Imprisoned People Facing Medical Neglect and Violence, Family Members and Organizers Speak Out

Press release received per email:
For Immediate Release – Monday, November 23, 2015
 
Imprisoned People Facing Medical Neglect and Violence, Family Members and Organizers Speak Out
 
Press Contact: Dolores Canales, Family Unity Network, (714)290-9077 dol1canales@gmail.com  or Hannah McFaull, Justice Now, (415) 813.7715 hannah@justicenow.org
 
Sacramento – On November 11th, an imprisoned person at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), faced extreme violence at the hands of prison guards. Stacy Rojas and three others were detained, physically abused, sexually harassed, strip searched in the presence of male guards, and were kept without water, food or restrooms for eleven hours. The group was illegally kept in administrative segregation without a lock up order and have been denied health care support for the injuries caused by these officers. Requests to speak with members of the prison’s Investigative Services Unit have so far been ignored.
 
“I just want to let them know that we have been physically abused, sexually harassed,” said Stacy Rojas, “and that this was just wrong. They used excessive force, totally used excessive force against us and we need help.”
 
The public acknowledgment of excessive use of force and deadly use of force by police has increased throughout the nation. Video recordings of interactions between the police and the public have increased significantly in recent years as technology has improved and the number of distribution channels has expanded. This is not an option open to people experiencing violence from guards behind prison walls and any attempt to speak out is often met with retaliation and increased force.
 
“Our communities in and out of lock up have lived experiences with biased policing — ranging from racial profiling, to excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force”, stated Patrisse Cullors co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter. “We hear about it more and more in the communities we live in, but rarely hear about the traumatic ways that it manifests in the California prison system. Stories like Stacy’s are happening everyday inside of California prisons and jails with little to no measures taken by authorities to keep people safe and hold law enforcement, such as prison guards accountable.”
 
Advocacy organizations working with people in women’s prisons are familiar with reports of abuse and violence, like that experienced at CCWF last week. The California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Justice Now, the Family Unity Network, the TGI Justice Project and others regularly provide legal and medical advocacy support following incidents of violence perpetrated by correctional officers at women’s prisons.
 
This group of organizations and Stacy’s family members are requesting an independent investigation of the violence and excessive use of force used. They are requesting medical care and safe housing for Stacy and all those involved. The group also demands an end to the violence imposed on women, transgender people, gender nonconforming people, and communities of color within the California prison system.
 
“My sister is at the end of a fourteen year sentence and it seems as though some would wish to take that away. This has never happened [to Stacy] before. We have never had fear for my sister’s life”, said Adriana Rojas. “My sister Stacy Rojas’ constitutional rights have been violated by being stripped searched by male guards, assaulted by means of kicking and stomping, taken outdoors in near 40 degree weather, threatened with rape, humiliated, placed in holding cages for nearly 12 hours, and deprived of food and water.” Albert Jacob Rojas added, “They were denied medical attention and denied the right to speak to internal affairs. We ask that anybody who cares about human rights and women’s rights please join us in demanding justice for all.”
 
Family members and advocates are calling for:
  • An immediate independent investigation into the violence and excessive force used by guards in this incident.
  • Suspension of guards involved pending investigation.
  • Comprehensive medical treatment for injuries sustained during the incident.
  • No retaliation for speaking out against this abuse.
 
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When Good People Do Nothing: The Appalling Story of South Carolina’s Prisons

This was published on The Atlantic website, written by Andrew Cohen for The Atlantic on Jan. 10th, 2014:

A judge’s order in an inmate abuse case highlights the role played, or not played, by the state’s political and legal infrastructure.

In two months, America will observe the 50th anniversary of one of its most dubious moments. On March 13, 1964, Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was brutally murdered in Queens, New York. What made her case infamouslegendary, even—was that nobody responded to her cries for help. “Please help me, please help me!” she cried, over and over, and at least 38 people in her neighborhood who heard those cries did nothing to help her. They did not call the police. They did not come to comfort her. They did not, they later said, want to get involved. “When good people do nothing” is a timeless moral question, indeed.

One could say the same thing about the citizens of the state of South Carolina, who stand condemned today by one of their own. On Wednesday, in one of the most wrenching opinions you will ever read, a state judge in Columbia ruled that South Carolina prison officials were culpable of pervasive, systemic, unremitting violations of the state’s constitution by abusing and neglecting mentally ill inmates. The judge, Michael Baxley, a decorated former legislator, called it the “most troubling” case he ever had seen and I cannot disagree. Read the ruling. It’s heartbreaking.

Read the rest of this story here.

Asthmatic Prisoner Doused with Pepper Spray, Refused Medical Care, Dies: Just Another Day in the Texas Prison System

Reblogged from: RashidMod, Nov 8th 2013
Outside support activists have learned of another Texas prisoner dead, due to a combination of guard brutality and medical neglect.
For three consecutive nights medical staff were summoned to the cell of Christopher Woolverton, at the Clements Unit in Amarillo, because he was lying on the floor barely responsive. Finally, on the afternoon of October 22, a nurse came in and, seeing he was still not moving, summoned sergeant Andrew Gratz and Lieutenant Matthew Seymour, informing them that Woolverton was scheduled to see a doctor.
At this point, normally, things should have improved for Woolverton. After a criminally long delay of three days, during which time he was in clear distress, he should have finally received medical attention. But that’s not what happened.
A letter from Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Minister of Defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) being held at the Clements Unit in Amarillo, lays out the tragic sequence of events. Remember, when reading this, that Woolverton had been unresponsive, lying on the ground seemingly unable to move, for days at this point. Rashid recounts how,
“Gratz, a notoriously abusive guard, told Woolverton to get up and come to the door and submit to handcuffs or he’d be OC-gassed and forcibly removed by an extraction team of riot armored guards. Woolverton was not responsive. The nurse told him they were going to gas him and to ‘remember how they gassed you the last time and you couldn’t breathe?’ She implored him to get up and come to the door, which he failed to do – in obvious medical distress.
“The nurse and others left and the warden and several other people in street clothes came in, looked in at Woolverton, laughed and left.
“Moments later, Gratz, Seymour and the nurse returned with a team or riot armored guards with gas masks and OC gas. Gratz proceeded, as the nurse watched, to spray Woolverton several times directly in the head (drenching his face and head) with OC gas. After about 10 minutes the team rushed in to restrain him by force. He was then bodily lifted and put on a gurney and rolled out of the pod.
“He was several minutes later brought back in and made to stand by Gratz and the team (directly in front of my cell) with his body and legs trembling like a newborn colt. He distinctly stated, ‘I can’t breathe.’ They also had a cup mask (like construction workers wear) over his nose and mouth. He couldn’t walk, so they bodily picked him up by ankles and arms and carried him into a cell where they left him lying completely naked with no property and without his asthma inhalers. He was not decontaminated of gas. This all transpired at around 2:30 pm.
“Several guards came into the unit and went to his cell and made jokes about his lying nude on the floor. He didn’t move.”
Woolverton was left like this, lying on the floor of his cell, unable to breathe, for almost 24 hours. In this condition, he died. Rashid:
“At 1:30 on October 23, 2013, with his having still not moved – several nurses along with a lieutenant William Williamson and others rushed into Woolverton’s cell to find him dead on the floor in the same spot. They tried CPR to no avail. As they picked his body up and placed it onto a gurney his lower extremities clearly appeared stiff and unbending – rigor mortis having apparently set in. He was obviously several hours dead despite guards supposedly making routing rounds in the unit.”
The case of Christopher Woolverton is not unique. Gas is frequently used against prisoners in the Clements Unit, and throughout the entire Texas prison system cell extractions routinely provide an excuse for violent abuse. Woolverton’s is not the first such case that, combined with medical neglect, has led to a fatal outcome.
Take the case of Larry Louis Cox: in 2007, Cox died from injuries sustained after a confrontation with guards during a cell extraction at the Estelle Unit. Although his hands were cuffed behind his back at the time, he was thrown to the ground, his head hitting his metal bunk and fracturing his spine. Due to the severity of this injury he was unable to stand to his feet – as a result, prison medical staff reported him as “refusing” treatment. On January 26 – after lying on the ground in agony for two days – Cox was finally transferred to an outside hospital, where he died ten days later. A medical examiner would find that Cox’s death constituted homicide by “medical neglect complicating blunt force trauma,” and yet despite recommendations to the contrary from the Office of the Inspector General, no charges were laid.1
The impunity with which guards and medical staff were treated in Cox’s case simply guaranteed that such a tragedy would happen again. As it now has, to Christopher Woolverton.
Rashid explains that,
“In every prison/prison system I’ve been, there is a strict rule against using OC gas on prisoners with asthma and similar respiratory conditions, because it is known to be a fatal mix. Not only did they gas a known asthmatic, but they put a mask on his nose and mouth to ensure he breathed nothing but the gas fumes that saturated his face. His head was so wet from gas that his hair was wet and plastered to his forehead and scalp. He was then left without his asthma pumps, naked in a bare cell on the floor where he died, without decontamination.”
The horrific nature of such abuse notwithstanding, unless there is outside mobilization around this case, it is unlikely that anything will be done to prevent future similar deaths. Already, it is clear that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDJC) is not worried with even having to go through the motions of pretending to investigate why Woolverton ended up dead. Rashid explains that despite the fact that many prisoners in the pod are willing to testify as to what happened, “None of us many witnesses to Woolverton’s death have been questioned or interviewed about this blatant medical murder/wrongful death.”
Rashid, who has himself been subjected to violence numerous times since his arrival in Texas earlier this year, ends by noting that, “If this situation isn’t enough to energize folks to protest the foul TDCJ conditions, I don’t expect anything will.”
  1. Roma Khanna, “Injured Inmate Spent Two Days on Cell Floor,” Houston Chronicle Jan. 23, 2008. []

America’s 10 Worst Prisons: Ely State Prison makes it to the Dishonorable Mentions (top 17)

America’s 10 Worst Prisons: Dishonorable Mentions
7 runners-up, from a “gladiator school” to America’s largest death row.

By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
Wed May. 15, 2013, in:  Mother Jones Magazine

#1: ADX (federal supermax)
#2: Allan B. Polunsky Unit (Texas)
#3: Tent City Jail (Phoenix)
#4: Orleans Parish (Louisiana)
#5: LA County Jail (Los Angeles)
#6: Pelican Bay (California)
#7: Julia Tutwiler (Alabama)
#8: Reeves Country Detention Complex (Texas)
#9: Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility (Mississippi)
#10: Rikers Island (New York City)

Read the complete introduction to our 10 Worst Prisons project.
Last of 11 parts.

Serving time in prison is not supposed to be pleasant. Nor, however, is it supposed to include being raped by fellow prisoners or staff, beaten by guards for the slightest provocation, driven mad by long-term solitary confinement, or killed off by medical neglect. These are the fates of thousands of prisoners every year—men, women, and children housed in lockups that give Gitmo and Abu Ghraib a run for their money.

While there’s plenty of blame to go around, and while not all of the facilities described in this series have all of the problems we explore, some stand out as particularly bad actors. These dishonorable mentions make up the final installment of our 11-part series, a subjective ranking based on three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates concerning the penal facilities with the grimmest claims to infamy.

Attica Correctional Facility (Attica, New York): More than four decades after its famous uprising, New York’s worst state prison still lives up to its brutal history. According to the Correctional Association of New York, which has a legislative mandate to track prison conditions, Attica is plagued by staff-on-prisoner violence, intimidation, and sexual abuse.

Communications Management Units (Marion, Illinois, and Terre Haute, Indiana): These two federal prisons-within-prisons, whose populations are more than two-thirds Muslim, were opened secretly by the Bureau of Prisons during the Bush administration, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is challenging the facilities in a federal lawsuit. “The Bureau claims that CMUs are designed to hold dangerous terrorists and other high-risk inmates, requiring heightened monitoring of their external and internal communications,” notes a lawsuit fact sheet. “Many prisoners, however, are sent to these isolation units for their constitutionally protected religious beliefs, unpopular political views, or in retaliation for challenging poor treatment or other rights violations in the federal prison system.” (Also see: Pelican Bay.)

Ely State Prison (Ely, Nevada): A “shocking and callous disregard for human life” is how an auditor described medical care at Ely, which houses the state’s death row along with other maximum security prisoners (PDF). The audit, which found that one prisoner was allowed to rot to death from gangrene, formed the basis of a 2008 class-action lawsuit brought by the ACLU’s National Prison Project. The suit was settled in 2010, but by 2012 the prison still was not in full compliance.

Idaho Correctional Center (Kuna, Idaho): Run by Corrections Corporation of America, the world’s largest private prison company, ICC has been dubbed a “gladiator school” for its epidemic of gang violence. According to a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the ACLU of Idaho (PDF), the violence is not only condoned but actively promoted by the staff. The suit was settled, but last November, the ACLU said CCA appeared to be violating the agreement, which called for increased staffing and training, reporting of assaults to the local sheriff’s office, and disciplinary measures for staffers who didn’t take steps to stop or prevent assaults.

San Quentin State Prison (Marin County, California): This decrepit prison, which sits on a $2 billion piece of bayside real estate, is home to America’s largest death row. As of late-April, there were 711 men and 20 women condemned to die at San Quentin—you can find the latest stats here (PDF); the figure is constantly changing, despite a state moratorium on executions, because prisoners frequently die of illness or old age. Some even commit suicide rather than remain in solitary limbo.

Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola, Louisiana): At America’s largest prison, those who embrace warden Burl Cain’s pet program of “moral rehabilitation” through Christianity are afforded privileges while sinners languish in institutional hell. A former slave plantation, the prison lends its name to the so-called Angola 3, two of whom have been held in solitary for 40 years, largely for their perceived political beliefs. (In March, Louisiana’s attorney general declared, bafflingly, that the men had “never been in solitary confinement.”)

The federal pen at Lewisburg.
United States Penitentiary (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania): In this overcrowded supermax, the target of multiple lawsuits, prisoners are locked down for 23 to 24 hours a day in the company of a cellmate. One lawsuit alleges that prison officials deliberately pair people with their enemies, and that this practice has led to at least two deaths. The suit also claims that prisoners have been strapped to their bunks with four-point restraints if they resist their cell assignments.

Research for this project was supported by a grant from the Investigative Fund and The Nation Institute, as well as a Soros Justice Media Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations. Additional reporting by Beth Broyles, Valeria Monfrini, Katie Rose Quandt, and Sal Rodriguez.
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Petition for Appointment of Guardian outside the Nevada Dept of Corrections: plz help Mr Tragale

From: Nevada-Cure’s blog and added the petition text:

On August 20th 2012 Nevada-Cure sent this message out via email about retaliation against a prisoner held in NNCC (Carson City, NV). It appears Prisoner TRAGALE is being retaliated against for trying to help another prisoner, who is blind, mentally ill and unable to care for himself, have a guardian appointed to the prisoner to help him with his needs. 
Philip Tragale has asked the Courts for a Guardian and/or Lawyer to protect prisoner Daniel Stenner who is blind and mentally handicapped. Mr Tragale filed the text here underneath to the District Court in Nevada on June 6th 2012.

We have another case Mr Tragale filed which contains complaints about a few employees of NDOC who are alleged to be abusive towards prisoners. We will soon post that case here too.

Please write to your Legislator and Director Cox of NDOC to ask them to have an independent commission look into these alleged abuses, and have them stopped.

NV-CURE has not conducted an independent evaluation of Mr. Tragale’s claims.  However, such an investigation must be conducted by a person that is fair and impartial.  The truth and actual events must be made public and scrutinized by the Legislature. Please e-mail / write NDOC Director COX and members of the NV Legislature with your views and opinions on this matter.
Thank you.

Filed: 6-7-12
Case no. 12GRD0003D1B
Dept. no. 1
In the First Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada
In and for Carson City
*****
In Re: Daniel Stenner

Petition for Appointment of Guardian outside the Nevada Dept of Corrections

Comes now, Petitioner, Philip Tragale, and requests this Court to appoint a guardian for inmate Daniel Stenner, outside the NV Dept. of Corrections to protect inmate Stenner from the immoral, neglectful and abusive actions and practices of NDOC staff as will more fully appeare herein.

Petitioner, Philip Tragale, is an inmate, #62163, incarcerated at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City who has on three (3) occasions, for approx. one (1) week on each occasion witnessed the care of inmate Stenner. Petitioner now brings what he has witnessed before the Court for the Court to decide if action need be taken.

Daniel Stenner is blind and severely mentally handicapped to the point that he cannot do anything without assistance.

Petitioner believes Daniel Stenner is being abused for the following reasons:

1)      Daniel is never walked around or exercised in any way; he is removed from his cell to be fed and showered and done so in a special chair with wheels.

2)      Daniel is never taken outside for sun or fresh air.

3)      Daniel receives no therapy or rehabilitative training.

4)      Daniel is ignored, left in his cell naked and only paid attention to when he urinates (not in the toilet) or starts to scream, cry out or slap himself in the face and then he is told to lay down or he is offered food which is withheld for hours.

5)      Daniel is not given a radio or tv to keep him company or for mental stimulation nor does anyone spend time with Daniel just to try to engage him in conversation.

6)      Daniel’s meals are left to sit on the counter, in the open air, uncovered, for hours before it is fed to him cold, congealed, and dried out and only after hours of Daniel crying out and being told he’ll be fed soon over and over again.

7)      On one occasion Petitioner heard and saw Correctional Officer Cardella approach Daniel’s cell and in a low voice so no one could hear tell Daniel “You’re a F…ing B..ch.” Cardella then went to the doorjam and repeated his comment. Petitioner was in the next cell and when he witnessed this he began to scream at c/o Cardella to leave Daniel alone. Petitioner reported this to all present staff.

8)      It appears to Petitioner that c/o Cardella has some weird fascination/fixation with Daniel as Petitioner has witnessed c/o Cardella become entranced, staring at Daniel with a strange look on his face many times when he thinks no one is paying attention and all other free staff are busy. [p. 3]

9)      Petitioner has heard c/o Cardella talk about “pile driving” inmates and fears that if c/o Cardella ever gets a chance he will severely injure Daniel.

10)   It appears to Petitioner that Daniel no longer even understands that he is in prison.

Petitioner submits this petition in good faith and swears to its contents under penalty of perjury. Further, Petitioner would polygraph and/or testify to these matters in any investigation or Court proceeding.

WHEREFORE, petitioner prays this Court will appoint a guardian and/or attorney to look into these allegations and continue to look out for Daniel Stenner’s safety and wellbeing.

Dated this 10th Day of May, 2012.

Respectfully Submitted,

[signed] Philip Tragale

Philip Tragale #62163
NNCC
P.O. Box 7000
Carson City, NV 89702


More Brutality and Repression at E.S.P.

To be able to meet and cross paths with true comrades under these circumstances is one of the best things going for a young soldier like me. To have to live under such disturbing conditions while surrounded by so many prisoners who unfortunately obtain counter-productive mentalities is a tragedy within itself. Especially as we are all going through this same struggle together. So to be fortunate enough to come across comrades like Coyote to pass me literature and encourage me to pick up the struggle. And comrades like Brother Reggie who inspires me to be mentally and physically strong while living in the hellhole, a young soldier like me would probably still be promoting a selfish destructive lifestyle. And I wouldn’t be here today to write this article to shed light on yet another case of police brutality and abuse of power by the guards and the administration of Ely State Prison.

We’ve all heard about the incident of police brutality that took place in unit 4 on January 31st, 2010, where a guard allegedly got stabbed after beating over a dozen inmates bloody while in handcuffs, which resulted in a lieutenant and another officer getting fired, and which has provoked a series of lawsuits – on top of hundreds and hundreds of lawsuits that are already ongoing against the cold-hearted administration of E.S.P. So another report of police brutality should be no surprise.

In fact, I’m sure it was because of the lawsuits in regards to the “Bloody Sunday” incident (which is what the January 31st fracas is now being referred to as) that has caused the I.G.’s office to intervene on this latest incident of brutality that I am now about to report. Here for the very first time. Unfortunately the I.G.’s office intervention was a little too late, so hopefully this article will raise awareness and inspire people to start taking action so that we can prevent this type of retaliation from happening again, Let me explain…

I was working in the kitchen on March 7th, 2011. An inmate named Newcastle, known to us as “Chilly”, was alleged to brutally beat the Culinary Manager Steve Roundy almost to death. No one really knows if “Chilly” was the one to beat Steve over the head or not. For all we know it could’ve been a guard, cuz this incident allegedly took place after Steve threatened to write an officer up. But what we do know for sure is that Chilly is the one who was targeted by the officers after the alleged incident took place. The pigs came into the kitchen and handcuffed every prisoner and made us all lay face down on a dirty ground and then the officers proceeded to beat inmate Newcastle for about 20 to 30 minutes before they took him out of the kitchen. Chilly was in handcuffs and fully restrained. The pigs were supposed to have the video camera trained on the inmate, but they would point the camera on Steve, the Culinary Manager, while beating on Chilly. He was screaming and in obvious pain from the brutality of these vindictive, cowardly pigs. Then they took Chilly out of the kitchen into the hallway where I believe they beat him some more, which I will explain here momentarily.

Eventually Chilly was taken to the infirmary where the I.G. (Inspector General)’s offices that a camera be placed on him for 24 hours, 7 days a week to keep him protected from he violent retaliation of these cowardly officers. Why would the I.G.’s office take such drastic measures? Because they obviously know the nature and the criminal ways of these so-called E.S.P. “Correctional Officers.”

All of the other eleven prisoners, including myself, were taken to the hallway and forced to strip naked where a female nurse stood in front of me examining my body for any cuts and bruises. I felt very uncomfortable as the female nurse was staring at me laughing while the guards were standing by making sexual comments about my genitalia. and besides, there are male nurses employed here at E.S.P., so what was the purpose of having a female nurse inspect my naked body other than to humiliate and degrade me? This is all part of the psychological warfare waged on prisoners daily here at E.S.P. So needless to say, I felt violated, especially after it was already said that “The other 11 inmates did nothing wrong.” But that’s nothing compared to the violation I felt as I watched helplessly while Chilly was being beaten with a vengeance by these pigs.

After the inspection, or “degradation” I should say, we were all dressed and placed on our knees with our hands on our heads. And we were repeatedly threatened by the officer in the hallway gun tower that if we moved we will be shot down. After 30 minutes of this we were then all sent back to unit 8.

What´s even more crazy about all of this, is that when we were in the kitchen, lying on the floor in handcuffs, I was positioned in a way so that I was facing the pigs so that I could see then beat Chilly. And I could see everything that was going on, then one of the pigs tells another pig to make me turn my body the other way so I wouldn´t see what was going on. Twenty minutes after we were returned to our unit 2 pigs come to my room and told me that I needed to come with them. And I was then told that I had to speak with an Investigator from Las Vegas, and while I was in the process of being escorted to the property room, I saw some “bloody gloves” in the hallway just laying there. So it makes you wonder…

Upon entering the property room I was told I would be speaking with an Investigator and that I need to let them know everything I know and have seen. After 2 hours of sitting in the property holding cell, Lieutenant Peck comes in and gave me a pink piece of paper and read me my Miranda Rights. The paper was an Administrative Segregation Notice of Classification Hearing paper that I had to sign.

Then I was taken to the infirmary, but on the way to the Infirmary I asked the pig why I´m being treated like a suspect in the case, because to my understanding any time you are apprehended or detained by authority and read your Rights concerning a crime, you are observed as a potential suspect in the crime, and that´s clearly what´s going on here.

The pig´s response to my question was: “You shouldn´t have been facing that way, told you.” So to my understanding they know I was laying on the ground watching inmate Newcastle get beat. So then I was taken to the Infirmary and placed in holding cell #11 for 6 to 8 hours. Then Sergeant Lightsey and 2 C.E.R.T. officers came to my door and handcuffed me and when I came out the cell there was a video camera on a post facing me and the cell that I was in. I didn´t even know it was there until I came out the cell. So then I was brought to “the hole.” In unit 1A, stripped out of my clothes and given an orange jumpsuit. I asked Sgt Lightsey “Why am I being treated like a suspect?” He responded “You are a suspect.” The next day, ;March 8th, 2011, I was then taken to custody and was put in a small office where a sheriff from White Pine County and an investigator from Las Vegas asked me questions about the situation that occurred in the kitchen on March 7th, 2011. They asked me did I see the inmate Newcastle go in there, I said: “No, I was doing my job sacking up the lunches.” Then I was asked did I hear him say anything? I said: “No. I was just doing my job.” I asked them why I was being treated like a suspect. I was then told I am a possible suspect and witness, so I told them I did nothing wrong and I didn´t see anything. I was taken back to unit 1 and placed back into the cell with bloody ankles from the shackles being placed around my legs so tight I requested for medical attention, and I did not receive medical attention: my cell emergency button did not even work.

I am here on Ad. Seg. Told that I will remain under investigation for the 3-7-2011 situation. Of course, even though I´m only 22 years old, I´m still wise to their ways, I understand that all of thi sis just an intimidation tactic. To keep me from exposing how they savagely beat Chilly down while he was fully restrained like the cowards they are. It took me 3 weeks before I could get my property or even before I could take a shower. My rights to make a legal call were denied. And for a week we were being starved out with 2 cold, 300 calorie meals a day. And one hot meal at dinner. All of this to try to break my spirits. To try to make me cave in, left to set in a cell to worry and agonize over whether these cold-hearted cowards were gonna try to set me up as a retaliatory act because they know I watched them beat Newcastle.

After a week of being starved out, an anarchist comrade and an anti-authoritarian comrade on 1B kicked off a disturbance where supposedly fires were started, slots were captured and the tier was flooded out as more and more prisoners started to join in the resistance. From my wing – A-wing – we could see prisoners get carried out on stretchers and smoke everywhere. So we were quick to show our solidarity on A-wing! Supposedly Unit 1 was flooded and burnt out on the day of March 14th 2011. The next day we got fed our normal 2 hot meals a day and a cold sack lunch! So it just goes to show what a little resistance can do!

People need to know about the depravity here at ESP. They´ve already heard about the “Bloody Sunday” incident+ And the mysterious death of Timothy Redman. They ´ve heard about the way they let Cavanaugh rot and die. They´ve heard about the medical neglect, the F.B.I. investigations. And all of the lawsuits. And now they’re gonna hear about this! What else is it gonna take before we can get these callous and uncaring administrators and wardens removed from this prison, where someone capable can come in and operate this in a reasonable and humane way?

I was at one time blind and ignorant enough to work in the kitchen and help uphold the operations of this foul ass prison. I’ve seen the brutality of these pigs. And I’ve seen prisoners almost die because these incompetent nurses have given them the wrong medication.

The kitchen is the most unsanitary place in this whole prison. The pots and pans they cook food in are only half cleaned, the sheet pars they cook cakes and pies in are dirty. The floors and walls are dirty. And to top that off you have mice and rats running around the kitchen bite through food they feed us! There’s holes in the walls and the pigs even put food in the holes for the mice and rats.

This prison needs to be shut down, or else tempers are going to continue to flare and things are gonna blow up around here. The pigs are very disrespectful: they call your name and talk shit to you and they even call you names and talk shit to you and they even call Black people “monkeys”. And they know they can get away with just about anything because most of them live in the same town and are friends, they all watch each other’s back. And these so-called wardens cover up for them and back up their wrongdoing to cover their own asses.

Back here in the hole it’s bad. Psychiatric patients going crazy and terrorizing everybody. If you’re on Disciplinary Segregation you can’t even get a book sent in from your people on the outs. Left to sit in between 4 walls and lose your mind. No food off canteen, so D.S. inmates are forced to eat this unsanitary food or starve to death! It’s all bad.

I was once blind to all of this madness here at Ely State Prison. But now after being through all of this, and running across good comrades like Coyote who have taken the time to pass me literature and extend his solidarity and discuss serious matters about oppression and about how we need to elevate ourselves under these conditions, nothing can be the same for me anymore, now I’m stepping up to the plate, to be involved in the struggle and to be a part of the solution, no more can I stand idly by while we all suffer under these same atrocities. And I’m calling on others to start getting organized, start becoming active in the struggle that we are all aware of for liberation and justice. Leave the old, destructive ways alone and get involved in something that truly matters! I’m only 22 years old, I step up to the plate, so I know you can, because we all know what goes on here at Ely State Prison day in and day out. I step up because I know that “God” got my back for what ever comes my way, I’m prepared.
In for better for myself and others,

“With the heart of a young warrior”,
Comrade Vick P.!

Received by mail:
April 10th 2011
Including 5 pages of documentation.

More Abuses at Ely State Prison reported

We received this letter too:
Sent on March 16/17th 2011, received on March 22nd via an emailprogram:

“On March 16, 2011, 2 Correctional Officers hand-cuffed me and took me inside a small
medical room to review some documents. Due to me being hand-cuffed from the back, I was unable to, and the nurse who had the documents told me that I would not be able to take notes.

So it was impossible for me to view the documents with my hands tied behind my back and without any pencil and paper to oppose two Motions I have in Nevada District Court No. 2:10-cr 01340 – ILIO LRL in Vegas.

I told the nurse I will inform the courts of this. And the Nurse and Correctional Officers became angry. The Correctional Officers placed me back in my cell. As I placed my hands out the flap for them to take the cuffs off, C.O. Mr Davis called me a bitch and pulled my right arm out of the flap with the hand cuff still on it, and the other C.O. began yanking the hand-cuff pulling my skin back. C.O. Davis raised his right leg up and attempted to break my right arm and missed. The other Officer kept yanking my arm with the cuff on it.

Afterwards they made threats to kill me, and the Nurses and the CERT team were just
standing there. Officer Davis said “Fuck your legal shit”; the Nurses refused to give me medical treatment. I now sit here leaking badly from my arm and I have large marks on my arm. I need help. Now, they just denied me dinner, I will starve.

Case nr: 10-16778, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Raymond Watison #1031835
Ely State Prison
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301