2014/10/26

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report - Vol. 4 no. 3 Summer 2014

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Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
“Veritas in Caritatis”             
Vol. 4, No 3, Summer Issue 2014

THEME: “Audi alterum partem” - Listen to the other side!

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”
Website: Nvjprudence.wordpress.com (this issue here)

Statement of Purpose:
The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.

The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other "transparency" projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. Cameras: For Us, or Against Us? By Rahsquo
2. Crowding, Violence and Nevada Stickney Report
3. Uppity Inmate: Engineering Submission, by Cal
4. Government Pushback, Small Town Style

Section Two: Law, Equity and Policy

1.     The Darkness Deepens
2.     Sicherungverwahrung and the Male Peril

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1.    Report: Nevada Appellate and Post-Conviction Project Now Defunct
2.    Justice Brandeis Innocence Project
3.    New College Program: New Free Dom College
4.    Sociological Study Underway
5.    Obamacare Now Covers Ex-Felons
6.    Poem: The Man in Me by John Fenton

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Section One: Conditions

1) Cameras: For Us or Against Us? By Rahsquo

In a putative effort to curb violence and other illegal activity at NNCC (a medical/retirement facility) cameras were installed in 2011. Prior to this installation of cameras in all units (except the human barn unit 10), the only areas where cameras were active was the infirmary and the visiting room.

The British author George Orwell (ne Eric Blair) in his visionary novel, 1984, described a futuristic society that furnished cameras almost everywhere. “Big Brother” would be individually monitoring your whereabouts. Mr. Orwell’s book was published in the 1930’s, and may have inspired the voyeuristic practices that are today disguised as legal surveillance.

Immediately, I can attest to have witnessed grown men stimulated by the camera installation to exhibit behaviors of hysterical panic about the sudden lack of privacy. They wondered what the cameras were for? Some speculated that they were there to deter and ward off any further assaults by a rogue group of correctional officers under the leadership of a sadistic lieutenant that harassed and physically abused old and crippled prisoners. The mutual occasional fisticuffs that are bound to transpire among 1500 men did not seem to warrant the rise in “get tough” measures imposed by the administration. After all, NNCC, in addition to being a medical facility, is a low-medium yard. Surely the majority of the elderly sick and dying prisoners were no threat to the safety and security of the institution.

Here is an example of the seemly side of camera usage in prison:

After the cameras were up-and-running, a newly admitted prisoner was allegedly assaulted by one of two prisoners in general population. When the “alleged” assault victim reported the incident, the cameras were “played back” and the prison investigator swiftly apprehended the two perpetrator caught on camera—or so the officials thought. In fact, there was no coverage where the actual assault took place— inside the bathrooms. Only the hallways have video monitors in the units. Two black men who appeared on the hallway video “around” the time of the assault. These mistakenly accused were pressured to randomly name two others, who were then charged with the assault. One of the now falsely accused had an alibi that arbitrarily disregarded; he had been in the infirmary for a doctor’s visit and had proof of it. The other black man lived in another wing, and no video footage was use to prove he left that wing to go to the other at the time of the assault. Both innocent men did serious hole time, while the actual bully went home 2 days after the beating!

On the other hand, video evidence has brought some justice to the yard. On Thanksgiving Day 2009, an official lynching occurred in the mental health wards of the prison infirmary, and because of the existence of a video tape of the “cell extraction” the killer correctional officials were removed from duty (at this time there is no knowledge of and criminal changes ever brought against them). Rumors coming out of the correction staff community report the mentally deranged inmate was gassed, tazed, and deprived of air with a plastic bag. One of the rogue cops, before the excrement hit the fan, retired.

The video evidence reportedly resulted in the firing of two officials, the suspension of two others.

So, are the cameras for us or against us? It appears to depend on the practice of a virtue called justice by the controllers of the cameras.

2)   Crowding, Violence and the Nevada Stickney Report

On and off the NNCC situation has included the usage of dayrooms for use as temporary housing in order to upgrade the facility’s Unit bathrooms, increasing the mandated 90 to 1 ratio of staff to inmate to about 140 to 1 in the two housing barns 10A and 10B. this Unit did not need any retrofit, having been built in 2007, so it was used as overflow. The work is now done and the overflow was moved out on July 28.

The mandates of population-staff ratios stem from a lawsuit in the early 1980’s that lasted until 2002. It is captioned Stickney v. List, CR-R-79_11_ECR. I am told stories by old timers, that in those days, correctional officers made minimum wage and supplemented their income by selling drugs, hookers and booze to inmate. The ratio of officers to inmates was 1 UNIT to 1 GUARD, resulting in shockingly high levels of rape (yes, man rape) and assault, obviously exacerbated by drugs and alcohol.

3)   Uppity Inmate: Engineery Total Submission

It is unfortunate duty to report on the retaliation by an NDOC official against a fellow inmate. It is truly troubling because, as a witness, it was clear to me the inmate was innocent of any wrongdoing. It was even more disturbing to witness the capricious, arbitrary, irrational behavior of a high-ranking NDOC official, who was so drunk on her own infallible power, she lost custody of her mind.

The NDOC was in the midst of implementing its standard [unwritten] institutional procedure of geno-punitive retribution. This term describes the practice of operant conditioning of groups. It is a practice consistent with the deprivation theory of corrections that justifies subtle forms of terrorism against target populations aimed at deterring future bad acts.

An inmate of the Unit that [illegally] houses 140 inmates was caught making pruno, or home-made fruit wine. The police found it in the ceiling. He [the winermaker] was sequestered to the disciplinary housing unit. But the [unwritten] policy of NDOC is to punish the entire community in which the transgressor lives. The policy requires acts of aggression by the prison officials against the entire cohort, and in this case included:

The arbitrary and capricious taking of property under color of a law or housing code,
The disestablishment of practices and customs of the inmate community, in this case the use of curtains in front of the defecation toilets and in and around the bank beds for sleeping privacy,
The drastic and absurd removal of the ceiling tiles in the rooms where the pruno was hidden ;
The invention of cosmetic rules of prohibition regarding the placement of fans and television reception antennas, and the storage of clothes, and usage of shelf space.

The sudden capricious demand that “this place has to look like a military barracks”.
The officials made people straighten out the towels hanging at the ends of beds and take down decorative items, or intensive micromanage

Although these seem extremely mild irritants the psychological exacerbation of fear was impressive, due to the mere increase of police presence in the unit. Normally there is one officer on duty 24 hours a duty, and visits by “suits” (high ranking officials) are extremely unusual. During the height of the government hysterical overreaction to the pruno crime, an uppity inmate had the gumption to ask the ringleader of the high rankers applying the operant retribution what the provocation was for such an attack. The Ringleader government thug responded by demanding the inmates Identification card, and ordering his “level reduction” by moving him out of his “Level One” unit into a level Two unit. The level reduction may cause the loss of his job, which would directly increase the amount of time spent in prison because non-workers do not get “good time” credit. The loss of lower custody status reduced his privileges, but he is too terrified to file a grievance, because he fears escalated government push-back by his being moved to a higher custody yard.

The aider and abettor of the Ringleader carrying out the orders of his superior official told me personally, when I asked “why all this hubbub?” “The inmate who confronted the Glorious Ringleader really pissed her off, he should have known his place”.

The practice of harem scarem mass punishments (geno-punitive retribution) has a counterproductive effect of causing inmate-on-inmate violence which is the exact opposite of the job of a correctional facility. The behaviors of the officials trigger mimetic behaviors of the inmates. Because of the immature example of bullying and irrational scapegoating of 139 men to pay for the act of one alcoholic inmate, (violence begets violence), the inmates experienced a huge community increase of blaming, finger pointing, character assassination, backstabbing and faultfinding—against each other. Only a tiny fraction had the gumption to file a grievance, which will be reported on next issue.

4) Government Push-Back, Small Town Style: How to Chill a Prisoner

A recent exposé in the Rolling Stone, (Putin Clamps Down by Janet Reitman 5/8/14) there is an interesting series of observations. Each phenomena has an American homologue.

First, this sentence uses a category of relation between the government and an individual or group:

“Wary of government push-back, the protesters played by the rules,…” (53)

Here, the term push-back refers to the use of the police power of the national government of Russia. Here is an example of how push-back works at a prison facility in the backwood polity of Nevada.

A prisoner at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, run under an experimental regime that imposes collective psychological conditioning (mind control) through a “level system”, suffered head trauma from a piece of falling concrete. He received treatment and was even taken out in chains to be checked at a local hospital. Several days later he found out another man had suffered from a near miss of falling concrete in the same Unit 4 (the lowest level of the operant conditioning system). He filed an emergency grievance, stating he wanted an official to take pictures of the dilapidated concrete ceiling and to be compensated for the pain suffered.

The officer in charge called the victim of falling concrete up to the main administrative office. When he got there he was met by a bizarre sight: all of the correctional staff assigned to the Mayberry control center had collected up into a choral group of 5-7 persons and when the inmate arrived inside the building, they all sang out, in UNISON, the same words, in the same voice:

HIIII ROBERT!
Wha…? Really

Robert filed suit later, and it passed screening, because in addition to the bizarre stage show, these clowns took him to administrative segregation under the color of law.

Section Two: Law and Equity

1)   The Darkness Deepens

The Nevada Department of Corrections is generally exempt from all rulemaking procedures which executive branch officials must use. These Rules are found in Chapter 233B of the Revised Statutes (NRS). 

There was an exception, until recently. The prison store fund rules used to require that the Administrative rulemaking process had to be utilized. It appears that this requirement might have been revoked. This rules requirement penciled in at NRS 209.221 (7) and (8) is referred to in the 233B, stating “except as provided in 209.221, NDOC is exempt from 233B rules”. However, this language is deleted in a recent computer printout of the statute, making NDOC’s discretionary rulemaking power absolute, and thus a despotic dominion.

Chapter 176, NRS 176.0125 establishes the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, at paragraph 4, states that the commission shall:

“Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department of Corrections… with consideration as to whether it is feasible… to establish an oversight or advisory board…(c) policies for the operation of the Department of Corrections;”

There’s some hope in that.

Now, any warden with common sense would want to obtain the intelligence of circumspection by offering to receive “input” from all parties possible. The unwritten rules of reason require this. There are cases where this is done. In 2008, this writer was witness to the actions of Chaplain Garcia at Lovelock. He asked for inmate participation, he was delivered an article of the Prison Legal News article regarding the case at Pelican Bay Prison in California where the officials refused to allow hardbound books. (PLN, July, 07, pg 19)

The result of that case was a court order for the officials to cut the cover off. Garcia brought that law to the meeting and a policy was established to do this. Another example of rulemaking input is at AR 802, Community Volunteers. At 802.04(i) it states “A volunteer is encouraged to submit suggestions for conducting, enhancing or improving volunteer services”. What needs to happen is to change the language to say,

“The warden shall request, on a yearly basis, the volunteers and families of convicts and the general public to submit suggestions. The input shall be tallied and formatted, and a copy delivered to the survey participants, and to the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, and the Legislative Counsel Bureau, who shall make said survey report available to the general public in both formats, digital and hardcopy”.

A third example of current potential input for policy review and rules process is the Inmate Advisory Committee (IAC). This practice is being used at the medium yard at NNCC, and in general is used for conveying decrees from the Glorious Leader, and as a pressure release value that deals with cosmetic issues regarding the conditions of confinement. It’s basically a place to whine for whiners and moaners  about trivialities like television reception.

The Principle of Government Secrecy is necessary in some situations, such as in times of war, and the executive war machine needs to conceal its hand from the enemy. The so-called War-on-Crime justifies civil government secrecy. But the “war-on-crime is a product of the ideological apparatus of the official anarchists trying to escalate the war-on-crime for economic good. Malinski v. NY 68 S. Ct 781 demands no ear be given to loose talk about war on crime!

2)   Sicherungverwahrung and the Male Peril—Myth, Spin and Therapeutic Economy

In the April 2014 CURE Civil Commitment Newsletter, the article “The Presumption of Dangerousness” did an excellent job describing the state of affairs. This reports on two dimensions which are important if we attempt to be scientifically circumspect. The first dimension is the historical, and the second is the normative, or “ethical”.

The historical dimensions open upon the Germanic homologue of “civil commitment”, or a “non-punitive” taking by the government of some normal civil right. Traditional German law has something called Massregeln, which seem, like civil commitment, to fall between civil and criminal forms of law. Massregeln include sanctions such a taking away a privilege, like the right to drive a car or work in a particular industry. The non-punitive taking of physical liberty is called Sicherungsverwarung.

Like here, the taking of a right in the realm of civil law have fewer procedural safeguards. In the1871 German penal code they did not distinguish between penalties civil and criminal. Because the civil taking causes suffering, the taking cannot logically be thought of as a non-penalty.

There was a movement to bifurcate the Massregeln from criminal law that could not get legislated. The German lawmakers did not want to make it easier for the executive branch to impose civil penalties. However, that increase of power to impose civil removal of physical was gained by guess who? Adolph Hitler and his fascist regime. Although abused by that regime, it has not gone away.

However, today civil commitment must be pronounced at original sentencing (like many American enhancement laws here). It must also be reviewed and confirmed by due process hearing upon termination of the criminal sentence. Also the civil penalty of post-punitive confinement is safeguarded from abuse by the legal principles of proportionality and equity (fairness). Safeguards are built-in in ways that don’t happen in America. This information is taken from “Abusing State Power or Controlling Risk?: Sex Offender Commitment” by Nora Demleitner, 30 Fordham Urb. L. J. [http://law.fordham.edu/fordham-urban-law-journal/ulj.htm] 1621.

The second dimension is the normative, or the moral aspect of law, in its most traditional sense. The current ideological apparatus uses a positivistic rhetoric which colonizes the public discourse to a point of exclusive monopoly, even among the most strident critics of the American law-and-order regime. This means an exclusion of the moral-virtue dimension of law. The historical dimension is tolerated, but the moral is absolutely dismissed as mere opinion. Therefore, all public discourse is a soliloquy of the actuarial statistical mathematics, which appears and sounds impressively scientific. But it is not. The usage of the rhetoric is done purposely by the law-and-order regime to stir up widespread panic, sway the minds of juries and judges, and colonize the minds of the offenders the regime seeks to over-control. This thesis is support by the well-concealed thesis the critical analyses of academics who have exposed the validity of psychotherapeutics as entirely non-scientific.

For example, William M. Epstein, a clinical social worker and professor at University of Nevada -Las Vegas, writes “Psychotherapy as Religion: The Civil Divine in America,” [http://www.amazon.com/Psychotherapy-As-Religion-Divine-America/dp/0874176786] in which he demonstrates convincingly that “The meaning of the field [of psycho-therapy] is derived not from objective evidence of effectiveness but from the preferences of the culture-- a sociological marvel rather than a clinical one”.(4)

What this implies is that the normative/moral dimensions of society has been expropriated from its traditional religious institutions and monopolized by a secular institution which conceals its religiosity behind a spurious mythology of a morally neutral “science”. 

This amounts to an expropriation of meaning by the forces of the dominant economic naturalism—“science” merely means “knowledge”, and there can be a “science” of the now shunned realm of reality called the divine, which has been imprisoned into the non-scientific realm of the subjective opinion. Thus human institutions that relate to the divine are targeted and labeled as “non-scientific”, and therefore rejected as a valid source of moral and ethical discipline, in both the day-to-day practicalities of life and in the sphere of political governance.

In fact, the so-called legal principal of the “separation of church and state”, in operation, serves the merge and conflate the functions of the church (and religion generally) into itself. This phenomena did not happen overnight, but the process has a history, and is taken up in the next section of this essay, which is forthcoming.

The current Massregeln of the United States tends to point its violence on the weakest and most morally suspect of society. In the Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell, it upheld the eugenic therapeutics of purifying the whole fabric of society by sterilizing the morons, mentally retarded, racially impure and sexually deviant, with a minimum of administrative due process—given notice and a one-sided hearing. Only the glaring evils of Adolph Hitler wiped out the statutes in the state legislatures. It is a known fact that Hitler modeled his reforms after the genocidal cleansing statutes of California.

 Civil commitment laws are nothing less than euphemized forms of eugenics, seeking to “cleanse” society not only now, but in the future, of all risk of the new genetic peril: the sex offender. The latest “peril” of (mostly male) is added to the perennial list of targeted classes in the prosecution of national warfare. The First World War saw the mass psychological manipulation of the state psychologist to rouse the American public to war against the “German peril”. In World War II it was the “Yellow peril”. In the cold war it was the “Red Peril”. During the drug wars it was the “Black Peril”. Today we see a gender war, creating the target of the “Male Peril”. [See “The Emerging Criminal War on Sex Offenders” by Corey Raybarn Yung, 45 Harv. C. R. –C.L.L. Rev. 435]. Since the vast majority of sex offenders are male, it is not illogical to see the current Massregeln in terms of a military offensive in the broader Gender War. [See “The Feminist War on Crime” by Aya Gruber, 92 Iowa L. Rev. 741]
   
As an “enemy combatant” labeled as a “sex offender”, men convicted of such an offense against the “state” all face civil commitment, especially if we evaluate the phenomena with sophistication. In other words, there are now increasing restrictions attached to the regular penal sentences that constitute indirect and constructive forms of civil commitment in operation, yet not called civil commitment. They are imposed without due process.

Men released from prison are paroled, because the vast majority, no matter the degree of the crime, are given life sentences with possibility of parole. So they are on life time parole, which federally or locally mandated residence restrictions, and are subjected to lengthy sentences for failing to register every three months or being found within three or four football fields locations of any congregations of minors. So, we see the presumption of dangerousness not only upon release. We find the presumption in the pre-trial stage during incarceration, at parole hearings and when granted parole—for the rest of the offenders life.

The other observation with an American homologue is this:

“A second and even more crucial change in the law gave the prosecutor’s office unlimited discretion on whom to prosecute [in violations of public assembly law].”

So, the implication here is twofold:

-          That prior to this liberation of state prosecutors from limitations on their discretion, there were more stringent rules in place;
-          That the hallmark and measure of how despotic and tyrannical a government is, one looks at the constraints in place on the state prosecutors.

Therefore, we can conclude that there is no greater tyranny and no great despot in the international scene than the USA. Why? Because only in the United States does the government prosecutor have absolute discretion, unfettered by any rules, any oversight, or any power greater than themselves; and this power is not hierarchic and inefficient.

The absolute power is networked in a polycentric grip through 3,144 county district attorneys, plus the huge staffs of 50 state attorney general’s office (not counting territories). Add to that number the massive United States Attorney General’s office spread out through the federal district court system, with each deputy exercising with not a single constraint on their discretion—they have despotic dominion. All that exist is a hollow and meaningless, as well as non-binding, codes of professional ethics, all of which clearly and expressly do not give legal rights or cause of action to hold the network of District Adversaries accountable.
   
Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1) Report on the Nevada Appellate and Post-Conviction Project

NJPR editorial policy is to maintain a letter-of-inquiry campaign to follow-up on people, organizations and writers who show concern about the American police state. Recent solicitations to the national office of “Critical Resistance” [at 1904 Franklin Street, Ste. 504, Oakland CA, 94612] produced a national “Pro Bono Legal Resource” list. The only outfit listed for Nevada is:

Nevada Appellate & Post Conviction Project

When this reporter wrote to the address on the Resource list, he was replied to by Michael Pescetta, Chief of the Capital Habeus Corpus Unit at the Federal Public Defender office [at 411 E. Bonneville Avenue, Ste. 250, Las Vegas, NV 89101]. Says Mr. Pescetta “The Project no longer exists. The capital habeus unit of the FPD now does the work that the Project formerly did”.

The guy goes on to say he might be able to provide referral services if a concise clear summary of the case was sent to the Federal Public Defender. Here is the follow-up letter which has been sent to the Federal Public Defender, Michael Pescetta:

Dear Sir,
Thank you for your letter of July 15, 2014. You implied in your letter that you might be able to provide a referral if a clear status summary of the case is provided. I’m just checking to see if I understood you correctly.

Also, I’m enclosing a copy of a letter received from the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project. It identifies a Non-DNA technique of fighting actual innocence cases. As a contributing editor to an all-prisoner written whistleblower newsletter, Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report, I am seeking referral to investigative journalists who might be interested in starting a West Coast Iinnocence Project that serves the horrifying embarrassment of the Nevada criminal justice administration. You can send an email to nvjprudence@gmail.com .”

2) Justice Brandeis Innocence Project

As mentioned above, NJPR has discovered (through the Critical Resistance Resource List) the Innocence Project at Brandeis University. The Project is run by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at 415 South Street, MS 043, Waltham MA 02454. The Project does not use forensic DNA evidence as all other innocence projects. Also, as all other innocence projects, the Brandeis Project serves an exclusive region without exceptions.

NJPR is attempting to compile a list of investigative journalist in order to organize a Western United States Innocence Project that would utilize the journalistic method, as it is sorely needed.

Let us remind ourselves that the Motherland of the U.S., Merry Old England, has a permanent, government funded innocence commission, which excludes all police and prosecutors from its review board.  Here are some authors of investigative reports on the criminal administration:
karmstrong@seattletimes.com
mauricepossley@gmail.com
bmoushey@pointpark.edu

3) New College Program for Prisoners

New Freedom College is a non-profit school recently established with non-accredited college courses available on a sliding-scale starting at $33.00 per unit ($99. Per 3 unit course), a price which INCLUDES the price of the textbook.

NFC has applied for official accreditation from the nationwide Distance Education and Training Council. The mandatory probationary period for the school began in June 2013 and the school officials fully expect to pass master in June 2015, less than a year from now.

The low price above applies to those who have agreed to pursue a 2 or 4 year degree program. There are fear: Business/Entrepreneur Paralegal Studies Drug and Alcohol Counseling, and English Language.
New Freedom College
1957 West Burnside St. #1660
Portland, OR 97209

4) Sociological Study Underway

The July 2014 Prison Legal News article titled “BOP Grievance System Contributes to Compliance or Defiance of Prisoners” will serve as an inspiration for an upcoming investigative piece on the NDOC grievance system. A contributor to the NJPN whistleblowing project will poll inmate populations and create a statistical analysis of the data collected.

The Editors of NJPN invite contributions from all sources to add to the data set, such as ideas for polling questions and the name and location of sociological prison studies or ideas for future research projects. Contact our public e-mail address:

The data of this study will be situated in comparison to the study “Procedural Justice and Prison: Examining Complaints Among Federal Inmates 2000-2007” by the U.S. Marshalls Service and the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.

5)  Obamacare Will Cover Prisoners? Uh, No.

It is interesting that prison officials are refusing to disseminate to all prisoners the great hope-creating news that affects the future well-being of prisoners. Inmates are thus once again deprived of the comforting sentiment of hope.

The National CURE outfit reports that “Some [un-named] correctional systems are helping” to get inmates enrolled into Obamacare prior to release. For older invalid inmates, this means release can be to a community nursing home. CURE also reports that the Affordable Care Act also covers, if the state applies, prison and jail inmates who have to go to outside hospitals for intensive care.

It’s a complex law that will be research and report on later. Family and friends can call 1-800-318-2596 for information. That the prison population of America is deprived of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is an expression of the general policy of the ”deprivation theory” of corrections. To extend this hypothesis further, the exclusion of prisoners from basic care is sure evidence of a government advancement of the religious principle of the “unworthy poor”.

6) Poem: The Man in Me, by John Fenton

Before it’s too late
I saw the man in my house
And he could hardly breath
I pursued the man to desperate end
I’d see him here and there again
Standing there in my refracted dreams
Too scared to bleed, to ‘fraid to fight
Steal away into the night
Where only a thief should have the right
Leaping through every hide-and-find
Ever allusive not quite in my grasp
I finally met the man where I could see
Behind the mirror he wept, the man cries for me.


2014/03/15

New issue: Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report Vol 4 nr 1

We received the following from our comrades via email, and decided to repost it here:

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report

Vol. 4, No 1      “Veritas in Caritatis”              
Winter Issue 2014

THEME: “Audi alterum partem”: Listen to the other side!

 “Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”

E-mail:  nvjprudence@gmail.com    http://nvjprudence.wordpress.com

Statement of Purpose:

The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.

The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other “transparency” projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.

Index to this Issue:

   Section One: Conditions

1. Ely Inside Exposé: Doctor’s Report, Pt. I
2. Prison Rape Elimination Act at NNCC
3. Prison Cold Cuts Lunch Reduced Again

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy
1.     Racial-Economic Bias Study Repressed (Pt. I)
2.     Update on NJPR Investigations

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1.    AR 750: Book Approvals Eliminated
2.    United States Government Manual
3.    VVA/ Veterans Update
4.    Poem: The Waiting Game

Section One: Conditions

1) Ely Inside Exposé
    From: Anonymous
    To: Mr. X

    Ely State Prison
    P. O. Box 1989
    Ely, Nevada 89301
    October 15, 2011

Dear X.,

I just read your letter of October 11,2011. Some of what I am going to tell you may surprise you.
I quickly discovered that *** was murdered. It was obvious from the medical records that we had that something rotten was going on at ESP. **** told me a lot about what was going on. The ACLU knew all about it also. It was their goal to improve the medical care for all the prisoners, not to avenge any wrongdoing or murder. The ACLU settled the case last summer and did not even tell me it was settled. I was going to depositions for the case for them. I called *** the ACLU lead attorney on the ESP case, and told her that I did not think anything would change unless they went to court and got the ring leaders indicted. She said that the ACLU was not interested in sending people to prison. They wanted to make things better for the prisoners.

I know that the medical care at ESP is just as crappy as ever! If you can get enough money to get your surgery, take it and get the surgery. You will never break the Good-old-boy network in Nevada government. You just might get yourself killed trying… there is no justice, only people with power and people without power. If you somehow got every player at ESP to confess on the stand they would never serve a day in prison. They would claim insanity, then claim a disability due to the stress working at the prison. The more you try to fry these jerks, the more likely you will lose everything.

I am an old fool. I still get a lump in my throat when I see the American Flag. I still believe in justice, and right and wrong. These people at ESP are as wrong as anyone can get. The ring leaders are EVIL! I want you to win! I would like for you to get a new trial and be st free. You may win money enough to get your surgery. The more they are afraid the truth about the deaths will come out, the more they will want to shut you up. You want to aggravate them enough to give you some money, but not enough to kill you. It is a fine line you have to walk. I will help you as much as I am able. I also know that I am hated by the ring leaders at ESP. if I continue to threaten them they will want me gone. I, however, am harder to kill than you are. So, for now I am concerned about you.

Keep your goal in focus and push onward at every turn. They are hiding your medical record because it alone proves them guilty. Private citizens have the right to see their medical record. Prisoners lose their individual rights. But… since this case pivots around your medical care, and you are acting as your own attorney, I don’t see how they can keep it from you. They will try to keep sections of your medical file from you, because they know what they have done to you for years by denying treatment for your spinal stenosis opens them up to liability. Not treating you is tantamount to medical torture. They know that!

You have been an amazing lawyer, and you dug up the facts that the defendants in your case tried so hard to cover up. Have you considered trying to obtain a lawyer on a contingency basis? Be well advised *** that the more people on your side who know what you know about the murders at Ely State Prison and the ensuing cover-up, the safer you will be.

I well know all the crimes committed by the warden and medical staff at ESP. I can imagine the frustration you must feel at being imprisoned by people who did far worse things than the prisoners. Keep in touch, and we will pursue this further.

Sincerely, Anonymous

[Editor’s Note: This is the first of two letters passed along to NJPR. The second will be published in the next issue. This professional account lends credibility to the editorial conclusion that exempting NDOC from political oversight of rule making protections is a BAD idea. The LAW needs to change. NRS 233B.039(1) (b) must be repealed, and the judicial branch must re-take their oath of office to uphold their Article VI duties to protect citizens from executive and legislative police and economic abuse of power.]

2)   Lies and Retaliation by CAL

My friend has utilized his life prison term to advance prisoner’s rights issues by standing up to the administration and pressuring them for reforms, through the grievance process. The inmate advisory committee and when necessary civil action my friend has brought about a safer more humane incarceration for many men and women in the State of Nevada.

My friend has been so successful that the prison administration has asked him on several occasions, through his capacity as an inmate Law Clerk, to represent people with certain prisoner’s rights and/or confinement issues. My friend attempted this past year to report the sexual abuse of another inmate in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). As a result of these efforts my friend is being punished; he was fired from his inmate law Clerk job, and was brought-up on a bogus notice of charges. His confidentiality in reporting a P.R.E.A. violation has been compromised and now my friend fears dangers of further official retaliation.

On 12/21/2013 my friend was “caught” passing a note to his wife in the visiting room. The note contains information regarding the sexual abuse and harassment of a mentally ill female inmate in the NNCC segregation unit at the regional medical facility (violating NDOC regulations). The note describes a serious instance and references have been made regarding numerous others being perpetrated by the correctional officers and male inmates. The note closed with a plea for help stating that no reporting echelon is too high to include even governor Sandoval.

My friend’s wife was also detained by correctional officers and prevented from leaving visiting until she gave-up the note. Upon learning the content of the note the correctional officer became a legally mandated “reporter” and should have initiated an institutional investigation in accordance with P.R.E.A. But, no such report has been filed, and the female inmate continues to be subject to abuse.

Now, to compound these issues the official disciplinary officer (who has previously been found guilty of misconduct against my friend) allegedly went around the operations building, in front of inmates and fellow staff, yelling “PREA! PREA! He’s claiming PREA!” this was reported by other inmates and staff present: Affidavits are being complied.

The disciplinary officer also reportedly threatened to “Out” my friend to other inmates and staff branding him as responsible for paper and pens being taken out of visiting and they’d take the kids’ crayons if my friend used the defense that the paper and pens are provided for inmates and their families. In other words, either my friend takes a fake charge or he gets a jacket put on him that he was the “stoolie” that ruined visiting room privileges for everyone.

The PREA report puts my friends life in danger from official retaliation by level reduction. My friend’s federally conferred right to confidentially report prisoner abuses in accordance with PREA has been maliciously disregarded. The federal government must responsibly oversee the state implementation of PREA. NDOC has violated protected anonymity and safety. The federal government must now wrest this abused power from the state and rectify these abuses while punishing those responsible.

[Editor’s Note: Contact D. Striplin, P.R.E.A. Coordinator, through interdepartment mail, or have family phone 775-887-3142, email dstriplin@doc.nv.gov.]

3)   Prison Lunch Reduced Again

The menu at NNCC was changed in the fall of 2013. But within two months there was some kind of backlash and the positive changes went backward.

The major problem with a prison diet is a lack of protein. The discontinuation of the hot lunch program about two years ago contributed to a severe calorie and protein deficiency.  In the fall, the warden improved the lunch by increasing total calorie and protein counts by give each man two sandwiches a day, not one. Also, the police were told to stop confiscating food coming out of the chow hall, like fruit and other breakfast item and dinner items, as doing so interfered with mens self-control of severe diabetes by self regulation of food intake. Making men eat all their food at one time, or not at all, has likely killed not a few men in NDOC. File Reports and complaints with:

State Health Officer, Tracy Green
NV. Division of Public and Behavioral Health
4150 Technology Way, Carson City NV 89706-2009

-OR-

Marena Works, Director
Carson City Health and Human Services
900 E. Long St., Carson City NV 89706

Section Two: Law,  Equity and Policy

1)   State Suppression of Social Study Evidence

NJPR has obtained the on-line Docket of the Supreme Court Commission called ASKT 160, which is an establishment of a “Task Force for the Study of Racial and Economic Bias in the Justice System”. From this on-line Docket mailed in, selections were requested from the Supreme Court Law Library via the generosity of a prisoner willing to buy excerpts at 10$ a page. This is a preliminary sketch.

One of the first items purchased was an Emergency Motion for the Supreme Court to adopt Recommendation No. 1 of the Final Report, which was filed contemporaneously, on June 18, 1997. We will discuss selections of the 81 Recommendations later with analytic comment. For now we deal with the Motion filed by the Chairman of the Task Force, Kevin M. Kelly, Bar No. 1600, of Las Vegas; [volunteers are currently trying to locate Kelly].

Kelly asks for the Supreme Court to “adopt” Recommendation No. 1, and that upon adoption, “then names will be submitted to the Court… as members of the implantation committee”. This is what Recommendation No. 1 states:

“It is imperative to establish a standing committee… to implement [the remaining 80 recommendations] related to disparate treatment within the system[1]. Such committee shall report annually to the Supreme Court… without the establishment of the standing committee the requisite implementation and monitoring of the recommendations is impossible”.

The odd thing is, the Docket (register of actions) does not reflect any Order responding to the Motion. No opposition appears to be filed by opponents of such a commission! So, whatever happened? What kind of judicial branch is it that fails to make a response to a motion filed with its clerk? The options are few—the judicial silence of non-responsiveness indicates either a broken or corrupt system. And it would be foolish to propose that the causes of the corruption can be attributed to a common psychological disposition of the Supreme Court justices. Such psychologism is a conceptual bias perpetrated by the state administrators themselves to serve as an effective mythological account that serves to conceal the other more likely account of objective, visible and measurable sociological account of the causes of officious lies.

The sociological cause of the Task Force is explained in its Final Report: the Las Vegas riots that erupted after the acquittal of the police state of Los Angeles after the beating of Rodney King.

Page 12 of the Report attributes the cause of the Study to be Elgin Simpson, an officer of a non-profit corporation, Community Peace. Yet, the report cites a theory of disposition of the “frustration” of citizens as a cause for the call for a Task Force. The sentiment was claimed in the report to be caused by “the perceived biases in all aspects of the criminal and civil justice system”.

The Report further states that the government was quick to infiltrate, dominate and coopt the Task Force with the presence of “numerous elected and public officials, including a Nevada Supreme Court Justice, Charles Springer.  Springer petitioned the Court for ADKT 160.”

The Task Force studied the following Issues:

Jury Issues, making seven (7) recommendations;
General Quality and Access to Justice, making nine (9) suggestions;
Juvenile Justice, making fifteen (15) demands for change;
Pre-Arraignment issues, making fifteen (15) demands;
Law Enforcement, making eleven (11) demands;
Sentencing Decisions, making (9) suggestions;
Assignment of Counsel, making nine (9) suggestions;
Death Penalty issues, with six (6) demands for change.

The Report states that Post-Conviction Issues needed to be studied, but the Task Force ran out of funds and manpower.
(To be continued…)

2)   Update on Prisoner Political Investigations

A fellow prisoner reports success in the fight for access to public documents for the AB 85 Advisory Committee to study the laws regarding sex offenses. The Legislative Counsel Bureau refused to deliver up until served with a Summons to Show Cause. Why the institutional lurking. NJPR investigations have hit a brick wall regarding the Access to Justice Foundation and the federal/ FOIA request to USDOJ regarding Washoe County Jail went into a black hole!

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1)   AR 750 Book Approvals Eliminated Hard Cover, Learning CD’s Next

The NDOC policy at its prison facilities has been maladapted for many year and been open to malicious misinterpretation by the few rotten apples in the barrel suffering a neurotic mental disorder manifesting as sadist “Needs” to inflict pain and suffering. Prisoner’s must be given credit of courage of self-defense and fighting for what is right, in the face of might and power.

The prison officials have made concessions—to their credit of good (albeit delayed) sense. The inmate no longer needs pre-approval; any suspicious books will be red-flagged by the property room sergeant and sent to the warden or book committee for final review, whose final Order will be grievable, presumably.

The hardcover issue is in a grey area. Currently only “Religious” hard cover books follow the Ashker v. CDOC standard (224 F. Supp. 2d 1253); but Sgt. Wagner always used common sense, and allowed the option of sending secular hard covers to be replaced by the book bindery for $7.50. but simple cut-off removal is anticipated because it is logically abused to allow inexpensive cover cut-offs for religious books, but not “secular”. The legal standard applies to both.

This same bureaucratic absurdity applies to Compact Discs. What is the “penological” interest in allowing in to prisoners music CD’s that sound like Satan Under Torture, yet refuse to allow Books on CD, language Learning CD’s and classical music? There seems to be a conspiracy to keep men crazy to keep the cycles of violence raging and the “prison industry” revenue flowing.
Sie sind Alles Trottels!

2)   United States Government Manual

This Government Manual is a listing of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branch officials of the federal government. It is hugely recommended by NJPR. The law library at NNCC does NOT keep this on hand, nor does it keep an analog of a State of Nevada directory. The manual is usually offered at a steep discount after it is a year old, through Edward R. Hamilton Bookseller, P. O. Box 15, Falls Village, CT 06031-0015.

3)   VVA Veterans Update by CAL

The NNCC warden Isidro Baca has stopped all fundraising activities since his arrival in late 2012. Prison VVA Chapter 719 has donated over $100,000.00 over the last ten years to local schools. The squashing of such prisoner activity has only one penological purpose: to increase the pain of the prisoner, which has the corollary purpose of satisfy the blood lust of the sadistic element of society which apparently has gained control of public policy makers. The prisoner, to a man, tries to maintain hope, and to psychologically sublimate his status of social outcast to one of human normalcy. The government policy to enslave men is spelled out in the ordinance of its enabling act of statehood: “That there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude otherwise than in the punishment of crime”. Taking away “normal” human acts of charity serves to intensify the social degradation of slavery. Allowing fundraisers world also serve the behavior modification intention of the ridiculous level system imposed by Baca, by increasing positive reinforcements to higher levels and negative reinforcement to lower-lockdown units by dint of deprivation. Go team!

4)   Poem: “The Waiting Game”

I missed my class of poetry
Because of legal bus’ness;
The legal fight to be set free
Is poetry no less.
But still I missed the guys—we talk
Of something other than
The daily grind of senseless squawk
Of this marginal clan,
Or other subject causing scandal
That scraps morality;
It’s par for course to be a vandal
In this convict city.
It really is the same for you
In chains invisible,
As is for us in convict blue—
We’re all a-risible.
So to my colleagues at the class
I miss you but I won’t
Give in to evil-hiding brass—
They try to scare, but don’t.
But waiting is the topic here
Let’s not forget my point—
I’m waiting for someone not my peer,
And beat it from this joint.
---


[1] The text calls for a monopoly of membership to such a committee by representatives of the “criminal justice community”, that is, the police power agents. The mention of “academics and concerned citizens” is an inept afterthought. This is to practice logical fallacy.
----------

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2014/03/09

Ely State Prison: A Solitary Confinement Torture Dungeon in Nevada

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

Reblogged from: Nevada Cure


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


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

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

 

To whom it may concern:

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

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

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

That we, who dare to speak out and expose the truth of Nevada’s secret solitary confinement, torture dungeons, are… in advance, profoundly grateful, and thank you, your good offices, for your leadership, strength and courage.

“The poor, voiceless prisoner class of E.S.P.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Affidavit of Manuel Winn.
State of Nevada, County of White Pine }SS

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

That I am the Affiant herein.

That I am of sound mind, good physical health, and above the age of 21 yrs old, therefore qualified to testify to all matters herein.

That I make this Affidavit in support of any motion, pleading, or document, filed by or on behalf of Manuel Winn, and or  prisoners housed at Ely State Prison.

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

That I am an Inmate within the Nevada department of Corrections.

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

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

That I have been classified as a General Population inmate at Ely State Prison since my arrival here on March, 2011.

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population Inmates are confined to our cells for a minimum of 23 hours a day, every day.

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population are forced to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell).

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison who are classified as General Population inmates, who refuse to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell), are threatened with being housed in a segregation unit, served with a notice of disciplinary charges, sanctioned to loss of commissary, privileges, arbitrary cell searches, confiscation of personal property, loss of incoming and outgoing mail, and reduction in the amount of food received from culinary officers.

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population inmates, are not allowed personal access to the gym, nor the main yard, nor the legal library, nor the education building, ever.

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

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

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

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

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

a)      All Segregation inmates are housed alone in single occupancy cells,
b)      Disciplinary Segregation inmates are not allowed to order edible items from the commissary and are only allowed an orange jumpsuit for clothing.

That there is at all times, approximately 70 inmates who are classified as Workers and allowed to work at E.S.P.

That inmates housed at E.S.P., who are classified as Workers, are the ONLY inmates allowed the following privileges:

a)      Personal access to Legal Library Thursday morning 9:00 am to 10:30 am, and Thursday afternoon(s) 12:00 am to 2:15 pm only.
b)      Personal access to gym, twice a week, for approximately 2 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
c)      Personal access to the main yard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for 2 hours in the mornings and 2 ½ hours in the afternoons.


Further Affiant says not.

Dated this 29th day of January, 2014.

Signed.



2014/01/31

Officials investigate inmate death at Ely State Prison

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


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


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

....

Read the rest here...

2014/01/05

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report Vol. 3, No 4 - Fall Issue 2013

We received per email the following:

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
Vol. 3, No 4     “Veritas in Caritatis”              Fall Issue 2013
THEME: “Audi alterum partem”
Listen to the other side!

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”


Statement of Purpose:
The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.

The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other "transparency" projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.

We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. NNCC Doubles Its Lunch Calorie Intake (Thank God)
2. Pressure letters on “Prison Rape Elimination Act”
3. Kevin Pope Taken to the Hole, or Worse
4. Open Letter to Senator David Parks

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy

1.     Politics of Fear and Ignorance, by Anonymous

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1.    Prison Waiting Contest
2.    Job Application Policy Charges
3.    New Second Chance Bill in U.S. Congress
4.    NNCC Drug Experiment as Civil Religion

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Section One: Conditions

1)   NNCC Food Policy Change—to the Better?

In August 2013 the officials basically doubled the calorie intake of the midday lunch meal by offering two sandwiches, instead of one. Since terminating the hot lunch policy two years (or so) ago, the wardens have carried out the master plan of the NDOC czars in giving out only a “sack lunch” at ALL facilities. Prior to this deprivation, the sack-lunch policy was only at the high security prisons. Now it is everywhere, making all prisons equal in terms of food intake policy. Andre Sakharov once coined the term “convergence theory” that proposes a sociological analogy to the phenomena of water seeking the lowest level possible. He noticed that in totalitarian states the idea of the “good” seems to be reversed, and government actors and leaders are bizarrely inclined or predisposed to emulate the agency leaders who are the least humane, charitable or decent.

The repressive food policy of continued downward trajectory seems to have hit bottom and bounced up a notch. Even the quality of the lunch meats served has improved a bit. Thank you.

2)   Pressure Letters on PREA

Federal law required that all state prisons and local jails must have been in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. One of the inmates informs NJPR that he wrote to the NGO “Just Detention International” and received a packet of information, [Address: 3325 Wilshire Blvd # 340, Los Angeles CA 90010, info@justdetention.org]. The packet of information included the name of the NDOC point person in charge of supervising this compliance. The inmate proactively wrote a letter to the NDOC staff asking for a breakdown on the specific actions taken by NDOC to comply with the federal law.

Suddenly, posters went up all over the grounds at the NNCC facility, announcing the existence of federal anti-rape law. The proactive inmate received a curt one sentence letter from an unknown official in Las Vegas stating a conclusory announcement that NDOC is in compliance with federal law”. The inmate also sent an FOIA request to the U.S. Dept. of Justice asking for Nevada’s compliance reports, and they have not responded within the mandatory 20 day period.

3)   Kevin Pope Disappears

NJPR writer Kevin Pope has disappeared. The rumors are flying. All that was seen was that an S and E (Security and Escort) officer drove up to the back side of Kevin’s unit in a black van, entered into Kevin’s dorm, where he was taking an afternoon nap, and rousted him, cuffed him up and walked him out to the van and drove away. Some rumors have it Kevin was taken to Ely State prison, which is bad news considering Kevin’s heart condition (triple bypass).

Kevin is the most prolific writ writer on the yard, and the most helpful legal mind on the yard, always ready to stop what he was doing to listen and offer his knowledge.

We won’t repeat hear the police-generated rumors about the charges against Kevin, as that would serve to dignify the likely-to-be untrue content.   

Om-namah-shivaya, Kevin—stay in prayer.

4)   Open Letter to Senator Parks of Nevada

Senator David Parks
PO Box 71887
Las Vegas NV 89170-1887

Dear Senator:

Two recent articles in the Prison Legal News (Nov., 2013) have inspired me to share them with you.

The first article highlights the American practice of non-transparency and suppression of press coverage of criminal justice systems, prisons and the aftereffects. Any “news” that appears is bias based and “criss driven”. In Nevada, the court procedural rules are made without benefit of public scrutiny, the prison regulations of NDOC are exempt from normal rulemaking safeguards, and the behaviors of the parole departments are shielded by layers of bureaucratic secrecy. 

Here is a solution idea: the Ombudsman idea which failed in recent legislation. Both New Jersey and Iowa have an Ombudsman office and Vermont has a Prisoner’s Rights Office, 6 Baldwin St., 4th Floor Montpelier VT 05633, www.defgen.state.vt.us. that takes care of the problems of prisoners and press blackout of prisoner conditions, as such operations could be and should be open to public scrutiny of records and rulemaking processes.

The next article is related: the suppression of accurate data given to the public, in this case to the “pre-trial detainee”. The article highlights a study by the federal Government Accountability Office titled “Indigent Defense: DOJ Could Increase Awareness of Eligible Funding”. The judicial processes of the executive branch agencies are obliged by natural fairness to notify applicants and defendants of civil enforcement of all the citizen’s rights and rules of engagement. Why is this notification abandoned in the criminal justice system?  Defendants are deliberately blinded from the completely suppressed information such as court rules, processes, practices, customs and pertinent statutes, and all rights devolving to the detainee under the law. 

The solution is to apply for an Edward J. Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program to insure the cost of providing the ADKT 411 “Indigent Defense Standards” to all detainees, and pay for costs of supplying all the notification of the courts laws, rules and basic motions and practices. Only this will level playing field of the adversary system.

Section Two: Law and Equity

1)   Politics of Fear and Ignorance, by an Anonymous prisoner of Nevada

Political Agendas at the Expense of Public Safety

The Inconvenient Truth

The spring 2013 Informational Bulletin Newsletter published by Nevada-CURE reported that NRS 179A.270-290, passed in 1997, required the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History to collect sex offender recidivism data. In 2009, the Central Repository petitioned to have these responsibilities removed through AB 81 apparently because “the agency has neither the staffing nor the technical expertise to address recidivism of sex offenders.” Unfortunately, AB 81 passed.

Interestingly, the State has nearly unlimited resources and manpower to pass sex offender laws and hand out extensive and multiple criminal sentences like free candy in light of an overcrowded penal system and substantial budget constraints. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it. The Prosecutor’s office does not seem to be begging the Legislature to be relieved of their responsibilities to any degree like the Central Repository did.

It appears the rationale behind relieving the Central Repository from collecting sex offender recidivism data may have been a politically motivated decision made intentionally at the expense of public safety. The agency could have very easily been provided the resources to achieve their objectives.

Any official state-sponsored study on Nevada’s sex offender recidivism could call into question the rational of current sex offender laws and the political agendas of those responsible for passing and/or sponsoring them. Such studies could also reveal inconvenient truths about sex offender recidivism in Nevada that could take the steam out of election year. How can a politician or a judicial candidate compete for office, pass, or adjudicate politically popular laws based on unverified anecdotal assumptions, popular myths, or traditionally perceived conceptions about sex offenders when the truth about such offenders stands as an inconvenient obstacle to the promotion of fear and ignorance needed to persuade naive constituents for their vote and continued support?

Jumping from one unverified myth to another every election year only promotes fear and ignorance at an enormous financial expense while only benefiting a political agenda at the expense of public safety.

Since at least 1959, the United States Supreme Court has observed that education is a deterrent to crime. See Kingsly International Pictures Corp. v. Regeats of Univ. of N.Y., 360 U.S. 684, 689 (1959). Keeping the public uneducated or otherwise ignorant about sex offender recidivism by relieving the Central Repository from collecting data on the subject appears a substantial and affirmative step by our Legislature to promote crime. In other words, a political agenda has taken priority over public safety. Fear and ignorance about Nevada sex offenders remain the status quo.

The Political Agenda at Work
The low recidivism rate of convicted sex offenders oddly remains a secret in today’s society.  In McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 33 (2002), the United States Supreme Court cites to the DOJ’s 1997 report on Sex Offenses and Offenders for the finding that all sex offenders have a “high risk of recidivism.” Yet this report finds the recidivism rate of released sex offenders for new crimes as 7.7%, and that rate is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all released offenders in the study. Also cited by the High Court for this apparent “high rate of recidivism” is another 1997 DOJ report on Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983. Interestingly, after making an inquiry to the DOJ, no such report was released in 1997.

In Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, 103 (2003), the U.S. Supreme Court zealously upheld a sex offender registration and notification law by ratifying the Legislature’s findings that all sex offenders, as a class, have a high rate of recidivism without first independently verifying those facts.

Without those unverified legislative findings, it would appear that the sex offender registration and notification laws would have been decreed unconstitutional. That would have called into question the constitutionality of all sex offender registration and notification laws across the country. The entire opinion of Smith v. Doe relied substantially on the unverified or otherwise affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism.

When a constitutional right is at stake, the usual judicial deference to legislative findings gives way to an exercise of independent judgment of the facts to ascertain whether the legislative body has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S.  622, 666 (1994). Quoting from non-existent DOJ reports and making affirmative misrepresentations of fact from existing reports is not an exercise of independent judgment based on substantial evidence. It appears that a political agenda encouraged a desired result rather than a just and accurate one.

Legislatures and courts around the country are now making serious decisions about laws based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism. Why must the truth be a pliable commodity in this country and be distorted to fit political agendas? The politics of fear and ignorance remain the order of the day.

Causes and Effects of Sexual Abuse

There are “correlations between childhood sexual abuse and later problems such as substance abuse, dangerous sexual behaviors or dysfunction, inability to relate to others on an interpersonal level, and psychiatric illness.” Kennedy v. Louisiana, 171 L.Ed.2d 525, 568-69 (2008)(Alito, J., dissenting)(quoting authoritive reports on child sexual abuse). “Victims of child rape are nearly 5 times more likely than nonvictims to be arrested for sex crimes and nearly 30 times more likely to be arrested for prostitution.” Id.

There are legions of medical and scientific studies that empirically demonstrate that sexually abused children have a high disposition to commit sexually based crimes in the future. It is not uncommon for a convicted sex offender to have a history of being sexually abused as a child.

Without thinking twice, many in our society would find it absurd for a convicted sex offender to babysit a child or run a day care center. Would you take your chances with an adult who was a victim of childhood sexual abuse? They do not register and background checks will not likely provide a clue to their potential to commit a sexual offense. They are not subject to any degree of oversight. The heightened potential of a victim committing a sexual offense is an inconvenient fact that cannot be lightly disregarded if public safety, victimization, and crime prevention are to be taken seriously.

How many politicians expect to get your vote or support if they suggest or propose victims register to prevent future sexual offenses or to otherwise promote public safety? If registration apparently works so well for convicted sex offenders, then why not for victims if public safety is of central concern? Since registration is not a form of punishment according to a substantial weight of judicial authority, then there should be no problem. Right?

A Solution

Unlike convicted sex offenders, victims of sexual abuse are never required to register despite their heightened potential to commit a sexual offense. If there is a genuine concern for public safety and future sexual offenses behind registration and notification laws as authoritatively held by the U.S. Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, then it would be perfectly rational to require victims to register. To hold otherwise would compromise public safety and promote future sexual offenses followed by more victims. Why wait for a victim to commit a sexual offense and create new victims before requiring them to register? That’s illogical and only promotes a continuing offense cycle of new victims followed by future potential offenders. That kind of cycle needs to be stopped!

Any concerns for privacy over registration and notification requirements are substantially outweighed by the government’s legitimate objective of public safety. I have yet to see any court relieve registration requirements for privacy concerns.

Victims should be relieved that registration and notification requirements do not promote the goals of punishment and are purely regulatory pursuant to Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. at 105-06. Furthermore, a conviction is not required to impose a civil regulatory law. Id. At 113 (Stevens, J., dissenting in part and concurring in part)(observing that a conviction is not a necessary predicate for civil commitment).

It is true that not all victims commit sexual offenses in the future. The same is also true with convicted sex offenders. In any case, registration and notification requirements are imposed on all sex offenders regardless of their individual risk to reoffend. Doe, 538 U.S. at 104. There is no reason why this same requirement cannot be imposed on all victims of childhood sexual abuse since public safety is of central concern.

If victims have a high potential to commit sexual offenses based of empirically accurate and verified research but are not required to register, then the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution requires convicted sex offenders be treated the same. If not, then the public safety rational that is at the very basis of registration and notification laws are truly pretextual to an agenda towards using legislative and judicial agendas to punish convicted sex offenders; a rational that plainly cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny on several fronts. Given the pervasive attitudes toward convicted sex offenders, it would be naive to assume otherwise.

If our government chooses not to collect data on sexual offenses but yet continues to legislate and make fundamental decisions about sexually based crimes and laws, then they are willfully navigating in the dark. They have chosen to disregard your safety at the expense of their political agenda of fear and ignorance. The citizens and residents of this State should be outraged!

Ron S.
A Nevada prisoner

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1)   Prison Writing Contest Info
Send an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for submission guidelines:

Vidahlia Press and Publishing House
800 Town and Country Blvd.
City Center, Ste. 300
Houston TX 77024

Submission Deadline is February 1, 2014

Another possible publication outlet is:

Criminal Justice Journalists
c/o Dept. of Criminology
University of Pennsylvania
McNeil Building Ste. 483
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6286

2)   Job Application Policy Changes

Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (C.U.R.E.) reports in their recent newsletter report two recent positive policy changes for prisoners leaving prison.

First, in April of 2012, the United States has prohibited private corporate policy which acts as a “blanket denial of employment” to ex- felons. This mandate was issued by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) says the CURE people. For information:

EEOC Library/Reading Room
131 M Street NE
Washington DC 20507

Second, on October 30, 2013, Target Corporation modified its job application forms to remove the criminal history questions. NJPR will investigate into the creation of national and local employers who have followed suit, and demand a policy statement from Nevada officials.

3)   New Second Chance Bill in U.S. Congress

In April of 2008, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act authorizing federal grants to state punishment authorities “to improve outcomes for returning to society” after incarceration. The response of our Glorius Leader in Nevada was to cut out college programs at NNCC, stop the horticulture programs, put a stop to Alcoholics Anonymous, shut down law libraries, shut down regular libraries in the units, shut down the veterans of Vietnam Association activities and shut down the public-speaking training club of Toastmasters International. The Congress of the United States, after five years, has introduced S. 1690 and HR 3465 to continue funding the practices and policies that help prisoners.
     There is a word that means “deriving pleasure from cruelty”. Psychobabblers call it sadism, the religious tradition calls it diabolical. To deny a man the benefit of enjoying a legal right offered by the statutes of the United States is most certainly a cruelty. One wonders at the source of the Glorus Leader’s cruelty, sadism or Satanism?

4)   NNCC Drug Experiment as Human Sacrifice of the Civil Religion: An Interview

An article in Nevada CURE asked for responses to the question “Is Forced Medication an NDOC Problem?” Recently, several participants of the “psych ward”, Unit 6, were kicked out, so NJPR asked them some questions, after they read the CURE article.

NJPR: So, is forced meds a problem?
Griz: Yeah, it is a problem.
NJPR: How do they “force” you to take meds?
Griz: They take you to the hole in 7B.
NJPR: OK, they cuff you up and take you to the hole—how do they actually force the meds on you?
Griz: They come and “extract” you, hit you with shields, taze you, thank they force a shot of Haldol into your ass.
NJPR: Who is “they”?
Griz: The SERT team. [ed., Special Emergency Response Team]
NJPR: Tell me about he federal experimental drug program you mentioned. How do you know its funded federally?
Griz: State ain’t got no money. They cut our food back. How else can staff bring in fancy new flat screen TV’s and all these special training videos?
NJPR: So you’re never seen any actual documents?
Griz: Well, not really. Just the waiver forms.
NJPR: Do they tell you what drugs they are giving you?
Griz: yeah, they do. But they don’t tell you what the side effects are. We ask them to tell us, but they won’t answer us. They say they are too busy to talk about things.
NJPR: Why were you kicked out?
Griz: A misunderstanding I was having with another inmate—we were not physically fighting. We just went down to his cell to talk things out, and this guy’s cellmate misinformed staff about it. She blew it out of proportion.
NJPR: Who is she?
Griz: *****, the psych that has been there the last twenty years.

There is clear need for Freedom of Information Act demands made, but where does one start? Is it the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Justice? Would the prison officials respond to inquiry?

HEIL HITLER, HEIL NDOC!

Nevada Cure

Arizona Prison Watch

Nolan Klein Memorial

Nolan Klein Memorial
September 20th

In Solidarity with California:

In Solidarity with California:
California Prison Watch

The Sentencing Project

In Solidarity with Georgia prisoners

In Solidarity with Georgia prisoners
Georgia Prison Watch

In Solidarity with PA Prison Watch

In Solidarity with PA Prison Watch
Community Monitor for Human Rights