Ely State Prison: A Solitary Confinement Torture Dungeon in Nevada

This should be repeated and repeated until it is heard and changed by the legislature! Torture has no place in Nevada.

Reblogged from: Nevada Cure
Ely State Prison is a prison with most of its units on a permanent lockdown. Most prisoners are being kept in solitary confinement for years, which has been defined as possible torture, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.


We received this Memorandum and Affidavit outlining the situation of the permanent lock down (solitary confinement) situation and the lack of distinction between a prisoner in General Population and a prisoner in Administrative or Disciplinary Segregation at Ely State Prison. The original is down below or here.

Please all take note and contact your representatives to change the situation for the better for everyone in Ely State Prison! Thank you.

 

To whom it may concern:

Please find accompanying this memo, a sworn, notarized Affidavit, briefly describing the horrible conditions of confinement, suffered by Nevada’s Maximum Security Prisoners, at Ely State Prison.

Please note:
The Affidavit is not an exhausted detail of the illegal conditions of confinement, at Ely State Prison, but only a brief description.

Finally note:
We, Prisoners at E.S.P., are requesting that you, your good offices, please afford us any support available to you, on our behalf. 

That we, who dare to speak out and expose the truth of Nevada’s secret solitary confinement, torture dungeons, are… in advance, profoundly grateful, and thank you, your good offices, for your leadership, strength and courage.
“The poor, voiceless prisoner class of E.S.P.”
———————————————————————-
Affidavit of Manuel Winn.
State of Nevada, County of White Pine }SS

I, Manuel Winn, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposes and swears to the following:

That I am the Affiant herein.

That I am of sound mind, good physical health, and above the age of 21 yrs old, therefore qualified to testify to all matters herein.
That I make this Affidavit in support of any motion, pleading, or document, filed by or on behalf of Manuel Winn, and or  prisoners housed at Ely State Prison.

That I make this Affidavit in opposition to any motion, pleading, or document, filed by or on behalf of the State of Nevada, Nevada Department of Corrections.
That I am an Inmate within the Nevada department of Corrections.

That I am housed at Ely State Prison, by the State of Nevada, Nevada department of Corrections.

That I have been housed at Ely State Prison since March of 2011.

That I have been classified as a General Population inmate at Ely State Prison since my arrival here on March, 2011.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population Inmates are confined to our cells for a minimum of 23 hours a day, every day.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population are forced to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell).
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison who are classified as General Population inmates, who refuse to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell), are threatened with being housed in a segregation unit, served with a notice of disciplinary charges, sanctioned to loss of commissary, privileges, arbitrary cell searches, confiscation of personal property, loss of incoming and outgoing mail, and reduction in the amount of food received from culinary officers.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population inmates, are not allowed personal access to the gym, nor the main yard, nor the legal library, nor the education building, ever.

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population inmates, are not allowed outside of our own cells, except for 45 minutes a day, approximately 5 days a week, for physical exercise, in a very small enclosed pin-area, by ourselves or with our cellmate only.

That there is at all times approximately one thousand (1,000) inmates housed at Ely State Prison.

That there is at all times approximately 400 (four hundred) inmates housed at Ely State Prison, classified as General Population inmates.

That there is at all times approximately 400, four hundred inmates housed at E.S.P. classified as segregation inmates, disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, and protective custody segregation.

That inmates housed at E.S.P., who are classified as Segregation inmates are housed and exercise identically to inmates housed at E.S.P., classified as General Population inmates, except that:

a)      All Segregation inmates are housed alone in single occupancy cells,
b)      Disciplinary Segregation inmates are not allowed to order edible items from the commissary and are only allowed an orange jumpsuit for clothing.
That there is at all times, approximately 70 inmates who are classified as Workers and allowed to work at E.S.P.
That inmates housed at E.S.P., who are classified as Workers, are the ONLY inmates allowed the following privileges:
a)      Personal access to Legal Library Thursday morning 9:00 am to 10:30 am, and Thursday afternoon(s) 12:00 am to 2:15 pm only.
b)      Personal access to gym, twice a week, for approximately 2 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
c)      Personal access to the main yard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for 2 hours in the mornings and 2 ½ hours in the afternoons.


Further Affiant says not.
Dated this 29th day of January, 2014.
Signed.

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Officials investigate inmate death at Ely State Prison

How many more people must die alone, unexplained, without medical care, after very long time inside Nevada’s prisons?

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, by Ana Ley, Las Vegas Sun

State corrections officials are investigating the death of an Ely State Prison inmate who was found unconscious inside his cell earlier this week.

Paul Skinner, 53, was discovered by prison staff on Tuesday. Medical personnel unsuccessfully tried to revive Skinner until paramedics rushed him to the William Bee Ririe Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

….

Read the rest here…

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.
##

Two prisoners die in state prisons after being found in cells

From: KSNV MyNews

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) — Nov 17th 2012

Two prisoners have died over the past two days after being found unresponsive in their state prison cells.

Nevada Department of Corrections officials said in a news release today that John Biasi, 55, was found dead in his single cell at High Desert State Prison about 4 p.m. Friday.

Biasi was serving 10 to 25 years for second-degree murder and a consecutive term of 5 to 15 years for use of a deadly weapon. He was convicted in Clark County and had been in state custody since November 2011.

NDOC said today that Winston Kelly, 38, was found unresponsive in his single cell during the 11 a.m. head count at Ely State Prison. He was taken to William Bee Ririe Hospital in Ely and was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. He was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and use of a deadly weapon in Elko County

Officials said both deaths are being investigated and no other information is available.

Another Death in Nevada’s graveyard: Ely State Prison

From a letter sent to us:
Rumor has it there was another death at Ely State Prison, on the date of August 17th, 2012. Allegedly, someone had choked their cellie to death. This supposedly took place in Unit 8, on the workers’ side this time. It remains to be seen if the wardens will completely close Unit 8 down, permanently. There was just a death in Unit 8, earlier this year, in march, on the non-workers side, which resulted in that wing of Unit 8 being locked down permanently.

Any time something like this happens at Ely State Prison, all of the prisoners are punished, whether they had something to do with it or not. This is called “Group Punishment,” and it really serves no significant purpose, other than to mete out more repression to the prisoners. It obviously does not stop more deaths from occurring.

Back in 2004, when someone allegedly got killed while on tier time in Unit 7, the warden locked Unit 7 down for good.

Back in 2005, when a prisoner allegedly threw jalapenyo juice in his cellie’s eyes and allegedly stumped him out to the point of hospitalization, the jalapenyos were taken away from the prisoners.

Back in 2002, when prisoners allegedly came out on tier time with chili cans tied up inside their laundry bags and allegedly whacked other prisoners over the head with the chili cans, in an alleged gang fight, that was the end of all canned foods. Now the prisoners buy all of their food in packages.

Back in 2006, when a prisoner allegedly used a metal rod from the inside of a typewriter (see  the exposé of Douglas Potter here), all the typewriters were taken away from all of the prisoners.

In some ways this makes sense, but at the same time, realistically speaking, this does not prevent prisoners from finding other things to use as weapons, or from finding more creative ways to attack, harm or kill, and as we have seen a couple times at E.S.P. now: when prisoners have no weapons they will use their tax hands to kill.

So, in all these cases (and believe me, there’s more), we see more acts of group punishment, but we don’t see how these acts of group punishment are stopping deaths from happening. How many times has someone killed their cellie at E.S.P.?  And out of all the times this has happened, when has the Administration ever said, “We are going to stop letting you have cellies!”? Never. In fact, most of the deaths that happen at Ely State Prison happen in the cells, by their cell mates, allegedly.

So wouldn’t it make sense to forbid the prisoners to be in a cell with other prisoners? Yes, of course it would make sense, but it is highly unlikely that this would ever happen, because the Administration needs to cell prisoners up with other prisoners, or else they would have no other place to put them. So Administration does what they need to do, to serve their interests, at the cost of other prisoners’ lives, and to shift the blame from themselves, they keep finding ways to take it out on all of the other prisoners that had no involvement, meanwhile, year after year, more prisoners die.

I can see why Ely State Prison is labeled “The Graveyard,” there are so many deaths there. It is a locked down, maximum security prison, all but half of one unit – the workers unit – which is on one side of Unit 8, incidentally the same place this recent death occurred. After perusing the article son Nevada Prison Watch’s website, seeing all of the atrocities that occur at ESP, and especially after reading Douglas Potter’s candidly written exposé, it definitely seems that the caseworkers have a role to play in many of these deaths, as they are the ones who approve of these bedmoves to occur, and choose who goes in what cell and with whom, but instead of taking any accountability themselves, they find ways to shift the blame on others. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and I’m not buying it.
          The alleged author of this alleged report, allegedly chooses to remain anonymous. August 19th, 2012

See for references in this article the following posts:

See also:

Authorities investigate inmate death at Ely prison

From: SF Chronicle: Aug 17th 2012
ELY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada inmate is dead following an undisclosed incident at Ely State Prison.
The Department of Corrections has identified the inmate as 49-year-old Clayton Wrencher. The incident happened early Friday.
Wrencher was convicted in 2010 of murder in Clark County and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Officials say the death is being investigated by the White Pine County sheriff’s office and the state Inspector General‘s Office.
Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Connett says further details are being withheld pending the outcome of the investigations.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Authorities-investigate-inmate-death-at-Ely-prison-3796508.php#ixzz24C1uY0bi

In Loving Memory: Randal N. Wiideman

We received these sympathetic obituaries from a friend of Randal N. Wiideman, who sadly passed away on October 23rd 2011 in Ely State Prison:

Stranded on Death Row

I first and foremost open with Revolutionary Greetings, all my utmost Bigtime Bulletproof Respect in Solidarity and, A true venomously warrior salute! With all due Respect to the Row and the stretched out: keep your head held high above water and never allow anyone to robb you cut off your peace. Trapped in the shadows of the murderous, through the valley of mischievous darkness and, from my grave to yours, welcome to death row.

On October 19th, 2011, a dear friend Randal N. Wiideman exclaimed to me that he was not feeling very well. The following morning on the 20th he pleaded and requested to be seen, along with the evening pill call to no prevail. Both times the nurse told him to fill out and send in a medical request kite, of which he had already done so previously and, again at that time. A repetitious occurrence of events took place on the 21st, with the same reference to submitting a medical kite, of which by this time he had compelled 3, with no response. In the afternoon of the same day Randal pressed the alert button and asked the officer to call medical and demanded to be seen. When the officer came on the tier several hours later, he told Mr Wiideman that medical did not even respond to him. So Randal once again commenced another medical kite and again advised the nurse at pill call of his diminishing condition, who continuously only insisted on putting in a med. Kite. The following day on the 22nd, it wasn’t till a nurse came through handing out nailclippers that the same officer who called the previous day, told the nurse out of concern of Randal’s deteriorating condition. The nurse took one glance at him and 15 minutes later, they were taking him out of here in a wheelchair to the infirmary. On the 23rd during morning pill call I asked the nurse how he was doing and he said: “He’s doing real good and just resting.” At 11:00 AM count time, the officer counting stopped at my grave and said he passed away an hour ago.

If responded to accordingly, I know his inevitable “[m]urder” could have been prevented. Today is 2-9-12 and , 3-4 weeks ago another inmate passed away in the infirmary… don’t know who or how but, I’m certain we all know who’s behind it. I myself obtain serious medical deficiencies and, due to several lawsuits, I can’t get a nurse to flip me off… let alone acquire any adequate medical care, treatment or education. The list is long of all the human beings who have lost their lives in the hands of the injurious, malignant, ideological, hipocricy that we call Ely State Prison.

During, before and after the Riker case settlement, I have continuously written Amy Fettig who was the head counsel from the A.C.L.U. on that case. Though the plaintiffs received no money, Amy Fettig received a #325,000.00 check from that case. Now all the responses from the ACLU refer to the Riker case and avoid answering the letters addressing serious issues no matter how critical they are. Part of the settlement stipulation was that the appointed monitor give a 3 week notice prior to any visit… to give the NDOC 3 weeks to set the stage for that dog and pony show.
So, who’s on death row? If you are a warrior trapped in Ely State Prison and your eyes read upon these words… you better hope not to get sick on the watch of the bloody hands of E.S.P.!
How many more of us have to die? God bless the dead, as I tip the rose and close how I opened.
For any words or encouragement, support or leads to legal assistance, feel free to hit me up… and I’ll catch you on the rebound.
2-9-12

Stay Lethal!
Triple Six

Amadeo J. Sanchez, #64781
E.S.P.
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301

———————–

Blessing in Disguise
7-9-49 – 10-23-11

Randal N. Wiideman #22306, Rest in Peace, was the Grandson of the late great Charles “Lucky” Luciano, who was inevitably taken from us on October 23, 2011.

He was, is and has been nothing but an uttermost, divinely blessing to me and, upon many others who have had the honor and opportunity to cross paths and rub shoulders with him. He had a really big heart of gold, a beautiful spirit and was very knowledgeable, with the energy and drive that would make you believe that he was truly half machine. I’ve never met or encountered anyone my whole life who was as surgical and lethal as he was with legal work. Making the impossible a handreach away, giving hope to the hopeless, the world to the havenots, while being detrimental to the N.D.O.C. and court system.

He was colorblind to race and would help anyone without judging them. Some of us “convicts” would look down on one, for some of the people he helped. He looked past the dramacydal ignorance and only saw, helping another human being in need of his help. Breaking through barriers and walls of diversity in a cumulative way as he did, is so very rare, especially in this diminishing multicultural environment where hate is harvested all year around.

I’ve seen him get a handful of life sentences reversed and thrown out, cut time off of other people’s sentences as well as commence tons of lawsuits. He loved, ate, drank and breathed law and, though many of us resist in the physical form to strive to bring change to the struggle of darkness we all endure. He was very much on the same page, except… he was doing it with a pen, a torch to bring light to our path and, with the only language this system understands. Randal: you are very much appreciated and will be missed, loved and in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. From the cradle to the grave you will never be forgotten, Rest In Peace and sleep with the Angels.

“Triple Six”
Public Enemy #1

—————————–

In Loving Memory
Of
Randal N. Wiideman
God saw you were getting tired
And a cure was not to be, he put
His arms around you and whispered
“Come with me.” With tearful eyes we
Watched you fade away,
Although we loved you dearly we could not
Make you stay. A golden heart
Stopped beating, hard working hands
At rest, God broke our hearts to
Prove to us He only takes the best.
It’s lonesome here without you
We miss you more each day, Life doesn’t seem
The same since you went away.
When days are sad and lonely and
Everything goes wrong, we seem to
Hear you whisper, “Cheer up and carry on.”
Each time we see your picture
You seem to smile and say “don’t cry
I am in God’s hands, we’ll meet
Again some day!”
Triple Six
Public Enemy #1