Drug War Prisoners

What Happened at My Job Performance Review
Letter from Ruth Carter: February 2005

Dear Committee on Unjust Sentencing,

You said you would be interested in an account of an in-prison event. I'll share with you what happened at my last team. Every six months we have what they call team. That is where they (the staff) tell you how your job performance is going and everything you need to do, etc. I had mine three weeks ago. My job here is Medical Orderly. I have had that job for three years. I have been at this institution for 5 years. They told me my job performance was outstanding. I had taken [two words illegible] classes plus taught 1 class on self-esteem. So they couldn't say I had not been programming.

When team was almost over, Mrs. Colley (the camp administrator) said let's talk about your job. She said she wanted to move me because I was getting too close to the staff in medical and that she didn't like to keep anyone in one job too long. Well, I knew that was a lie because there are women here that have been at the same job for 8-10 years.

I informed her that I was a grade 1 now at my job and that I needed the money. I have 9 years left on my sentence. There were no other jobs she could move me to that had a grade 1, and I had not done anything wrong. So why did she take away my grade 1?

The problem was that a few months ago I was at work and one of the staff left the Medical Records door unlocked and when another staff member asked who did it I would not say. So she wanted to move me. It would not have mattered to me who left the door unlocked . It was none of my business, so I was not saying anything.

Just like in court. In court I did not have the information they wanted to prosecute someone in the office where I worked. I was arrested for passing 3 ½ grams of methamphetamine to someone in a shopping mall. The detective could not prove even that. He said the transaction had been taped but the tape had "disappeared." For that I was sentenced to 15 years.

Even after you get to prison all they want to do is punish , even if you work hard, take all the classes you can take, never get any incident reports, etc.

There is no rehabilitation in prison, only punishment. Even when you do the right things they don't reward you. Now, where is she going to move me that will be where I don't know the staff? After being here for 5 years you pretty much know all the staff. And when you have 9 years to go, no matter where I work I should hope I can get along with the staff.

If you are a good worker and do as you are told, why wouldn't you get along with your employer?

Please send me your web site so that my daughter can read some of the things you put on there.

Thanks for your time.

Ruth Carter, Pekin Federal Prison, Pekin, Illinois


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