This past Monday night, April 27th, I was sitting on the crowded bleachers in the prison yard here at Great Meadow, waiting in the cold rain to get on the phone line, when another prisoner not three feet away from me was causing things and a fight ensued.
I’ve been telling the facility administration: the yard phone policy in place is causing a dangerous situation here. There aren’t enough phones in the yard to accommodate the 200 to 300 prisoners who come out to the yard on any given day. Here it is: we’re not allowed to stand in the yard nor sit at a yard table with more than two of us, but we’re forced to sit crowded on the yard bleachers just to get on the phone line. If you blink too long, your spot in the phone line might get taken. Just to get on the phone line, we must put ourselves and our health in danger in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is absolutely insane, and nobody out there seems to be saying anything about this.
I ask that all of you who hear this to join with me to campaign to end the phone/kiosk war here at Great Meadow Correctional Facility. Contact the offices of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Anthony J. Annucci, and demand that they do something, and email a copy of this commentary to media outlets in New York state.
This is Dontie S. Mitchell, better known as Mfalme Sikivu, reporting to you from Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @freeDontieMitchell. Also, please join the Dontie Mitchell support committee Facebook group if you can contribute in small ways to support my work and clemency campaign. Thank you for listening, and God bless.