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a logo for Bruised Behind Bars with handcuffs over one of the letters
  • Writer's pictureJennifer Emmi

August 21, 2023

I had finally collected some fruits and vegetables from the sealed religious diet I am on. We get one whole fruit or vegetable with the diet. I had other inmates sneak and get my food trays here and there since I am unable to go on my own. When I got so sick they had no choice but to send me by ambulance to the hospital, the guards threw all of my food away. They said "they misunderstood the order of what to do."


I am back to square one. I am unable to get around much because they took my wheelchair out of retaliation. I had a stroke (multiple embolic events actually) at the first facility (Denver Women's) when my blood thinners were denied, so my left side still has some remaining paralysis and I am working hard to walk well again. The prison must put out ads to hire staff for the most callous people to work at these places. It is no wonder there is such a high rate of recidivism. They treat you like pond scum and demoralize you over and over. That is not rehabilitation, it is pure torture. No one realizes what really goes on behind these walls.


The older woman who was beaten is Barbara Freeman. My mom's name is also Barbara so I had an immediate affinity for this woman. I have always loved being round older people as well. She is now 89-years-old. She is at the Denver facility. We became close and I saw her injuries after the assault on her. The young very strong male guard jumped on her just because she went to medical to get her meds that had been missed. She was wearing shorts and that was not allowed. The punishment far exceeded the "crime" once again. The skin on her lower arm was completely removed to the bone and muscle. The guard tried to handcuff her and her frail, older skin gave way. Her head had been slammed against the wall in the attack and was busted open and swollen. She definitely had a broken upper arm and shoulder. Her bones were so brittle because of her age that when he threw her, she literally broke. Her arm became infected and I helped her clean her wounds. She needed to go to a hospital, but the CO named Captain Mestas stopped her from going. Barbara also had an appointment the following day with an outside doctor. They cancelled that appointment as well. Her bones healed crooked and left her in more pain. She will turn 90 in November this year. It makes me sick to think of her in there and being treated so cruelly. I was always taught to respect my elders.

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