Last month marked the 3rd year that Eric has spent behind bars. His arrest and imprisonment were a direct result of government infiltration and entrapment – Eric has spent the last three years of his life in a cage for what amounts to thought crime. Those years have been full of challenges and struggle, but Eric has met all of them with the utmost courage and integrity.
Most recently, Eric has been enduring lockdowns at the prison, the loss of phone and internet access, and a move. On December 23, a “riot” broke out at Victorville, sending 6 inmates to the hospital and forcing 17 to be treated at the prison for injuries ranging from stab wounds to blunt trauma. We waited for two weeks to hear from Eric – not knowing whether or not he was ok. On January 5 he was finally able to call and let us know he was ok. Victorville remains on lockdown, but they were easing up on restrictions and he was able to receive visitors two weeks ago (although that has changed yet again…).
During the lockdown it became difficult for Eric to get vegan food. Normally this is not a problem for him – chowhall has plenty of vegan options, and he can supplement this with items from the commissary to round out his diet. But during the lockdown, prisoners only had access to the food brought to them in their cells. This greatly limited Eric’s diet. Fortunately, after trying various avenues for redress, the food situation improved and Eric is now (last we heard) receiving enough food.
However, as part of the attempt to get vegan food, an “illegal” (according to the prison) phone call was made. As punishment for trying to get himself food, Eric’s phone and email access was turned off for 60 days. Other than letters and face to face visits, which are difficult and costly for friends and family (and as a result, they don’t happen very often), phones and email are Eric’s main lifeline outside the prison.
Unfortunately, this is not the only thing… Over the weekend, an incident at one of the facilities at Victorville (it is unclear which facility) caused both the Medium I and the Medium II facilities to go on lockdown, which means visitation has been canceled until further notice. After discovering this, we checked to make sure that Eric was still at the Medium II facility and found that he has, in fact, been moved to the Medium I at Victorville. This is difficult news for a variety of reasons.
We are left wondering why Eric was moved in the first place, but also it means that Eric’s life has been uprooted and scrambled once again. It is doubtful that he got to take much – if anything – from his previous cell with him. It’s possible he lost letters, addresses, pictures, etc. Eric now has to start all over in a new environment, which can be extremely complicated and stressful when that environment is a federal prison.
We will keep you updated on this situation as we find out more.
The appeals process has been delayed multiple times. Eric’s opening brief is now due March 5. He has multiple strong arguments on appeal, and we look forward to getting the process moving. If all goes well, everything could be filed for review by the appeals court sometime this summer.
Thank you all for your continued support. Eric has been receiving your letters and they have definitely helped him through these winter months – especially during these lockdowns when he has not been able to have contact with his loved ones.
Please remember that Eric has been moved – which means he has a new address:
Eric McDavid 16209-097
FCI Victorville Medium I
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 5300
Adelanto, CA 92301
We’ll keep you updated as things moved forward with the appeals.