The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Washington, D.C. Prisons Lose Disabled Man

Mar 28, 2022

Kevin Flythe disappeared early on January 27 on his way by bus from Charleston, West Virginia to Washington, D.C. His speech and his right arm are disabled by stroke last August, his left arm has been immobilized for years, and he has limited vision. His family and friends have tried everything to find him. But he shouldn’t even be missing.

Flythe was released from a federal prison in West Virginia holding prisoners from Washington, D.C. after he served 27 years for a crime committed in his early 20s. But prison officials simply dumped him into a bus station with a ticket for a 10-hour ride to D.C. with four stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland—without any money, without any food, and most likely without his four prescription medications. His attorney was only notified of his release hours later after requesting the information for days. But by then he had vanished.

If the prison system had anything to do with rehabilitation, this would never happen. But the prison system exists to oppress poor and working people. In D.C., where one in seven people has a criminal record, and in most years more than 10,000 former prisoners are released to return home every year, how many just barely escape whatever horror Flythe experienced?