The plot thickens. Last weekend I was called to the FCI Petersburg Visitation Room to visit with my Prisoner Visitation & Support (PVS) visitor, a woman who’s also a Christian minister. On my way through the initial search area I was harassed by the prison guard (“Guard #1”) assigned to the Visitation Room because my clothing wasn’t ironed. The guard tried to inform me that there was new Federal Bureau of Prisons policy on the matter, but after a short conversation, he begrudgingly agreed to allow me to have my visit.*1 So, after my frisk, I was allowed into the FCI Petersburg Visitation Room.
Once in the Visitation Room, I handed another guard (“Guard #2”) my inmate identification card and looked for my visitor. I didn’t find her. So, back to the guard’s desk I walked and asked Guard #2 where my visitor was. After a short exchange, he informed me that my visitor had been “embarrassed,” and had to leave prior to my arrival. Guard #2 and I returned to the visitation screening area and spoke with Guard #1, the one who had harassed me about my clothing. Guard #1 informed me that my visitor, a Christian minister, had realized that her pants were see-through and had left in embarrassment. I was not amused. Upon returning to my housing unit, I submitted a complaint to the FCI Petersburg Captain.
Two days later I received a post card from my PVS visitor. She informed me that the guards had terminated the visit, but that she would be back two weeks later. She also expressed her profound sorrow for the visit being terminated prior to my arrival. She had not left on her own accord. Either Guard #1 or Guard #2 had officially terminated the visit prior to my arrival in the Visitation Room.
To say that I was upset about this would be an understatement. But my lack of amusement turned to anger several days later. While working out on the FCI Petersburg recreation yard, another man who had a visit that day filled me in. He said that Guard #1, the one who had harassed me, had terminated the visit because of my visitor’s pants. The man said that my visitor had been told to leave because of her pants being too transparent (he said that the guard claimed that he could see her pockets through the pants) and that she had burst into tears because of the situation. According to the man, my visitor, the Christian minister, had cried all the way out of the prison. I’m sure that she didn’t only feel terribly embarrassed by the whole situation, but probably a bit insulted and dirty too since Guard #1 was staring at her pants for a period of time.