New Blog Spartacus Project of Nevada comments on Timothy Redman´s violent death

We have a new website in our midst of Nevada prisoner advocates and human rights abuse watchers:

The Spartacus Project of Nevada has joined the ranks, and is now online at this address:

<a href="http://spartacusprojectofnevada.blogspot.com
/”>spartacusprojectofnevada.blogspot.com

Following the terrible news of the violent death of Timothy Redman in Unit 3 of Ely State Prison on November 18th, 2009, The Spartacus Project of Nevada`s Director Don Hinton wrote the following comment:

It is time for this abuse and foolishness to stop!

I have corresponded with Mr. Redman in the past. His crime was terrible, but he deserved better than what he got from Ely State Prison and E. K. McDaniel, warden of that sump hole prison. Mr. Redman’s treatment is pervasive throughout the Nevada Prison System, and there are many examples to show this treatment is extensive. Revert back for a moment to the Report of Doctor Noel on Ely State Prison’s medical treatment of prisoners–that were left to literally rot to death, because the prison’s medical staff, and the warden, refused to give medication to prisoners.

Tim Redman was a young man when his crime was committed and received no help while in prison. Tim needed psychiatric help, not murdered by the hands of his keepers. His death was calculated and preventable. This is what Nevada has to look forward to today and in the future: “Murdered in Nevada’s prisons by Nevada Department of Corrections guards and administrators”.

Nevada’s Department of Correction, their employees and their director is beyond disgraceful–they are pathetic, and Nevada’s voters are permitting this behavior to continue. Aren’t we all so proud? OK, Nevadan’s, remember this: “Paybacks are a bitch”.

The picture we display of Mr. Redman, where the side of his face is torn off, was obtained by Ms. Mercedes Maharis, of the Spartacus Project of Nevada–from the district court in Ely, Nevada. This photo was labeled by Warden, E.K. McDaniel, of Ely State Prison: as “a trophy photograph”.

Way to go State of Nevada! Aren’t we the proud Nevada Citizens to have such great wardens and employees of the Department of Corrections? One could almost wonder how these men, Nevada’s correctional guards and wardens, treat their wives and families–couldn’t one? We know how they treat Nevada’s prisoners.

Does any citizen believe this type treatment towards prisoners is going to make them safer from the prisoners scheduled for release–when they are released from prison, with $20.00 in their pockets to start their lives over? Wake up Nevadan’s–this is your tax dollars going down into the pockets of the Department of Correction’s pay checks. You are not getting a good return on your dollars.

The harsh reality of life is the example you see everyday. Do you want this same treatment the prisoners receive from Nevada’s prisons to be brought home to your parents, grand parent and/or children, and possibly–YOU? Only you can stop this abuse, before it is at your door step, thanks to the department of corrections. You might want to think about this for a minute–it is just a heart beat away. It is time to get this Idiot Governor to wake up to the reality of what is being done to Nevada’s prisoners by way of “Legal Rehabilitation”. He needs to fire the entire department of correction’s administrators and many guards, and start over with decent human beings as “keepers of Nevada’s errant ones”. If not, do not expect things to get better and your tax dollars going to more deserving programs.

It is time for this abuse and foolishness to stop!

Donald Hinton. Sr., Director
Spartacus Project of Nevada

Advertisements

Minutes, exhibits Meeting (Oct 13, 09) of the Board of Prison Commissioners

Here is the link to the minutes and the record of the Meeting of the Board of Prison Commissioners with the public, held on October 13, 2009.

Prisoner advocates yet again asked for oversight of the prison system, and they wondered why the public has not yet heard about the cooperation with the Vera Institute for oversight.

There was also discussion about the budget and the department being understaffed, the furloughs, and inmates possibly having to pay for a gym and a shop. There was nothing said about how inmates are going to pay, yet someone asked how her husband can parole, if there are no jobs for the inmates, and if there is no money to get a post-high-school education. The parole board would like to see inmates who have jobs and who can prove they have educated themselves….

These and other questions are usually not answered by the Prison Commissioners. But as it is the only public way to raise voices (and we all pay for it!), it is important for as many people who want crime prevented, human rights respected, and safety for those working in the prison system to speak up. If the budget is too little for so many prisoners, maybe the Prison Commission should consider preventing crime, paroling people faster, installing less long sentences and starting to educate and rehabilitate prisoners. Maybe they should listen more attentively to the people at these meetings speaking up, out of experience. Just a thought….

The next Meeting will be on January 12, 2010. You can prepare a short statement for the record, and read it out during the meeting (no longer than a few minutes per speaker).

Furlough exemptions granted, correctional officers, other prison staff excluded from mandate

Nov. 11, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

STATE SPENDING: Furlough exemptions granted
Correctional officers, other prison staff excluded from mandate

By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU

CARSON CITY — To better ensure public safety, the state Board of Examiners voted unanimously Tuesday to exempt Department of Corrections employees from the one-day-a-month furloughs mandated for other state employees.

The board, chaired by Gov. Jim Gibbons, decided to use almost all remaining money in a $4 million furlough exemption fund to free correctional employees from a requirement to take an unpaid day off each month through June 30.

Board members also authorized state Corrections Director Howard Skolnik to charge about $800,000 in rent for the use of canteens and gyms in state prisons over the next year and a half to help pay for the furlough exemption in the 2010-11 fiscal year. The money would come out of canteen profits. Prisoners themselves would not pay these costs.

In addition, Skolnik can use $590,000 in federal funds to pay for the furlough exemptions. The funds are given to the state to cover costs of housing prisoners who are in the country illegally.

He also will try to rent out the now-closed Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Jean to raise $2.5 million.

If he can secure the rental funds, then Correctional Department employees will not be required to take furlough days in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Furloughing correctional employees would not be safe for the prisons or the public, Skolnik said after the meeting.

“The staff recognizes if we take furloughs we increase the likelihood of their injury or death,” he said. “We are understaffed to start with by 15 percent.”

Furloughing employees would mean that at any one time prisons would have 20 percent fewer employees than full staffing, he added.

The Legislature earlier this year approved one-day-a-month furloughs for all state employees as a way to cut pay by 4.6 percent. Gibbons had proposed cutting salaries of all state employees by 6 percent. But legislators reasoned that it would fairer to give employees an unpaid day off a month.

Skolnik said he never was asked to testify before legislators on the effects of furloughs on public and private safety. He said furloughs would force him to close towers and end visitation at some prisons.

The Geo Group, a private prison company formerly known as Wackenhut Correctional Services, has discussed renting the Jean prison next year. The company operates 50 prisons in five countries.

“My guess is they are looking for tenants right now,” he said.

The California prison system needs to find space to house as many as 2,600 inmates and Skolnik said it might be interested in contracting with Geo to use the Jean prison.

He estimated that he would know within 30 days to 45 days whether the prison can be rented starting July 1.

Geo’s management of inmates has resulted in litigation this year.

In April, Geo was ordered by the federal appeals court in Texas to pay $42.5 million in punitive damages to the family of an inmate who was alleged to have been killed while guards looked on.

The company also was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in June for cruel and unusual treatment of inmates in New Mexico. Guards kept seven inmates nude or semi-nude in a cold shower room in December 2008, according to the allegations.

Furlough exemptions granted, correctional officers, other prison staff excluded from mandate

Nov. 11, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

STATE SPENDING: Furlough exemptions granted
Correctional officers, other prison staff excluded from mandate

By ED VOGEL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL CAPITAL BUREAU

CARSON CITY — To better ensure public safety, the state Board of Examiners voted unanimously Tuesday to exempt Department of Corrections employees from the one-day-a-month furloughs mandated for other state employees.

The board, chaired by Gov. Jim Gibbons, decided to use almost all remaining money in a $4 million furlough exemption fund to free correctional employees from a requirement to take an unpaid day off each month through June 30.

Board members also authorized state Corrections Director Howard Skolnik to charge about $800,000 in rent for the use of canteens and gyms in state prisons over the next year and a half to help pay for the furlough exemption in the 2010-11 fiscal year. The money would come out of canteen profits. Prisoners themselves would not pay these costs.

In addition, Skolnik can use $590,000 in federal funds to pay for the furlough exemptions. The funds are given to the state to cover costs of housing prisoners who are in the country illegally.

He also will try to rent out the now-closed Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Jean to raise $2.5 million.

If he can secure the rental funds, then Correctional Department employees will not be required to take furlough days in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Furloughing correctional employees would not be safe for the prisons or the public, Skolnik said after the meeting.

“The staff recognizes if we take furloughs we increase the likelihood of their injury or death,” he said. “We are understaffed to start with by 15 percent.”

Furloughing employees would mean that at any one time prisons would have 20 percent fewer employees than full staffing, he added.

The Legislature earlier this year approved one-day-a-month furloughs for all state employees as a way to cut pay by 4.6 percent. Gibbons had proposed cutting salaries of all state employees by 6 percent. But legislators reasoned that it would fairer to give employees an unpaid day off a month.

Skolnik said he never was asked to testify before legislators on the effects of furloughs on public and private safety. He said furloughs would force him to close towers and end visitation at some prisons.

The Geo Group, a private prison company formerly known as Wackenhut Correctional Services, has discussed renting the Jean prison next year. The company operates 50 prisons in five countries.

“My guess is they are looking for tenants right now,” he said.

The California prison system needs to find space to house as many as 2,600 inmates and Skolnik said it might be interested in contracting with Geo to use the Jean prison.

He estimated that he would know within 30 days to 45 days whether the prison can be rented starting July 1.

Geo’s management of inmates has resulted in litigation this year.

In April, Geo was ordered by the federal appeals court in Texas to pay $42.5 million in punitive damages to the family of an inmate who was alleged to have been killed while guards looked on.

The company also was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union in June for cruel and unusual treatment of inmates in New Mexico. Guards kept seven inmates nude or semi-nude in a cold shower room in December 2008, according to the allegations.

Prison chief: seven staff members accused of felonies

Las Vegas Sun:

By Cy Ryan
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | 3:31 p.m.

CARSON CITY – Inmates in the Nevada state prison system aren’t the only ones who have had brushes with the law.

There have been seven felony arrests of prison staff in recent months. One of the officers was charged with armed robbery and attempted assault on a law enforcement officer. That alleged offense occurred in Nye County.

Howard Skolnik, director of the state Department of Corrections, said he has a “serious problem” in Clark County where 29 correctional officers have been terminated. He said these were both probation and full-time officers.
“There’s 180,000 hours worth of training going out the window,” Skolnik told a Thursday meeting of the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice. “There are weaknesses in doing our background checks.”

The commission, at its first meeting since the Legislature, elected Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, as chairman succeeding Chief Justice James Hardesty. Horne said one of the priorities of the commission this time will be victims’ rights.
The commission re-elected Attorney General Catherine Masto as chairwoman of the subcommittee on victims of crime, and Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, as selected chairman of the subcommittee on Juvenile Justice.

Skolnik told the commission there was a “pattern” of inmates who are released from the prison in Susanville, Calif., ending up in Reno. He said some of those freed from prison in Los Angeles will travel to Las Vegas.

“I suspect they will have an impact on us,” he said.

But Bernard Curtis, chief of the state Division of Parole and Probation, said Nevada transports several hundred more out of state than Nevada receives from other states.
Skolnik told the commission that the prison system is about 300 inmates below what was budgeted.

He said he hopes to know within 90 days about plans to lease the closed-down Southern Nevada Correctional Center in Clark County to a firm called Geo for $2.5 million a year.

He said Geo wants to do some cosmetic and upgrades but he wants to make sure the state can take back the prison within 180 days if there is a major increase in the number of inmates.

##

Geo is a private prisons contractor. The Southern Nevada Correctional Center will be leased to a private prisons company. Is this the second private prison to open in Nevada?

Also note the 180,000 dollars to pay for training hours of 29 officers…

"Nevada Southern Detention Center: A Work in Progress"


What a waste! In this day and age, to build a 1072-person prison, in a state where water is scarce. To call it “environmentally-friendly” is utter arrogance. Private prisons earn money on keeping people locked up. This should not be something to earn money on. The accent in the whole of society should shift from locking up to correction, rehabilitation, forgiveness and education. This will create a lot of jobs, and these are much more constructive and rewarding than guarding people behind bars. This is the ´facility´ (to use a euphemism for prison) that is being built near Pahrump:

http://www.insidecca.com/inside-cca/sourthern-nevada-construction/

Although construction on Nevada Southern Detention Center is still in its early stages, the 120-acre parcel where the facility will stand is bustling with daily activity. Construction began in early May and is on schedule to be completed by the third quarter of 2010.

Chris Murphree, CCA director, Construction Management, oversees the Nevada Southern construction process. “In my role, I review the construction schedule with contractors, ensure that the scope we need is put in place and monitor the budget,” he explains.

Upon completion, Nevada Southern will be a 1,072-bed, medium-to maximum-security facility occupying 60 acres of the parcel where it’s situated.

“Nevada Southern will be outfitted with state-of-the-art security electronics and equipment, and its design will incorporate energy-saving features,” says Tim Debuse, CCA senior director, Project Development. Environmentally-friendly features include low-flow toilets, lavatories and showers, as well as energy-efficient light fixtures and reflective white roofs.

“This is a new design that we believe will enable us to manage the population more efficiently, and it will also offer great financial value to our customer, the U.S. Marshals Service,” says Bart Verhulst, CCA vice president, Federal and Local Customer Relations.

Together, the design and location of the facility are cost effective. “Instead of using multiple facilities with varying conditions, locations and proximities to the federal courts, it allows the customer to put their population in one facility where they can more effectively monitor offenders and efficiently move them to and from the courts in Las Vegas,” Verhulst explains.


More links:

Nevada Southern Detention Center Approved For CCA (04-09-2009)

CCA announces contract award for new detention center (2008)

Their press release about this mega-facility

Corrections Corporation of America in Nevada (2008)

Leap are the engineers of this ´project´.

Here a link to the critical watchers of the private prison complex:
http://www.privateci.org/nevada.htm

State Supreme Court tosses one suit following inmate’s death

Nolan Klein’s sister says fight far from over
By Geoff Dornan
(email)
Article in: Nevada Appeal

The Nevada Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal because the inmate who filed it died Sept. 20.

Nolan Klein died of a blood disorder after serving more than 20 years on a rape conviction. He maintained throughout the trial and incarceration he was innocent.

His death, however, did not end two federal court civil actions that U.S. Magistrate Robert McQuaid ordered to go forward last week. Nor did it end his appeal in the 9th Circuit Court charging ineffective assistance of counsel during his original trial.

The state court action was filed after a district court rejected Klein’s complaint the Parole Board illegally reinstated a sentence he had already been paroled from. The high court dismissed the petition as moot following Klein’s death.

The first federal court action still moving forward charges Klein’s First Amendment rights to religious exercise were violated and that he was improperly denied necessary medical treatment for the blood disorder which his sister, Tonya Brown, says caused his death.

The other federal court action still in process seeks damages charging the state failed to give him a parole hearing state law entitles him to for more than a year.

The 9th Circuit appeal is being challenged by the Nevada Attorney General’s office as moot now that Klein has died. But Brown said if they can show counsel was ineffective, it effectively clears her brother’s conviction off the books.

Finally, she said, she may ask Washoe District Court to throw out the conviction because files she received from Washoe County in June include evidence pointing to the possibility someone else was the rapist in the case. That evidence, Brown said, was withheld 21 years in violation of an order that the Washoe DA turn over all evidence in the case to the defense.

She said Tuesday that the Pardons Board has also been asked to include Klein in its November agenda for exoneration based on that evidence.