MORE of your hard-earned money wasted by entirely preventable, unspeakably horrible, prison abuse!
“Medical personnel never examined her fully and several hours later, she delivered her twin daughter into the prison toilet, the lawsuit said. Guards still didn’t come to help, and fellow inmates took Johnson in a wheelchair to the medical station, where she delivered her second child, a healthy son. An autopsy determined Johnson’s daughter could have survived with immediate help. The Corrections Department did not admit any fault. The agency also did not comment on the settlement.“
Excerpts from the Article:
A former inmate whose newborn died in a prison toilet in South Carolina will receive more than $1 million from the state and two medical companies.
Sinetra Johnson will get $750,000 from the state Department of Corrections and $200,000 each from Medustrial and MedFirst which provide health care in prisons, according to a court order obtained by The State newspaper.
Johnson found out she was pregnant two days before she was sentenced to more than two years in prison for violating her parole in 2012, the newspaper reported in a previous story. Johnson went into labor 26 weeks into her pregnancy at Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution where inmates with specialized medical needs are kept, according to her lawsuit.
Medical personnel never examined her fully and several hours later, she delivered her twin daughter into the prison toilet, the lawsuit said.
Guards still didn’t come to help, and fellow inmates took Johnson in a wheelchair to the medical station, where she delivered her second child, a healthy son.
An autopsy determined Johnson’s daughter could have survived with immediate help. The Corrections Department did not admit any fault. The agency also did not comment on the settlement.
GEO GROUP ‘LED REPORTERS’ ON WILD-GOOSE CHASE THAT RESULTED IN MISLEADING REPORT – No Surprise to Me! – kra
GEO Group is America’s second largest private prison company … and, save for the “war on drugs”, private prisons are the worst thing to happen to criminal justice! The prison officials lie like hell, to conceal all of their abuses and wrongdoing.
Excerpts from the Article:
Joshua Thamarus, 42, was at the center of a report many mistook as a solid link to a neo-Nazi organization, Stormfront. As we previously reported, the guard was made between the two Facebook accounts, where the sergeant was the lone friend of the alias known as ‘Chris McCallaster’ from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
“On Jan. 5, 2020, a story was posted on yc.news regarding an alleged link between Sgt. Joshua Thamarus of George W. Hill Correctional Facility and a neo-Nazi organization, Stormfront. Upon further review, we discovered The GEO Group led our team of investigative reporters on a wild-goose chase, perhaps to turn blame on the hardworking men and women who also suffer under the for-profit private prison corporation: but we intend to right any wrong,” Anthony Loro, Senior Executive Editor of yc.news’ parent company, Original Media Group Corporation said in a statement Wednesday. “The presence of Stormfront in Delaware County is very real and will remain a topic our reporters will rigorously continue covering.”
Reporters initially reached out to The GEO Group on Dec. 31, 2019, regarding the investigative report into the prison and an alarming discovery that allegedly linked a sergeant to a Facebook page in which he remained the first and lone friend of until the report surfaced on yc.news.
The GEO Group was given the opportunity to verify critical information that would’ve debunked the story, but provided little to no information “except misleading material that led us [yc.news] to pursue a story that was catered to GEO’s liking.”
“Though we pursued every possible avenue to confirm or deny the reporting, it is evident Sgt. Thamarus is not involved in the organization Stormfront, though he was linked to an account showcasing the material,” the statement continued. “The minimal information provided to us from GEO was a failed effort to save face in the midst of a stock plummet. It misled our reporters on a path that was wrong and we will take necessary steps to ensure GEO is held accountable for their actions.”
Thamarus, 42, is described as an outgoing man who helps raise money for various charity organizations. “What that article depicted him to be is the complete opposite of who he is,” a friend of Thamarus told yc.news. “He is the type of Sergeant who would put his life on the line for another human being without any regard for his own life – inmate or staff, a life in general.” “We extended a rare opportunity by allowing The GEO Group to have over seven days to look into the material and they turned a blind eye,” Senior Executive Editor Anthony Loro released in a statement. “In turn, a horrendous picture was painted of a man who is described as ‘one of the good guys’ we are honored to have serving the County of Delaware.”
“The GEO Group must end it’s decade-long secrecy-pact and start providing media outlets with the information it requires to ensure reports are accurate.“
A source close to the situation previously told yc.news: “GEO knows they have a problem. There’s a lot of secrecy around George W. Hill Correctional Facility and they play by their own rules,” a source close to the situation said. “Who knows what they’re hiding.”
The last two weeks have witnessed a series of troubling allegations from George W. Hill Correctional Facility inmates and former staff who long held their tongues for fear of retribution of their career, or retaliation. Among those revelations:
>> Guards were caught on a video obtained exlusively by yc.news, showcasing them in good spirits: dancing, snapchatting and texting as The GEO Group spirals out of control.
>> Prison officials allegedly mixed male & female inmates due to overcrowding. Now, a female inmate claims she was sexually assaulted.
>> Authorities close to the investigation claim the drugs on the catastrophic Christmas were brought in by an inmate’s 16-year-old son, who’s mother allegedly confessed.
>> Inmates, loved-ones, former and current guards reached out to yc.news to detail the horrific incidents which transpired over the holiday.
>> 27-year-old Fatima Musa died following the mass-overdose on Christmas at the scandal-scarred prison. She was there for a summary offense-turned probation violation.
>> The ‘Jailhouse of Horrors’ was brought to light after a mass-overdose on Christmas where at least two people died and eight others hospitalized following a fentanyl overdose at George W. Hill Correctional Facility.
20 Years Sees No Improvement in California Prison’s Mental Health Care; Suicide Results in $1.5 Million Settlement – Wake Up, Folks! – kra
And unless folks like YOU complain about this absurd waste of YOU tax dollars, it will be the same in another 20 years! Here is HOW TO DO IT: 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/
Folks, you think about how you spend your money, except when it comes to taxes. Whatever state you live in, you are wasting hundreds of tax dollars every year due to preventable prison abuse!
Excerpts from the Article:
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed by attorney Lori Rifkin on behalf of the family of Erika Rocha, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) agreed to pay $1.5 million to Rocha’s sisters, Geraldine and Freida, and her stepmother, Linda Reza.
The complaint claimed that Rocha’s death was “foreseeable and preventable” had the California Institute for Women (CIW) corrected deficiencies in mental health services already found in violation of the Constitution in a class-action case filed decades earlier.
Rocha was seven when her mother passed away, with her father still in prison. The wrongful death suit claimed that a long pattern of sexual and physical abuse began as Rocha was moved among extended family until the Department of Child Protective Services removed her from her grandfather’s home for acts of neglect and cruelty. At 14, she was placed in the International Home for Girls.
Her caseworker was trying to move her to her father’s friend and stepsisters’ mother, Reza, where she was adapting well. Yet before that could be accomplished, Rocha was arrested on February 12, 1996 for shooting the operator of the group home. She pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to 19 years. The CDCR was fully aware of Rocha’s mental illness when she first entered custody; she had experienced auditory hallucinations and suicidal ideation since she was a child, and attempted suicide at least eight times. She had been diagnosed with drug dependency, psychosis, anxiety, depression and other disorders, which ultimately placed her under psychiatric care at CIW.
CDCR and CIW were already under a court order in Coleman v. Wilson, a 1990 class-action suit to remediate inadequate mental health treatment in California prisons. Special attention was given to CIW, where suicides were more than eight times the national rate for women prisoners and five times the rate at all other state prisons.
Several audits over the next 20 years indicated that CIW was not adequately addressing the deficiencies found by the federal district court. Three years before Rocha’s suicide, the Coleman court issued another order finding CDCR and CIW guilty of ongoing constitutional violations.
During her stay at CIW, Rocha had attempted suicide twice and was admitted to the mental health crisis unit an additional seven times. Prior to her parole hearing scheduled on April 15, 2016, she reported feelings of anxiety and an inability to cope with her upcoming release.
Matthew Pulling, her clinician, recommended a calming Tibetan chant as treatment. She was once again placed in the crisis unit for observation, but was released the next day without any required “step down” protocol. On April 14, 2016, Rocha was found dead in her cell, hanging from a sheet. [See: PLN, July 2017, p.56].
In regard to the $1,501,500 settlement, which was reached in August 2019, Rifkin stated: “This is an acknowledgement that the system completely broke down when it came to providing the care she needed…. [They] had decades of notice that mental health treatment, especially at CIW, was below standard and they chose not to address it.” See: Rocha v. Calif. Dept. of Corr. and Rehab., U.S.D.C. (C.D. Cal.) Case No. 5:17-cv-00869-GW-FFM.
Three Texas inmates have died at the hands of prison officers as use of force continues to rise – OUTRAGEOUS – kra
This shit is happening in YOUR America! Speak out about it … here’s how: 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/
This line jumped out at me: “Turnover is highest among new hires” … because I know that many new hires leave, disgusted by all the BS – the crimes and the abuse and the cover ups – committed by prison staff! READ Culture of Cover Up – Prison Abuse = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/culture-cover-prison-abuse/
A huge problem is that our prisons have become a “dumping ground” for the mentally ill, yet they lack adequate MH counseling and they lack the training for staff to deal with the mentally ill.
These are people’s sons, brothers, uncles … being murdered by “law enforcement officers” – prison staff!
Excerpts from the Article:
Gary Ryan was less than three months away from getting out of prison — and his family was doing everything right. His brother-in-law lined up a job for him at his company. His nephew Corey Anderson planned to give him his old truck. Anderson also fixed up a house on a family property where his uncle could live. Ryan, 58, was serving time for drunkenly spitting on a Dallas police officer, according to court records. He’d been in prison nearly five years, and his relatives were anxious to see him at dinners in their Dallas-area homes to help him get his life back on track.
“I mean, he was in and out of jail, we all know that, but we had hope. Since mom died, and her wishes were to help him, that’s what our plans were,” Anderson said, sitting with his sister at a table covered with childhood photos of his mother and Ryan. “We were doing everything we needed to do. “And then we got the call,” he said. His uncle had died. When the warden of Huntsville’s Estelle Unit first called with the tragic news, he mentioned cardiac arrest, Anderson said. But in a follow-up phone call, Anderson was told a prison officer had been arrested in connection with Ryan’s death.
Ryan died in September 2018 from blunt-force head trauma nearly two weeks after correctional officer D’Andre Glasper took him to the floor in the showers while he was handcuffed — hours after Ryan had spit on Glasper and a prison supervisor told the officer to stay away from the inmate.
Glasper was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault by a public servant about a week after the incident and was released on bond the next day. More than a year later, his case has yet to be taken to court, leaving Ryan’s family to anxiously await the slow crawl of the justice system.
Ryan’s is one of three Texas prison deaths in as many years that have resulted in criminal charges being pursued against correctional officers involved in forceful encounters. In September, a former guard was tried in the 2017 slamming death of a prisoner. And prosecution is moving forward against another officer involved in the October fatal beating of an inmate.
The cases are a rarity in the Texas prison system — an official labeled the three criminal investigations into the officers an “anomaly” — but the homicides coincide with a troubling trend. Over the last decade, while the Texas prison population has decreased by thousands, the number of times officers have used force against inmates has jumped.
In 2009, there were 6,624 instances of staff using force against inmates in Texas prisons, according to a report from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that tracks “major use of force incidents.” Last year, there were nearly 11,000 documented incidents.
Pinpointing a reason for the uptick can be difficult because prisons, as an industry, remain largely opaque. Criminal prosecutions and trials can bring details of specific incidents into public view, but their rarity makes it difficult to zero in on trends fueling the aggression. And prison officials’ explanations of why force is more frequent differ from the ones suggested by criminal justice reform advocates.
A TDCJ spokesperson said the increase of use-of-force cases is paired with a rise in the number of violent and mentally ill prisoners over the decade. Despite the overall population decrease, nearly 3,000 more prisoners were locked up for violent offenses in 2019 than 2009 — a rise of 4%, according to agency statistics. The number of mentally ill inmates went up by a third, an increase of more than 7,000 people. TDCJ reports also show serious assaults by inmates on staff have fluctuated. Last year, there were 106 assaults — 12% more than in 2009, compared with a 66% rise in prison officers’ major use-of-force cases.
But the climbing number of force cases is happening in a system plagued by persistent and dangerous staffing shortages and high turnover. An agency report from December showed the state’s prisons were short more than 4,500 officers, or 18% of authorized positions. Prison employees and reform advocates often point to these problems and a lack of training as reasons why force is being used more often.
“I don’t know that there is any significant change in the nature of the incarcerated population … but where there is a difference is in staffing levels,” said Doug Smith, a policy analyst with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a reform advocacy group.
Turnover is highest among new hires, but they aren’t the only officers leaving. Lance Lowry, vice president of the Correctional Officers Association of Texas, said experienced officers are leaving more often, frustrated with pay, benefits and “just an overall philosophy that the officers are expendable.”
In the three recent deaths in which criminal charges were or are being pursued against a prison employee, the officers were all in their 20s. None had worked at TDCJ for more than four years. Glasper was 22 and had worked for the prison system less than two years when Ryan was killed.
“You need more experienced officers that have better inmate management skills to handle a lot of these situations,” Lowry said. “Veteran officers know how to deescalate the situation, where a newer officer may not have the skills to do that.”
Lowry agreed with TDCJ that the inmate population has more special needs than it used to, but he said that just emphasizes a necessity for more training and treating corrections as a skilled profession.
In Ryan’s case, few details have been publicly disclosed, aside from an initial news release, even though he died more than a year ago. Smith said a lack of transparency in TDCJ doesn’t allow the public or even Ryan’s family to know whether training is to blame or if this was an unavoidable issue.
Anderson hopes criminal prosecution can shine a light on the incident, and he may soon get his wish. Details that would likely remain within prison walls due to security concerns can be revealed through court proceedings. And Glasper’s criminal case could go to a Walker County grand jury for possible indictment this month, according to Jack Choate, head of the state’s Special Prosecution Unit, which pursues crimes that occur in prisons.
“We feel like it is our job to make sure that this story gets told, so that this story doesn’t die in the dark part of a prison,” he said.
Prison is a notoriously tough environment for everyone inside, and officers are allowed to use physical force on inmates to keep control. That force can mean pressing an inmate up against a wall or spraying a prisoner with chemical agents. The prison system’s spokesperson, Jeremy Desel, said that “there are occasions within a correctional setting when it becomes necessary for staff to use force in order to gain compliance of an offender to maintain a safe and secure environment for offenders and staff.”
But in cases where force may cross the line into criminal behavior, TDCJ’s Office of the Inspector General steps in to investigate. The office doesn’t review all use-of-force incidents, but it investigates any time an inmate dies and must be notified when someone is being transported for medical care after an incident involving force, said Joe Buttitta, deputy inspector general. The investigation happens alongside an internal TDCJ disciplinary investigation.
In cases where force is deemed to be excessive, TDCJ’s discipline ranges from suspension to firing. Rarely, criminal charges are pursued after the inspector general’s office hands off a completed criminal investigation to the Special Prosecution Unit or local district attorney’s office.
Since 2015, 19 prison officers have been sentenced in use-of-force cases, Buttitta said. None involved an inmate’s death. Most defendants got a combination of probation, fines or community service, according to data from the Special Prosecution Unit. Few involved jail time.
The officers were all sentenced for the crime of official oppression — a misdemeanor offense for public servants who intentionally mistreat others in their jobs. Even in an inmate’s homicide, convicting a correctional officer can be an uphill climb. Finding someone guilty of murder requires showing an intent to kill, a bar that is hard to clear for Texas prison officers. Even assault charges can be hard to prove because state law gives officers more discretion to use force to maintain prison security. And those pressing charges feel swaying a jury can be a challenge since there is often a stigma against prisoners, some of whom are locked up for violent offenses themselves.
“We know full well that there are a lot of biases against these cases,” Choate said. His team still took former Sgt. Lou Joffrion to trial last year in the 2017 slamming death of inmate David Witt. On Aug. 16, 2017, Witt sat in a communal room at the Darrington Unit in Brazoria County, refusing orders to return to his cell, according to the case lawyers. At 41, Witt had been in prison since 2005 on robbery charges. At 24, Joffrion was four years into his TDCJ tenure and had just finished six months of disciplinary probation for a use-of-force incident involving Witt.
Surveillance video shows Witt calmly talking to two guards. When Joffrion entered, Witt stood up, took his shirt off and walked across the room, taking prison phones off their hooks. Witt eventually kicked off his shoes and stripped naked, but he made no threatening moves. After a minute or so of talking, he put his clothes back on and began to walk out of the room with the officers.
But as he walked by a table, the footage shows, Witt casually grabbed the handle of a water cooler and slowly pulled it to the floor. Joffrion shoved past a colleague to get to Witt, who put his hands and body against the wall, resisting handcuffs until another guard approached. Witt then submitted to being cuffed, and a guard began walking him away. In a second, Witt resisted, trying to pull the other way instead.
Joffrion bent down behind Witt, wrapped his arms around the man’s thighs, lifted him at least a foot straight into the air and slammed him into the concrete floor. Witt appears to have been immediately knocked unconscious. He died later that day from blunt force injuries. Joffrion resigned pending disciplinary action from TDCJ and was arrested months later.
These harrowing scenes were first shown to the public at Joffrion’s trial. There, jurors watched the footage over and over, according to Joffrion’s lawyer, Connie Williams.
Williams believes the prison system failed both his client and Witt. He thought Witt needed to be somewhere with more mental health services, and Joffrion needed more training. Choate said his team proved the aggravated assault case “beyond all doubt, not just a reasonable doubt.”
In September, Joffrion was found not guilty of aggravated assault by a public servant. Choate speculated that the jury may have opted for acquittal because Joffrion didn’t continue to punch Witt after he was down and unconscious.
“The big argument for the state of Texas was he used too much force in taking him to the ground,” said Williams. “It’s just a very subjective kind of thing — the law of the state of Texas says correctional officers have the right to use force.”
About a month after Joffrion’s trial, another Texas prisoner was killed. In October, 63-year-old Frank Digges refused to exit his cell at the Wynne Unit in Huntsville after being assaultive toward staff, said Desel, TDCJ’s spokesperson. Digges had been in prison for more than 30 years on a life sentence for aggravated robbery.
A five-person team was deployed to get him out of his cell, but things went wrong. A prison death report says Digges died after being struck “in the back of the head several times with a closed fist, which caused trauma to the brain.” Frank Digges died after a use-of-force incident at the Wynne Unit at Huntsville. (Photo: TDCJ)
“When you’re just going in there with a five-man extraction team to pull somebody out … I mean, I think five guys can take him,” Buttitta said. “When you look at that … it’s like, ‘OK, so why is there so much blunt force trauma to the head?'”
Two ranking officials involved in the incident were demoted, Desel said. Yancey Lett, a 28-year-old officer who had been with TDCJ for less than three years, was fired. Now, Lett is facing criminal charges. He has not been arrested, but Choate said he hopes to take Lett’s case to a grand jury at the same time as Glasper’s case this month. Lett’s lawyer did not return phone calls or emails to the Tribune.
In response to questions about the upward trend, Desel said TDCJ has changed use-of-force training in recent years, and it has added new deescalation and mental health awareness training. But reformists, employee representatives and Ryan’s nephew say it’s not enough.
Lowry, with the officers’ association, acknowledged training changes have been made. But, he said, the system still lacks oversight and standards. The Texas Legislature in 2015 acknowledged the large share of state prisoners who have mental health disorders and passed a bill to legally require relevant training and continuing education for correctional officers. But Gov. Greg Abbott, calling the training requirements “rigid and arbitrary,” vetoed the legislation.
Lowry said that in any case, the best way to learn deescalation tactics is by working in the prisons. Consistently high turnover and a shortage of officers means there is less and less experience in the units, putting the agency in “a crisis mode.” “It’s a hands-on experience that gains you the ability to control the situation,” he said. “Unfortunately, you can’t just teach everything in a classroom setting. You have to have practical experience.”
Although Ryan died more than a year ago, his family is still in the dark about what exactly happened that day. Anderson, Ryan’s nephew, said his uncle was a person who “didn’t take crap from nobody,” which is what usually landed him in trouble. He’d been in and out of jail and prison for most of his adult life. His longest stint lasted 12 years, after he was convicted in an aggravated assault in 1991. Anderson said he was never the same after that.
In its initial statement released in September 2018, TDCJ said Ryan hit his head on the floor when Glasper was using force to get him flat on his stomach in the showers Aug. 30. Glasper said Ryan, who was handcuffed, had become aggressive and was making derogatory remarks. Ryan, unresponsive and bleeding from his head, was flown to a Houston hospital and died nearly two weeks later. TDCJ said at the time the agency supported prosecuting Glasper “to the fullest extent of the law.”
Anderson faults the prison system for his uncle’s death, saying the agency should have better hiring qualifications and ensure two officers take prisoners to the showers. But he still wants Glasper to be held personally accountable — even though he forgives him.
“He messed up, he made a mistake,” Anderson said. “But you took somebody’s life, you have to pay the price.”
Video appears to show Oklahoma jail staff ignoring pleas from dying inmate – Sent by Steve Hampton Esq. – Go, FBI, GO! – kra
Nothing new to me here. I mention my friend, Steve Hampton, Esq., who does a great job suing these bastards. The good news is that the FBI may nail some of those responsible. As I have said too many times, that is the ONLY remedy! READ 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?
Lawsuits about these entirely preventable acts of cruelty cost YOU a ton of tax dollars every year!
I have SEEN the same mocking abuse many, many times. RAISE SOME HELL ABOUT THIS SHIT! Watch the video and be horrified!
Excerpts from the Article:
On October 10, 2015, a seemingly healthy Terral Ellis Jr. turned himself in to authorities in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, for an outstanding warrant for a DUI. Less than two weeks later, Ellis died at the Ottawa County Jail, in Miami, Okla., in October 2015.
Now, newly-public surveillance video from the jail, which appears to show workers failing to respond to Ellis’ repeated calls for help from just feet away, is shining a light on the controversial case now coming before a judge, who will determine whether the sheriff’s office can be held responsible for his death.
The jail surveillance video captured the sounds of Ellis’ repeated pleas for help over several days from his isolated cell. In the roughly one hour of video obtained by CBS News, several employees can be seen and heard walking by his cell and mocking him as he screams.
“If you can’t breathe, how can you talk?” one employee said. Terral Ellis Jr (right) was seemingly healthy when he walked into the Ottawa County Jail to turn himself in.
Twelve days after he arrived, Ellis died of sepsis and pneumonia. He was only 26 years old.
“I know he was wanting to turn himself in because he was trying to better himself,” said Terral’s brother, Garrett Ellis. He told CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca that his brother wanted to turn his life around for his young son after a string of run-ins with the law, including convictions for driving with a suspended license and drug possession.
During his interview with Villafranca, Ellis watched the surveillance video for the first time; he said he couldn’t stand to watch it for even a minute. “Why did you stop?” Villafranca asked. “Well, just hearing the voices of my brother is just … it’s just too hard to hear him in that much pain,” Garrett replied.
Ellis and his attorney spoke exclusively to “CBS This Morning” to discuss their lawsuit, at the heart of which are moments like this:
Former jail nurse Theresa Horn is heard screaming at Terral about faking an illness (“I’m sick and tired of f****** dealing with your ass. Ain’t a damn thing wrong with you”), less than four hours before he was found unresponsive in his cell. She told Ellis that EMS had found nothing wrong with him.
Surveillance video appears to show staff at the Ottawa County Jail in Miami, Okla., ignoring pleas for help from inmate Terral Ellis Jr. CBS NEWS
Villafranca asked Garrett, “What did you think of the way the nurse was talking to him?” “It was inappropriate,” he replied. “Yeah, she completely neglected his health.”
Ellis family attorney Dan Smolen is now leading the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against the jail, former employees who have since left, and the sheriff’s office. “We had contact from inmates. And then we had contact from family members who were really concerned about what had happened to Terral, because he had gone into jail healthy.
“I think that the entire jail staff should have been charged with some form of manslaughter.” “Criminal?” asked Villafranca. “Criminally, yeah, absolutely. I think that a jury will ultimately find that Terral’s civil rights were violated in the most extreme way.”
County Sheriff Jeremy Floyd is named in the lawsuit. He wasn’t working there when Terral died, but told CBS News the jail’s medical protocols are now some of the best around. (The sheriff’s office runs the jail.) When asked his reaction upon seeing the surveillance video, Floyd replied, “I was floored.”
“What does that justice look like?” Villafranca asked. “What should happen to you and your jail, in your opinion?” “In my opinion, I think a civil rights violation investigation should occur,” the sheriff said.
A judge will decide whether to permit a federal lawsuit to advance to trial, to determine whether the sheriff’s office can be held responsible for his death. The defense will present its final briefs to the judge today.
The FBI has contacted attorney Dan Smolen, and is interested in looking further into the case.
The prisons still leave room for MUCH improvement, but this is a good move. All studies show that education is the best way to reduce recidivism … and that means less costs and less suffering by crime victims.
Hats off to Commissioner Claire DeMatteis. She is starting to “get it”.
Excerpts from the Article:
Nearly all offenders are released from prison at some point in their lives. Just under 30 percent of the maximum security inmates have a high school diploma.
That doesn’t bode well for sustained life on the outside. Without the tools to earn an honest living, ex-convicts may soon re-offend and rejoin the prison population.
As part of a continuing quest for prison reform following a deadly riot in 2017, the Delaware Department of Correction is focusing on giving inmates the ability to find work and earn enough money to extend their freedom. The $3.5 million Building 20 expansion brought classrooms to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, and the schooling started this week. Inmates are taking classes designed to ready them for passing the GED test, completing the process of gaining a high school education.
The area also provides rooms for increased opportunity for mental health treatment in group settings, along with increased vocational training and industry certification instruction capacity as well.
Teacher Marc Dickerson said more than 100 inmates have shown interest in the program; 40 are currently taking part in one-hour sessions Monday through Friday, splitting into four groups throughout the day.
The jailed students’ positive response has been palpable, Mr. Dickerson said. “For the most part they’re feeling such a great sense of relief,” he said, noting that several have asked for study materials to take with them when returning to their cells.
“Some have been sitting around for years getting stagnant. You can tell they need some sort of activity because there’s not typically a lot to do otherwise in a maximum security setting,” The DOC announced the program and its new classrooms at a Wednesday afternoon unveiling before DOC staff, elected and state officials and media members.
“We believe in this program and the power it gives an inmate upon release into the community,” Mr. Dickerson said.
“This is a good chance for high-security inmates to take advantage of state-provided services and make a conscious decision to change the direction of their lives,” she said.
Officials lauded the contributions of Vaughn Warden Dana Metzger in the educational additions.
DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said the educational building is a significant step in meeting Gov. John Carney’s mandate to increase reentry support and reduce offender’s recidivism rates through Executive Order 27. A Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission report outlined the coordination and resources needed to improve staff safety and create inmates who are better equipped to lead a successful life following release.
“That was not a report that collected dust or sat in a drawer,” she said. “ … We are gradually and steadily changing the culture that led to the darkest days (which brought death of Lt. Steven Floyd during the Vaughn riot in February 2017.)”
The Whole Story
I post this here and send out the Letter because it is important for everyone involved in the criminal justice system to have integrity, be honest, have courage! Too many, instead, are self-serving, greedy, cowards with no moral compass!
Letter to the Editor – “Guts and Glory” to Mitt! – 2/6/20
Every one of those Senators took an oath – made a promise to you and to the nation – to decide IMPEACHMENT in an honest way, impartially, based on the facts. And Mitt Romney is the ONLY Republican who did!
Surely a modern re-write of Profiles in Courage would include Mitt Romney.
READ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/02/romney-impeach-trump/606127/ Romney Votes “Guilty”
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302–423-4067
I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 ekke, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! email@example.com .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.
WOMAN ‘BRUTALLY’ BEATEN IN MISSISSIPPI PRISON DIED BECAUSE OFFICIALS FAILED TO GIVE HER MEDICAL CARE, LAWSUIT ALLEGES The father of Nicole Rathmann says his daughter was “not made safe by employees” while incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. She was one of 16 prisoners to die in state custody in August 2018. – PROSECUTE Them! – kra
Another case of our prisons out of control! We MUST hold these fools ACCOUNTABLE by prosecuting them.
Her family will collect millions from the prison (it’s called “Failure to Protect”), but that is not enough. We must prevent the suffering of other families of America’s inmates. READ: 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?
Excerpts from the Article:
Mississippi prison officials allowed an incarcerated woman to be severely beaten and then failed to provide her with medical help, actions that ultimately led to her death, alleges a federal lawsuit filed last week on behalf of her father. In the complaint, Kent Rathmann says that his daughter, Nicole Rathmann, was “not made safe by employees” while incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Rathmann, 33, was one of 16 prisoners to die in state custody in August 2018.
Carlos Moore, an attorney representing Kent Rathmann, told The Appeal that the lawsuit contains previously unknown details about how Rathmann died, gathered from interviews with prisoners. Shortly after Rathmann’s death, her mother, Rita Korsen, told Mississippi Today that it was due to an aneurysm, but the cause of the aneurysm was not known. According to the news outlet, the Mississippi Department of Corrections listed Rathmann’s cause of death as “natural.”
The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 16, alleges that another prisoner “brutally struck” Rathmann in the head multiple times with a sock filled with locks and bars of soap as she lay in her bunk. Prison staff did not intervene and Rathmann was found in her cell “unresponsive in a seizure-like position,” according to the complaint. She was then taken to the hospital, where doctors determined she had suffered a “massive” stroke and had bleeding in her brain. She died on Aug. 23, 2018, as a result of her head injuries, the filing says.
“During the course of this unconstitutional assault, not one single jail guard or official attempted to stop the attack, intercede to prevent further abuse or offer medical assistance to Ms. Rathmann after she was obviously seriously injured or dead,” reads the lawsuit.
A state DOC spokesperson declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Kent Rathmann alleges that this wasn’t the first time his daughter had been attacked by a fellow prisoner, citing another incident in which an incarcerated woman hit her in the head with a phone. Prison employees also did not stop that attack or offer her immediate medical help “despite knowing about the horrible, obvious and life threatening injuries she received,” according to the complaint.
Rathmann had served six years of a 10-year prison sentence for selling methamphetamine. She was due to be released on parole five days after her death, according to Moore.
Neither the assault nor Rathmann’s condition were documented in an incident report provided to The Appeal by the state DOC last year. According to the report, a prisoner alerted a guard on Aug. 21, 2018, that Rathmann was “looking pale and not feeling well.” The guard requested that officers go check on her and upon seeing Rathmann, an officer radioed to the captain “several times” but got no answer. She was then taken to the medical building, says the report.
Kent Rathmann is requesting that the state award him at least $3 million in compensation for what he says is the violation of his daughter’s constitutional rights that caused her untimely death.
“Unfortunately it’s too late for Ms. Rathmann, to bring her back, but her family would like to see justice and MDOC be held accountable for the inactions that led to her death,” Moore said. “They would like to see systemic changes, and of course they would like to be compensated for their pain and suffering.”
The lawsuit is the first to be filed on behalf of any prisoners who died in August 2018. At the time, then-Commissioner Pelicia Hall released a statement that the number of deaths was not “out of line” with deaths in previous months and the majority were believed to be from natural causes. The sister of Willie Hollinghead, who died at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution on Aug. 4, 2018, told The Appeal last year that her family has received few answers about his final moments. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Deaths in state custody have climbed nearly 40 percent in recent years, from 62 in fiscal year 2014 to 85 in fiscal year 2018 and 78 in fiscal year 2019. At least eight people have died this month in the wake of violence and unrest across Mississippi prisons.
Advocates have called for the state to reduce its prison population, increase staffing, and improve conditions at the facilities. Today, the rappers Jay-Z and Yo Gotti are scheduled to host a rally in support of prison reform in Jackson. Earlier this month, they filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mississippi prisoners.
On Tuesday, Governor Tate Reeves, who took office this month, tweeted in response to the crisis: “We have been working around the clock with MDOC and DPS [Department of Public Safety] to respond immediately and prevent this going forward. There is much more to be done here. We have asked them to provide as much information to the public as possible as quickly as possible. Transparency is the first step.”
The Whole Story:
As many of you know, I have SEEN many atrocities like those described here. And seeing them got me started on my mission of the past 14 years: “Raising as much Hell about the justice system as legally possible and helping individuals harmed by it”!
As I say:
Excerpts from the Article:
This was David Stojcevski. He was arrested and put in jail for failing to pay a $772 traffic violation:
After 17 days he died 50 pounds lighter, dehydrated and naked. (For some, here comes the “he deserved it”) He was going through drug withdrawal. In the last 17 days of his life he was denied clothing, he had seizures, convulsed, and died. He died an excruciating death, and it was all captured on video. Instead of providing medical help the guards just watched him die.
The level of care and professionalism in US prisons and jails is dubious. Prison guards fired over group photo of Nazi salute. With people like this in charge, how can anybody wonder how a traffic ticket can lead to the death of the person arrested?
Her alleged suicide is as believable as Jeffrey Epstein’s “Suicide”. Death of Sandra Bland – Wikipedia:
Yes, the prison system is barbaric. Prisoners literally are in bondage. While I believe in punishment, prison is supposed to be about “corrections” as in “Department of Corrections”. Prisons and jails feed crime- this is great for busine$$. People go in, and if they come out, they’re frequently worse off than before.
The Whole Story:
Why is this here? Because tRump is as bad for our justice system as he is for the rest of my America!
Why is this here? Because tRump is as bad for our justice system as he is for the rest of my America!
These cruel, racist, spineless traitors must GO!
READ Can’t you see how serious this is?!
WAKE UP, PEOPLE! YOU ARE THE WHALE! 🙂 ACT! = https://lnkd.in/dFNhiFg
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