Letter to Director Skolnik

Sent to Nevada Prison Watch:

June 27th, 2010

Jeremy Allen Crozier #77906
Ely State Prison
P.O. Box 1989
Ely, NV 89301

Howard Skolnik, Director
Nevada Department of Corrections
Administrative Offices
P.O. Box 7011
Carson City, NV 89702

Director Skolnik,

As you are probably well aware, I have written to you numerous times over the previous year to bring several legitimate issues to your attention concerning the Nevada Department of Corrections, and especially Ely State Prison. Again I remind you that before I have ever said one word against your staff, or filed a civil suit, I fought just as hard against the inmates. You may remember that it was I who wrote to you with my recommendations, which lead to AR #733, which limited the privileges for Disc. Seg. inmates. Now, I would like to make my case against administrative staff at Ely State Prison, and I hope that you will keep an open mind. I know that no one likes it when their staff are called into question, but as an intelligent man, I´m sure that you will agree with my assessment of the situation, and see the wisdom behind my recommendations.

I am sure that you are well aware of some of the incidents coming out of Ely State Prison, but I don´t believe that you have ever taken the time to take the situation at Ely State Prison in its full context given the nature of your job, busy schedule, budget concerns, and other state related issues. I completely understand your position, but it is time to address this issue in full.

Ely State Prison, as a hard-hit fact in the previous twelve (12) months, has had more issues that compromise the security and safety of the institution, staff and inmates than any other two (2) institutions in the Nevada Department of Corrections combined.

Issues that are now affecting Nevada State taxpayers who are outraged. Last week´s 2.3 million dollar IFC (Interim Finance Committee) granted overtime funds for prison officers´ overtime pay put the Nevada taxpayers over – the – top. Probably because they were on the hook for $325.000,00 for the ACLU Riker v. Gibbons civilsuit settlement, when Nevada tax payers are already facing a three (3) billion dollar 2011 fiscal budget shortfall, which is 50 % of Nevada State total budget.

That should have been enough to terminate Ely State Prison administration staff, but you choose not to do so. I will list other reasons that Ely State Prison administration needs to be fired promptly for just the previous twelve (12) months.

One, a record number of lawsuits was filed against the Nevada Department of Corrections in 2009, which Ely State Prison accounts for 94.6 % of all of the lawsuits filed in 2009. That should be a major red-flag for you that something is not running right in Ely. We are not talking about the usual crybaby I had my feelings hurt civilsuit either. Some of the civilsuits include, inmate grievance procedure deficiencies, which will allow all those years worth of medical grievances from the Riker v. Gibbons case to come back into play, and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the inmate who died due to refusal of medical care at Ely State Prison. Fact, Ely State Prison administration staff must be held accountable, and terminated immediately. How long do you plan on allowing tine Nevada taxpayers to suffer?

Two, Ely State Prison administration staff have no control over their officers, and are disrespected by their officers often. Let´s look at recent incidents, inmates engaged in a riot in unit #4 on January 31, 2010. During which, numerous officers were fired because of excessive force, exceeding the scope of their authority, one officer was stabbed (Stubbs /S/40), many inmates severely injured during cell extractions that was never authorized, lawsuits filed. Lieutenant Matt Mennex lied, saying, “A.W.O. Debra Brooks authorized the cell extractions,” and state property destroyed. Do you think inmates just decided one day to throw a riot for the hell of it, or staff just decided on the same day to shed their professional discipline? No… no… you have way too many years working at the Nevada Department of Corrections to believe that.
That incident was overdue; although wrong, from years of Ely State Prison staff and inmates having no discipline, or direction from administration staff here.

Fact is, Ely State Prison administration staff has no control over the staff, nor inmates. The fact that a lieutenant and A.W.O. (Assistant Warden of Operations) were arguing and lying on each other stands out to me, and it should be a red flag for you as well because that shows how little control, discipline, and professionalism is at the management level at Ely State Prison. I think you need more argument as to just how far the shit goes at Ely State Prison and you know me, I´ll give it.

Recently, S. C.O. Barry was terminated for having sex with an inmate in his cell. You know what I find funny? S.C.O. Barry could not open the cell door, and close it on her arm/hand with a key. That means another officer had to have opened and closed the cell door for S.C.O. Barry from the control bubble. The only other officer working that night was C.O. Peeler. The same two (2) officers every night. Yet, C.O. Peeler still has his job here.

You know why C.O. Peeler is still working here? He is part of the “Good ol´boys club” of warden E.K. McDaniel. How about another example of the “Good ol´ boys club.” C.O.I. Jessica Bennett, formerly known as Jessica Balen was terminated on February 25, 2010, for failure to make her probation penal three (3) weeks away from completing her probation period. The reason, she accidentally walked out to the parking lot while she had the food slot key clipped to her utility belt. An incident that has occurred at Ely at least two-dozen times, and nobody has ever been terminated. Nor has there been any other terminations at any other prison despite the same incidents occurring several times. Jessica Bennett immediately turned the key in, accepted full responsibility, and apologized. That was how she was caught. As you know, the food slot key is not vital to the security and safety of the institution. That´s why officers carry that key around inmates.

Six (6) weeks later, C.O.I. Marrow lost his handcuff key in the housing unit. Three (3) units were searched and the key was never found until this very day. A key very vital to the security and safety to the institution, but he maintained his job thereafter. Good ol´ boys club. This shows there is no control, discipline, nor professionalism at Ely even when it comes to security and safety to the institution, and it shows favoritism on the part of Ely administration staff.

Caseworker Little, terminated for bringing in a cellphone for an inmate she was having sex with; c.o. Chris Arias, terminated for bringing in a radio for an inmate; c.o. Karosko sent to Tonopah after being stabbed for abusing an inmate, and these are only major incidents that were caught. The question before you is multiple prong:

1) How many more incidents were not caught?
2) How many went unreported due to the Good Ol´Boys Club?
3) Why are so many incidents occurring?
4) Why is Ely State Prison operating under the “Wild West Laws”?

Fact is, administration staff at Ely State Prison are not qualified, uncontrolled by you, and don´t care. They know that there has never been any consequence for them and their actions. A message you sent again by allowing the Nevada Taxpayers pay the price for medical denial, loss of life and malpractice, and not them. Hell, Debra Brooks, AWO was found unfit for duty by the courts after the Fuentes report. Lucky the courts could not terminate her.

Fact is, and there is no way around it, either the wardens at Ely State Prison knew what was going on and choose to do nothing, or they were grossly negligent and didn´t know and choose to remain blind to what was happening. Either way, that is immediate grounds for termination because all three wardens are unfit for duty in the Nevada Department of Corrections. It is time for you to send a clear and loud message to all Department staff. I recommend the following:

Warden Eldon K. McDaniel; A.W.O. Debra Brooks; A.W.P. Renee Baker be immediately terminated. H.D.S.P. has two (2) wardens (Nevins, Verra), which is not needed. Warden Nevins be transferred back to Ely based on his years working here before. Warden Verra take over all H.D.S.P. Given the Budget problems, the moves with the wardens saves the Department one warden´s pay scale. Tens of thousands of dollars. I recommend Kay Ellen Weiss with over 17 years of experience with the NDOC for the AWO job at Ely. She is a former Correction Officer and now a caseworker, and therefore, has both sides of the Department – administrative and corrections experience.

For the AWP (Assistant Warden of Programs) position at Ely, I recommend Mark Drain. Former corrections sergeant and now caseworker at ESP. Perfect for the job due to his experience. Especially, when it comes to AWP required classifications and inmate related incidents. His experience as a corrections sergeant means that he has been in the trenches and knows all too well inmate schemes and games.

You can make all that happen on your own accord, and with a phone call. Not only would you save the NDOC money, but you would send a clear message to all NDOC staff that you will not tolerate the shit, and most important, save the tax payers money and put them back at ease. You won´t want to be targeted by them for long.

As an inmate at Ely State Prison, that makes me the upmost authoritative voice between you and I on what happens here. Know that I only touched on a fraction of the shit, and I am eight pages in already. We are talking a book should I list them all. My recommendations are based on education and experience with an M.B.M. from the Upper Iowa University, and as a former Lieutenant in the Army Rangers. You need to immediately take control.

Signed: Jeremy Crozier

PS Given that Eldon K. McDaniel and his fearless bunch unauthorized my food according to NDOC forms, and all my legal work in the middle of several of my court cases, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the US Marshals to investigate. I will be filing a Civilsuit on this as well. Just two men talking in a room and nothing more. It would minimize your responsibility altogether if you terminate E.K. McDaniel, Debra Brooks, Renee Baker and show the courts you took immediate action.