Tonja Brown to Prison Commissioners: why are you trying to silence me and evidence in Public Records?

From Tonja Brown, per email of Dec 9th 2011:
Deputy A.G. GEDDES WAS AT THE BOARD OF PRISON COMMISSIONERS MEETING AND HAD EVERYTHING I SAID AN PRESENTED STRICKEN FORM THE RECORD:

To be placed on the Record of the Board of Prison Commissioners hearing set for December 5, 2011.

Tonja Brown, Advocate for the inmates and Advocate for the INNOCENT.
As an Advocate for several years I have witnessed the abuse of retaliatory behavior, discrimination, illegal acts committed and Slanderous statements made by NDOC as well as other State Agencies.

Recently during the Discovery Process in the litigation in Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et al., Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC exculpatory evidence has now seen the light and it has had a profound impact on my Constitutional Rights as well as other inmates Constitutional Rights.

Because of this newly discovered evidence that had been withheld from Nolan Klein, inmates, and myself it now raises concerns and an investigation must be conducted by an outside Agency into the NDOC, Attorney General’s Office, and the Inspector General’s Office.

Governor Sandoval, I am requesting that you ask for an outside Investigation into the Attorney General’s Office for Constitutional violations eg. withholding exculpatory evidence aka BRADY VIOLATIONS. It is apparent that the Attorney General cannot conduct any kind of an investigation into her own office because it would be a conflict of Interest.

I am demanding a letter of apology from NDOC, the Inspector General’s Office, and the AG’s Office. attached letters from Fred Huston, and Docs. NDOC 03811, 03854, 03855, 03856, 03857, 03935, 03911, 03912, 03935,

I am asking that this Board of Prison Commissioners file a complaint with the State Bar of Nevada against certain D.A.G.’s, William Geddes, Janet Traut for what I believe to be violations of the inmates Constitutional Rights and private citizen’s.

For example Documents H & H 1084- 1089 a 2008 LETTER TO JANET E TRAUT, Senior Deputy AG, from NDOC Rev. Dr. Jane Foraker-Thompson regarding inmates Michael Spencer’s and his suit.

Michael Spencer v Glen Whorton, et al USDC Case No 3:07-cv-00635-LHR-VPC. This letter details the NDOC’s discriminatory and retaliatory acts made against certain Earth Based religions, aka Wiccans. Did Mr. Spencer ever receive this letter to be used to benefit his case? Or was it never turned over? He now has it on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Don Helling’s August 5, 2011 deposition in Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC pages 91 – 93, states that in 2007 “We converted over to a new system in ’07, July of 07, which means all of the old data was flipped over into the new information system and whe the information was flipped, and that –that errors occurred.”

It appears that in 2007 inmate(s) had false felony charges placed on their OFFENDER INFORMATION SUMMARY AND THEY ARE NOT AWARE OF IT. There are other pages that refer to this problem too.

Then I refer you to inmate Joe Carpino’s 2011 letter. In June the AG’s office turned over some of the Discovery which clearly shows that 2005 Mr. Nolan Klein’s GANG AFFILICATION is WICCAN This is referred to in the August 5, 2011 Deposition of Don Helling pg 156, NDOC 001642.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC

It is apparent that the Settlement Agreement in Klein v Helling 05-390 case was in non compliance, because, in 2009 he filed suit again in Klein v Corda Case No 3:09-cv-00387-LRH-RAM. One has to question that if this case was really settled then why was he taking it back in 2009, and why is the AR 810 still listed as a TEMPORARY AR? Don Helling’s deposition will become a part of the record.

You have NDOC illegally listening in on legal phone calls between inmates and their attorneys going back from the 1990’s through 2009 at least at 2- 3 Institutions.

2008 Case Don Evans, John Witerow, v NDOC ?? Interrogatories of Don Helling and Howard Skolnik.

July 29, 2011 Reports and Recommendation in the case. This case clearly shows that the Law office of Hager and Hearne were being illegally listened in on in Witherow when he would call the office of Hager and Hearne. This is now in Settlement negotiations. It should be noted that Nolan Klein was one of those whom NDOC illegally was listening in on it was documented and he received a letter of apology in 2004.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC Deposition of Don Helling page 148, and Deposition of Howard Skolnik August 12, 2011 page 71-72 refers to John Witherow, Don Evans case.

The ongoing of illegally opening up of legal mail. Documented and should be be placed on the record for the Board of Prison Commissioners December, 5, 2011 meeting, Letter from Joe Carpino and from attorney Travis Barrick. Mention of Wiccans and opening up legal mail.

Below: These Documents are a PUBLIC RECORD IN THE TONJA BROWN v SKOLNIK CASE. AND YES I CAN PRESENT THESE DOCUMENTS TO THE BOARD. These are NOT CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS AS D.A.G. GEDDES HAS PUT ON THESE DOCUMENTS. There was no court Order to authorize this as a Confidential Document. Mr. Geddes was silencing my voice, my first amendment to clear my name. Everything that exonerated us from these slanderous accusations. They withheld the documentation that cleared us thereby violating Brady material, and unlawful prosecution.

Don Helling’s deposition page 173. WHAT IS EXTREMELY CRUCIAL HERE IS ON PAGE 173 WHAT Mr. GEDDES SAID. Attached.

This is a prime example how the inmates have been treated unfairly over the years, because, not only did they do this to Nolan Klein, an innocent man they did this to a me, a private citizen in order to silence me from reporting the abuse within the system.

This exculpatory evidence was withheld from Mr. Klein, and myself and several other state and federal agencies. NDOC continued to keep the false, aka lies in their files knowing that we had been cleared of any wrong-doings. They continued to spread around these Slanderous investigative reports instead of removing the information that they knew was not true. They have continued to Slander, defamation of character of our names.

The State of Nevada has caused me to become physically ill and emotionally distressed from these false accusations.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC NDOC 00028 – 00036, 03811, 03854, 03855, 03856, 03857, 03935, 03911, 03912, 03935, AUGUST 5, 2011 Deposition of Don Helling to be placed on the record.

BRADY V MARYLAND

Tonja Brown
2907 Lukens Lane
Carson City, NV 89706

This is only a portion of the violations that come to my mind in the case of Tonja Brown v Skolnik, Klein v Helling, Michael Spencer v Glen Whorton, et al USDC Case No 3:07-cv-00635-LHR-VPC. Religious issues
Don Evans, John Witherow v NDOC, phone calls.

NRS 199.210
Offering false evidence. A person who, upon any trial, hearing, inquiry, investigation or other proceeding authorized by law, offers or procures to be offered in evidence, as genuine, any book, paper, document, record or other instrument in writing, knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered, is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

[1911 C&P § 92; RL § 6357; NCL § 10041]—(NRS A 1971, 150; 1979, 1421; 1995, 1175)

NRS 199.230
Preventing or dissuading person from testifying or producing evidence. A person who, by persuasion, force, threat, intimidation, deception or otherwise, and with the intent to obstruct the course of justice, prevents or attempts to prevent another person from appearing before any court, or person authorized to subpoena witnesses, as a witness in any action, investigation or other official proceeding, or causes or induces another person to be absent from such a proceeding or evade the process which requires the person to appear as a witness to testify or produce a record, document or other object, shall be punished:

1. Where physical force or the immediate threat of physical force is used, for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

2. Where no physical force or immediate threat of physical force is used, for a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 94; RL § 6359; NCL § 10043]—(NRS A 1967, 465; 1979, 1421; 1983, 1683; 1995, 1175)

NRS 199.150
Attempt to suborn perjury. Every person who, without giving, offering or promising a bribe, shall incite or attempt to procure another to commit perjury, or to offer any false evidence, or to withhold true testimony, though no perjury be committed or false evidence offered or true testimony withheld, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 86; RL § 6351; NCL § 10035]

CONSPIRACY
NRS 199.480 Penalties.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, whenever two or more persons conspire to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping in the first or second degree, arson in the first or second degree, or a violation of NRS 205.463, each person is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished:

(a) If the conspiracy was to commit robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping in the first or second degree, arson in the first or second degree, or a violation of NRS 205.463, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years; or

(b) If the conspiracy was to commit murder, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.

2. If the conspiracy subjects the conspirators to criminal liability under NRS 207.400, they shall be punished in the manner provided in NRS 207.400.

3. Whenever two or more persons conspire:
(a) To commit any crime other than those set forth in subsections 1 and 2, and no punishment is otherwise prescribed by law;
(b) Falsely and maliciously to procure another to be arrested or proceeded against for a crime;
(c) Falsely to institute or maintain any action or proceeding;
(d) To cheat or defraud another out of any property by unlawful or fraudulent means;
(e) To prevent another from exercising any lawful trade or calling, or from doing any other lawful act, by force, threats or intimidation, or by interfering or threatening to interfere with any tools, implements or property belonging to or used by another, or with the use or employment thereof;
(f) To commit any act injurious to the public health, public morals, trade or commerce, or for the perversion or corruption of public justice or the due administration of the law; or
(g) To accomplish any criminal or unlawful purpose, or to accomplish a purpose, not in itself criminal or unlawful, by criminal or unlawful means, each person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 112; RL § 6377; NCL § 10061]—(NRS A 1975, 509; 1977, 1416, 1631; 1979, 1424; 1983, 1494; 1995, 1179; 1999, 1343)

Note: because the document is in PDF format and we cannot reproduce it, nor do we have a link to it, we can however copy-paste Page 1, p. 91-93 and 230-232, plus the last one, p. 237 (of 237) here. For a PDF of this document, please contact Tonja Brown. This should also be available in the Minutes of the Board of State Prison Commissioners of December 5th, 2011.

[page 1]
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA
3 oOo
4
TONJA BROWN,
5 Administratrix of the
Estate of Nolan Klein and
6 TONJA BROWN, as an
individual,
7
Plaintiff,
8
vs. CASE NO. 3:10-CV-00679
9 HDM-VPC
STATE OF NEVADA DEPARTMENT
10 OF CORRECTIONS and HOWARD
SKOLNIK, Director of the
11 Department of Corrections,
12 Defendants.
____________________________/
13
14
15
16 DEPOSITION OF
17 DON HELLING
18 Friday, August 5, 2011
19 Reno, Nevada
20
21
22
23
24
REPORTED BY: MICHELLE BLAZER
25 CCR #469 (NV) – CSR #3361 (CA)
———————-
P. 91-93, about false information in prisoners’ I-files:

1 number 28, specifically towards the top of the page the
2 second title portion where it says “prior felony
3 convictions/holds and detainers”?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Was Nolan Klein convicted of battery with intent
6 to commit a crime in June 2007?
7 A That’s what it appears to say on this report.
8 Q And so in this summary here it would reflect
9 somewhere in the narrative connected to that date how he
10 came to be convicted of that crime while he was in
11 custody at NDOC; right?
12 MR. GEDDES: Foundation, assumes facts not in
13 evidence.
14 BY MR. HAGER:
15 Q This is the Offender Information Summary —
16 A Right.
17 Q — that you brought with you today and that the
18 attorney for the Nevada Department of Corrections has had
19 Bates numbered and produced in this case that relates to
20 Nolan Klein; correct?
21 A Correct.
22 Q Could you direct my attention in that document,
23 sir, to where it says that Mr. Klein was convicted of
24 either battery with intent to commit a crime, or the next
25 entry there, burglary, on June 5th, 2007 while in custody

Brown v. State of Nevada Don Helling Page 92
Bonanza Reporting – Reno (775) 786-7655 1111 Forest Street Reno, NV 89509

p. 92
1 of the Nevada Department of Corrections?
2 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
3 THE WITNESS: In reviewing the case notes of
4 2007 there is no indication of any type of conviction in
5 that year.
6 BY MR. HAGER:
7 Q So can you explain to me, then, as the then
8 Deputy Director of the Nevada Department of Corrections,
9 how these two entries here reflecting either a felony
10 conviction, hold and detainer for two felonies of Nolan
11 Klein as indicated on this Offender Information Summary?
12 MR. GEDDES: Objection, foundation, may call
13 for — calls for speculation.
14 THE WITNESS: I can only speculate how it
15 occurred.
16 BY MR. HAGER:
17 Q What is your best understanding of why it would
18 be there?
19 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
20 THE WITNESS: Speculating, we converted over to
21 a new system in ’07, July of ’07, which means all the old
22 data was flipped over into the new information system and
23 when the information was flipped, and that — that errors
24 occurred. And that’s just speculation.
25 BY MR. HAGER:

Brown v. State of Nevada Don Helling Page 93
Bonanza Reporting – Reno (775) 786-7655 1111 Forest Street Reno, NV 89509

1 Q Is this the first time anybody has ever pointed
2 out to you that there are false representations in Mr.
3 Klein’s Offender Information Summary regarding an alleged
4 criminal history while he was in custody at NDOC?
5 MR. GEDDES: Objection, foundation, assumes
6 facts not in evidence.
7 THE WITNESS: The first I recall.
8 BY MR. HAGER:
9 Q So it’s news to you?
10 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
11 BY MR. HAGER:
12 Q Is that correct?
13 A As I recall.
14 (Whereupon Plaintiff’s Exhibit 8
15 was marked for identification.)
16 BY MR. HAGER:
17 Q You testified earlier about a settlement
18 agreement in a medical case in which, in essence, the
19 NDOC agreed to provide medical treatment to Mr. Klein in
20 addition to some other things; do you recall that?
21 MR. GEDDES: Objection.
22 THE WITNESS: Well, I would defer to what the
23 settlement —

Here are screenshots (click on them to enlarge them). People you can contact Tonja (see her address above) if you want the full document.

Tonja Brown to Prison Commissioners: why are you trying to silence me and evidence in Public Records?

From Tonja Brown, per email of Dec 9th 2011:
Deputy A.G. GEDDES WAS AT THE BOARD OF PRISON COMMISSIONERS MEETING AND HAD EVERYTHING I SAID AN PRESENTED STRICKEN FORM THE RECORD:

To be placed on the Record of the Board of Prison Commissioners hearing set for December 5, 2011.

Tonja Brown, Advocate for the inmates and Advocate for the INNOCENT.
As an Advocate for several years I have witnessed the abuse of retaliatory behavior, discrimination, illegal acts committed and Slanderous statements made by NDOC as well as other State Agencies.

Recently during the Discovery Process in the litigation in Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et al., Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC exculpatory evidence has now seen the light and it has had a profound impact on my Constitutional Rights as well as other inmates Constitutional Rights.

Because of this newly discovered evidence that had been withheld from Nolan Klein, inmates, and myself it now raises concerns and an investigation must be conducted by an outside Agency into the NDOC, Attorney General’s Office, and the Inspector General’s Office.

Governor Sandoval, I am requesting that you ask for an outside Investigation into the Attorney General’s Office for Constitutional violations eg. withholding exculpatory evidence aka BRADY VIOLATIONS. It is apparent that the Attorney General cannot conduct any kind of an investigation into her own office because it would be a conflict of Interest.

I am demanding a letter of apology from NDOC, the Inspector General’s Office, and the AG’s Office. attached letters from Fred Huston, and Docs. NDOC 03811, 03854, 03855, 03856, 03857, 03935, 03911, 03912, 03935,

I am asking that this Board of Prison Commissioners file a complaint with the State Bar of Nevada against certain D.A.G.’s, William Geddes, Janet Traut for what I believe to be violations of the inmates Constitutional Rights and private citizen’s.

For example Documents H & H 1084- 1089 a 2008 LETTER TO JANET E TRAUT, Senior Deputy AG, from NDOC Rev. Dr. Jane Foraker-Thompson regarding inmates Michael Spencer’s and his suit.

Michael Spencer v Glen Whorton, et al USDC Case No 3:07-cv-00635-LHR-VPC. This letter details the NDOC’s discriminatory and retaliatory acts made against certain Earth Based religions, aka Wiccans. Did Mr. Spencer ever receive this letter to be used to benefit his case? Or was it never turned over? He now has it on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Don Helling’s August 5, 2011 deposition in Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC pages 91 – 93, states that in 2007 “We converted over to a new system in ’07, July of 07, which means all of the old data was flipped over into the new information system and whe the information was flipped, and that –that errors occurred.”

It appears that in 2007 inmate(s) had false felony charges placed on their OFFENDER INFORMATION SUMMARY AND THEY ARE NOT AWARE OF IT. There are other pages that refer to this problem too.

Then I refer you to inmate Joe Carpino’s 2011 letter. In June the AG’s office turned over some of the Discovery which clearly shows that 2005 Mr. Nolan Klein’s GANG AFFILICATION is WICCAN This is referred to in the August 5, 2011 Deposition of Don Helling pg 156, NDOC 001642.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC

It is apparent that the Settlement Agreement in Klein v Helling 05-390 case was in non compliance, because, in 2009 he filed suit again in Klein v Corda Case No 3:09-cv-00387-LRH-RAM. One has to question that if this case was really settled then why was he taking it back in 2009, and why is the AR 810 still listed as a TEMPORARY AR? Don Helling’s deposition will become a part of the record.

You have NDOC illegally listening in on legal phone calls between inmates and their attorneys going back from the 1990’s through 2009 at least at 2- 3 Institutions.

2008 Case Don Evans, John Witerow, v NDOC ?? Interrogatories of Don Helling and Howard Skolnik.

July 29, 2011 Reports and Recommendation in the case. This case clearly shows that the Law office of Hager and Hearne were being illegally listened in on in Witherow when he would call the office of Hager and Hearne. This is now in Settlement negotiations. It should be noted that Nolan Klein was one of those whom NDOC illegally was listening in on it was documented and he received a letter of apology in 2004.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC Deposition of Don Helling page 148, and Deposition of Howard Skolnik August 12, 2011 page 71-72 refers to John Witherow, Don Evans case.

The ongoing of illegally opening up of legal mail. Documented and should be be placed on the record for the Board of Prison Commissioners December, 5, 2011 meeting, Letter from Joe Carpino and from attorney Travis Barrick. Mention of Wiccans and opening up legal mail.

Below: These Documents are a PUBLIC RECORD IN THE TONJA BROWN v SKOLNIK CASE. AND YES I CAN PRESENT THESE DOCUMENTS TO THE BOARD. These are NOT CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS AS D.A.G. GEDDES HAS PUT ON THESE DOCUMENTS. There was no court Order to authorize this as a Confidential Document. Mr. Geddes was silencing my voice, my first amendment to clear my name. Everything that exonerated us from these slanderous accusations. They withheld the documentation that cleared us thereby violating Brady material, and unlawful prosecution.

Don Helling’s deposition page 173. WHAT IS EXTREMELY CRUCIAL HERE IS ON PAGE 173 WHAT Mr. GEDDES SAID. Attached.

This is a prime example how the inmates have been treated unfairly over the years, because, not only did they do this to Nolan Klein, an innocent man they did this to a me, a private citizen in order to silence me from reporting the abuse within the system.

This exculpatory evidence was withheld from Mr. Klein, and myself and several other state and federal agencies. NDOC continued to keep the false, aka lies in their files knowing that we had been cleared of any wrong-doings. They continued to spread around these Slanderous investigative reports instead of removing the information that they knew was not true. They have continued to Slander, defamation of character of our names.

The State of Nevada has caused me to become physically ill and emotionally distressed from these false accusations.

Tonja Brown v Skolnik, et Case No. 157:10-cv-00679-ECR-VPC NDOC 00028 – 00036, 03811, 03854, 03855, 03856, 03857, 03935, 03911, 03912, 03935, AUGUST 5, 2011 Deposition of Don Helling to be placed on the record.

BRADY V MARYLAND

Tonja Brown
2907 Lukens Lane
Carson City, NV 89706

This is only a portion of the violations that come to my mind in the case of Tonja Brown v Skolnik, Klein v Helling, Michael Spencer v Glen Whorton, et al USDC Case No 3:07-cv-00635-LHR-VPC. Religious issues
Don Evans, John Witherow v NDOC, phone calls.

NRS 199.210
Offering false evidence. A person who, upon any trial, hearing, inquiry, investigation or other proceeding authorized by law, offers or procures to be offered in evidence, as genuine, any book, paper, document, record or other instrument in writing, knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered, is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

[1911 C&P § 92; RL § 6357; NCL § 10041]—(NRS A 1971, 150; 1979, 1421; 1995, 1175)

NRS 199.230
Preventing or dissuading person from testifying or producing evidence. A person who, by persuasion, force, threat, intimidation, deception or otherwise, and with the intent to obstruct the course of justice, prevents or attempts to prevent another person from appearing before any court, or person authorized to subpoena witnesses, as a witness in any action, investigation or other official proceeding, or causes or induces another person to be absent from such a proceeding or evade the process which requires the person to appear as a witness to testify or produce a record, document or other object, shall be punished:

1. Where physical force or the immediate threat of physical force is used, for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

2. Where no physical force or immediate threat of physical force is used, for a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 94; RL § 6359; NCL § 10043]—(NRS A 1967, 465; 1979, 1421; 1983, 1683; 1995, 1175)

NRS 199.150
Attempt to suborn perjury. Every person who, without giving, offering or promising a bribe, shall incite or attempt to procure another to commit perjury, or to offer any false evidence, or to withhold true testimony, though no perjury be committed or false evidence offered or true testimony withheld, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 86; RL § 6351; NCL § 10035]

CONSPIRACY
NRS 199.480 Penalties.
1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, whenever two or more persons conspire to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping in the first or second degree, arson in the first or second degree, or a violation of NRS 205.463, each person is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished:

(a) If the conspiracy was to commit robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping in the first or second degree, arson in the first or second degree, or a violation of NRS 205.463, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years; or

(b) If the conspiracy was to commit murder, by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.

2. If the conspiracy subjects the conspirators to criminal liability under NRS 207.400, they shall be punished in the manner provided in NRS 207.400.

3. Whenever two or more persons conspire:
(a) To commit any crime other than those set forth in subsections 1 and 2, and no punishment is otherwise prescribed by law;
(b) Falsely and maliciously to procure another to be arrested or proceeded against for a crime;
(c) Falsely to institute or maintain any action or proceeding;
(d) To cheat or defraud another out of any property by unlawful or fraudulent means;
(e) To prevent another from exercising any lawful trade or calling, or from doing any other lawful act, by force, threats or intimidation, or by interfering or threatening to interfere with any tools, implements or property belonging to or used by another, or with the use or employment thereof;
(f) To commit any act injurious to the public health, public morals, trade or commerce, or for the perversion or corruption of public justice or the due administration of the law; or
(g) To accomplish any criminal or unlawful purpose, or to accomplish a purpose, not in itself criminal or unlawful, by criminal or unlawful means, each person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
[1911 C&P § 112; RL § 6377; NCL § 10061]—(NRS A 1975, 509; 1977, 1416, 1631; 1979, 1424; 1983, 1494; 1995, 1179; 1999, 1343)

Note: because the document is in PDF format and we cannot reproduce it, nor do we have a link to it, we can however copy-paste Page 1, p. 91-93 and 230-232, plus the last one, p. 237 (of 237) here. For a PDF of this document, please contact Tonja Brown. This should also be available in the Minutes of the Board of State Prison Commissioners of December 5th, 2011.

[page 1]
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA
3 oOo
4
TONJA BROWN,
5 Administratrix of the
Estate of Nolan Klein and
6 TONJA BROWN, as an
individual,
7
Plaintiff,
8
vs. CASE NO. 3:10-CV-00679
9 HDM-VPC
STATE OF NEVADA DEPARTMENT
10 OF CORRECTIONS and HOWARD
SKOLNIK, Director of the
11 Department of Corrections,
12 Defendants.
____________________________/
13
14
15
16 DEPOSITION OF
17 DON HELLING
18 Friday, August 5, 2011
19 Reno, Nevada
20
21
22
23
24
REPORTED BY: MICHELLE BLAZER
25 CCR #469 (NV) – CSR #3361 (CA)
———————-
P. 91-93, about false information in prisoners’ I-files:

1 number 28, specifically towards the top of the page the
2 second title portion where it says “prior felony
3 convictions/holds and detainers”?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Was Nolan Klein convicted of battery with intent
6 to commit a crime in June 2007?
7 A That’s what it appears to say on this report.
8 Q And so in this summary here it would reflect
9 somewhere in the narrative connected to that date how he
10 came to be convicted of that crime while he was in
11 custody at NDOC; right?
12 MR. GEDDES: Foundation, assumes facts not in
13 evidence.
14 BY MR. HAGER:
15 Q This is the Offender Information Summary —
16 A Right.
17 Q — that you brought with you today and that the
18 attorney for the Nevada Department of Corrections has had
19 Bates numbered and produced in this case that relates to
20 Nolan Klein; correct?
21 A Correct.
22 Q Could you direct my attention in that document,
23 sir, to where it says that Mr. Klein was convicted of
24 either battery with intent to commit a crime, or the next
25 entry there, burglary, on June 5th, 2007 while in custody

Brown v. State of Nevada Don Helling Page 92
Bonanza Reporting – Reno (775) 786-7655 1111 Forest Street Reno, NV 89509

p. 92
1 of the Nevada Department of Corrections?
2 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
3 THE WITNESS: In reviewing the case notes of
4 2007 there is no indication of any type of conviction in
5 that year.
6 BY MR. HAGER:
7 Q So can you explain to me, then, as the then
8 Deputy Director of the Nevada Department of Corrections,
9 how these two entries here reflecting either a felony
10 conviction, hold and detainer for two felonies of Nolan
11 Klein as indicated on this Offender Information Summary?
12 MR. GEDDES: Objection, foundation, may call
13 for — calls for speculation.
14 THE WITNESS: I can only speculate how it
15 occurred.
16 BY MR. HAGER:
17 Q What is your best understanding of why it would
18 be there?
19 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
20 THE WITNESS: Speculating, we converted over to
21 a new system in ’07, July of ’07, which means all the old
22 data was flipped over into the new information system and
23 when the information was flipped, and that — that errors
24 occurred. And that’s just speculation.
25 BY MR. HAGER:

Brown v. State of Nevada Don Helling Page 93
Bonanza Reporting – Reno (775) 786-7655 1111 Forest Street Reno, NV 89509

1 Q Is this the first time anybody has ever pointed
2 out to you that there are false representations in Mr.
3 Klein’s Offender Information Summary regarding an alleged
4 criminal history while he was in custody at NDOC?
5 MR. GEDDES: Objection, foundation, assumes
6 facts not in evidence.
7 THE WITNESS: The first I recall.
8 BY MR. HAGER:
9 Q So it’s news to you?
10 MR. GEDDES: Same objections.
11 BY MR. HAGER:
12 Q Is that correct?
13 A As I recall.
14 (Whereupon Plaintiff’s Exhibit 8
15 was marked for identification.)
16 BY MR. HAGER:
17 Q You testified earlier about a settlement
18 agreement in a medical case in which, in essence, the
19 NDOC agreed to provide medical treatment to Mr. Klein in
20 addition to some other things; do you recall that?
21 MR. GEDDES: Objection.
22 THE WITNESS: Well, I would defer to what the
23 settlement —

Here are screenshots (click on them to enlarge them). People you can contact Tonja (see her address above) if you want the full document.

Board of State Prison Commissioners Nov 15, 2011

Note: the meeting was postponed.

Note: Please try to attend this meeting, and submit a comment! The Admin Rules/Regulations that will be discussed can be found in their entirety here.

Board of State Prison Commissioners
Date/Time of Meeting: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

Meeting Location:

Guinn Room
State Capitol Building Annex
2nd floor
101 N. Carson Street
Carson City, NV

Video Conference:
Grant Sawyer State Office Bldg
East Washington Ave. 555
Room 5100
Las Vegas, NV

I. Call to Order.

II. Public Comment.

III. Acceptance and Approval of Minutes – March 8, 2011 meeting.(For Possible Action)

IV. Discussion/possible action relating to plans to implement the closure of Nevada State Prison – Greg Cox, Director. (For Possible Action)

V. Presentation & Discussion on Hospital Health Inspection Overview pursuant to NRS 209.382– Dr. Tracey Green, State Health Officer, Nevada State Health Division. (For Possible Action)

VI. Discussion/possible action regarding State Administrative Regulations (Attachment 1)- Greg Cox, Director. (For Possible Action)

VII. Board Member Comments.

VIII. Public Comment.

IX. Adjournment. (For Possible Action)

Note: Any agenda item may be taken out-of-order; items may be combined for consideration by the public body; and items may be pulled or removed from the agenda at any time. Public Comment may be limited to three minutes per speaker. Members of the public are encouraged to submit written comments for the record.

We are pleased to make reasonable accommodations for attendees with disabilities. Please notify Anne Della Rosa at (775) 684-5708. Notice of this meeting was posted in Carson City at the Nevada State Library, Nevada State Capitol Building, Nevada State Legislative Building and the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas; and
at www.nvsos.gov and http://www.doc.nv.gov/board/index.php?idnum=0 .

Progress report of Vera: what is the NDOC doing?

We received word from our supportive aid about this report. It contains the implementation progress of the Vera Institute of Justice´recommendations to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

We have some comments to make on this report, which we will publish here later.
For now, here is what the state of affairs is:

VERA Institute of Justice
ACTION PLAN FOR THE NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
The Corrections Support and Accountability Project

URL: http://www.doc.nv.gov/Vera_Action_Plan_for_NDOC_September_2010.pdf
SEPTEMBER 2010

Introduction

The Vera Institute of Justice is excited to begin the technical assistance phase of the Corrections Support and Accountability Project. The project partners us with five jurisdictions— two states and three counties—to help each partner jurisdiction develop meaningful oversight of its prisons or jails specifically tailored to its needs. In the first phase of our project, we investigated the current mechanisms of correctional accountability and transparency already in place. This process included visits to correctional facilities, numerous interviews, and research to determine the most pressing oversight needs of each jurisdiction’s correctional system. We memorialized this work in reports for each of our partner jurisdictions, in which we analyzed the systems of existing oversight and made recommendations for improving and/or augmenting these systems.

NDOC has already made progress toward many of these recommendations. This action plan
summarizes the progress that the department has made. Vera confirmed this progress through conducting additional interviews and reviewing documentation. For recommendations that require additional steps to complete, we suggest specific action items that will help the jurisdiction carry them out. These items appear in the main body of the status update, as well as in an appendix at the end of this document, gathering all suggested action items in one place. We believe adopting these recommendations will enable the state to better evaluate the use of resources to support the department, identify inefficiencies, manage risk, measure the success and failures of programs and policies in order to guide future decision-making, build public confidence and public interest in the department, and promote good governance and
professionalism.

This action plan should not be considered in isolation: we encourage a full review of the Status Report, submitted previously to our partners, to better understand the context and reasoning behind each of the recommendations. Nevertheless, our hope is that this action plan sets forth a shared vision for the remaining months of Vera’s work with NDOC, which will conclude at the end of December 2010. At that time, Vera will prepare a “final report” that recounts NDOC’s progress up until that point, verified by interviews, review of documentary evidence, and, where necessary, site visits; the report also will provide guidance on how to complete work that remains to be done. We will work with the department to notify stakeholders of this progress, helping convey NDOC’s accomplishments. We look forward to these next several months, and to continuing the communication that has made this partnership a success thus far.

Status Update

Recommendation 1. Conduct more formal and regular audits of both southern and northern facilities. Almost Complete.

The director has worked with NDOC’s staff to formalize the schedule of the auditing process. Starting July 1, 2010, each facility will be audited at least once per year by the department’s permanent audit staff. These audits will take place in both the northern and southern facilities. The director and staff created a schedule for the 2011 fiscal year (July 2010 through June 2011) that details when each facility will be audited and the estimated costs for conducting the audits. The travel for the audits has been authorized, and the director incorporated all associated costs into the year’s budget.

To complete this recommendation, NDOC should update Administrative Regulation
101 to include the requirement that each facility be audited once a year by NDOC audit staff. This AR is due to be revised in October, 2010.

Recommendation 2. Create formal follow-up process for problems identified during internal audits.
Almost Complete.

In addition to conducting annual audits of each facility, NDOC committed itself to developing a formal follow-up process to address any issues identified during audits. DOC audit staff developed a schedule for follow-up visits to facilities.

These often coincide with initial audits of facilities in the region to cut down on staff time and additional travel costs. At the time of this action plan, audit staff had already conducted several follow-up visits to facilities audited earlier in the year.

To complete this recommendation the NDOC should update Administrative
Regulation 101 to formalize the follow-up process. As mentioned above, AR 101 is due
to be revised in October, 2010.

Recommendation 3. Improve tracking system for inmate grievances and
generate regular reports.

In Progress.

NDOC has made steady improvements in tracking inmate grievances since it adopted NOTIS, the system used by the department to track operational data. When problems were identified, such as a gap in recording some responses to grievances, staff worked to resolve the issue. Recently, NDOC was able to negotiate with Syscon, the developers of NOTIS, to receive access to the source codes for the system. This will allow NDOC information technology staff to make modifications to the system when glitches are identified. By allowing internal staff to make repairs, improvements will happen more quickly in the future.

To complete this recommendation, NDOC should continue its efforts to monitor the
operation of NOTIS and use its increased ability to structure the system to improve on any deficiencies in reporting.

NDOC should also create regular reports on trends in inmate grievances, both by facility and system-wide. Research and IT staff can work with administrators to identify a staff person in the central office who will be responsible for tracking this data and generating reports. This can be done in conjunction with the efforts made to implement Recommendation 11, which concerns internal performance measures and data sharing (see below, page 6-7). Vera will report on the progress of these efforts in its final report for NDOC.

Recommendation 4. Resolve more inmate grievances at the facility level.
In Progress.

NDOC made strides in some divisions to ensure that certain inmate grievances are resolved at the facility level. Primarily, when the Inspector General’s office receives a grievance alleging staff misconduct, they now ask facility wardens to conduct initial investigations into the claims. This process allows the facts to be verified in a timelier manner and relieves some of the backlog for investigations into these claims.

The full investigation into staff misconduct claims are ultimately handled by the Inspector General’s office, as they are serious in nature, but allowing the facility managers to take on a preliminary investigatory role will help staff resolve grievances more quickly.

In addition to these steps, NDOC should continue its efforts to implement this recommendation by training staff on the importance of inmate grievances and the ways
grievances can be used to diffuse issues before they become systemic problems. These
training efforts should encourage staff to resolve grievances before they move up the
chain of command.

Recommendation 5. Consider creating a citizens review board for the inmate grievance process.
Under Consideration.

Vera conducted research into different options for creating a citizens review board for NDOC’s inmate grievance process. As noted in Vera’s Status Report, there are at least two models of this type of oversight body in other jurisdictions in the country – in Missouri and North Carolina. Vera staff interviewed the leaders of these boards and received ample information and data from these sources. In speaking with Director Skolnik, it is clear that Missouri’s model is the most realistic for the department to adopt. The board in Missouri is relatively inexpensive to run and does not require as much departmental staff time.

To complete this recommendation, Vera will continue reviewing the information
from Missouri and working with NDOC administrators to identify what aspects of
Missouri’s model can be adopted by NDOC. As necessary, Vera can arrange
conversations between NDOC and the Missouri Department of Corrections to help
facilitate moving forward on implementation. Vera can also work with NDOC staff to
identify those in the community that may be valuable and productive members of the
citizens review board. NDOC will need to identify who in the department is most able to
handle the responsibilities of overseeing the board and coordinating its efforts.

Recommendation 6. Implement a staff survey.
In Progress.

NDOC has not formalized a staff survey process, yet it has taken steps to begin soliciting more information from staff at all levels. Administrators implemented limited staff surveys on discrete issues, such as soliciting ideas about the way the department can save on costs. The director has also made proactive steps to meet with certain groups of staff to obtain a better understanding of the issues they face and their ideas for improving departmental operations. Since receiving Vera’s report, NDOC has registered for SurveyMonkey.com, a free online survey and questionnaire tool. At this point NDOC administrators are working out issues as to how to administer the survey – one of the biggest barriers is the limited internet access in facilities. Once this has been resolved, the department plans on initially issuing an open-ended survey to identify the issues on which staff would most like to provide input.

To continue moving forward in accomplishing this goal, the department first needs to
resolve the issues identified above regarding which topics to include and issues with
internet access. NDOC may also consider holding focus groups to determine what issues
are most important to staff.

Vera will provide information about developing surveys and examples of staff surveys, as needed. During the initial survey period, NDOC will have to determine which staff members can handle administration of the survey and examine the results. Once the initial survey is complete, NDOC can create a more substantive survey and develop a schedule for periodically administering the survey. After gathering data from all facilities, NDOC will then be able to evaluate and adjust policies as necessary to address issues that surface.

Recommendation 7. Provide pro bono attorneys for inmates in the Inmate
Early Mediation Program.

Under Consideration.

In conversations between Vera and the magistrate judge who oversees the Inmate Early Mediation Program, it is clear that the courts believe it would be beneficial for the inmates to have legal representation at their mediations. However, NDOC administrators have some concerns about adopting this regulation. While the department is in favor of any process that enhances the likelihood of resolving complaints before they reach the courts, the department is wary of settling alleged frivolous claims and setting precedents that may expose the department to additional liability.

To assist in accomplishing this recommendation, Vera will initiate a dialogue with the courts and magistrate judge to discuss the realities of these concerns and how and whether to begin moving forward on this recommendation. NDOC will be involved with these conversations as much as possible. Vera will also work with the courts to identify opportunities to recruit additional pro bono attorneys to sustain the program.

Recommendation 8. Keep more investigations at the facility level.
In Progress.

As noted in Vera’s status report, NDOC has worked to move more investigations to the facility level. Specifically, NDOC revised Administrative Regulation 340 to reflect its commitment to ensuring investigations of lower-level offenses are handled at the facility level. NDOC administrators worked with the unions and top-level staff to develop a system that balances concerns about consistency amongst facilities and the large backlog that plagued the IG’s office for some time. While the Board has not yet approved the updated AR, the Inspector General’s office is returning certain investigations to be completed at individual facilities.

At present, facility staff handle all Level 1 and 2 offense investigations and some Level 3 and 4 investigations. Whether the IG’s office allows the facility to investigate these higher-level offenses depends on a myriad of factors, including the history of the employee, staff members involved, and whether there were witnesses. Level 5 offense investigations are always handled by the IG’s office. The IG’s office ensures that whenever facility staff handle an investigation, they follow guidelines that lay out interviewing protocol and provide specific forms and are overseen by the IG’s office.

To complete this recommendation, the Inspector General’s office should update its
administrative investigation manual to reflect these changes. This manual should be
provided to all facilities to act as the mandatory guidelines that facility staff must follow during any investigation. NDOC administrators should also continue to seek Board approval for AR 340. As these new policies are carried out, the department must monitor investigations and sanctions to ensure that those handled at the facility level are consistent across facilities. If inconsistencies are identified, NDOC should reevaluate the policy, perhaps bringing more investigations back to the IG’s office.

Recommendation 9. Provide additional training on NOTIS for staff at all
levels.

In Progress.

As noted above, the department developed a relationship with the developer of NOTIS and negotiated access to particular elements of the system. During this process, Syscon agreed to provide additional training to NDOC staff, which will include preservice and in-service training modules. Additionally, the department has an extensive manual, available to all internal staff, that provides training on many aspects of NOTIS.

One concern among administrators is that not all internal staff are familiar this manual or do not use it in their daily activities. NDOC should continue working with Syscon to develop a schedule for training on NOTIS, giving preference to those employees who use NOTIS on a regular basis or have job functions that require a more in-depth knowledge of the system. NDOC should also make better use of existing resources, such as the manual mentioned above. To ensure that the manual is as useful as possible, NDOC administrators should develop a way to make more employees aware of it and the information it contains. This can be done through a department-wide memo or at the facility level.

Recommendation 10. Train select staff to run reports in NOTIS.
In Progress.

Along the same lines as the above recommendation, NDOC administrators have recognized a need to allow certain staff the authority and ability to run reports in NOTIS that are relevant to their job functions. The hope among administrators is that once they receive the source codes to the system they will be able to develop the capability for staff to run unique reports.

Once the department has the appropriate source codes, Vera suggests NDOC begin to identify which staff members would benefit from being able to independently run reports in NOTIS. This may require surveying certain staff, mainly those at a managerial level, to determine staff needs and the extent of the training program. Once that is complete, IT staff should work with administrators to develop a schedule of training sessions during which staff that have similar needs can develop skills to independently run reports.

Recommendation 11. Set internal performance measures and formalize
internal data sharing.

In Progress.

The state legislature’s budgetary process requires all agency administrators,
including NDOC’s, to provide performance measure-based information when submitting
annual budgets. This has helped the department begin to identify areas in which it needs to set goals and track progress in achieving those goals. While this is a step forward in achieving implementation of this recommendation, the department can take additional steps to benefit fully from tracking performance measures.

To continue moving forward on this recommendation, NDOC should first identify the
appropriate staff to be involved in this process. This should include higher-level
administrators and departmental research staff, but may also include external parties such as the Board or legislators. These individuals should come together to begin figuring out what measures can be counted and set goals. Once these measures and goals are set, DOC will need to identify internal staff who will be responsible for tracking and reporting the data points.

Organizations like the Association of State Correctional Administrators provide resources about performance-based measures. Vera can work with NDOC to supply the right information and coordinate discussions with other jurisdictions or experts on the topic. Administrators should also consider different models for data sharing, consulting with Vera as necessary, and develop a schedule of internal meetings to formally share the information.

Recommendation 12. Provide more information to Board of State Prison
Commission members and in a timely manner.

Complete.

For the past few Board meetings, NDOC has provided Board members with
more information about the items on the meeting agenda. Specifically, NDOC puts
together a detailed summary of the changes being made to each Administrative
Regulation that is before the Board for approval.

To compile this information, NDOC staff compare the old regulation with the updated draft and include every difference between the two versions. This makes it easier for the Board members and their staff to quickly identify the questions or concerns they may have about any changes. The document is sent to the Board at least 15 days before the meeting. By implementing this process, NDOC has completed the work needed to implement this recommendation.

Recommendation 13. Clarify the role of the Board.
Under Consideration.

NDOC administrators believe the fact that the Board follows up on few, if any, issues raised by citizens at public meetings is rather clear to all attendees. However, there does seem to be some frustration among advocates with the way the Board handles their concerns.

To begin implementation of this recommendation, NDOC administrators can work
with the Board members to develop language to explicitly state, prior to the public
comment portion of the meeting, that it is outside the Board’s capacity to investigate or follow up on any concerns raised by the public. If other recommendations are implemented (see Recommendation 14, below) the Board can refer concerned citizens to other channels to lodge their complaints.

Recommendation 14. Develop system for following up on concerns received at public meetings.
In Progress.

At the national meeting for the Corrections Support and Accountability Project, NDOC staff met an inmate advocate who has developed a robust, collaborative relationship with the corrections director in another of Vera’s partner jurisdictions.

NDOC staff admired this relationship, and, following that meeting, Director Skolnik
reached out to particular inmate advocates in Nevada in an effort to develop a more
formal and positive relationship between NDOC and the advocate community.

The director has met with several advocates to begin discussing the possibility of formalizing their relationship and develop another channel through which the public and inmates can express their concerns to the department.

These individuals worked with the advocate from Vera’s partner jurisdiction in preparation for a meeting with NDOC. At the first formal meeting, which took place on August 31, 2010, the group identified several areas where the department can begin improvements immediately, including making some changes to the department’s website. The advocates also indicated they will be working to reestablish a CURE chapter in Nevada, hopefully by January 2011.

To complete this recommendation, NDOC should continue its efforts in establishing
relationships with the inmate advocates in Nevada. It also needs to determine the best individual to be the liaison between the department and individuals at public meetings.

Because of the developing relationship between the department and the advocate
community, it may be beneficial to request one of the advocates take on this role. The department should arrange for this individual to attend all meetings where public
comment is received and make the public aware of his or her presence and purpose.

NDOC must also work to develop an internal process for handling the concerns and
complaints received by the liaison. Vera will provide assistance as necessary.

Recommendation 15. Create an ombudsman to handle complaints by
inmates, staff and the public.

Under Consideration.

The director and his staff have been receptive to creating other avenues through which the department can build bridges with inmates, staff and the public. One example of this is the current effort to develop more solid relationships with inmate advocates in the state (see above, Recommendation 15). However, at this time there are concerns about whether creating an additional state employee position is financially feasible.

If NDOC decides to pursue this recommendation, either now or in the future, the department will need to decide whether this new function should be housed internal to the department or whether it will be housed in another government agency. This may involve consulting with internal staff, external stakeholders and government officials to determine what is best, considering, for example, the degree of independence desired and how that will affect the public’s view of the office’s legitimacy.

If it should be housed externally, the department needs to identify the appropriate state agency to house the ombudsman and will need to gain support from the key staff in that agency. Another consideration for the department and stakeholders is the extent of the ombudsman’s jurisdiction and whether it will focus only on the department or will extend to other state government functions, such as parole and probation. A final issue will be identifying funding for the new ombudsman’s office. NDOC can work with Vera to identify potential grant opportunities or try to find funding from the state. NDOC may also consider the possibility of a volunteer ombudsman, but that should only be a temporary solution while the state is under such stringent budget constraints.

Recommendation 16. Make certain reports and evaluations available to the public.
Almost Complete.

As noted in Vera’s status report, NDOC has published certain information on its website for some time, including its monthly population reports (dating back to 2006), annual statistical abstracts for each fiscal year (dating back to the 2005 fiscal year) and population projections. The department also recently posted new reports and information on its website, including the report it provided to the Board regarding its plan to close the Nevada State Prison and Vera’s Status Report. It has also posted its legislatively approved budget on the homepage of its website.

NDOC has made marked progress in implementing this recommendation. To fully achieve this goal, NDOC will need to continue the process of publishing these types of resources and reports on its website. To aid in the consistency of doing so, NDOC should nominate a staff person or division to be responsible for continuing this work and maintaining the website.

Recommendation 17. Develop a publicly available data dashboard.
Under Consideration.

As mentioned above, NDOC does a commendable job of posting thorough information regarding its population on its website on a consistent basis. These reports provide data on population by facility, projected populations, admissions and releases, and inmate days by facility. While this information is helpful, a great deal of the other data the department collects may be of interest to the public. As discussed in other sections of this report, NDOC is working with Syscon to gain greater control over the functioning of its data system, specifically gaining access to source codes. This will help in the development of the dashboard.

To accomplish this goal, NDOC should determine not only what the public wants, but
also identify the information that the department believe the citizens of Nevada should know about internal operations. Some data that may be of interest are cost per inmate per day, average lengths of stay, percentage of incarcerated youth, and information on critical incidents.

Once the department develops performance measures for internal purposes, sharing aggregate data about the inmate population and departmental operations will be less burdensome and costly. It may also be beneficial to hold focus groups to determine what is of interest to the public. Once the appropriate data points are selected, NDOC will need to designate a research or IT staff person to ensure the information is posted in an interactive and clear way.

Recommendation 18. Create a dedicated Public Information Officer position.
Under Consideration.

NDOC administrators have identified a need for someone to handle, full time, the responsibilities of communicating with the public and media. While the current staff handling these tasks are knowledgeable, they have other duties that take up the majority of their time.
Once again, the biggest challenge for NDOC in its efforts to hire a PIO is funding. To begin working towards this recommendation, even if in the future, NDOC must develop a job description and begin a hiring process. Alternatively, the department can appoint someone from within to take on these duties on a full time basis.

Conclusion
Nevada Department of Corrections Director Howard Skolnik and his staff have been
committed partners in Vera’s Corrections Support and Accountability Project, and we
commend them for their efforts to improve the accountability and transparency of prison operations.

The steps they have already taken to pursue many of our recommendations are encouraging, and we are enthusiastic about continuing the conversation about implementation. We believe these recommendations will provide numerous benefits— improved public confidence, an opportunity to proactively identify problems, an ability to manage risk, capacity to measure successes and challenges, methods for evaluating the use of resources and making the case for more resources, and promotion of good governance and professionalism.

The Vera Institute of Justice is ready and willing to help our partners explore promising models and work with NDOC, state officials, citizens and community organizations to develop appropriate solutions for Nevada. Vera staff are available to provide guidance and technical assistance to implement these recommendations through December 2010.

Prison Commissioners meet on April 20th

The Meeting of the Prison Commissioners was postponed till april 20th, 2010. So there still is time to send in your questions, comments to the meeting for the record.

Agenda (click).

See our new Page on top of this blog for information about the locations (Carson City and Las Vegas) and past Minutes of Meetings.

Remember: we can speak up for our loved ones in prisons in Nevada at this meeting, and they can send in their comments too!

Meeting Prison Commissioners Oct. 14th 2009

Please plan to come to the Meeting of the Prison Commissioners in Carson City or in Las Vegas. The public have their few minutes per person to say what they want to see changed for the better in the penal system in Nevada.

For example here are the Notes of July 14th Meeting.

Some public comments, made at the Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners, July 14, 2009

For the Record

Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners

July 14, 2009

To the Members of the Prison Commission and the Public,

Since last meeting, April 14th, nothing has changed that I have noticed: inmates in Ely State Prison are still not being treated properly for serious medical problems, the prison is still on lockdown except for 2 units, some inmates are kept illegally on a ‘High Risk Potential’ even though there are no apparent reasons to keep them on this inhuman status (keeping an inmate on a leash while he has to walk through the visiting room to the restroom during a visit, sounds a lot like what we saw on pictures in the media of Abu Ghraib).

There also are no programs, no steps, to step down from one level to the next.

Inmates are not able to make telephone calls according to the rules, because telephones are not brought to the inmates when they need to make a call to their relatives.

Cleaning material is scarcely handed out if at all. There are far too many strip-searches, even though it is even noted in the media that it is some employees who bring in illegal drugs, not inmates. Strip-searches are inhumane and the ones who have to check up become dehumanized too by doing them so often. People, whether inside or out, have to be able to retain their dignity.

Also, I hear that very recently, order forms were taken out of catalogues of a bookseller, by those employed in ESP in unit 3, so that the inmates are discouraged to (or can not even) order any books to read. This is unnecessary and it only produces a dangerous level of lethargy and disturbance of minds.

Also, mentally ill patients are being housed in this maximum security prison, whereas it is not meant to be a mental hospital. This brings along high levels of noise and disturbance for those patients (who need treatment) as well as those next door who try to make something of their lives, even if they are locked up. See also the article in Las Vegas Sun recently, July 12 (http://lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jul/12/illness-keeps-many-cycle-through-jail/).

There needs to be a change of mentality in society, in Nevada, within the Department of Corrections, from only cutting costs without any alternative and improvement to making society better and by doing this, preventing crime and cutting cost by not having to house so many people for years on end with no goal, no medical care, no redemption, no growth, no forgiveness, no love.

Is this a message for ‘soft-hearts’? I think it takes guts to want to change and engage in supporting children so that they grow up becoming balanced adults, in stead of greedy, corrupt, selfish people who will believe that crime (doing bad) pays and that being greedy is good. It takes courage to really invest in rehabilitating people who have made wrong decisions, who have succumbed to becoming addicted to hard-drugs. It is not only stupid to be so-called “tough on crime” by not wanting to see what this system results in, it will cost society ultimately too much in money and dangerous situations (most inmates will one day be released!) to lock people up with no alternative and to not want to see they are people, with needs just like you and me. We who pay for the prison system, you and me (I too pay tax over there, as well as those who are incarcerated pay tax), we want oversight over what is happening to our money; and we whose parents, children, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, siblings are locked up: we want to know that even though they are locked up, they are at the same time looked after and offered chances for growth and rehabilitation.

The amount of lawsuits against the warden of ESP is growing, and do we really want our money to go to these lawsuits, if a better warden would be found, who listens and acts when it matters, and who is not a frightening dictator under whose management diabetics rot to death? Surely Nevada can do much better than this!

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TO: NEVADA STATE BOARD OF PRISON COMMISSIONERS
FROM: MERCEDES MAHARIS MA MS MA
RE: DEATHS AND UNACCEPTABLE PRISON CONDITIONS

DATE: 14 July 2009

Good Day.

Requested prisoner deaths from May of 2007 to the present have failed to arrive, but here is a partial list only from Carson County, for your information:

Anthony Weber 05/02/07

Richard Adams 05/10/07

Michael Kisling 05/19/07

Warren Staden 06/06/07

Anthony Melchor 06/08/07

Pioquinto Herrera 06/27/07

Virgil Stephens 07/06/07

Virgil Perry 07/29/07

Maynard Humphrey 08/09/07

Mark Miller 08/15/07

Ronald Royston 09/03/07

Michael Wallace 09/03/07

Robert Boswell 11/25/07

Dale Burroughs 12/19/07

Edwin Chartier 12/20/07

James Bey 02/13/08

Jack Leafdale 03/06/08

Lawrence Booker 03/10/08

Luther Hayslip 03/21/08

Armondo Claro-Garcia 03/26/08

Johnnie McGraw 05/18/08

John Stafford 05/27/08

Darren Enlow 05/29/08

Thomas Smith 05/31/08

Hermenegildo Escalara-Barragan 06/02/08

John Dillon 06/04/08

Sylvester Azbill 06/08/08

Bobby Boswell 06/12/08

Felipe Azanon 06/21/08

David St. Pierre 07/07/08

Thomas Zanetti 08/22/08

Pinkus Ralzin 08/29/08

Jose Obregon 09/23/08

William Barney 10/15/08

Donald Tanner 11/04/08

Sever Marga 12/05/08

Raymond Price 12/06/08

Michael Bowman 12/25/08

Though I was polite in my inquiry, the director of nursing hung up in my ear, after telling me to go to your office, AG Cortez Masto. But, to date I have received no answer to my inquiries for NDOC death data and other requests. Why is your staff unable to find my letters and answer them? Is NDOC also losing death data, or not recording it? Your public information staff member told me she would call me back regarding my inquiries, but, she has not.

For your direct information, here are copies of my certified letters to you, AG Masto:

11 May 2009

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto

Office of the Attorney General
100 North Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701-4717

Dear Attorney General Cortez Masto,

I met you at the 21 Feb 2009 meeting of the League of Women Voters of Las Vegas Valley where you spoke on “The Role of the Board of Prison Commissioners.” I’m the lady from Arizona who came a long way to hear you. Remember that we spoke both before and after the meeting?

I shared with you that new leadership was needed for the prisons. You told me that I might like to attend the commissioners’ meeting in April because Mr. Miller was going to bring that up.

Well, I need your help. I spoke at the 14 April meeting, you may remember, and made a written submission for the record, what I see as a pattern of failure, abuse and ways to stop lawsuits.

20 April 2009 I emailed a request for a “DVD and/or audio” of the Nevada State Board of Prison Commissioners’ meeting of 14 April 2009 to Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office assistant, Sally.

I received no email reply. 30 April 2009 I called Mr. Miller’s office. Ms. Sally Lincoln told me that Mr. Miller had sent you my request. She said that he had concerns about fulfilling my request because of family privacy rights that concerned him. But, this was a public meeting.

Ms. Lincoln told me that they had no projected date as to when you would have a decision on whether or not my request could be fulfilled.

Will you please have Mr. Miller’s office send immediately (advise me of costs if there are costs):

a copy of the DVD recording of the meeting (containing both pictures and audio); plus,
a copy of the submissions made to the prison board; and
the sign in list.
I wish that you had given some hope to us at the meeting, a comforting word or two. We want prisoners to succeed. Please do so in the future? We need fully accredited to professional standards… in all areas.

In closing, can you please send what happened during the disturbance in High Desert State Prison 13 April 2009 that Mr. Skolnik talked about at the14th board meeting? Please include photos of both prisoners and guards who were injured, if they were? I sincerely hope all are in good health now.

And my second certified letter:

And:

19 June 2009

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto

Office of the Attorney General
100 North Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701-4717

Dear Attorney General Cortez Masto,

Three requests for information, please, from the NDOC? If these is a charge for copying, please advise

1. Please send the updated death list information for NDOC prisoners for who have expired while inside NDOC: 20 May 2009 to the present; (NDOC Nursing Director ref’d me to your office);

2. Please send what happened during the disturbance in High Desert State Prison 13 April 2009 that Mr. Skolnik talked about at the14 April board meeting including photos of both prisoners and guards who were injured, if they were? I sincerely hope all are in good health now; and

3. Please send a record of use of force inside NDOC facilities for the past five years, with photos;

4. Please send breakdown of those in solitary confinement, Ad Seg or Dis Seg, as I believe NDOC

officials refer to it, by time and race since 01 January 2007. Years ago NDOC officials did not keep this information. I hope they do now since it is important to understand how officials are administrating Nevada prisons in this regard.

Please answer my inquiries as soon as possible?

Why were staff members unable to prevent this recent tragic death at High Desert State Prison?

Bryan Tyler Nowell, Age 45
Administrative Segregation/Disciplinary Segregation Unit (The HOLE: Solitary Confinement)
Born 05/17/64
Died 03 June 2009
Suicide: Asphyxia by Hanging

Solitary confinement, as I submitted to you in my comments 14 April 2009, the Dr. Stuart Grassian report referenced, causes damage to human beings and in this case, death. We must stop this inhumane process today. Please give the order to Director Skolnik, Governor Gibbons, AG Cortez Masto, Mr. Miller… today, that solitary confinement stops now.

How many suicides have happened since May 2007 in Nevada prisons?

How are first line responders on duty in Nevada prisons educated to recognize those who are mentally unstable and may be thinking of taking their lives?

Are corrections officers advised about who is taking psychotropic drugs? Shouldn’t they know this in order to prevent suicide and other violence?

What is the budget for first responder education?

For a person to die in solitary confinement, or be allegedly gassed approximately 20 times and have a guard break a finger in a food slot at Ely State Prison recently, per a new Ely lawsuit in US District Court, is unacceptable and socially reprehensible. Prisoners are people.

Why are NDOC officials denied a prisoner with a rare liver disease medical care at High Desert, Mr. Miller? Will you please visit him to see for yourself? Will he die before release? Don’t you want to see his refused medical grievances? His life is at stake.

Why are NDOC officials shuttling the Ely HIV prisoner, whom guards there and at NSP have beaten, stabbed and shot during his Nevada incarceration, for treatment to High Desert, even though there are no specialists there to help him? Does this not further stress this prisoner to the point that he, too, will die young? Please move this prisoner to NNCC where he belongs.

We want to see education for officers and staff in violence prevention in Nevada prisons.

Where does the prison food coming from? What is the daily cost now? Why are we receiving reports of Nevada prisons serving expired food and that it is dwindling in serving sizes? How many calories are our prisoners getting daily? Where are the dieticians to supervise food service? Is it true that Nevada prisoner requests for Kosher food are not being honored?

What about those prison buses that the Department of Transportation has no responsibility to check for safety during prisoner transports? Who manufacturers those buses? Who inspects them and how often? How do prisoners get out alive if there is an accident? Are they coached on what to do in case of an accident to be able to get out safely? Why don’t prisoners get to see out? Are bus drivers licensed commercially? How many buses are there?

Is it true that NDOC officials allow senior corrections officers to recruit informants, snitches in prison terms, from the prison population, putting even more stress on prisoners. Do they order corrections officers to put prisoners on the train to Ely without due process? How much retaliation takes place against those who refuse? To what extent is retaliation taking place?

Why do Nevada prison mailrooms refuse to deliver books to prisoners, approved books that arrive? What happens to books undelivered to prisons? Why do corrections officers read magazines that families and loved ones pay for and reportedly keep them from the prisoners for weeks? Why don’t mailroom officials follow mail AR’s? Why do you allow punishment to all Ely prisoners by making them use tiny ink well fillers to write their letters with? To stop them from writing to loved ones and filing lawsuits?

Are you being loyal to the law by allowing unaccredited standards, operations and policies to continue inside Nevada prisons?

Why don’t Nevada prisoners in solitary confinement get daily fresh air and exercise, as is their right? Why do corrections officers take prisoners out at midnight, interrupting the sleep cycle?

Why do you allow Ely lockdown for years and years and years to continue? Please stop this today. You have the power. You can do it.

What are the guidelines for putting people into solitary confinement, ad seg, dis seg, to use your euphemisms?

Where are the felony charges against Nevada prisoners who are in solitary for extended periods?

Please produce the records of how long prison officials are keeping Nevada prisoners in solitary confinement.

Why don’t Nevada prisoners go to jail for assaults? Why don’t Nevada corrections officers go to jail for assaults?

How are the perpetrators of rape charged? Do they go to court? Or, do NDOC officials punish them by extending sentences without due process?

What are the NDOC regulations for time limits, if any, placed on people going into solitary?

Where are, and what are, the administrative regulations for the amount of time that officials can put prisoners in solitary confinement?

How much money is in the budget for corrections officers’ educations about recognition of mental health problems that prisoners may be suffering?

Here are excerpts of a letter from a prisoners’ family member that we received 13 July 2009:

…” I have suffered 13 years under the duress and frustration of the corrupt Nevada Prison System, Judicial system period. This is the “Country of Nevada”. Good Ole boys for sure and Ely guards are barbarians! P.up trucks drinking in the hills, cruel, I have seen the bleeding wounds on my husband’s ankles from having the shackles set to wear they rub and rub and break open old scabs from the week before, one guard will hike them up and tighten them another will just let them shift all around, I mean come on, walk from port to visit belly chain hands behind back cuffed shackles like he,s the incredible hulk and an escort officer, sometimes two, give me a break!

Ooooh are those guards tough, gag me, disgusting display of over the top unnecessary pain for the prisoner and extreme drama to increase the all ready distorted sense of importance these guards have!

No wonder they have such domestic violence problems!

…we do not trust anyone in connection with law they are all crooked corrupt tools of the higher echelon of our corrupt legal system.

As I stated I have suffered 13 years as has my husband I am ready to take a stand no matter what this lousy system needs to be torn down from the top down.”

What response do you advise us to give to this free person who is suffering daily because of operations and policies at Ely State Prison?

Please, take the high road in eliminating unacceptable Nevada prison conditions starting today. Implement a platform of rehabilitation and hope.

Please replace ineffective NDOC leadership with professional administration.

Please implement oversight in Nevada prisons today==before more violence erupts and the death toll for Nevada prisoners continues to escalate.

Yours truly,

Mercedes Maharis MA MS MA