There were scores of letters written to the media from UNION family members about visiting abuses and broken family ties both before and after the protest.  We cannot have too many people writing to editors.
 

http://www.thecalifornian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060901/OPINION03/609010324/1014
 
 
Families of inmates seek changes
 

Thank you for the coverage of the protest last week at Soledad Prison.
Families are suffering to see their loved ones in prison. The deaths of inmates are swept under the rug.
Nobody cares except for the mother, father, child or spouse of the inmate.
Some inmates are innocent or mentally ill, Others are old and frail, physically ill or addicted to drugs.
 
None are treated humanely. The medical treatment for the mentally ill is inadequate. So are the rehabilitation programs for drug addicts and alcoholics. And there are too few job training programs.
 
Our prisons are little more than housing cells or torture chambers.
Finally, families are protesting over the conditions of the prisons. Hooray!
Hopefully we will start emptying our prisons by finding solutions and closing the revolving door.
 
Too many families are affected by flaws in the criminal justice system.
Thank you for helping them be heard. Hopefully someone will listen.
Shirley Wetherwax
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Dear Editor,
Thank for covering,our Prison Visiting Protest,at Salinas Valley Prison,on August 27,2006, you're GREAT !!
Families should never be turned away,after traveling many hours,in a packed car,with children,so happily,looking forward to see their incarcerated loved ones.
Families make many sacrifices,in order to prepare for their prison visits,such as saving money for gas,hotel rooms,and enough to feed themselves and the inmate during visiting.
Families are allowed to bring in $30.00 per adult,$10.00 per child,in($1.00 bills,or coins only) the limit of visitors per visit is five.Most inmates have at least one child or more.Most mothers are single mothers,with only one income.
There is a high potential of $150.00 per visit for (5 adults),and a low of, at least  $30.00 for one adult, to be spent for food and also photos at $2.00 for a Polaroid shot. .
They bring business,to the High Priced food vendor supplier in the prisons.
They bring lots of money into the community,as well !!
Then these tax paying consumers,are degraded,intimidated,and highly disrespected, and turned away from visiting, in tears,and heartache, just because a Sgt.K.Nuckles, feels like being mean that day !!
This is no way to run a Corporate Prison Business Giant,which continues growing,with every new unnecessary law. We the people need to take our blinders off.
The new, proposed "Jessica's Law"  is coming up in November, will you vote for another new law designed to overpack the prisons even more ?
Alexis Endurance

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Dear Rev. Cayenne
    I just read your article about SVSP. and the outfit that you said many clergy wear. Check this out; for 1 year I brought a veil into visiting with my husband because I pray and have Bible study, we believe 1 Cor 11 so I cover my head as we believe  God requires. Well one weekend K. Knuckles said no head covering. I wrote to the warden he said there is no specifics rule about headcoverings, the warden said K .Knuckles told him so. So I'm not allowed to bring my headcovering in. Well according to the OP (operatioal procedures) their is a rule. basicly it say "utmost care will be given to those with veil etc etc..... "
The muslin women are allowed to wear their covering but not Christian women. The OP says the vail must be place on the counter to be inspected and they never ask Muslin women to do that. I am allowed to bring a plain small white handkerchif in. It looks sill on my head and does not cover my hair addiquitely but I'm am sure our Lord know why I can't cover my head. The point is SVSP is not even follwing there own rule book. SVSP would not even respect your clergy outfit either.
N.L.
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Dear Dr. Bird,
 
I deeply appreciate your article about the cruel lockdown that has been going on for over a year at Salinas Valley Prison.  My brother is an inmate in Mod C and has been on lockdown since last year.  Why ?? I ask myself are the inmates always on lockdown.  I know other inmates who are housed in Corcoran State Prison and are thankful they are no longer part of the living hell many of the Salinas Valley inmates are living. 
 
Now if the inmates have the right to receive at least 12 hours of visiting a week why is the time cut short.  Well I would like to share my experiences during the long and unbearable processing.  Let's after driving for about 6 hours from Orange County my mother and I wait until out number is called to began the process.  We usually wait out in the parking lot before we actually enter the visiting office for about 3 hours.  We then sit in a crowed waiting room while there are about 8 officers attempting to process all visitors. 
 
Yes, you have someone in the computer checking the approved visitors then you have another person checking your belongings (shoes, counting money, etc.)  Then you are asked to roll up your pants this all includes babies. 
 
Now I would like to remind you that I have only mentioned the tasks of two officers the other 6 are usually in the back chit chating.
 
I wish I can take a camera in there and show the public what takes place in there.  By the way I do agree the lockdown is an excuse for all those lazy Corrections Officers who do nothing.  Ever since Arnold came to play he decided that their overtime was going to decrease well I believe ever since that decision they inmates have been on lock down.
 
Family member of Salinas Valley Inmate

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