News from the prisoners

News in from the desks and mailbags of Nevada Prisoner Voice:

22 JUNE 2009
I’M THINKING WHAT I’M DOING IS WORKING
(NOTE: transcribed as written…)

“Guess what, these clowns tried to break my right wrist. I’m thinking what I’m doing is working. If I haven’t already told you, I’m telling you now my case, that rape case was dismissed. But N.D.O.C. has written me up and I was found guilty. I only got 60-days hole time. But I still think things are going to change for the better. You think I need to study english. Maybe your right, I’ll cheeck up on that.

After I mail off a… report on how N.D.O.C’s officials break the law criminally here… then, I pretty much did what I could do. Malm please excuss my pinmentship, the pens they give us now are just the inserts. Well malm my rist is starting to hurt, so I’ll go ahead and let you go for now.”

22 JUNE 09

PRAY I LIVE TO GET OUT
(NOTE: transcribed as written…)

“Daily its the retaliation — punishment and interference by way of my religious kosher diet meals — open — outdated products inadequate and it goes on with the Ely State Prison officials.

For example, today 06/14/09 my breakfast hot-?-? Denied my Kosher juice package again, denied my Kosher milk. I have not had any real milk inside my body since September 25, 2005. Ely State Prison is the only Nevada prison with powdered milk that is an FDA violator, no label, no ingredients, the boxes not match the packs – packs not match the box.

My lunch meal main course open, I had to refuse it daily, give peanut butter — jelly with peanuts for lunch. They failure to rotate it daily. Over nine months eggs seven days a week 4 breakfast, peanut butter jelly, peanuts today for lunch good until 7/20/09. My ? bagel good until 6/22/09.

Dinner given a Passover meal they claim not to have 4/16/09. My dinner ? bagel outdated 04/06/09. Cho chip cookies outdated 06/03/09. Daily my dietary laws is interfer with under Lev. II: its my food — mail — medical — dental — personal — legal calls showers –

intentionally surrounded by mental health inmates that shall not be inside the same units 1, 2, 3, 4 with us non-mental illness. E. K. McDaniel – medical – mental health staffing use these mental illness inmates for another punitive measures here at ESP big time.

Day — night and day beating — yelling not shower and it goes on will force unwanted minutes into inmates but not enforce showers AR 705. Inmate grooming AR 701 crazy huh!?

I am (between) abnormal acting no shower taking inmates.

Anyway I just take it one day at a time. Pray I live to get out this dump home to my family friends Thank you for listen again.

Then it’s all my personal — legal and religious stolen/taken by Ely State Prison officials there retaliation -n- punishment individual racial discrimination and it goes on… did you know we is denied to use a broom, mop and disinfect for our cells/ESP? But now death row can use these cleaning supplies.”

22 JUNE 09

WHAT HAPPENED TO GROUNDS BEAUTIFICATION AT SOUTHERN DESERT CORRECTIONAL CENTER, INDIAN SPRINGS, NEVADA…?

“… One of the nicer guards who left… told me that he knew things were getting worse. There was another officer … and he too commented on the terrible conditions.

The outside play area is now a shambles and dismantled and there are no areas where the kids can amuse themselves any longer and no flowers or plants… Inmates are no longer allowed to go out there, not even with their visitors, as was the custom in the past.”

18 JUNE 09

SOUTHERN DESERT CORRECTIONAL CENTER, INDIAN SPRINGS, NEVADA… GRADUATION… THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

“There are some radical changes at SDCC and while I enjoyed my visit with my son and also my grandkids who I took up to see him, it became very obvious that the inmates were having a more difficult time.

A new head guard took over and all the other guards, with the exception of one female guard, apparently quit en masse as they refused to work for this man who they did not like or respect. So it was a new staff there when I arrived and one of the new guards did not want to let me in because he said my written notarized letter from the mother of my grandkids was out of date.

I replied it was good for all time and in their file but he told me that from then on a new notarized letter allowing me or their granddad to take the kids (still minors) had to be received at SDCC every 60 days – in other words, such letters were only good for 2 months. He allowed me in with the kids because my visit had been approved prior to their new rule!! How kind!

Then when we got in we saw this new stiff upper lip type sargeant major who stood with arms akimbo and checked all around the room that all was in order. He walked around the room, sometimes from table to table, never cracked a smile and announced in a loud and unpleasant voice that new rules had been printed and we must all pick one up before we leave. He later on handed some out.

Nothing of the letter authorizing me to bring minors to visit their dad was mentioned in these rules (that these expired every 60 days and had to be renewed). My son was not sure if they were even approved by NDOC… (NOTE: the renewal of notarizations has reportedly since been dropped, thank goodness.)

On another note, my son and other inmates were not happy when they needed to use the toilet facilities as there were always 5 guards to watch them as they did their business! Talk about lack of any type of privacy. Some of the men, incl. my son, avoided having to use the facilities due to this invasive situation. Again, the routine is more strict, clothing is more strictly enforced, and there were no happy campers!

The one event that went well was the Graduation Ceremony…

The formal part of the Graduation Ceremonies at SDCC were held from 9 to 10 AM, on Tues. June 2, 2009. My son and 2 other inmates received their Assoc. Deg’s. from the College of Southern NV (CSN), as well as the Braille Certificate for Math Translation (he was the only one) and he and a number of others received the literature transription Braille certificates.

The graduating procession was led by several recipients of the Assoc. Degrees from CSN, followed by the High School graduates, all in cap and gown. Those receiving Braille Certification and other various Certificates were already seated in the nicely arranged visiting Room for this occasion.

Speeches were given by dignitaries including the Warden, teachers and other staff members. An hour of mingling with those in attendance at the ceremony took place from 10 until 11 AM and refreshments were served in the form of either chocolate or white cake and juice and enjoyed by staff, graduates, speakers and visitors alike. The event was very well organized. Refreshements were served and it was quite informal after all the speeches and well organized and I was able to sit beside my son for this special day and talk to him.

There were quite a few High School diplomas and certificates for other studies handed out. (My son) lead the procession into the visiting room so of course I was very proud of him. All his teachers seemed so as well and came over to speak to us (his dad and my sister were there also).

We did get a couple of photos taken of the occasion and one of the Braille teachers brought her camera and took some more so I guess we will get that one too soon.

Well, that is the news out of SDCC…”

Life at High Desert State Prison

From: Nevada Prisoner Voice:

01 JUNE 2009
LIFE AT HIGH DESERT STATE PRISON

High Desert State prison has really turned the clock back.

Whenever something transpires, all prisoners are retaliated against.

Shots are fired on a regular basis for no reason and we’re threatened daily with shotguns.

Some phones in the units don’t work, mail is still delayed and we only get a three hour visit once a week.

We’re served small portions, spoiled and nasty food.

If I file a grievance I’ll only be retaliated against and transferred up north. I also like being close to my Vegas family members.

I’m positive a shooting took place, a guard was shot as well. I didn’t witness the incident.

XXX allows guards to physically abuse prisoners. He’s afraid to walk the yard. I’ve only seen him once since I’ve been here. They do whatever they want to us here.

We have normal pens here. I remember the tiny fillers at ESP, the nasty powdered milk, but not the packaged meals. The food here is terrible, it’s getting to be less every day, and it’s never the proper temperature.

We get gym once a week, yard once a day for an hour. And this is supposed to be a medium security prison.

Prisoners aren’t clothed properly with state clothing, linen and bedding. Belts, shirts and coats are not sold in the canteen. The canteen never has the items it’s supposed to sell. Belts are not issued by the state, either.

Other prisons I’ve been at remove the unauthorized items and allow the other contents of the missive. One of my correspondents’ missives was returned because it supposedly didn’t have my back number on it, but it actually did.

Thank you for your support.

Institutionalized Damaged Goods

This article is taken with permission from Nevada Prisoner Voice, May 2nd 2009:

© 2009 by the author, whose name is protected at this time. All Rights Reserved. For Permissions, Email: contact@nvpv.us

Institutionalized Damaged Goods

America’s prison systems have adapted a locked down twenty-three hours a day policy in many states throughout the country.

Officials attempt to justify this policy by stating that this cuts down prison violence and crimes.

What prison administrators have clearly turned a blind eye to is the many surveys done by psychological experts showing the negative effects that this policy has on people inside prison.

I’ve witnessed many men under these conditions psychologically deteriorate, some even surrendering to suicide.

On the other hand, there are some of us that fool ourselves into finding contentment with our conditions. But the truth is, contentment is not what prisoners are feeling. That would be abnormal behavior.

What it is, is a false image we adopt to display our strength to endure, but to truly witness what we are going through is to watch us when no one is looking.

As a man dealing with this daily, I’ll give you an inside view of my struggle.

It’s a constant war between sanity and insanity because every day we’re confronted with our thoughts of failures, which alter our emotions.

I’ve built up such an open tolerance for emotional pain that I can only cry in my sleep.

I laugh sometimes, but happiness is only short lived because of the constant reminder of our situation and sins.

There are other times when I want to lash out and inflict some of the pain I feel on others. Though I’m wise enough to know that this is self-destructive behavior.

Many give in to these thoughts and become what we call “crush dummies.”

A crush dummy is a prisoner so overwhelmed with his anger that he will provoke guards into a cell extraction. This is when a group of guards enter a cell to remove a prisoner often resulting in their beating the prisoner senseless, sometimes killing the prisoner.

Prisoners are not always to blame for these attacks. Many guards who work in prisons feel that it is their job to punish prisoners. They realize it’s not hard to provoke a confrontation with a prisoner in a lock down situation.

This will give them the justification to beat prisoners.

Another effect of these conditions is that we’re faced with many losses over time, lost relationships with family and friends. Loved ones pass away. Twent-three hours a day we must deal with this with no counseling, though they have a psychological department here at this prison. It is a shameful one.

There is no medical confidentiality. All interviews are conducted at your cell door where other prisoners can hear what’s being discussed. So, most prisoners learn to suppress emotions, which becomes dangerous and may lead to a psychological meltdown.

Though many of us deserve to be in prison, we don’t deserve to be dehumanized. Some of us committed bad crimes, but that does not make us bad people.

History shows us that people can change.

I, myself, have become a better human being. But, what I fear is what I may become after being under these conditions.

So, this is a cry for your help.

Please write to your state legislative representative or congressperson.

Ask them to pass laws to abolish these lock down policies and to implement more conducive programs for prisoners, plus, private counseling in lockdown units.

Remember, many of us will once again be free.

With your help we can come out of here mentally healthy ready to be productive citizens.

If you wish to know more about our constant struggle, please feel free to contact me through:

Email: contact@nvpv.us