Ely State Prison: A Solitary Confinement Torture Dungeon in Nevada

This should be repeated and repeated until it is heard and changed by the legislature! Torture has no place in Nevada.

Reblogged from: Nevada Cure
Ely State Prison is a prison with most of its units on a permanent lockdown. Most prisoners are being kept in solitary confinement for years, which has been defined as possible torture, by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.


We received this Memorandum and Affidavit outlining the situation of the permanent lock down (solitary confinement) situation and the lack of distinction between a prisoner in General Population and a prisoner in Administrative or Disciplinary Segregation at Ely State Prison. The original is down below or here.

Please all take note and contact your representatives to change the situation for the better for everyone in Ely State Prison! Thank you.

 

To whom it may concern:

Please find accompanying this memo, a sworn, notarized Affidavit, briefly describing the horrible conditions of confinement, suffered by Nevada’s Maximum Security Prisoners, at Ely State Prison.

Please note:
The Affidavit is not an exhausted detail of the illegal conditions of confinement, at Ely State Prison, but only a brief description.

Finally note:
We, Prisoners at E.S.P., are requesting that you, your good offices, please afford us any support available to you, on our behalf. 

That we, who dare to speak out and expose the truth of Nevada’s secret solitary confinement, torture dungeons, are… in advance, profoundly grateful, and thank you, your good offices, for your leadership, strength and courage.
“The poor, voiceless prisoner class of E.S.P.”
———————————————————————-
Affidavit of Manuel Winn.
State of Nevada, County of White Pine }SS

I, Manuel Winn, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposes and swears to the following:

That I am the Affiant herein.

That I am of sound mind, good physical health, and above the age of 21 yrs old, therefore qualified to testify to all matters herein.
That I make this Affidavit in support of any motion, pleading, or document, filed by or on behalf of Manuel Winn, and or  prisoners housed at Ely State Prison.

That I make this Affidavit in opposition to any motion, pleading, or document, filed by or on behalf of the State of Nevada, Nevada Department of Corrections.
That I am an Inmate within the Nevada department of Corrections.

That I am housed at Ely State Prison, by the State of Nevada, Nevada department of Corrections.

That I have been housed at Ely State Prison since March of 2011.

That I have been classified as a General Population inmate at Ely State Prison since my arrival here on March, 2011.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population Inmates are confined to our cells for a minimum of 23 hours a day, every day.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population are forced to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell).
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison who are classified as General Population inmates, who refuse to be double celled (two inmates housed in each cell), are threatened with being housed in a segregation unit, served with a notice of disciplinary charges, sanctioned to loss of commissary, privileges, arbitrary cell searches, confiscation of personal property, loss of incoming and outgoing mail, and reduction in the amount of food received from culinary officers.
That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population inmates, are not allowed personal access to the gym, nor the main yard, nor the legal library, nor the education building, ever.

That all inmates housed at Ely State Prison, who are classified as General Population inmates, are not allowed outside of our own cells, except for 45 minutes a day, approximately 5 days a week, for physical exercise, in a very small enclosed pin-area, by ourselves or with our cellmate only.

That there is at all times approximately one thousand (1,000) inmates housed at Ely State Prison.

That there is at all times approximately 400 (four hundred) inmates housed at Ely State Prison, classified as General Population inmates.

That there is at all times approximately 400, four hundred inmates housed at E.S.P. classified as segregation inmates, disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, and protective custody segregation.

That inmates housed at E.S.P., who are classified as Segregation inmates are housed and exercise identically to inmates housed at E.S.P., classified as General Population inmates, except that:

a)      All Segregation inmates are housed alone in single occupancy cells,
b)      Disciplinary Segregation inmates are not allowed to order edible items from the commissary and are only allowed an orange jumpsuit for clothing.
That there is at all times, approximately 70 inmates who are classified as Workers and allowed to work at E.S.P.
That inmates housed at E.S.P., who are classified as Workers, are the ONLY inmates allowed the following privileges:
a)      Personal access to Legal Library Thursday morning 9:00 am to 10:30 am, and Thursday afternoon(s) 12:00 am to 2:15 pm only.
b)      Personal access to gym, twice a week, for approximately 2 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
c)      Personal access to the main yard on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for 2 hours in the mornings and 2 ½ hours in the afternoons.


Further Affiant says not.
Dated this 29th day of January, 2014.
Signed.

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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)

AFSC Releases “Survivors Manual” By and For Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

From: SolitaryWatch, July 31st, 2012
by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

The American Friends Service Committee has put out a new edition of the vital publication Survivors Manual: Surviving in Solitary — A Manual Written By and For People Living in Control Units. The volume is a collection of letters, stories, poetry, and practical advice on surviving solitary confinement in prisons. AFSC released the following announcement last week:

Solitary confinement, characterized by 23-hour a day lockout with minimal exercise and lack of human contact, affects an estimated 100,000 prisoners in federal and state prisons in almost every state. Thus the need for “Survivors Manual,” which was first issued in 1998, is even more vital.

In this powerful collection of voices from solitary, people currently or formerly held in isolation vividly describe their conditions and their daily lives. They also write about how they struggle to keep mind, body, and soul together in an environment that is designed to break them down. Many also analyze the political, economic, and social forces that shape their torturous situation. The collection also includes some stunning artwork and poetry.

A PDF of the manual is available online at the following link:

http://www.afsc.org/document/survivors-manual-surviving-solitary

Copies can also be purchased for $3 each at the following site:

http://www.quakerbooks.org/survivors_manual.php

[thanks to FFIP for alerting us!]

AFSC Seeks Stories of Isolation and Torture in U.S. Prisons

April 4, 2010
From: SolitaryWatch

by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

In 2001, the Prison Watch Project of the American Friends Service Committee published Torture in U.S. Prisons: Evidence of U.S. Human Rights Violations, a unique collection of first-hand testimonies from prisoners. (A pdf copyof is available here.) Now, Prison Project coordinator Bonnie Kerness has put out a call for submissions for a new edition.

AFSC, through its STOPMAX Campaign, has resolutely identified prolonged solitary confinement as a form of torture and a violation of human rights, so material from current or former prisoners who have experienced solitary will be most welcome. The announcement is reproduced in full below–please help spread the word.

The American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project is planning to update the Fall 2001 “Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations.” We are seeking testimonies from men, women and children relating to the use of extended isolation and devices of torture (use of force, chemical and physical restraints, other living conditions, forced double celling in isolation, etc.). We will also be accepting drawings and photos.

Our deadline is June 15th. We will only be able to acknowledge by form letter. Unless otherwise authorized the publication will use first name, last initial and facility only. Please send to

Bonnie Kerness,
AFSC,
89 Market St.,
6th floor,
Newark, NJ 07102

Please make this message available to people concerned with the prison system and send it to friends and loved ones in prison. Without your input, this publication would not be possible. Our gratitude.

Sincerely,
AFSC Prison Watch Project