Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women: Officers break prisoner’s leg after allowing another prisoner to attack her

by Tara Belcher

These brutes, these sadistic Babylon officials must be exposed! Tanakia Watkins was attacked by an inmate today (March 14) and the officers set it up and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. The synopsis is as follows:

Artist G. Lumumba Edwards calls this “Miss Journey Blues.” “She plays the beats of what we’ve experienced; she loves hearing and feeling our past,” he says. “This drawing is for all the women of struggle who stand for righteousness.” In a cover letter, he urges other “unbroken survivors” who won release from the Pelican Bay SHU to support the youth who are “filling up these prison cages” and “continue to allow freedom from prison to be your goal.” – Art: G. Lumumba Edwards, B-89208, San Quentin State Prison 5-N-23, San Quentin CA 94964

Tanakia and inmate Quiaundra Mims had an altercation earlier. Watkins called her mom and her mom called up here requesting they be separated. Mims was assigned to another dorm.

Well, at approximately 12:30-12:50 p.m., Mims entered the dorm. She was creating a disturbance.

Watkins was on her bed; everyone was, because Capt. Floyd and Officer Fitterdy were investigating an unrelated trivial incident in the bathroom. Officer Hudson was on this post. He’d allowed Mims to enter.

Mims went to Watkins’ bed and attacked her and snatched her off the bed. She fell crown first onto the floor. The impact was so forceful I felt it in my feet. She proceeded to attack her.

Finally, Hudson came to intervene. He was only about a foot away when it all went down.

Well, when the other guards came on the scene, Lt. Brian Coleman actually had a sinister smile on his face and went over to Watkins to smile in her face and left. They were about to lock her up in seg (segregation, solitary confinement).

We protested, as she’d done NOTHING and was incoherent. After the attack, they shouldn’t have even moved her. They didn’t even call medical to assist her.

Well, once they had her down the hall, another incident occurred and the OFFICERS broke Watkins’ leg in two places. Still she didn’t go out to a doctor.

Health care staff dismissed her injuries and sent her back to this dorm on crutches. Guess what bed they put her in: Mims former bed. It’s as if to say, you made your bed and now you’ll lie in it.

Tanakia Watkins in an unflattering booking photo

Right now, Watkins is nauseated. I contacted Equal Justice Initiative at 1:55 p.m. and spoke with attorney Luke Frederick after 2 p.m. when he returned from lunch. I had other witnesses speak with him also. He requested statements.

I also contacted Willie K. Harris, director of (illegible), a friend of mine, and he spoke with Watkins. He wants statements so he can contact ACL and DOJ on her behalf. I have to get copies made in the morning.

I know from experience how health care works with ADOC (Alabama Department of Corrections) to cover up truths about officials, as does Intelligence & Investigations’ Kelly Smith, who can’t be trusted. Watkins says she spoke with her in health care.

Also, while in health care, Mims attacked Officer Walker and Officer Pate. Bet you any amount of money they got immediate medical treatment.

Ms. Ratcliff, I hope you can read my writing. I am truly traumatized by the incident. My stomach has been turning flips all day, but I can’t sit back and not do anything.

Watkins’ mother doesn’t know where to turn. Watkins is now nauseated and who knows the outcome from the head trauma. I know from experience how detrimental neglect can be from such blows.

Please contact someone who will advocate on her behalf (readers, can you help?). These corrupt officials need to be held accountable. This must end. It’s my fervent prayer and hope that you respond.

Why are we counted as beasts as if we had no sense?

Tara Belcher

March 16 – The horrible incident I witnessed on March 14, 2017, that involved an inmate assaulting another inmate and the same victim assaulted by officers, which resulted in serious injuries, also delivered both conscious and psychological blows to me, which knocked me down for two days pondering it all, recovering from the trauma.

It should have had the same effect on everyone here at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women. It should’ve been a rude awakening, a wake-up call to my fellow Black sisters, those who are yet drunken and staggerin’ from the Western cup to those who yet sleep. It was not. Why? How?

I pose the question for all to ponder: “Why are we counted as beasts as if we had no sense?” (Job 18:3). Brothers and sisters, I ask that each commit to some self-examination, introspection, soul-searchin’ and reflections on our reality.

I pray that it is revealed to each the way in which each can make positive change with and extend that empowerment to the world around, within whatever sphere of influence you have.

Unite and fight the real enemy! Ponder that.

Tara Belcher

Send our sister some love and light: Tara Belcher, 211925, Tutwiler Correctional Facility, Dorm F1-21A, 8966 US Hwy 231, Wetumpka AL 36092.