Prisoners of Conscience need your help Print
Update of September 20, 2002 from Crisp County Jail
TO: SOA Watch
From: Toni Flynn and Jerry Zawada (?SOA 37?)

Gratitude to everyone who campaigned for better jail conditions at Crisp County Jail! Jerry and Toni consider the campaign to be exhausted at this point and request that you r all discontinue sending further letters/faxes/phone calls in their names to the sheriff, the B.O.P. and the judges. Sheriff Donnie Haralson meets regularly now with both Jerry and Toni to address their concerns and to explore ways to improve jail services to all inmates.

However, Jerry and Toni would still like to be transferred to Federal facilities closer to their homes, communities, and families, not so much for their own sakes as for the hardship it places on their family members, Jerry?s Franciscan Community, and Toni?s Catholic Worker Community. Jerry hopes for a transfer to Wisconsin or Indiana and Toni hopes for a transfer to California. Toni?s entire family resides in California and they cannot afford the flight and hotel expense of traveling all the way to Georgia for a one hour visit. She is awaiting news of the birth of her first grandchild whom she will not be able to see if not transferred. Additionally, both Jerry and Toni have severely restricted their calls to their families (collect, from jail)?each 15 minutes call adds up to $20-$25! For these reasons and the approaching holidays, they ask that you pray for a small miracle that might help them get transferred. If you wish to write letters on behalf of them, requesting for transfers, send them:
?To Whom it May Concern?
c/o Robert Phares
1105 Sapling Place
Raleigh, NC 27615
Bob will forward the letters to the correct officials.

Currently, Jerry and Toni are continuing to attend a weekly communion service together at the jail with a local priest presiding. Jerry is fasting and praying for peace in Iraq and praying for Bill Quigley who is on a peace mission in that region. Toni is praying a daily Rosary for peace and is writing reflections for future publication. In November, Toni?s daughter, Shannon Gossman, will be participating in the SOAW gathering at the gates of Fort Benning and is fundraising for that goal.

Jerry and Toni say to all their fellow ?SOA 37? co-defendants who have recently begun to serve their sentences: Courage Brothers! Courage Sisters! You do not walk alone?.They also want to thank everyone for the wonderful letters that they are receiving from across the nation and beyond!

There are approximately 2 million people in US prisons and jails and 6.3 million people under state supervision. The number of inmates increased more than 5 times from 1970 to 2001. 46% in 1999 were African-Americans, even though African-Americans compose only 12% of the US Population. 18% were Hispanic. Today our rate of incarceration is the highest in the world.

The Prison Industrial Complex and the School of the Americas/WHISC are both symptoms of a broader system of exploitation and oppression, a system that is dependent on repressive institutions to stay in power.

Over 70 SOA Watch activists have been incarcerated for 40 years (collectively) for civil resistance and speaking out against the SOA. Their prison terms are an attempt to silence the movement to close the SOA, and to prevent others from speaking out. An additional 28 activists, serving sentences from 3 ? 6 month are currently being held in jails and prisons across the United States (Alderson, WV; Lexington, KY; Schuylkill, PA; Crisp County, GA; Lewisburg, PA; Beaumont, TX; Manchester, KY; Pekin, IL; Bradford, PA; Littleton, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Dublin, CA; Allenwood, PA; Beaver, WV). Write to the prisoners and come to Fort Benning, November 15-17, 2002.