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 - email@example.com
Lowell Correctional Institution for Women Fax (352) 401-5331
Ricky Dixon, Florida Corrections Secretary - firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami Herald, Government Editor - email@example.com
Florida Chief Inspector General - firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement - Info@FDLE.state.fl.us
Florida Attorney General Committee on Status of Women – Fax 850-921-4131
Teamsters Union for Guards - email@example.com
Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Trujillo, House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chair Fax (850) 414-6879
Sen. Randolph Bracy, Senate Criminal Justice Subcommittee Chair Fax (407) 656-6719
Florida Internal Affairs, Sheriff Bill Prummell - email@example.com
Allison DeFoor, Project on Accountable Justice - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Rob Bradley – Fax (888) 263-0641
Sheriff Mike Harrison – Fax (863) 946-6315
Senator Greg Evers – email@example.com
Federal Bureau of Prisons Fax 305-536-7368
Dept. of Justice - DOJ.OIP.FOIA@usdoj.gov
Stop Prison Abuse Now - firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Institutional Legal Services -Fax (352) 331-5202
ACLU National Prison Project - email@example.com
National Center on Institutions - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sentencing Project - email@example.com
Partnership for Safety & Justice - Fax (503) 232-1922
Human Rights Defense Center – firstname.lastname@example.org
Prisoners’ Rights Research Project - Fax (217) 244-1478
Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division - Fax (202) 514-0212
Books to Prisoners - email@example.com
Prison Book Program - firstname.lastname@example.org
Books Behind Bars - email@example.com
Amnesty International – Fax (212) 627-1451
Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents - firstname.lastname@example.org
Polaris – email@example.com
Dept. of State - TIPOutreach@state.gov
Family & Corrections Network - firstname.lastname@example.org
Prisoner Visitation Network - email@example.com
Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders - firstname.lastname@example.org
National Immigrants’ Rights - Fax (510) 622-0050
ACLU National Womens Rights - Fax (212) 549-2580
Florida Justice Institute - email@example.com