Cockburn has done his fair share of jail time, mostly on overblown bootlegging charges. Yet after paying his dues to society, he decided to venture to a recent press conference on the situation of those imprisoned after the January 6 riot.
The Patriot Freedom Project helps aid the families of the January 6 prisoners with legal costs and living expenses. Now, the organization is advocating for a review of the prison conditions of the inmates.
One inmate’s mother said, “The conditions at the DC jail are horrendous. His rations often smelled like cleaning fluid. There were pubic hairs included in the small portions of his food. The drinking water, visibly dirty. Mold was visible in cells, and roaches lived amongst [the prisoners].”
A note from a prisoner said, “I am limited to seeing the blue sky to a single hour once every seven days. Ants crawl all over my body when I attempt to sleep on my bunk. Cockroaches jumping out of my food is a common occurrence. Mouse poop is in the cereal and on dry food. At times there are yellow stains of yellow urine on dry food.”
The report, “Unusually Cruel,” written by the offices of Congressman Louie Gohmert and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, compiles the testimonies of six eyewitnesses. It notes that the “walls of the rooms had residue of human feces, bodily fluids, blood, dirt and mold” (page 3), the inmates are allowed outside twice a week, and religious services and sacraments are withheld from the inmates unless they are vaccinated (page 17).
The report also speaks of a seventy-one-year-old inmate who was denied medical treatment, leading to his “lower forearm turn[ing] purple and his thumb, black” (page 18). Another inmate had a visibly broken finger. Another had celiac disease, causing him to go days without eating at risk of becoming violently ill from prison food.
Even if the allegations against the inmates are true, Cockburn can’t help but wonder whether this is any way to treat American citizens.
Congressman Gohmert said at the end of the press conference that prison reform is an opportunity for bipartisanship — that is, if Democrats are willing to work with conservatives like him. He urged his colleagues to remember the concerns raised by BLM in 2020, saying, “The most mistreated of the January 6 prisoners is a black American.”