The story of incarceration is incomplete without the voices of incarcerated women. In the United States incarceration is dominated by the male view point, as men account for 90% of all those serving time. Yet, women play a significant role in this story.
Today returning guest writer James P. Keihl, II asks the question: Why aren’t inmates allowed to donate blood? Astonishingly this is true, yet there are millions of inmates nationwide that could be a valued source of life saving blood. If only 10% of those incarcerated donated a pint of blood once a month, it would equate to many tens of thousands of additional pints monthly, and hundreds of thousands of pints of life saving blood per year.
*This art piece along with others can be viewed in the Gallery selection in the Menu up top.
I’ve written a few times about what it’s like to lose loved ones while incarcerated: In Grieving In Fast Forward, Ryleigh Payne–An Angel Returns Home and in It Is What It Is. I’ve witnessed guys lose bothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, and even daughters or sons. As if this couldn’t get any worse, I’ve known men who’ve lost the very last person in their life, left alone to drift in the world with no contact on the outside and no one to turn to. I’ve comforted so many of my peers during these moments that my own family’s mortality frequently weighs on my mind.
“Until [containment] is impossible, we should keep trying.”
–Dr. Mike Ryan, Head of WHO Emergencies Program
I think it would help today by starting this post with a few quotes that reveal the path of thinking from health experts around the world as this global crisis has unfolded:
“The more we learn about it, the greater the possibility is that transmission will not be able to be controlled with public health measures”(Dr. Allison McGeer; Director of Infection Control, Mt. Sinai Hospital, 1/28/20).
“Increasingly unlikely that this virus can be contained” (Dr. Thomas R. Friedman; Fmr. Director CDC, 2/2/20).
“This looks far more like H1N1’s spread than SARS, and I am increasingly alarmed” (Dr. Peter Plot; Director, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2/2/20).
“The tipping point–after which our ability to prevent a global pandemic ends–seems a lot closer after the past 24 hours”(Prof. Paul Hunter; Professor of Health Protection, University of East Angola 2/23/20).
*Letters from Christopher will now be sharing a new piece of inmate art or craftwork in each week’s Video Fridays segment. Each piece will be added to an upcoming gallery where they can be viewed as a collection.
Here in Ohio, the coronavirus is being taken very, very seriously. The governor has declared a state of emergency and is moving swifty, limiting mass gatherings, and forcing cancellations of public events. He has mobilized every resource and is drawing upon federal assistance. I think he is one of the few politicians in the country that understand the gravity of the situation.