Stop the Abuse of Women Prisoners in Florida! sign now

Sign This Petition Now to Stop the Abuse of Women Prisoners in Florida!

We need your help NOW to stop the systematic persecution of women prisoners at Homestead Correctional Institution in Florida!

In March 2004 we appealed for your support concerning the women of Homestead Correctional Institution, who continue to suffer under the brutal and heartless administration of Warden Gisela Pichardo. (See the previous petition at:

Regrettably, the situation there has since worsened.

Warden Pichardo is now managing the institution more like a Nazi concentration camp than one designed simply to incarcerate and rehabilitate people. Ruthless punishments are being meted out for the very slightest misdeed. For example, we know of a recent case where an inmate was given 15 days in confinement simply for looking out of a window.

Deliberate cruelty, oppression, sleep deprivation, contrived degradation and outright torture are Warden Pichardo's policy. She excels and apparently takes pleasure in their application. It is known that both inmates and staff fear her lust for personal retribution.

Paula Grieve is a typical example of what can happen to an inmate if they dare to challenge the bullying domination of Warden Pichardo. Paula is a highly intelligent and very capable law clerk and self-educated legal advocate, who dared to question Warden Pichardo's methods when she reported to us a dangerous outbreak of staph in the prison.

There have been several outbreaks of tuberculosis and this new, dangerous type of staph (called MRSA) in Florida prisons, which itself illustrates the conditions there and poses a health risk to all Floridians.

Paulas full story, which is similar to many others, can be found at:

Read how Warden Pichardo forced Paula (under extreme duress) to dig out piercings from her nipples with a pair of pliers, while others looked on and mocked her. This was an act of pitiless spite and vengeful vindictiveness.

Prisons are meant to punish and reform prisoners, not to torture and torment them.

For further information about Warden Pichardos repugnant regime:

Email us at: [email protected]

Sign this letter to Governor Bush. Let him know you will not accept torture of this kind in any of Florida's prisons. In particular, let him know how much you deplore what is being done to Paula and all of the women of Homestead Correctional Institution by Warden Pichardo, whose regime is brutal, barbaric and blatantly evil. We will gather your signatures and forward them to the Governor.

Please join with us and add your name to the following letter to Governor Jeb Bush:

To: Governor Jeb Bush

Dear Governor Bush,

We appeal to you as a fellow human being for help in regard to the matter of Ms Paula L. Grieve # T03963 who is presently incarcerated at Homestead Correctional Institution and subjected to the incredible sadistic behaviour of Warden Gisela Pichardo.

Paula has an exemplary record, however during the latter part of 2004 she advised us about an outbreak of MRSA at the prison and not only was it causing some disfigurement of some of the women, there were definite indications that the bacterial pneumonia that it often produces, had possibly brought about the death if inmate Myra Viavada.Paula took a huge risk advising us of this matter.

We immediately contacted the regional director Ms Villacorta and Mr John Burke at the Health Department. It was our opinion that the MRSA was not being treated correctly because the drugs were "too expensive." After several exchanges with all concerned the treatment was improved and we believe the disease brought under control.

It is obvious that Warden Pichardo took great exception to the cry for help from Paula Grieve and the action we initiated to correct the situation. Recent events prove beyond doubt that Warden Pichardo has been gunning for Paula by failing to treat her with an even hand and making demands of her that are entirely unreasonable.

A short time ago another inmate offered Paula, who is a senior law clerk, a pair of boots. When she was asked by one of the staff where the boots came from, and whom they belonged to, she said she did not know. We suspect that was due to the fact that she did not wish to expose the other inmate, who might have taken them from the store without authority.

Of course that is an infraction of the rules, but not one serious enough to justify a sixty day sentence to confinement, in the most appalling conditions, followed by a further thirty days for looking out of the window. It is quite obvious that Paula is being victimised, and subject to 'cruel and unusual punishment', over who actually owned a pair of boots. We find that astonishing.

Apart from that, Warden Pichardo is denying Paula access to proper hygiene, which could seriously affect her health. Further Warden Pichardo ordered her to remove the two metal nipple rings she has had since she was 18 years of age. These were welded together in her breasts, and for health reasons should only be removed surgically, if that was ever necessary in the first place.

Subsequently Paula was taken to the infirmary where she was forced to remove the rings with a pair of standard pliers, in front of a jeering group of prison staff. To demand such an outrageous thing and, under threat, and force her to remove the rings herself, is an infringement of Paulas human rights, and another aspect of Pichardos cruelty. One can only imagine the severe mental stress that Paula had to endure, and the resultant psychological damage which could be permanent.

Paula is now being held in indefinite confinement, and is being subjected to what is being referred to as an 'investigation'. She has been told that she could remain in confinement for at least another eighty days. Paula is being subjected to severe mental pressure which can only be construed as 'cruel and unusual punishment'. All because of a pair of boots!

Please help Paula and stop the vindictive, vengeful behaviour of Warden Pichardo who we understand keeps both prison inmates and staff in a constant state of fear.


Stephen Ormrod (Dorset, England), James Johnson, Ph.D. (Melbourne, Australia), and Jennifer Van Bergen, J.D. (South Florida, U.S.A.)

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Latest Signatures

  • 12 November 2015150. Amanda S
    I support this petition
  • 13 October 2015149. Robert G
    should never happen to any women in any prison worldwide this must stop as it is a abuse of human rights of prisoners in the usa women prisoners are human beings after all and should be treaed with respect and love for them .
  • 18 September 2015148. Frank B
    I support this petition
  • 08 September 2015147. Linda P
    No one should have this sort of abuse
  • 24 August 2015146. Amber R
    I support this petition
  • 17 August 2015145. Kelly L
    I support this petition
  • 10 July 2015144. Kristina C
    I support this petition
  • 29 June 2015143. Doris W
    I support this petition
  • 27 June 2015142. Leslie Mcfarland
    I support this petition
  • 28 May 2015141. Annabelle P
    Stop this inhuman, disrespectful torture, mr Bush!
  • 01 May 2015140. Pam R
    how horrible
  • 26 April 2015139. Helga D
    It looks like this Warden is a left-over from Nazi Germany , seeing her name is Gisela . Well my name is Helga and I am German and cringe at the things that are done in American prisons all over the US . These are humans , not animals !
  • 24 April 2015138. Emily L
    I support this petition
  • 14 March 2015137. Mamadshah Tanner
    "Hi, nice site!
  • 04 November 2014136. Katherine K
    Pay attention to the TRUTH!!!!!!
  • 18 October 2014135. Flo F
    The abuse and torture of prisoners in the Florida prisons are like that of third world countries.
  • 12 October 2014134. Leslie K
    I support this petition
  • 15 September 2014133. Dorothy Mchenryj
    I was at Homestead CI for one year, my arrival being almost immediately after Warden Pichardo arrived. When I first got there, it was completely different that when she arrived. I have to give you credit for your accurate reporting and information. That w
  • 07 September 2014132. Deanna W
    I support this petition
  • 06 August 2014131. Jill Johnsonl
    This is nothing more than a disgrace.And to think the the United States is always pointing a finger at other nations and criticizing their human rights records.Governor Bush,take a look in your own backyard.
  • 30 July 2014130. Evelyn W
    I support this petition
  • 28 July 2014129. Kelly Landry
    I have personally witnessed the abuse of the florida prison system.
  • 20 July 2014128. Lisa T
    Nobody has the right to take another life, murder is murder no matter how you try to dress it up
  • 18 July 2014127. Jodi D
    I support this petition
  • 16 April 2014126. Kathy K
    what happened to "reform" and to assist these women to become more productive and loving citizens when they re-enter society?
  • 16 March 2014125. Athena S
    I support this petition
  • 08 March 2014124. Calvin K
    I support this petition

browse all the signatures


Katharine BlankenshipBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Governor Jeb Bush


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