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URGENT: Jennifer's Life is in Danger

Fluvanna Women’s Prison in Virginia Ignores Inmate Jennifer Emmi’s Reports of Heart Attack Symptoms


Jennifer Emmi, a current inmate at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Virginia is fighting for her life behind bars and being denied critical medical care. Over the past seven days, Jennifer has submitted five separate Emergency Grievances with the prison begging for treatment of symptoms commonly associated with heart attacks. These reports indicate that Jennifer is experiencing pain radiating down her left arm and chest, fatigue and difficulty walking.


On Wednesday December 13, Jennifer was taken to the University of Virginia for a CT coronary angiogram. Following this visit, the prison has reportedly not taken any action to treat Jennifer’s growing cardiac-related symptoms.


Over the past few weeks, Jennifer’s attorney has been exploring administrative options available to see Jennifer transferred from Fluvanna back to Colorado under conditions that would enable her to receive the medical care she needs. These potential alternatives have taken on new urgency given the apparent dramatic decline in Jennifer’s health over the last week. Providing Jennifer a transfer or release has become life-or-death, but Fluvanna has yet to respond to Jennifer’s attorneys.


“Fluvanna is turning a blind eye to her cries for help because they want Jennifer dead,” said Barbara Crist, Jennifer’s mother, who lives in Colorado and cannot easily visit her daughter in prison. “Jennifer is in pain and needs immediate treatment for life-threatening symptoms. I just want my little girl to be alive and safe.”


Jennifer has been repeatedly denied critical medical care and has been physically abused during her time in prison. On Jennifer’s website Bruised Behind Bars, her frequent blog posts indicate that she is not receiving basic medical care, such as the necessary cleaning of her chest port and being denied a wheelchair.


On December 11, Jennifer stated, “I need to get to my medical team. I was transferred to this facility illegally and I am being kept here as what feels like a hostage since I should have been released quite some time ago. I could be experiencing endocarditis, or an inflamed heart, which could lead to cardiac arrest or even death. Yet, I am ignored here at Fluvanna like so many inmates before me. I have been allowed to catastrophically decline over the last few years in prison, been beaten, and raped and no one has been held accountable. All that remains now are the scars and my voice trying to get medical care now.” Now, ten days later, Jennifer’s condition has worsened to catastrophic levels.


Fluvanna has been contacted by numerous medical professionals pleading for Jennifer’s transfer to save her life. In a letter sent to the prison by a physician on August 11, 2023, Dr. Charles Howard states, “It is clear from the Medical Records…that Ms. Emmi belongs in an inpatient hospital, where she can receive the necessary Medical Care for her multitude of severe medical conditions. These services are NOT available in a Jail, nor in most Federal Prison facilities…Ms. Emmi medically requires immediate transfer to a major tertiary medical center. This is the only type of facility with resources needed to treat her.”


Since beginning her sentence behind bars, Jennifer has endured abuse, harassment, deprivation, arbitrary penalization, and sexual assault, as well as 22 weeks of solitary confinement. Following her report of sexual abuse by prison guards in Colorado, Jennifer was transferred from Colorado without explanation to Virginia — halfway across the country from her family and support system. Her experience at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women has only caused further harm to Jennifer’s declining health.


Fluvanna has a well-documented pattern of abuse and medical neglect; the prison has been forced to settle a lawsuit accusing them of violating inmates' constitutional rights. Fluvanna has been plagued with accusations of neglect, overcrowding, and sexual abuse on the part of the predominantly male guards ever since its founding. A list of some of Fluvanna’s misdeeds can be found on Jennifer’s website here.


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