Interview with Rhiannon

Rhiannon is a loving mother and wife who is advocating for better living conditions in prisons. She discusses her husband's experiences before and during the pandemic, and she shares her experiences as a wife, mother, and advocate for the incarcerated.

Rhiannon is a dedicated wife and mother who has been advocating for change and awareness of the impact that COVID19 has had within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Telford Unit. Rhiannon describes how TDCJ’s response to COVID has changed policies and procedures which have resulted in the neglect and maltreatment of people currently incarcerated. She shares her husband’s experience with such treatment, and describes the effects of prolonged lockdowns, scarcity of food and water, exposure to illness, and restrictions to communication with loved ones on the outside.  Rhiannon emphasizes the importance of speaking out on behalf of her husband and other currently incarcerated people, most of whom face the possibility of retaliation for submitting grievances about the living conditions inside the unit.

Rhiannon also shares her perspective as a mother and wife, and describes the worries and challenges she overcomes to be able to support her husband and children. Rhiannon provides her experience with avenues of communication and visitation being restricted between her family and her husband, and the impact it's had on her children and grandchildren, who no longer have many opportunities to speak to her husband. Rhiannon also discusses the importance of fostering relationships and community with other families who also have a loved one who is incarcerated as a means of support and healing,  and as a way to build solidarity while  advocating for change.