What you are about to read is the shocking experience of Sherree Lowe, the Head JAILer of Florida J.A.I.L. who at this last election ran for Senate. Her factual account is guaranteed to make your cry, and will sear into your mind the seriousness of the need for the cause to which she is totally dedicated to, i.e., JAIL4Judges.
We have seen the below experience played out time and time again in watching homes, property, cars, businesses and life savings wretched from owners in a moment of time by raw judicial tyranny of conspiring judges and lawyers.
Folks, you must wake up. There is a systematic goal at play to deplete everyone of their wealth through the judicial system. Most everyone of them said before it happened, "This can not happen to me here in America." Yes, this email is lengthy, so if you're concerned about a lengthy email, them just press delete now. Otherwise, read on and take a hard look at the ongoing future of America. It will not cease on its own. Consider seriously supporting J.A.I.L. while you have your wealth, and can support it, because tomorrow your wealth will be gone and you will be asking yourself, "How could this happen in America?" This is a Wake Up Call!
On the 10th day of April, I was just getting out of the shower, getting ready to prepare dinner, because the story of Jesus was going to be on TV, and I wanted to watch the program. It was ironic that what happened to me, happened during the week preceding Easter, the crucifixion of Jesus, our Savior. It will forever have a special meaning for me.
My daughter called to me from the living room, where she was on the computer, doing her school work. "Mom, you should come out here" and I replied " In a minute, I am just getting out of the shower." Within seconds my room was full of deputies, like when the college kids tried to see how many could get into a pay phone booth!
I was taken by the arm and told to put some clothes on, that they had a warrant for my arrest. I said, "Show me the warrant"; they said "well we don't have a warrant, but we have this paper that says we are to take you into custody, unless you give us $42,860.06 right now." I said "This is ridiculous, are you playing some kind of joke on me?"
Then I saw the DCF caseworker, and I spoke to her, and said "Well, Gina, do you now see what a false abuse call results in? When the system snatches and runs, many times it is to strip people of their homes, income, and as vendetta." I watched the tears well up in her eyes, and I said "Your department allowed my family to fall victim to the system; you gave my son to the man who killed his mother. (The 17 yr. old boy was my grandson before I adopted him, after my daughters death.)
Now his lawyer wants my home, and everything I own for attorney fees these people ran up, taking my son from me, for a lousy small trust fund I set up, for him to go to college on; a trust fund that was depleted by the boy, before he was 16 years old, paying fines and restitution, stealing, damaging other people's property, autos and tires that got slashed with his knife; airplane tickets and travel expenses for him to commute between Florida and Oregon, so that he could visit with his younger brother, living with the people who stole him from us, who were abusing the court system, not notifying us of hearings and us losing by default.
After requesting that I be allowed to make a phone call, they said no, but I grabbed my cell phone, and ran around the dining room table, calling. I informed them that they were not invited into my home, and that my property was posted, and until I contacted someone to find out what was happening I was not leaving my home. They surrounded me and took me by the arms and carried me from my home. I was placed in a patrol car, but they had forgotten to take my phone! I continued to make calls, all the way to the door of the jail.
I will not say that I was abused by the deputies that came to my home. They did not want to do what they were ordered to do, but it was their job. They were not rude; they did not hurt me. When I said "take your hands off me," they said if I did not come, they would have to forcibly cuff me. By this time I was at the door of the car. However, my driveway only accommodates three vehicles; there were several there. My sprinkler heads are broken, my drain field for my septic system is damaged, and the officers walked into my home without being invited in.
Upon arriving at Okeechobee County Jail, I was taken in, my phone taken, and I was told I could wait in the attorney lounge. After an hour or so, a female deputy called me and I was fingerprinted, questioned. I refused to answer the questions, I refused to give a social security number, and I refused to sign anything. Another deputy was asked to sign for me; he complied. They asked me for medical; I said my medical was personal, and I in no way would give them information, or except treatment from anyone other than my personal physician. I was finger printed, and papers were given to me to sign. I again refused.
I was then placed into a holding cell. The toilet was leaking; there was water all over the floor; the sink was stopped up; there was no toilet paper. The only place to sit was a cold damp stainless shelving-type thing along the wall, about 18 inches deep and six feet long. There was a small glass window in the door for the officers to look in and make sure you were still there, as if you could escape the concrete and steel cubicle. After a long period of time, I finally tried to lie down on this shelf. I am not a large person, 5'3" 142 pounds, but I ended up sliding off onto the wet floor. Now I was tired, hungry, and wet! The room was freezing, but I knew that I was there for a reason, and that reason would be revealed to me.
At last, I heard keys, and the door being opened. I was told to come out and follow the female officer who took me into a room. She instructed me to remove my clothes, handed me a pair of blue pants, several sizes too large, and a short-sleeved top. I changed my clothing and put my personal clothes into a milk crate. When I came out of the changing room, I was instructed to grab a mat from the pile. This is a well-worn slab of cotton, covered in green plastic material, about 2 1/2 inches thick at it's good points, a pillow of the same material, about 1 inch thick. Then, I was told to get a bed roll, which consisted of a dingy worn-out pillow slip, and two ragged, ripped sheets, and a scratchy gray blanket. I was handed a small bar of soap, like you find in a cheap hotel room bath, a small tooth brush, a sample of toothpaste, and a very small towel, big enough to wrap around a young child, but would not go around adult hips. I was then instructed to throw everything on the mat and drag it behind me.
We went through several large steel doors, down a couple of corridors, and into a cell block. We came to a steel door, the guard opened this exposing an orange gage, with steel mesh, about the size of chain link fencing, only about 5 or 6 times as heavy. These walls had a door on either side, with a sliding gate on each side, which opened to a common room. There was a stainless table with four round stool-type seats attached; there was an open shower in the southeast corner.
To the north was a set of stairs which led to the two upper cells. At the foot of those stairs was a short flight of stairs that led to the two lower cells. Each cell had a wire mesh door that was locked down at eleven each night and opened at four A.M. Each cell had a set of steel orange painted bunks 2x6 feet. There was a toilet/sink combination in the corner next to the door; these cells were about 6x10 feet. I was instructed that I might prefer to sleep on the floor; it might be preferable to the top bunk, because it was a long way up and down, and no step. Also, every time you moved it sounded like two box cars hitting together, and woke up the whole cell block. I saw that most of the woman did have their mats on the floor.
It was after eleven; everyone was asleep. So I spread the tattered sheet down over the mat and then the second sheet and blanket. The sheet and blanket were not large enough to reach end to end, but I crawled into this and thought, "so this is jail!" This is the great food, color TVs, inmate lounges, all for the reasonable rate of two dollars a day, charged against the inmate. And did I mention the great medical care, at only 15.53 a visit, to the infirmary, which is a small room large enough for a desk and chair, and an aspirin, 2 for 5.00.
During the next few hours, I felt the need to use the toilet; made the mistake of flushing the toilet. It sounded like the roar of a jet engine! I crawled into the covers and tried to go back to sleep. I awoke, sometime later, cold and wet. The toilet was leaking; the floor was wet from the toilet; my covers were soaking up the water. I sat up and put my head on my knees, and I prayed for courage and understanding. I had broken no law; I was in there on a commitment order to Purge.
There was no way to tell time. I had been stripped of everything, down to my skin, exactly what I came into the world with. Only I was born free, and with the stroke of a pen, a judge had ordered me locked up, indefinitely! My freedom was gone; I was gagged like an animal.
At what I now know the time to be, 4 a.m., a voice shouted "chow," and I heard the lock on the door released between my cell that I shared with another woman, and the common room. I sat up and pushed myself up to a standing position, and began to gather the soggy covers. My cell mate was sitting up and flipped on the light. I saw that she had to use crutches; her leg was broken and had not been set! She had to put on a cast from the upper to lower leg. She told me that she had been in there for eight months and that she had not received medical attention for the leg! She also had cancer, and could not get medication, or see a doctor.
We were all told to line up and we were marched to the cafeteria. We were given a glass of water, coffee, a carton of milk, two cold pancakes, and a cold piece of sausage. The coffee was rank, the milk was sour, the pancakes tasted like chalk, and I gagged, and was almost sick. Little did I know that this would appear like a prime-rib dinner compared to what I would get at the next jail! We were given 10 minutes to finish eating, clear and stack our trays. We were instructed that we could talk to those at our table, but it must not be audible at the next table. We could share food only with those at our table, and nothing could be taken back to the cells. For three days, I drank water, because I could not eat the food. I was told that if I did not eat, I would be force fed! Another guard said "she'll eat when she gets hungry enough, leave her alone."
I had been arrested at 4:18 the previous day, Tuesday the 10th of April. It was now Wednesday morning. We were marched back to the cells, I asked the guard when I was going to see a judge, my order was to be taken to Palm Beach County. I was told that I would be told when they wanted me to know something.
In the next hours, I met my cell mates, a nice black woman, who was in for accessory to murder, because she had given two people a lift to a residence, where a woman had been killed just prior to dropping off her passengers. She had given these people a ride, as a favor, which she often did. She was always trying to help others, and was not a personal acquaintance of the passengers. They had begged her to give them a lift, and take them from Miami to Okeechobee. She had dropped her passengers, thinking this was where they lived, and returned home. She was arrested a couple weeks later, as an accessory. She had been locked up five months, and had not seen a judge, or been able to bond out. She had never been in any trouble before; she spent her days and nights reading the Bible and praying; she was soft spoken, sweet, kind, and shared everything with her cell mates. This was the only hardened criminal I met behind those walls!
Another girl was there because she had gone seeking admission to a drug treatment program. She had been tested and confirmed HIV infected. She got jail, no treatment, and could not get released, because she could not get before a judge. I was to learn how you saw a judge shortly, for first appearance! I was also to learn why there was no security at the courthouse!
Nine a.m. -- a guard came and said "Lowe, come on, you are going to first appearance." I was escorted to a room with about ten other people. We were told to sit; when our name was called we would move to the chair that was placed in front of a TV monitor, where the judge's bench could be seen. We were told that we must not speak unless asked a question, and then we were to answer yes or no.
After a few minutes, Judge Shirley Brennan came to the bench, and started calling inmates to the chair. She instructed each one, "you are not to speak, unless I direct you to. Anything you say will be used against you." She told each person what their bond would be. These bonds were 30,000-50,000 for minor infractions; in other counties the same bonds would be 500 to 1500 dollars, I was horrified!
At last she called my name; I sat in the chair. The judge said "Sherree Ruth Lowe, you have no bond, do not speak; if you do, anything you say will be used against you; you have a right to have contact with your family; you have a right to use the phone; you will be held until you pay me 42,830.06." The judge then left the bench. So much for seeing the judge in Palm Beach County, who ordered me committed.
I was taken back to my cell. Each day for the next five days, I listened to the screams of women, as they were taken from their cells and placed into lock up, as they started to cry, to show anger, or spoke back to a guard in any way other than utmost respect. I looked into the bleak, drawn, hopeless lost faces, saw the dark circles under their eyes, listened to the sobs as they cried into the flat pillows, and said "Sweet Jesus, why are you letting them keep me here?"
One of the guards was giving us Bibles, but they were not the King James version. The passages in them were totally unfamiliar to me. The inmates had only those Bibles, one pack of cards that were worn so badly the color was almost gone and the edges were worn off, and each other. When someone started to get weak and on the verge of crying, the other inmates would encourage her to snap out of it.
On my third day, a woman was brought in. She recognized me, and said she thought I looked exactly like Sherree Lowe that had run for the Senate. I told her that I was Sherree Lowe, and yes, I had run for the Senate, and was the running mate of Nancy Grant, who was running for Governor of Florida, 2002.
After I explained why I was in there, and showed them a copy of my commitment, they began to assist me getting calls out. They also started to tell me their stories! None of these woman were guilty of a crime! They were there because of simple things, that should never have been an issue. They had a verbal dispute with someone; a spouse had accused them of domestic violence in order to get a child away from them; or they had gone seeking medical help, or rehab services. I was appalled! Some had been there for months.
I learned that one young man I had been trying to get in to see, had died of gangrene from a broken leg, sustained in a fall in the shower, and had not been taken for medical attention; and no one knows what happened to him! -- only that he died. I wondered why he had stopped calling me, and why they always said I could not see him because I was not on his visitation list.
We were not allowed paper, pencils, crossword puzzles, nothing from the outside. We were allowed to purchase from the canteen, if we had money sent in by money order deposited to our accounts. My family deposited for me, but I was not able to use it, and it was not given to me when I was transferred. My family also brought jogging suits to myself and other inmates who had no family to contact; those also remained with Okeechobee Jail. I had a friend deposit to some inmates accounts, so that they could purchase shampoo and deodorant, stamped envelopes. The inmates got the money by the time I left, but I do not know if they got the clothing. I did not get mine.
On the evening of the third day, we were given a peanut butter and honey sandwich, a bowl of navy bean soup, a cup of Kool-Aid, and a bologna and cheese sandwich. I was getting hungry; I took a few spoonfuls of the bean soup, and a couple bites of the bologna sandwich, before I noticed the green on the bologna. I got up and emptied my tray into the garbage.
That night I could not sleep, so I borrowed a hoarded pen, used some of the grievance sheets and made each of the girls an Easter card, drawing flowers, crosses, and writing Easter blessings, and the Lord's prayer on them. I do have some artistic talent, and have used it to earn a living for a number of years.
Day five... Easter Sunday, everyone was excited, hoping for a boiled egg. Lunch, the main meal, was a hotdog with a small amount of chili, a bowl of chili, a corn muffin, and soured milk. I was starving; I ate the hotdog and the small portion of cake with coconut icing, and drank two glasses of water. Water was precious; we got it three times a day. If we wanted water any other time, we got it from the shower, cupped in our hands. I was sick to my stomach all afternoon, and all night. I threw up, got dry heaves and my stomach was hurting so bad, I was almost in tears.
Day six.... I stayed on my mat all day. The other girls would come to talk with me, and I would go to the phone to help them get through to my home phone, where my daughter would place three way calls, to the public defenders, who would not take the collect calls, or cell phones, or neighbors, so the women could reach the outside world. I napped and when I awoke, I found three of the sweetest hand-made cards, and I started to cry.
In the afternoon some where around five o'clock, I was summoned to strip my mat, and bring everything down, and pull it behind me. I was taken back to the changing room, told to put my clothes on. Then I was taken to the intake, and cuffed and shackled and taken out and placed in a bus. I was helped up into the bus, and told to sit behind this mesh wall, where a small seat was placed with very little space for your legs. My head was slammed into the support frame and I was almost knocked unconscious. I fell over the other two women seated there. I saw there was, across from where I was sitting, a bunk for the guards to sleep in. There were three men and one female guard.
Gagged off from the front was the seating area. It was full of men. We were all in leg and wrist restraints; it was very uncomfortable; and when the brakes were applied, we women went flying into the mesh wall. Several times my head hit the framework; the restraints tightened, because they had not been locked; my wrists began to swell; my ankles were starting to bleed.
On board were people being transported from all over Florida, with drop-offs in several states, the last being Colorado. Some of those people would be in that horrible chained-up position for seven more days. At the food stop at Burger King, just before my drop-off, one guard stayed on board. He was nice; he talked to us; he stated that there were two types of people in the world today, those who worked for the system, and those who would become victims of the system; the difference between him and us was the uniform. He said he should have retired, but he felt that if he continued to work, he could, perhaps for a while longer, stand between abuse of the transport passengers, and a small semblance of humane treatment.
We were given a hamburger, fries and a fruit punch. Have you ever tried to eat a hamburger with your hands tied together at your side, and between your legs? Let me tell you, it was hard; and to look at that drink and try to figure out how to drink it without a straw? If you are hungry enough, you will find a way. We were told to enjoy the food, because it would be the last decent food we would get, until we were on the outside again. He was right! The other guard--the one in charge-- stood up and blew cigarette smoke back toward the men and taunted them, and jeered, asking if we minded him blowing some smoke our way!
We pulled into the yard at Palm Beach County Jail. I noticed what looked like possibly a hundred buses and several vans, all white, with Florida Department of Corrections on the side in green and gold. I remembered thinking, "why do they need so many? they could transport an entire city!"
I was taken off the bus, and walked inside; the cuffs and chains were removed. I was put into a small room with a glass partition, and told to remove my clothing. Everyone could see me, male and female officers. I was strip-searched, and then given another blue, ill-fitting pair of pants and shirt. It was freezing in that place; my wrists were hurting; my ankles were raw and sore; my head had knots on it; and I just tried to hide somewhere inside my mind, to get through the humiliation.
I was taken and put in another cell that was even colder, about 6x10, with that same stainless shelve to sit on. There was a young redhead about 7 1/2 months pregnant, and another young girl about 18, in the cell. They had been given a peanut-butter and honey sandwich and a small cup of fruit juice for dinner; both were crying. I asked what they were there for. The young redhead told me through tears that she and her husband and small 3- yr.-old son had gone to Bealls to exchange a couple of outfits her mother had purchased for her, for maternity clothes. They had made the exchange selections, and were at the counter to make the exchange, and they were arrested. The child was turned over to DCF (Department of Children and Families), and they were brought to the jail. The other young girl said she had been in Wal-Mart to buy her brother a fishing lure and weights, and when she went to check out, she was arrested.
About two hours later, a black girl was put in with us. It was getting a little crowded; two could sit at a time on the bench; two of us on the floor; the toilet was too nasty to use! The black girl was arrested and brought in on a ticket from five years prior because she had paid it two days late! They had forfeited her bond, and issued a warrant for her-- after five years! Her bond was for 6,000 cash because she was from Miami.
We were kept in that cell for 12 hours with no water, no toilet paper, and sitting on the floor. The little redhead was ready to pass out. She started to have labor pains. I pounded on the door, and got a guard over. He said, "Oh I forgot about you; you are to be released; your husband left a couple hours ago. The store made a mistake, and it wasn't you that was shoplifting! But you still have to pay the 251.00 processing fee." She passed out. They carefully picked her up and I helped her out and into a chair, and we saw her leaving a short time later.
A while later, the remaining three of us were taken around the counter and down a hall where we had to see medical, and be finger printed again. Once again I refused to sign any thing, and declined their medical. We were given wrist bands, and then we were placed in another cell. Another young black girl was brought in. She was also pregnant; she was brought in for violation of probation. It seems that she had a ten o'clock curfew and had been ten minutes late returning home! She was to serve ten days in the stockade.
We stayed in that cell another four hours; then we were taken to a shower room, told to strip, squat, cough, and submit to internal search. Then we were put into a shower of cold water, given a towel and our blues. We were then instructed to grab a bedroll and were marched down a hall, through corridor after corridor, with heavy steel doors that they opened with a card and code.
We went up on an elevator and out onto a hall that opened to a cell block. There were three hospital beds in each cell. The front of the cells were heavy glass; it was so cold! We went into the cell after daylight, and we were so tired, we made up the beds that were falling apart. The formica was peeling off; the springs were warped and laying at an angle. I picked out the best end to sleep on, and gratefully crawled under the ragged sheet and rough blanket, and fell asleep.
We were awaken at eleven and let out to eat. One look at that tray and I got sick. It looked like dog food, and smelled like it too; I wouldn't have fed it to my dog! I dumped the tray, drank two cups of water, and went back to the warmth of the blanket. We were told not to talk; we were too cold to talk; all we wanted was to get warm. We fell asleep and refused dinner, because we were so cold. The guards had jackets on.
We were awakened and told to strip our beds. Eighteen women came out of the cells; they lined us up, and I noticed one girl applying ointment to sores. She was covered in infantago, and was covering the sores with Band-Aids. We were being transported to the stockade. I was confused because I had finally gotten an 8:45 hearing for the next morning. My children had filed a habeas corpus on my behalf. and an attorney had been hired for me. The ride to the stockade was uneventful; the chains were bearable, after we had been twisted and packed into the van. It was only about a 15 minute ride.
We went inside and found ourselves in a large room full of stainless tables with four seats attached to the frame. There was a TV hanging from the ceiling, but we were not allowed to watch it-- it was for the guards!
The unit was sectioned off into five dorms, each holding ten sets of the 2x6 bunks, and two singles on the front walls under the glass partitions.
The same dirty worn ripped bedding was evident, the same two-inch mats, and flat pillows; the women wearing clothing that hung from their thin frames and shaggy hair. Some had started to lose their hair; some had hair pulled up and tied with pieces of socks, or strips torn from the sheets. Footwear was cheap black flip-flops; there were two phones mounted on the wall; the bath consisted of two showers with no privacy, and three toilets-- again no privacy, the guards could see everyone at all times; there were male and female guards; they spoke to the inmates like they were smelly garbage!
After selecting an empty upper bunk, my bunk buddy showed me how to tie the sheets through the holes to keep the mat from sliding off onto the floor, and gave me instructions on how to climb up. I heard my name called, and turned around to see this tall woman behind me. She said "I know you, don't you remember me?" My mouth fell open, as I realized who she was. Three years earlier, this woman had been a successful architect, poised, well groomed, and tailored-suit person, with a home in Lost Tree Village, one of the most prestigious developments in North Palm Beach, where the movie stars had their homes.
I asked her what in the world she was doing there. She said that she had gotten involved in drugs; that she had been arrested; that the courts had appointed a conservator; and that she had been put here until she agreed to sign over her home and her firm. She refused and they were going to keep her there until she did sign!
Tanya then told the other women who I was, and she had kept up on the election and saw me on TV. She told them I had run for Senate, and how I had always been such a nice person, taking in teens who ran away from home, helping them work out problems with parents, sponsoring softball teams, and how we served on the March of Dimes Committees, and worked on telethons and walk-a-thons together to raise money for crippled children. After she finished giving her glowing happy praises, we all sat down on the floor and I listened to each woman's story, and the tears came.
Once again, I gave them my phone number, and my daughter began using both my lines to help these women get calls out to friends and relatives. I gave them the numbers of the NAACP, ACLU, and told my daughter to help them contact attorneys the next day. We kept the phones busy until they shut them down that night. After everyone had hugged me, and said God had answered prayers when He sent me, I instructed them that they must pass the word, and keep the chain going, helping each other; and those who got out must remember those who were still in and work towards their release. We hugged and hugged and cried a little, and then we thanked God for my being sent behind those walls. There were no criminals there, only victims!