From The Dissenter
Cecily McMillan, a New York activist, who was sentenced to ninety days in prison for “felony assault of a police officer” after an incident at an Occupy Wall Street event, was released from prison. She delivered a statement to the press and took the opportunity to read a statement that she and the women of Rikers Island drafted together.
“Incarceration is meant to prevent crime,” McMillan asserted. “Its purpose is to penalize and then return us to the outside world ready to start anew. The world I saw at Rikers isn’t concerned with that. Many of the tactics employed are aimed at simple dehumanization.
“In the interests of returning the facility to its mission and restoring dignity to its inmates, we, the women of Rikers, have several demands that will make this system more functional. These were collectively drafted for me to read before you today.”
She said that the women of Rikers demand “adequate, safe and timely healthcare at all times,” including mental health care services. They also would like to not have to wait “up to 12 hours a day for a simple clinic visit” as well as the ability to request a female doctor “if desired.”
According to the women still imprisoned, there is a “special sense of urgency” to this demand: (more…)