We received per email the following:
Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
Vol. 3, No 4 “Veritas in Caritatis” Fall Issue 2013
THEME: “Audi alterum partem”
Listen to the other side!
“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”
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. NNCC Doubles Its Lunch Calorie Intake (Thank God)
2. Pressure letters on “Prison Rape Elimination Act”
3. Kevin Pope Taken to the Hole, or Worse
4. Open Letter to Senator David Parks
Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy
1. Politics of Fear and Ignorance, by Anonymous
Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1. Prison Waiting Contest
2. Job Application Policy Charges
3. New Second Chance Bill in U.S. Congress
4. NNCC Drug Experiment as Civil Religion
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Section One: Conditions
1) NNCC Food Policy Change—to the Better?
In August 2013 the officials basically doubled the calorie intake of the midday lunch meal by offering two sandwiches, instead of one. Since terminating the hot lunch policy two years (or so) ago, the wardens have carried out the master plan of the NDOC czars in giving out only a “sack lunch” at ALL facilities. Prior to this deprivation, the sack-lunch policy was only at the high security prisons. Now it is everywhere, making all prisons equal in terms of food intake policy. Andre Sakharov once coined the term “convergence theory” that proposes a sociological analogy to the phenomena of water seeking the lowest level possible. He noticed that in totalitarian states the idea of the “good” seems to be reversed, and government actors and leaders are bizarrely inclined or predisposed to emulate the agency leaders who are the least humane, charitable or decent.
The repressive food policy of continued downward trajectory seems to have hit bottom and bounced up a notch. Even the quality of the lunch meats served has improved a bit. Thank you.
2) Pressure Letters on PREA
Federal law required that all state prisons and local jails must have been in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. One of the inmates informs NJPR that he wrote to the NGO “Just Detention International” and received a packet of information, [Address: 3325 Wilshire Blvd # 340, Los Angeles CA 90010, email@example.com]. The packet of information included the name of the NDOC point person in charge of supervising this compliance. The inmate proactively wrote a letter to the NDOC staff asking for a breakdown on the specific actions taken by NDOC to comply with the federal law.
Suddenly, posters went up all over the grounds at the NNCC facility, announcing the existence of federal anti-rape law. The proactive inmate received a curt one sentence letter from an unknown official in Las Vegas stating a conclusory announcement that NDOC is in compliance with federal law”. The inmate also sent an FOIA request to the U.S. Dept. of Justice asking for Nevada’s compliance reports, and they have not responded within the mandatory 20 day period.
3) Kevin Pope Disappears
NJPR writer Kevin Pope has disappeared. The rumors are flying. All that was seen was that an S and E (Security and Escort) officer drove up to the back side of Kevin’s unit in a black van, entered into Kevin’s dorm, where he was taking an afternoon nap, and rousted him, cuffed him up and walked him out to the van and drove away. Some rumors have it Kevin was taken to Ely State prison, which is bad news considering Kevin’s heart condition (triple bypass).
Kevin is the most prolific writ writer on the yard, and the most helpful legal mind on the yard, always ready to stop what he was doing to listen and offer his knowledge.
We won’t repeat hear the police-generated rumors about the charges against Kevin, as that would serve to dignify the likely-to-be untrue content.
Om-namah-shivaya, Kevin—stay in prayer.
4) Open Letter to Senator Parks of Nevada
Senator David Parks
PO Box 71887
Las Vegas NV 89170-1887
Two recent articles in the Prison Legal News (Nov., 2013) have inspired me to share them with you.
The first article highlights the American practice of non-transparency and suppression of press coverage of criminal justice systems, prisons and the aftereffects. Any “news” that appears is bias based and “criss driven”. In Nevada, the court procedural rules are made without benefit of public scrutiny, the prison regulations of NDOC are exempt from normal rulemaking safeguards, and the behaviors of the parole departments are shielded by layers of bureaucratic secrecy.
Here is a solution idea: the Ombudsman idea which failed in recent legislation. Both New Jersey and Iowa have an Ombudsman office and Vermont has a Prisoner’s Rights Office, 6 Baldwin St., 4th Floor Montpelier VT 05633, www.defgen.state.vt.us. that takes care of the problems of prisoners and press blackout of prisoner conditions, as such operations could be and should be open to public scrutiny of records and rulemaking processes.
The next article is related: the suppression of accurate data given to the public, in this case to the “pre-trial detainee”. The article highlights a study by the federal Government Accountability Office titled “Indigent Defense: DOJ Could Increase Awareness of Eligible Funding”. The judicial processes of the executive branch agencies are obliged by natural fairness to notify applicants and defendants of civil enforcement of all the citizen’s rights and rules of engagement. Why is this notification abandoned in the criminal justice system? Defendants are deliberately blinded from the completely suppressed information such as court rules, processes, practices, customs and pertinent statutes, and all rights devolving to the detainee under the law.
The solution is to apply for an Edward J. Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program to insure the cost of providing the ADKT 411 “Indigent Defense Standards” to all detainees, and pay for costs of supplying all the notification of the courts laws, rules and basic motions and practices. Only this will level playing field of the adversary system.
Section Two: Law and Equity
1) Politics of Fear and Ignorance, by an Anonymous prisoner of Nevada
Political Agendas at the Expense of Public Safety
The Inconvenient Truth
The spring 2013 Informational Bulletin Newsletter published by Nevada-CURE reported that NRS 179A.270-290, passed in 1997, required the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History to collect sex offender recidivism data. In 2009, the Central Repository petitioned to have these responsibilities removed through AB 81 apparently because “the agency has neither the staffing nor the technical expertise to address recidivism of sex offenders.” Unfortunately, AB 81 passed.
Interestingly, the State has nearly unlimited resources and manpower to pass sex offender laws and hand out extensive and multiple criminal sentences like free candy in light of an overcrowded penal system and substantial budget constraints. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it. The Prosecutor’s office does not seem to be begging the Legislature to be relieved of their responsibilities to any degree like the Central Repository did.
It appears the rationale behind relieving the Central Repository from collecting sex offender recidivism data may have been a politically motivated decision made intentionally at the expense of public safety. The agency could have very easily been provided the resources to achieve their objectives.
Any official state-sponsored study on Nevada’s sex offender recidivism could call into question the rational of current sex offender laws and the political agendas of those responsible for passing and/or sponsoring them. Such studies could also reveal inconvenient truths about sex offender recidivism in Nevada that could take the steam out of election year. How can a politician or a judicial candidate compete for office, pass, or adjudicate politically popular laws based on unverified anecdotal assumptions, popular myths, or traditionally perceived conceptions about sex offenders when the truth about such offenders stands as an inconvenient obstacle to the promotion of fear and ignorance needed to persuade naive constituents for their vote and continued support?
Jumping from one unverified myth to another every election year only promotes fear and ignorance at an enormous financial expense while only benefiting a political agenda at the expense of public safety.
Since at least 1959, the United States Supreme Court has observed that education is a deterrent to crime. See Kingsly International Pictures Corp. v. Regeats of Univ. of N.Y., 360 U.S. 684, 689 (1959). Keeping the public uneducated or otherwise ignorant about sex offender recidivism by relieving the Central Repository from collecting data on the subject appears a substantial and affirmative step by our Legislature to promote crime. In other words, a political agenda has taken priority over public safety. Fear and ignorance about Nevada sex offenders remain the status quo.
The Political Agenda at Work
The low recidivism rate of convicted sex offenders oddly remains a secret in today’s society. In McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 33 (2002), the United States Supreme Court cites to the DOJ’s 1997 report on Sex Offenses and Offenders for the finding that all sex offenders have a “high risk of recidivism.” Yet this report finds the recidivism rate of released sex offenders for new crimes as 7.7%, and that rate is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all released offenders in the study. Also cited by the High Court for this apparent “high rate of recidivism” is another 1997 DOJ report on Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983. Interestingly, after making an inquiry to the DOJ, no such report was released in 1997.
In Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, 103 (2003), the U.S. Supreme Court zealously upheld a sex offender registration and notification law by ratifying the Legislature’s findings that all sex offenders, as a class, have a high rate of recidivism without first independently verifying those facts.
Without those unverified legislative findings, it would appear that the sex offender registration and notification laws would have been decreed unconstitutional. That would have called into question the constitutionality of all sex offender registration and notification laws across the country. The entire opinion of Smith v. Doe relied substantially on the unverified or otherwise affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism.
When a constitutional right is at stake, the usual judicial deference to legislative findings gives way to an exercise of independent judgment of the facts to ascertain whether the legislative body has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622, 666 (1994). Quoting from non-existent DOJ reports and making affirmative misrepresentations of fact from existing reports is not an exercise of independent judgment based on substantial evidence. It appears that a political agenda encouraged a desired result rather than a just and accurate one.
Legislatures and courts around the country are now making serious decisions about laws based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism. Why must the truth be a pliable commodity in this country and be distorted to fit political agendas? The politics of fear and ignorance remain the order of the day.
Causes and Effects of Sexual Abuse
There are “correlations between childhood sexual abuse and later problems such as substance abuse, dangerous sexual behaviors or dysfunction, inability to relate to others on an interpersonal level, and psychiatric illness.” Kennedy v. Louisiana, 171 L.Ed.2d 525, 568-69 (2008)(Alito, J., dissenting)(quoting authoritive reports on child sexual abuse). “Victims of child rape are nearly 5 times more likely than nonvictims to be arrested for sex crimes and nearly 30 times more likely to be arrested for prostitution.” Id.
There are legions of medical and scientific studies that empirically demonstrate that sexually abused children have a high disposition to commit sexually based crimes in the future. It is not uncommon for a convicted sex offender to have a history of being sexually abused as a child.
Without thinking twice, many in our society would find it absurd for a convicted sex offender to babysit a child or run a day care center. Would you take your chances with an adult who was a victim of childhood sexual abuse? They do not register and background checks will not likely provide a clue to their potential to commit a sexual offense. They are not subject to any degree of oversight. The heightened potential of a victim committing a sexual offense is an inconvenient fact that cannot be lightly disregarded if public safety, victimization, and crime prevention are to be taken seriously.
How many politicians expect to get your vote or support if they suggest or propose victims register to prevent future sexual offenses or to otherwise promote public safety? If registration apparently works so well for convicted sex offenders, then why not for victims if public safety is of central concern? Since registration is not a form of punishment according to a substantial weight of judicial authority, then there should be no problem. Right?
Unlike convicted sex offenders, victims of sexual abuse are never required to register despite their heightened potential to commit a sexual offense. If there is a genuine concern for public safety and future sexual offenses behind registration and notification laws as authoritatively held by the U.S. Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, then it would be perfectly rational to require victims to register. To hold otherwise would compromise public safety and promote future sexual offenses followed by more victims. Why wait for a victim to commit a sexual offense and create new victims before requiring them to register? That’s illogical and only promotes a continuing offense cycle of new victims followed by future potential offenders. That kind of cycle needs to be stopped!
Any concerns for privacy over registration and notification requirements are substantially outweighed by the government’s legitimate objective of public safety. I have yet to see any court relieve registration requirements for privacy concerns.
Victims should be relieved that registration and notification requirements do not promote the goals of punishment and are purely regulatory pursuant to Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. at 105-06. Furthermore, a conviction is not required to impose a civil regulatory law. Id. At 113 (Stevens, J., dissenting in part and concurring in part)(observing that a conviction is not a necessary predicate for civil commitment).
It is true that not all victims commit sexual offenses in the future. The same is also true with convicted sex offenders. In any case, registration and notification requirements are imposed on all sex offenders regardless of their individual risk to reoffend. Doe, 538 U.S. at 104. There is no reason why this same requirement cannot be imposed on all victims of childhood sexual abuse since public safety is of central concern.
If victims have a high potential to commit sexual offenses based of empirically accurate and verified research but are not required to register, then the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution requires convicted sex offenders be treated the same. If not, then the public safety rational that is at the very basis of registration and notification laws are truly pretextual to an agenda towards using legislative and judicial agendas to punish convicted sex offenders; a rational that plainly cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny on several fronts. Given the pervasive attitudes toward convicted sex offenders, it would be naive to assume otherwise.
If our government chooses not to collect data on sexual offenses but yet continues to legislate and make fundamental decisions about sexually based crimes and laws, then they are willfully navigating in the dark. They have chosen to disregard your safety at the expense of their political agenda of fear and ignorance. The citizens and residents of this State should be outraged!
A Nevada prisoner
Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1) Prison Writing Contest Info
Send an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for submission guidelines:
Vidahlia Press and Publishing House
800 Town and Country Blvd.
City Center, Ste. 300
Houston TX 77024
Submission Deadline is February 1, 2014
Another possible publication outlet is:
Criminal Justice Journalists
c/o Dept. of Criminology
University of Pennsylvania
McNeil Building Ste. 483
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6286
2) Job Application Policy Changes
Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (C.U.R.E.) reports in their recent newsletter report two recent positive policy changes for prisoners leaving prison.
First, in April of 2012, the United States has prohibited private corporate policy which acts as a “blanket denial of employment” to ex- felons. This mandate was issued by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) says the CURE people. For information:
EEOC Library/Reading Room
131 M Street NE
Washington DC 20507
Second, on October 30, 2013, Target Corporation modified its job application forms to remove the criminal history questions. NJPR will investigate into the creation of national and local employers who have followed suit, and demand a policy statement from Nevada officials.
3) New Second Chance Bill in U.S. Congress
In April of 2008, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act authorizing federal grants to state punishment authorities “to improve outcomes for returning to society” after incarceration. The response of our Glorius Leader in Nevada was to cut out college programs at NNCC, stop the horticulture programs, put a stop to Alcoholics Anonymous, shut down law libraries, shut down regular libraries in the units, shut down the veterans of Vietnam Association activities and shut down the public-speaking training club of Toastmasters International. The Congress of the United States, after five years, has introduced S. 1690 and HR 3465 to continue funding the practices and policies that help prisoners.
There is a word that means “deriving pleasure from cruelty”. Psychobabblers call it sadism, the religious tradition calls it diabolical. To deny a man the benefit of enjoying a legal right offered by the statutes of the United States is most certainly a cruelty. One wonders at the source of the Glorus Leader’s cruelty, sadism or Satanism?
4) NNCC Drug Experiment as Human Sacrifice of the Civil Religion: An Interview
An article in Nevada CURE asked for responses to the question “Is Forced Medication an NDOC Problem?” Recently, several participants of the “psych ward”, Unit 6, were kicked out, so NJPR asked them some questions, after they read the CURE article.
NJPR: So, is forced meds a problem?
Griz: Yeah, it is a problem.
NJPR: How do they “force” you to take meds?
Griz: They take you to the hole in 7B.
NJPR: OK, they cuff you up and take you to the hole—how do they actually force the meds on you?
Griz: They come and “extract” you, hit you with shields, taze you, thank they force a shot of Haldol into your ass.
NJPR: Who is “they”?
Griz: The SERT team. [ed., Special Emergency Response Team]
NJPR: Tell me about he federal experimental drug program you mentioned. How do you know its funded federally?
Griz: State ain’t got no money. They cut our food back. How else can staff bring in fancy new flat screen TV’s and all these special training videos?
NJPR: So you’re never seen any actual documents?
Griz: Well, not really. Just the waiver forms.
NJPR: Do they tell you what drugs they are giving you?
Griz: yeah, they do. But they don’t tell you what the side effects are. We ask them to tell us, but they won’t answer us. They say they are too busy to talk about things.
NJPR: Why were you kicked out?
Griz: A misunderstanding I was having with another inmate—we were not physically fighting. We just went down to his cell to talk things out, and this guy’s cellmate misinformed staff about it. She blew it out of proportion.
NJPR: Who is she?
Griz: *****, the psych that has been there the last twenty years.
There is clear need for Freedom of Information Act demands made, but where does one start? Is it the Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Justice? Would the prison officials respond to inquiry?
HEIL HITLER, HEIL NDOC!