November 26, 2016
Recently, Reverend Edward Pinkney was abruptly transferred out of West Shoreline Corrections Facility in Muskegon Heights to Brooks/Fremont Correctional Facility in Muskegon Heights. He was driven around in a van for about 30 minutes before ending up at Brooks/Fremont, which is basically across the street from West Shoreline! Both facilities are at 2500 S. Sheridan!
What is behind this latest move? We only can surmise that it is a typical tactic used by departments of corrections to cause confusion, isolate prisoners, keep families and friends from inmates; in other words, it’s a “show them who’s boss” mentality that costs taxpayers unnecessarily and puts stress and hardships on not just the inmates, but on their loved ones.
Rev. Pinkney reports that Brooks/Fremont is worse than the Marquette facility—a fact that is difficult to comprehend. We all know the conditions at Marquette: walls covered with black mold, unsanitary conditions, rotten and inedible food, hostile prison officials, a warden with an iron fist, poor medical treatment, and much more.
When Dorothy Pinkney and I visited the Reverend on Saturday, November 19, he was in good spirits, talkative, joyful to have visitors, and he was hungry. At West Shoreline, visitors can bring in quarters to purchase a variety of vending machine foods for the inmate. Microwaves are provided to heat up sandwiches. He ate plentifully and talked about how much he had learned while being incarcerated for the past two years. The Reverend is always just as interested in the lives of his visitors, in their opinions and activities as he is in talking about the deplorable conditions he has endured over the past two years. He is genuinely appreciative of others, and every time I speak with him, it is a lesson in self-sacrifice, devotion to others, and compassion.
Rev. Pinkney was looking forward to the next weekend’s visit on Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. The plan was for a visit from Dorothy along with their daughter and grandson. On the 21st he was moved, and the fear was that his visits and his phone calls would be interrupted, perhaps suspended for a time. However, he did receive the family visit on the 21st and his phone calls resumed. He is so grateful for family members, friends, and supporters.
Rev. Pinkney has repeatedly expressed his gratitude for all the birthday cards he received—about 250 from around the world! He is looking forward to receiving your holiday cards in celebration of Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc. He told us that the cards and letters he receives give him great joy, hope, and a real connection with others, and the communication lets him know so many individuals are aware of the injustice so many are suffering.
Now that he is at Brooks/Fremont, his wife will have to order more pre-packaged food for him (through the prison system) that is edible (rather than eating the rotten, worm-infested food that is served daily). There are vending machines available at Brooks/Fremont, but they contain only snack foods; no sandwiches or any healthy fare is offered, and there are no microwaves for inmates’ use.
He is determined to give the prison system as little funds as possible, but he must continue to speak out, and one means is by writing blogs and articles. Therefore, if you can, along with any card or letter, please include 3-4 sheets of lined paper that he can use for his writings. If we all write to him and send paper to him every month, he would be kept busy with his reading, research and writings until his 2.5 years are up in June 2017—a day we are all looking forward to celebrating with him. His freedom, his life, his family have been sacrificed for far too long. #FreeRevPinkney