January 25, 2012
Lino Silva has been an inmate at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in California for the past seven years. He says the conditions there are inhumane and unacceptable, even for a prison. The kids at Ventura say they endure the following:
- Water fountains that do not drain and hold stagnant pools of dirty water.
- Toilets that are broken, leaking, or frequently overflowing.
- Filthy showers and bathrooms in living units.
- Lack of clean clothing and clothing that fits.
- Air vents that smell of sewage.
Lino has used his time at Ventura to learn to read and to serve as a mentor to other kids in prison. He?s due to be released next year, but before he leaves, he wants to do everything he can to improve conditions at Ventura.
So Lino started a petition on Change.org asking the Ventura Youth Prison Superintendent Victor Almager to improve conditions at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. Click here to sign Lino?s petition.
The conditions at Ventura are so deplorable that the kids there say they would rather be in adult prison. ?We feel desperate,? Lino says. ?Some youth here are so desperate they are trying to get transferred to adult prison. The only way to do this is to commit new crimes and try to get charged as an adult.?
The guards at Ventura are no help, either — Lino says he was put in solitary confinement just because he covered a light to try to get some sleep. When Lino and other kids have complained to the guards, Lino says they get responses like, “I don’t have to live here, why do I care?”
Lino knows it?s dangerous for him to start a petition about Ventura — he believes he?ll face retaliation for going public with this information. But Lino also believes that, with public pressure, the powers that be will take steps to make life better for him and all the other kids imprisoned at Ventura.
Click here to sign Lino?s petition asking Ventura Youth Prison Superintendent Victor Almager to improve conditions at Vetura Youth Correctional Facility.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
– Michael and the Change.org team