Saturday, April 15, 2017
Dept. of Florida Corrections
Re: John Meekins
To Whom this May Concern:
I was minding my own business when I received an angry request on Facebook from John Meekins to speak to me on an encrypted phone line, i.e., “off the record”. John is a guard at a Lowell jail who is also involved in the sex trafficking field.
When I asked what this was about, I was informed he was “fired because of a complaint I had filed against him” from his job as a guard in a Florida jail. John further claimed I had “ruined a project for sex trafficking victims” by making this accusation against him. When I asked him why he thought I did this he told me “because they played me a tape of your phone call”.
I had no idea what he was talking about. When I contacted the Dept. of Florida Corrections, I received an email back from Tracy who told me “John had been terminated”. Meaning there was basically “nothing to discuss in the matter. I was further told the investigator who played this tape for John also “no longer worked for the Dept. of Corrections”.
About a week ago, our hotline received a phone call at about 7:00 a.m. by an attorney who was calling to ask if I wanted to “testify at John’s hearing to get his regular job back”. She told Karen, the woman who answered our phone, all about this situation, including the fact that a phone recording of me supposedly making this complaint was played for John as it was his “right to face his accuser”. When Karen asked who this attorney was making this call, she didn’t want to give her name at first. It took a lot of coaxing just to get her to identify herself..
Now considering she called up our hotline and started talking about this whole matter with a woman who wasn’t me, and therefore a complete stranger, to find my privacy violated even further I found pretty offensive. Especially when my reputation with Sex Workers Anonymous is built upon my reputation for “confidentiality”, I’m more than upset to come in and hear that Karen was told I had “made a complaint against John” and that this “tape was played for him”. Karen is not related to me, nor is she my attorney. She’s just a member of SWA who your attorney had no RIGHT to discuss such a matter with her like this without my consent. I have NO idea why this matter was even discussed with her at all.
Nor do I know why I now have John thinking I filed a complaint against him when I DID NOT. Nor was ONE SINGLE STEP taken to verify my actual involvement in this complaint before having John told I did such a thing. There is a whole show on MTV called “Catfish” based on people pretending to be someone they’re not. It’s very easy to do with modern technology, “spoof” phones, emails, etc. As well to think that if someone DOES make a complaint about sex trafficking in your system that THIS is how you PROTECT YOUR WITNESSES?
Not only was John TOLD that I had “made a complaint against him”, but then you call and discuss the matter with the woman who answered our hotline? I mean where is your concept of a “right to privacy” even here let alone COMMON SENSE?
I have been a paralegal for the 30 years I’ve been in recovery now. Mostly because so many of our members can’t find attorney’s they can afford or who want to represent them in the many legal entanglements they find themselves in because of being survivors. I was invited to “testify against John” at this hearing on April 19, 2017, but no contact information was provided Karen to give to me so I could accept the offer. When I emailed your department a few days ago asking for contact information about this hearing – I still haven’t received any answer.
So I did a little legal research tonight and lo and behold what did I find? Florida Statute 92.56 -Judicial proceedings and court records involving sexual offenses and human trafficking quotes:
(1)(a) The confidential and exempt status of criminal intelligence information or criminal investigative information made confidential and exempt pursuant to s. 119.071(2)(h) must be maintained in court records pursuant to s. 119.0714(1)(h) and in court proceedings, including testimony from witnesses.
(b) If a petition for access to such confidential and exempt records is filed with the trial court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense, the confidential and exempt status of such information shall be maintained by the court if the state or the victim demonstrates that:
1. The identity of the victim is not already known in the community;
2. The victim has not voluntarily called public attention to the offense;
3. The identity of the victim has not otherwise become a reasonable subject of public concern;
4. The disclosure of the victim’s identity would be offensive to a reasonable person; and
5. The disclosure of the victim’s identity would:
a. Endanger the victim because the assailant has not been apprehended and is not otherwise known to the victim;
b. Endanger the victim because of the likelihood of retaliation, harassment, or intimidation;
c. Cause severe emotional or mental harm to the victim;
d. Make the victim unwilling to testify as a witness; or
e. Be inappropriate for other good cause shown.
(2) A defendant charged with a crime described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, or chapter 800, or with child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child as described in chapter 827, may apply to the trial court for an order of disclosure of information in court records held confidential and exempt pursuant to s. 119.0714(1)(h) or maintained as confidential and exempt pursuant to court order under this section. Such identifying information concerning the victim may be released to the defendant or his or her attorney in order to prepare the defense. The confidential and exempt status of this information may not be construed to prevent the disclosure of the victim’s identity to the defendant; however, the defendant may not disclose the victim’s identity to any person other than the defendant’s attorney or any other person directly involved in the preparation of the defense. A willful and knowing disclosure of the identity of the victim to any other person by the defendant constitutes contempt.
(3) The state may use a pseudonym instead of the victim’s name to designate the victim of a crime described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., in s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), or in chapter 794 or chapter 800, or of child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child as described in chapter 827, or any crime involving the production, possession, or promotion of child pornography as described in chapter 847, in all court records and records of court proceedings, both civil and criminal.
(4) The protection of this section may be waived by the victim of the alleged offense in a writing filed with the court, in which the victim consents to the use or release of identifying information during court proceedings and in the records of court proceedings.
(5) This section does not prohibit the publication or broadcast of the substance of trial testimony in a prosecution for an offense described in s. 787.06(3)(a)1., (c)1., or (e)1., s. 787.06(3)(b), (d), (f), or (g), chapter 794, or chapter 800, or a crime of child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827, but the publication or broadcast may not include an identifying photograph, an identifiable voice, or the name or address of the victim, unless the victim has consented in writing to the publication and filed such consent with the court or unless the court has declared such records not confidential and exempt as provided for in subsection (1).
(6) A willful and knowing violation of this section or a willful and knowing failure to obey any court order issued under this section constitutes contempt.
I call your attention to the parts I highlighted in bold. Let’s say for the sake of argument I had made a formal criminal complaint against John Meekins with respect to sex trafficking. Which by the way I want to make very clear in this letter I DID NOT. I did NOT contact anyone to make a formal complaint about anything against John Meekins which started this process rolling. So my identity should not have been “revealed to anyone but the defendant’s attorney” IF THAT, and to have done so puts the plaintiffs in “contempt”, even if I DID make such a complaint.
It also SPECIFICALLY states “unless the victim has consented in writing to the publication” which includes a recording with an “identifiable voice” as was played to John, along with stating my name to this tape, and further filed my permission with the court to do so – then the plaintiffs are also further in “contempt” for not keeping these records “confidential”.
This phone call a few days ago found Karen asking this attorney specifically “what steps are going to be taken to protect Jody from retaliation” after she asked I testify against John at this April 19, 2017 hearing. I have yet to receive any type of information back from anyone about what exactly IS going to be done to protect me from any retaliation in the future, as well as what I’ve already suffered, from such a violation of dragging my name into this manner as has been done. In fact, I can’t even get specific information about where this hearing is being held, who is involved, is this a court proceeding, etc.
Now since John’s “right to face his accuser” was so generously honored as we were told is how this whole thing went down – I sure don’t seem to be hearing back from anyone about what MY rights are here ESPECIALLY if I DID FILE a complaint against John. Because what I’m seeing here is that I just had someone wound up John at me like a missile and fired. Lord knows that if I was in fact a REAL sex trafficking victim who had been trafficked within your facility by John and THIS is how you TREAT VICTIMS – we have a SERIOUS problem here.
Including the fact that I’m being classified as an “accuser” of John, which would mean I’m also a “victim” of something. That or someone is certainly. Meaning the way I’m being treated is how you treat victims over there? Well I have a serious problem with this being no one has contacted me to speak to me about any type of services either, what’s being done about said complaint, or anything about what supposedly I accused John of, let alone to verify I was even the person who made this call or complaint against John. Certainly if I “made a complaint against John” that means I’m a “victim” then right? That or SOMEBODY IS.
Going back to my research, Florida Statute 960.01 - Guidelines for fair treatment of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems is quoted as saying:
(a) Information concerning services available to victims of adult and juvenile crime.—As provided in s. 27.0065, state attorneys and public defenders shall gather information regarding the following services in the geographic boundaries of their respective circuits and shall provide such information to each law enforcement agency with jurisdiction within such geographic boundaries. Law enforcement personnel shall ensure, through distribution of a victim’s rights information card or brochure at the crime scene, during the criminal investigation, and in any other appropriate manner, that victims are given, as a matter of course at the earliest possible time, information about:
1. The availability of crime victim compensation, if applicable;
2. Crisis intervention services, supportive or bereavement counseling, social service support referrals, and community-based victim treatment programs;
3. The role of the victim in the criminal or juvenile justice process, including what the victim may expect from the system as well as what the system expects from the victim;
4. The stages in the criminal or juvenile justice process which are of significance to the victim and the manner in which information about such stages can be obtained;
5. The right of a victim, who is not incarcerated, including the victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, the lawful representative of the victim or of the victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, and the next of kin of a homicide victim, to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of a criminal or juvenile proceeding, to the extent that this right does not interfere with constitutional rights of the accused, as provided by s. 16(b), Art. I of the State Constitution;
6. In the case of incarcerated victims, the right to be informed and to submit written statements at all crucial stages of the criminal proceedings, parole proceedings, or juvenile proceedings; and
7. The right of a victim to a prompt and timely disposition of the case in order to minimize the period during which the victim must endure the responsibilities and stress involved to the extent that this right does not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
(b) Information for purposes of notifying victim or appropriate next of kin of victim or other designated contact of victim.—In the case of a homicide, pursuant to chapter 782; or a sexual offense, pursuant to chapter 794; or an attempted murder or sexual offense, pursuant to chapter 777; or stalking, pursuant to s. 784.048; or domestic violence, pursuant to s. 25.385:
1. The arresting law enforcement officer or personnel of an organization that provides assistance to a victim or to the appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact must request that the victim or appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact complete a victim notification card. However, the victim or appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact may choose not to complete the victim notification card.
2. Unless the victim or the appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact waives the option to complete the victim notification card, a copy of the victim notification card must be filed with the incident report or warrant in the sheriff’s office of the jurisdiction in which the incident report or warrant originated. The notification card shall, at a minimum, consist of:
a. The name, address, and phone number of the victim; or
b. The name, address, and phone number of the appropriate next of kin of the victim; or
c. The name, address, and telephone number of a designated contact other than the victim or appropriate next of kin of the victim; and
d. Any relevant identification or case numbers assigned to the case.
3. The chief administrator, or a person designated by the chief administrator, of a county jail, municipal jail, juvenile detention facility, or residential commitment facility shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the alleged victim or appropriate next of kin of the alleged victim or other designated contact within 4 hours following the release of the defendant on bail or, in the case of a juvenile offender, upon the release from residential detention or commitment. If the chief administrator, or designee, is unable to contact the alleged victim or appropriate next of kin of the alleged victim or other designated contact by telephone, the chief administrator, or designee, must send to the alleged victim or appropriate next of kin of the alleged victim or other designated contact a written notification of the defendant’s release.
4. Unless otherwise requested by the victim or the appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact, the information contained on the victim notification card must be sent by the chief administrator, or designee, of the appropriate facility to the subsequent correctional or residential commitment facility following the sentencing and incarceration of the defendant, and unless otherwise requested by the victim or the appropriate next of kin of the victim or other designated contact, he or she must be notified of the release of the defendant from incarceration as provided by law.
5. If the defendant was arrested pursuant to a warrant issued or taken into custody pursuant to s. 985.101 in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction in which the defendant is being released, and the alleged victim or appropriate next of kin of the alleged victim or other designated contact does not waive the option for notification of release, the chief correctional officer or chief administrator of the facility releasing the defendant shall make a reasonable attempt to immediately notify the chief correctional officer of the jurisdiction in which the warrant was issued or the juvenile was taken into custody pursuant to s. 985.101, and the chief correctional officer of that jurisdiction shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the alleged victim or appropriate next of kin of the alleged victim or other designated contact, as provided in this paragraph, that the defendant has been or will be released.
(c) Information concerning protection available to victim or witness.—A victim or witness shall be furnished, as a matter of course, with information on steps that are available to law enforcement officers and state attorneys to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation. Victims of domestic violence shall also be given information about the address confidentiality program provided under s. 741.403.
(d) Notification of scheduling changes.—Each victim or witness who has been scheduled to attend a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding shall be notified as soon as possible by the agency scheduling his or her appearance of any change in scheduling which will affect his or her appearance.
(e) Advance notification to victim or relative of victim concerning judicial proceedings; right to be present.—Any victim, parent, guardian, or lawful representative of a minor who is a victim, or relative of a homicide victim shall receive from the appropriate agency, at the address found in the police report or the victim notification card if such has been provided to the agency, prompt advance notification, unless the agency itself does not have advance notification, of judicial and postjudicial proceedings relating to his or her case, including all proceedings or hearings relating to:
You’ll further note the parts I’ve bolded here stating I’m supposed to be given things like a case number, told when and where any hearings are being held, as well as information on what protection can be given me. ALL OF WHICH I have not been provided voluntarily yet, nor have I after my requests for this information specifically in writing either.
Now I can almost hear what the argument is going to be about this – that is that “this isn’t a formal criminal proceeding so therefore these statutes doesn’t apply”. That this is just an “employment matter” about whether or not John’s pay scale stays lowered, as well as his job duties restricted also, as the woman told Karen so these laws don’t specifically apply.
Well if that’s the case, then I fail to see WHERE John “has the right to face his accuser” as in a tape being played for him with my name being identified then if this IS NOT a “criminal” proceeding. If you’re having an employment dispute of some kind with John, and dragging out my name to justify your wanting to lower his pay or responsibilities – I fail to see where that gives you the legal right to even then CALL ME A “ACCUSOR”, and then make the decision all on your own to involve me in this in the way as has been done.
In other words, if I’m an “accuser” of John he “has the right to face” then where is the criminal proceeding against John? If you’re going to say you don’t have to honor these statutes because “this isn’t a criminal proceeding”, or a lawsuit - then please explain to me how then it was decided upon to suck my name into this matter as an “accuser”?
Since no one will tell me anything about this case against John, I went online further and found this article https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2016/feb/2/floridas-department-corrections-culture-corruption-abuse-and-deaths/
This article stated “The investigation also noted that LCI guard John Meekins filed a police report stating Martinez had threatened him. “You’re going to get your ass beat in the parking lot after work,” the assistant warden allegedly told Meekins in front of two other guards after Meekins conducted a shakedown that resulted in the confiscation of contraband from two of Martinez’s alleged favorite prisoners.”
The article goes on to state that Martinez was evidently removed from his job because of the contraband found by John’s actions.
Looking to me like the only thing John’s guilty of is getting a warden fired, NOT of “sex trafficking”. So I’m confused as to why I would be calling to file a complaint against John exactly..
This issue is more than a “personal” one here because of my position as founder, and director, of Sex Workers Anonymous. We build our reputation upon NOT involving law enforcement, filing complaints of any kind, etc., against anyone without first the victim inviting us to do so, and even then we don’t consider such things without first consulting with an attorney first to make sure everyone’s rights are protected and we’re aware of what we’re involving ourselves in.
So I don’t take it lightly at all when I hear John running around saying we “filed a complaint against him” for one thing in the sex trafficking field harming our reputation.
For another, that I supposedly “am responsible for tanking a sex trafficking project” not to mention I’m DEEPLY concerned that if this is how you do treat someone who does “blow the whistle” on something or something going on in your Dept. of Corrections, ESPECIALLY if that involves a guard, then I think we have a lot to discuss here when it comes to your treatment of people you are using as “witnesses”.
Especially now that laws do exist to be able to file charges against certain people for certain actions we couldn’t even do years ago, and in some cases we still can’t. For example, while we do have federal recognition of domestic sex trafficking now the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed – but I STILL find it deeply disturbing men like Joohoon David Lee was only charged with “bribery” and not “sex trafficking” because we still don’t have laws on the books which would allow us to charge him for what he did using his badge to traffick women who have no ability to prosecute him for his actions being his badge has granted him not only immunity, but also it seems nothing is being done about the family he falsely accused of sex trafficking in order to distract away attention from his real actions.
What am I to say what with all of this when an inmate in your corrections community comes to me saying she “wants to blow the whistle” on her traffickers about your ability to not only treat her well, but keep her ALIVE for that matter. If you look at the infamous case of Margo Compton and what happened to her after she prosecuted her traffickers – then you can see clearly why I’ve advertised our hotline for victims to call for help where they don’t have to prosecute anyone in order to receive this help. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/When-Jailbirds-Sing-It-was-the-pure-savagery-of-3018647.php
In some cases, for some victims, this means literally death because we STILL are not set up properly to protect trafficking victims fully when testifying as Margo’s case clearly illustrates.
I’m further troubled when my requests to have materials for Sex Workers Anonymous distributed within the jail that John Meekins works at, or did work at, is not responding to my requests to (1) have the pay phone “unblocked” so that inmates can call for help with matters they don’t feel comfortable talking about with the guards, (since our phone is listed as a resource with the Polaris National Trafficking Hotline there’s no reason why we can’t be an “unblocked” number for inmates to call these days especially since you don’t allow inmates to call 800 numbers anymore), and (2) allow me to distribute reading and step materials for our 12 step program to your inmates.
We publish the ONLY book on recovery from the sex industry, including sex trafficking and pimping, in the world written by those in recovery in the same spirit as the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book”. Ours is called the “Recovery Guide” and many of our members for over 30 years now have sworn this book has “saved their lives”. We have our 1st edition published in 1992, and our 2nd edition revised version updated in 2017.
On top of the SWA “Recovery Guide”, we have a “mail order step study program” specifically designed for inmates to be able to spend their time while incarcerated working on “their steps” and thus recovery. We’ve also published a book written for the family members and/or loved ones of those who are either going through exiting the sex industry, and/or those who are being trafficked and pimped – on how to support their loved one through their recovery, as well as help themselves.
These books are for SWAN, a program which is modeled after Alanon in the AA program. I’ve also just about finished my memoirs which outline not just my life story, the founding of our 12 step program and hotline, but also detailing the very history of the modern day domestic sex trafficking movement itself. All in all I think these are much better books for your inmates than books like “The Happy Hooker” by Xaviera Hollander, provided them by SWOP, but that’s my opinion.
Now I have seen that you are allowing John to bring in books donated by Sex Workers Outreach Project, or SWOP, which promotes prostitution as a form of “work”, while denying sex trafficking even exists. I’ve seen the books which are being donated and not only do they completely “glamourize” sex work much like the Marlboro Man glamourizes smoking without talking about the risk of addiction and/or cancer when one smokes - but it creates a “connection” between the inmate that I’m not being allowed a “fair and equal” chance to do the same with respect to our program offering them exit services.
This “book donation” program promotes a connection between prostitutes and SWOP who actively recruits women to go to work for the legal ranches in Nevada, as well as strip clubs, and porn production companies. I’ve seen SWOP use their “SWOP Behind Bars” program to not only help them identify prostitutes within the correctional system, also using John’s help to do so, but even hold fund raisers for them so that they can be flown upon release directly to the legal ranches of Nevada.
Why do I have such an objection to this? It’s not like it’s “pimps on the street” as John once remarked to me about how pimps will send letters to the inmates to try and recruit them also within the jail right?
Within your own correctional system you just experienced a case where the “whistle blower” within a “legal work environment” such as the jail experienced legal and career repercussions from reporting criminal behavior witnessed “on the job”. Further, the Supreme Court, the highest court in our country, decided because of this case that there is no such thing as “free speech” when it involves talking about something witnessed “while on the job”. The article in the Prison Legal News and Miami Dade newspaper talk about employees being fired, reprimanded, forced into confidentiality agreements, “dog and pony shows” being put on for the benefit of investigations into wrong doing within the jail to cover up wrong doing, and so on and so on.
What I’m trying to say is that if within the correctional system with the employees being guards the state of Florida is having a real hard time allowing “whistle blowers” to illegal and abusive behavior to be able to come forward without fear, without repercussion or retaliation, and/or without even facing possibly not only legal action but being told they can’t “exercise their free speech” because of what they saw on the job, not to mention the risk of losing one’s job, pension, benefits, etc. – then I ask you do you REALLY think that if someone within the LEGAL SEX INDUSTRY were to witness the SAME type of abuse, exploitation and/or wrong doing they would then encounter none of the same problems exemplified by these guards if they were to try to go to the authorities to report on abuses they were witnessing?
Case in point – do we in this country right now on the books have one documented case of an employee of a legal brothel in Nevada, and/or a legal strip club and/or a legal porn production company coming forward to report sex trafficking of either themselves, or someone they witnessed, successfully and without retaliation?
Not to my knowledge have we had such a case. So that’s my “problem” with inmates with now criminal records, who may even be on parole or probation, being recruited from within these facilities to work within the legal sex industries where any type of abuse, exploitation and/or sex trafficking would NOT EVER be reported.
With women at the legal ranches being forced to reside within their four walls 24/7, and with no communications in nor out of the ranch being “private” being it’s the ranchs’ phone they’re talking on, the ranch’s internet service providers, their front door even – these GUARANTEES if any type of such victim exists, or something like this is witnessed – it would never be reported. I dare say I wouldn’t even know how a victim would leave being that it’s illegal in many types of situations to even walk out of the building without risking an arrest for “violating curfew”.
AT LEAST ON THE “STREETS” a victim of sex trafficking, or someone witnessing trafficking, would be able to pick up the phone and call for help or for help to leave the situation. With strip clubs you’ve got bouncers on the door who can block your exit, as well as porn production sets have also had women raped on them such as the women who reported James Deen raped them while the cast simply “looked on”. With one of James Deen’s rapes, the camera kept rolling while producers threatened the victim with legal action for “stopping production” and “breaching their contract” if they were to have left the set after being raped to get medical attention as one victim reported happened.
Which is again why I believe strongly “decriminalization” is the only way to try protect sex workers from victimization, trafficking, abuse, false imprisonment, etc. To “legalize” this industry creates the same problems, if not much worse, than that of these Florida guards are experiencing right now.
But my point is that SWOP is being facilitated by the Florida correctional system to identify and create bonds with their inmates, while we at SWA are not being afforded this same “balancing” bonding with the inmates as well.
Besides, I’m sorry if I can’t financially compete with women who are engaging in sex work to buy and ship books for inmates while I struggle to pay my rent on my SSI disability check. I can assure you that from what I’m hearing, if these same inmates were to try and turn to SWOP for assistance to exit the industry, and/or report and/or escape sex trafficking – they are not equipped to do so. Again, I’ve not heard of anything but DENIALS of sex trafficking out of SWOP to date. I have talked to people within SWOP who have wanted to report instances of sex trafficking, who tell me they haven’t out of fear of being “shunned” out of the group in the same manner in which they see we’ve been treated since Robin, their founder, died in 2012.
In fact, I have a screen shot of one chapter literally telling a woman who had just left her pimp and was therefore standing in a doorway, broke, with no place to sleep for the night, no transportation, and no idea where to go to “go sleep in a doorway” as SWOP’s response to this poor woman who didn’t know our hotline existed.
I have another email from a woman who claims a member of SWOP came to her so called “rescue” when she told her of being raped and trafficked by a police officer. The woman claims this member then spent the night, then while she was sleeping took her computer and evidence with her of what happened and split – leaving her with no evidence to be able to prosecute the guy who was doing this to her.
So while attempts by our members of Sex Workers Anonymous to also establish a connection with these same inmates, so that we can start helping them find “other” employment upon release, housing, counseling, as well as finding new “friends” who aren’t connected to the “streets” who are in recovery, and also supply them with books on recovery rather than books glamourizing the sex industry unrealistically are going completely ignored – a full scale “SWOP Behind Bars” and “Books for Inmates” is going on facilitated by the correctional system nationally – not just in Florida I need to add.
In other words, I think things are pretty screwed up over there right now. Especially considering our program has not only been the one who created the first ever “alternative sentencing and diversion” programs for prostitutes, as well as sex trafficking victims, in this country for men, women and transgenders, in Los Angeles, California, but also in Allentown, PA, Chicago, Illinois, Phoenix, Arizona, Vancouver, Canada, and about 8 other states I could name who have had our programs not only going within the correctional facility, but also part of the “re-entry” program for inmates.
If you look at our members such as Kathleen Mitchell, and Brenda Myers-Powell just to name but two who have gone on to start their own programs within the correctional systems, then I think it’s pretty clear that we do good work.
A 10 year long study into our program published in the 2009 report “Leaving Prostitution” by professor Sharon Oselin more than proved the effectiveness of our program as well for getting people out, and keeping them out, of the sex industry whether trafficked or not.
As well as a report which was done on our “Program for Female Offenders” in Allentown, PA. These were completely independent researchers who looked into our effectiveness I should add. Sure there are people who want to focus on my personality for some reason – but this is why I bring the attention back to OUR RESULTS. Who I am as a person has NOTHING to do with the proven effectiveness of our program. In fact, we have multiple testimonials in their own words up on www.leavingtheliferadio.com for anyone to listen to.
What do I do about this situation now with John Meekins? No one is answering me. I do not receive grants nor hold fund raisers, nor do I even get a salary for my work with SWA. I’m on disability right now because of a stroke meaning I live on a limited fixed income and thus “donate” all of my SWA work as a “volunteer”. I can’t just fly down there, retain an attorney, nor spend four hours at a whack on the phone trying to call around to get answers. I have to do this work “on my free time”.
You imagine coming home from your full-time job and THEN sitting down to do the work SWA requires of me, and then tell me how much time and money you can invest in chasing down the information we need to address what’s going on here.
But answers I need to get so I’m writing this letter, and sending copies of it to related agencies I think might be able to help me figure out what’s going on here hoping someone will step up and give me some answers and/or assistance in this matter. I don’t have a full time PR firm like SWOP either. I have to spent 99 % of the time I have working with our members.
So I need some help figuring out what to do about these SERIOUS problems I’m talking about I have here, and I’m just glad that I’m not dealing with a serious violent trafficker who just got told he’s been carted off to jail because of me pointing the finger at him and I’m about to get murdered like Margo Compton and her twins were in retaliation.
My point however is what if it was involving a violent dangerous trafficker who just had a tape played for him where he was told was “Jody Williams” who was “his accuser” - and I think you can see why I’m concerned here deeply.
So no I don’t consider this a “frivolous” issue, but instead one of “life and death” potentially I wanted to explore now before it does involve someone in a real life and death situation who is trying to accuse someone of something within your correctional system.
I’m therefore addressing this letter to any agency I think might have some idea what’s going on in the hopes they’ll get back to me before this April 19, 2017 hearing that supposedly I’ve been “invited to testify at” so I can get to the bottom of what’s going on here exactly.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Cc: (The following names were taken in order from the Prison Legal News Article and the
ACLU Directory of Program I found online)
Rick Scott, Florida Governor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowell Correctional Institution for Women Fax (352) 401-5331
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Florida Justice Institute - firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, February 9, 2017
After watching what happened to Dr. Sharon Mitchell, it was the final nail in the casket for me. If you were to sit down and make a list of people who those in the sex industry looked up to as someone they trusted to lead them, trusted had their best interests at heart, and trusted them as to things like what petitions to sign or what to vote for - I have watched as everyone on that list, including myself, have been systematically targeted.
But I've been trying to figure out why. I did some homework on what happened to Sharon after this, and it appeared she briefly had announced she was going to reopen in connection with Harmony Dust at the "I Am Treasure". Only that church outreach had been focusing on strip club outreach where women were being taken to homes ran by Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries got exposed as targeting these women to use them in baby mills. So bold were they that they actually would call the homes on their websites "safe houses for trafficking victims" while having adoption applications right on the same sites!
Then poof! Nothing. I can't find a trace of Sharon or AIM anywhere. People in the porn industry have been disbursed. Just as the African American community has been disbursed since the riots. I did a google search on all of the local charities right now in the south central part of Los Angeles - Watts, Compton, etc. What I found was over and over again there were Catholic Charities being run by white people. I couldn't even find a major church in those areas being run for the community by the community. Even volunteers were being shipped in from the valley - without them generating volunteers within the local community.
Why? Disbursement. Divide and conquer. A few months ago I could see the problem right now in the industry is all the glue has been removed. We need to start banding together again. So I looked up Phyllisha Anne and Amanda who are working on organizing a union right now that ties together all of the sex industry. I found smear after smear and attack on them in the social media for the industry.
Now I warned Phyllisha when I met her that once word hit that her and I were talking together about working on bringing the community together as a whole that she was bound to be getting some "friend" making a phone call putting a bug in her ear that she needed to stay away from me for some reason. I warned her about this in November.
I explained that's how they've been preventing people from creating new bonds to replace the ones that are being destroyed by these people. I had seen the same thing happen when these same people took over control of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. They got rid of the old guard and then when the ones left over started to regroup - they would step in and break down those ties from connecting also. Always with some back door phone call from some "friend" issuing some "warning" about why they needed to "stay away from so and so".
But it appears they've already begun. I've been getting text messages from someone who appears to have Phyllisha's phone number. It's very easy to spoof text messages by the way. Here's one site of many for example which allow you to do this very thing - https://www.spoofmytextmessage.com/
I've been getting text messages that tell me "Amanda" is a separate person from "Phyllisha". Next thing I know she's sending me an email claiming I'm "not paying attention" and pissed off that I don't know these are not two separate people. What a great way to get people fighting with each other!
Here's another one of their tactics to "divide and conquer". Some of you who follow this blog know I had posted something about John Meekins in the past. Something I misunderstood about him. He reached out to me and we talked and I realized I had been misunderstanding something. So I deleted the blog post and printed a retraction.
He and I started talking. John was working as a guard at a prison where a lot of the women there were prostitutes. He told me they were getting ready to unblock the phones to allow inmates to be able to call Polaris. I had said what a great idea and could we also get them to unblock our hotline number also seeing as I actually run a program which will help these women do re-entry once released whereas Polaris just refers them to call programs like mine?
I thought we were building a great alliance. John even told me of a publisher who ships a lot of books to the inmates who I could donate some bookmarks with contact information on them for www.sexworkersanonymous.com So we had started building an alliance.
Only I stopped hearing from John for a while. Then I went online one night and he was lashing out at me pissed as all hell. I finally managed to get him calmed down and ask him why he was so angry at me. He then tells me how he got fired because of me. I was like "how?" clearly because I had no idea what he was talking about.
He then tells me he was pulled into an office of the Florida Inspector General's office who told him I had called them up and accused him of trying to pimp women out of the facility. Further he says they played him a phone call that was supposedly me calling them to make such an accusation and showed him emails I'd sent them supposedly of our conversation on Facebook.
Only I never made that call and I never sent anyone copies of any Facebook conversation. Oh course John thinks I'm lying to cover my own ass so I demanded to know the name of the person who pulled him into this back room and made such an accusation. He told me the woman's name was Cynthia Paddock.
So I wrote to this office about the fact they did this to John and blamed me and demanded to know who this "Cynthia Paddock" is. Let me show you an email I just got back from them about this:
What do I make out of this? Is it possible to disguise my voice and make a recording that someone can say is me? It's so easy it's scary especially since I know multiple people myself who sound just like me on the phone. For one my daughter. People have talked to her on the phone and they've gotten angry at me because they think it's really me they're talking to. It's not. My daughter sounds identical to me on the phone.
But she's not unique. We have two other members of SWA who sound identical to me on the phone. One of them is Karen. I have her answer the hotline a lot for me when I'm sick because people think she's me because she sounds identical to me. I don't have an accent. I was put in speech therapy as a kid to get rid of a southern accent I had. So actually my voice is pretty generic. The only thing that's really unique about my voice is my laugh. But my voice can be easily duplicated with modern technology and using people easy enough to find.
Now what do I make out of that? Is John lying? No he's pretty upset so I believe him that he got fired and I was blamed for his firing. I think that's the point. Send John off into the trafficking arena claiming I "was the one who got him fired". Great way to "divide and conquer" isn't it?
This was exactly what I was talking to Bill Margold about before he died. He was one of the few people left who seemed to be able to get two or three different factions talking to each other. Bill had agreed with me that everything was all disconnected now in the industry and we needed to find a way to rebuild the sense of "community" that the industry once had that was OUTSIDE of within the corporate culture. Sure the people at Vivid bond together as a "family". But where is the bonds OUTSIDE of that office? Where does the industry bond together from say Playboy or Hustler and Vivid? The AVN? That's another whole corporation and machine that's not the industry. It's the OWNERS of the industry - not the WORKERS.
If you watch this film with Sharon Mitchell you can see what I mean. She was a point of reference that bonded the industry together outside of one corporation/production company, as well as outside of the AVN corporate structure also. Sharon was able to shut down the whole industry with one phone call. She caught the HIV/AIDS outbreak within a matter of DAYS. This clinic had that kind of power.
Since AIM has shut down - we are in the middle of another HIV/AIDS epidemic that's struck the industry. Yes Talent has got three offices where the industry can be tested but note it's THREE. There isn't one person, nor one office, nor anything that unifies the industry through those offices and the industry sure as hell doesn't trust Michael Weinstein at the AHF.
The charges I saw coming down at these people were all bogus and manufactured - leading me to know right off the bat that I'm sure the accusation she was taking bribes was also probably manufactured. How else did anyone know about it otherwise? What happened after she started to regroup with this church outreach who was probably connected to her shutdown in the first place? Am I wrong? Look at what they did to Snowden - traitor. Look at what they did to Assange - rapist. Dave Elms - tried to murder a sex worker supposedly. It's a pattern as clear as the nose on my face that when these people want you shut down - suddenly charges are manufactured against you for something.
I've made a list of the leaders and shakers in this industry and I've seen every single one of them now targeted, shut down and most of them had some kind of criminal charges manufactured against them. It's literally so clear to me that unless I see they're coming after you then I don't believe you're of any threat to them. The question is why?
It may not seem related but it is. Watch the film "Concussion". It shows how the NFL spend a lot of money to make sure the players didn't know how badly they were injured or about traumatic brain injury. Why? Look at how much it's costing them now to pay for that damage. Dr. Amen's been setting up a whole clinic not only teaching these men how to help repair that brain damage, but also he's been able to get a lot of those men off opiate pain medications for those injuries. I watched how Dr. Omahu was also attacked the same way Dr. Sharon Mitchell was. He had to move and also you can't reach him easily because of the threats he was receiving. I saw an online campaign organized against him to try and stop the movie from being made. There was even a petition to try and get Will Smith not to be in this film because that would guarantee it would be made.
They did the same thing with the people who blew the whistle about the water quality in Michigan. In a documentary I saw on this every single person who tried to alert the public to this being a health hazard was also soon discredited, smeared, even arrested. Same as they're doing in North Dakota with those people protesting the oil pipeline there. Amy Goodman was another one arrested just trying to report on that! http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/dakota-pipeline-protests
Oh and by the way - the medical association has been coming after Dr. Amen basically calling him a "quack" just like they did John Mack with his research on people saying they were abducted for research purposes. Same as they came after Dr. Omahu trying to clam he had screwed up on some case also. I watched this film out recently about Hemingway and how they were coming after him also. Now it appeared he really was running guns to help Cuba but the point still remains that in the film it showed how the government was targeting him to press criminal charges to try and stop what he was doing. Makes me wonder if he really committed suicide now to be honest. I say that because I've seen how the ones who keep going past that point - they either wind up a "suicide" or found hung somewhere like they did Sandra Bland.
I went and did some research on if this was true by looking into Brazil where it's legal over there. I saw the same thing - their sex worker advocates and organizers have all suddenly disappeared. Websites are down. Phone numbers disconnected. I can't find a way to reach certain people. I mean what's this all about?
When I was arrested in 1984 I remember specifically asking the cop who formed a task force to get me arrested what was so fucking important about me to do this? I asked him why me when I'm surrounded by monsters who are beating, kidnapping, raping, and otherwise horribly abusing women in this industry - why are they coming after me when I'm creating a safe working environment, and setting up women I'm working with things like unemployment, disability, long term nursing home care if needed, paying their taxes, and even getting them credit ratings so they can buy a house or car one day. Why come after me when I'm doing this?
I asked him "why are you coming after me when the alternative would be for me to be standing on a corner with a needle in one arm and a pimp on the other"? He replied to me "that's just why I'm coming after you because that's where you all belong". I didn't understand that for years and years until I started really looking at what would happen if we did become an industry like any other. Meaning we could also file for unemployment benefits, workers compensation, disability, etc.?
What does that mean to the state in the terms of dollars? Imagine if a porn performer or stripper could actually qualify to get disability for 52 weeks if we went through another crash like 2008? Imagine if they get HIV/AIDS then they can qualify for vocational rehabilitation. How much does all of that cost then the state to be shelling out?
Damn that's a lot of money. Now there's laws against union busting. So anyone who tries and organize a union can't be stopped or they can step in with the lawyers. If all of this is really to try and stop a union from forming - then what would be the most effective way to stop it if you can't directly do any "union busting"?
I've watched other organizations such as PETA, NRA, the Monsanto protestors, and even the civil rights movement groups - how were they brought down? They weren't really brought down by the direct opposition as much as the "insiders". I read last night how a completely bogus group called the "Invaders" was set up to try and discredit Martin Luther King. This group gave out wooden sticks to kids and stirred them up to break store windows. Then Martin Luther King was blamed saying he was a "hypocrite" because here he was "using violence when he preaches non-violent protest".
Let's translate this into modern terms. Could there be a completely fake group out there trying to say they're trying to organize a union for sex workers while in reality NOT doing that?
How do these guys fight? For one thing, when they really want to fight you they won't print your name anywhere. Take a look at the social media for me - and you won't find my name anywhere. I saw whole sites taken down and rebuilt just to wipe out all traces of my name including the site for the show "8 Minutes". It was taken down so all traces of my comments even were removed. The Tits N Sass blog was taken down, my name white washed, and then put back up again with them featuring the leaders THESE people wanted them to feature.
So we know when they're really coming after you - they don't print your name. You won't find my name anywhere in the Review Journal post-2007 except for one quote one reporter had to slip past his publisher to get printed to show I was still there. I can't find anything like an interview with Sharon Mitchell or Dave Elms since they were both shut down. It's like they, and I, don't exist anymore.
Meaning in a way you can tell more about someone by what's NOT being said here than by what is.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Office of Inspector General, Florida Dept. of Corrections
Re: John Meekins
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Jody Williams. I run the group listed above, along with the hotline associated with it. Our group, and hotline, was the first of it’s kind for adults to call when seeking help to exit the sex industry for whatever reason – sex trafficking included. This of course was before the term “sex trafficking” was even coined mind you. It took us 13 years of a lot of time, money, and huge sacrifices in my life to see us get federal recognition for sex trafficking being real as it did when the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed. A true game changer because up until that point the system viewed us only, and solely, as “criminals” and never a “victim” before that recognition was achieved.
I’m writing you because of a matter of deep concern to me. I was told by a guard, or ex-guard, John Meekins, he was “played a tape recording of a call and shown screen shots of our conversation” done supposedly by me of conversations John and I have had in the past. John told me he lost his job because of this, and spoke of another trafficking program which he says will not happen because of supposedly this very thing.
I have a real problem with this. I want you to know that NO ONE has contacted me to verify if I said or did any of this. I’m especially horrified that I now have this man not only quite upset at me about this, but he’s also been completely blasting me within the trafficking field telling people I had contacted the Office of the Inspector General claiming he “was a pimp” and that he “worked for Sex Workers Outreach Project”. Two things I don’t even believe about John, let alone would I be calling up your office making such a complaint about it.
If I think someone “is a pimp” I generally don’t do a damn thing about it to be honest EXCEPT offer to help them. Sex Workers Anonymous is a 12 step group for men, women and transgender adults who want to leave ANY part of the sex industry for ANY reason. I’m going to point you to my YouTube page where I have a tape of my appearance on a Donahue located at ww.tinyurl.com/sexworkersanonymous I did in 1992. I’d like you to note the African American man on that panel who speaks about his membership in Sex Workers Anonymous who helped him stop being a pimp.
Yes Sex Workers Anonymous welcomes in pimps as well as prostitutes. Madams too as evidenced by Jeane Palfrey’s membership in SWA (the D.C. Madam), for about two years before her death. I say “death” and not “suicide” because I believe she was murdered before she could testify at the Ethics Hearing about the names in her “Black Book”. Jeane didn’t reveal names of “johns” in that book, but instead that of her traffickers. She had been trying to prove to the public that she was being forced to work as a madam by men within our own government, just as Alex Adams had also been, as well as myself. Meaning I believe that sometimes someone who is working as a pimp or madam can be a sex trafficking victim sometimes – coerced in some manner to be acting in that capacity.
Which is why we don’t discriminate in SWA as to who we help or don’t help. It’s in fact a fundamental difference between us and many of these new “trafficking” programs that have popped up now grant money has been made available to groups who will only focus on the prostitute as “victim” – completely leaving those forced into other positions within the sex industry out in the cold, or even demonized as is being done these days by these other groups against madams and pimps.
Our very reputation is on the line here when I’m having someone come to me and tell me they have been fired over me supposedly coming to the authorities to file a complaint against someone “being a pimp”. In other words, this goes to the very core of the confidentiality issue that I offer anyone who calls us.
The ONLY time I have done such things has been under two conditions and two conditions only – that first of all of this person has refusing any of our help, and the second being that they are actively enslaving others who wish our help to leave. In the whole time I’ve been running SWA, I can count on one hand the times I’ve had to do any actions against a pimp or trafficker and John Meekins isn’t one of those incidents.
I did try and get an investigation going against Peter Todd for example. This man murdered at least three prostitutes I’m aware of in Las Vegas in my opinion. I had multiple other prostitutes come to me asking for my help to escape this man. Because he was also operating as an informant for the police – these women were unable to not only get any protection from him, but in fact the police were refusing to lift one finger to help them because of his informant position, as well as do anything about the women he murdered.
Leaving me with having to see what I could do in order to have him arrested so as to protect these other women who were not only in great reasonable fear of their lives – but also having to fight against the fact he had police protection while he was actively still trafficking women from Canada down into the states. A man I have been so open about going after that I even set up the website www.pimpalert.com to warn others about him once I realized the police wouldn’t lift a finger to help his victims.
I CERTAINLY don’t consider John Meekins not only a pimp, but not a pimp I’d even think about going to the police about for help against! So I have a huge problem here. I have a huge problem in that John Meekins is running around thinking I made such a complaint, I got him fired, and this complaint is being used now as an excuse for not letting some other trafficking program get off the ground. I especially have a problem over the fact this is making it appear I’m not offering our members the confidentiality that I do – even for those who are pimps who might be calling us for help one day.
I have been very open about the fact I’ve been impersonated many times in the past. I’ve got at least three articles published carrying what appears to be an interview with me I never did. I wouldn’t mind actually – but these interviews state things that are completely contrary to what I believe, and what SWA stands for. These false interviews have been extremely harmful to me and SWA actually and if I could reach the reporter responsible for them I’d slap him with a lawsuit. I say this because I have tried to locate him for just this purpose. After what happened with people like Stephen Glass it’s quite well known now that sometimes writers, reporters, etc. do completely fake whole stories. Celebrities have stories faked about them all the time.
So I’m more than a little upset at papers like “The Fix” to name one who published two of these fake interviews with me. I’d sue them but they’ve been bought by Sober Media and I’m sure won’t be around for me to sue over this damage.
However, your office is still around. I need to talk to someone about this. Please contact me at the above information at your earliest convenience and let me know first of all if this actually happened. If so, I want to know the agent’s name who did this to John and drug my name into this. I also want to let you know that NO ONE has contacted me to verify I actually spoke to anyone there. So we have a few things to talk about.