FCCW Prison Life



As an offender advisor for the past 5 years, I am approached daily by offenders seeking guidance and advice on how to receive resolution on various complaints they have with staff and departments.   My advice is simple. “Follow your chain of command.”  Almost each one of them states, “I already did that and nothing was done.”  I have created this section with other offenders in mind so that they can voice concerns and frustrations with the way F.C.C.W. handles and resolves issues pertaining to our daily life.

*NEW* Fluvanna Case – Return to Court (MUST READ!)

FCCW Class Action Lawsuit 1
FCCW Class Action Lawsuit 2


If you or your loved one is being mistreated in Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women please comment here with copies of letters, general comments or anything that needs to be brought light. No person should have to live under these conditions. Also, email us your original letters if you don’t have access to a scanner and we can post those as well.

(You do not have to register to post your stories)

Click here for insight into daily life, and policy issues for prisoners: Prison Life – The Cure

Please take a minute to read this story by an anonymous inmate regarding hate crimes against her while at Fluvanna:  Fluvanna Civil Complaint

The following information can be found at http://www.c-ville.com/abuses_exposed_at_fluvanna_correctional_center/#.Vf8H_99Vikp

Helen Trainor reads about 50 letters a month from women at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. “I actually read personal letters, unlike a lot of people, and take them seriously,” she says. As part of her job as director of the Virginia Institutionalized Persons Project (at the Legal Aid Justice Center), she has to know what goes on in jails across Virginia.

Trainor says that conditions at Fluvanna “began to resemble the conditions at Virginia’s strictest prisons, as opposed to a Class 3 prison that it is.” The letters described discrimination and segregation, which prompted Trainor and other volunteers from Legal Aid to meet with Senator Frank Ruff, Jr. (15th District) in a church basement to discuss what could be done.

Then, on Monday, December 28, the Associated Press reported that Barbara Wheeler, warden at Fluvanna, which is the state’s largest women’s prison, will be replaced by Wendy Hobbs. Larry Traylor, spokesperson for the Department of Corrections confirmed to C-VILLE that Wheeler is retiring, though Wheeler was unavailable for an interview.

Cynthia Neff has also been working with Legal Aid where she has heard the stories first-hand.

“We were hearing from a number of people that they were discriminated against because they looked butch, aggressive-looking women,” she says. In fact, the Associated Press reported in June that gay inmates were segregated, with lesbian inmates with short hair and baggy clothes kept apart in the “butch wing.”

Trainor says that things began to change about a year ago when Michael Frame became the new major, or head of security, at Fluvanna. The previous major was convicted for having sex with female inmates, says Trainor.

Neff says Frame proceeded to “toughen the place up.”

According to Trainor, women were forced to walk in single file to prevent inmates from talking to each other. Touching other inmates was also prohibited.

Trainor, who for matters of privacy can’t identify inmates or quote directly from the letters, has paraphrased their content. In one instance, an inmate questions whether the new no-touching rule is conducive to her rehabilitation. “Where does this rule come from? I tried to find them in the IOP’s (internal operating procedures) but I couldn’t.” In another, a woman writes that a mentally ill inmate was kept in solitary confinement for months. “When it’s time for her to take her shower, she is lead, shackled and naked, down the hall, with a dog leash attached to her shackles, by a male guard.”

The Associated Press, which, according to Neff was tipped by Legal Aid about the allegations, reports that Senator Ruff asked the Department of Corrections also to investigate claims that the prison reduced prisoners’ access to religious services.

Traylor told C-VILLE a review of the facility is “still being finalized.”

“It’s a sad state of affairs that the only way to get things changed in prisons is to get a state senator involved,” says Trainor. Calls to Ruff were not immediately returned.


The prison is in the process of settling a class action lawsuit over health care services for prisoners. The changes are too little too late for one prisoner, who died last month from cancer, but her family said her deposition made all the difference in the legal battle.

In her deposition, Debbie Daley said, “I realize people are in here for something they’ve done but to be back here and not be able to get medical attention, it’s not fair, you know. To sit in pain and suffer 24/7 is not fair, not for nobody.”

Daley, a 49-year-old mother of five, told a federal judge that in November 2014.

The inmate at FCCW was supposed to testify in the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the inmates against the prison in Fluvanna County, the Virginia Department of Corrections, and the private contractor hired to provide care.

The lawsuit accused the parties of denying imprisoned women access to adequate health care, citing “cruel and unusual punishment”.

“I know it’s not going to do much for me because I’m not going to be around, but maybe it will help somebody in the future,” Daley told the judge, according to deposition records.

Daley died less than three months later from rectal cancer. However, her words lived on through her compelling deposition and played an influential role in the lawsuit’s outcome.

Scott v. Clarke: Fluvanna Health Services Case

On November 26, 2014, the Legal Aid Justice Center announced that it had reached a settlement in our lawsuit filed on July 24, 2012, on behalf of women incarcerated at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.  WileyRein and Washington Lawyers’ Committed are co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit asserted that the 1200 women incarcerated at FCCW are being provided constitutionally inadequate medical care, leaving their health and lives at serious risk.


  1. admin (Post author)

    If we can get enough people involved in this DOC and the governor will have no choice but to launch a full investigation on how this place is run and how the inmates are being malfed, mistreated and abused. Not to mention if we get enough voters involved a formal petition can be started. Please post any and all information you have and are willing to disclose.

    1. Stella M Caswell

      I have a daughter incarcerated in Fluvanna Correctional Center she has breast cancer 30 lb tumor after her chemo treatment she supposed to be replenished with fluids intervene ously why is it that this Correctional Center food fair cannot and does not have my daughter on her fluid regiment after her chemo this is important for her to have this done it’s making her even more sicker and weaker not getting her fluids a very concerned mother someone explain this to me!

    2. Stella M Caswell

      I’m withdrawal the statement I made needs to have a little more investigation first sorry more facts sorry

  2. rather not say

    well i dont know where to start, i know my daughter is dealing with horrible conditions. to start they are fed beans and rotten outdated food constantly while the guards eat like kings off of the fluvanna food. i know that they go thru wardens like crazy and that also applies to the guards, as well. being feed outdated food is absolutely absurd. When i call the to speak to someone in charge i have to leave a message and never get a call back. i also know they recently painted the cells not too long ago and made the inmates sleep in the cells that very same night. many of whom became sick because of the fumes. if i had a scanner id post the letters ive received. bottom line these inmates are being treated terribly, fed terribly and im praying something changes. im praying they get a warden who cares about the inmates and how they are living. i hope this website and this page especially gets enough supporters to get the governor or DOC itself involved. it’s just terrible and i pray each night that things get better but my prayers don’t seem to help. i hope more people post verifying what im posting here. something needs to be done because they dont deserve this sort of treatment. And thank you for allowing those of us a place to post the truth.

  3. Amanda J

    i would like to verify what was just posted above. no person prison or not should have to deal with these conditions. as far as food if you cant get money from your family its very hard for them to live on the food given to them on a daily basis. this place is run terribly. they never call you have when you make a complaint. the never call back when your windering where your mails is you sent when you know it should have been received. this whole place seems to be a a joke. nobody seems to care enought to do something. i really hope more people post here and we can get these conditions fixed because its absurd how this institution is run, inmate or not you should be able to get access to your mail in a timly manner, and be fed like a normal human being, i will be posting letters soon as soon as i fix my scanner. and who ever is running this site i commend you on the work yourve put into not only helping donna but the other inmates being treated the same way. keep up the good work, i have faith something will change eventually when these topics and website are sent to the people who can make these changes. thanks again -megan ( they cant ignore us forever!!!)

    1. ronald burrows

      Ok lets see if i can solve this issue with you concerning mail?OK there is nothing in the policy manual that states you can’t send certain mail certified to your loved ones at fluvanna why am i saying this well it gives you the name of the person who has to sign for the mail that is being received by the inmate family friend etc:It also serves as a record to file a complaint with Richmond the main office always send a copy and keep the original for future use.You have a special civil right dept in Washington DC that addresses that very issue and since you are a private citizen fluvanna has to give you an explanation as to why the mail is being delayed, but in this case it would be best to file the complaint against fluvanna with the Richmond office via certified mail return receipt requested that way you have proof that no action has or is being taken about your complaint concerning mail-room conditions at the prison.Now if you can’t afford the certified mail option you can simply have your mail metered in other words get the post office to meter a stamp to the envelope this way on the receipt you get a record of proof as to where the envelope (letter)went it usually will have an expected date of delivery on the receipt make a copy of that so you have proof to file a complaint against the prison with the Richmond office it should remedy the problem of the mail being held up in other words the certified receipt identifies who the mail room worker is(by name) in that respect Richmond knows who to question about why the mail is being delayed because in turn he will have to notify is superior or Richmond will contact the mail room supervisor to address this matter concerning the mail hope this helps??

  4. Tmr

    I would also like to verify the comments above. The food isn’t good enough for dogs to eat. If your family doesn’t send money the food they provide is not enough to live on. Every four months or so the prison goes on lockdown so they can search all cells and strip search all the inmates. The lockdown lasts 4 or 5 days. During this time your not allowed to shower and can only use the bathroom whenever a guard decides to let you out to go to the bathroom. There are no toilets in the cells. If you really need to use the bathroom you’re forced to wait until they feel like opening the door to let you out. If you have an accident while waiting (or anytime for that matter, on lockdown or not) you are punished by being sent to segregation where you’re on lockdown for 23 hours a day. The conditions are horrible. The inmates should at least be treated like human beings. Thanks for keeping this site up and fighting for Donna

  5. Randy M Markham

    I hope someone there who knows me reads this. they never call me back, treat the inmates like shit, feed them like shit. prison is to serve your time not to go to bed sick because of the food or have hunger pains because of not eating the food. commissary is the only way to get by in there and my daughter has never lied to me. This is a prison not a pow camp. i mean rotten outdated food all the time? who does that shit. and im also told they only eat well when there is a checkup by doc. so wheres the money going? how do we fix it?
    ‘if only women could riot like the mens prisons there would be better treatment.

  6. charles p

    my daughter gave me this link, i just want to verify everything posted above and as what can we really do when nobody calls us back and doc seems to not care?

  7. admin (Post author)

    Good question Charles. Our hope is to get enough people involved in this page, get more than just comments but letters from inmates and maybe recorded phone calls. But the goal is to get the DOC or the governor involved since DOC does not seem give a damn right now.

  8. David Gimino

    I am a former male inmate that was housed in L.U.C.C, in Victoria Va. when I was brought there I needed brain surgery to remove a pituitary tumor. I was told before I was violated while on probation in Oklahoma sitting in an Oklahoma jail awaiting extradition that my condition was NOT life threatening but I fought the extradition until the one in charge in Richmond said I would be treated. While in Powhatan receiving unit, I was told by the Doctor once he examined my requested MRI slides from the Oklahoma Va., that Oh my you have a tumor that must come out. I was then put in the system after surgery. It was tough to recover inside poor food and medical was/is a joke the pill pushers handing out meds. at the pill window have not a clue as to what the meds are for. I found out by asking “are you a nurse?” the one I asked said no she was a 1st year med. student a candy-striper meaning she knew zip about her job! While I was in the system and needed certain drugs to stay alive at least twice my self meds ran out and I was blamed for not having them refiled! Ha, yeah like I’m supposed to call out side to there pharmacy and reorder my meds. Give me a break. There’s a whole lot more only one stands out though while in Luennenberg cor. ctr. I was not getting the care I needed so I called my Brother and sister then they called the to medical and talked to my doctor then and magically things were put right. I was latter asked while walking down the Blvd. by first the head nures then later the doctor “is everything Ok Mr Gimino yes I replied then both commented PLEASE tell your brother and sister not to call here anymore. Ok I said solong as I get what I need.Then being told Oh we don’t take care of everyone like we do you. Go figure. The system is corrupt and change is needed.
    Ol Dave

    1. jimmy jones

      Thank you so much for your story David. I’m so sorry you had to endure that nightmare. These stories go untold more times than we would like to believe don’t they? If you can, please spread the word about this website and Donna’s case to anyone who will listen. Thank you!!

  9. Melody W

    I was recently released from FCCW and yes EVERY comment above is true. Food, health care,conditions and humane treatment are horrible. I have several cronic conditions that were not met there. I have something terribly wrong with my shoulder all to be told that I am getting old. I begged to be allowed to the dying inmates in the infirmary. Of course that was never concidered. So much more is going on behind those walls

    1. ronald burrows

      OK lets see if i can find a solution to what has been stated here now since the doctors or physicians aides are from a private contractor and are not state employees every state has a medical registry(LICENSE) board because everybody in the medical field has a registry number with the state if you know the persons name who is working at the prison you could simply put that person’s name into the system and see where the person worked if the person was ever fired or resigned( quit) it should come up in new york it does that is where i lived at and i was a nurses aide so yes there are registry numbers for every level in the healthcare field now once you find the person and your family member has the proof of what was done overlooked then i would file a complaint against that person and see where it goes at best it will be on the books so down the road if the person’s name comes up enough times from other people a class action lawsuit can be brought against that person.hope this helps!!

      1. Patricia my contact number is 5402940685 for anyone that wants to join me in filing a complaint against fccw

        The medical treatment at this facility is inhumane. My daughter has lost over 200lbs in a year and is unable to eat food there because she gets sick. I try to send money so she can fix her own food. She has blood in her urine and stools nobody seems to care .I have called down there pleading with these people to get my daughter proper medical treatment to find out what’s wrong with her. Of course no one listens. Nurses have told my daughter she needs to be sent out for colonoscopy and endoscopy. Of course when she asked the dr. He doesn’t follow through.
        Now 2 more women have died at FCCW . Inmates that are prescribed wellbutrin are receiving it crushed up. After researching this Wellbutrin is never to be given crushed up 😡.Medical personnel have told me I will not be notified of my child’s medical condition unless she was terminal. Calling to speak to the warden is like kissing in the wind.They never return my calls . My daughter has been there 10 years she has less than 4 yrs left and she is terrified she may not make it home. Someone please help me help my daughter and others like her .

  10. prince millington

    I’m in a long term relationship with my fiancee whom happen to be serving time in Fluvanna. And I’m now more likely to believe her. Bobbie’s in there after a probation violation. She’s been put in segregation multiple times this year alone, she also got beaten up by a guard. Also claimed that toiletries are only accessible through the commissary and she only eats from the commissary also. Her release date is now at July 27 2019 (pushed back from June 3) and hoping I’ll see this blue eyed brunette lady for the first time in due time. And the facility withheld her legal mail as of late to contact the lawyer to sue the prison system. I love her and she loves me. Our bond got even stronger after breaking up and getting back together twice. Been engaged for over a year and met nearly 2 years ago via a backpage post. I was burned out from the online dating apps and sites plus I’m undatable near my home. It was friendly at first but we developed feelings for each other real fast. We’re meant for each other and planning to get married someday. I’m seeking another lawyer for Bobbie that will represent her pro bono. And I think the other horror stories are insightful.

  11. Rhonda

    My daughter is at Fluvamma, she laid for 3 days with a broken hand into her wrist, while the prison doctor said it wasn’t broke, he gave her tylenol..3rd day after I called raising hell she was taken to Uva, it was broken had to set it, the dr at uva gave her pain medicine for 5 days till she seen orthopedic dr..Fluvanna’s dr decided she didn’t need pain meds..She had a cast put on monday, has not been given any pain meds, not even Tylenol..The prison dr said her prescription was sent out will be back in 2 days…I’m sorry who is monitoring the health care with the lawsuit..I’ve called the wardens office, the medical director at the prison, all you get is machines, no call backs..The treatment of these women is horrendous and cruel…

  12. Ruth Lackey

    I was an inmate at fluvanna to 15 years. I personally witnessed acts of extreme violence towards inmates. The institution is dangerously under staffed. The food is so bad that it is basically survival mode all the time. Once I asked the kitchen
    Manager why the would delibertally ruin food ? He replied that it only had to be served, not fit to eat! I too was involved in the medical lawsuit, but not much has changed from what I have been told by friends who remain there.. I was released in September of 2015. I will never forget or turn my back on the women left behind.

    1. Laurie Scharf

      Hey Mrs.Ruth, ur name put a smile on my face….i was there in 2014…..love ya Laurie it was awful….they shouldve told me about my abnormal papsmear, but when they shipped me to Goochland they had to tell me almost a year later, when i came home I started having pain & i was bleeding internally from a ruptured cyst &they had to do emergency surgery thank God i was able to get to the hospital bc they wouldve told me i had gas im sure….

  13. Melissa Wells

    I have been incarcerated twice at FCC, not to defend but I never experienced tgrsr things. I was there from 2005-2009. I will agree there are some officers& Seargants who do mistreat inmates. I will mention names,I should have helped make the wrongs right. Sgt. Bazemore nasty. He is one if the ones who singled out “stud broads” made then go to property hr had them put in pants a size too small only to send them back to their bldg.while laughing at them,making a mockery if their sexual orientation. His seriously needs to be looked at. Yes while I was an inmate in bldg. 5 B Warden Wheeler was putting a “stud wing” in place. To segregate them from the so called “Femmes” . Thankfully this only lasted very briefly.My friend died in 5B during laundry exchange,she had a heart attack. When they finally responded to the officers pleas for help over the radio they brought the paddles to stick her but turn realized there were no batteries in it. So they sent an officer in training after batteries. My fear friend ” Pepsi ” didn’t have a chance. All this was going on in plain view of my cell. She laid there roughly. 4 hours when the coroner decided to get Tete. Oddly we could hear them call time if death, only one problem the time she died & the time it was called was off by about 5 hours,if course they would never admit this. Totally incompetent.DEAD BATTERIES. This us supposed to be a medical facility. What a joke. I could go on& on. You have your police who were great. Sgt.Byers,Sgt.Slush a lady Sgt. White pretty can’t remember her name. You have a whole lot of racial profiling going on. Well when I was there. A grievance will never get out if the gate to Richmond so the ladies can forget that. Some of these women are never going home for one reason or another,but they should not have to live. And be treated as they Are.
    Melissa A Wells

  14. Melissa Wells

    Obviously I. Didn’t do a spell check. I was so excited to see a place where former inmates could be heard. If you can overlook my typos well I guess I got the point across. I just would like to see more compassion,yes these ladies are there for a reason as I was,just have a happy healthy environment.

  15. Rather not say

    My girlfriend is currently in this place and the guards are completely incompetent. She had been telling the guards, I had called and told them, and her mother had been calling them telling them that her roommate had been threatening her and they got in a huge argument in front of the guards and they still forced them to lock down together that night. She’s been in the hole for the last ten days and they won’t tell us what happened whether they did indeed get into a fight or whether she refused to lockdown and got in trouble for that. Oh and another girl had just gotten her arm broken a week prior in the same pod by her roommate. My girlfriend can handle herself but it is careless, stupid, and unfair to force 2 inmates to lockdown together when it is obvious a dangerous situation is brewing and has been brought to their attention and they just let it happen, really they enable something violent to take place by ordering them to lockdown together. They saw and heard the argument and threats and did absolutely nothing to stop the situation before someone gets hurt. I’m going to go see her tomorrow they said I can have a video visit so I can find out what’s going on because they won’t tell anyone anything. Hopefully the visit goes through and I can post an update. I plan on giving her the information to write a letter here because she has more to say than I can remember about the messed up stuff that goes on there.

  16. Upset mom

    My daughter is in Fccfw and it is a nightmare. She has type 1 diabetes and since incarceration in 2012 she has suffered many complications due to fluvanna neglect.She was part of the medical lawsuit but conditions have yet to improve.I have contacted every posible agency from the DOC to the President nothing changes. She goes without medications ,doctors refuse to treat her.Then there is the money issues with trying to see the doctor sick call as it is refered to she is charged to ask to see the doctor then charged for mediction she doesn’t receive. I wish that the officials would open their eyes and see what is really happening.may the ones that treat so disturbingly be given the same treatment. Prayers to all going through Fccfw treatment.

  17. Laurie Scharf

    Unfortunately they will have to close it down to make it any better i was there in 2014 & they didnt tell me about a medical issue & then woke up home one day ruptured cyst bleeding internally….it always fealt like at church we were saying goodbye to someone that walked in there & didn’t walk out….if i can help i would love to but what who or how???

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  19. Brandi hagy

    My mom Debbie Daley was in there and she died less then 3 months after she got out you can go to all the news and read her story they didnt give her her meds they wouldn’t take her to the doctor they all suck ass her story is under Debbie Daleys storey


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