This week, share an update sent to us from Michelle Freeman about her husband, Vernell. Michelle’s impassioned plea on behalf of her partner is both urgent and inspiring, and we will continue to air messages from her in the future, as Vernell’s situation evolves. You can hear our episode about Vernell here.
Afterwards, we speak to two people from Florida Prisoner Support, who detail the methods of retaliation and silencing that the Florida Department of Corrections has been deploying against prisoners and outside supporters. This includes the disappearance of several inmates in the Florida prison system, new laws directed against outside advocates, the implementation of new and brutal “pandemic safe” weapons that allow COs to harm prisoners without touching them, and more. Many of these tactics are being used to punish prisoners for self-organizing to stay safe during the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as a method of retaliating against prisoners who are in contact with organizations like theirs.
We will air more from them about the state’s prisoner retaliation during the pandemic in next week’s episode.