Massachusetts Department of Correction. She can be reached at:
(508) 850-7745 ext.7750

Easy script: "Hello, my name is (your name). I am calling in support of Tod Walsh a prisoner currently at Old Colony. It is my understanding that you are intending to classify him to a prison where he has experienced violence and sexual assault in the past. He is willing to be placed anywhere other than Souza Baranowski or Cedar Junction. I expect that you will look out for his safety and place him at one of the other prisons. Thank you."

The goal is to have 100 phone calls this Friday. Please take 2 minutes of your time to do so and then please ask 5 of your friends to do the same. It is very challenging to make significant difference within the prison industrial complex, this is one simple thing that could really help one person.

Thank you!



Anonymous said...

Not that scary, just made the call!

Mark D. Snyder said...

I just left a voicemail.

John Hosty said...

I am having a hard time understanding what the issue is with Souza Baranowski. I visit Ben LaGuer there. It is my understanding that the cells are all single occupancy, and that the prisoners are seperated 22 hours of the day. It is a super-max prison, and a brand new facility, so what's the deal with it?

Jason Lydon said...

hey john... the first issue is that NO ONE should be locked down 22 hours a day, that's absurd. secondly, while Tod was there in 2002 there was a guard who set it up with another prisoner, who was a predator, to rape Tod while the guard watched. You might say, this is crazy, but tragically that kind of thing is happening nearly every day in prisons across this country. i would encourage you to check out souza baranowski is a dangerous place. lock down is dangerous for any individual's sanity. plus, they have some of the WORST guards in the DOC.