This is from the Nov 15, 2014 newsletter
In just a few moments the whole system of prison operations was turned upside down. Decades of policies geared towards rehabilitation were changed to ones of punishment for the crimes committed. We offer no commentary as to how these prisons ought to be run, but what we do know is that such an instantaneous change isn’t being received without inherent problems. These prisons have always been open society with inmates being afforded the opportunities to provide for their own needs as well as the needs of their families. They have been encouraged over the years to start businesses and partake in free enterprise, thus creating a unique society within the walls which prepared them for reintegration into society. However, in just a few moments of time all the restaurants and personal workshop areas were reduced to piles of rubble, as were inmates’ opportunities and hopes of caring for their wives and children.
The present warden is an active military Colonel and has implemented policies that have set both inmates and prison staff on edge. However, the changes inside the prison were just a foreshadowing of things to come. Just a few days ago there was an open forum at the soccer field with the warden and all the prison population. For his protection, the warden was surrounded by the military during this meeting as he listened to the grievances of the inmates. He was shocked as he was told in no uncertain terms of their feelings concerning the present circumstances. Not being able to provide for the needs of their families was bad enough, but the new procedures which included strip searching their wives and children before visits were to them totally unacceptable. These men informed the warden that his sphere of influence and control was limited to the administrative offices and the exterior. He was told explicitly to stop the strip search policy, and if he wanted to live, he was to immediately leave the interior of the prison. That was followed with a promise that the next time he set foot on the inside of the prison, he would die.
Several men related to us that they are expecting an uprising at any time. To our human eyes this is so sad because over the past six months we have seen such an undercurrent of revival in this prison. Several have come to the Lord! Our enrollment in the Bible Studies has never been higher, and our opportunities of ministry have blossomed recently, even to being able to openly minister to the Zetas, which heretofore was prohibited.
All the shops and restaurants are gone? Wow they kept a lot of people busy. I was in that place. Don’t know what the prisoners will do. But. I don’t think it will be good.