Two recent letters from Berrien County prisoner Jessica Thomas to Rev. Edward Pinkney
Berrien County: Brutal Plantation
Dear Rev. Pinkney,
I am writing this letter to inform you that I would not have gotten as much time as I did if I had said my brother killed Clay.
Smigielski is looking for anybody who will lie for him. He told me he will help me get out if I lie for him in court. Then he went to my sister Kendra and lied to her.
He is like a mad man. The hate that is inside this man is out of control. He is just like Collins.
I am writing you to let you know what is going on.
Dear Rev. Pinkney,
Just a few lines to let you know what is going on in Berrien County jail. I was beaten, maced, tazed, choked, kneed in my back, finger stuck behind my ear, all my clothes stripped off by a white male guard, beaten by men and women guards, was put in padded crazy cell [padded] and strapped to a chair for hours. All because I asked about my handcuffs being too tight. My hand was bleeding and I did not want to give them my other hand until they stopped the bleeding.
They said I was already using the phone in the holding cell, and could not use it again, but I was supposed to be able to use it all day and all night.
Another African-American named Marilyn Murphy came to jail with breast cancer - the judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail. She had an appointment for surgery and she had to cancel it because she did not want to be shackled at the appointment. She would be too ashamed and embarrassed.
A caucasian woman named Mindy was in jail and was released to go have an abortion. She was free of shackles and handcuffs and was allowed to leave and return 4 days later - her word was good enough for them.
I finally got xrayed where a guard beat my hand. My bones are damaged. I was pregnant at the time and given an abortion pill that was illegal. A deputy told me I had to be locked up until my wounds healed. I also have witnesses and names for you.
I was denied a visit from my mother and family. The wounds are still visible and I believe they will be there forever.
There are many more concerns. Lady guards giving African-American administrative lock down all day everyday. You should come talk to some of the ladies in the jail to see how they are treated. It is unfair, unjustifiable, and definitely wrong. Please come see me.