by Naswan Miller
Online exclusive for Prison Health News
I write this out of desperation and grief for the sanity, safety, and rehabilitation for myself and fellow prisoners over the unchecked drug epidemic at Dillwyn Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Virginia. For the past few years, since my arrival, I have witnessed prisoners fall out unconscious, display violent behavior toward prisoners and staff, and walk around in a zombie-like state from drug impairments. The drugs currently coming into the facility that I’ve witnessed are cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, spice, suboxone strips, marijuana, and tobacco.
The reason this has been going on for so long is because staff in key positions are the ones bringing the drugs into the facility. Large amounts of money being made from this criminal enterprise keep the facility flooded. It doesn’t take a genius to put together the way the money is being distributed when following the money trail.
The administration would lead the public to believe that prisoners are the ones bringing the drugs in, but with the security measures in place, one would be hard pressed and in denial to believe that to be true. That doesn’t sway them from punishing us as if we are responsible—and the punishments are inhumane, like making a person wait 20 to 30 minutes to use the restroom and even charging a fee for doing so. They cover this up by handling everything internally so the public doesn’t find out.
They discipline staff by forcing early retirements, transferring workers to other facilities, investigations that don’t amount to anything, and occasional firing. Prisoners are first sent to medical, then segregation, to sober up and are ultimately released back to general population without any reports being made. Sometimes prisoners are just transferred to another facility to rid themselves of the problem.
An example would be the transfer of Dr. Paul Ohai to this facility to care for us. This is the same doctor that is responsible for the multiple malpractice lawsuits at Fluvanna Correctional Center, where several women fatally suffered by his hands. How many are actually convicted of these crimes or even charged, for that matter?
Many of us will be released back into society one day and now have addictions that didn’t start until coming to prison. Many simply continued their addiction without pause. We were sentenced to prison as punishment, not for punishment, and we should not have to be subjected to a drug-infested prison or inadequate medical care.
There is no one to blame but the administrative staff at this facility for the constant flow of drugs.