Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.

Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.
The "Hard Time" blogspot is a volunteer-run site for the political organization of people with Hepatitis C behind and beyond prison walls, their loved ones, and whomever cares to join us. We are neither legal nor medical professionals. Some of us may organize for support, but this site is primarily dedicated to education and activism; we are fighting for prevention, detection, treatment, and a cure for Hepatitis C, particularly down in the trenches where most people are dying - in prison or on the street... Join us.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Mother's Cry: Julie Acklin

A Mother's Cry
written by Julie Acklin

Julie Acklin is a concerned mother of her twenty-three year old son, Davon, who has serious mental illness. Read her story here,

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Davon has been incarcerated in the state prison system since 2007. Although diagnosed with serious mental illness the prison has refused to provide adequate treatment. Instead prison authorities confine him to solitary confinement to control his behaviors.

Recently, she learned that Davon contacted Hepatitis C. In collaboration with other church and advocacy organizations she arranged to organize a team for the Liver Foundation Walk called the Liver Life Walk: March 20 @ Steele Park

The name of her Walk Team is: "A Mother's Cry." She is looking for the donation of red tee shirts to identify her team members. For those who want to donate red tee shirts size large and extra large leave them in the First Church office or see Robert Koth after the 10:30 AM or 5:30 PM worship service.

Update from the Mother:

Wrongfully accused and behind the cold walls of an Arizona prison...

On Feb 2nd, 2010, I sat waiting for a call from my son that never came. My heart sank because, in the prison world, that means one of many things.

Either the Facility is on Lock Down, during which the phones don't work; or he has been transferred (which they frequently do without even notifying the families.) So I called the prison to see what was happening. The answer I received chilled me... "they said he wasn’t there!"

My heart sank once again. I knew that something God was telling me wasn't good.

When I asked where he was, they told me he was at the CDU. Now, the CDU is an acronym for "Complex Detention Unit" at Santa Rita. Eventually, I heard from another inmate's mother, that she had gotten a letter from her son, who told her that my son had been set up. Apparently someone placed a shank in his kop bag. A shank is a prison term for a weapon that can be made out of just about anything.

I knew that this was not true, as my son hadn't been in trouble since his incarceration, and had only 14 months to go before coming home. He mentioned in every letter that he was within reach of coming home, and that he was exited... counting the days.

I had to do something, so I called the captain at the facility to ask what had happened. He told me that he would get the details and call me back. While I was waiting for his call, I got a letter from my son in the mail. He wrote that they had handcuffed him, and took him to CDU, and that he was afraid because they were falsely accusing him of having a weapon in his possession. He wrote that someone must have set him up.

He said that he was accused of a class A violation, which is very serious, and that he could be charged with a street charge and be placed in solitary confinement till his release date of 2012.

I was desperate for justice. I sent many letters and cards to Prison Talk, which is a support site for inmates and families of inmates. I also made calls to the facility through concerned advocates; and sent letters directly to the Director’s office.

Prayers were said on my son's behalf by families and friends.

Days passed, and still no call came from the captain. I called the facility a few days later and reached the captain.

You can't imagine my relief when I heard the captain tell me that '...the charges were being dropped because there was not enough evidence to file charges, and that the guys on the yard had come forward, and they were sticking up for him, confirming his innocence.

This was unusual, because inside the prison walls nobody talks for fear of being accused of being "a snitch" and being hurt themselves.

So due to the prayers, and the calls, and by the grace of our dear Lord, the charges were dropped. My son is once again back on the yard, where he is safe; at least for now. They did, however, require that he sign a protective custody waiver, in which "if something happens to him, the DOC cannot be held accountable."

This is my story of A Mother's Cry for help and justice that were echoed by my son and so many others. I hope my story brings courage and strength to believe in the power of prayer, and the strength to stand up for our children. They are all children of God.

Thank you all for being my advocate, and the advocate of my only son Davon, who is just one of the mentally ill that have become incarcerated in these troubled times.

1 comment:

  1. I am the mother of a 24 year old in Tucson Manzanita Unit. My son says he is pretty sure he has Hep C also. He is NOT being treated. Every day my son is in the Arizona Prison system I am scared for his life. Everyday he is in prison...I am in a hell of my own. Coping and helping him cope are the tools I need. Any ideas and yes...God is the 1st one I turn to...but knowledge is comforting too. I, like many of you, never even gave prison life a thought until someone I love, my only son and only child after the loss of my daughter.