Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Make a Phone Call for Imam Jamil & What to Expect

(This post is originally derived from an article by Br. Issa Smith in the latest edition of New Trend Magazine:

The e-mail arrived this morning: Imam Jamil has been put in the hole, strip searched, his Qur'an taken away. Why? Don't know.

What can we do? One of the following:

- Call the prison.
- Fax the prison.
- E-mail the prison.

The idea is to ask them why. The point is to let them know that we care--that Imam Jamil is not forgotten.

You know those stickers that people wear on election day that say "I voted"? Well, I don't vote. But those stickers are very catchy. I made my own sticker today, from a yellow Post-It pad. It says: "I made the call."

It was very easy. Here's how it went:

1. I called the number: 719-784-9464.
2. I got a recording that said "Press 0 if this concerns an inmate" so I pressed 0.
3. Someone (human) asked, "Does this concern an inmate?" and I said "yes".
4. Someone asked, "Inmate's last name please?" and I answered "Al-Amin".
5. They transferred me a few times. Then someone asked "Inmate's registration number?" and I answered "99974-555."
6. Then, "Yes sir, what is your question?" I answered: "I've been informed that Jamil Al-Amin has been sent to the hole, and I'm calling to find out why this action was taken."

After this, the prison rep may say a number of different things. They ran me around in a circle. Here's how it went:

PR (Prison Rep): "Sir I cannot give out any information to you without the inmate's permission."
Me: "I'm sure he would approve."
PR: "Sir I need the approval in writing."
Me: "And how do I get that?"
PR: "You can write a letter to the warden and he will ask the inmate for permission."
Me: "So if I send a letter to the warden, Mr. Wiley, he will take that letter to Mr. Al-Amin and ask for his permission to release the information?"
PR: That's right sir.
Me: "OK, thanks. I'm going to do that."

Another brother was told to call back later because Imam Jamil's counselor or case worker, something or other, was not there.

If they get 100 calls, that will send a serious message. You got the e-mail, right? Well, if you don't make the call, then what good is it? 5 minutes tops.

P.S. Call again an hour later, too.

(NOTE: While the prison will try to route us to the Imam’s counselor Richard Madison, we should respectfully ask to speak to the warden Ron Wiley. Imam Jamil's son, Kairi Al-Amin, has stated that the warden specifically should be written to, faxed, or spoken to on the phone.)

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