Phone Zap for Comrade Alyssa: Demand Trans Justice in Prisons!


Comrade Alyssa is an incarcerated Black transgender woman housed in a state men’s prison in Maryland. This summer, she had her name legally changed. However, in a letter received on August 24, 2018, comrade Alyssa reported that a caseworker refused to follow policy to acknowledge her legal name change and requested calls to be made on her behalf.

Please call North Branch Correctional Institution this Friday, September 14 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. eastern at 301-729-7400.

Here is a suggested script: “Hi, my name is [first and last name] and I’m calling from [city, state] on behalf of [the organization who asked you to call, i.e. Philly Socialists]. I am calling regarding inmate Alyssa Victoria Hope #420-162. It has come to our attention that not all prison staff have been acknowledging Alyssa’s legal name, despite having had a legal name change this summer. We demand that all prison staff use Alyssa’s legal name and correct pronouns (she/her) immediately. We are very concerned with the lack of compliance with Prison Rape Elimination Act standards that oblige you to protect her rights against gender based discrimination.”

Report back in the event page discussion (or email with how your call went. Were you able to read the script fully? Did they ask for your name? How did the person on the line respond to our demand? Did the person even pick up? Did it go to voicemail? Was there a busy signal? Did they put you on hold and if so, how long? Were you transferred and where were you transferred to? Did they just simply answer and allow you to read the script?


Harvey Partica (not verified)
Called at 12:50 eastern. Phone rang for a long time. Eventually a woman picked up but I didn't catch her name or title. I explained that I was calling about Alyssa Victoria Hope and gave her number. I was told to calm down. I explained that I am calm. I was then put on hold indefinitely.
Jennifer (not verified)
They dropped my call multiple times. Said they could not find inmate by that name or number. Never able to make formal complaint.
Ashley R. Walsh (not verified)
They took over two minutes to pick up the phone, then interrupted me to say, "This is a male prison. We don't have men here. Thank you." then abruptly hung up.
Heather (not verified)
I called on Sunday 9/16 and (like other callers on here) was told promptly that it was a mens prison. I explained the situation and the woman I spoke to insisted that there was only one trans prisoner there and Alyssa was not the name that person used. She suggested calling back during business hours to speak with someone else.
Lucy James-Olson (not verified)
Called around 1 pm. My first call was dropped. On my second call, I got through to the DOC. I gave my name and the name of the organization and was abruptly interrupted and told that nobody was available to take my call because "so many people are calling about the same inmate." The woman who picked up advised me to "call back when somebody else has hung up" and then disconnected.