Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Unequal Justice"

That's the title of this riveting Miami New Times piece about prison rape at the Miami FDC. We blogged on this issue before here. Below is the intro to the in depth article that is worth a read:

On the fifth floor of the Federal Detention Center in Miami, a short and stocky inmate stood sweeping the floor. Her name was Shonda Ross, and in her 32 years, she had seen the inside of more than a few prisons like this one — Tallahassee, Raleigh, and Danbury, Connecticut, among them. She had learned to survive in prison; she knew how to make friends with people who could protect her and get her the things she needed, such as the girlfriend in Tallahassee who smuggled in drugs from the back fence. But nothing prepared her for this place.
Built in 1995, the prison featured a Depression-era Art Deco exterior that was a cheery nod to South Beach, but other than that, everything was standard: a white-washed concrete shell for a room, a metal bunk with a thin mattress, a toilet made of steel. There were television sets in the common area, a rec room with Ping-Pong tables, and a place to smoke and get a bit of fresh air. But here in her room with the metal door shut, she was blocked off from all of that. She couldn't hear the traffic humming outside on NE Fifth Street; she couldn't feel the muggy summer heat or hear the music from cars going to the beach. She was sealed off, a stark fluorescent bulb above her, alone with her thoughts.
She churned her broom, picking up dust bunnies off the gray linoleum floor. She was an attractive woman, with disarming, fawn-like brown eyes that had attracted both men and women. The name of one lover decorated her right arm; a tiny red heart adorned her left breast.
She heard the door click open. Through the reflection of the stainless-steel plate that served as her mirror, she could see the figure of a large black man entering her cell.
He sported the uniform of a federal corrections officer: crisp white button-down shirt, neatly pressed gray slacks, sharp black tie, and shiny black shoes. He stood five-foot-nine — four inches taller than her — and carried 200 pounds of taut, sinewy muscle. She recognized him right away. He'd been here before, and every time it was the same thing.
As he moved closer, she could feel his hot breath on her neck. He unbuttoned her jumpsuit, pulled it off her soft shoulders, and let the red cotton garment fall to the floor. He led her to the bottom bunk and sat her down. He didn't have to say anything. They both know why he was there. She leaned back, closed her eyes, and waited for it to end.


Anonymous said...


Why the reluctance to post news about your hearing in front of Judge Gold regarding the AUSAs that recorded you? I can understand you wanting to be gentleman that you are and not appear to gloat, but this issue is larger than you. It affects the local bar as a whole- what happened to you can happen to any of us.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to David, the wise course is to wait for Judge Gold to make his ruling. Otherwise, it looks really bad to be commenting/gloating on a pending matter. In any event, the pleadings are up on PACER and the transcripts will be available in due time.

Anonymous said...

Anything by Alvarado is not worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Why does an article about prison rape read like a steamy soft-core novel? Seems like an odd message.