She faces another 18 years in these conditions for defending the natural world that she is now being denied.
Marie Mason is serving nearly 22 years in federal prison for environmental-related vandalism in which no one was injured. After being threatened with a life sentence in 2009, Marie pled guilty to two acts committed nine years earlier: damaging an office where Genetically Modified Organism research data was held and destroying logging equipment. The federal judge, having applied the “terrorism enhancement” provision, gave her almost two years longer than the longest sentence the prosecution asked for, making it the harshest punishment of anyone convicted of environmental sabotage to date.
For reasons known only to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Marie is locked up in the special administrative housing unit at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, far from her family and friends. This high security, highly restricted unit is justified by the government as necessary only for inmates they deem the country’s most violent, dangerous prisoners.
Please write respectful letters to Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 First St., NW, Washington, DC 20534.
Sample letters are posted at supportmariemason.org. You can also find more information about Marie’s case there, learn about other ways to get involved, and make a donation for her legal and prison expenses.
Marie’s gymnasium-sized unit houses up to 20 female prisoners, but this space has been cut in half due to a new wall; a restricted unit inside a restricted unit. Prisoners are only allowed to leave this building for medical treatment, which comes after a protracted wait and fierce advocacy on the part of the prisoner.
Many of the women in Marie’s unit suffer from untreated, debilitating mental health issues which are manifested in violent behavior, self-mutilation, screams and sobs throughout the night, and unpredictable actions. The constant barrage of cries and pleas from people in emotional pain constitutes psychological torture. There is no rest or calm.
Marie is allowed to exercise in a small, fenced-in, concrete, outdoor area topped by wire mesh. There is no room to run or engage in physical activity. The recreational room has one exercise bicycle and is rarely staffed.
Marie is frequently and unpredictably locked down for hours on end due to inmates fighting, attacks on guards, and acts of self-sabotage by some of the women. This greatly limits her access to recreation, work, and the small outdoor cage.
Mental health counseling and educational classes are not provided.
Most inmates know what they have to do to be transferred from this unit, but not Marie. The BOP has never given her any instructions as to what she must do in order to be transferred out of this unit. Currently, she has no hope of ever being moved unless we advocate for her.
The continual assault of a sterile environment, the lack of access to exercise and mental stimulation, the constant destructive outbursts from inmates who are not receiving the treatment they desperately deserve, and the impossibility of attaining freedom from this unit without outside intervention is inhumane.
It is urgent that we do everything within our power to get her out of this place immediately. Every day that Marie is forced to live in these conditions takes a toll on her mental and physical health. Marie has never violated any prison rules and is obviously being targeted for her political beliefs. We demand that she be removed from this restrictive unit and transferred to a federal prison near her family and friends.
Support Marie Mason
PO Box 201016
Ferndale MI 48220