Corrections department flouts new law requiring autopsies for inmates who die in custody

 In: Las Vegas Sun, Dec. 16, 2013
By: Ana Ley

Advertisements

Another inmate at Northern Nevada prison dies

Four deaths in one month, in a medical facility… It is high time Nevada’s people and chosen representatives demands oversight and an independent Ombudsman for its NDOC-run prisons!

From: LV Sun, Oct 26, 2013:

Another inmate from the Northern Nevada Regional Correctional Center has died, marking the prison’s fourth death this month.

Joseph Oxford-McArthur, 31, was found unconscious in his cell Monday and was taken to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, where he died four days later. Oxford-McArthur had been behind prison bars since July, serving a one- to three-year sentence for domestic battery. His case originated in Churchill County.

Officials with the Nevada Department of Corrections said no other details about Churchill’s death were available Saturday.

Read the rest here

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report (summer 2013)

Vol. 3, No 6    
“Veritas in Caritatis”            
Summer Issue 2013

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

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”

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

Statement of Purpose:

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

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

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

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. The Death of Scott Hyatt- by Kevin Pope

2. Level System Report

3. Parole Board Inquisition and Serial Sentencing

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy

1. Justice Procedures and Government Concealment: Policy of Secrecy

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1. Denial of Access to Chapel Facilities Suit

2. Update on 12-Step Programs

3. Veteran’s Activities

Subscriptions and Services

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Newsletter can be delivered via e-mail or snail-mail. We ask you send a copy into NDOC system and your local legislature and press!

E-mail: $3 for 6 months
            $5 for 12 months
Snail-mail: $8 for 6 months
                $15 for 12 months

Dept. of Justice Issue Dossiers:

Scanning, storage and Electronic Delivery of Dept. of Justice, press, politicians and state administrators.

  .75¢ 1st 10 pages ($7.50)
            .60¢ per page after that
  Customized letter: $1 per 250 word

——————–
Section One: Conditions

1) A Kinder Gentler Genocide, Kevin Donald Pope

Scott Hyatt, of Unit 2, Dorm B-3, who was not under death penalty or the “other” death penalty, life-in-prison, laid in a near comatose condition. He was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, a terminal illness, but curable by a marrow transplant.

He was told by prison that the treatment was “not available”. I helped him write letters begging for compassionate release. The prison did send him to Carson/Tahoe Hospital for treatment, but it failed so he was sent back to prison.

According to Scott, the only way to stay alive was regular blood transfusions, six (6) pints at a time. Two days before he died, Scott told me he was given only 2 pints of transfusion. That night he laid in a near comatose state in his dorm and began to bleed out of his orifice. He died two days later.

The prison staff and doctors are in the main honest people trying their best. Dr. Gedney is, in my book, an unsung hero who saved my life in the past. However, they must work against the policy of genocide—insurmountable odds marshaled against them by the administrators above them, hiding like stalkers in their shadowy offices of power over life and death. There are staff who form power cliques who sadistically delight in carrying out the policies of disdain and hatred, behind the mask of “legality”. I call this the hidden agenda of discontent and malice, intending to create havoc by making human pain through Undue Stresses for the sake of civil police-state idols of calculated efficiency, cost-effectiveness and vengeance.

[Editor’s note: In earlier editions, Fall 2011, we were puzzled that the compassionate release law which used to be in the hands of the Parole Commissioners at NRS 213.1217 was repealed. Mister Pope informs us that this power was merely transferred by NRS 209.3925 to the hands of the Director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, which is to jump from the frying pan to the fire.]

2) Level System Report

In 2001, the legislature of Nevada passed an enabling statute that stated the NDOC Director “may” implement a level system in his facilities. All of the prisons in Nevada began to do so, where the custody level was rated “high” or “medium high”. NNCC, a medical yard and a medium custody warehouse, created a level system operating procedure (OP) but it was never suitable for a medium yard. In June of 2012, Administrative Regulation 516, Level System, was signed by Director Cox. The NDOC is exempt from all due process safeguards, such as evidentiary hearings on record, public notice, attendance and commentary. The ONLY check on the arbitrary and capricious rule is the prisoner lawsuit. It is policy of the state of Nevada that citizens of prior bad acts and public convictions are subject to civil legal sanctions that act as shields to the erosion of state police power to be capricious and arbitrary.

The system of levels is a policy of undue pressure. Just today, an intimate associate of ours, a man on the yard as a reward for years of good behavior, snapped. This man was commuted from death sentence, to life without. He struggles with immense sorrow for his liberty. This new system locks him down 3 days out of 4, deprives him of all human dignity of hope, personal growth—then expect him to take “ownership” while the police state will NOT see its own errors.

3) The “Perfection Clause” and Substantive Due Process: Nevada’s Secret Tribunals—Psych Panels/Boards

 The attack of the originalist movement in legal circles aims at increasing the unilateral police power of the state by the reduction of immunities and privileges of citizens accused or convicted of crime. The originalists (Justices Scalia and Thomas) are rooted in a secularized biblolotry derived from the twisted sola scriptura doctrine of Martin Luther in the 1500’s. Most fundamentalists are harmlessly duped to believe that no good, no truth and no beauty exists outside the four-corners of the bible. Scalia and Thomas are almost Constitutional fundamentalists—if a principle of law cannot be found in the letters of the document it’s no law at all. They scorn the intellectual virtue of inference, where such an inference was not also left behind in the historical records of the framers spoken or written word. This kind of jurisprudence is called legal positivism, the tool of tyrants and totalitarian systems. The U.S. Constitution, with its clause of perfection implies that the support of tyrants was not the goal of the American Fathers. It says, “We the people… in order to form a more perfect union…” means a historical commitment to moving away from the evils of total state power to the point of a fascist state wearing perfume of sanctity. Lady Liberty smells like a fancy whore.

Nevada thinks “perfection” means creating secret tribunals that mentally torture the condemned, and perpetrate the practice of “serial sentencing”.

The psych-panels, which are described below, were hidden behind the Regal Decree’s of Mr. Brian Sandoval back when he was Attorney General in 2003. He issued the sinister law that “Because the Psych Panel functions as an arm of the sentencing court (judiciary) and are not subject to the requirements of the Open Meeting Law.” [Open Meeting Law Opinion, (OMLO 2003-21/A6 File No. 03-019].

This opinion is in the favor of the accused in a back-handed way, because it implies that those subject to the psych panel are entitled to demand due process privileges such as legal counsel present, rights of rebuttal, evidentiary rules. Of course the only intention of Brian Sandoval was to conceal the activities of the Psych Panel, and prevent the public from perceiving what really goes on—the psychological torture of a new hearing which is successive to the first sentencing hearing years before. If the Psych Panel is a judicial body, rather than an administrative body, it is due to provide the level of procedural protections required by the
Constitution.

At least that is a claim that could be made. The odd thing is that the Administrative Regulation 813.01 (8) states the Psych Panel is “Subject to Open Meeting Law.” Most men who have gone to the Psych Panel and Parole Board would testify that the behavior of both the Panel and Board members is often that of a brow-beating judicial torturer-interrogator. All evidentiary rules are thrown out the window and both Tony Corda and psychologist and Robert Schofield have been knowing to yell and berate inmates for events of childhood.

Luckily, the Psych Panel has been “reformed”; the bad news is that the reform is merely a concentration of all power to inflict pain is vested in one man and one tool of inquisition—an actuarial device used in the insurance industry; Senate Bill No. 104 has disbanded the 3-Person Panel, effective July 1, 2013. Instead, the Psych Panel powers becomes included in the powers of the Director of prisons, Greg Cox, who will send a psych tech over with an “accepted standard of assessment”. Further, the state will not “take ownership” for any future abuses, mistakes or errors in such assessments, [213.1099-3]!

Section Two: Law and Equity

1) Justice Procedures and Government Concealments State Policy of Secrecy

The last issue carried a review of a law review article by Rachel Barkow, “Separation of Powers and the Criminal Law”, (58 Stan. L. Rev. 989). The article begins to expose the myth to the public, which all prisoners know from first hand experience: there is no true ADVERSARY SYSTEM. That phrase is a slogan parroted by district attorneys, and all other “stakeholders” in the system, to CONCEAL the truth of a continental inquisitorial system in place. That means we citizens are tried by an official of the executive branch—a whole army of officials, called the “Criminal Justice Community” (CJC). The problem is, they make up the rules as they go along— without oversight!

For example, court rules. The most crucial part of any action, process or creation is the beginning. In the criminal justice system, the beginning is the police investigation. That’s why over the years the Supreme Court of the United States began to make rules with its famous Miranda v. Arizona case, requiring the announcement of rights to the suspected citizen.

Judicially, the beginning is the Grand Jury indictment or the Complaint filed by the local attorney or attorney general at the Justice Courts (in Nevada, at least). Yet, for many many years, there were no Justice Court Rules! So certainly there wererules, but only the administrators knew what they were.  Unbelievably, Reno Justice Court did not publish rules until 2012, and Sparks (and the rest of rural Nevada) did not publish them until 2013!

So, like the ADKT 411 “standards” for professional defense lawyers, these rules need to be actively promulgated by the local courts, so that defendant-citizens know how to fight back!

In Europe, such rules are not kept secret, and as a result the incarceration rate is 76% lower, Will America do this? No. will Nevada? HELL no.

District Court rules have long been available, but not to pretrial detainees. Even so the rules are skewed to favor the un-detained and prejudice those held without bail. The response times, for example, don’t give the prisoner a fair hearing. State attorney’s are allowed to file responses to prisoner petitions on the day of the hearing, so that the prisoner cannot respond. This is due to the special viciousness of American state-religion, the social nationalism made famous in the abuses totalitarian-fascist regimes in World War II Germany. That is why the European inquisitorial system is so dangerous—it is highly subject to abuse without protective oversight.

What we have today in America is cogently sinister. It has a inquisitorial system hiding behind a façade, a lying myth, that it s an “adversarial system”. Because of the logical fallacies which seem to be genetically bred into Americans, they believe anything that comes out of the four-corners of the television, radio, newspaper and Smart phones. So did the Garman’s of Nazi Germany.

The early, critical stages of the Grand Jury, and preliminary hearing are not protected by adversarial rules—they are considered “administrative” in nature, inquisitorial. When Europe let go of oversight at such inquisitions, it burnt 12 million Jew. When America allowed such protections to the citizen go, it built up the biggest prison gulag the world has ever seen. Only free people, enslaved to their blissful stupidity, cannot SEE the crisis. Amazingly, even Nevada prisoners are lulled into blissful stupidity—by design. Nevada is
one of the few state systems that allow private TV. Take them away, like they do in Ely and lock-down units, you get angry fighters.

Unless the American CJC corrects its behavior of denying access to knowledge of legal processes, the system will keep expanding until it implodes.

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1) Denial of Religions Rights to Those Who Require Sanctuary Space

Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) can be supposedly accessed by any person, and the NJPR has reviewed a prison lawsuit by Dirk Klinke, Kevin Pope and J. Quintero, Cs. No. 3:13-cv-00008-mmD-VPC.

The prisoners attempted to bring a class action suit for alleged NNCC Facility deprivations and systemic NDOC deprivations of constitutional privileges.

Klinke claims that low level officials circumvent the Prison Director’s and Prison Commission’s administrative regulations that state hospitalized and punished prisoners in the Unit Seven segregation units by “round-filing” inmate requests (throwing them in the trash can) Klinke has been told he will be moved off the yard to another facility. Pope filed for discriminatory animus by prison guards to his Siddha Yoga gurus.

Quintero filed for religious deprivation of the sanctuary space in the multi-purpose facility that provides legal, religious and physical exercise services; he lost the prison custom of giving access to Catholic rosary devotees to the three Chapel rooms under the supervisory eye of the camera system and the neighboring law librarian and coach. The action was severed by Judge Miranda M. Du, meaning each plaintiff had to file separate pleadings.

2) Update on 12-Step Programs

Last issue notified Nevada officials and news outlets that not only was Alcoholics Anonymous completely “eradicated” the institutional sadism of those officials, it (AA.) was reduced (or raised) to a privilege reserved only to a particular class of NNCC inmate, those who participate in the Senior Structured Living Program.

We at the NJPN received a garbled e-mail that seemed to be trying to imply the issue raised threatened the well-being of SSLP members, and that the program and its founder were trying to do good. Nowhere in our article did we question the goodness of keeping AA as a prison program—we stated that creating a caste
system is unfair to those in the lower class, and that sequestering it to ONE unit is violative of AA. principles themselves.

At any rate, AA is now available for two additional units, No’s 3 and 5 now get visits from an “outside” sponsor 1 day per week.

May the ghost of Al Garcia haunt the wardens. This all boils down to the reduction of access to the prison facilities begun with this level system—prior to the “official beginning”, the college classrooms in Mayberry were closed, and the meeting rooms of the Gym/Chapel/Law Library Complex were made off-limits.

3) Veteran’s Activities

First, the Vietnam Veteran’s Association (VVA) got told they could not provide refreshments to their members at their monthly meetings. Then, they got told they cannot hold “fundraisers” any more—one of the only delights of the year for NNCC inmates was to get “street food” once or twice a year, and a summer barbecue. Then, the administration said it could not pass out a Christmas eve goodie bag to the evil convicts anymore. Then the Glorius Leaders said the VVA had to close their office.
A medical transfer from Lovelock said the last fundraiser there was in 2012.
They stopped at NNCC in 2011.

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report Vol. 3, No 5 (2013)

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
Vol. 3, No 5 “Veritas in Caritatis” Winter/Spring Issue 2013
THEME: “Audi alterum partem”
Listen to the other side!

“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”

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

Statement of Purpose:

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

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

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

Index to this Issue:

Section One: Conditions

1. Taking a Hard Right: Level System at NNCC

Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy

1. Law Article Review: “The Emerging War on Sex Offenders”
2. Law Article Review: The Fusion of Power and Administration of Crime

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1. AA Now Sequestered by Exclusivist Program
2. Poem

Subscriptions and Services

Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Newsletter can be delivered via e-mail or snail-mail. We ask you send a copy into NDOC system and your local legislature and press!

E-mail: $3 for 6 months
$5 for 12 months
Snail-mail: $8 for 6 months
$15 for 12 months

Dept. of Justice Issue Dossiers:
Scanning, storage and Electronic Delivery of Dept. of Justice, press, politicians and state administrators.
.75¢ 1st 10 pages ($7.50)
.60¢ per page after that
Customized letter: $1 per 250 word

Section One: Conditions

1) Hard Right: NNCC “Level System”

Prisons in America has its historical roots in the Puritanical acceptance of Jeremy Bentham’s weird idea of the “Panoptican”—an idea derived from his “Principle of Inspection”. This historical principle was discussed in Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison News, Vol. 1, No. 10, “Pre-Trial Conditions”.

Bentham was inspired the Psalm of David that takes note of God’s invisible omniscience, by which God know all things, all thoughts, at all times. Bentham proposed the use of All-Seeing Architecture to impose the coercive power of the state. Bentham invented, by appealing to natural fear of God’s all-seeing eye, the psychological prison of the watchtower, the “bubble”, the gunpost, and the surveillance camera that now covers the entire Western industrial economy. “Panopticon” means all-seeing.

This biblical theology fused with the Puritan’s idea of turning the secular world into a monastic Empire where everyman is a highpriest of his own world. [How else can one say “welcome to my world?”] This is derived from the wild Calvinist theory of the “universal” priesthood of all men. This is why the Puritan were eager to embrace Bentham’s proposed prison system. With this in mind, we can interpret the recent actions by the State to increase the security level of the NNCC facility.

NNCC was the last “open” yard in Nevada prison system. After the 1990’s federal push for escalating the “war on crime”, all inmate-friendly managers in the Nevada Department of Corrections were hounded out by a new breed of puritanical zeal for pain infliction on the reprobate sinner-citizen. Any person who loses their “sainthood” are excommunicated by civil society.

The NDOC, though the warden Isidro Baca, has closed the open yard and created a “level system”.
Level 3 is lowest. Units 2 and 4 are level 3, comprising 360 men. They have no access to daily yard. They have no access to the gym or weights, ever. They have no access to psycho-programming required by the state for good time and parole release. They have no access to work that keeps their hope for statutory “good time” alive. There are an inordinate number of “litigators” kept in this level, meaning the prison system is psychologically “conditioning” mass behaviors by rewarding the effete and timid and punishing the virtuous political citizen.

Level 1 is the highest, and gets the most privileges, and it is reserved ONLY to those who genuflect and adore the pagan god of the government, the GAIN SPIRIT. ONLY those who have a PAY NUMBER can join the Level One “blessed and highly favored”. So, we see a religification of a state prison system, and a paganization of a supposedly Christian theology of “puritanism”.

Level 2 aspires to escape the shame and stigma of level 3, and clamors to one day to join the Holy Ones who have a paycheck. The problem is, there are no jobs, and prayerfully the Nevada economy will continue to tank, and take its pagan psycho-babble level system with it. May ghost-township come soon to Nevada! (To be continued…)

Section Two: Law and Equity

1) Law Article Review: “The Emerging Criminal War on Sex Offenders” by Corey Rayburn Yung, 45 Harvard Law Review, C. R. –C.L.L. 435 (2010)

The Adam Walsh Act and its progenitors have been challenged in all the Federal District Courts, and has been upheld in almost all of them. One decision HAS found the S.O.R.N.A. provisions of registration Un-constitutional. In 2008, a U.S. District Court in (of all places) Florida, stated:

“While sex offenders may be the least sympathetic lot of society, the law does not recognize a distinction between everyman’s right to travel and a sex offender’s travel. And, an exception for them today may bring tomorrow’s application to all”. 

This is a Bright-Line Rule!

In other words, there are certain rights which, at least in a Christian concept of law which is grounded in Natural Law, recognizes certain Bright-line rules of substantive and procedural rights which are valid and applicable to All people, at all times, everywhere. Without Exception.

But this principle of objective ethical principles of law has been corrupted by so-called “reformed” theology that DOES allow for exceptions—those who are predestined by God for perdition are the exceptions. How convenient to have the moral power to determine WHO is marked God for a destiny of hell, and make an “exception” to the Bright Line Rules of Law. This is to sub-humanize certain “lost souls” as unworthy of equal treatment before the law. This theological perversion is called the “absolute depravity” of men, and the principle of double predestination—either saved or hound for Hell.

When you hear a person declare “he deserves a fate worse than death”, you are witness to the manifestation of this so-called “Christian” reformed theology which allows for exceptions to the Rule of Law. When you hear the words “worse than death”, you are hearing either a pagan devil worshipper or an evangelical “Christian”: they both glorify vigilante-lynch-mob justice.

This article by Corey Yung is by far the most radically courageous acts of any academic I’ve read recently. Anybody who takes an objective, scientific look at such an “apple-pie” issue is bound to find themselves attacked, and Yung needs prayers.

Yung’s article can be fairly criticized on one point: it is blind to the deeper roots of the “War –on-Crime”. Historically, the article needed to have pointed out Saint Thomas More’s much despised work Utopia, and his trenchant critique of the English “war-on-crime” in the late 1400’s, situationally determined by the economics of industrial production of sheep wool to clothe the militarization of eh early British Empire. The writer could have mentioned Jeremy Bentham’s coining of the word “war-on-crime” at the height of the British industrialization, in the early 1800’s.

Yung starts only with the recent American escalation of the “war-on-crime”, pinning most of the blame on the “war-on-drugs”. She seems not to be aware of the radical feminist roots of the current “war-on-sex offender”, as identified historically by Marie Gottschalk[1].

Other than these oversights, this article hopefully will work its way out of the ivory towers and get into the hands of some honorable and courageous legislators. It is vastly important that people “realize how controlled they are by the PROPAGANDA of the Industrial Empire, and crime.

Yung identifies precise rhetorical MYTH’s utilized by the Criminal Justice Community that is the lobbyist name for the Criminal Justice Industry. Yung traces the evil transmogrification of normal “law enforcement that escalates into a criminal WAR”. (437, emphasis added) She describes how RHETORIC is utilized, becoming a “multi-faceted public discourse wherein the population is exposed to the warrants for the conflict through a variety of mediums. For example, television advertisements, television episodes [police shows] movies, new reports from various sources, local [pro-victim] activist groups, bumper stickers combine to send a message justifying a war” (443, inserts added).

Her contributions in identifying the “characteristics of Criminal Wars” used in the1970’s War-on-Drugs opens the doors for further research. The characteristics she defines as follows:

1.) Marshaling of Resources—that is, the government provides money and contributes surplus war hardware and financial incentives. Her description make us realize that we are prisoners of war.

2.) Myth Creation—meaning a mytho-poetic “creation of substantial myths about the danger” of the targeted enemy, drug users, sex offenders etc. she teaches about a sophisticated sophism called a “condensation symbol”: names, words, phrases or maxims” that evoke discrete, vivid impression in each listener’s mind, and also involves the listener’s most basic values…”[2]

3.) Exception Making—“as in international wars, criminal wars are marked by DEVIATIONS FROM NORMAL CODES OF CONDUCT.” (444)

Yung cites how this occurs in the current “war on terror”—permissible torture, suspension of Geneva Conventions, use of private mercenary corporations, domestic surveillance. She then cites what this writer hollers about all the time, exceptions that are crafted into normal law enforcement rules, designed to make loop-holes to the Bright-line rules of the Bill-of-Rights. She notes the massive militarization of civil police, which gives the governments exceptional legal and technological tools in the wars on crime, along with money!

Yung’s analysis of the sex-crime scene leaves no doubt there is a “war” on sex offenders. Under the Myth Making rubric, Yung identifies 5 myths that have “served as cornerstones to America’s sex offender policy”:

1.) Stanger Danger—conceals the fact that sex crime is a family and community crime, and stranger sex crime is rare. The myth hides the destruction of family relations, because most sex crimes are family based.

2.) High Recidivism—myths of “incurability” justify and conceal the government destruction of families and community, by permanent exile into prisons and the “life-time” supervision and travel restrictions. Studies show LOW recidivism.

3.) Sex offense homogeneity—all sex offenders are alike, from serial stalker rapists to parking lot pee-ers. (Nevada has a boat-load of pee offenders.) This is a new myth, according to Yung, and deserving of further consideration.

4.) Molestation as “Fate Worse than Death”(457). This is where Yung brings up the notion mentioned at footnote 1. Yung devotes only one paragraph to the notions of “innocence and virginity” as the basis of the war-drum gravity intoned by fear-mongering, puritanical statists, which uses the concealing myth to justify sadistic increase in pain infliction.

5.) Enemy creation—the typical “yellow peril” war rhetoric INVENTED by Woodrow Wilson’s NWI anti-German campaign led by experts in motivational psychology, and Edward Bernys’ Office of War Information. This is basically an alliance between local government and special interest war-on-crime consortia lobbies, and mass media outlets, creating an almost unanimous public support for the war-on-sex offenders. The biggest supporters of this war are prison inmates themselves, as everyone knows in the back of their mind.

6.) Rational Unanimity—one myth which is overlooked by Yung and most others is the phenomena identified by René Girard as unanimous mimetic violence—herd behaviors.

There is a legal maxim in the Judeo-Christian tradition which says that if a proposition has met no opposition during debate or hearing, and is unanimously agreed to, it is probably a wrong decision. The whole sex crime issue can be seen as a scandal that until this article by Yung, nobody stands up against. The escalating war on MALE sex offense started in the 1970’s and 1980”, and laws relating to them can, at least in Nevada, be confirmed (by looking at the record) as having been carried unanimously by the legislatures. Rational discourse always requires a pro-con circumspection, and foresight of real consequences. Herd lynch-mob thinking operates on the fear of uncertainty, and is irrational.

The most important section in this article is on the”exception making”, which are basically loopholes for police powers to get around the Bright-Line safeguards and privileges of individuals, and protects lower order institutions of family and the local parish. This is to be discussed in later articles.

2) Law Article Review: “Separation of Powers and the Criminal Law” by Rachel E. Barkow, 58 Stanford Law Review 989-1054 (2005-2006)

In trust and probate law of inheritance and wills, there is legal principle called the “presumption of good faith”. This presumption arises from a duty of the civil courts to respect the wishes of the deceased person leaving behind instructions. For example, if the person making the will (a testator) selects a trustee to administer his will, it is PRESUMED the trustee was “trusted” by the testator, and the judge will adopt this same presumed trust. It is fairly difficult to overcome this presumption of good faith that the trustee will do what the deceased wills him to do.

Now, consider that this same principle of what is basically family law of trusts is applicable in the administrative law of governmental bureaucracy. The individuals who work for the government administration of all three branches (judicial, legislative and executive) possess and operate under what is called the “public trust”. All of us under the government shadow operate on “the presumption of good faith”. We hope, and have faith that government workers will act in the best interests of all, or the “common good”, or commonweal. To insure this good faith is psychologically coerced, we see three conditioning factors set up in the constitutions and statutes.

Deterrence factors are built into the statutes by sanctions of civil and criminal punishment of those who dare violate the public trust. Reward factors are also built in by honors and pay increase, in addition to the moral-religious duty to civic virtue.

The third factor is the due process safeguards built into the administrative system to ensure that the best interests of the public trust are met. Both State and Federal bureaucracies have adopted over the last century very strict standards of rulemaking. In other words, when most agencies make up rules that affect the general public, they follow the rule making guidelines of the Administrative Procedure Act, (APA), at both levels of government. This mostly controls the executive branch, who are allocated money by the legislative branch, and told by the legislature’s “enabling act” what the money is for, and leaves the “how to” up to the agency, which requires rules.

Now, the courts in the early days of state and federal administrations were the only insurance that the government would be “checked” and “balanced”. An affected party had to sue and allege, like in trust law, a breach of good faith by the “trustee”, the government bureaucrats.

But over time, internal administrative safeguards of due process were put in place so that now, citizens are given a “grievance procedure” prior to lawsuit. This internal safeguard of rulemaking also includes the notifying of the public when rules are to be made, allowing public comment, and holding evidentiary hearings. All this produces a very strong “presumption of good faith” by the courts.

This article by Rachel Barkow puts forth the Revolutionary Fact: this “presumption of good faith” adopted by the courts in civil-administrative law has crept over into the judicial thinking in Criminal Law! Let this dawn upon you: the executive branch attorney, police and courts are blessed with the presumption of good faith without the strict processes of oversight and due processes that act as safeguards against the growth of unfair and unjust rules!

This, says Barkow, is NOT what the Bill of Rights had in mind. The Bill of Rights, as ought to be clear, were based on the real plausibility (if not presumption) of BAD FAITH on the part of the executive branch agents, and sought Bright-Line Rules to protect individual persons against the high likelihood of the corrosive effects which power has on people.

This is a must read article by all citizens, but alas, it is a long and daunting task; and challenges a presumption which has risen to the level of a theological doctrine of belief. Such “religious” doctrines arising in the atheistic or pagan context are called myths which conceal the Truth. So the message Barkow announces is a difficult one to let sink in. we are subjected to 24-hour a day proganda from an early age and the general message from Hollywood and state-school civics courses is that we owe the executive branch lawyers and police a “presumption of good faith”. But if you read the Bill of Rights, you realize this is an oxymoron, like “military intelligence”. Barkow’s only error is to think challenges to this doctrine would succeed only at the federal level. This writer believes natural law, equity, and the Fourteenth Amendment opens up challenges for state prisoners.

Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion

1) Monopolization of Prison Volunteers

The last AA group at NNCC, a Spanish speaking group run by outside volunteers. The last English language group had its last meeting in March 2013. This would make deceased Al Garcia. While he was on the yard for his 20 years, he had up to 10 or 15 groups per week!

One of the Alcoholics Anonymous traditions states that AA shall not “lend its name to any outside enterprise lest problems of money property and PRESTIGE divert us from our primary purpose, to carry the message…”

There ARE A.A. groups available. But only if one has the fortunate PRESTIGE of being associated with the so-called “TRUE CRIT” therapy program which is give Level One status. The founder-director of this program has arranged for outside members to come to her private queendom to let AA and NA have meetings for this “Senior Structured Living Program”, (SSLP). This regulation of exclusion of non-seniors (under 55 years old) of AA meetings constitutes AA’s own rules of non-association, and violates the rights of a protected class—men who cannot or will not join or cannot qualify for membership to this exclusive program.

2) Poem: A Love of Hate, by L.G.

The message passes cell by cell:
“It looks like someone else just died—
I hope it’s not a guy I know”
Thank God! It’s just old man McBride.

His final issue stains the bed.
Despite his sagging skin, and gray old hair,
He was a pretty good ol’ boy—
So why does no one seem to care?

The guards come running, shuffling in
They stand around, and each one fumbles
With their consciences’ and keys.
“He does look pretty far gone” one mumbles.

The nurse comes trudging, snapping her gloves
She pokes his neck and shakes her head
“The pulse is gone”, she says with a yawn.
“McBride… I’m sure it’s better he’s dead”.

So now it’s just formality—
To fake the report, tie on the tag
To the toe of this nasty abnormality
“Roll up his shit, let’s stuff him in the bag!”

Why not let him home to die?
He’s someone’s brother, granpa, dad.
“He’s a piece of shit, fuck’m, fie!
We kill ‘em here because they’re bad!”

I guess they’re right, its not surprising
He wasn’t pretty, but ugly and old.
It’s sure a vile eulogy
“Call the coroner he’s getting cold”.

[1] Yung rashly and wrongly blames “patriarchal notions”, citing “The Patriarchal Rhetoric Driving Capital Rape Statutes”, 78 St. John’s L.R. 1119 written by same author Yung.

[2] Citing “Rhetoric in the War on Drugs”, Elwood, 1994.

America’s 10 Worst Prisons: Ely State Prison makes it to the Dishonorable Mentions (top 17)

America’s 10 Worst Prisons: Dishonorable Mentions
7 runners-up, from a “gladiator school” to America’s largest death row.

By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
Wed May. 15, 2013, in:  Mother Jones Magazine

#1: ADX (federal supermax)
#2: Allan B. Polunsky Unit (Texas)
#3: Tent City Jail (Phoenix)
#4: Orleans Parish (Louisiana)
#5: LA County Jail (Los Angeles)
#6: Pelican Bay (California)
#7: Julia Tutwiler (Alabama)
#8: Reeves Country Detention Complex (Texas)
#9: Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility (Mississippi)
#10: Rikers Island (New York City)

Read the complete introduction to our 10 Worst Prisons project.
Last of 11 parts.

Serving time in prison is not supposed to be pleasant. Nor, however, is it supposed to include being raped by fellow prisoners or staff, beaten by guards for the slightest provocation, driven mad by long-term solitary confinement, or killed off by medical neglect. These are the fates of thousands of prisoners every year—men, women, and children housed in lockups that give Gitmo and Abu Ghraib a run for their money.

While there’s plenty of blame to go around, and while not all of the facilities described in this series have all of the problems we explore, some stand out as particularly bad actors. These dishonorable mentions make up the final installment of our 11-part series, a subjective ranking based on three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates concerning the penal facilities with the grimmest claims to infamy.

Attica Correctional Facility (Attica, New York): More than four decades after its famous uprising, New York’s worst state prison still lives up to its brutal history. According to the Correctional Association of New York, which has a legislative mandate to track prison conditions, Attica is plagued by staff-on-prisoner violence, intimidation, and sexual abuse.

Communications Management Units (Marion, Illinois, and Terre Haute, Indiana): These two federal prisons-within-prisons, whose populations are more than two-thirds Muslim, were opened secretly by the Bureau of Prisons during the Bush administration, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is challenging the facilities in a federal lawsuit. “The Bureau claims that CMUs are designed to hold dangerous terrorists and other high-risk inmates, requiring heightened monitoring of their external and internal communications,” notes a lawsuit fact sheet. “Many prisoners, however, are sent to these isolation units for their constitutionally protected religious beliefs, unpopular political views, or in retaliation for challenging poor treatment or other rights violations in the federal prison system.” (Also see: Pelican Bay.)

Ely State Prison (Ely, Nevada): A “shocking and callous disregard for human life” is how an auditor described medical care at Ely, which houses the state’s death row along with other maximum security prisoners (PDF). The audit, which found that one prisoner was allowed to rot to death from gangrene, formed the basis of a 2008 class-action lawsuit brought by the ACLU’s National Prison Project. The suit was settled in 2010, but by 2012 the prison still was not in full compliance.

Idaho Correctional Center (Kuna, Idaho): Run by Corrections Corporation of America, the world’s largest private prison company, ICC has been dubbed a “gladiator school” for its epidemic of gang violence. According to a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the ACLU of Idaho (PDF), the violence is not only condoned but actively promoted by the staff. The suit was settled, but last November, the ACLU said CCA appeared to be violating the agreement, which called for increased staffing and training, reporting of assaults to the local sheriff’s office, and disciplinary measures for staffers who didn’t take steps to stop or prevent assaults.

San Quentin State Prison (Marin County, California): This decrepit prison, which sits on a $2 billion piece of bayside real estate, is home to America’s largest death row. As of late-April, there were 711 men and 20 women condemned to die at San Quentin—you can find the latest stats here (PDF); the figure is constantly changing, despite a state moratorium on executions, because prisoners frequently die of illness or old age. Some even commit suicide rather than remain in solitary limbo.

Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola, Louisiana): At America’s largest prison, those who embrace warden Burl Cain’s pet program of “moral rehabilitation” through Christianity are afforded privileges while sinners languish in institutional hell. A former slave plantation, the prison lends its name to the so-called Angola 3, two of whom have been held in solitary for 40 years, largely for their perceived political beliefs. (In March, Louisiana’s attorney general declared, bafflingly, that the men had “never been in solitary confinement.”)

The federal pen at Lewisburg.
United States Penitentiary (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania): In this overcrowded supermax, the target of multiple lawsuits, prisoners are locked down for 23 to 24 hours a day in the company of a cellmate. One lawsuit alleges that prison officials deliberately pair people with their enemies, and that this practice has led to at least two deaths. The suit also claims that prisoners have been strapped to their bunks with four-point restraints if they resist their cell assignments.

Research for this project was supported by a grant from the Investigative Fund and The Nation Institute, as well as a Soros Justice Media Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations. Additional reporting by Beth Broyles, Valeria Monfrini, Katie Rose Quandt, and Sal Rodriguez.
##

At no other time have more inmates been isolated or locked down in Nevada prisons in over a hundred years than during this time when McDaniel has taken over

Letter sent to us to send for:

Mr. Senator Tick Segerblom
3540 West Sahara Avenue, Suite 352
Las Vegas, Nevada 891025816

Presenter of Senate Bill 107

I am writing you in response to responses made to the press by E.K. McDaniel (deputy director of NDOC), as well as comments of “facts” you made to the same article(by Matt Woolbright and the Associated Press).

Firstly the comments by Mr McDaniel could not be more misdirected or blatant lying to the public in regards of housing in Solitary Confinement. At no other time have more inmates been isolated or locked down in Nevada prisons in over a hundred years (per ratio of incarcerated percentages even) than during this time when McDaniel has taken over.

It is through this mis-information and mis-direction that Ely State Prison is completely locked down except ½ (half) of a workers unit. It is not because of violence that this prison is permanently on isolated lockdown, because even with only less than 24 men able to leave their cells (as where the rest are on 24 hour lockdown) ESP continues to be the only prison with a death rate of at least one man per year caused by the inability to leave their cells.

This is only a small fraction of the argument that can be made in regards to the comments made in this article. Another being – segregated inmates do not have everything general population does. See AR733. Inmates are allowed a TV – or radio – however this becomes a game of power and abuse to the offenders. 

McDaniel’s ½ truths don’t tell you that for any rule infraction the TV or radio is taken away for 60 days more and so on goes the game. Any infraction is another 60 days. Inmates can go years without any appliance. The same game is applied to food, books, showers. For example: inmates lose an average of 20 LBS while in “Disciplinary Segregation.” The portions are half and if an inmate has any altercation (verbally, because there’s norecreation yard for days, weeks on end), then his food is withheld for a week! Ely State Prison is so isolated without overview, that abuses of Constitution and Human Rights are rampant in this prison.

However – you claim inmates are not paced in Isolation for months and years. Sir, bluntly spoken you have no clue what you’re talking about. Don’t go to Lovelock and presume you know how I tis for all NDOC prisoners. That kind of comment, made from blind ignorance, is just… well is a farce of grotesquerie.

I myself have spent 10 out of 14 years in Isolation. There are men who have spent the last 15-20 years in Isolation. The only reason being the Administration claims that there are others they will hurt, or want to hurt them. With this excuse ready able to be given by your ignorance of how people in prisons are truly being abused and are being punished – that is the only excuse they used.

I have been in ESP for almost 15 years. 12+ years have been spent in lockdown. .This form of confinement is still Solitary Confinement. Having one other man that you must live with 24/7 with no jobs, schools, group therapy, or contact without restraints is still isolated confinement, Sir. Try living in your bathroom for the next 12 years with no one but another stranger as company. It makes for a violent, paranoid, uncertain situation, Sir. Men are dying or beaten into a hospital bed, simply because they can’t leave when/if an argument breaks out.

You may argue it’s because we are the worst of the worst. This too is a misdirected and misinformed argument, Sir.  Even still, if we are all the worst of the worst, then locking us up in a cell with 24/7 living isn’t much more than putting two rabid dogs together now, isn’t it? Statistics tell the truth here, Sir. No other prison is locked down like this one. Yet only Ely State Prison continues to report deaths. Each year. This is Isolation, Sir. Over 800 inmates on 23-24/7 lockdown. No classrooms, no group interaction – no way to correct or give help to make an inmate learn to do & be better.

Further – there are men in ESP lockdown that did nothing more than give a dirty urine or had a fist fight or were informed on with noevidence, that they were bad guys. They will go home very soon and yet they are forced to be confined and isolated with murderers, rapists and violent criminals so labeled by this abusive system.

The issue Sir is that the Isolation Confinement – whether it is Solitary or Double cell Confinement is the cause of more problems. The system would work if it was being worked. There are those who get flushed through at a normal rate – giving the appearance of a productive system. But there are those such as myself who have had no group interaction (like any social society) in more than 11 years.

I have lost most of my facial recognition skills – my ability to voice complete and comprehensive discussions. My sleep patterns are extreme and my ability to tolerate spacial acceptance is very low. These are only some of the effects long term confinement causes.

Yes, I will be straight forth – I am a convicted murderer. However, my cellmate is a petty burglar sent here for fighting. This is the issue. There are no programs to teach me to be a better person. How can we learn to live better lives? When I do good I’m still locked down – I am still chained any time I leave my cell. I have not touched grass in 12 years. I amin prison, I was convicted. But am I supposed to learn and be better? If so – what good does this solitary confinement do?

What exactly do you know of Isolation Confinement?

If Solitary Confinement is defined as 16 hours per day in a cell, then what is the limit on double cell confinement? Is 23 hours 7 days a week for 12 years good enough to meet your criteria to constitute a problem?

When you really understand what it’s like to be confined, then I hope you folks do what is right and begin to make changes and put your $ where your mouths are to help us learn to be humans not animals in cages.

Sincerely,

An inmate confined at Ely State Prison (name known to NV PW, email was sent to Mr Segerblom earlier today, but for now we want to keep name of author private for fear of retaliation)

Nevada bill aims to curb solitary confinement

This comes from the Las Vegas Sun, there are whole prison sections locked down in two prisons in Nevada: Ely State Prison and High Desert State Prison have only a few units of “general population”, no wonder that “prison officials say the definition of solitary confinement would hamper regular prison operations”: solitary confinement in Nevada IS regular prison operation!! PLEASE SUPPORT THIS LAW!

The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill to limit the use of solitary confinement amid concerns it has lasting, adverse effects on inmates.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard arguments on SB107 Wednesday.

The proposal would ban the use of solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure for children or adults in jail or prison. It would be allowed only if all other options failed and the inmate is deemed a danger to themselves or others.

If solitary confinement is used, the bill says it must only be for the minimum time necessary. The bill defines solitary confinement as isolation in a cell for more than 16 hours per day.

Prison officials say the definition of solitary confinement would hamper regular prison operations.

Today Nevada Workers Lose Jobs to Inmates – Next it Could be your Turn

Third and final segment of the series on Nevada’s situation involving unfair competition by use of prisoner labor
by Bob Sloan, Executive Director, VLTP.net
Jan. 25th 2013

“Insourcing”..: there is no current definition for this word in our Urban Dictionary or Websters. I plan to change that by defining in detail the concept of insourcing and who is responsible for the practice of it. First we must compare the word to its cousin, Outsourcing.

Society today is familiar the term “Outsourcing.”  When used in connection with manufacturing it means a company sending work outside the business and having it performed utilizing the labor or expertise of others.  Since the mid ‘80’s most realize to American workers, it really meant sending millions of our jobs overseas where foreign labor was cheap and plentiful.

Not so well understood is the term “Insourcing” – Insourcing is is widely used in production to reduce costs of taxes, labor and transportation.  Insourcing describes the process used by corporations to remove jobs from private sector labor markets and “Insource” them to prison industry operations here in the U.S.  This allows for profits more in line with outsourcing, but eliminates the necessity for expensive transportation costs to return the finished goods to U.S. consumers – it also allows manufacturers to attach labels to their goods marked “Made In The U.S.A.”

Insourcing of jobs is the “quiet” elimination of private sector jobs by transfer to prison industries.  Corporations wishing to participate in using prison labor, partner with prison industry operations under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP or Pie Program).  18 USC 1761(c) is the controlling federal statute of PIECP. Though private sector corporations are prohibited from closing private sector operations in favor of prison operations, they do so without consequence. There are other mandatory requirements that must be followed in order to participate in PIECP, but those also are rarely enforced.

The way these prison partnerships typically work is that a manufacturer wanting to increase profits moves their equipment, technology, materials and unfinished goods to a factory setting within a prison industry facility.  Once up and running, the same products come off the assembly lines and are shipped as before. The difference is this, private sector employees of the company have been terminated or laid off. A handful of employees are usually kept on long enough to train inmates and prison supervisors in the manufacturing used to make the products. Once that is accomplished, they are also eliminated and their positions taken over by a prison industry supervisor.

This Insourcing of labor creates quite a number of unemployed citizens. Burdens are placed on state and community social help programs, unemployment compensation, etc. So while the corporation saves lots of money in labor costs – no more unemployment insurance premiums, less expenses in lease of facilities (usually leased by the prison operators at $1.00 per year), and no more employee benefits such as medical insurance, vacations or paid time off – the communities they vacated are left to fund the displaced unemployed workers. In addition the local government loses taxes that were paid by the corporation, previous landlords of the facilities once leased to the corporations are left with vacant property and local shops and other businesses suffer a drop in sales due to the newly unemployed workers left behind.
________________________________________
In the two previous segments I have talked about the current situation in Las Vegas involving the discovery of prison labor used in the manufacture of products used in the construction of major projects. The developers and or investors involved in these new construction projects in Las Vegas are all influential, well connected; Andre Agassi, SPB Capital Partners, family members of Thomas & Mack Center and the Bulloch family – all well known to the citizens of Nevada.

To many this was a “new” discovery – the use of prisoners as a cheap labor force.  But this practice has been ongoing now for years, and in particular since 1998 when major movers and shakers in the world of politics, finance, manufacturing and prison operations converged in Washington to discuss “innovative strategies for Prison Industries” and “Policies and Programs in Prison Industries.”

Participants included: the CEO of Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), the first private corporation formed to operate Florida’s entire prison industries; U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno; Florida Representative Bill McCollum, Texas Representative Ray Allen and a business owner of Genoex, one of the first private corporations to eliminate American workers, replacing them with prisoners.
PRIDE’s CEO was Pamela Jo Davis, the darling of Florida’s newest Governor-elect Jeb Bush, and she also “just happened to be” the Chairwoman of the National Correctional Industries Association (NCIA), a trade group representing prison industries, industry vendors, suppliers, workers and companies using prisoner labor in manufacturing.  Representative Allen (R-TX) was soon to become Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections– and also “just happened” to be a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), serving on their criminal justice task force.  Allen again, “just happened” to also be a registered lobbyist for the NCIA.

This NCIA also “just happened to be” the private association the U.S. government had outsourced oversight of the PIECP to in 1995.

It was this happy group of industrialists, politicians, lobbyists, program regulator and prison industry authorities who met in DC in ’98 to discuss just how prison labor could be exploited – legally, of course – to reduce wages to American private sector workers and increase profits to business owners.  First thing was to find a way to make their actions legal and in order to expand; a means was needed to propose such legislation in every state.  These were the responsibility of ALEC.  With more than 2,000 legislative members representing every state, ALEC had a proven track record (going back more than two decades) of enacting and passing model legislation written by their corporate members.

How about federal laws?

Read the rest here: http://www.vltp.net/rape-of-americas-workers-crime-victims-now-prisoners-given-their-jobs/

NDOC & Silver State Industries – Meet the Exploiters – Expose on Prison Labor in Nevada: Part II

From: Voters Legislative Transparency Project
Jan. 18th, 2013, by Bob Sloan

Second in a Three Part Expose on Prison Labor in Nevada Displacing Workers
By Bob Sloan – Prison Industry Consultant

Working on the “Chain-Gang” was how prisoners were punished for their crimes in days gone by – and people who had been victims of crime were happy.

Then we became “civilized” as a society and changed laws, regulations and opinions that eliminated these hard forms of punishment and degradation.  Instead of harsh working conditions we made sentences longer, believing that to be more humane.  Parole was abolished; possession of a “joint” was enough for a mandatory five years in prison.

Problem was, all this incarceration was costing taxpayers ever more in corrections costs.  Lawmakers sought ways to reduce the ever-increasing expense of incarceration.

An idea was born: create prison industries where prisoners could be put to work to “earn their keep” and reduce the incarceration costs borne by taxpayers.  Soon another idea was floated, let private manufacturers gain access to the prison run factories and further reduce the expense of housing, feeding and providing medical care to prisoners.  Inmates can be taught work ethics, products made by them will cost us less and recidivism will be reduced…and once again the people were happy.

Problem is, this program has created more opportunity for crime and exploitation – of the prisoners themselves. Instead of prison populations shrinking, they grew.  This growth was due to more laws, stiffer sentences, the war on drugs and increasing penalties.  Alongside that population the prison industries grew even faster with more inmates came more job positions.

This labor force exists in a near vacuum; no voice, no representation, disallowed from unionizing (though today an estimated six hundred thousand to one million men and women are working in prison industries nationwide), sentenced to hard labor by courts.  DOC’s assign them to jobs, and if they have existing skills needed, they are put to work in prison industries.  Industry managers seek skilled inmates with long sentences in order to quicken production, maintain shipping schedules and dependability.

Court challenges under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) about wages and deductions are mostly denied with prejudice – meaning the plaintiff is prohibited from ever filing such claims in the future.

In Florida and Nevada (just two of nearly 40 states involved), percentages of what little wages earned are taken back and given to the prison industry to help expand or create new work programs.  This aspect itself violates one of the key tenets of the federal prison industry program referred to as the “PIE Program” and there are other more critical violations resulting in our jobs being lost to prisoners.

This expose will bring to light the existence of a national network of individuals, corporations, a private association, agencies and branches of state and federal government involved in exploiting inmate labor, profiting off that exploitation and pursuing the transfer of tens of thousands of jobs from communities to prisons across the country.  Nevada ranks high on the list of states involved in violating the trust of their citizen workers, small businesses and exploiting prisoners delivered into their care.

In Nevada the prison industries are managed by Director James “Greg” Cox and Deputy Director, Brian Connett.  Previously one individual held both of those positions as prison industry programs were developing back in the last quarter of the 1900’s – Howard Skolnik.  He set the stage for what is occurring today and now, Cox and Connett carry on in his stead.

Running an entire state prison system is a daunting task.  Housing, medical care, work programs, staffing, budgeting, and regulatory and Legislative compliance impacting prisons.  The Director of Nevada’s Department of Corrections is James “Greg” Cox.  He has deputy directors assigned to the various divisions of the DOC, and in general I believe that Director Cox and his Deputies are doing an admirable job.  The one exception to my observation involves the DOC’s Prison Industrial Program.

One of Cox’s responsibilities is the operations of the prison industrial work programs.   His Deputy Director for Industrial Programs is Brian Connett, in charge of running Silver State Industries (SSI) Nevada’s prison industries program.  Messrs. Cox and Connett are responsible for insuring that the prison industries are operated properly under state and federal laws.
Supervising and operating Nevada’s prison industries involves approving new products, new factories, partnerships with private companies, and compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.   These are the responsibility of the Nevada Interim Finance Committee’s Committee on Industrial Programs.

For that committee to perform its duties properly, they obviously have to know and understand the parameters of the federal PIE Program’s mandatory requirements (1) that govern the use of inmate labor used by private companies.  Before they can implement any new projects, they must, among other responsibilities, notify existing competitive businesses as well as involved labor groups—after all, how can they judge whether a new prison industry will unfairly impact local labor or unfairly disadvantage competing businesses if they do not fully understand the provisions put in place by Congress to guard against such interference to free-market forces?

Unfortunately in an interview with a member of that committee, I was told he was not fully aware of the PIE Program’s mandatory requirements, and that concerned him.  He did not know that local businesses were required to be contacted prior to operational start-ups or production of new products.  More importantly, he had not been advised by anyone within NDOC or Silver State Industries that labor groups were also to be consulted.  How then can he serve on this committee without this knowledge?  How can the committee control the federal program in which Silver State Industries is participating – and how can it possibly certify to the federal government that it is, and will remain, in compliance with rules of which the members are unaware, as is required by law? This style of “consulting” is quite obviously insufficient to ensure compliance.

The federal program of prisoner training began with the passage of 18 USC 1761 in 1979. This law is known as the Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (commonly called PIECP or PIE Program).  (2)

Under this program Congress allowed private companies to gain access to inmate labor in order to “train” the inmates and provide skills which they could later utilize upon release.  Congress put in place nine mandatory requirements.  Failure to comply is supposed to subject violators to federal imprisonment for up to two years and/or a fine of $50,000.00 and loss of PIECP certification.

The Department of Justice outsourced policy determinations, enforcement, compliance reviews and investigations of non-compliance to a private organization in 1995–the National Correctional Industries Association.  The NCIA, (3) which is a trade group representing prison industries, their staff, employees, vendors, suppliers and companies using prison labor.  Since this transfer of program oversight, there have been a total of -0- prosecutions for violations.  As you read the following you will be appalled at how such a zero-sum figure is possible…

Once the NCIA assumed a duty of crafting policy for this program, they began to interpret the nine mandatory requirement in the light most favorable to their corporate members, (4) adjusting annual assessment determinations to reflect alterations designed entirely by them.  The NCIA made these alterations and the entire program was changed.

The mandated prevailing wage requirement was changed to minimum wage scale computed to the 10th percentile, and allowed these prison industries to institute a pre-training program where wages could be reduced to as little as $.20 per hour. (5)

In December, 2010 the BJA (Bureau of Justice Assistance) issued a Back Wage Policy (6) that unequivocally reinforced the prevailing wage requirement and refuted the wage assumptions made by the NCIA. (7)

The claim that lower wages are fair to “competitor manufacturers” is false.  Furthermore, in Nevada a high percentage of inmates working in the industry are serving long sentences or life terms (as reported by CNN) (8), meaning that the skills they are taught will likely never be applied in the private sector.

A Florida report containing research provided to Governor Scott by his 2010 transition Law and Order team found that 28% (9) of the prison workforce was comprised of lifers or prisoners serving sentences with ten or more years remaining until release.  So what transferable skills are they learning?

Silver State Industries has set the PIE Program maximum wage for all inmate workers at the 10th percentile of the state/federal minimum wage.  Unless the “prevailing wage” is set by the state OES (10) at minimum wage for all occupations in NV, the NDOC is out of compliance with the mandatory wage requirement.

The NCIA also determined that mandatory notification to local labor groups, unions and competing private businesses about new or existing industry projects or products, could be satisfied by informing local Chambers of Commerce, or advertising in classified sections of newspapers.  Compliance review personnel were told these requirements were already on file with the NCIA and had been verified (11) and would not be a part of the annual compliance review.

These changes resulted in a substantial reduction in wages to inmate workers, creating a huge and low paid labor force used to attract business owners seeking to expand operations or reduce labor costs.  The NCIA produced a video entitled “Cutting Through The Perceptions” (12) to be used in marketing prison labor to private companies.  By neglecting to pay proper wages and neglecting to notify labor and free enterprise, prison industries began to expand and grow quickly as one would expect.

As the video shows, this prison program is not for training, it is a way to provide skilled labor to private companies to reduce labor costs, increase production and avoid typical “benefits” they would have to pay to private sector employees.

This brings us to the current situation involving Silver State Industries and Alpine Steel in Nevada, and complaints lodged with the Board of State Prison Commissioners by XL Steel and others who have also complained about unfair competition and the loss of private sector jobs to inmate labor.

This all serves to show you how the PIE program has been manipulated, changed and altered to provide the maximum savings to companies involved in prison labor, while paying the least possible wages to a truly captive workforce.

Now that you readers understand the laws which are involved, I will document the specific violations committed in Nevada involving those regulating the state DOC and Silver State Industries.

Recent reports (13) from Las Vegas reveal it recently came to the attention of companies competing with Alpine Steel in the structural steel fabrication industry, that Alpine had been using prison labor as a means of undercutting all competitors on projects requiring bids.  Labor unions were unaware of the PIECP program.  Union officials had no understanding of the PIE Program or that they were to be consulted prior to the startup of any PIE project or industry.

It suspends belief to understand how SSI could have been reviewed by the NCIA in 2011 (14) and found in full compliance…except for one little conflict-of-interest kept from the public and apparently also from the Nevada legislature and the Board of State Prison Commissioners:  NDOC Deputy Director Brian Connett is also President of the NCIA (15) with a responsibility for ensuring, enforcing and certifying full compliance of all state prison industries to the BJA.

Harder yet to comprehend is how Mr. Connett has been able to enforce and certify industry-wide compliance, when he and Director Cox claim to have not known or understood the regulations while just now admitting SSI and NDOC are in violation?

The NCIA receives a sizable grant from the BJA (out of tax dollars) to perform compliance duties, essentially receiving a subsidy for self-oversight of an industry generating annual sales of $2.4 billion dollars. (16)

Under questioning by Governor Sandoval and others at a recent meeting of the State Board of Prison Commissioners, Director Cox admitted (17) that his “agency has not been performing necessary checks to ensure inmate work programs are not taking jobs from private industry workers.”  Mr. Cox went on to say, “The process has not been followed, it should have been.”

Mr. Cox indicated that, “he will develop regulations to require that prison industry programs be approved by the Prison Commissioners Board, chaired by Gov. Brian Sandoval.”

However, new regulations are not necessary.  Existing Pie Program regulations need enforcement and true oversight provided by someone other than those participating in the program.  SSI’s inmate workers for Alpine Steel are a prime example of the lack of enforcement.  Alpine pays inmates working as structural steel fabricators the state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour (18) and no benefits.  The Nevada OES sets the mean hourly wage for such skills at $17.63. (19)

Even using the NCIA’s 10th percentile rate, these workers should be receiving no less than $11.63 per hour.  Competing companies in the structural steel industry in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada pay workers the median wage of $16.91 per hour plus benefits.  Without factoring benefits, private companies are thus required to pay more than double the rate paid by Alpine.  A serious disadvantage prohibited by the PIE Program wage requirement, and contrary to congressional intent.

When you multiply this discrepancy times the number of participating states, and times the number of inmates employed in the program, you can see and understand the massive wage savings provided to companies such as Alpine Steel and those discussed below.  It also helps to understand why so many of our jobs are “going to prison” literally.

Compliance problems are no stranger to Mr. Connett.  In his previous position as the PIECP Program Manager with PRIDE Enterprises, Inc. operating Florida’s entire prison industry, Connett cut corners similarly.  In the third and final segment of this expose to be published next week, I will introduce and discuss the documented corruption to which Mr. Connett was a participant. Suffice to say, Brian Connett brought a substantial amount of baggage with him to Nevada.

The controversy involving Alpine Steel is merely the latest in a series of problems with compliance by SSI.  Former NDOC Director Howard Skolnik was involved in a scheme involving inmate wage deductions when he served as Deputy Director of Industrial Programs.

In 1990 Skolnik petitioned the BJA  (20) for a determination that would allow Nevada to deduct 5% of all inmate wages earned and use those funds to expand prison industrial programs.  He was advised there were four approved deductions and no additional deductions could be imposed by his department.

This denial should have been clear and final, but in 1991 the Nevada legislature amended NRS 209.463 to allow for the 5% deduction Skolnik requested and the BJA ruled was impermissible. (21)

In 2003 Howard Skolnik advised (22) the Legislative ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY that there were three deductions taken out of prisoner pay – 24.5% for room and board, 5% for victim restitution fund and a 5% deduction that went to a fund for the expansion of new industry programs.

Obviously the NDOC and Silver State Industries were intent upon creating a fund whether or not the controlling authority over this federal program permitted it.  In 2011 the Legislature “swept” $948,000 from this Capital Improvement Fund. (23)

Just as obviously inmates are being misused as slave labor, underpaid on PIE projects, with a maximum amount taken back as “deductions.”  The ongoing use of unauthorized and thus illegal deductions taken from inmate PIECP wages and then used as a slush fund by the Nevada Legislature, serves as out and out theft amounting to tens of thousands of dollars  (24)

This was all covered up in reports to the BJA through reviews conducted by Mr. Connett’s – formerly Mr. Skolnik’sNCIA organization, allowing the 5% deduction to stand and certifying to the BJA that Nevada was in full compliance.

Both Connett and Skolnik held positions upon the NCIA board simultaneously in 2006 when Connett was the PIE Program Manager with PRIDE Enterprises in Florida.

Previously, Connett and the CEO of PRIDE also sat side by side on the NCIA board when PRIDE was committing acts later deemed illegal.

The Alpine/SSI partnership is not the only partnership that is being operated questionably in Nevada – and paying minimum wages.  Several other companies also have been given access to inmate labor and are possibly involved in displacing local workers and/or unfairly competing in the marketplace.

Thomson Equipment Company, Inc. (now Silver Line Industries, Inc.). Silver Line is owned by entrepreneurs out of New Zealand, Malaysia, and Thailand, partnered with a company in Oregon, to use inmate labor to manufacture or refurbish heavy equipment such as water trucks.

In March of 2006 the serving Deputy Director of Industrial Programs advised (25) the NEVADA LEGISLATURE’S INTERIM FINANCE COMMITTEE’S COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRIAL PROGRAMS that Thomson had been acquired by new owners in Australia and New Zealand – and water trucks were shipped from Bangkok for inmates to renovate.  (It was cheaper to use American inmate labor plus ocean freight costs than to use Thai labor!).

By 2008 when Mr. Skolnik was serving as Director of the NDOC, he and Mr. Connett advised (26) the same committee that Thomson had changed its name to Silver Line Industries.  Skolnik further advised as part of full disclosure that his daughter worked for the parent company in New Zealand.

It is unclear if Skolnik’s daughter secured her job before the 2006 acquisition of Thomson, or if that occurred after Mr. Skolnik was elevated to the Directorship of the DOC.   In either case this should have raised an issue of ethics to the members of the Industrial Programs Committee, had they been interested, a conflict-of-interest in the relationship between the NDOC Director and a family member working for a company operating under his authority.  Silver Line Industries ultimately withdrew from the PIE Program.

Another company, Jacob’s Trading Company (27) (JTC) partnered with SSI for years, but left SSI late last year.  JTC is an inventory liquidator for Wal-Mart and other large retailers.  Inmates remove bar codes, labels and other identifiers to the retailer then repackage the items and JTC sells the products through distributors to after market retailers.

Of course Wal-Mart denies (28) that they or any of their vendors or contractors uses inmate labor – period. These products are shipped back and forth across state lines, and thus come under PIECP authorization. 

JTC’s operation in Nevada (29) is substantial:

“In Nevada, the entire JTC operation is housed inside the Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Facility (30) in North Las Vegas. Jacobs is the only private employer of female prisoners in Nevada. In 2000, a female prison laborer working 40 hours a week kept just over half of what she earns. After several deductions mandated by the state prison department, she took in about $460 per month. That’s net pay of $2.67 an hour…”

Another company operating under the PIE Program was Shelby American, manufacturer of the Shelby Cobra sports cars.  Dozens of inmates at the facility received an hourly wage of at least the federal minimum to build every part of the car except the engine.  Shelby American has also closed operations with SSI but is still listed as a PIE Program participant under SSI’s certification.

In September 2012, JTC closed operations at SSI’s facilities, and Like Alpine Steel, they left owing the state $115,819.44 in unpaid leases and other expenses.  According to the October figures provided to the Interim Finance Committee, SSI’s project failures have Nevada taxpayers on the hook for more than $600 thousand dollars in unpaid operating expenses or lease payments.

There will be much more on Howard Skolnik and Brian Connett in the third and final article that will expose Mr. Connett’s efforts to avoid complying with PIECP requirements, as well as out-and-out theft of private companies while partnered with PRIDE Enterprises.   In one particular industry, Connett deliberately failed to register the industry as a PIECP operation with the BJA, resulting in prisoners receiving as little as $.20 per hour for their labor for five years…and huge profits for PRIDE and the companies partnered with PRIDE.

Last, I will further expose the NCIA and explain why they have been so successful in advancing an agenda of using inmate labor to enrich a handful of companies, their organization – at the expense of America’s taxpayers and struggling workforce.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FOOTNOTES AND EXHIBITS:
(1)https://www.ncjrs.gov/html/bja/piecp/bja-prison-industr.html
(2) http://www.nationalcia.org/piecp-2/piecp-final-guideline
(3) http://www.nationalcia.org/
(4) http://www.nationalcia.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-PIE-2011-Assessment-Summary-Report-Nov.-2011.pdf
(5)  The Training Wage Exception to the 10th Percentile Wage Floor
“BJA determined in 2006 that wages must be set at or above the 10th percentile, as defined by the State Department of Economic Security Agency. BJA takes the position that this is a “generous interpretation of comparable, yet still fair to competitor manufacturers because of the “lack of education, training, and experience typical of the inmate labor force.” The one exception to the 10th percentile requirement is that inmate workers may be paid a training wage that falls below the 10th percentile if “their employment agency provides express written agreement of a wage less than the tenth percentile for a limited training period.”
(6)  https://www.bja.gov/Funding/PIECPBackWagePolicy.pdf
(7)  It reads in part:    Background:
“18 USC 1761 (c), the statute authorizing the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP), states that PIECP inmates must “have, in connection with PIECP work, received wages at a rate which is not less than that paid for work of a similar nature in the locality in which the work was performed. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) 1999 PIECP Guideline gives the State wage setting agencies authority to make wage determinations for PIECP workers that are comparable to those in effect for similarly situated workers.” (Emphasis mine)
(8) http://archives.cnn.com/2000/LOCAL/pacific/06/27/rjo.prison.work/index.html
(9)  http://www.scribd.com/doc/46041590/FL-Governor-Elect-Team-Report-on-DOC-and-PRIDE-2010
(10) http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nv.htm#00-0000
(11)  http://www.nationalcia.org/wp-content/uploads/09-10-PIE-Assessment-Report.pdf
(12)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUJHaELZQrc
(13)  http://www.lvrj.com/news/company-complains-prison-program-prevented-private-industry-jobs-183857541.html?login=y
(14)  http://www.nationalcia.org/wp-content/uploads/Final-PIE-2011-Assessment-Summary-Report-Nov.-2011.pdf   (@pg. 4)
(15) http://www.nationalcia.org/about/board-of-directors
(16)  http://www.phewacommunity.org/images/Presentation_to_the_Congressional_Black_Congress.pdf
(17) ibid. 13
(18)  http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#content
(19)  http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes512041.htm
(20) https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/132363NCJRS.pdf
(21)   NRS 209.463  Deductions from wages earned by offender during incarceration; priority of deductions.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 209.2475, the Director may make the following deductions, in the following order of priority, from the wages earned by an offender from any source during the offender’s incarceration:
1.  If the hourly wage of the offender is equal to or greater than the federal minimum wage:
(a) An amount the Director deems reasonable for deposit with the State Treasurer for credit to the Fund for the Compensation of Victims of Crime.
(b) An amount the Director considers reasonable to meet an existing obligation of the offender for the support of his or her family.
(c) An amount determined by the Director, with the approval of the Board, for deposit in the State Treasury for credit to the Fund for New Construction of Facilities for Prison Industries, but only if the offender is employed through a program for prison industries.
(The same deduction is taken from the wages of inmates earning less than minimum wage.  Emphasis mine)
(22) http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/72nd2003/Minutes/Assembly/JUD/Final/1738.html
(23)  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Interim/76th2011/Exhibits/Industrial/E062512A.pdf
(24)  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Interim/76th2011/Exhibits/Industrial/E092111E.pdf
(25  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/73rd/Interim/StatCom/Industrial/Minutes/IM-Industrial-20060313-1152.html
(26)  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Interim_Agendas_Minutes_Exhibits/Minutes/Industrial/IM-Industrial-042408-10093.pdf
(27)  http://www.jacobstrading.com/index.html
(28)  http://walmartfacts.com/reports/2006/ethical_standards/documents/Wal-MartStandardsforSuppliers.pdf
(29)  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/al-norman/walmart-prison-labor_b_2224743.html
(30)  http://archives.cnn.com/2000/LOCAL/pacific/06/27/rjo.prison.work/index.html