Nolan Klein´s letter read by his attorney, Bob Hager, at Nolan’s memorial

Received via email:

I was asked to write the final chapter of this book for the simple reason that I am the one single person most affected by the matters and possible criminal activities. I am the example of judicial neglect. While I do not portray or present myself as being a writer to any significant degree, I do know how I have been affected personally over what is now approximately thirteen years of my life as an incarcerated person.

While I understand that when most people read books, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, they reasonably anticipate or expect a happy, or at least acceptable conclusion, but I do not believe that you will find either here, and for that I apologize. There can never be a happy or remotely acceptable ending to this particular chapter in my life. The reasons are numerous.

To start with as I write this I do so from my prison cell at the Nevada State Prison (NSP) where I still sit for a crime I did not commit. Even if I were to be released tomorrow, thirteen years of my life are just gone, never to be replaced. It just can’t be done no matter how hard I might try. The end result is nothing more than permanent damage and sense of loss to me, both physically and mentally.
When I was arrested in 1988, my son was one year old. Today he is almost fourteen. These are probably the most important and impressionable years of his life and any opportunity to take part in that and help shape him as a person for his future has been taken away from me unjustly. It is not possible to find a means to replace that in his life or mine.

Additionally, the first eight years of my incarceration were spent in Nevada’s maximum security institution which, in general, is supposed to be where Nevada’s most violent and dangerous criminals are housed. While this is true in theory, there are still numerous prisoners housed in maximum that have no business being there. During my eight years in max, I saw so many stabbings and other random acts of serious violence that I have become desensitized to pain and death. I can see it and just pay no attention or care about it one way or another. While these acts of violence went on more at max, they still h appen here at NSP quite often, in fact, just yesterday. But I still view them the same. I pay no real attention because it is none of my business and does not directly concern me. I find this to be a troubling commentary on my mental state. I have no clue if I will ever overcome this and return to my normal self if I am ever released.

I have been shot at more times than I can remember, not because prison guards were shooting directly at me, but because they were shooting at prisoners next to or in close proximity to me. Because of this coupled with all of the violence that I have endured around and directed at me, I have acquired a paranoia that I have no idea if I can ever lose. I am constantly looking around me in every direction. It freaks me out to have anyone behind me because I just don’t know what they might be thinking at that moment. I don’t know if any of these problems can ever be repaired, but my personal sense of loss, as I see it now, is staggering to me.

When I first got to prison I realized that if this could happen to me, it could happen to anyone, including family or other loved ones. I went to work in the prison law library, then took a couple of years in law through correspondence courses, as well as some offered by the State College system at the prison, and learned through research that it didn’t have to happen. If you know the law and how it works, even a20person with a public defender that doesn’t give a shit about you or your case, you can guide the defense or otherwise protect your rights. So I took my case into my own hands and started from there.

What I didn’t realize until later was that the State justice system, police or district attorney did not give a shit. If they had made a mistake in convicting me, they really didn’t want to hear it. I mean, after all, all prisoners think they shouldn’t be in prison, what’s one more. All they cared about was that they balance the books – one conviction for one crime. They didn’t care how they got the books to balance or whether the accused was the right person or not. They would probably make great accountants. We’ve all seen it on T.V. and in newspapers recently “DNA frees man” after 10 – 15 years because he was innocent. Why two TV stations have offered to pay for my tests, but unfortunately, they’ve taken all the evidence and I don’t have any DNA left to test. However, you always see the prosecutor looking totally surprised. Gee, it must have been the other guy after all, but to the public, they maintain that they believed they had the right guy. They never say, “Hey, we fucked up.” This is simply because it would undermine their prosecuting ability and their public posturing which could turn into a political nightmare in the future.

The same is true for State district court and Supreme Court judges. When faced with a decision of convicting the wrong guy or convicting no one, they choose the wrong guy every time. An uneven balance sheet come election time could bite them in the ass. Nevada’s Supreme Court has openly admitted that during a national conference for Supreme Court justices that they were the butt of jokes because of their in-house bickering and inconsistent opinions. The Nevada Supreme Court also has a policy which discriminates against the poor. Basically, if you cannot afford a private attorney, or the court doesn’t appoint one to represent you, then your appeal sits for years before the court, in most cases, it will eventually be summarily dismissed. Over the years I have watched this pattern through my case and numerous others, and have come to the reality that State elected courts never seem to address the important issues when you are acting on your own, but instead, choose one minor issue and dismiss the case rather than decide the major issues that are crying for resolution. In other words, it’s not the words. If Nolan Klein says it, they don’t want to listen, but if an attorney says it, they brag that it will be processed within one year now that they have new “fast track” system. My case is filed “in pro per” because I represent myself. My case has been pending for decision by the Supreme Court of Nevada for 2 and ½ years.

The current parole board is no better. They have told me that they felt their predecessors were too good for paroling prisoners from sentence to sentence indicating that they were going to fix that little indiscretion and have further made it clear to me that until I come to them and admit guilt and show remorse, I will never get out of prison.

So, because I will not sway from the fact that I didn’t commit this crime, I will never be released from prison, I just will not say I did this crime when I know I did not, nor should I have to in order to be released. Nonetheless, if that means spending the rest of my natural life in prison, so be it.
Unfortunately, its easy for anyone reading this to ignore it. That is, until it happens to you or someone you know. In this country we make almost everything illegal to some degree or another, so don’t think it can’t happen to you. All it takes is a couple of up and coming detectives and a newly elected prosecutor and you being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That prosecutor and that detective have a balance sheet that needs to be completed and you can wind up understanding this better than you ever imagined.

With the exception of the last eight months I have always looked at my circumstances and life as if I would simply die in prison. However, for the last six to eight months I have had renewed hope. Unfortunately, after re-evaluating the judicial process as I have observed it in its entirety, it’s probably a false hope. When viewed over the last twelve years, it would appear more to me that my initial position is correct. The simple truth is that because the judicial system in Nevada, as well as the parole board, are motivated by what is politically favorable rather than what is right, guilt or innocence is totally irrelevant to the process itself. The American public wants criminals in jail because they are tired of being afraid in the streets and tired of being victims. That fear causes the elected prosecutors to be entirely mo tivated to make certain that for every crime there is a criminal. As such, I feel the need to face the reality that I will spend the rest of my life in prison for a crime I did not commit, whether my life ends tomorrow by the act of another or in twenty years by natural causes.

Signed,
Nolan Klein #28074
Nevada State Prison
April 2001

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New York Times: Prisoners’ Rights

New York Times opinions page

September 24, 2009

In 1996, Congress passed a law that made it much harder for inmates to challenge abusive treatment. It has contributed significantly to the bad conditions — including the desperate overcrowding — that prevail today. The law must be fixed.

In the name of clamping down on frivolous lawsuits, the Prison Reform Litigation Act barred prisoners from suing prisons and jails unless they could show that they had suffered a physical injury. Prison officials have used this requirement to block lawsuits challenging all sorts of horrific conditions, including sexual abuse.

The law also requires inmates to present their claims to prison officials before filing a suit. The prisons set the rules for those grievance procedures, notes Stephen Bright, the president of the Southern Center for Human Rights, and they have an incentive to make the rules as complicated as possible, so prisoners will not be able to sue. “That has become the main purpose of many grievance systems,” Mr. Bright told Congress last year.

In the last Congress, Representative Robert Scott, Democrat of Virginia, sponsored the Prison Abuse Remedies Act. It would have eliminated the physical injury requirement and made it harder for prison officials to get suits dismissed for failure to exhaust grievance procedures. It would have exempted juveniles, who are especially vulnerable to abuse, from the law’s restrictions.

The bill’s supporters need to try again this year. Conditions in the nation’s overcrowded prisons are becoming increasingly dangerous; recently, there have been major riots in California and Kentucky. Prisoner lawsuits are a way of reining in the worst abuses, which contribute to prison riots and other violence.

The main reason to pass the new law, though, is human decency. The only way to ensure that inmates are not mistreated is to guarantee them a fair opportunity to bring their legitimate complaints to court.


See also for a much needed change in the PRLA: Prison Legal News of July 2009

Pahrump: fight continues against detention center

From the Pahrump Valley Times:

Sep. 18, 2009

Proposed distance from ‘prison’ was redlined by staff
By MARK WAITE and MARK SMITH
PVT

It all began a long time ago.

Jan. 24, 2007 — more than two and a half years ago — the PVT printed on its front page a story titled “Town has no lock on fed prison plan.”

And so what has become a major issue regarding development, revenue, jobs and political viability, got under way.

Over the intervening months, the PVT has been riddled with stories about the detention center, many on the front page and for which it won a number of Nevada Press Association awards in 2008.

But one issue has persisted as a burr under the saddle — the reduction in the minimum distance between a prison, as many insist the detention center is, and the nearest residences.

Nye County commissioners long ago, on April 18, 2007, passed what remains a controversial motion to change the county zoning code and eliminate the minimum distance requirement of 50,000 feet between a correctional institution and residences.

At the time, there was no group like Concerned Citizens for a Safe Community, no anti-prison privatization consultants like Frank Smith of the Private Corrections Institute, and only a couple residents who attended the relevant meetings and spoke up.

Despite ongoing publicity about the detention center, it was a year later, during the summer of 2008, before the code change began to attract significant public attention.

The idea of revising the zoning to allow a correctional facility first came up during a March 9, 2007, county commission meeting held via a conference call, when then County Manager Ron Williams told commissioners a provision in the county code would have to be changed.

At the time, Nye County Code allowed only for a lockup for people already convicted, he said. Williams said the code also required such facilities be at least 50,000 feet, about 9.5 miles, from the nearest residence.

That minimum distance in the county code was enacted after the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission in the late 1990s decided it didn’t want a correctional facility in Pahrump.

At that time, there had been talk of building a prison somewhere in Southern Nevada, Williams told commissioners. Pahrump Valley was sufficiently expansive to include areas where a correctional facility could be built 10 miles from homes, he said.

Williams said if the ordinance wasn’t changed, Nye County could catch flack from some of the companies spending money on surveying land for possible detention center sites.

Commissioner Butch Borasky expressed concerns over the increasing size of the privately-built, federal detention center, which was originally going to be 350 beds, but at the time, there was talk of boosting it to 1,000 beds.

Former Commissioner Peter Liakopoulos and Borasky both talked about trying to situate the facility as far away from town as possible.

The county commission had just backed off from a suggestion to submit Nye County’s own bid to build a federal detention center, after former Commissioner Roberta “Midge” Carver raised concerns over liability.

Williams added Nye County didn’t have the experience to compete with private contractors already established in the industry. It also wouldn’t be a good idea to revise the solicitation for bids by the U.S. Department of Justice to include beds for the county’s own inmates, he said.

On March 23, 2007, county commissioners voted to set an April 18 hearing date for what had become bill 2007-07 that would establish a new community facilities zone that would allow a federal detention center in the zoning code.

It would also dump the minimum distance requirement.

County commissioners were being urged to take action as contractors were required to submit phase one environmental surveys on proposed locations for the detention center by April 30, 2007.

Former Pahrump Town Board Chairman Laurayne Murray talked about the tremendous financial impact from a detention center requiring 200 to 250 jobs, an annual payroll of $9 million and tax payments of $800,000 per year.

She urged commissioners to move quickly in light of competition from other communities for the project. There were 11 original sites proposed.

The Pahrump Regional Planning Commission recommended approval of the bill April 11, 2007.

At the April 18, 2007, public hearing by the Nye County Commission, Borasky suggested a minimum distance remain between correctional facilities and residences.

“I would really like to see some distance between residential housing and that type of facility — a mile and a half — and also be on a paved road as well,” Borasky said.

The proposed bill, 2007-07, had five special conditions at the end, one of which was a requirement that “the facility must be located at least five miles from any established residential use.”

Those special conditions, however, were deleted sometime between March 23, 2007, when the bill was first scheduled for a hearing, and the RPC April 11 meeting with a red line through them. No one objected to the red line deletion — no one took credit for the deletions at the time, and who actually redlined them is unclear even today — but Williams told commissioners the county was supposed to be removing the 50,000-foot setback.

“Again, I’ll make the same statement: Are we going to add a mileage requirement or not?” Borasky asked.

“The way we’re drafting this ordinance, there is no distance or mileage requirement from the residents to the facility,” Nye County Planning Director Jack Lohman said.

Borasky, in a front page April 25, 2007, PVT story titled “Released detainees concern town board member,” said he felt satisfied the county would have enough control over where the detention center was to be located when it came to approving the conditional use permit.

The story specified that the minimum distance had been removed from the special conditions.

But when it came to the rezoning of the Mesquite Avenue property in July 2007, Williams said the county would vote on a development agreement instead of a conditional use permit.

“Would planning approve a correctional facility within a residential neighborhood?” Commissioner Gary Hollis asked at the April 2007 hearing.

“Well, not without a general plan amendment,” said Lohman, “and it would be up to you folks to decide where to put it.”

Hollis, then the county commission chairman, mistakenly called for the vote on the bill before the public comment period.

When public comment was reopened, however, only a couple of people spoke up.

Pahrump resident John Koenig, a regular attendee at county commission meetings, said, if the county set a minimum distance from residences, “it will make it a lot easier at decision time to say that’s a good site.”

Pahrump Town Board member John McDonald had concerns over detainees being released onto the streets of Pahrump.

Attorney Tony Celeste, representing the Geo Group, one of the two contractors bidding on a detention center project, said, placing a minimum separation distance would preclude the county commission from evaluating a potentially viable site for consideration.

Liakopoulos made the motion to approve bill 2007-07. It passed on a 4-1 vote. Carver cast the sole vote in opposition without explaining her objection.

There was an attempt shortly afterward to build a separate Nye County detention facility.

In May 2007, county commissioners voted 3-1 to negotiate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a 500-bed detention facility to be built and operated by the county.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said he met with Mike Webb, a supervisory agent for ICE, about the proposal, which would allow the county to house its own prisoners and lease bed space to other agencies.

Somehow that plan became mingled in the minds of some with the federal detention center.

On July 11, 2007, the RPC voted to recommend a site farther north on Parque Avenue, almost into Johnnie, for the detention center, while reviewing five zoning applications.

A week later, the county commission passed a motion by Borasky to approve a non-conforming zoning change for 160 acres at the 2250 E. Mesquite Ave., detention center site from open use-general commercial to a community facilities zone, overruling the RPC denial of that site.

County planner Rick Osborne said the nearest residence was 600 feet away.

Find this article at:
http://www.pahrumpvalleytimes.com/2009/Sep-18-Fri-2009/news/31275071.html

Nolan Klein dies in prison

Sad news. Our condolences are with Tonja Brown and her family and friends. Rest in peace, Nolan. May the truth be heard loud and clear.

From Nevada Appeal:

Nolan Klein, who had spent nearly 20 years in the Nevada prison system trying to prove his innocence, died Sunday in the infirmary at Northern Nevada Correctional Center. He was 54.

Klein never wavered from his claim that he had been wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in a Sparks shoe store in 1988. His staunchest supporter in that cause was his sister Tonya Brown who has worked since that conviction to try find evidence which would clear her brother.

His death comes just a week after Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik ordered his staff to begin preparing paperwork for a compassionate release due to Klein’s failing health. He was suffering from several serious health problems including pneumonia and liver failure from Hepatitis C.

Brown said the fight to clear her brother’s name will continue. There are actions before judges in both state and federal court challenging the conviction and accusing the Washoe County District Attorney’s office of hiding or destroying potentially exculpatory evidence.

Here is another article, printed on Sept. 24, 2009 in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

CA prisoners sent to Reno for medical care

SRMC protests inmates’ treatment in Reno
By Ryan Sabalow

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inmates at state prisons in Susanville are again being sent to Nevada for medical care, and the administrator at Shasta Regional Medical Center has sought lawmakers’ help to make sure California inmates receive in-state treatment.

“The real anger here is these are state dollars being spent in Nevada that don’t need to be,” Shasta Regional CEO Randall Hempling said Monday.

Hempling earlier this month sent a letter to state Assemblyman Jim Nielsen urging the Gerber Republican to use his influence to make sure inmates in Susansville’s High Desert State Prison and the California Correctional Center are treated at California medical centers rather than having them sent for care in Reno.

Although Reno is closer to the prison by about 30 miles and the drive is easier than it is to Redding, state money spent on inmates’ health care needs to be spent at California’s hospitals, Hempling said.

He said he didn’t know how much money his hospital has lost since inmates have been shipped to Nevada instead, nor did he know when exactly the prison system decided to stop sending inmates to hospitals in California.

Luis Patino, a spokesman for California Prison Health Care Services, said prison health care officials in the coming weeks are in talks with SRMC as well as Banner Lassen Medical Center in Susanville to see whether it’s economical and practical to send the inmates to those facilities.

Patino noted that the longer trip to Redding means traveling through mountain passes that can be extremely difficult to cross in the winter.

He also said there are questions of whether the two California hospitals can meet the patients’ sometimes specialized medical needs.

“We’re undertaking great efforts to make sure we use California taxpayer money wisely and effectively,” Patino said.

SRMC’s appeal to state prison officials isn’t the first time the hospital’s administrators have tried to keep inmates – and the money their health care dollars bring to hospitals – in the state.

In spring 2008, SRMC’s appeal to north state lawmakers, including Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, prompted prison officials to resume shipping inmates to California medical facilities.

At the time, hospital officials said they had lost more than $2 million in just a few months after the state started busing inmates to Reno’s Renown Health center for cardiac care and orthopedic work.

Aanestad spokesman Bill Bird said the senator will send letters to state prison officials to find out why the inmates are being sent out of state.

“Aanestad is most concerned with the wisest use of taxpayer dollars when it comes to issues such as this,” Bird said in an e-mail. “But – at the same time … the senator would rather see California tax dollars STAY in California and not go elsewhere. So the thought of our tax dollars going to Nevada for prisoner medical care and treatment does bother him somewhat.”

Hempling said part of the reason for the shift to Reno hospitals is that prison guards don’t want to make the trip to Redding.

Many of them live in Reno and would rather stay close to their homes instead of accompanying inmates further west, he said.

But whatever prison officials’ reasons, Hempling said, state tax dollars in this economy shouldn’t be used to bolster another state’s economy.

“It’s not a Redding issue,” he said. “It’s a not hospital issue. It’s a California issue.

Source: Redding.com
and: Prisonmovement blog

ACLU: Nye County Initiating Measures To Fix Conditions At The Pahrump Jail

Read the original press release here.
Nye County Initiating Measures To Fix Conditions At The Pahrump Jail
Submitted by Judy Cox on Fri, 07/31/2009

After years of concern about the conditions at the Nye County Detention Facility in Pahrump, (commonly referred to as the Pahrump jail) the Nye County Board of Commissioners has begun the process in earnest to build a bigger and better facility. The ACLU of Nevada applauds the Nye County Board of Commissioners for taking this important step to address the many potentially unconstitutional conditions at the current facility.

On September 30, 2008, attorneys from the ACLU of Nevada paid a visit to the Pahrump jail, to investigate and document several conditions that could potentially form the basis of a legal challenge. The attorneys discovered many potentially unconstitutional conditions, such as overcrowding, lack of access to medical care, exposure to rust, mold and lack of air circulation, inadequate separation of male and female inmates, as well as a lack of access to legal materials with which to prepare for their upcoming trials.

After consulting with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, the ACLU of Nevada sent a letter to the Nye County Board of Commissioners on March 30, 2009, detailing the problems and potential legal claims surrounding the jail’s conditions.

The ACLU of Nevada’s letter was not the first time the Board had been warned about these conditions. In December 2003, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), a division of the Bureau of Prisons, surveyed the jail and noted similar concerns with understaffing and overcrowding. A report by Kitchell CEM, one of the nation’s leading program/construction managers for correctional facilities noted the same problems, and warned of increasing over-crowdedness in November, 2005.

In order to address the problems created by the jail, the Nye County Board launched the “Nye County Jail Project” which was addressed at the May 5, June 2, and July 7, 2009 Board meetings. The ACLU of Nevada is excited to learn that the Board is taking steps to build a much-needed new detention facility and hopes that the new jail will alleviate those concerns mentioned in the ACLU of Nevada’s March 2009 letter, as well as the 2005 Kitchell Report and 2003 NIC audit.

ACLU: Nye County Initiating Measures To Fix Conditions At The Pahrump Jail

Read the original press release here.
Nye County Initiating Measures To Fix Conditions At The Pahrump Jail
Submitted by Judy Cox on Fri, 07/31/2009

After years of concern about the conditions at the Nye County Detention Facility in Pahrump, (commonly referred to as the Pahrump jail) the Nye County Board of Commissioners has begun the process in earnest to build a bigger and better facility. The ACLU of Nevada applauds the Nye County Board of Commissioners for taking this important step to address the many potentially unconstitutional conditions at the current facility.

On September 30, 2008, attorneys from the ACLU of Nevada paid a visit to the Pahrump jail, to investigate and document several conditions that could potentially form the basis of a legal challenge. The attorneys discovered many potentially unconstitutional conditions, such as overcrowding, lack of access to medical care, exposure to rust, mold and lack of air circulation, inadequate separation of male and female inmates, as well as a lack of access to legal materials with which to prepare for their upcoming trials.

After consulting with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, the ACLU of Nevada sent a letter to the Nye County Board of Commissioners on March 30, 2009, detailing the problems and potential legal claims surrounding the jail’s conditions.

The ACLU of Nevada’s letter was not the first time the Board had been warned about these conditions. In December 2003, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), a division of the Bureau of Prisons, surveyed the jail and noted similar concerns with understaffing and overcrowding. A report by Kitchell CEM, one of the nation’s leading program/construction managers for correctional facilities noted the same problems, and warned of increasing over-crowdedness in November, 2005.

In order to address the problems created by the jail, the Nye County Board launched the “Nye County Jail Project” which was addressed at the May 5, June 2, and July 7, 2009 Board meetings. The ACLU of Nevada is excited to learn that the Board is taking steps to build a much-needed new detention facility and hopes that the new jail will alleviate those concerns mentioned in the ACLU of Nevada’s March 2009 letter, as well as the 2005 Kitchell Report and 2003 NIC audit.

ACLU: Medical Care at Women’s Prison May Put Inmates at Risk

Press release from ACLU Nevada:

Medical Care at Women’s Prison May Put Inmates at Risk
Submitted by Paige Thie White on Tue, 07/21/2009

The ACLU of Nevada has received numerous letters from inmates at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center (FMWCC) complaining about the medical treatment they have received while incarcerated. These complaints were alarming, and they prompted the ACLU of Nevada to send a letter on July 21 detailing our concerns about the treatment of inmates in FMWCC to Howard Skolnik, the director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, and Sheryl Foster, the warden of FMWCC.

Under the Constitution, prisoners are entitled to adequate medical care for their serious medical needs. Prison officials are obligated to provide for those needs, yet reports from FMWCC reflect a continual pattern of delayed and inadequate care that may result in death or debilitation. Such care reflects deliberate indifference to prisoners’ serious medical needs that puts every prisoner at FMWCC at enormous and unacceptable risk.

Problems the prisoners have brought to the ACLU of Nevada’s attention include:

* professionally and sexually inappropriate comments and questions from the staff doctor;
* retaliation by the staff doctor against women who complain about their medical treatment;
* lack of confidentiality when discussing medical treatment and conditions; and
* staff ignoring medical and dental issues until they become far more serious, and even life-threatening or permanently debilitating.

The ACLU of Nevada is troubled by the consistent pattern of complaints it has received as well as reports of other women whose serious medical issues were ignored. The ACLU of Nevada is asking that Director Skolnik and Warden Foster immediately review the provision of medical care at FMWCC to ensure that every prisoner has access to adequate care in a timely manner.

Click here to read the letter sent by the ACLU of Nevada on July 21, 2009.

Article: Furloughs concern state prisons chief

Sep. 09, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Lack of correctional officers on duty could prove to be risky, Skolnik says

By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU

CARSON CITY — In light of a prison riot in California, the Nevada corrections director said Tuesday that he wants to avoid any furloughs by correctional officers in Nevada.

“We consider it a public safety risk,” Corrections Director Howard Skolnik said during a state Board of Examiners meeting.

Like other state employees, correctional officers are supposed to take one unpaid furlough day per month as part of a cost saving measure implemented by the Legislature. That is equivalent to a 4.6 percent cut in pay.

The Board of Examiners gave Skolnik enough money in July to avoid furloughs through September but asked him to come up with a furlough plan after that date.

Skolnik said he has developed a furlough plan but would rather not implement it.

He spoke about the Aug. 9 riot at the California Institution for Men in Chino. About 250 inmates were injured in the 4-hour riot, and 55 needed hospitalization.

At the time of the Chino riot, 15 percent of the correctional officers there were on furloughs, according to Skolnik.

He doubts the riot would have been prevented if they had been working but it might have been better controlled.

State Budget Director Andrew Clinger said it would cost $8.5 million between now and June 30, 2011, to cover costs of paying correctional officers rather than requiring them to take furloughs.

The Legislature, according to Clinger, set aside $4 million to give pay to all state employees who were considered essential and could not take furloughs.

Clinger said he will schedule another Board of Examiners meeting later this month to discuss Skolnik’s concern about furloughing correctional officers.

The board consists of Gov. Jim Gibbons, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller.

Rather than furloughing employees, Gibbons had proposed they take a 6 percent cut in pay. They would have continued to work the same number of hours under the governor’s plan.

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.