Ban Battle


Below is the email I wrote in response to my ban notice. As you may imagine, the many early versions of it were not nearly so neutral. I have edited out the typos I made.  It’s unusual for me to make typos but I was shaking with anger and frustration as I wrote and re-wrote it.

Dear Mr. Lott:

I spoke with you on the phone February 3 about an incident in which I was denied a visit with my son, Vince.  I thought that you and I had a respectful conversation in which I came to understand some of the changes to the clothing restrictions at Moose Lake.  You seemed to listen to my perception that I was disrespected by Mr. Volk and bullied by the gang of guards who yelled at me to leave the parking lot immediately when I was crying in my car after leaving the building.

I suggested that the DOC might collect visitor emails and send mass notices about changes in visiting rules, so that people like me, who have to take a day off work and drive two hours to get to Moose Lake, aren’t caught by surprise.  You said you thought that was a great idea and you gave me your email address so I could send it to you in writing.  I told you I was leaving town the next day and would be out of the country for almost a month, so that I might not be able to follow up for a while.  Again, I thought it was a respectful, constructive conversation.

You didn’t mention anything about the possibility of me being banned from seeing my son.

So I was very surprised to find a BAN NOTICE, signed by you, upon my return home, postmarked the day after we spoke.  It says I can appeal this within 15 days.  Since I was in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (meeting with human rights attorneys about violations in prisons, ironically) until this past Monday night, I was unable to check my mail.  I would like to appeal this ban, and I would be happy to show you my flight stubs to prove I was out of the country.

Will you please let me know the name of the warden and how to contact him/her for appeal?  Or, just be honest and tell me that it doesn’t matter that I was out of the country, I missed the 15-day window and there’s no use appealing. If that is the case, then I would like to know how to file a formal complaint.

I have attached a photo of myself that day, wearing the “low cut” (quote) top that Mr. Volk found so provocative, that made him so concerned I might “bend over” (quote).

Thank you,

Anne M.

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