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PALO ALTO, CA, December 23, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Back in October, FCI Petersburg Low, a federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia, deprived an inmate of the most basic necessity of life, water. Inmate Brandon Lewis, who is currently under custody at FCI Petersburg Low, was deprived of drinking water for over 10 days. Inmate Lewis wrote a message to the prison's Assistant Warden after four days of no water. The Assistant Warden is the official who made the decision not to provide inmates with water.
"We are seriously suffering," says Lewis. "Many of us are very, very dehydrated... I am begging you to please provide me with drinking water." Lewis went on to explain to the prison's Assistant Warden that he was light headed, dizzy, has throbbing headaches, is feeling weak, and is not sure how much longer he can go without water.
Inmate Lewis also sent a similar message to the prison's head Warden and even to the medical staff. The prison is in violation of Inmate Lewis' constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which requires prisons to provide inmates with the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities. That includes water. The prison is also guilty of cruel and unusual punishment, which is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.
An investigation revealed that the prison previously provided bottled water with each meal - that is until the Assistant Warden brought that to an end on October 7, 2021. Although inmate Lewis is being held in a building that has running tap water, correctional officers in that building have given inmates a direct order not to drink the tap water. They even posted a sign not to drink the tap water. When inmates asked why, some of the officers said the water is not safe to drink. Inmates in federal prison can face disciplinary action for disobeying a direct order from a correctional officer.
Inmate Lewis continued to reach out to the Assistant Warden, as well as the head Warden. "I'm writing you again to ask you to please provide us with bottled water," says Lewis after six days of no water. "I don't understand why you all are doing this to us! We have NO drinking water!" Lewis continued to plead saying, "Why am I having to go through this? All I want is water to drink!"
Asbestos in Inmate Lewis' Food
Lewis began experiencing more medical issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. When discussing this with a correctional officer, the officer told Inmate Lewis that he personally witnessed dried asbestos falling from the ceiling into Mr. Lewis' food. Asbestos is a highly poisonous substance that can cause death and severe illnesses. The officer also witnessed dirty rain water dripping from the ceiling into Mr. Lewis' food - along with roaches and rats crawling through the food being prepared for inmates.
Inmate Lewis reached out to the prison's medical unit for help also. Lewis never received any help from medical, which is also a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits deliberate indifference to an inmates' serious medical needs. Other inmates at the prison also reached out to prison officials begging and pleading for water while complaining of medical issues due to lack of hydration.
Water in Exchange for More Prison Time?
Inmate Lewis is entitled to a reduction of his 63-month sentence for helping to save a correctional officer's life back in August. He helped revive an officer who was found unconscious on the ground. Lewis is willing to forfeit his reward of a sentence reduction in exchange for water. He said to an officer, "Tell the Assistant Warden I am willing to forfeit my reward and serve a longer sentence in exchange for water."
Lewis was able to survive the prison depriving him of water because other inmates who had a few extra bottles of water started sharing with other inmates like Lewis who was completely out of water.
As of today, nothing has been done for Inmate Lewis. When this news first hit the Internet, the Assistant Warden suddenly retired. Inmates at FCI Petersburg Low are still being deprived of the most basic necessity of life, water. This is beyond cruel.
Social Activist Groups Get Involved
Social activist groups such as the NAACP, The New Black Panther Party, and Black Lives Matter are organizing a massive effort to get relief for Inmate Lewis. Lewis is in the process of demanding relief from the prison's Warden for his sufferings and for the violation of his constitutional rights. This relief includes home confinement which will protect Inmate Lewis from further violations of his constitutional rights under the Eight Amendment.
Social activists are prepared to take massive action against the prison's Warden if relief is not granted for Inmate Lewis. Lewis also has a large national law firm on his side ready to take legal action against the Warden, the Assistant Wardens, the medical staff and the Bureau of Prisons as a whole, if the prison's Warden denies relief to Inmate Lewis.
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