Even while his brother is incarcerated, Thaddeus Hamilton of Fathers of Faith says he will be an advocate for change for inmates in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

“I am my brother’s keeper.”
Even while his brother is incarcerated, Thaddeus Hamilton of Fathers of Faith says he will be an advocate for change for inmates in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
This comes after weeks of allegations of poor treatment to the inmates at the Cummins Unit who reported unsanitary living conditions and starvation.
Hamilton says Demarco Raynor, who was sentenced to life in 2000 at 21-years-old, tested positive for COVID-19 on April 18.
“He’s the first person that I know that had it. Before then I didn’t know anyone who had the coronavirus. I thought it was fake,” said Hamilton. “When he got it, it was like getting hit in the chest with a sludge hammer.”
Hamilton said Raynor was returned to his cell and was only checked on a few times.
“He was telling me he had symptoms before he even went to get tested,” said Hamilton. “He was telling me how he was feeling and it was not good.”
On top of that Hamilton said inmates were being starved and just recently were served spoiled food.
Vocally Hamilton used his voice across social media platforms to bring awareness to the conditions.
A lawsuit was also filed but Hamilton felt more needed to be done.
A protest was organized and took place Saturday afternoon. A group of approximately 50 protesters showed up to the governor’s mansion demanding change in prisons.
“Inmates have rights” and “Inmates are humans too” were heard as protesters marched.
Hamilton led the march and even though there was a supportive turnout, Hamilton said he doesn’t feel they made enough noise.
“We can do all the kicking and screaming that we want too but the right people have to hear us,” said Hamilton.
According to Cynthia Reeves the right people are listening.
“Not sure who all has heard the good news but Cummins Unit is giving the inmates their three meals on time,” she said to Hamilton Tuesday on his Facebook. “They are able to eat in the Chow Hall again. Letting them go outside. They are even letting them order $50 of extra food on their summer package of $100.”
She gave thanks to all protestors that took the time to make this happen and gave a special thanks to Thaddeus Hamilton.
This news comes as a relief to Hamilton, as he mentioned his brother has often witnessed hunger battles.
“My brother gets commissary,” said Hamilton. “But he would see others get their food taken from other inmates who were hungry.”
The Arkansas Department of Corrections latest COVID-19 positive cases as of May 19 are:
• Inmates/residents recovered 917
• Inmates/residents not recovered 329
• Facility Security Staff 20
• Facility non-security staff 10
Hamilton said Raynor’s spirit is really drained and his heart is still heavy for his brother, as the coronavirus outbreak in the prison has taken a toll on all the inmates mentally, physically and emotionally.
“I’m not going to stop using my voice until something is done,” said Hamilton. “These inmates are being thrown to the wolves and they do need to know that there are people in this world that actually care about them.”