Thirty years ago, Lisa Eisenhart began her career as a prison nurse and quit. She would not tolerate the guards’ abuse of inmates. It went against her core beliefs of treating all human lives with respect.
Eisenhardt never imagined that attending a rally to connect with like-minded people on Jan. 6th would cause her to go to prison. She attended with her son Eric Munchel, who stood behind her the entire time to ensure she did not re-injure her shoulder. Lisa was impressed by the spirit of unity among the crowd and notes its incredible diversity. She specifically recalls Chinese people who were there handing out flyers exposing human rights violations in their native land and feeling concerned about the future of America.
“I want more freedom for my children and my children’s children,” she states, noting the general decline in civil liberties from the time she grew up until now.
While awaiting trial, Eisenhart recalls spending 2 days in Nashville jail, 5 weeks in a Kentucky federal holding facility, and 6 weeks in D.C. jail. Both the Kentucky and DC solitary confinement facilities had no heating. She and DC guards could see their breath. Yet only once did a staff member notice she was uncomfortable and offer her an additional blanket.
Eisenhart knew something was off when a fellow DC inmate it was strange she was put in solitary. This inmate was there for 4 weeks after assaulting a guard. It is not the prison’s policy to segregate groups of pretrial prisoners there. Instead, the space is intended to discipline sentenced inmates who harm others.
Eric Glover, general counsel for the DC Department of Corrections, claims Jan. 6th prisoners are currently housed in solitary confinement due to their maximum-security status.
Eisenhart’s lawyer successfully appealed her detainment. She considers this an answered prayer, as she specifically prayed the words of Psalm 31 during that time. She remembers her lawyer taking her and Eric from the jail and dropping them off at a local IHOP to wait for her family. This was their first decent meal in months. Lisa lost 25 pounds during her incarceration because she did not receive proper nourishment.
“I am not asking for other people to help and give money because I understand how difficult the conditions are for the others still there,” she said.
Jake Lang- who is currently in solitary confinement in DC jail and on his third day of a hunger strike- told citizens he was also sitting in a cold area “with ants and cockroaches and mice running around me.”
“I have been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, yet I haven’t even been found guilty of any crime,” Lang said.
“I have endured beatings by DC Corrections Officers (for singing the National Anthem,) been pepper sprayed (for asking for mutual respect,) had no haircuts or shaving, and no visitation for over a year. I’ve spent weeks locked inside a cell for 24 hours and months of prolonged solitary confinement.” (You can hear more about Lang’s treatment in prison here.)
While in prison, Eisenhart knew she and others were being mistreated and tried to get help. She recalled US Marshals delivering hygiene items when she arrived and saw a sign posted in the front of the jail with their contact number. She repeatedly asked guards for the US Marshals’ phone number, but they claimed they did know it.
US Marshals are responsible for the care and custody of detained pre-trial defendants like the J6 political prisoners. They previously met with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in another J6 case that this facility failed to meet minimum health and safety standards.
As you can see in this 50 minute video posted onto You Tube by Ryan J. Reilly, now the property of Press Coalition, a party with interest in Eric Munchel’s case, Lisa and Eric did not engage in any violence on Capitol Grounds. At minute 47, they attempt to leave the Senate- not remain- but fumble when some of the doors are locked.
Lisa’s mother created a GiveSendGo to contribute her attorney fees as her trial approaches. You can personally support Lisa at https://www.givesendgo.com/lisaeisenhart.