On Thursday night, June 3rd, Marc was put into solitary confinement, or “SHU”, (Security Housing Unit) at SeaTac Federal Detention Centre (SeaTac FDC) while he awaits his sentencing in September. The reason? For unknowingly breaking an unwritten rule. I haven’t heard from him since… Here’s what happened.
On Thursday afternoon, Marc had me record a phone call that was meant as his first US Prison Podcast, similar to the ones he did last fall while imprisoned here in BC and posted on iTunes and our website. That evening, as he was writing me an “email” through the Corrlinks prison messaging system, he mentioned that a guard had just given him a citation, said his phone access was suspended for “at least three days” and that there would be a disciplinary hearing in “a few days”.
Marc was shocked at the citation because he had read the inmate rule book and there was no mention of recording phone calls being against the rules. He was so worried that he wouldn’t be able to call me for three days, with a potential penalty of no phone access for up to 2 months, and now it’s been longer… and with an unknown amount of time ahead.
Marc’s email to me that night was the last I’ve heard from him. When I didn’t hear from him on Friday morning, I was worried and had our US lawyer call the prison. He found out for me that Marc was put into SHU, and we don’t know for how long, and lawyers can’t do anything when it comes to prison rules and discipline. It’s horrible not hearing from my beloved husband, not knowing what’s going on, when I’ll be in touch with him next… And the solitary confinement is just the period where he waits for the punishment to be determined, as if it’s not punishment enough! They can take away phone, email, AND visits.
I pray they let him out of solitary as soon as possible, give him his disciplinary hearing, and decide to “punish” him with only 3 days of no phone… It’s terrible, the US prison system. So cruel and soul-crushing for everyone involved.
Here is Marc’s last email to me. At the time we were planning for me to go visit him on Sunday June 6th. The first portion of the email was personal stuff so I removed it, but part-way through, the happy message was interrupted by the following bad news:
Thursday evening, June 3rd 2010
From: Marc Emery
To: Jodie Emery
Oh dear! I can’t call you for three days! I’m not allowed to do podcasts and I was given an official citation! I lose my phone privileges for a minimum of three days and perhaps longer! Oh NO!
Wow, that’s sad. There’s nothing in my rule book that says you can’t record my calls, so I thought it was OK. But I may lose my calls for up to 60 days! I have a hearing in a few days, a disciplinary hearing, so whatever punishment I’m going to get I’ll find out shortly. There’s probably a hearing about it in a few days. Wow, will my mood plummet if I lose you for more than 3 days, and three days is sad even , especially since I did those prison podcasts from North Fraser Remand before here every week and that was fine there. I read that rule book thoroughly too.
The officer read me my rights and I confessed because I’m not going to lie about anything. I did say if I had understood it was a violation of the rules I would never have done it. Oh dear, Jodie, I’m so sad now! I just got presented with the Incident Report in the middle of this email. I guess my email privileges aren’t affected, but I sure do look forward to speaking with you every day. I sure hope you get to visit here this Sunday or Tuesday because now I may not hear your voice for a while.
Everything was going so well too. I was in such a positive mood. The officer suggested maybe they’ll go easy on me (just 3 days phone suspension) since I confessed and expressed earnestly that I wouldn’t think a call to an authorized person that’s merely recorded would break the rules, but it does. No podcasts the officer said. So that’s that. But I can live with that if I get to talk to you by Sunday (maybe you’ll be here that day!) or Monday…
Wow, that takes the steam out of my day. I just got a haircut and pressed my clothes, was feeling good… I’m so surprised and disappointed. I didn’t even say a single negative this about this institution, I bet everyone else bitches and complains; me, I try to be positive, in part because I value my 10 minutes a day with you on the phone… this is so sad.
Going to miss my sweet wife…
PLEASE – write a letter to Marc so he’s not entirely cut off from the outside world! His mail service is much slower in solitary confinement, but if he’s there for a long period of time, he’ll really need and appreciate any messages from supporters and friends. Thank you for your support! FREE MARC EMERY!