ALDERSON, WV (WVNS) — Controversy arrives at Alderson Federal Prison following high transmission of COVID-19 and allegations of mistreatment from inmates and their relatives.
Patricia Haynes said her mother is an inmate at Alderson Federal Prison and currently in the Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital. Haynes said her family received little communication from the prison about her mother’s condition and claims her mother was denied medication by the prison. Haynes alleges the prison prevented her from speaking to doctors
“I showed up to the hospital and one of the people that was there, the guards, went and said I was not allowed to talk to the doctor and stopped the doctor from talking to me,” Haynes said.
A peaceful protest was held Wednesday, January 5, 2022, outside the facility in Alderson. Organizers told 59News they hope to spark a movement for prison reform nationwide for access to healthcare and basic needs.
Anita Remme traveled from Northeast Tennessee to advocate for her daughter after hearing about the conditions from her directly. Remme said her daughter fainted multiple times before receiving proper care by the prison or medical facility and she wants the treatment of the inmates to change.
“Well, just think of it if it was your daughter or your mom that was up there, how would you want them treated?” Remme said. “That is how we want them treated, those people are someone’s loved one, they are special to someone, they are a mother, a sister, they are somebody’s child and they deserve to be treated humanely.”
Some of the allegations made against the prison include a lack of food, sanitary napkins and feminine products, commissary and hot water. A Federal Defense Attorney who represents ten inmates at Alderson FPC said his clients experienced the same mistreatment. He said the prison needs to adopt the CARES Act home confinement policies. The policy allows the Bureau of Prisons to subject certain inmate’s to a halfway house or home confinement to prevent a high transmission of COVID-19.
“These are women who have minimal sentences, who have minimal custody scores, what is the difference if they are confined by the Bureau of Prisons to a halfway house or to their home,” Paul Petruzzi, a Criminal Defense Attorney, said.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons sent a statement to 59News addressing the allegations made by protesters saying:
“While FPC Alderson is currently operating at Operational Level 3, there is no shortage of food and all inmates have full access to commissary, laundry, potable drinking water, hot showers, telephone, and electronic messaging, daily medical and mental health care, prescribed medications, toiletries, and feminine hygiene products.”