Hey, my name is Peter Kamau Mukuria. I’m currently here at Jessup Correctional Institution in the state of Maryland even though I am serving zero time for the state of Maryland. I am here through Interstate Compact Transfer, serving time for Virginia, not Maryland, but anyway.
December 16, my mom and my little niece had a scheduled visit, which we all can wait for. My mom recently had a back surgery which she is still recovering from, and therefore her traveling is extremely limited in order to minimize the back pain she has been experiencing. Given that I’m a Virginia prisoner currently in prison in Maryland, traveling to visit me takes up to a three hour drive. In order to ensure that my visitors arrive on time, they tend to leave early.
This particular morning discussion, my family, mom, dad, niece, and younger brother left home at precisely 8 a.m. in hopes of arriving an hour before the scheduled 12 p.m. visit. On their way, they encounter three different car accidents in the hectic D.C. traffic which greatly slowed down the drive. At 10:30 a.m., my mom had the presence of mind to call the Jessup Correctional Institution and inform them of the accidents in traffic and to notify them that as a result they will be arriving late. The person whom I spoke to told her that he understands and because she called and because she called to notify them of the circumstance, they will be fine to enter the prison upon their arrival.
Assuming that all is well, they proceed the journey and arrive at the prison at 12:45 p.m., 45 minutes late. Excited to have finally arrived, my mom adn niece exited the vehicle and made their way to the prison as my dad and younger brother waited in the car. As my mother presented her identification in order to reprocess, she was informed that due to her late arrival, the visit was canceled. My mom attempted to elaborate that she called ahead to notify the prison that she will be late due to circumstances well obviously beyond our control and the person she spoke to told her that she will be okay. However, that individual, who did not disclose his name, did not convey to the supervisorthat my mom had called ahead to notify the prison that she will late. Since the supervisor claimed to not have been notified that she will be late, she denied my mother and my niece entry into the prison.
My mother, who was already in excruciating back pain from having to sit up for hours, pleaded with the supervisor to allow her and my niece to see me. Even my six year old niece was pleading with them to see her uncle much to no avail, claiming falsely that this was not the first time she had been late, which was actually her first time being late, but they confused her with my sister who had previously arrived late due to having to travel from out of state and encountered accidents in traffic, which was the cause of her late arrival.
Since she wouldn’t see me, my mom asked to speak to the shift lieutenant. Lieutenant Addison came out of the prison to speak to my mom on the parking lot. My mom yet once again explained the entire situation. Liuetenant Addison listened and responded to her that her captain, Captain Smith made a denial visit, otherwise had it been up to her, she would try to assist, but given that her captain made the decision, she had to abide by the chain of command, because she didn’t want to get in trouble, because she’s lower rank from a captain and didn’t want to override the decision.Lieutenant Addision was actually the only person who illustrated even an ounce of compassion and empathy toward my family.
Since the shift was about to change at 3 p.m. and the visitation would resume at 4 p.m., my family decided to wait in the parking lot. As they were waiting, my niece was actually looking out of the car window, guessing who the supervisor of the second shift was. Each time she saw a guy walk toward the building, she yelled at my mom, saying, sho sho, which is my tribal language for grandma, there is the supervisor! At 4 p.m., as visitation resumed, my mom grabbed her walking stick, and her and my niece walked towards the building, hoping that they will be allowed in. Once again, they were denied entry.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.