Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

A New Warden at California Institution for Women

There's is a bin allotted to for an inmates stuff to be measured by being placed into. Anything in excess that can't fit inside the bin is confiscated to be thrown away or sent home.


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Unlike a new toy or a new car, a new warden is NOT at all a good thing. Each warden seems to be worse than the one who came before them. Most have something to prove and want to reinvent the wheel when the program is running smoothly, daily. Zero covid cases. We just went down to level 2.

Yet, as soon as we went to level 2, the warden began searches.

The new warden is a female. She was over at a men's facility before coming here. Since she got here, she has done something I've never seen before. She keeps ordering repeated searches of our cells. Once, okay. Twice, reasonable. Now three times in one week's time span. The yard cops ordered to round up and come into each unit, as a group searching cells. Normally, routine searching is done by the regular housing officer every 30 days. Picture a small hallway with rooms on both sides, doors open and about 20 cops, sergeants and lieutenants. Going in and out of cells at will. The cell occupants standing by watching as they throw things away. Some officers wearing masks, some not. No social distancing even attempted!

What do they take in these important searches? Junk. Decorations, cardboard boxes, removing pictures from the doors and the walls. Petty, right?? I know.

All this can and should be done in one short search! No doubt, covid will again break out. They are planning yet even more unprecedented searches!! Inmate's property is limited to fit in 6 cubic feet. There's is a bin allotted to for an inmates stuff to be measured by being placed into. So, now the warden wants to do another large group search for this procedure!! Hurry up! Stop making an agenda of inflicting adversity on the female inmates!! Anything in excess that can't fit inside the bin is confiscated to be thrown away or sent home.


See, male prisoners are much more aggressive and dangerous. So they are allowed to have much less property. This woman warden sees how much more property us female prisoners have here at our prison and she's trying to make us miserable. Sorry lady, this will backfire! With covid and the other important issues on the table, she thinks searching repeatedly, in large groups, is a good look? It shows motivations. This is her pet project. When you do bad things with ill intent, God sees this! She keeps looking for ways to make prisoners uncomfortable and unhappy during a pandemic. With power comes responsibility to be thoughtful to the mental health of those in your care. This is putting stress on the population, which is already wearing masks and trying to social distance and cooperate with the covid protocols. Prisoners are just trying to do the right thing and not catch or pass covid. If the warden's actions speak for her, a prisoner's mental health be damned!

To be clear, I have never seen any warden act like this. Usually, it's the lower level staff with less pay and less power who are more petty. The higher you go up in the chain of command, the more personable and easygoing the prison officials always seem to be. Now, we're in the hands of a woman who's anti-women?? God help us!


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