Topless Activist Phoenix Feeley Says Jail Time is Like Death Sentence

| by Emily Smith
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Topless rights activist Phoenix Feeley was sentenced to 16 days in prison after refusing to pay a fine for baring her chest in public, and she said the stay is a death sentence.

Feeley was arrested in 2008 on Spring Lake’s Salem Avenue beach when she refused to cover her chest or wear a top. She was arrested a second time when she walked shirtless down Washington Avenue and where 25 to 30 gathered to see her.

Since both of her arrests, Feeley has refused to pay the $816 fine for exposing her chest in public and was therefore sentenced to jail.

“I refuse to pay the fines for an act that is legal for a man but not legal for a woman,” Feely said.

Feeley described the prison food as “grade four, less than McDonald’s” and added that the water had dirt in it. The activist has decided not to eat during her time as an inmate and believes she will not live through the experience.

According to Feeley, there is also a message of “help me” written in blood across one wall of her jail cell. She was also allegedly held in her cell for 48 hours without clothing.

Municipal Court Judge George C. Pappas suggested that Feeley file a formal grievance about her treatment in jail, though she said she has been denied a grievance form, access to a library, a lawyer and a cell phone.

“None of my rights are being upheld while I’m in here,” Feeley said. “None of them.”

Sources: Asbury Park Press, USA Today