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Still Not the Hilton

Still Not The Hilton

From: Out Of Time 2/91

The Bureau of Prison's (BOP) 'mission' to isolate, hide and break the spirit of women political prisoners (a la Lexington High Security Unit, Lexington, KY 198688) continues at Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Marianna in Florida. The tactics, environment, and locale have changed. The name of the game is still isolation; the goal is creating passive, idle women. Currently Silvia Baraldini, Marilyn Buck and Susan Rosenberg are incarcerated in this, the newest maximum security prison for women.

Marianna is a small, rural community in the Florida Panhandle. It is 75 miles from Tallahassee, quite a distance to major air transportation and there's no public bus service to the prison. Thus .the expense to visit women inmates is great. The result is obvious: family and friends can't get there, little visiting takes place and the feelings of isolation are increased.

Internally the women are isolated from one another. Each cell has its own T.V. There's no large outdoor field so no team sports. Educational programs are via video cassettes. Women don't participate together in educational or cultural programs. No communal activities means no collective sense and no community identity.

The BOP wants passive inmates. They are creating an environment where boredom and idleness reign. Nearly one-third of the women are on tranquilizers; lithium, dilating etc. Drugs and passivity. There are not enough jobs and the women at Marianna don't have to work or for that matter don't have to do anything. The video cassettes as educational programming don't Work, the inmates lose interest. So prison authorities phase out educational programs because of "lack of interest." Another void is created; nothing to do.

Marianna is a new form of lock-up. We will keep you posted on developments in Florida and other new stateof-the-art U.S. prisons, 1991 style.

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