You know that having SEEN it for 5 years, “up close and personal”, and realizing how counterproductive it is, and how lawless it is, prison abuse is my #1 issue.
See so many articles here under that subject. This article is yet another instance of it, and echos much of what I have been saying for 7 years now.
Knowing what really goes on in our prisons, I could only laugh at this statement! LDPSC spokesman Pastorick called the claims in the lawsuit “outlandish,” adding that prison officials “look forward to our day in court.” The case remains pending.
God Bless the Plaintiffs’ lawyers and the judge in this case!
Excepts from the Article:
Alleging a “culture of cover-up and excessive force,” the MacArthur Justice Center and the Advocacy Center of Louisiana (ACL) filed a class-action lawsuit in February 2018 against officials at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDPSC) and the David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC).
The suit followed a contentious investigation by ACL, which was itself the subject of litigation that settled in August 2017, after the New Orleans-based non-profit accused DWCC staff of interfering with and impeding its efforts to investigate alleged abuse of disabled prisoners.
ACL is Louisiana’s designated advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities under the federal Protection and Advocacy system.
Prior to filing its initial suit in June 2017, ACL received “alarming reports of serious abuse of people with disabilities incarcerated in the lockdown units” at DWCC. A review of written complaints from prisoners and interviews led the organization to conclude that probable cause existed to investigate DWCC.
ACL then set up an appointment to tour the facility and interview prisoners. But when its investigators arrived at DWCC on June 21, 2017, they were not allowed to enter cells or recreation areas; they also were prohibited from asking staff or prisoners questions. Nor were prison employees allowed to talk to investigators or answer their questions.
After the initial tour, when personal interviews were finally allowed, investigators and prisoners were not allowed to exchange documentation – not even a business card.
MacArthur Justice Center attorney Katharine M. Schwartzmann and ACL investigators returned to DWCC on July 13 to see prisoner “J.W.,” because “the Advocacy Center had reason to believe that he was extremely suicidal and at risk of immediate harm.” However, Warden Jerry Goodwin and Col. Lonnie Nail refused to allow the visit because J.W. “was on suicide watch and hunger strike.”
ACL staff also wanted to investigate several alleged problems at DWCC, including:
• Failure to provide adequate mental health care to prisoners,
• Failure to properly screen for mental illness,
• Extended solitary and segregated confinement of mentally ill prisoners, and
• Other “acts and omissions.”
The latter included incidents of verbal and physical abuse – such as mentally ill prisoners who were struck or sprayed with bleach. Some were reportedly stripped of clothing during the winter, with fans turned on and windows opened. Others had heaters turned on during summer time and were not allowed to remove their jumpsuits to cool off. One allegation detailed how mentally ill prisoners were forced to kneel or get on all fours and bark like dogs in exchange for food. One prisoner was made to unclog a toilet by hand.
The settlement in the initial suit did not resolve any of those claims but merely allowed them to be investigated by ACL. Although concerned about the use of chemical agents on prisoners – LDPSC spokesman Ken Pastorick admitted to 149 incidents in 2016 and the first half of 2017 – Advocacy Center investigators also wanted to know how mental health complaints were being handled at DWCC. Prisoners said those seeking mental health care were charged with malingering at disciplinary hearings and punished with prolonged use of physical restraints and a restraint chair.
In addition to Warden Goodwin and Col. Nail, LDPSC Secretary James LeBlanc was named as a defendant in both lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
The settlement terms for the initial suit gave ACL complete access to prisoners and their records when conducting a lawful investigation. The only limitation was that ACL staff must be on an approved list of DWCC visitors and complete a training seminar in prison operations, safety concerns and security risks.
The settlement agreement spelled out details for ACL’s access to DWCC, prisoners, records and staff, including hours and advance notice requirements, as well as the equipment ACL investigators were allowed to bring with them. They were also provided a visitation room to conduct confidential interviews. The parties further agreed to the payment of attorneys’ fees to the ACL and MacArthur Justice Center.
“We’re very alarmed about how people are being treated,” said Schwartzmann. “There are some serious allegations that we’re trying to get in there to investigate.” See: Advocacy Center v. LeBlanc, U.S.D.C. (M.D. La.), Case No. 3:17-cv-00468-JWD-EWD.
The subsequent class-action lawsuit filed in February 2018 was a result of the investigation into claims that DWCC prisoners were subjected to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment due to “extreme, abusive conditions” at the facility.
Prisoners seeking mental health care were placed on suicide watch. Stripped naked, they remained in solitary confinement for weeks, leading some to mutilate themselves or attempt suicide to escape the conditions, according to the 53-page complaint. The suit concluded that “virtually no mental health care is provided to prisoners on extended lockdown, aside from scattershot, poorly administered and inconsistent medication.”
Two prisoners are named as plaintiffs in the case. Anthony Tellis claims his mental illness developed only after he was placed on extended lockdown in February 2016, where he remains. Bruce Charles, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder before entering DWCC, says he also has been on extended lockdown since June 2016.
A third prisoner named in the suit, Terrance Goudeau, was on extended lockdown when he hanged himself and died in June 2016, never receiving mental health care despite frequent requests.
In addition to the improper use of segregation, the class-action alleges widespread physical abuse of mentally ill prisoners at DWCC. The use of temperature extremes as a punishment tool – particularly cold weather, which ill-clothed or naked prisoners are forced to endure – is reportedly so common that it has a nickname: “bluesing” or “getting bluesed.”
LDPSC spokesman Pastorick called the claims in the lawsuit “outlandish,” adding that prison officials “look forward to our day in court.” The case remains pending. See: Tellis v. LeBlanc, U.S.D.C. (M.D. La.), Case No. 3:18-cv-00161-SDD-RLB.
These companies, including the ones operating the deplorable ICE “detention centers” so much in the news lately, are a blight on the Criminal Justice system and on America. They do NOT save money, and they needlessly cause untold abuse and suffering.
Both parties in every state should follow this lead! Of course, Republican’ts never will, because today’s Republicans, under the guidance of racist, criminal, inept, Donald tRump, have no moral conscience.
Excerpts from the Article:
Reacting to severe criticism from activist groups and other party members, the Florida Democratic has decided to give back a $10,000 donation to a political action committee for the private prison company G4S Secure Solutions.
G4S subcontracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transport undocumented immigrants. It also runs prisons and immigration detention centers internationally. Campaign finance records show that the Florida Democratic Party accepted the $10,000 contribution in February, though Democratic activists have pushed to disassociate themselves from the private prison industry.
That contribution led to searing criticism from a coalition of progressive groups led by the Dream Defenders, a social justice organization based out of Miami, as well as from other Democratic party leaders from around the state. The coalition says the donation violated the will of their own membership.
In a letter last month sent to party chair Terrie Rizzo, executive director Juan Penalosa and treasurer Francine Garcia, the coalition wrote:
“Florida locks up a higher percentage of its state residents than most nations on the planet do. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent contracting with companies like G4S, GEO Group, and CoreCivic are starving our communities for resources while abusing and brutalizing children and families. Refusing to do business with these companies is not mere partisan opinion; protecting the very lives of people who call Florida home is what is at stake. So, what side will you choose to be on?”
The coalition also asked party leaders to ““exercise moral leadership and authority” by immediately returning the campaign contribution. On Friday, a party spokesman said they will do that.
“The Florida Democratic Party did not solicit the donation from G4S, but we did receive a donation from them and are returning it,” spokesman Alex Morash told the Phoenix in an email.
The national party has been moving away from accepting donations from the private prison industry. For example, the Hillary Clinton campaign announced in the fall of 2015 that it would no longer accept donations from federally registered lobbyists or PACS for private prison companies.
The Florida Democratic Party voted a year ago to support a resolution proposed by Juan Cuba, the chair of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party, that they would “refuse any donations from private prison companies, namely CCA and Geo Group,” and encouraged all Democratic local, state and federal candidates in Florida to “refuse any donations from private prison companies.”
In addition to requesting that the party return the campaign contribution from G4S Secure Solutions, the activists say that want a “commitment” from party officials to meet with advocacy organizations and community members to develop guidelines for accepting campaign contributions “moving forward.”
UPDATE 7/16/19 – To be PUBLISHED in The Jackson Free Press. 🙂
They requested a head shot, so, once again I prepare for an onslought of calls from sexy Babes! lmao
Letter to the Editor or Op Ed Submission – The “Illegal” Immigrants – 6/19/19
There is a great deal of confusion about what is an “illegal” immigrant. The need to revamp our immigration laws and the policies on enforcing those laws is glaringly obvious. People get all excited when this administration says it is cracking down on “illegal” immigrants, thinking that dangerous criminals will be getting what they deserve. Sadly, that is far from the truth. Hard working family people are getting what they never expected and what Congress never intended: abuse by the system!
The fact is that these “crackdowns” or “sweeps” mostly are rounding up industrious individuals and families looking for a better life here in America, just as our ancestors did. Because our current laws make it “illegal” to enter surreptitiously, or without completing all the paperwork, it is easy for racist enforcement policies to take hold. And make no mistake about it, this administration is racist. Remember our president’s first words about this in 2016: They were, in effect, “Mexico is sending us killers and rapists”. That is what the man said about immigrants.
Very, very few who are rounded up and placed in squalid, awful “detention centers” are what anyone would think of as a criminal – an evil, dangerous, malevolent wrongdoer. That is an inalterable fact.
Racist or not, people should know what is really going on. The administration is using the immigration issue for political expediency, not to keep America safe! One need not be an attorney nor a Rhodes Scholar to see this, but too many Americans are buying into the political B S.
Ken Abraham, former Deputy Attorney General, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067
Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt Ankle bracelets are promoted as a humane alternative to jail. But private companies charge defendants hundreds of dollars a month to wear the surveillance devices. If people can’t pay, they may end up behind bars. This is a HUGE nationwide problem – kra
Whether state operated, or implemented by the predatory private prison companies that have entered this arena, this is a huge, nationwide problem. Huge. The private prison companies are very clever at enhancing their blood-sucking revenue, and Courts – judges – have been all too willing to go along.
There are many issues involved here: racism, the problem of having judges elected, instead of appointed, in many states, “sex offender hysteria”, cash bail reform efforts – leading to more of this “virtual imprisonment”, and others.
The fact is that most, yes most, of these devises are completely unnecessary and do nothing to keep us safer!
The article is quite lengthy; anyone really interested in justice should read all of it!
Excerpts from the Article:
On Oct. 12, 2018, Daehaun White walked free, or so he thought. A guard handed him shoelaces and the $19 that had been in his pocket at the time of his booking, along with a letter from his public defender. The lanky 19-year-old had been sitting for almost a month in St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution, a city jail known as the Workhouse, after being pulled over for driving some friends around in a stolen Chevy Cavalier. When the police charged him with tampering with a motor vehicle — driving a car without its owner’s consent — and held him overnight, he assumed he would be released by morning. He told the police that he hadn’t known that the Chevy, which a friend had lent him a few hours earlier, was stolen. He had no previous convictions. But the $1,500 he needed for the bond was far beyond what he or his family could afford. It wasn’t until his public defender, Erika Wurst, persuaded the judge to lower the amount to $500 cash, and a nonprofit fund, the Bail Project, paid it for him, that he was able to leave the notoriously grim jail. “Once they said I was getting released, I was so excited I stopped listening,” he told me recently. He would no longer have to drink water blackened with mold or share a cell with rats, mice and cockroaches. He did a round of victory pushups and gave away all of the snack cakes he had been saving from the cafeteria.
When he finally read Wurst’s letter, however, he realized there was a catch. Even though Wurst had argued against it, the judge, Nicole Colbert-Botchway, had ordered him to wear an ankle monitor that would track his location at every moment using GPS. For as long as he would wear it, he would be required to pay $10 a day to a private company, Eastern Missouri Alternative Sentencing Services, or EMASS. Just to get the monitor attached, he would have to report to EMASS and pay $300 up front — enough to cover the first 25 days, plus a $50 installation fee.
White didn’t know how to find that kind of money. Before his arrest, he was earning minimum wage as a temp, wrapping up boxes of shampoo. His father was largely absent, and his mother, Lakisha Thompson, had recently lost her job as the housekeeping manager at a Holiday Inn. Raising Daehaun and his four siblings, she had struggled to keep up with the bills. The family bounced between houses and apartments in northern St. Louis County, where, as a result of Jim Crow redlining, most of the area’s black population lives. In 2014, they were living on Canfield Drive in Ferguson when Michael Brown was shot and killed there by a police officer. During the ensuing turmoil, Thompson moved the family to Green Bay, Wisconsin. White felt out of place. He was looked down on for his sagging pants, called the N-word when riding his bike. After six months, he moved back to St. Louis County on his own to live with three of his siblings and stepsiblings in a gray house with vinyl siding.
When White got home on the night of his release, he was so overwhelmed to see his family again that he forgot about the letter. He spent the next few days hanging out with his siblings, his mother, who had returned to Missouri earlier that year, and his girlfriend, Demetria, who was seven months pregnant. He didn’t report to EMASS.
What he didn’t realize was that he had failed to meet a deadline. Typically, defendants assigned to monitors must pay EMASS in person and have the device installed within 24 hours of their release from jail. Otherwise, they have to return to court to explain why they’ve violated the judge’s orders. White, however, wasn’t called back for a hearing. Instead, a week after he left the Workhouse, Colbert-Botchway issued a warrant for his arrest.
Three days later, a large group of police officers knocked on Thompson’s door, looking for information about an unrelated case, a robbery. White and his brother had been making dinner with their mother, and the officers asked them for identification. White’s name matched the warrant issued by Colbert-Botchway. “They didn’t tell me what the warrant was for,” he said. “Just that it was for a violation of my release.” He was taken downtown and held for transfer back to the Workhouse. “I kept saying to myself, ’Why am I locked up?’” he recalled.
The next morning, Thompson called the courthouse to find the answer. She learned that her son had been jailed over his failure to acquire and pay for his GPS monitor. To get him out, she needed to pay EMASS on his behalf.
This seemed absurd to her. When Daehaun was 13, she had worn an ankle monitor after violating probation for a minor theft, but the state hadn’t required her to cover the cost of her own supervision. “This is a 19-year-old coming out of the Workhouse,” she told me recently. “There’s no way he has $300 saved.” Thompson felt that the court was forcing her to choose between getting White out of jail and supporting the rest of her family.
Over the past half-century, the number of people behind bars in the United States jumped by more than 500%, to 2.2 million. This extraordinary rise, often attributed to decades of “tough on crime” policies and harsh sentencing laws, has ensured that even as crime rates have dropped since the 1990s, the number of people locked up and the average length of their stay have increased. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the cost of keeping people in jails and prisons soared to $87 billion in 2015 from $19 billion in 1980, in current dollars.
In recent years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have joined criminal-justice reformers in recognizing mass incarceration as both a moral outrage and a fiscal sinkhole. As ankle bracelets have become compact and cost-effective, legislators have embraced them as an enlightened alternative. More than 125,000 people in the criminal-justice system were supervised with monitors in 2015, compared with just 53,000 people in 2005, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Although no current national tally is available, data from several cities — Austin, Texas; Indianapolis; Chicago; and San Francisco — show that this number continues to rise. Last December, the First Step Act, which includes provisions for home detention, was signed into law by President Donald Trump with support from the private prison giants GEO Group and CoreCivic. These corporations dominate the so-called community-corrections market — services such as day-reporting and electronic monitoring — that represents one of the fastest-growing revenue sectors of their industry.
By far the most decisive factor promoting the expansion of monitors is the financial one. The United States government pays for monitors for some of those in the federal criminal-justice system and for tens of thousands of immigrants supervised by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But states and cities, which incur around 90% of the expenditures for jails and prisons, are increasingly passing the financial burden of the devices onto those who wear them. It costs St. Louis roughly $90 a day to detain a person awaiting trial in the Workhouse, where in 2017 the average stay was 291 days. When individuals pay EMASS $10 a day for their own supervision, it costs the city nothing. A 2014 study by NPR and the Brennan Center found that, with the exception of Hawaii, every state required people to pay at least part of the costs associated with GPS monitoring. Some probation offices and sheriffs run their own monitoring programs — renting the equipment from manufacturers, hiring staff and collecting fees directly from participants. Others have outsourced the supervision of defendants, parolees and probationers to private companies.
“There are a lot of judges who reflexively put people on monitors, without making much of a pretense of seriously weighing it at all,” said Chris Albin-Lackey, a senior legal adviser with Human Rights Watch who has researched private-supervision companies. “The limiting factor is the cost it might impose on the public, but when that expense is sourced out, even that minimal brake on judicial discretion goes out the window.”
Nowhere is the pressure to adopt monitors more pronounced than in places like St. Louis: cash-strapped municipalities with large populations of people awaiting trial. Nationwide on any given day, half a million people sit in crowded and expensive jails because, like Daehaun White, they cannot purchase their freedom.
As the movement to overhaul cash bail has challenged the constitutionality of jailing these defendants, judges and sheriffs have turned to monitors as an appealing substitute. In San Francisco, the number of people released from jail onto electronic monitors tripled after a 2018 ruling forced courts to release more defendants without bail. In Marion County, Indiana, where jail overcrowding is routine, roughly 5,000 defendants were put on monitors last year. “You would be hard-pressed to find bail-reform legislation in any state that does not include the possibility of electronic monitoring,” said Robin Steinberg, the chief executive of the Bail Project.
Help Us Investigate
Have You Worn an Electronic Monitoring Device or Supervised Someone Wearing One? We Want to Hear About It.
Yet like the system of wealth-based detention they are meant to help reform, ankle monitors often place poor people in special jeopardy. Across the country, defendants who have not been convicted of a crime are put on “offender funded” payment plans for monitors that sometimes cost more than their bail. And unlike bail, they don’t get the payment back, even if they’re found innocent. Although a federal survey shows that nearly 40% of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to cover an emergency, companies and courts routinely threaten to lock up defendants if they fall behind on payment. In Greenville, South Carolina, pretrial defendants can be sent back to jail when they fall three weeks behind on fees. (An officer for the Greenville County Detention Center defended this practice on the grounds that participants agree to the costs in advance.) In Mohave County, Arizona, pretrial defendants charged with sex offenses have faced rearrest if they fail to pay for their monitors, even if they prove that they can’t afford them. “We risk replacing an unjust cash-bail system,” Steinberg said, “with one just as unfair, inhumane and unnecessary.”
Many local judges, including in St. Louis, do not conduct hearings on a defendant’s ability to pay for private supervision before assigning them to it; those who do often overestimate poor people’s financial means. Without judicial oversight, defendants are vulnerable to private-supervision companies that set their own rates and charge interest when someone can’t pay up front. Some companies even give their employees bonuses for hitting collection targets.
It’s not only debt that can send defendants back to jail. People who may not otherwise be candidates for incarceration can be punished for breaking the lifestyle rules that come with the devices. A survey in California found that juveniles awaiting trial or on probation face especially difficult rules; in one county, juveniles on monitors were asked to follow more than 50 restrictions, including not participating “in any social activity.” For this reason, many advocates describe electronic monitoring as a “net-widener”: Far from serving as an alternative to incarceration, it ends up sweeping more people into the system.
The St. Louis area has made national headlines for its “offender funded” model of policing and punishment. Stricken by postindustrial decline and the 2008 financial crisis, its municipalities turned to their police departments and courts to make up for shortfalls in revenue. In 2015, the Ferguson Report by the United States Department of Justice put hard numbers to what black residents had long suspected: The police were targeting them with disproportionate arrests, traffic tickets and excessive fines. EMASS may have saved the city some money, but it also created an extraordinary and arbitrary-seeming new expense for poor defendants. When cities cover the cost of monitoring, they often pay private contractors $2 to $3 a day for the same equipment and services for which EMASS charges defendants $10 a day. To come up with the money, EMASS clients told me, they had to find second jobs, take their children out of day care and cut into disability checks. Others hurried to plead guilty for no better reason than that being on probation was cheaper than paying for a monitor.
The St. Louis office of EMASS, which charges defendants $300 up front to get the monitor attached. (Zora J Murff for The New York Times)
White assumed that GPS supervision would prove a minor annoyance. Instead, it was a constant burden. The box was bulky and the size of a fist, so he couldn’t hide it under his jeans. Whenever he left the house, people stared. There were snide comments (“nice bracelet”) and cutting jokes. His brothers teased him about having a babysitter. “I’m nobody to watch,” he insisted.
The biggest problem was finding work. Confident and outgoing, White had never struggled to land jobs; after dropping out of high school in his junior year, he flipped burgers at McDonald’s and Steak ’n Shake. To pay for the monitor, he applied to be a custodian at Julia Davis Library, a cashier at Home Depot, a clerk at Menards. The conversation at Home Depot had gone especially well, White thought, until the interviewer casually asked what was on his leg.
Perpetual surveillance also takes a mental toll. Nearly everyone I spoke to who wore a monitor described feeling trapped, as though they were serving a sentence before they had even gone to trial. White was never really sure about what he could or couldn’t do under supervision. In January, when his girlfriend had their daughter, Rylan, White left the hospital shortly after the birth, under the impression that he had a midnight curfew. Later that night, he let his monitor die so that he could sneak back before sunrise to see the baby again.
EMASS makes its money from defendants. But it gets its power over them from judges. It was in 2012 that the judges of the St. Louis court started to use the company’s services — which previously involved people on probation for misdemeanors — for defendants awaiting trial. Last year, the company supervised 239 defendants in the city of St. Louis on GPS monitors, according to numbers provided by EMASS to the court. The alliance with the courts gives the company not just a steady stream of business but a reliable means of recouping debts: Unlike, say, a credit-card company, which must file a civil suit to collect from overdue customers, EMASS can initiate criminal-court proceedings, threatening defendants with another stay in the Workhouse.
The contract with EMASS allows the court to assign indigent defendants to the company to oversee “at no cost.” Yet neither Burlison nor any of the other current or former judges I spoke with recalled waiving fees when ordering someone to wear an ankle monitor. When I asked Burlison why he didn’t, he said that he was concerned that if he started to make exceptions on the basis of income, the company might stop providing ankle-monitoring services in St. Louis.
Judges are anxious about what people released without posting bail might do once they get out. Several told me that monitors may ensure that the defendants return to court. Not unlike doctors who order a battery of tests for a mildly ill patient to avoid a potential malpractice suit, judges seem to view monitors as a precaution against their faces appearing on the front page of the newspaper. “Every judge’s fear is to let somebody out on recognizance and he commits murder, and then everyone asks, ’How in the hell was this person let out?’” said Robert Dierker, who served as a judge in St. Louis from 1986 to 2017 and now represents the city in the bail lawsuit. “But with GPS, you can say, ’Well, I have him on GPS, what else can I do?’”
Critics of monitors contend that their public-safety appeal is illusory: If defendants are intent on harming someone or skipping town, the bracelet, which can be easily removed with a pair of scissors, would not stop them. Studies showing that people tracked by GPS appear in court more reliably are scarce, and research about its effectiveness as a deterrent is inconclusive.
“The fundamental question is, What purpose is electronic monitoring serving?” said Blake Strode, the executive director of ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit civil rights law firm in St. Louis that is one of several firms representing the plaintiffs in the bail lawsuit. “If the only purpose it’s serving is to make judges feel better because they don’t want to be on the hook if something goes wrong, then that’s not a sensible approach. We should not simply be monitoring for monitoring’s sake.”
Electronic monitoring was first conceived in the early 1960s by Ralph and Robert Gable, identical twins studying at Harvard under the psychologists Timothy Leary and B.F. Skinner, respectively. Influenced in part by Skinner’s theories of positive reinforcement, the Gables rigged up some surplus missile-tracking equipment to monitor teenagers on probation; those who showed up at the right places at the right times were rewarded with movie tickets, limo rides and other prizes.
The reality of electronic monitoring today is that Big Brother is watching some groups more than others. No national statistics are available on the racial breakdown of Americans wearing ankle monitors, but all indications suggest that mass supervision, like mass incarceration, disproportionately affects black people. In Cook County, Illinois, for instance, black people make up 24% of the population, and 67% of those on monitors. The sociologist Simone Browne has connected contemporary surveillance technologies like GPS monitors to America’s long history of controlling where black people live, move and work. In her 2015 book, “Dark Matters,” she traces the ways in which “surveillance is nothing new to black folks,” from the branding of enslaved people and the shackling of convict laborers to Jim Crow segregation and the home visits of welfare agencies. These historical inequities, Browne notes, influence where and on whom new tools like ankle monitors are imposed.
For some black families, including White’s, monitoring stretches across generations. Annette Taylor, the director of Ripple Effect, an advocacy group for prisoners and their families based in Champaign, Illinois, has seen her ex-husband, brother, son, nephew and sister’s husband wear ankle monitors over the years. She had to wear one herself, about a decade ago, she said, for driving with a suspended license. “You’re making people a prisoner of their home,” she told me. When her son was paroled and placed on house arrest, he couldn’t live with her, because he was forbidden to associate with people convicted of felonies, including his stepfather, who was also on house arrest.
Michelle Alexander, a legal scholar and columnist for The Times, has argued that monitoring engenders a new form of oppression under the guise of progress. In her 2010 book, “The New Jim Crow,” she wrote that the term “mass incarceration” should refer to the “system that locks people not only behind actual bars in actual prisons, but also behind virtual bars and virtual walls — walls that are invisible to the naked eye but function nearly as effectively as Jim Crow laws once did at locking people of color into a permanent second-class citizenship.”
As the cost of monitoring continues to fall, those who are required to submit to it may worry less about the expense and more about the intrusive surveillance. The devices, some of which are equipped with two-way microphones, can give corrections officials unprecedented access to the private lives not just of those monitored but also of their families and friends. GPS location data appeals to the police, who can use it to investigate crimes. Already the goal is both to track what individuals are doing and to anticipate what they might do next. BI Incorporated, an electronic-monitoring subsidiary of GEO Group, has the ability to assign risk scores to the behavioral patterns of those monitored, so that law enforcement can “address potential problems before they happen.” Judges leery of recidivism have begun to embrace risk-assessment tools. As a result, defendants who have yet to be convicted of an offense in court may be categorized by their future chances of reoffending.
The combination of GPS location data with other tracking technologies such as automatic license-plate readers represents an uncharted frontier for finer-grained surveillance. In some cities, police have concentrated these tools in neighborhoods of color. A CityLab investigation found that Baltimore police were more likely to deploy the Stingray — the controversial and secretive cellphone tracking technology — where African Americans lived. In the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death in 2015, the police spied on Black Lives Matter protesters with face recognition technology. Given this pattern, the term “electronic monitoring” may soon refer not just to a specific piece of equipment but to an all-encompassing strategy.
If the evolution of the criminal-justice system is any guide, it is very likely that the ankle bracelet will go out of fashion. Some GPS monitoring vendors have already started to offer smartphone applications that verify someone’s location through voice and face recognition. These apps, with names like Smart-LINK and Shadowtrack, promise to be cheaper and more convenient than a boxy bracelet. They’re also less visible, mitigating the stigma and normalizing surveillance. While reducing the number of people in physical prison, these seductive applications could, paradoxically, increase its reach. For the nearly 4.5 million Americans on probation or parole, it is not difficult to imagine a virtual prison system as ubiquitous — and invasive — as Instagram or Facebook.
Buss calculated the money White owed going back to November: $755, plus 10% annual interest. Over the next nine months, EMASS expected him to make monthly payments that would add up to $850 — more than the court had required for his bond. White looked at the receipt and shook his head. “I get in trouble for living,” he said as he walked out of the office. “For being me.”
This is good news because, as I so often have pointed out, such “detention centers” are the worst prisons in America. Below I am seen speaking on this very topic about 4 years ago, in a presentation which was an eye-opener for the assembled crowd and the reporters.
Excerpts from the Article:
One of Canada’s biggest pension funds has quietly divested from two private prison operators responsible for the detention of thousands of migrants along the US-Mexico border. Late last year, the Guardian reported that the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) held nearly US$8m in stock in Geo Group and CoreCivic, which between them hold the lion’s share of contracts to manage Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention facilities in the US.
The CPPIB, which manages C$392bn (US$299bn) in pension funds on behalf of 20 million Canadians, did not make a public statement when it dropped the two companies from its list of foreign public equity holdings, but the change was spotted this week by the federal MP Charlie Angus, a member of the opposition New Democratic party.
On Friday, he called on the CPPIB to publicly acknowledge the divestment and take a position on ethical investing.
“Ethical investments are essential to maintaining public confidence in what the Canadian Pension Plan does, and the investments in Geo Group and CoreCivic were deeply offensive to Canadian values,” he told the Guardian.
“It’s a crock to say the market should be blind and we’ll go where we can make the easiest money. I mean, there’s all kinds of places to make easy money.”
The NDP has tabled a bill, C-431, asking that the pension board abide by greater ethical standards.
Angus believes public pressure convinced the CPPIB to drop its holdings.
After the US migrant crisis began, advocacy groups SumOfUs and LeadNow collected more than 55,000 signatures on petitions calling for the CPPIB to drop Geo Group and CoreCivic from its investment portfolio. Activists also attended public CPPIB meetings to demand divestment.
“It’s an amazing testament to [our] members and the power of people to come together and make real change and say, ‘We don’t want our pensions funding Trump’s anti-immigration policies,’” said Amelia Meister, senior campaigner at SumOfUs.
The CPPIB declined to comment.
Click below to see the entire lawsuit filed today by my friend and great lawyer, Stephen Hampton, Esq. (one of few lawyers with the skill and the guts to sue state officials! 🙂 ) concerning the death of inmate Luis Cabrera, who died an agonizing death lying on the prison floor at the feet of medical staff, due to their wilful neglect.
As you peruse the Complaint, or even just these excerpts, you see the attention to detail (preparation!) which makes a great attorney like Steve.
However, this is the only real solution: How to avoid the deaths of prison guards and inmates … or do you want to join the countless officials who refuse to acknowledge this huge problem called prison abuse?
Too many heads still are in the sand regarding this sort of prison abuse!
Excerpt from the Complaint:
1. On November 8, 2018, one day after his birthday Luis Cabrera died in agony at the feet of the medial staff employed by Connections Community Support Programs, Inc to provide medical care for serious medical conditions of men held at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution. Luis was maliciously denied necessary medical care for over two (2) days despite his
screams and cries for help. Ultimately, he died from a perforated duodenal ulcer, a treatable condition if timely proper care is given. Under Delaware law, denying proper care to a man suffu•ing from an obviously serious medical condition, could be seen as criminally negligent homicide. 11 Del. C. 631.
43. Plaintiff, Stephanie Cabrera hereby incorporates all of the allegations contained in the above paragraphs as if those allegations are set forth in this Count.
44. As a result of the negligent, intentional, wanton, willful, and malicious actions of
CCSP and the DOC defendants, Luis Cabrera suffered the following injuries:
a. Excruciating physical, mental and emotional pain as a result of his untreated perforated duodenal ulcer.
b. The deprivation of his usual activities and enjoyments as he lie dying in the HRYCI infirmary.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Stephanie Cabrera, as Administratrix of the Estate of Luis
Cabrera, demands judgment against CCSP and the DOC defendants, such special damages as she can prove, general compensatory damages punitive damages, attorneys fee pursuant to 42 U.S. C.
1988, costs of the action, and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.
45. Plaintiff, Stephanie Cabrera hereby incorporates all of the allegations contained in the above paragraphs as if those allegations are set forth in this Count.
46. As a result of the negligent, intentional, wanton, willful, and malicious actions of the CCSP and DOC defendants Luis Cabrera suffered a premature, preventable, painful death.
47. Stephanie Cabrera, the surviving wife of Luis Cabrera, has suffered the following injuries as a result of his premature, preventable painful death:
a. Past, present, and future emotional and mental anguish and grief,
b. Past, present and future physical and emotional upheaval, and
c. Funeral expenses.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Stephanie Cabrera demands judgment against CCSP and the DOC defendants, such special damages as she can prove, general compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1988, costs of the action, and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.
48. Plaintiff, Ashley Cabrera hereby incorporates all of the allegations contained in the above paragraphs as if those allegations are set forth in this Count.
49. As a result of the negligent, intentional, wanton, willful, and malicious actions of the CCSP and DOC defendants, Luis Cabrera suffered a premature, preventable, painful death.
50. Ashley Cabrera adult daughter of Luis Cabrera, has suffered the following injuries as a result of his premature, preventable, painful death:
a. Past, present and future emotional and mental anguish and grief
b. Past, present and future physical and emotional upheaval, and
c. Funeral expenses.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Ashley Cabrera demands judgment against CCSP and the DOC defendants, such special damages as she can prove, general compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 51988, costs of the action, and such other relief as the Court deems appropriate.
GRADY & HAMPTON, LLC
(s/ Stephen A._l lampton
Stephen A. Hampton, Esq. (# 2451)
Anthony V. Panicola, Esq. 5787)
6 N. Bradford Street
Dover, DE 19904
302- 678- 1265
James J. Woods, Jr. (# 2035)
745 Stratford Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
Date: July 8, 2019
This is what I send to most (I don’t have time to get it to all of them) new internet connections, on MeWe, LinkedIn, etc.
Thanks for connecting. You may want to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter. Check out our website, loaded with useful (Enter “Practical Tip” in search bar!) and important information you will not see elsewhere!
Should you or any of your connections ever have any questions about any of these articles or about any problem with the criminal justice system, or about civil rights, don’t hesitate to call me. 302-423-4067. I work every day from 3 or 4 am until 10 pm. I get calls from all over the country about everything from grad students looking for guidance with their classes to freeing the innocent and others from prisons, calls about saving lives… etc., …and glad to answer them all. If I don’t know an answer, I’ll say “I don’t know, but let’s find out!”
Everybody is affected by our dysfunctional criminal justice system. Read these Articles to learn some solutions to the problems!
Porn star or not, read this! Practical Tip # 89 – Accusers face risks in breaking nondisclosure agreements – Don’t Sign a Nondisclosure! – kra With Letter to the Editor = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-89-accusers-face-risks-breaking-nondisclosure-agreements-dont-sign-nondisclosure-kra/
This is a MUST READ if you have not read it! Probation and Parole – a short Essay by Ken Abraham – With Letter to the Editor or Editorial Submission – Widely PUBLISHED = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/probation-and-parole-an-essay-by-ken-abraham-with-letter-to-the-editor/
Practical Tip on Pardons, Expungements, Commutations/Clemency – With fee agreement = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-pardons-expungments-commtations/
Report Bad Lawyers – Do it! – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/report-bad-lawyers-they-dont-just-screw-up-the-casethey-ruin-lives-every-day/
Prison Abuse – Why Massive Indifference is a Massive Mistake – kra = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/prison-abuse-massive-indifference-massive-mistake/
READ Crime Prevention Bill = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/crime-bill/
Know Anyone Associated With an Innocence Project Team? Practical Tip: Tell them “Get them out First” kra – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-pardons-expungments-commtations/
http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/prosecution-imprisonment-will-stop-prison-abuse-demand-avoid-deaths-prison-guards/ = How to avoid the deaths of prison guards and inmates … or do you want to join the countless officials who refuse to acknowledge this huge problem called prison abuse?
http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/the-power-of-advertising-win-the-war-on-dr = The Answer to the Drug Problem … or do you want to continue to waste about a hundred billion dollars a year, and get nowhere?
Letter to the Editor – Criminal justice system policies are changing for the better – by Ken Abraham – PUBLISHED – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/criminal-justice-system-policies-changing-better-ken-abraham-published/
Florida shooting: NRA sues as Florida enacts gun-control law – with Letter to the Editor – kra – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/florida-shooting-nra-sues-as-florida-enacts-gun-control-law-with-letter-to-the-editor-kra/ I just about fell out of my chair when a Pulitzer Prize winning author called me a minute ago and said: “Great letter, Mr. Abraham!” He now calls me Ken.
Letter from a concerned citizen, Pam Rehmer, about racism in the criminal justice system. Although polls show that 74% of Americans don’t think the system is racist, many, many studies show that it is. http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/letter-from-a-concerned-citizen-about-racism-in-the-system/
http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/how-the-war-on-drugs-has-destroyed-justice/ = I remember when the system worked well; justice nearly always was the result. Today it is a total train wreck – perhaps the most vivid manifestation is that we are imprisoning hundreds of innocent people every year. This is WHY it is a train wreck!
More Band-Aids won’t solve wave of drug violence! – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/band-aids-wont-solve-wave-drug-violence/
Politics – Politics is what destroyed our criminal justice system! – http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/politics-politics-destroyed-criminal-justice-system/
Abolish the “Sex Offender” Registry! Learn the FACTS instead of all the “Sex Offender Hysteria” kra = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/abolish-the-sex-offender-registry-kra/
Got a Problem with the Criminal Justice System? CALL this Guy!
Practical Tip – Get Empowered! How YOU Can Create a Powerful, Effective Force for Reform of our Criminal Justice System -http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-how-you-can-create-a-powerful-effective-force-for-reform-of-our-criminal-justice-system/
Please take a moment to join our Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE group on MeWe, the fast – growing social media platform positioning itself as an alternative to FB!
Yes, he was funny as hell, but also wise:
Feel free to reproduce anything I have written anywhere at any time, with or without attribution. The important thing is to share the information, educate the public, most of whom are clueless about what a disaster the criminal justice system is!
Want to debate any of this? Call any time; I work from 3 or 4 a m until I drop every day. Better yet, please invite me to a public forum to debate any of these issues!
Make A Difference
So many say “why bother, there’s nothing I can do!”
Well, I sure hope one of those is not you!
For you can be far, far more influential than you think,
All you need do is share some well-thought-out-ink!
READ http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-how-you-can-become-a-prison-reform-advocate-here-is-how-do-it/PracticalTip: How YOU can become a “prison reform advocate” – or any ADVOCATE! Here is how! EASY as 1, 2 ,3 ! DO IT!
Why Am I Up in The Middle of The Night?
Why Am I Up in The Middle of The Night?
Because there is so much injustice in the justice system, it’s just not right,
So I rest when I can, but, largely, I fight, fight, fight,
I remember when the system did in fact work quit well,
But since our “war on drugs”, it’s gone straight to hell!
Learn neat stuff: The BBC series “Planet Earth – Dynasties”! Have you seen shrimps attack a starfish? Did you know that there are fish with jaws so powerful that they can bite through rock? Have you seen the astonishing transformations which cuttlefish use to disguise themselves? Did you know there is a predator which eats great white sharks? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC3hGfTI3ew
MAKE it a great day! Ken Abraham
Founder, Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, (CCJ)
430 Kings Hwy., Suite 414, Dover, DE 19901
Founder, “Adopt a Prisoner” Church Reentry Program,
And founder of no more organizations this decade! 🙂
Your tax money should not have to be spent to force prison “health care” providers to do what they legally are required* to do. Yet that is exactly what happens …. to the tune of BILLIONS of $$$ annually in America.
*Required by the Constitution, required by the U S Supreme Court, required by state law, and required by contract!
Excerpts from the Article:
Missouri prison officials have authorized treatment of only 15 of the 4,590 Missouri prison inmates who have been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, according to a motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union this past week. The ACLU is seeking an emergency court order to force the Missouri Department of Corrections and its medical provider, Corizon LLC, to begin testing and treating inmates with the viral infection, KCUR reported.
The motion filed Monday is the latest move in a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU contending that state prison officials and Corizon are systematically denying medical treatment for prisoners with hepatitis C.
“We’re asking the court to, first of all, order the state to begin appropriate testing to know who does and does not have hepatitis C and to begin a more robust treatment of persons with hepatitis C,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.
Corizon and Corrections Department officials declined to comment on the motion, citing the ongoing litigation.
About 10-15 percent of Missouri’s roughly 52,000 prisoners are thought to be infected with hepatitis C, according to the Corrections Department.
The class-action lawsuit could affect potentially thousands of inmates. It was certified as a class-action lawsuit in July 2017 but it had stalled while Missouri appealed the class-action ruling. An appeals court confirmed the class-action status in December.
Symptoms of hepatitis C range from mild illness to cirrhosis, which can cause death. It is the most common blood-borne viral infection in the United States, affecting about 2.4 million people in the country.
About 97 percent of inmates nationwide with hepatitis C are not getting treatment, according to a survey conducted at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved several antiviral drugs with a success rate of more than 95 percent to treat the disease. With the advent of generic drugs, the cost of an individual eight- to 12-week course of treatment has dropped from up to $90,000 or more to about $20,000.
Last year, Kansas agreed to pay for the cost of treating Medicaid patients with hepatitis C. But hundreds of infected Kansas inmates are not covered by the settlement and are awaiting treatment.
Of course it won’t help with under staffing! Like many prisons, many new guards quit in disgust when they see all of the criminal activity and abuse of inmates by C Os, and they learn that unless they go along they will not get overtime hours, will not get promoted, etc.! See many related articles on this website.
Of course prison administrators won’t tell you this truth!
Excerpts from the Article:
The state’s two-year budget provided $84 million to increase salaries for correctional officers and other prison employees as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice faces nearly 4,000 empty guard positions. = https://lnkd.in/edzxXgJ
It’s an ongoing problem for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which has struggled for years to hire and keep guards in about 100 state-run prisons, leading to safety and health concerns for both prisoners and staff. In April, the agency was short nearly 4,000 correctional officers, and almost 1 in 3 left the job last year. State officials and the agency have blamed the understaffing on low pay for a tough job that’s often in rural parts of the state and on more opportunities in the oil and fracking industries.
“We’re in the strongest economy we’ve seen in a long, long time, so the competition is tough,” Bryan Collier, the department’s executive director, told The Texas Tribune.
Prison guards start at about $36,000 and receive a maximum of about $43,000 after 7.5 years. As the agency struggles with a 15% vacancy rate of its guard jobs, officers have been required to work mandatory overtime for more than a year at some prisons and often rotate from one prison into more drastically understaffed units for short stints.
To stem the flow of guards leaving their ranks and attract more recruits, TDCJ officials asked the Texas Legislature for $168 million this year for pay raises to correctional officers and other prison staff, whose positions haven’t had salary increases since 2015. In the two-year budget signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday, the agency got half of the requested funds.
Collier applauded lawmakers for doling out the money and allowing the department to reform its salary schedule to give larger but less frequent raises as officers rise through the ranks — providing a bigger bump earlier to new guards, who are much more likely to quit, while handing down more modest raises to longtime employees.
But even for the officers who will get the biggest increase starting this fall, the raises are still relatively small, and some doubt the salary shifts will make a significant dent in the chronic understaffing problem that is also affecting prisons across the country. The department already increased the starting annual salary by about $2,000 last year by cutting out the first two rungs of the pay scale and offers $5,000 hiring bonuses at nearly 20 of its most understaffed prisons. Still, several maximum-security prisons only had two-thirds of guard positions filled in April, according to an agency report.
Collier said the agency restructured the career ladder to focus on its biggest retention problem — new officers. Last year, nearly 40% of new officers quit within the first year, he said. That’s higher than the overall turnover rate, which is just shy of 30%.
“Our veteran officers turnover rate is much much lower than what we see on the front end,” he said. “Our focus with the career path was based on our analysis of who’s leaving.”
But longtime officers and union officials have repeatedly asked for help for the staff members who have stuck around, saying the current maximum salary is much lower than in similar jobs.
Inmates are killed by guards and inmates every day in America’s out of control prisons. Not all are in fights or riots. Some are killed by guards just “for the fun of it”. Others are killed by deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. You don’t think it comes to more than 365 a year? More than 7,000 people die in prison every year, and nobody who know what goes on in our prisons believes the D O C report on “cause of death”!
But 7 killed in one incident is far from the norm! The fighting went on for hours while guards watched and laughed. I have SEEN guards laugh at inmates’ suffering many, many times.
A very telling excerpt: “Six of the seven prisoners slain during the riot were black. According to the SCDC’s website, based on June 2017 data, blacks comprise 61 percent of the state’s almost 20,000 prisoners.” Less than 30% of the state’s population is black!
How do we prevent this? Simple! READ How to avoid the deaths of prison guards and inmates = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/prosecution-imprisonment-will-stop-prison-abuse-demand-avoid-deaths-prison-guards/
Excerpts from the Article:
Photos obtained by Prison Legal News appear to reveal the bloody aftermath of a riot that occurred at the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina around 7:15 p.m. on April 15. The violence, which culminated in the deaths of seven prisoners, was the deadliest event of its sort in the past quarter-century in the United States.
A source who requested anonymity and said he is currently imprisoned at the Lee facility in Bishopville provided PLN with a series of photos that appear to have been taken with a cell phone. The images show dead or badly-wounded bodies covered with blood and a blood-soaked floor.
Along with the seven prisoners who were killed, whose names and photos were published by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), another 17 prisoners were wounded and are reportedly being treated. According to the SCDC’s official account of the incident posted on Facebook and Twitter, the fighting between prisoners lasted almost eight hours. At a press conference, SCDC Director Bryan Stirling said the lethal riot centered around rival gangs and contraband cell phones
“What we believe from initial investigation is that this was all about territory, about contraband, about cell phones,” Stirling said. “These folks are fighting about real money and real territory while they’re incarcerated.”
He also called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block signals from the cell phone tower located near the prison, saying that was something the Department of Corrections would be discussing with the FCC in the weeks to come.
In April 2016, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai visited Lee Correctional “to talk about the threat of contraband cellphones,” according to his Twitter account. Pai has long been a proponent of taking action to curb illicit cell phones behind bars, while also opposing lower prison phone rates that would undercut the black market for cell phones – a market that is typically supplied by prison employees in exchange for bribes. Rather than addressing the problem of corrupt staff members, corrections officials have focused on efforts to stop the flow of contraband phones.
Another anonymous source who appears to be incarcerated at Lee Correctional Institution tweeted that SCDC officials at the facility “sat back” and let the fight escalate into a bloody and lethal riot, while watching and laughing. The Lee facility is a maximum-security prison, one of nine in South Carolina, with a checkered history of violence.
Ironically, … the public release of images of the fatal brawl at the Lee facility would not have occurred were it not for the use of cell phones by prisoners. “They are using every excuse to get the phones blocked. Especially for situations like this where the news gets out before their PR team can make up a storyline,” said the confidential source.
“Prison officials are trying to get rid of the only devices – cell phones – that prisoners can use to reveal abuses, abysmal conditions and misconduct by staff members behind bars,” noted PLN editor Paul Wright. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photos of the bloody aftermath of the recent violence at the Lee facility in South Carolina speak volumes. The ability to document such incidents is what prison officials really want to prevent,” he added.
SCDC officials did not respond to a request for comment from PLN about why prison staff took so long to respond to the fight at the Lee prison, nor did they disclose whether they have their own photos or video of the deadly incident.
Six of the seven prisoners slain during the riot were black. According to the SCDC’s website, based on June 2017 data, blacks comprise 61 percent of the state’s almost 20,000 prisoners.