Really!? Everyone who knows what really goes on knows that guards bring in 90% of the contraband found in our prisons!
There are innumerable articles reporting that prisons have limited/altered/cancelled inmate visitations “to halt the smuggling of contraband”, which is complete BULLSHIT calculated to divert eyes from the real problem: the prison staff.
Excerpts from the Article:
A Coffee Creek Correctional Facility corrections officer is accused of trafficking methamphetamine and heroin to inmates inside Oregon’s only women’s prison. The Statesman Journal reports Richard Steven Alberts II and a convicted felon were indicted Monday on charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and two counts of distribution of heroin.
Alberts, of Sherwood, remains employed at the Wilsonville prison and has been on administrative leave from Coffee Creek since June 6. He began working at the prison in 2017.
He was charged along with Joseph Lucio Jimenez, 27, of Gresham, a convicted felon previously arrested on attempted murder, weapons, domestic violence assault and witness tampering charges.
After the indictment, Alberts was released pending a jury trial, which is scheduled for Feb. 25 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon.
Jimenez was in pre-trial custody on an unrelated felon in possession of a firearm charge when he was indicted in this case. He will remain in custody at the federal prison in Sheridan and will make his first appearance on these new charges at a later date.
The problem is not too much crime; the problem is too much incarceration! Every state should undertake a comprehensive review of its sentencing laws and send only the most violent people to prison! Addicts and the mentally ill should be given the treatment they need, probation, and other non violent offenders put on reasonable terms of appropriate probation!
Excerpts from the Article:
“The assignment is a creative non-fiction assignment, and for it I’ve just been writing about my personal journey, my childhood, growing up,” Schneider said. He hopes to eventually move back to where that all took place: Rogers, Ark. Once he gets out on parole.
“When I was 16, I was part of an attempted robbery, and they charged me as an adult. Gave me 15 years,” Schneider said.
He’s been in the prison system for nine. But for the past few months, Schneider has put in time at Twin Lakes Recovery in Flippin, a place the Arkansas Department of Correction hopes can clear up more space in the correctional system.
That system is crowded, which creates a chain reaction. Because prisons are so full here at the state level, it leads to a backlog of inmates in the jails at the county level.
“Portable beds that go on the floor. And sometimes they do have to sleep on those until we get some people moved to the state prison or bonded out,” said Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore. At the Boone County jail, 85 inmates or more means it’s overcrowded. Data shows from 2013 to 2017 the jail was overcrowded more than half the days of the year. And in 2018, almost every day.
There are similar issues in Baxter County. “Drugs or drug-related crimes is, in my opinion, what’s caused this huge uptick in jail overcrowding and prison overcrowding,” said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery. Baxter County had 20-50 inmates more than its limit every day in October.We combed through data from the past 10 years to see how many inmates who should be in state prisons were taking up space in jails statewide. The numbers each year averaged from 500 to as high as 2,400. Last year averaged 1,600.
Then, because the jails are overcrowded, people who should be in jail are on the streets. “There’s still over 2,000 valid warrants we have right now,” Moore said.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he understands the problem. And he’s trying to address it, including re-entry programs like the one at Twin Lakes in Flippin.
“We can help those coming out of prison, so they do not go back in. And that’s an investment I think the public does appreciate and think it’s worthwhile,” Hutchinson said. Arkansas just opened those re-entry centers in counties across the state three years ago.
“Arkansas like so many states realized they had done a very good job of locking people up. Very good at that. But getting them ready to go back home, well they stumbled a little bit. Fallen down some,” said Dina Tyler, the communications director for the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Prisoners who are within 18 months of their parole date are eligible for the re-entry programs. The program is for six months. The idea is to give inmates the tools they need to succeed before they are released into society: like a job, driver’s license and a place to live, so they don’t end up right back behind bars.
“If it’s someone’s first or second offense, they’ve got a drug problem, maybe they need a driver’s license or education or GED, we need to do everything we can to help them,” Montgomery said. “And I think we need to put more resources into that.”
But many people who come in and out of his jail cells aren’t there for a first or even second time. Montgomery said the Department of Correction is selecting inmates that are more likely to re-offend and putting them in re-entry centers nearby.
“So now we are importing convicted felons who are going to continue to break the law over and over again. They’re putting them back in our county,” Montgomery said.
“Just take somebody and they committed a crime, and you lock them up and you don’t do anything with them, what have you done? Well for one thing, you’ve made them very very mad,” Tyler said. “So you’ve got to do something productive with them to show them a better way and to show them that they can do it.”
Twin Lakes Recovery has seen some people who go right back to prison cells. We found of the 72 graduates on a list provided by the DOC, at least six, or about eight percent, re-offended and are currently back in Arkansas state prison.
“This is a standard our country used to live by. And more and more often this is not the standard we live by anymore,” Moore said. “I don’t think prison is feared as much as it used to be.” But for Schneider, he said the re-entry programs are giving inmates that second chance they need. He plans to be a paralegal in Rogers in the next couple of months, after he finishes the program at Twin Lakes.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Schneider said. “It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to be able to pay taxes and be able to do all those things people normally don’t want to do, but when you don’t have the opportunity, it’s something you wish you could.” The Arkansas Department of Correction does not have recidivism rates for inmates who graduate re-entry programs yet. The governor said he also wants to have regional jail facilities, and the Baxter County Sheriff believes that idea is a good one. Hutchinson has also said prisons do need to be expanded to some extent.
The Hidden Cost of Incarceration Prison costs taxpayers $80 billion a year. It costs some families everything they have.
As I have said for years now, the societal cost of mass incarceration is even higher than the fiscal cost! And this is true in large part because most of the fiscal cost is wasted!! Wasted on “programs” which are a joke, “health care” which kills people, and warehousing inmates instead of preparing them for release. 96% of ALL inmates will be released!
“The Prison Policy Initiative, an organization working to reduce mass incarceration, estimates that families spend $2.9 billion a year on commissary accounts and phone calls.” … And with money like that at stake, is it any wonder that scores of companies spend millions of dollars lobbying against many much-needed common sense changes!?
In recent years, the cost for inmates to communicate with loved ones has become prohibitively expensive in many prisons, which is counter-productive because those who do regularly talk with friends and family are far less likely to re-offend!
Excerpts from the Article:
Every month, Telita Hayes adds nearly $200 to the commissary account for her ex-husband, William Reese, who has been in the Louisiana State Penitentiary for 28 years.
Each prisoner there is given three meals a day and some personal hygiene items, like soap and toothpaste. But when Reese gets hungry between meals, or when his state-issued supplies run out, the commissary money buys him extra food and other necessities.
The Marshall Project is partnering with The New York Times Race/Related newsletter to present a weeklong series on families of the incarcerated. This is the first of five parts.
That is not the only way his imprisonment drains her wallet. On top of the $2,161 she has put in his commissary account so far this year, Hayes has paid $3,586 in charges for talking to him on the phone when she cannot make the hourlong drive to the prison, and even $419 for emails sent through the prison’s email system. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reckons that the United States spends more than $80 billion each year to keep roughly 2.3 million people behind bars. Many experts say that figure is a gross underestimate, though, because it leaves out myriad hidden costs that are often borne by prisoners and their loved ones, with women overwhelmingly shouldering the financial burden.
These costs rise during the holiday season, relatives of people in prison say, as they make more visits, call more often and send more care packages. National data is rarely gathered on how much prisoners’ families pay into the corrections system. So to better understand the hidden costs of incarceration, The Marshall Project asked people to document their spending. Nearly 200 people responded. Many families said they shell out hundreds of dollars each month to feed, clothe and stay connected to someone behind bars, paying for health care, personal hygiene items and phone calls and other forms of communication.
Hayes said she spends an additional $200 on visits and phone calls around Christmastime. Prison is tough enough; surviving it alone is even harder—especially during the holidays.“I think the biggest misconception that people have about prison is that ‘the state’ pays for everything,” wrote Connie Martin, 50, from Hazel Park, Michigan. “No one realizes that it’s the friends and families of loved ones that pay.”
The Prison Policy Initiative, an organization working to reduce mass incarceration, estimates that families spend $2.9 billion a year on commissary accounts and phone calls. Families are also often responsible for paying court fees, restitution and fines when a member goes to prison. According to a 2015 report by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the average family paid roughly $13,000 in fines and fees
.Kae Boone, 52, says she spends $100 a month on her boyfriend, Charles Lee Isaac, 52, who is incarcerated at the Graceville Work Camp in Graceville, Florida, for failing a drug test, a violation of his parole for an earlier offense. Boone says the money mostly goes toward toiletries and food. The one hotel-sized bar of soap Isaac gets each week from the prison won’t last through a full week of showers.Keeping him clean and fed has forced Boone to make trade-offs in her own life. Sometimes she struggles to pay her own bills. “I had one of my cars repossessed because I would prefer to send him money and make sure he’s taken care of,” she said. In many facilities, basic items are sold by private vendors, often with substantial markups or added service fees. Over the years, the cost to families has increased as prisons and jails across the country increasingly outsource many of the basic functions of running a correctional facility to private companies.
It is a trend that has accelerated since the 2008 recession, as state legislatures have looked for ways to bring down the rising cost of incarceration, according to Hadar Aviram, a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. “Public prisons are public only by name,” she said. “These days, you pay for everything in prison.”Prison officials often say the switch to private vendors makes the prisons more secure and prevents contraband from being smuggled in with outside food or gifts. Many families say they’re now paying more for the same goods they used to be able to purchase on their own.“Back in the day, we could buy underwear and tennis shoes and jeans and have it shipped directly to the inmate,” said Hayes, who is 50. Now, she said, she has to go through approved vendors.“The price is jacked up on everything,” she said. Over the two years since the couple reconnected after a 12-year separation, Hayes estimates that she has spent upward of $10,000 supporting him in prison. Her ex-husband is serving a life sentence for aggravated rape, so the costs of staying in touch could extend for many years.
When Dawn Hodges, 47, moved back to her hometown, she learned that her childhood friend T.J. Davis, also 47, was serving a two-year sentence for driving on a suspended license. Davis had been in and out of prison over the years as he struggled to overcome a drug addiction. Although he had been sober and out of trouble for nearly a decade, the driving charge violated the terms of his parole.At first, Hodges wrote Davis letters. But when their exchanges rekindled old feelings, they wanted to stay in touch more often, so Hodges bought Davis a tablet device. The tablets, which cost $80, offer Florida prisoners more ways to connect with people back home, including email and video calls—but at a price.Each email requires a digital “stamp,” which costs $12 for a set of 30. Pictures and attachments require an additional stamp. Hodges says she emails Davis at least once a day, blowing through 30 to 40 stamps a month.Jennifer Erschabek, executive director of the Texas Inmate Families Association, considers the money that people like Hodges spend an additional tax. The high prices are the result of contracts that are written with profits in mind, she said. Texas recently reduced the cost of telephone calls with prisoners to 6 cents a minute, from 23 cents, by negotiating a better deal with the provider.In states where the rates are still exorbitant, it is perilously easy to binge on expensive services to stay in touch. As a result, people trade tips for saving money through numerous Facebook groups and chat rooms for families of the incarcerated.
“I can’t afford to put money on the phone, either, so I have to decline calls, and it hurts my heart to do that.”In November and December, people incarcerated in federal prisons are allowed to receive an extra 100 minutes of phone calls. Family members say the extra time can feel like a lifeline because of restrictions on receiving gifts from outside prison.Those limitations make calls and visits around the holidays extremely important, wrote Sheena Perron, 34, from St. Paul, Minnesota. “I find myself willing to put myself in a financial crunch just to make that communication happen!”
Under secret Stephen Miller plan, ICE to use data on migrant children to expand deportation efforts -No Surprise! – SECRET, Because the Bastards Knew it was Illegal! – kra
This is no surprise, Miller is the weasel behind tRump’s most cruel policies – i.e. putting little children in cages, ripped from their parents with NO plan in pace as to how or when to reunite them!
We must get this tyrant out of our White House! Thank God for our Freedom of the Press, which tRump would love to quash, or we would never have known about this … and what else?!
Remember this comes from tRump, who has NO respect for law, including the law passed to specifically disallow this policy!
Excerpts from the Article:
The White House sought this month to embed immigration enforcement agents within the U.S. refugee agency that cares for unaccompanied migrant children, part of a long-standing effort to use information from their parents and relatives to target them for deportation, according to six current and former administration officials.
Though senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services rejected the attempt, they agreed to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from adults seeking to claim migrant children at government shelters. If those adults are deemed ineligible to take custody of children, ICE could then use their information to target them for arrest and deportation.
The arrangement appears to circumvent laws that restrict the use of the refugee program for deportation enforcement; Congress has made clear that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of minors in U.S. custody to be frightened away by possible deportation. But, in the reasoning of senior Trump administration officials, adults denied custody of children lose their status as “potential sponsors” and are fair game for arrest.
The plan has not been announced publicly. It was developed by Stephen Miller, President Trump’s top immigration adviser, who has long argued that HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement is being exploited by parents who hire smugglers to bring their children into the United States illegally. The agency manages shelters that care for underage migrants who cross the border without a parent and tries to identify sponsors — typically family members — eligible to take custody of the minors.
Previous Trump administration attempts to give ICE more access to the refugee program have generated significant opposition, because it potentially forces migrant parents to choose between reclaiming their children and risking arrest. Administration officials acknowledge the arrangement will instill fear among migrant parents, but they say it will deter families from having their children cross into the United States illegally.
Officials at ICE and HHS said that the information shared with enforcement agents primarily would be used to screen adults for criminal violations and other “red flags,” and that it would not be focused on capturing parents and relatives who come forward to claim what the government calls “unaccompanied alien children.”
Bryan Cox, an ICE spokesman, said his agency will help HHS ensure that children are not placed with sponsors until the sponsors have been thoroughly vetted, a review process that includes using biometric data. Cox said his agency has more-powerful screening tools at its disposal than HHS has, “including better capabilities to identify fraudulent documents or documents obtained by fraud.”
After the Trump administration began a similar information-sharing initiative last year, which predictably led to fewer sponsors coming forward and created a massive backlog of children in U.S. custody, Democrats fought to put a firewall between ICE and ORR. Language in the 2019 funding bill specifically prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from using child sponsor data — addresses, names, phone numbers — to generate ICE target lists.
According to those provisions, no federal funds “may be used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to place in detention, remove, refer for a decision whether to initiate removal proceedings, or initiate removal proceedings against a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child.”
HHS officials have generally tried to keep ICE at a distance, insisting that their agency’s mission is to safeguard children and not to facilitate the arrest of their relatives.
Three officials familiar with Miller’s plan said it was part of his broader effort to chip away at congressionally mandated barriers between ICE and the refugee program.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
As the migration crisis at the border has abated in recent months, Miller has once again worked to tear down the information wall between the refugee agency and ICE, according to those familiar with his efforts.
Miller arranged the new information-sharing plan through discussions with ORR Director Jonathan Hayes, according to two of those officials who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they fear being fired. As part of the plan, a senior official at ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations unit, Caleb Vitello, was supposed to be temporarily assigned to work inside ORR. But senior HHS officials rejected that part of the plan during a meeting Thursday, two administration officials said. White House officials have privately denounced HHS staff as having “sabotaged” attempts at implementing information-sharing agreements.
Vitello had previously worked with Miller at the White House on assignment to the National Security Council, according to three officials who have worked with both men. HHS Secretary Alex Azar was not informed of Miller’s effort to place an ICE official at his agency, two officials said.
Azar has worked to keep his agency out of the maelstrom of immigration politics after the “zero tolerance” episode, which separated at least 2,700 children from their parents or other adult relatives until Trump was forced to reverse course.
According to the latest ORR data, the government has approximately 4,300 minors in its care, down from 15,000 a year ago. Children spend an average of 69 days in ORR custody, down from 93 days a year ago but still far longer than in recent years.
Before zero tolerance, minors spent an average of about 50 days in government shelters, even though ORR had responsibility for twice as many children at the time.
HHS also is seeing a growing number of cases they call “category four,” which mean the agency cannot find a parent, relative or other eligible adult to take custody. After several months, those minors are typically placed in long-term foster care. An HHS official said the agency does not have an available tally of the number of category four children.
Arrests on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico have fallen more than 70 percent since May, when 144,116 migrants were taken into custody amid a record influx of families and children from Central America. The Trump administration has implemented deterrent measures making it significantly more difficult for migrants who cross the border to qualify for U.S. asylum protections. Since the beginning of the year, border officials have sent more than 53,000 migrants back to Mexico to wait outside U.S. territory while their asylum claims are processed.
The government also has started sending asylum seekers to Guatemala under the terms of one of several new agreements that will allow Homeland Security officials to send those seeking refuge in the United States to the same crime-plagued region they are fleeing. Those measures cannot be usedl to reject underage migrants who arrive and seek protection in the United States, so administration officials continue to view the ORR program as a “loophole” that allows migrants living illegally in the United States to send for their children to be brought into the country.
The number of unaccompanied minors taken into custody increased 17 percent from October to November, to 3,321, while two other significant demographic categories — family groups and single adults — continued to show declines, the latest enforcement figures show.
Cambria County Prison no longer allowing personal mail to inmates; policy prompted by drugs, contraband – Total BS! – kra
This is likely to be challenged successfully in court. Two important FACTS you should know: 1. this is counter productive because all studies show that the more contact inmates have with “the real world”, the lower the chance they will re offend when released, and 2. MOST contraband is brought in by guards!
Excerpts from the Article:
Cambria County Prison inmates can no longer receive personal letters sent directly to the prison, a new policy that prison officials said is designed to keep drugs and other contraband items from entering the facility.
“The prison no longer accepts any personal mail delivered directly to the institution,” Bill Patterson, the prison’s first deputy warden, said during Wednesday’s meeting of the Cambria County Prison Board.
Warden Christian Smith said after the meeting that the prison’s contract with TextBehind, a Maryland-based company that bills itself as a provider of “inmate mail management software and service,” went into effect on Dec. 2. Friends and relatives of prison inmates now have two options to send mail to those inmates, Patterson said. They can send messages and photographs through TextBehind’s website, www.textbehind.com, or its mobile application; those messages and photographs will then be printed out at the prison and distributed to inmates.
Alternatively, they can mail letters and photographs to TextBehind’s premises in Maryland, where they will be photocopied. Those copies will then be sent to the prison, printed out and distributed. Patterson said that, according to the prison’s contract, TextBehind will pay for the printer, printer toner and maintenance for the printer.
The prison will continue accepting legal mail for inmates.
“This new procedure eliminates the possibility of any contraband entering the facility through inmate personal mail,” Patterson said, calling the use of mail to conceal drugs “a real problem” both at the Cambria County Prison and in state prisons. As an example of how letters can be used to deliver contraband, he said that there have been cases in which paper has been soaked in illicit substances.
More information on the new policy, including the address of TextBehind’s Maryland premises and guidelines for sending mail to the prison, is available online at www.cambriacountypa.gov/prison.aspx in a .PDF file called “New Inmate Mail Procedures.”
Too few abusive prison guards are prosecuted and imprisoned. That is the only way to end the rampant abuses. Why? READ How to avoid the deaths of prison guards and inmates
This article relates the criminal brutality and the efforts to cover up (READ THIS Culture of Cover Up article!) which happen daily in America’s prisons.
Excerpts from the Article:
Three Illinois prison guards were arrested this week on federal obstruction and civil rights charges in connection with the death of an inmate who was fatally beaten last year, the authorities said. Lt. Todd Sheffler, 51; Sgt. Willie Hedden, 41; and Officer Alex Banta, 28, were arraigned in federal court in Springfield, Ill., on Friday afternoon for their roles in the May 17, 2018, assault of Larry Earvin at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for Central Illinois.
Mr. Earvin, 65, who sustained multiple broken ribs, a punctured colon and other serious internal injuries in the attack, died six weeks later from blunt trauma injuries. His death was ruled a homicide, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the autopsy report last year.
The assault on Mr. Earvin occurred as Lieutenant Sheffler, Sergeant Hedden and Officer Banta moved him from his residential unit to the Mount Sterling prison’s segregation unit, according to the grand jury’s indictment, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
The three men assaulted Mr. Earvin “without legal justification” while he was handcuffed “and posed no physical threat,” the United States Attorney’s Office said. After the assault, the men filed “knowingly false incident reports that failed to disclose any assault” of Mr. Earvin, the office said.
According to federal prosecutors, the false reports said Mr. Earvin was delivered to the segregation housing unit “without further incident,” claiming that he had resisted the escort and refused to walk
The three men were each charged with several counts, including deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to obstruct justice. If convicted on the civil rights charges, they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison, the prosecutor’s office said. An initial trial date of Feb. 4, 2020, has been set.
In a statement, John C. Milhiser, the United States attorney, noted the difficulty that prison guards face. “Every day, correctional officers report for public service that is often demanding and under-appreciated,” he said. “However, our criminal justice system requires that those who perform these difficult duties do so lawfully.”
The Illinois Department of Corrections said Friday night that its “staff have a professional and moral obligation to protect the safety of individuals sentenced to our custody and treat them with dignity.”
The Whole Story and the Indictment:
How many similar reports have I read? 200?400? Hundreds for sure, hundreds of articles about entirely preventable deaths in America’s prisons. All of it, with the investigations, the cover ups, the lawsuits, costing YOU billions of tax dollars annually!
Note that he was in for a VOP … and READ
Letter to Editor or Editorial Submission – What a Monster we Have Created! Probation and Parole 2/19/19 PUBLISHED
Excerpts from the Article:
Did you hear the one about the prisoner who allegedly hanged himself while restrained in a straitjacket? That isn’t an opening line for a sick joke; rather, it’s the contention of officials in Essex County, New Jersey when trying to explain the death of jail detainee Lucas Vieira.
Vieira, who struggled with substance abuse and mental illness and was being held for a probation violation due to a positive drug test, was found dead in his cell. He was in a straitjacket and on suicide watch at the time.
In 2017, WNYC News conducted an investigation into the high prisoner death rate in New Jersey county jails. In response, Governor Philip Murphy pledged to ramp up oversight of the troubled lock-ups. That apparently did not happen. One of the new guidelines, published in December 2018, requires a morbidity report to be completed after all jail suicides. When WYNC News requested Vieira’s morbidity report from a jail records custodian under the state’s open records law on April 2, 2019, they were told no such document existed. A report was then generated two days later – eight months after Vieira’s death. Pursuant to New Jersey statutes, that particular record was required to be issued within three days after a prisoner dies.
The line in the report indicating the cause of death had been redacted; a footnote referenced an active criminal investigation by the county prosecutor’s office.
There is no indication when the investigation started, and New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) acting director Marcus Hicks was not available to answer questions. According to a DOC spokesperson, Hicks was preparing for legislative budget hearings and would address the DOC’s failure to enforce the three-day death reporting requirement on Essex County officials at a later time. According to jail spokesman Anthony Puglisi, “Whenever there is a suspected suicide, the Prosecutor’s Office conducts an investigation.”
Attorney Hillary Nappi is representing Vieira’s estate and his surviving family members in a wrongful death suit against the jail and its for-profit medical provider, CFG Health Systems. The complaint states that Vieira arrived at the facility on August 14, 2018, and his mental health and substance abuse histories were documented. He was later transferred to the medical unit on August 25 and put in a straitjacket and on suicide watch.
“Mr. Vieira was placed in a straitjacket, which is the extreme measure that should only be used with a prisoner if they are presenting a very clear-cut risk to themselves, or to correctional officers or other inmates,” Nappi stated. “And we know that Mr. Vieira was placed in a straitjacket … he was the highest level risk … he should have had constant supervision.”
Jail spokesman Puglisi declined to comment on the case due to the litigation, while CFG Health Systems refused to comment at all. They provided no explanation as to how Vieira had managed to hang himself. The suit remains pending. See: Estate of Vieira v. CFG Health Systems, LLC, U.S.D.C. (D. NJ), Case No. 2:19-cv-08452-MCA-JAD.
Just another example of how they disregard their own policies. Minor compared with the guards who rape inmates, but illustrative of the fact that …
Excerpts from the Article:
Eight employees at a northeast Georgia jail have resigned or were suspended after an investigation found some engaged in sexual activity among themselves while on duty. No inmates were involved and activity appears to have been consensual.
A retiring jail supervisor say he accepts responsibility for misconduct among Hall County employees.
Lt. Ken Nix retired Nov. 25. He tells The Times of Gainesville he knew supervisors could be questioned for actions by subordinates. All the employees worked the same night shift. The Hall County Sheriff’s Office announced violations including unbecoming conduct, unsatisfactory performance of duty and failure to supervise.
Nix says he wasn’t involved and reported allegations in mid-November, sparking the investigation.
Nix says he advanced his retirement date by a month, but knew of no intent to fire him.
It’s called over criminalization, and I spoke on that very subject on a bus tour promoting the Libertarian party in the summer of 2015, in NY, Mass, VA and NJ. Idiots get elected to the legislatures and they think they must “do something”, so they pass many asinine laws. On top of that, they fall into the utterly failed “get tough on crime” mindset. And all of this nonsense does NOTHING to keep you safer and wastes TONS of your hard-earned tax money! Those are FACTS. Innumerable studies show the best way to reduce crime is to educate inmates; that’s not “coddling” them, it is being “smart on crime”!
Excerpts from the Article:
As societal standards continue to evolve, devolve, and change for better or worse, legislatures continue to enact laws to prohibit illegal acts and protect people. New technology always opens opportunities for improvement, as well as attendant avenues for less-than-stellar individuals to take advantage of law-abiding citizens. Legislatures respond in the only way they know: They pass more laws. At what point does passing more and more and more laws just become crazy?
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attempted to do a count of the number of actual criminal laws (presumably federal ones) on the statute books in the 1980s. The DOJ wound up ceding defeat, perhaps because they were frantically trying to enforce the estimated 300,000 or so laws.
Attorney Mike Chase, author of the book How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender, points out that if he broke just one law every day, it would only take “800 years to finish the job.”
Making matters far worse is Congress granting government regulatory agencies the authority to promulgate regulations that carry the force and effect of law. This creates an entirely new set of laws that shouldn’t be, but really are. Just plain crazy. If you doubt this, try selling runny ketchup. Still in doubt? Try removing a steaming pile of llama poop from a quarantine facility. Need more convincing? Go to a national park and make an “obscene gesture” at a passing horse. Whatever constitutes an “obscene gesture” would have to be defined by the charging bureaucrat as it is a sure bet the horse would not care if you gestured at it one way or the other.
A recent SCOTUS decision underscores the sheer insanity of this situation. Alaska state cops arrested a citizen for disorderly conduct (as vague a crime as making obscene gestures). Their stated reason for the arrest was to punish the man because he expressed an opinion that hurt their feelings. To begin with, punishment is assessed by judges or juries, not by cops. That is called due process of law, supposedly guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Secondly, since when is merely expressing an opinion, an act supposedly protected by the First Amendment, an act of disorderly conduct?
Apparently these weighty constitutional amendments must have escaped the notice of at least five of the nine SCOTUS Justices. The case was affirmed because probable cause for the arrest was believed to exist, which in turn apparently trumps violations of the Constitution. With its uncountable number of vague laws, the government itself has become the less-than-stellar individual body that is taking advantage of its law abiding citizens (though with so many laws on the books, can anyone truly be a law abiding citizen?).
My friend Steve Hampton and I talk at least once a week. He sent me this article.
Excerpts from the Article:
Before 21-year-old Seth Zakora’s body was found lifeless in his bunk in 2017, his cellmate had warned guards that something was wrong. Zakora didn’t look well.
In the days leading up to Zakora’s illness, illicit drug overdoses sent two other prisoners at Michigan’s Lakeland Correctional Facility to the hospital. By the time corrections officers checked in on him in the morning, Zakora’s body was stiff and covered head to toe in a sheet. Zakora’s family claims he died of an overdose of fentanyl, which they say flowed into the prison through a drug-smuggling ring run by the guards, according to a federal civil rights complaint filed last week.
The lawsuit claims state corrections officials failed to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the prison or care for prisoners vulnerable from opioid addiction. Its allegations capture the challenge that corrections facilities face as the opioid epidemic roils outside prison walls: How can they care for inmates with drug addiction while drugs remain as lucrative and in-demand in prisons as they are on the street?
“Whatever you can get on the outside, you can get on the inside, but it’s easier because you know it’s coming from the guards,” said Solomon Radner, the attorney representing Zakora’s estate.
Opioids killed more than 47,000 people in 2017 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and their lethal nature doesn’t stop at prison doors. In California, which has the largest prison population, overdoses are up 113 percent over three years, with opioid-related deaths on the rise as well, according to an investigation earlier this year by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Just one week after Zakora’s mother, Brandy, filed the lawsuit in Michigan, the family of a man who died of a fentanyl overdose while jailed in New Orleans filed a similar claim that alleged the jail staff’s failure to treat his addiction and stop the flow of illicit drugs violated his constitutional rights.
“When someone comes over and tells you something that sounds crazy, they laugh it off. But you hear it from 20 people … maybe you start to think, there’s something to it,” Radner told The Washington Post.
Radner said that even though the cases are widespread, the lawsuits are difficult to bring no matter how dramatic the allegations appear on paper; Zakora’s complaint includes claims of an affair between a guard and a prisoner that facilitated the drug smuggling and hints at a coverup by corrections officials.
“You need a perfect storm for a [lawsuit] like this. One, you need someone to have suffered. Second, you need someone, or their loved ones if they’re deceased, to care,” he said, noting that prisoners in the throes of addiction are unlikely to complain about the presence of illicit drugs. “[Third] is overcoming this rule that people don’t snitch — and that make[s] it particularity difficult to have not only inmates but guards come forward.”
Zakora’s lawsuit claims that drug smuggling is a well-known issue in Michigan Department of Corrections facilities and that efforts to flag it were met with retaliation against staff and prisoners. It cites two other facilities where claims of drug smuggling went without investigation and prisoners who confessed to taking part in the smuggling operations wound up dead in custody.
In the Lakeland facility, where Zakora died, drugs were “in abundance,” the lawsuit states, and were introduced into the prison through a smuggling ring that a female corrections officer allegedly orchestrated with the help of a prisoner she was having a relationship with. Even when another prisoner tried to alert investigators to the matter, going so far as to describe how the drugs were coming in and from whom, the state took no action, according to the complaint. An investigation into drugs in the prison didn’t take place until after Zakora’s death; a drug-sniffing dog reportedly made “positive indications” for contraband, the lawsuit said.
Zakora’s death was the first overdose death at Lakeland in nearly 20 years, while 13 people have died from drug overdoses in MDOC facilities in the past decade, according to Gautz.
Several of the corrections officers named in the lawsuit knew Zakora “had involvement with the drugs,” the complaint said. Zakora, who was serving a sentence of three to 22 years for sexual assault when he died, “feared for his life and told his grandmother what was happening in the prison, how drugs were coming in from the outside, and how he was afraid he would not make it out alive,” the lawsuit said.
When Zakora left solitary confinement, two corrections officers allegedly told him “he had gotten himself into this mess,” in reference to Lakeland’s drug problem, “and now it was his problem to deal with. ”
“There’s misconduct and corruption in the prison system and it happens at the highest level, and people are dying as a result,” Radner said.
“I think sometimes people think of [prisoners] as less than human,” Clarke said. “It’s important to remember that everyone who is in prison is someone’s child, brother or sister. The best thing for people with addiction is to make treatment available. ”
More than 20 percent of people in the MDOC system have opioid use disorder, according to information from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) office. In November, the state announced it would begin offering medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, in three MDOC facilities, with the goal of having MAT in all state prisons by 2023. Lakeland is not among the facilities in the pilot program.