Prisoner seeks to block plan to do away with kosher meals

We are all equal under the Constitution.

From: Vegas Inc.
By Steve Green
1 June 2011

Attorneys for a Nevada prison inmate filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order Wednesday in hopes of blocking the state Department of Corrections from carrying out a plan to stop serving kosher food to prisoners requesting it.

Attorneys for inmate Howard Ackerman say he’s an Orthodox Jew and that the state plans to discontinue kosher food service within all state prisons sometime this week or next week.

“This will interfere with the ability of Mr. Ackerman and similarly situated Orthodox Jews to be able to observe the tenets of their religion. This issue has been well litigated throughout the United States, including in this court, and it has been held time and time again, that such interference with a prisonerhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif’s right to kosher food is prohibited,” said the motion filed by attorneys Jacob Hafter and Michael Naethe.

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada in Las Vegas, where attorneys for Ackerman earlier in the day filed suit against the state. The court had not acted on the request as of late Wednesday.

The lawsuit said Ackerman is a prisoner at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Attorneys for the state had not responded to the suit as of late Wednesday.

————–
Here is the news in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

A quote from the attorney working on this case on behalf of the plaintiff:

Hafter said he understands the views of those who say people should not commit crimes if they do not want to lose their rights.

But, he responded, “Isn’t part of the purpose of being institutionalized to reform somebody?”

The lawyer said some people find religion in prison. He also said some people land in prison by unintentionally hurting someone or by being falsely accused.

“The real reason that I took this case is because what happens if, God forbid, I would wind up in prison or jail,” said Hafter, an Orthodox Jew.

“The fact of the matter is I would hope that I could practice my religious beliefs to the fullest extent that the Constitution allows.”

Hafter said Orthodox Jews believe that observance of the kosher dietary laws is “a divine commandment.”

“Judaism is a way of life,” he said. “We have laws that govern all of our actions … and no law is supposed to be more important than the other.”

Prisoner seeks to block plan to do away with kosher meals

We are all equal under the Constitution.

From: Vegas Inc.
By Steve Green
1 June 2011

Attorneys for a Nevada prison inmate filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order Wednesday in hopes of blocking the state Department of Corrections from carrying out a plan to stop serving kosher food to prisoners requesting it.

Attorneys for inmate Howard Ackerman say he’s an Orthodox Jew and that the state plans to discontinue kosher food service within all state prisons sometime this week or next week.

“This will interfere with the ability of Mr. Ackerman and similarly situated Orthodox Jews to be able to observe the tenets of their religion. This issue has been well litigated throughout the United States, including in this court, and it has been held time and time again, that such interference with a prisonerhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif’s right to kosher food is prohibited,” said the motion filed by attorneys Jacob Hafter and Michael Naethe.

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court for Nevada in Las Vegas, where attorneys for Ackerman earlier in the day filed suit against the state. The court had not acted on the request as of late Wednesday.

The lawsuit said Ackerman is a prisoner at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City.

Attorneys for the state had not responded to the suit as of late Wednesday.

————–
Here is the news in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

A quote from the attorney working on this case on behalf of the plaintiff:

Hafter said he understands the views of those who say people should not commit crimes if they do not want to lose their rights.

But, he responded, “Isn’t part of the purpose of being institutionalized to reform somebody?”

The lawyer said some people find religion in prison. He also said some people land in prison by unintentionally hurting someone or by being falsely accused.

“The real reason that I took this case is because what happens if, God forbid, I would wind up in prison or jail,” said Hafter, an Orthodox Jew.

“The fact of the matter is I would hope that I could practice my religious beliefs to the fullest extent that the Constitution allows.”

Hafter said Orthodox Jews believe that observance of the kosher dietary laws is “a divine commandment.”

“Judaism is a way of life,” he said. “We have laws that govern all of our actions … and no law is supposed to be more important than the other.”

NNCC: Prison’s biomass plant to be locked up

From: Bio Energy News

24 May 2010

Costing in the region of $8.8 million (€7.1 million) and developed with the aim of slashing the US-based Northern Nevada Correction Center’s utility bills, Nevada’s first biomass project has been deemed unsuccessful.

The biomass plant burns wood for the generation of heat and power. It was originally thought that it would be able to heat all of the water used at the prison, as well as produce enough power to reduce the centre’s monthly electricity bills of $40,000. Any excess electricity would be sold to NV Energy.

However Howard Skolnik, the director at NNCC has explained that the power producing facility ‘doesn’t pencil out’ in the future and if a buyer cannot be found by the summer of this year, the plant will be closed. ‘The original design was just not large enough to make it truly profitable in the long term,’ he said.

However some believe that the plant, of which $6.5 million was provided by the state, should not be shut as it utilises tonnes of forest waste that could otherwise cause catastrophic forest fires on the Sierra Front and Tahoe Basin.

Another problem facing the plant is the question of who will man it. In the original proposal it was stated that the prison inmates would operate it but Jeff Mohlenkamp, the deputy director at CCNN, has come forward and explained that the plant is too high-tech and complicated for this to become a reality. Mohlenkamp remarked: ‘But that doesn’t mean the technology and the concept is a bad thing. It’s a lesson learned. It doesn’t mean plants like this can’t be successful.’

See also Las Vegas Sun

Nevada prisoners being pushed to the edge

From: SF Bay View

April 13, 2010

by Marrio Moreland

Northern Nevada Correctional Center, Carson City

I am a convicted person serving time for voluntary manslaughter in the state of Nevada. Although this letter may not digest well with some, these will be true statements and facts about how we as human beings are being subjected to abuse and retaliation for exercising the little rights we do have inside these walls and gates that is separating us from society. This is only one of many letters sent out by inmates who are incarcerated in Nevada’s Department of Correctional Centers, pleading for help and justice!

We believe that we inmates are being used for political gain due to the economy and budget cuts. We are starting to believe we are being pushed to the edge so that the Nevada prison system can justify their request for more funds. In less than 60 days there has been two unjustified assaults on two different inmates by correctional officers here at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC). The two inmates’ names are Marrio Moreland (#79800) and Anthony Lewis (#96337).

On Jan. 7, 2010, an assault occurred on inmate Marrio Moreland. He along with his cellie was removed from their cell by five correctional officers for an uncertain reason soon after breakfast. Inmate Moreland was verbally abused by a correctional officer and then viciously slammed to the ground by the same correctional officer acting on a direct order given by his lieutenant. Later, following said assault, Moreland was then sexually discriminated against.

On Feb. 26, 2010, an assault with battery occurred on an inmate named Anthony Lewis. He is in fact a person who has several disorders: 1) cracked C-2 spinal cord, 2) paralyzed on the right side, 3) he has colones, 4) he drags his right foot and 5) he depends on a wheelchair for mobility. Mr. Lewis and his cellie were returning from the shower when the officer literally pushed this gentleman from his wheelchair, pinned him to the floor and viciously banged his head on the concrete floor several times for no explainable reason.

At the time of both these two assaults the inmates were in restraints. These two assaults are two of many that has occurred here at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC). I have no other choice but to reach out this way because other attempts to find assistance have been spoiled.

Because of what’s called “abuse of authority,” the administration has a grievance complaint system in place that the inmate population no longer trusts. This administration has given correctional officers the authority to either approve or deny inmates’ rights, also the right to act as their own chain of command, by trying to do away with the inmate grievance procedure and punish us for following and exercising our rights.

This action is causing correctional officers to become very aggressive toward inmates. They are not obeying their own rules and regulations day by day yet have no fear of consequences from the administration.

As this letter is being addressed, I am housed in a segregated unit that has birds flying around inside. The birds are dropping their manure on the serving table, flying over the food while it’s being prepared, landing on the carts while the food is on the carts. The sanitation is poor, the showers are not sanitized, inmates are now being subjected to a disease called Mersa – it’s a well known disease that’s caused by poor sanitation. These acts are inhumane to a human being of the United States of America.

The statements I’ve made describe only a few barbarous actions that occur behind these gates. It’s said that each person of the United States of America should be “emancipated.” The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. Nevertheless, the great saying “liberty and justice for all” – whatever happened to that? Does it even apply to the Nevada Department of Corrections?
I am housed in a segregated unit that has birds flying around inside. The birds are dropping their manure on the serving table, flying over the food while it’s being prepared, landing on the carts while the food is on the carts.

I would like to add there’s a deaf inmate who has seizures living in a medically inadequate cell by himself. He has seizures and was saved only because of an inmate passing by and that was by the grace of God.

As I close, I pray that this letter will get to the attention of many, making them aware of the trauma that the inmates here at Northern Nevada Correctional Center are experiencing. The administration will probably retaliate against me, but what else can they do to me? They have stripped me of my dignity, so there’s nothing else to abandon me of. This is an issue that needed a voice and I am that voice.

My name is Marrio Moreland, 79800, P.O. Box 7000, Carson City, NV 89702. I’m just seeking help and justice!