To all who care: another open letter

by Coyote

These few humble words go out to the “Local Boy 76” and to all who care to know what I have to say and to all who would like to join in these open chats. Please, try to stay as open-minded as you can, because I know that most people in society have been taught to believe that all of us behind these walls are the ”scum of the earth,” but I’m just here to try to put things into perspective, if I can.

And I know people really don’t know what goes on inside of these sunless cemeteries; they don’t know about the effects of long-term isolation; about sensory deprivation; and they don’t know about inmates assaulting officers, or about officers assaulting inmates; they don’t know about the code of honor that the convicts live by, or about the gang bang mentality of a lot of these prison guards; they don’t know about the barbaric nature of prison life; or about the racism, the stagnation, the deterioration, the gangsterism, the perversion and all of the crazy, sick and depressing things that take place in these graveyards, and how both the guards and inmates alike have to turn off their feelings and numb themselves daily just to be able to adapt and cope with the constant madness that goes on in this demented world of darkness; where there is no real love; no real hope; no incentive to try to do good; no programs; real medical care, treatment and no serious opportunities to reform; and where the quality of life is very low, causing things to only deteriorate and get worse and worse as time goes by.

So, for those who actually care, it is important to use sites like these to be able to air it all out, and hopefully to address some of these issues so that it can lead to positive results. Not only for prisoners, but for the communities that some of these prisoners will have to return to.

Well, in my previous engagement I tried to bring “Local Boy 76” (a former guard here at ESP) into the foray, to get him to really be honest and critical about things and to give him a chance to be a real hero and help us get to the root cause of why this place has the ability to turn even the guards into animals, and maybe to help inform the general public of the true nature of these prisons; and to examine the mentality of the prison guard and of the convict; but it seems like he’s more concerned with how many letters of commendation he’s received while working at the prison, which he tries to make it appear that these letters of commendation make him out to be such an outstanding prison guard!

Well, I was curious about these letters of commendation that the big shot caller, “King of Ely,” Warden McDaniel likes to pass out to his faithful followers, so I asked about seven of these officers if they’ve ever received any letters of commendation from the big-time circus leader, McDaniel and every officer that I asked, except for two of the new guards still in training, said, “Yes.”

And when I asked them what did they get these letters of commendation for, some of them just shrugged their shoulders and said, “For working overtime and stuff like that.” These letters of commendation don’t seem to be very important to them, more like a “doggie treat” and a pat on the head than anything else, I guess for sitting, fetching and rolling over for the “King of Ely,” himself.

So big deal “Local Boy 76,” you got some letters from the warden telling you how good of a suck ass you were. So what? That doesn’t make you a hero, Man, so take your cape off and sit your goofy ass down in a corner somewhere.

And so you think I’m a waste of life, huh? I’m glad you can be honest and say what you really feel about me. I think your statement gives people a glimpse into the average mentality of the prison guard. I know a lot of guards (not all) think that all of us in here are worthless “pieces of shits” and I’m glad you could help me make this point. But more so, I’m really glad that you don’t work here anymore! And I don’t tell myself lies, “L. B. 76;” I just don’t let people like you tell lies about me.

The truth is, I’ve had plenty of time to sit back and think about things, because believe it or not, I actually have a deep passion and joy for life that pushes me to really want to rise above all this degeneration, which drives me to just really sit back and reflect on my life, taking the time to slay my own personal dragons (which has been a real struggle!).

I’ve taken a good, hard look at my life, at life in general, at the system, and society, at love, relationships, family, everything, and believe me, I’m not disillusioned, by far. I don’t claim to know it all, but I’ve been able to come to know myself and come to know my own conclusions of things.

In my previous letter I told it like it was, everything I said was real. Yet you came back and tried to discredit me again, by saying that if I keep lying to myself that I’ll eventually believe the lies (even though you’ve failed to admit to lying yourself with your fictional story about my so-called assault of a female officer), but you provide no real argument to try to show how anything I said in my open letter was untrue, so you’re just blowing hot air dude, talking out the side of your neck, with your doggie treat letters, knowing damn well what I said was the truth, even though I was only just touching the surface.

You’re sitting out there in the free world, on the computer at midnight, arguing with ladies like “Little Missy” and “Six Wheels,” about a man in prison, and yet you have the self-centered audacity to call me a waste of life? Get real, Dude. Do something with your life, Man. You make these fake allegations of me being someone who caused problems all the time, failing to elaborate, trying to make me look bad. How do we know that your definition of causing problems isn’t just me putting articles on MTWT, telling it like it is?

But if you want to get real, we can sit here and discuss things, if you want? If you want to pretend that nothing is wrong here at ESP and that overall nothing of any significance is going on here in this death camp, but then if that’s true, then tell me why there have been about 60 officers in the last year who have either quit working here, or transferred to other prisons? And then tell me, in what other prisons in this country has a dropout rate of correctional officers as high, or higher than that?

And if nothing´s happening here, then why has the ACLU taken up a class-action lawsuit against ESP? Why have the Feds investigated certain doctors/medical staff that have worked here at this prison? Why did Lorraine Memory — a real hero — risk her career and more to write a 13 page declaration about the deaths, discrimination and the negligence that have all taken place here?

Why are there so many different lawsuits going against “The King of Ely” and his goons? Answer these questions, “Mr. Firm, Fair and Consistent.”

But no, I’ve never claimed to be an angel. I’ve gone through rough patches in my life, on a path of self-destruction. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, took my hits and kept moving. I still struggle to this day to keep my cool and to maintain my sanity in here. It has all been a process of self-discovery, of shedding my old skin, finding my essence and coming into my own. I can honestly say consciousness is a savior, and not to mention that I’ve had to be a fighter to even get to the point where I am now.

I see prisoners lose their minds in here, fall under, and break all the way down until they’ve lost their souls. I’ve seen the madness, I’ve lived this shit, and the cold part about it is, it takes a serious level of resistance to stay strong and persevere and to keep a shred of your humanity, but it’s that same resistance that gets us in trouble with the prison administration and that keeps us confined to a cell for 24 hours a day for months and years at a time. So it’s a Catch 22. There’s really no way to win. You either let this shit break you, or you don’t, but either way you lose. There’s no real victories.

You hear about people in the world that gamble away their whole life savings. You hear about drug addicts who throw their whole lives away trying to chase that next fix, but then you’ve got people like me who could have one bad day and say fuck it all. It’s been a struggle to overcome self-destruction, resist depression and come to grips with life all at the same time.

It’s hard to care, when no one cares about you.

And that’s the case for a lot of people in here. We had it bad before we came to prison, have it bad while in prison, and will still have it bad when we get out. Going from living in a cage, treated like dirt, and then thrown back into a world that makes no sense to you, as an ex-felon, with strikes against you, trying to learn how to live out there, it’s no wonder people are scared to leave prison. These are things that people have to understand. These are things that need to be addressed.

I get out of here in three years. I don’t want to get out and fail. I don’t ever want to come back to this shit, but nobody ever really wants to come back, but it happens, it’s a revolving door, it happens, people come back, and it‟s sad.
We’ve got to talk about all of these things. We’ve got to hear it from all sides. There’s not just one side to this story. Everybody has a side of the story to tell, the victim, the offender, the guards, society, everybody has their own side of the story, and we can’t forget that.

People who don’t know me can´t really judge me, ´cuz they haven´t been through what I’ve been through, they haven’t endured what I’ve endured, they haven’t seen how this darkness turns people into monsters. All they know is what they’ve seen on some prime time television drama, they don’t want to know the brutal realities of this horrific world called prison!

And until people start to look at things from all sides, there will never be any true understanding, and without true understanding there will never be any effective solutions to these problems, struggles and tragedies of society, poverty, crime and life.

For all those who care, I just want you to know that I’m here to help now, I’m here to raise awareness and to be a part of the solution. I’m here to pour out my soul, plant seeds of consciousness and to make a difference in my own way.
I’ve seen how this place, these prisons can turn a kind soul into a cold soul. I’ve seen what this madness does to a man. That’s one of the reasons I’m constantly trying to make more people aware of how important it is to build true, solid relationships between the people on the outside and the people in prison who actually strive to rise above these heartbreaking struggles.

We’ve been placed in prison and separated from our families, separated from meaningful relationships with the only people in the world who care about us and thrown into a zone of war, deceit, violence, negativity, sadism, corruption, gangsterism, racism, addiction and destruction, and then forced to learn how to sink or swim with the sharks and in the process of survival, become as heartless as the next man.

We’ve been thrown into these prisons, stripped of a sense of purpose, will and spirit and slowly we begin to lose a sense of connection with life beyond these walls and we become more and more tuned into this barbaric world of predation, and as we become more and more tuned into this madness called “prison life” we become less and less tuned in to ourselves as we learn to numb ourselves and brace ourselves and endure loneliness, torment and all kinds of suffering: and then released back into society and forced to learn how to live out there with the odds stacked against you. It’s sick!

And until people start caring about us, and about what goes on in these hellholes, things will only get worse. We’re not gonna be able to care enough about ourselves until people start caring about us, and that’s real!

We need people to get involved in our lives in real and meaningful ways, because we have been exiled from society and placed in an even more hopeless environment, and we start to deteriorate and become even more antisocial until we get to the point where we feel we have nothing to lose and that’s when we become reckless with our lives and we go all out, throwing it all down the toilet, and we are destroying ourselves and being destroyed while having to survive this profane existence. It’s inhumane. It’s madness.

For those who care, we need people to get involved in our struggles, in our lives, we need people to give us something meaningful to look forward to, we need love, support and guidance from our communities, our families, and from people who care. We need to have something real to connect to.

So “Local Boy 76,” you can wave around your doggie treat letters of commendation, and put your cape on and tell make-believe stories of heroic attempts to save damsels in distress all you want, if that’s what you want to do.

It doesn’t matter what you do, because it‟s really not going to stop me from doing what I do. But I‟m asking you one more time, to get involved in something meaningful here. Help us expose the injustices and the inhumanity that takes place in this graveyard called ESP. It´s up to you, Man. You can be a real hero. You can do something real. You can

start by telling people how this prison has the ability to turn even the guards into animals. It´s up to you, “Local Boy 76.”

And with that said, I‟m opening up the lines of communication for anyone who has anything significant to say or who want to get involved. Let‟s air it all out, let‟s put it all on the table, let‟s hear it from all sides. Let‟s talk about these things. If you really care, then here‟s your chance to get involved in something positive.

In truth and with sincerity,

Coyote
AKA: “Local Prisoner 77”

P.S.
For letters of encouragement you can write me at this address:
Coyote Sheff # 55671
PO Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301-1989

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Article: Consultant begins review of parole ratings system

In: Nevada Appeal

By Geoff Dornan

Inmate activists put in their recommendations Tuesday for changes to the risk assessment system that ranks inmates for possible parole.

Consultant James Austin is beginning a review of the system that is designed to give parole board members some factual material to help decide who can safely be paroled in Nevada.

He said the system, designed in 2003 has allowed the state to have one of the nation’s higher parole grant rates but among the lowest rate of inmates who violate conditions or commit a new crime.

Tonya Brown charged that any inmate with a record of filing suits against the state or parole board over his incarceration is automatically denied as a threat to society. She said that happened to her brother.

She also charged that any inmate who refuses to admit guilt is denied parole. She cited her brother Nolan Klein, who spent more than 20 years in prison on a rape conviction he steadfastly maintained he never committed. He died in prison last month of liver failure.

David Smith of the Parole Board said he knows of a number of cases where parole was granted to inmates who never admitted guilt.

He said, however, taking responsibility for the crime is considered in scoring a sex offender, which he said is a completely different process than the ranking system for general inmates Austin is reviewing.

Smith said sex offenders normally have a very good score on the general rating system because they aren’t usually involved in other types of crime.

Brown asked Austin to make sure that when an inmate is put in solitary or lockup for his protection, it isn’t listed somehow as a disciplinary infraction, which could hurt his parole chances.

Flo Jones, who has two sons in the prison system, said the state should consider legislation that follows inmates who are released at the end of their sentence much like those placed on parole. She said those who expire their sentence are released with little or no support, which can land them quickly in situations where they are tempted to commit another crime.

“We don’t want to see these people come out with no parole tag and no supervision,” said fellow activist Michelle Ravell. “It concerns me that people are released with $21 and dropped at a bus station. I just don’t see how they can succeed.”

Austin said all the comments will be taken into consideration as he develops recommendations designed to improve the ranking system.

He said the goal is a better ranking system that improves guidance to the parole board on who should be paroled and who shouldn’t.

“It’s not economics,” he said rejecting the idea that reducing prison costs is the primary goal.

Austin said the risk assessment system considers a variety of factors. They include the inmate’s age at first conviction, prior probation or parole revocations, criminal history, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, in-prison education and employment history. It also takes into consideration the inmate’s age since older inmates are less likely to re-offend.

Overall, Austin said Nevada’s system is performing well.

“I’m tweaking it,” he said. “Refining it.”

He expects to complete his report in about three months.

URL: http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20091021/NEWS/910209966/1070&ParentProfile=1058

Article: Prisons chief claims abuse of sick leave

Article in Las Vegas Sun about the Prison Commissioners Meeting last 13th of October 2009:

Prisons chief claims abuse of sick leave
He says more guards call in on holiday weekends, leaving staffs short
By Cy Ryan

Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 | 2 a.m.

Carson City — The head of the state prison system is accusing correctional officers of abusing their sick leave, further complicating staffing problems at Nevada’s lockups.

State Prison System Director Howard Skolnik said guards are calling in sick in greater numbers on holiday weekends. State employees are to use sick leave only when they are ill.

Skolnik cited for the Prison Board the number of correctional officers who called in sick during recent holiday weekends:

• On the Memorial Day weekend officers took 369 hours of sick leave the day before holiday, 62 hours on Memorial Day and 800 hours the day after the holiday.

• Officers took 397 hours of sick time the day before Presidents Day, 63 sick hours on the holiday and 883 hours the day after.

• Officers took 126 hours of sick leave on July 3, 285 hours on July 4 and 424 hours on July 5.

Skolnik said the prison system is staffed at 85 percent and the extra absences make operating the prisons difficult.

“We have staff abuse and it’s not fair to all staff,” he told the board.

Skolnik said he is developing a regulation to address the absences and will present it at the next board meeting.

Some prison employees criticized the proposed regulations.

Daniel Shoup, an officer at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, said there may be a problem with certain individuals misusing sick leave, but said they should be dealt with individually instead of the entire staff having to deal with new regulations. He called the regulation a “slap in the face” to the staff.

“You’re breaking down morale on the staff,” Shoup said. “It cannot get much lower.”

•••

Skolnik also told the Prison Board he has taken steps to cut expenses so prison correctional officers aren’t required to take monthly furloughs.

The 2009 Legislature ordered the one-day-a-month furloughs for state workers in an attempt to save money. The state Board of Examiners has given the prison an exception until November. To avoid furloughs the system must come up with another way to save $315,000 a month.

To cut costs, Skolnik said he has reduced overtime so far this fiscal year from $258,000 to $30,000. He has closed units 10 and 12 at the High Desert State Prison in Southern Nevada, and he has instituted a “rolling lockdown”— unannounced, periodic lockdowns to handle the shortage of officers — at another prison.

Skolnik said he is considering cancelling the extra 5 percent pay given to officers at prisons in Ely and Lovelock. Also being considered is charging rent to inmates for use of gyms.

Forcing officers to take a one-day furlough jeopardizes the safety of the staff and inmates, he said.

•••

Tonya Brown showed up at the meeting of the state Board of Prison Commissioners on Tuesday carrying a container with the ashes of her brother, Nolan Klein, a former state prison inmate who died Sept. 21.

Klein was convicted of a 1988 sexual assault and robbery in Sparks. But Brown has long maintained the innocence of her brother and is continuing a court battle to prove it.

She accused the prison system of denying the rights of inmates to practice their religion and she asked the prison board to release Klein’s personal property, which must be held for 40 days after death, according to Nevada law.

She joined with others who advocated creation of an oversight committee for every prison.

The board did not take any action.

URL: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/oct/16/prisons-chief-claims-abuse-sick-leave/#comments

Article: Prisons expert says Nevada among lowest in recidivism

Oct. 21, 2009
Link: Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Prisons expert says Nevada among lowest in recidivism –
One reason is inmates from California who return home, he says

By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU
CARSON CITY — A nationally recognized prisons expert said Tuesday that Nevada has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the county, but that may be due to released inmates who end up in California prisons.

James Austin estimated that about 20 percent of Nevada inmates are California residents who “had fun in Las Vegas or Reno for a couple of years,” ended up in prison and will return home when they are released.

Austin said about 28 percent of prisoners released in Nevada commit new crimes and are returned to prison within three years. That compares with a national rate of more than 40 percent.

But he added that the methodology the Nevada Parole Commission uses to determine whether to release an inmate is largely sound. He said he may only have to “tweak it a little.”

Austin was hired by the Parole Commission under a $20,000 contract to re-evaluate the risk assessment factors commissioners use in deciding whether to release prisoners. He helped develop the current system three years ago. His report is due before the end of the year.

In Nevada, inmates are assessed by the Parole Commission on 12 factors, such as whether they have a history of drug use or gang involvement.

During the public meeting Tuesday — attended almost entirely by relatives of inmates — Austin said he is carrying out similar reevaluations for officials in other states, including California.

When he visits California corrections officials, he said, he will ask for data to find out how many of their inmates formerly were imprisoned in Nevada.

Though Nevada crime may be lower because of this phenomenon, there also have been accusations that California dumps inmates in Nevada.

A 7,000-inmate prison in Susanville, 85 miles up the road from Reno, according to testimony at legislative hearings, often gives inmates a bus ticket to Reno when they are released.

In an interview, Austin said crime has been dropping during the current recession.

During recessions, people generally “are inactive and stay home a lot more than normal,” leading to less crime, he said.

But two years after the onset of a recession, crime begins to increase.

In response to reporters’ questions, Austin acknowledged that risk assessment factors used by parole boards can be adjusted to fit the “economics” of a state.

He said factors could be modified so more releases would occur in a state with financial problems that wants a lower prison population.

Conversely, factors could be tightened up in a state that is not as concerned about a high prison population.

But Austin said the Nevada Parole Commission wants risk assessment factors to be a reliable guide as to whether inmates would re-offend.

During the hearing, Carson City resident Tonja Brown cried as she read from a book she wrote about her brother, Nolan Klein.

Klein was convicted of raping a woman in 1988. He died in prison last month.

Brown maintained the Parole Commission would not release her brother because he maintained his innocence, and the commission releases only prisoners who show remorse for their crimes.

“A truly innocent man died because of their actions,” she said.

Correctional officer arrested in Pahrump armed robberies

Oct. 08, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Correctional officer arrested in Pahrump armed robberies

By HENRY BREAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Police in Nye County have arrested a Nevada corrections officer in connection with a pair of armed robberies at a Pahrump convenience store.

Pahrump resident Vincent Matthew Czechorosky, 24, was taken into custody by the Nye County sheriff’s office early Wednesday morning after a car chase that ended with a deputy firing shots at the suspect’s vehicle.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said deputies found Czechorosky’s Department of Corrections badge in the vehicle along with a handgun and money from the most recent robbery.

Corrections spokeswoman Suzanne Pardee confirmed on Thursday that Czechorosky worked at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, where he was in his third year with the department.

“That’s ‘was,’” Pardee said. “Let’s just say he’s been terminated as of yesterday.”

Read more here

Correctional officer arrested in Pahrump armed robberies

Oct. 08, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Correctional officer arrested in Pahrump armed robberies

By HENRY BREAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Police in Nye County have arrested a Nevada corrections officer in connection with a pair of armed robberies at a Pahrump convenience store.

Pahrump resident Vincent Matthew Czechorosky, 24, was taken into custody by the Nye County sheriff’s office early Wednesday morning after a car chase that ended with a deputy firing shots at the suspect’s vehicle.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said deputies found Czechorosky’s Department of Corrections badge in the vehicle along with a handgun and money from the most recent robbery.

Corrections spokeswoman Suzanne Pardee confirmed on Thursday that Czechorosky worked at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, where he was in his third year with the department.

“That’s ‘was,’” Pardee said. “Let’s just say he’s been terminated as of yesterday.”

Read more here

Words for the upcoming Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners

Received by email:

To: sosmail@sos.nv.gov

My comments for the public Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners, on October 13th, 2009

To the Board of Prison Commissioners and everyone attending the meeting and beyond,

I would like the Board and everyone to know that the situation of Medical Care in Nevada´s prisons is still a big issue, and there has been no change in this situation since I became involved with this human rights crisis a year ago.

The situation consists amongst others of:

Inadequate training of staff and medical staff to help prisoners who have medical issues. There are still many mentally ill prisoners being held on lockdown together with other prisoners, and they should be cared for elsewhere with proper doctors (psychiatrists). The situation now gets worse too for those who do not (yet) suffer.

There seems to be no doctor at Ely State Prison, or no qualified doctor. A prison with so many men locked down needs a permanent medical staff including two or three doctors, well trained for prison medical issues. There also needs to be access to specialist care for diabetics, urological care, etc. If that is not possible, the prisoners needing this care should be placed where the care is at hand.

The situation in the prison system in the USA and Nevada is that the sentences are so long, that prisoners will get medical complaints sooner or later. Withholding medical care comes down to torture, or “cruel and unusual punishment.” So either the medical care system should be improved or the sentences should be reduced. In The Netherlands, prisoners are allowed to choose their own outside doctor at their own cost if the prison´s medical doctor is inadequate.

That a warden who is head of a prison when a prisoner died of lack of medical care (he had received no insulin for a very long time, even though he was an insulin-dependent diabetic patient) can still be in function, and is not suspended pending an investigation, tells us much about the corrupt-ic cover-ups and goings-on in the Nevada prison system.

Another point I want to make is that the lack of any intellectual stimulus makes prisoners passive and inadequately prepared for their eventual release into society. Please make the Library available to every prisoner, by stimulating them to make a visit every week. Pass out books to prisoners if you want the prison remain on lockdown. Pass out newspapers. Make school, also post-GED school an issue in the prisons. Keep a good Law Library. How are prisoners going to get a job if they lack all capacities for social abilities and intellectual capacities?

Be fair with the rules: parole dates should be kept. One prisoner complained to me that he had been over the parole date´s time for many months. Another has very low security level points but still is being kept on administrative segregation because of things that happened more than 5 years ago. Please keep that prisoner on the actual (Medium) security level he has “earned” and not on High Risk Potential! How can a prisoner earn any good time otherwise, if you do not keep to your own rules?

Communication with the outside world: If a prisoner is allowed one phonecall a week, the staff should hand him the phone, or let him out of his cell to a phonebooth in the prison. Now, weeks go by without contact with a friend or child of the prisoner, making the whole situation inhuman and dangerous, because a person who cannot communicate with loved ones, will become a danger to him or herself and others. Reality will point this out.

Thank you for giving me and others the opportunity to speak my and our concerns for our friends and loved ones in prison. They are still human beings just like you and me. Although I am in Nevada, I am at the moment visiting my friend in prison. If the meeting had been tomorrow, I could have met you all and spoken these words myself. I trust the words will reach your hearts and that you may do the noble work of making things better in the Nevada prison system.

Recommendations:
– More medical staff, better trained, more oversight
– Keep to your own rules, have oversight installed for rules-keeping.
– Have better oversight and system installed for communication of prisoners with loved ones
– Keep the prisoner´s brains trained by allowing access to library, law library, more reading material, no more in advance having to have a book-title accepted by staff, and inviting a Books to Prisoners program for Nevada prisoners.

Yours sincerely,

Words for the upcoming Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners

Received by email:

To: sosmail@sos.nv.gov

My comments for the public Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners, on October 13th, 2009

To the Board of Prison Commissioners and everyone attending the meeting and beyond,

I would like the Board and everyone to know that the situation of Medical Care in Nevada´s prisons is still a big issue, and there has been no change in this situation since I became involved with this human rights crisis a year ago.

The situation consists amongst others of:

Inadequate training of staff and medical staff to help prisoners who have medical issues. There are still many mentally ill prisoners being held on lockdown together with other prisoners, and they should be cared for elsewhere with proper doctors (psychiatrists). The situation now gets worse too for those who do not (yet) suffer.

There seems to be no doctor at Ely State Prison, or no qualified doctor. A prison with so many men locked down needs a permanent medical staff including two or three doctors, well trained for prison medical issues. There also needs to be access to specialist care for diabetics, urological care, etc. If that is not possible, the prisoners needing this care should be placed where the care is at hand.

The situation in the prison system in the USA and Nevada is that the sentences are so long, that prisoners will get medical complaints sooner or later. Withholding medical care comes down to torture, or “cruel and unusual punishment.” So either the medical care system should be improved or the sentences should be reduced. In The Netherlands, prisoners are allowed to choose their own outside doctor at their own cost if the prison´s medical doctor is inadequate.

That a warden who is head of a prison when a prisoner died of lack of medical care (he had received no insulin for a very long time, even though he was an insulin-dependent diabetic patient) can still be in function, and is not suspended pending an investigation, tells us much about the corrupt-ic cover-ups and goings-on in the Nevada prison system.

Another point I want to make is that the lack of any intellectual stimulus makes prisoners passive and inadequately prepared for their eventual release into society. Please make the Library available to every prisoner, by stimulating them to make a visit every week. Pass out books to prisoners if you want the prison remain on lockdown. Pass out newspapers. Make school, also post-GED school an issue in the prisons. Keep a good Law Library. How are prisoners going to get a job if they lack all capacities for social abilities and intellectual capacities?

Be fair with the rules: parole dates should be kept. One prisoner complained to me that he had been over the parole date´s time for many months. Another has very low security level points but still is being kept on administrative segregation because of things that happened more than 5 years ago. Please keep that prisoner on the actual (Medium) security level he has “earned” and not on High Risk Potential! How can a prisoner earn any good time otherwise, if you do not keep to your own rules?

Communication with the outside world: If a prisoner is allowed one phonecall a week, the staff should hand him the phone, or let him out of his cell to a phonebooth in the prison. Now, weeks go by without contact with a friend or child of the prisoner, making the whole situation inhuman and dangerous, because a person who cannot communicate with loved ones, will become a danger to him or herself and others. Reality will point this out.

Thank you for giving me and others the opportunity to speak my and our concerns for our friends and loved ones in prison. They are still human beings just like you and me. Although I am in Nevada, I am at the moment visiting my friend in prison. If the meeting had been tomorrow, I could have met you all and spoken these words myself. I trust the words will reach your hearts and that you may do the noble work of making things better in the Nevada prison system.

Recommendations:
– More medical staff, better trained, more oversight
– Keep to your own rules, have oversight installed for rules-keeping.
– Have better oversight and system installed for communication of prisoners with loved ones
– Keep the prisoner´s brains trained by allowing access to library, law library, more reading material, no more in advance having to have a book-title accepted by staff, and inviting a Books to Prisoners program for Nevada prisoners.

Yours sincerely,

How to Submit Comments for the Record for the Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners

There is power in numbers! From an email to us:

IF YOU WANT TO SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY for this forthcoming meeting HERE´S HOW. Type or write an email with your concerns/problem and don’t forget to offer a solution. Staying within one page in as few words as possible has the best chance for attention.

Get it ready to be sent for arrival by 1 pm the day before the meeting to be assured it gets pre-handling done that is needed. It is to be emailed to: sosmail@sos.nv.gov

For those of you in Las Vegas and Carson City: please try to attend at one of the two locations given. There is power in numbers. This is true even if you are just there to listen and observe. Those attending can get the “urge to speak” to something or ask a question to do so without submitting written testimony (which is truly useful since it is documented in the meeting minutes. Be sure to sign the attendance sheet so you get counted.

Here is the information about the location and time of the meeting: October 13th!

Please pass this information on to anyone who has a friend or loved one in the Nevada prison system!