Massachusetts jail is first in state to end in-person visits, allow only video calls – Another idiotic move! kra
Another idiotic move! Why?
- The GUARDS probably are bringing in more drugs than the inmates, and they will continue!
- ALL studies show that personal visits improve prisoner behavior and reduce recidivism.
- The prison staff will no doubt pocket – steal – some or all of the fees.
- Policies like these hit the poor the hardest.
- Clearly, the clown running this prison just wants to keep inmates coming back … it’s called “job preservation” for the prison staff, but it sure as hell is not helping society!
Excerpts from the Article:
The Bristol County House of Corrections in North Dartmouth will no longer offer in-person visits, limiting visitors to video calls only with inmates, MassLive reported.
Correction officials hope that the change will keep illegal substances from being brought into the jail by visitors. “We want to keep visitors out of the secure portion of our jail,” County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jonathan Darling told MassLive.
In the next week few weeks, a trailer on prison grounds will be set up and equipped with rows of video conferencing equipment for visitors to use.
Remote video calls will also be possible. Visitors will be charged for these calls but correction officials are not yet sure what the exact fees will be.
This has been one of several controversial decisions for Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. Hodgson has also discussed charging prisoners a daily incarceration fee as well as sending Massachusetts inmates to work on the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Good news, though it remains to be seen whether “MTC is any better!
Excerpts from the Article:
Nashville-based CoreCivic, a company formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America that owns and manages private prisons, is laying off more than 500 employees throughout Texas after failing to retain a contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to state filings. The company notified the Texas Workers Commission of its plans to lay off 518 workers at facilities in Rusk, Willacy and Rusk counties. The notifications are in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requiring employers with at least 100 workers to give a 60-day advance notification of mass layoffs.
Patch requested accompanying correspondence submitted at the time of the layoffs notifications to glean more information about the mass CoreCivic layoffs. Recently, the TWC stopped providing lists of job titles affected (citing issues related to worker privacy) as they did so for many years, making it impossible to know what positions will be affected.
What is known is that 518 layoffs will occur by the end of August. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice on June 30 announced that Utah-based Management & Training Corporation (MTC) would be awarded operation and management of the Lindsey State Jail in Jacksboro, Texas, (Jack County) and Bradshaw State Jails in Henderson, Texas, (Rusk County), agency spokesman Robert Hurst wrote to Patch in an email responding to queries.
“[CoreCivic] deliberately failed to adequately screen those entering its facility, respond to inmate requests for medical attention, treat those infested with the parasite, quarantine the infected individuals in its care, or to take any other precautions to prevent the spread of scabies outside the facility,” the lawsuit reads, as reported by Nashville Scene. “This caused a foreseeable and preventable systematic outbreak which spread to the Plaintiff and all others similarly situated.”
Closer to home, the company—under its former Corrections Corporation of America iteration—was the subject of frequent protests centered on conditions at a detention facility in Dilley, Texas (located 150 miles south of Austin) used by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to house undocumented women and children. Critics have called the detention center tantamount to a jail, despite its sanitized South Texas Family Residential Center name.
The facility was hastily built in 2014 in an effort to deal with a sudden influx of Central American mothers and their children that summer. Lawsuits by immigrant advocates were filed that questioned the legality of the Obama administration’s family detention policy.
The Dilley contract was lucrative for CCA, with Reuters reporting that the company was paid $296 per person per day to run the site holding up to 2,400 detainees, making it the nation’s largest immigrant detention center. Unlike its contracts coming to an end in August with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the one with ICE to run the facility in Dilley is all but assured after the Department of Homeland Security recently extended the terms in a new contract.
Legislators quietly dish no-bid, $3 million contract to private prison group- More bad private prison news! kra
Here is another story with the same lesson within it: Bribe enough lawmakers [“legal bribes” in the form of campaign donations and lobbying] private prisons are assured of continuing to make Billions of dollars in profits over the dead bodies of the inmates they abuse and neglect!
Excerpts from the Article:
Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones was visiting Graceville Correctional Facility, the private prison in North Florida run by The Geo Group, when she spotted a paperweight with a picture of handcuffs imprinted on it and the words “Continuum of Care.” She was startled, and a bit angry, to learn that the company had started branding an idea developed by a member of her staff, Abe Uccello, and was using it to promote a new line of business.
“I said, ‘You son-of-a-guns,’” Jones recalled of the meeting in late 2015. “They had taken a white paper of Abe’s and stolen the entire thing — the content — and claimed to have patented it.”
Jones was determined not to share anything again with the private prison vendor “because I don’t want them to profit off of what we’re trying to do,” she told the Herald/Times in an April 2017 interview. But Florida legislative leaders had a different idea.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones wants to reduce the state’s prison population by increasing the number of rehabilitative programs that reduce recidivism. Legislators this year increased funding for the rehabilitation programs in four privately run prisons that are not controlled by Jones’ agency.
In March 2016, legislators approved $330,000 for The Geo Group to operate a pilot program to be run at Blackwater Correctional, using the ideas Jones said Uccello had developed for Florida’s state-run prison system. This year, lawmakers expanded the program to $3 million, with the money going exclusively to four of The Geo Group’s five private prisons in Florida — Bay, Moore Haven, South Bay, and Blackwater — “for the provision of enhanced in-prison and post-release recidivism reduction programs.”
“They got it with no competition and no guarantee of performance,” said Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, who has been a critic of the state’s failure to determine if the private prisons are saving tax money as required by law.
Geo Group spokesman Pablo Paez said he wasn’t aware of Jones’ concerns about the company appropriating Uccello’s “white paper.” He said the company has been using the “Geo Continuum of Care” term since 2010, trademarked the idea in 2011, is financing the program at its Graceville prison with its own funds, and was “transparent” in its request for the $3 million.
The story illustrates the competitive forces at play within Florida’s prison system, which houses more than 98,000 inmates. Legislators intentionally put the oversight of private prisons under the Department of Management Services to keep it at arms length from the Department of Corrections, which operates the state-run prisons.
But the for-profit prisons get lower-risk inmates, are better funded, have more lobbying clout, funnel millions in cash into legislators’ campaigns and, as a result, often get more taxpayer dollars per inmate than prisons run by FDC.
The Geo Group, based in Boca Raton, had at least 15 lobbyists registered in Florida last session and steered more than $1.1 million into the campaign committees of the governor and legislators in the 2016 election cycle.
Richardson noted that while the “continuum of care” idea was a good one, giving $3 million to The Geo Group prisons — and not the two other private prisons or the 150 other correctional facilities run by the state — was not. He also said reporting requirements and performance standards should have been spelled out.
This year, The Geo Group has donated more than $480,000 to Florida political committees, including $150,000 to Gov. Rick Scott’s Let’s Get to Work committee, $50,000 to the Republican Party of Florida, and $50,000 to the political committee controlled by incoming Senate president Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, state records show.
“With more than 87 percent of inmates in Florida’s correctional institutions scheduled to transition back into their communities upon release, there is a critical need for comprehensive rehabilitative services,” she said.
Yes, the fastest growing group of people to be imprisoned is women; and, as I have written before, most need not be there!
Excerpts from the Article:
On Tuesday, July 18th the Brennan Center for Justice, in collaboration with the Justice Action Network and Google, co-hosted an event called “Women Unshackled: Policy Solutions to Address the Growth of Female Incarceration” in Washington, D.C. The first ever policy forum to specifically address female incarceration, the event brought together a diverse coalition of bipartisan policymakers, legislators, and criminal justice advocates that are committed to reducing the female prison population and improving the quality of life for current female inmates. Notable speakers included Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and Representatives Mia Love, Doug Collins, and Sheila Jackson Lee. Panels also included a number of formerly incarcerated women who shared their experiences and recommendations.
Topics discussed included the devastating effects of incarceration on mothers and their families, the unique circumstances that land so many women in prison and that go largely ignored (i.e., mental health issues, histories of trauma, and untreated substance abuse), and the extreme challenges women face upon reentry. Much of this is the natural consequence of over-relying on a criminal justice system that was designed with men in mind and that traditionally leaves women out of the now hot button issue of mass incarceration.
Fortunately, this narrative is beginning to change. Both Sen. Harris and Sen. Booker spoke about the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, a bill introduced last week that aims to establish a more humane environment for incarcerated women by improving visitation policies, banning the shackling of pregnant inmates, and offering parenting classes, among other things. Governor Mary Fallin also discussed a series of programs being implemented in her home state of Oklahoma, which currently has the highest female incarceration rate in the country.
Read the Whole Story
This is great, needed legislation. The female prisoner population in the United States has exploded by over 700 percent since 1980, and today is a larger portion of the overall prison population than ever before. The Act would require prison officials to take into consideration the proximity of prisoners to their children when deciding where prisoners will be incarcerated.
Although the B O P houses only about 15% of America’s prisoners, the STATES should copy this Act!
Excerpts from the Article:
Declaring it a potential major step forward in the protection of prisoners’ rights, the Human Rights Defense Center today announced its support for the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (S. 1524). The Act, introduced on July 11 by Senators Cory A. Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), joined by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), would extend several important protections to federal prisoners – particularly women. The female prisoner population in the United States has exploded by over 700 percent since 1980, and today is a larger portion of the overall prison population than ever before.
Women are often the primary caregivers in families, and their incarceration places additional burdens and stress on their children. The Act would prohibit the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) from charging for telephone calls made by prisoners. Presently, female prisoners are sometimes forced to choose between using their limited funds to either call family members or purchase hygiene items such as sanitary napkins or tampons while they are menstruating.
“As the co-founder of the national Campaign for Prison Phone Justice (www.phonejustice.org), the Human Rights Defense Center has worked with the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the prison telecom industry which has, for far too long, been allowed to price gouge prisoners and their families for simply wanting to stay in touch. The Act would require the Bureau of Prisons to provide phone calls at no cost to federal prisoners, thereby reducing the significant financial burden on their family members,” said Paul Wright, executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center.
In addition, the Act would require video calling be made available at all BOP facilities free of charge, and would prohibit prison officials from using video calling as a substitute for in-person visitation. Video calling is especially important in federal prisons, where prisoners may be housed hundreds or even thousands of miles from their families, and thus rarely receive in-person visits with their children. The Act would require prison officials to take into consideration the proximity of prisoners to their children when deciding where prisoners will be incarcerated.
The Human Rights Defense Center also supports other provisions of the Act, including a ban on shackling pregnant prisoners and placing them in solitary confinement; providing parenting classes to prisoners who were the primary caretakers of minor children; ensuring that female prisoners receive feminine hygiene products at no cost, such as tampons and pads; expanding eligibility for substance abuse treatment (the Residential Drug Abuse Program) to prisoners who are pregnant or were the primary caretakers of minor children; and creating an ombudsman’s office to monitor certain conditions and policy requirements in BOP facilities.
HRDC issued a letter in support of the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act (S. 1524) on March 29, 2017, before the bill was introduced, after reviewing an advance copy of the legislation. That letter, addressed to Senator Booker, is posted here.
HRDC executive director Wright noted that, importantly, many provisions of the bill would apply to male prisoners, too – many of whom also have minor children. It is estimated that 2.7 million children in the United States have a currently-incarcerated parent.
I am lucky to have avoided this; most of the symptoms. I have PTSD*, which is nightmares about being handcuffed and beaten my men in uniform. I just came out ready to “raise as much hell as legally possible” about the criminal justice system! But if you have a friend or loved one in whom you have noticed any of these changes, talk to him/her about it, maybe involve your minister, and perhaps get him/her counseling.
*READ also It’s Not About What They Did to Me
Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) – Operational Definition
The Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a set of symptoms that are present in many currently incarcerated and recently released prisoners that are caused by being subjected to prolonged incarceration in environments of punishment with few opportunities for education, job training, or rehabilitation. The symptoms are most severe in prisoners subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and severe institutional abuse. The severity of symptoms is related to the level of coping skills prior to incarceration, the length of incarceration, the restrictiveness of the incarceration environment, the number and severity of institutional episodes of abuse, the number and duration of episodes of solitary confinement, and the degree of involvement in educational, vocational, and rehabilitation programs.
The Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a mixed mental disorders with four clusters of symptoms:
(1) Institutionalized Personality Traits resulting from the common deprivations of incarceration, a chronic state of learned helplessness in the face of prison authorities, and antisocial defenses in dealing with a predatory inmate milieu,
(2) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from both pre-incarceration trauma and trauma experienced within the institution,
(3) Antisocial Personality Traits (ASPT) developed as a coping response to institutional abuse and a predatory prisoner milieu, and
(4) Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome caused by prolonged exposure to solitary confinement that radically restricts social contact and sensory stimulation.
(5) Substance Use Disorders caused by the use of alcohol and other drugs to manage or escape the PICS symptoms.
PICS often coexists with substance use disorders and a variety of affective and personality disorders.
Symptoms of the Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS)
Below is a more detailed description of four clusters of symptoms of Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS):
1. Institutionalized Personality Traits
Institutionalized Personality Traits are caused by living in an oppressive environment that demands: passive compliance to the demands of authority figures, passive acceptance of severely restricted acts of daily living, the repression of personal lifestyle preferences, the elimination of critical thinking and individual decision making, and internalized acceptance of severe restrictions on the honest self-expression thoughts and feelings.
2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) [ii] is caused by both traumatic experiences before incarceration and institutional abuse during incarceration that includes the six clusters of symptoms: (1) intrusive memories and flashbacks to episodes of severe institutional abuse; (2) intense psychological distress and physiological reactivity when exposed to cues triggering memories of the institutional abuse; (3) episodes of dissociation, emotional numbing, and restricted affect; (4) chronic problems with mental functioning that include irritability, outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances, and an exaggerated startle response. (5) persistent avoidance of anything that would trigger memories of the traumatic events; (6) hypervigilance, generalized paranoia, and reduced capacity to trust caused by constant fear of abuse from both correctional staff and other inmates that can be generalized to others after release.,
3. Antisocial Personality Traits
Antisocial Personality Traits [iii] [iv] [v]are developed both from preexisting symptoms and symptoms developed during incarceration as an institutional coping skill and psychological defense mechanism. The primary antisocial personality traits involve the tendency to challenge authority, break rules, and victimize others. In patients with PICS these tendencies are veiled by the passive aggressive style that is part of the institutionalized personality. Patients with PICS tend to be duplicitous, acting in a compliant and passive aggressive manner with therapists and other perceived authority figures while being capable of direct threatening and aggressive behavior when alone with peers outside of the perceived control of those in authority. This is a direct result of the internalized coping behavior required to survive in a harshly punitive correctional institution that has two set of survival rules: passive aggression with the guards, and actively aggressive with predatory inmates.
4. Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome:
The Social-Sensory Deprivation Syndrome [vi] is caused by the effects of prolonged solitary confinement that imposes both social isolation and sensory deprivation. These symptoms include severe chronic headaches, developmental regression, impaired impulse control, dissociation, inability to concentrate, repressed rage, inability to control primitive drives and instincts, inability to plan beyond the moment, inability to anticipate logical consequences of behavior, out of control obsessive thinking, and borderline personality traits.
5. Reactive Substance Use Disorders
Many inmates who experience PICS suffer from the symptoms of substance use disorders [vii]. Many of these inmates were addicted prior to incarceration, did not receive treatment during their imprisonment, and continued their addiction by securing drugs on the prison black market. Others developed their addiction in prison in an effort to cope with the PICS symptoms and the conditions causing them. Others relapse to substance abuse or develop substance use disorders as a result of using alcohol or other drugs in an effort to cope with PICS symptoms upon release from prison.
PICS Symptoms Severity
The syndrome is most severe in prisoners incarcerated for longer than one year in a punishment oriented environment, who have experienced multiple episodes of institutional abuse, who have had little or no access to education, vocational training, or rehabilitation, who have been subjected to 30 days or longer in solitary confinement, and who have experienced frequent and severe episodes of trauma as a result of institutional abuse.
The syndrome is least severe in prisoners incarcerated for shorter periods of time in rehabilitation oriented programs, who have reasonable access to educational and vocational training, and who have not been subjected to solitary confinement, and who have not experienced frequent or severe episodes of institutional abuse.
Reasons To Be Concerned About PICS
There is good reason to be concerned because about 40% of the total incarcerated population (currently 700,000 prisoners and growing) are released each year. The number of prisoners being deprived of rehabilitation services, experiencing severely restrictive daily routines, being held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time, or being abused by other inmates or correctional staff is increasing. [viii]
The effect of releasing this number of prisoners with psychiatric damage from prolonged incarceration can have a number of devastating impacts upon American society including the further devastation of inner city communities and the destabilization of blue-collar and middle class districts unable to reabsorb returning prisoners who are less likely to get jobs, more likely to commit crimes, more likely to disrupt families. This could turn many currently struggling lower middle class areas into slums. [ix]
As more prisoners are returned to the community, behavioral health providers can expect to see increases in patients admitted with the Post Incarceration Syndrome and related substance use, mental, and personality disorders. The national network of Community Mental health and Addiction treatment Programs need to begin now to prepare their staff to identify and provide appropriate treatment for this new type of client.
The nation’s treatment providers, especially addiction treatment programs and community mental health centers, are already experiencing a growing number of clients experiencing the Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS). This increase is due to a number of factors including: the increasing size of the prisoner population, the increasing use of restrictive and punishing institutional practices, the reduction of access to education, vocational training, and rehabilitation programs; the increasing use of solitary confinement and the growing number of maximum security and super-max type prison and jails.
Both the number of clients suffering from PICS and the average severity of symptoms is expected to increase over the next decade. In 1995 there were 463,284 prisoners released back to the community. Based upon conservative projections in the growth of the prisoner population it is projected that in the year 2000 there will be 660,000 prisoners returned to the community, in the year 2005 there will 887,000 prisoners returned to the community, and in the year 2010 1.2 million prisoners will be released. [x] The prediction of greater symptom severity is based upon the growing trend toward longer periods of incarceration, more restrictive and punitive conditions in correctional institutions, decreasing access to education, vocational training, and rehabilitation, and the increasing use solitary confinement as a tool for reducing the cost of prisoner management.
Clients with PICS are at a high risk for developing substance dependence, relapsing to substance use if they were previously addicted, relapsing to active mental illness if they were previously mentally ill, and returning to a life of aggression, violence, and crime. They are also at high risk of chronic unemployment and homelessness.
Post Release Symptom Progression
This is because released prisoners experiencing PICS tend to experience a six stage post release symptom progression leading to recidivism and often are not qualified for social benefits needed to secure addiction, mental health, and occupation training services.
· Stage 1 of this Post Release Syndrome is marked by Helplessness and hopelessness due to inability to develop a plan for community reentry, often complicated by the inability to secure funding for treatment or job training;
· Stage 2 is marked by an intense immobilizing fear;
· Stage 3 is marked by the emergence of intense free-floating anger and rage and the emergence of flashbacks and other symptoms of PTSD;
· Stage 4 is marked by a tendency toward impulse violence upon minimal provocation;
· Stage 5 is marked by an effort to avoid violence by severe isolation to avoid the triggers of violence;
· Stage 6 is marked by the intensification of flashbacks, nightmares, sleep impairments, and impulse control problems caused by self-imposed isolation. This leads to acting out behaviors, aggression, violence, and crime, which in turn sets the stages for arrest and incarceration.
Currently 60% of prisoners have been in prison before and there is growing evidence that the Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) is a contributing factor to this high rate of recidivism.
Reducing The Incidence Of PICS
Since PICS is created by criminal justice system policy and programming in our well intentioned but misguided attempt to stop crime, the epidemic can be prevented and public safety protected by changing the public policies that call for incarcerating more people, for longer periods of time, for less severe offenses, in more punitive environments that emphasize the use of solitary confinement, that eliminate or severely restrict prisoner access to educational, vocational, and rehabilitation programs while incarcerated.
The political antidote for PICS is to implement public policies that:
(1) Fund the training and expansion of community based addiction and mental health programs staffed by professionals trained to meet the needs of criminal justice system clients diverted into treatment by court programs and released back to the community after incarceration;
(2) Expand the role of drug and mental health courts that promote treatment alternatives to incarceration;
(3) Convert 80% of our federal, state, and county correctional facilities into rehabilitation programs with daily involvement in educational, vocational, and rehabilitation programs;
(4) Eliminate required long mandated minimum sentences;
(5) Institute universal prerelease programs for all offenders with the goal of preparing them to transition into community based addiction and mental health programs;
(6) Assuring that all released prisoners have access to publicly funded programs for addiction and mental health treatment upon release.
The abuse is so rampant that a group of guards is known to most Fishkill prisoners as the “Beat Up Squad.” Demand that the U S Attorney prosecute all out of control prison staff!
As with the death of inmate Ronald Shoup, the records clearly show that the staff did it! Records say “cardiac arrhythmia due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease following a physical altercation with corrections officers” – an altercation that left cuts and bruises to his head and extremities.
READ Why only PROSECUTION and IMPRISONMENT Will Stop Prison Abuse and Police Abuse! Demand It!! How to Avoid the Deaths of More Prison Guards!
A number of prisoners at the medium-security Fishkill Correctional Facility in upstate New York swore under oath that fellow prisoner Samuel D. Harrell III was kicked and beaten to death by as many as twenty guards in April 2015. According to at least 19 signed affidavits, the prisoners watched as the guards shouted racial slurs, threw Harrell down a staircase and jumped on him “like he was a trampoline.” One witness wrote that Harrell was “bent in an impossible position” as he lay on the concrete floor.
“His eyes were open,” the statement read, “but they weren’t looking at anything.” Harrell, a 30-year-old African American whose nickname was JRock, had told other prisoners earlier in the day that he would be going home and a family member was en route to pick him up. But he had a history of mental illness, including delusions and bipolar disorder, and actually had more than five years remaining on his sentence for a drug conviction.
After Harrell gathered his belongings to leave he was confronted by a group of guards, known to most Fishkill prisoners as the “Beat Up Squad,” who threw him to the ground and handcuffed him before allegedly beating him to death.
When an ambulance crew arrived, the guards made no mention of a physical altercation with Harrell, according to medical records; instead, they told the EMTs that Harrell had likely overdosed on K2, a type of synthetic marijuana also known as “spice.”
However, an autopsy report by the Orange County Medical Examiner, which was obtained and reviewed by The New York Times, indicated Harrell had no illicit drugs in his system. He died, the report said, of homicide caused by “cardiac arrhythmia due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease following a physical altercation with corrections officers” – an altercation that left cuts and bruises to his head and extremities.
In 2013, New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) had been notified by the Correctional Association of New York, a prisoner advocacy group, of documented “harassment and provocation” by Fishkill guards working the swing shift (when Harrell was killed). The reports of abuse also made their way to William J. Connolly, Fishkill’s former superintendent, before he resigned in August 2015, four months after Harrell’s death. But problems persisted with the so-called “Beat Up Squad.”
Five weeks before Harrell was killed, David Martinez, a prisoner in the same unit at Fishkill, wrote in a grievance that he was being harassed and assaulted by a group of guards. He described them in a subsequent grievance as “a group of rogue officers” who “go around beating up people.”
Another prisoner, Rickey Rodriguez, told the Times that when he was incarcerated at Fishkill in July 2015, he was beaten by guards so badly that he lost his two front teeth and had to be hospitalized. The newspaper reported that when Rodriguez was interviewed a week after his release, he was “still covered with cuts and bruises, and the white of his right eye was stained red with blood.”
“They go out of their way to pick and choose to beat on guys,” Rodriguez said.
Harrell’s family had earlier filed a federal lawsuit against the state, several of the guards who were allegedly involved in beating Harrell to death and the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. See: Harrell v. DOCCS, U.S.D.C. (S.D. NY), Case No. 1:15-cv-07065-RA. At the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the suit was temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the criminal investigation, which remains ongoing.
It is what they DO; prison staff ignore grievances, lie like hell any way they can to conceal their wrongdoing/crimes.
For as long as 10 days, one inmate at a state prison in Farmington sexually and physically abused a cellmate in a manner so severe that his prison term was extended 22 years. Austin Gallup ultimately pleaded guilty to abusing the St. Louis County man in 2013 in what the victim’s attorney calls torture.
During that period, Missouri Department of Corrections employees failed to properly check on the two inmates, who were locked alone together in one of the more restricted areas of the prison. Moreover, the state workers falsified logs and failed to follow procedures aimed at protecting inmates from other prisoners.
Those are among the new revelations in a state investigation obtained this month by the Post-Dispatch through an open records request.
The findings add yet another example of a state agency reeling from poor employee conduct — one that mirrors an incident at the state-run St. Louis Community Release Center. There, corrections employees lied about logs and instead surfed the internet and streamed a movie while a resident who’d been treated for mental illness lay dead for 10 hours in a restricted area of the large halfway house.
And like other problematic incidents within the Department of Corrections, the Farmington case also could leave Missouri taxpayers footing the bill. The victim filed a lawsuit in February seeking $10 million. Cira Duffe, one of his attorneys, said she withdrew the case in March to “exhaust administrative remedies.” “It will be refiled,” she said.
Duffe said she wasn’t aware of an inspector general report launched after the discovery on May 31, 2013, of her client at Farmington Correctional Center. The report, which was completed Nov. 3, 2013, says corrections employees lied and failed to follow procedures in administrative segregation, one of the most restricted areas of the prison. The findings were based on numerous interviews with staff, wing check logs and surveillance video.
The report concluded that several corrections officers violated staff conduct and failed to follow a post order requiring that prison wings be patrolled every 30 minutes. Corrections officers are supposed to visibly check through each cell door window and keep a record of it.
The report says the victim was “severely beaten and sexually assaulted” during a time period of five to 10 days and that the findings were forwarded to St. Francois County authorities, 70 miles south of St. Louis.
The victim alleged his cellmate yelled and bragged about what he was doing to him.
The victim suffered post traumatic stress, a broken jaw and other harm to his body and genitalia, according to court records.
Incidents like this occur daily in our prisons, because the prison staff is not HELD ACCOUNTABLE! DEMAND PROSECUTIONS!
Excerpts from the Article:
On the night of July 7, 2016, Douglas Edminsten – an inmate at the Cibola County jail in Grants – became violently sick, throwing up blood and begging to be taken to the hospital. Instead, he was left to hours of agony and later died. Now, new video shows the correctional officers left him on the floor to die, and they’re being sued by the inmate’s family.
According to the lawsuit, Edminsten first said he was in pain at about 10:15 p.m. that night. “It made me sick to my stomach,” said attorney Glenn Valdez, who saw the video for the first time Monday. “I’m watching somebody die right in front of my eyes.”
Edminsten suffered for seven hours, and at some points he appeared to be unconscious. The other inmates were so scared for him that they read Bible passages and even formed a prayer circle.
“We know the inmates and everyone else were trying to get help, but nothing happened,” Valdez said. “He couldn’t call himself or do anything that we take for granted. So without the guards to call, he’s dead.”
An autopsy later revealed Edminsten had a ruptured blood vessel in his stomach that later led to his death. His abdomen was full of blood. Had jail guards taken him to a doctor when he first complained of the pain, it’s believed he would have had an 80 percent chance of living.
Some Mentally Ill Federal Inmates Receive Little to No Treatment, Audit Finds Investigators see wide disconnect between policy, practice after Obama administration raised standards in 2014
“Tell me something I don’t already know!” See some of the many articles here on Prison Abuse to see the profound truth that the mentally ill receive NO adequate help in ANY of America’s prisons!
Federal prisons keep some mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day, sometimes for years, according to an audit released Wednesday by the in-house watchdog for the Justice Department. The report by the Office of the Inspector General comes 18 months after the Obama administration hailed new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement for federal inmates, including the mentally ill, as a model for state correctional facilities. Former President Barack Obama barred solitary confinement for the handful of juveniles in federal prison and called the excessive or unnecessary isolation of adult inmates “an affront to our common humanity.”
However, federal government investigators found a wide disconnect between policy and practice, bolstering longstanding complaints by civil-rights activists that some prisons amount to human warehouses. Cumulative time in solitary confinement isn’t tracked, and many mentally ill inmates are receiving insufficient treatment or none at all, the report said.
One prison psychologist described solitary confinement to investigators this way: “You have no contact, you don’t speak to anybody and it’s a form of torture, on some level.”
In a response to a draft of the report, federal prison officials, without directly addressing the problems, agreed with all 15 of the audit’s recommendations, which included clear policies for solitary confinement, tracking of cumulative time in single cells, and careful monitoring of the mentally ill.
Amid a national debate over the economic and social costs of incarceration, a number of states have reduced their use of solitary confinement. Colorado, Maine and Pennsylvania, for example, have barred the practice for inmates with serious mental illness in their state prisons. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation last year that would have allowed solitary confinement only as a last resort and not at all for the mentally ill.
In one of the audit’s most notable findings about federal inmates, only 3% receive regular treatment for mental illness, though a recent government study said the proportion with a history of mental health problems is about 19%.
The Obama administration raised the standards for treating mentally ill inmates in 2014, but the number of inmates receiving regular mental health treatment dropped more than 30% the following year, according to the audit. The government’s investigators concluded that prisons downgraded inmates’ mental illness assessments because they didn’t have enough staff or resources to meet the higher standards.
Currently about 7% of the 154,082 inmates in government-run prisons are in restrictive housing. For 22 hours a day or more, those inmates are separated from the general prison population—sometimes alone in a single cell—because of disciplinary problems or for their own protection.
Many researchers say long periods of isolation can have damaging and long-lasting psychological effects, particularly on the mentally ill, making it more likely these inmates will struggle when they return to society and commit more crimes.
The review didn’t include prisons run by for-profit operators, which a previous inspector general report found were more dangerous than government-run prisons. Prison contractors disputed those findings.
The problems associated with incarcerating the mentally ill could worsen as the Justice Department faces $1.1 billion in budget cuts. A request last year by the Bureau of Prisons for 130 new mental health professionals was turned down, the report said, and no new funding is expected in the coming fiscal year.
In general, Mr. Sessions has prioritized tougher enforcement in what he describes as an effort to curb an increase in violent crime. Under more aggressive prosecution of drug and immigration offenses, the federal prison population is expected to grow after a few years of decline.