When Gideon realized he would struggle to pay his most recent drug bill a week ago, he thought he understood the potential consequences. In the past, unpaid debts led to prison drug dealers threatening to stab or beat him, but the dealers took a different approach this time. Instead of threatening violence, they took away his lifeline to the outside world and sole source of entertainment: They confiscated his TV and refused to return it until he paid them. Continue reading
In 2016, Shane Bauer with Mother Jones spent four months working as a correctional officer at Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana. The long months of working in a facility operated by the nation’s largest for-profit prison services provider, Corrections Corporation of America (now known as CoreCivic), resulted in a fantastic article on the deficiencies in private prisons. In the article, Bauer recounts the ease of getting hired, the corruption of some of the officers, and the tolerance of inmate drug use. He discusses several disturbing incidents, including prisoners ogling a female officer and an inmate washing his clothes in his cell toilet. Read “My four months as a private prison guard.”
Editor’s note: While this blog follows Gideon Walletsky’s time in prison, it’s important to remember that many of his experiences are shared by thousands of inmates across the United States. From time to time, Gideon’s stories will serve as a starting point in examining larger issues in America’s prison system. This installment of Revealed takes a look at the difficulty of getting proper care for hepatitis C in prison.
Getting proper medical care in prison can be incredibly difficult. Gideon has been frustrated by the prison medical system for 20 years. He knows that simple things like seeing a doctor and getting common prescriptions can be near impossibilities. Continue reading
When Gideon called his daughter to ask for $25 in early December, she knew what had happened at once. She has heard the story before. She knew he needed help paying a drug bill. Continue reading
Gideon Walletsky is serving a life sentence without parole for first-degree murder. No, Gideon is not his real name. Yes, the stories and accounts you read here are true. Continue reading