A petition started by Billie Meurer over the weekend to the Arkansas Department of Health on change.org was started to help give a voice to protect Human Rights of inmates.

A petition started by Billie Meurer over the weekend to the Arkansas Department of Health on change.org was started to help give a voice to protect Human Rights of inmates.
Meurer, who is a certified state healthcare advocate, says her loved one is an inmate at Cummins, who tested positive for COVID-19.
“Several times while having phone conversations, he was coughing and was suffering shortness of breath. I asked him if they tested him for COVID-19. He kept saying no,” she said. “Then finally, he was tested. A couple days later, he and other kitchen staff were told they were ok, to go back to work in the kitchen.”
Meurer alleges that it wasn’t until after he received his positive results days later that he was isolated.
“Another phone conversation I had with him was regarding the food situation,” said Meurer. “He had already been complaining about every one being hungry. He was upset because he had ordered commissary to make up for the lack of meals.”
According to Meurer, commissary is ordered on a kiosk and if the items they want are out, the item will not show on the kiosk.
“He ordered items then two days later was informed the items were out of stock,” she said. “I asked him what he ate that day and he said he had not eaten breakfast or lunch.”
Meurer, who says her father is a criminal defense lawyer, claims her loved one had not been called to chow at all that day stating it was nearly 6pm when she spoke to him.
“Meals, when they get called to chow, are not nutritious. There is very little and meals are served all hours of the day and night,” she said. “Both positive and negative tested inmates are going to chow. Even though they are in separate dining areas, they are still traveling the same halls, touching the same doors.”
The petition started by Meurer is a few signatures shy of its 200 signature goal.
The petition calls for swift action by the U.S. Congress, the Arkansas State Legislature, local government officials, and the Arkansas Dept. of Health to protect the health, lives, and humane rights of loved ones and friends incarcerated in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, specifically, Cummins Unit by doing the following :
(a) improve better treatment of sick inmates and stronger protocols regarding the spread of COVID-19, by implementing more strict quarantine and lessoning the hallway travel of those tested positive.
(b) improved management of commissary. Food and supplies can only be ordered when the items are in stock and available; yet, inmates are being told several days after orders were taken that the items were out.
(c) improved adequate and nutritious meals that are served at decent and reasonable times. Some barracks have been going all day without breakfast or lunch, then finally being served a meal after 7 pm in the evening.
(d) For the administration of the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections to be held fully accountable for the cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment of the lives that are incarcerated in their facilities.
(e) To protect the human and civil rights of all inmates, regardless of gender, race, orientation, or spiritual beliefs, against cruel and unjust treatment, such as but not limited to dignity, life, health, well-being, and protection.
“I have a son in there and several family members,” said Sheria Miller who signed the online petition. “Of course some are there because they committed a crime but at the end of the day, they are human.
“What they are doing to those inmates is horrible,” said Nicole Cooper, who also signed the petition. “They are humans. All of them, regardless of what they done in the outside world.”
Meurer claims the inmates are being moved around into different areas of the prison.
“They are moving them around like musical barracks,” said Meurer. “The conditions are dire. Every time I tried to call, or email, I kept getting blown off.”