Recent correspondence with prisoners at Nash CI in Nashville, NC is showing a wide range of changes soon to be affected at the facility. A prison maintenance worker has reported that plans for a multi-million dollar “upgrade” are coming soon.
New lighting is to be installed, and all plumbing controls are being converted to be electronic. The stated goal is to save money in operating cost. New lighting is to be all solid-state electronic which is much more efficient and easily upgraded.
Similarly, the electronic controls for the inmates’ water will be designed for total control outside of their cells. The current plan is to limit prisoners’ showers to two minutes. Further, toilets are to be limited to a maximum of two flushes per house, with some minimum time between them.
Prisoners have already expressed anger at these changes, in part because prisoners on several blocks have no access to water other than during shower time, and also because a lack of ventilation in the cells. Wrote one prisoner, “This is grossly unfair because there are no exhaust fans for restroom gases for the inmates; we get rid of the foul gases by frequent flushing as we use the toilet. Other wise we all drown in these gases. Further, because our diet is often foul, diarrhea is frequent and common.”
In essence, the plan seems to focus on putting prisoners on a strict kind of water rationing, and to be able to deprive them of all water with the flip of a switch from an external control booth. In addition to being a cost cutting measure, it is difficult not to view this as a way to combat a common method of prisoner protest via flooding the cells with water, as well as an additional method of external control in the context of a riot of uprising.
New bunks are also being added to make way for planned overcrowding. The same prisoner expresses, “Isn’t it telling that the administration has continually cited a lack of funds as justification for cutting back on everything from medical care and food to newspaper and magazine subscriptions, they can find the money for new bunks to overcrowd us with for this ‘upgrade.'”