Floyd Mayweather’s Cry For Help From the Bowels of the Clark County Jail

     Undefeated lightweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., an unpopular fighter in a corrupt and dying sport, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to beating Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. The assault took place in…

     Undefeated lightweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., an unpopular fighter in a corrupt and dying sport, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to beating Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. The assault took place in Mayweather's palatial 12,000-foot square home in the upscale Southern Highlands neighborhood in Las Vegas.

     On June 1, 2012, Mayweather began serving his 87-day sentence at the Clark County Detention Center. Because he's a celebrity and a notorious loudmouth, corrections officials, for the boxer's own protection, isolated him from the general jail population. (I'm sure jail administrators were not thrilled to learn they would be responsible for this guy.)

     A few days into his incarceration, Mayweather's attorney filed an emergency motion asking for a modification of the multi-millionare's sentence. The boxer's lawyer, citing "inhumane" conditions at the lockup, wanted the justice of the peace to change Mayweather's sentence to house arrest, or, at the very least, 3 days a week in the hell-hole, and the rest of the week at home. (There are millions of Americans who would plead guilty to murder in order to be sentenced to life without parole at Mayweather's mansion. There are probably hundreds of thousands who would find the Clark County Jail an improvement over their current living conditions.)

     So what were the inhumane conditions that required Mr. Mayweather's immediate rescue from county incarceration? Was he living off bread and water in a stifling hot cell equipped with a bucket and a lice-infested mattress? Was he fighting off rats, sexual predators, a gang of deranged skinheads, and sadistic guards? What?

     According to the 35-page sentence modification motion with the attached affidavit from Mayweather's personal physician, Dr. Robert Voy, after 10 days in the can, the boxer was getting out of shape. Incarceration was interfering, in a serious way, with his career as a prize fighter. (And great prizes at that. Last month, in his victory over Migel Cotto, Mayweather walked away with $32 million. Most fans who paid to see the fight paid to see Mayweather lose. Instead they saw a boring bout.) As an inmate at the Clark County Jail, Mayweather was not able to maintain his exercise regime. And perhaps even worse, the joint's food and water were simply not up to his standards.

      Because this special man was forced to eat bread, fruit, and energy bars purchased from the commissary rather than the crap fed to the other inmates, Mr. Mayweather was only taking in 800 calories a day. In other words, his Clark County captors were starving him to death! They were not mistreating an ordinary beater of woman, this man was a professional. He was the holder of a title belt, and lest you forget, he had been on "Dancing with the Stars"! (His only defeat.) How could this be happening in America?

     Arguments on Mayweather's motion were heard before Las Vegas justice of the peace Melissa Saragosa on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Ruling that Mayweather's request did not meet the criterial for sentence modification, (an illegal sentence, or one based upon an untrue assumption or mistake of fact) Saragosa condemned the prisoner to 75 more days in Clark County hell.

     When asked by a reporter to comment on Mayweather's sentence modification plea, prosecutor Lisa Luzaich remarked, "It's jail. Where did he think he was going? The Four Seasons?"

     Floyd Mayweather is now a successful boxing promotor operating out of Las Vegas.     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

America’s Expensive Prisons

Does shrinking the size of prison populations save taxpayers money? Not always, says a study released today by the Vera Institute of Justice. The study found that 25 states increased their spending on prisons even though the nation’s overall prison population has declined.

Does shrinking the size of prison populations save taxpayers money?  Not always, says a study released today by the Vera Institute of Justice.

In a survey of state  spending on incarceration, Vera researchers found that in 10 states where prison numbers declined, overall prison budgets actually increased by $1.1 billion between 2010 and 2015. Overall, 25 states—more than half of the 45 surveyed—reported prison spending increases during that period, even though the number of individuals incarcerated nationwide has been dropping since 2009.

The Vera researchers suggested the increase was due to higher costs related to personnel and health care. Salaries and pensions alone accounted for one-fifth of the total  $8 billion in prison spending in 2015, and health care for an aging prison population (the number of incarcerated individuals 55 and older more than doubled between 2010 and 2013) is swallowing ever-larger amounts of state prison budgets.

States such as California, Colorado and Pennsylvania—which have changed sentencing codes and established other policies aimed at reducing prison populations and providing alternatives to prison—registered some of the highest  spending  increases.

Nevertheless, the authors of the Vera  study said that lowering prison populations was essential to reforming a system that, with some 1.4 million people behind bars at its peak in 2009, leads the world in incarceration rates. (The number of prisoners has declined by about five per cent since then.)

They noted that in 13 states where prison populations dropped since 2010—including New York, Michigan, North Carolina and New Jersey— prisons costs declined by a whopping $1.6 billion, without a corresponding danger to public safety. In fact, crime rates reduced by double-digit figures in some of those states.

“While simultaneously downsizing prison populations and spending is easier said than done, these 13 states prove that it is indeed possible,” wrote Christian Henrichson, Research Director of Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, in his introduction to the report.

“For those who are up to the challenge, this report makes it plain that a large sum of money is on the table.”

The report poses a sharp counterweight to the philosophy espoused by the Trump administration that reforming sentencing guidelines and other efforts to reduce prison populations over the past several years have generated new crime dangers to the nation.

But it also makes clear that the dollars-and-cents argument for cutting prison populations taken by some reformers has limitations. The survey found, for example, that in seven states where prison populations increased between 2010 and 2015, costs still declined by $254 million—largely because of reductions in staffing and budgetary constraints on improving facilities.

The Vera study was prepared by Chris Mai and Ram Subramanian.

A full version is available here.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Top Ten Releases from Prison by State-State Releases Over Time

Subtitle 641,000 Offenders Released From Prison in 2015 Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Masters’ Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Article There were […]

Subtitle 641,000 Offenders Released From Prison in 2015 Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Post-Masters’ Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Article There were […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

Prison Health Care: Providing the Best For The Worst

     There is something profoundly wrong with a government that provides convicted felons with better health care than it does to many sick people who haven’t committed crimes against their fellow citizens. Perhaps this is what happens w…

     There is something profoundly wrong with a government that provides convicted felons with better health care than it does to many sick people who haven't committed crimes against their fellow citizens. Perhaps this is what happens when a criminal justice system is organized around the idea of protecting the defendant. In Massachusetts, for example, a judge ordered the state to finance the sex change of a man who had murdered his wife. If Robert Kosilek hadn't strangled his wife to death, taxpayers would not have been forced to pay the cost of changing him into a female.

     In 2005, a judge in California, after determining that prison health in that state was unconstitutionally substandard, granted a so-called "receiver" the power to hire state medical personnel and set their pay levels. In 2004, the prison health care bill cost California taxpayers $1.1 billion. In 2012, the cost of providing California inmates quality health care cost the state $2.3 billion. Between 2005 and 2012, the number of California prison system health care workers--doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, and psychiatrists--jumped from 5,100 to 12,000. The system also employed 1,400 health care paper shufflers.

     In 2011, 44 of California's highest paid employees worked in the prison health care system. A psychiatrist who worked at the Salinas Valley State Prison, made $803,271 in 2012. (This shrink must  have been good.) A prison doctor in northern California made, in 2011, a base salary of $239,572 plus $169,548 in overtime for working nights and weekends. A registered nurse at the High Desert State Prison pulled down $246,000 that year. In bankrupt California, when it comes to health care, nothing is too good for the state's 124,700 state prison inmates. (These prison health care expenses don't cover the tens of thousands of county jail prisoners throughout the state.)

     Since 2006, heroin addicted inmates at Albuquerque's Metropolitan Detention Center, New Mexico's largest jail, have been treated with methadone to ease the trauma of withdrawal. Warden Ramon Rustin, in November 2012, announced that the $10,000-a-month program was too expensive, that the taxpayers of his county simply couldn't afford this in-jail drug treatment measure. Rustin, the former warden of the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 32 years experience in the corrections field, said he didn't believe the costly program helped drug-addicted inmates stay out of jail once they were released.

     A month after Warden Rustin's effort to save the county serious money, the  county ccommissioners ordered him to extend the program two months during which time a study of its effectiveness would be conducted. (This is typical government. In the private sector, studies of cost-effectiveness are ongoing, and if a measure wastes money, it's immediately cut.) The county also received $200,000 a year from the state to help fund its methadone program.

     When a person commits a crime that is serious enough to land him in prison, any health care he or she receives while in custody should be treated as a privilege rather than a constitutional right. The rule should be this: If you want good health care, don't murder anyone, rob a store, break into a home, beat your wife and children, or commit a sexual assault. If good health is your priority, exercise, quit smoking, eat right, and stay off drugs and booze. Also, get a job. If you feel the need to switch genders while in prison, fine, but you don't deserve to have law obeying taxpayers foot the bill.

     In the United States, when it comes to health care, crime pays, and at the huge expense of the law obeying tax payer. (Here's an idea, if you get sick and need an expensive operation you can't afford, but don't want to rob a bank or kill someone, stop paying your taxes.)  

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/

Whatever Happened to National Reentry Week?

Barack Obama inaugurated it last April to mark the emerging bipartisan consensus that the incarcerated deserve a “second chance.” But our investigation suggests that hardliners in the Trump administration have shrugged it off.

Last year, President Barack Obama declared the final week of April “National Reentry Week,” calling on the country to pay attention to the 600,000 or so people released every year from prison.

“We need to ensure that they are prepared to reenter society and become productive, contributing members of their families and communities—and maybe even role models,” Obama said.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch followed Obama’s announcement with an op-ed in USA Today and a schedule of 550 events for the inaugural “National Reentry Week” hosted by the Department of Justice that would “highlight how strong reentry programs can make communities safer.”

What happened this year?

Did “National Reentry Week” survive to see its second year under this new administration?

That depends on whom you ask. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it happened on schedule last month, and they sponsored events across the country, though The Crime Report could only find two events. We found no evidence that Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned re-entry.  The DOJ did not respond with follow-up questions about what events took place.

Criminal justice reformers who took part in last year’s “National Reentry Week” did not realize it happened last month, which they see as a sign that hard-fought progress in re-entry services, which many say began with George W. Bush’s State of the Union address in  2004, will halt under President Donald Trump.

“Re-entry is something that is nowhere near a priority. I just don’t think there’s much appetite for stuff like that in this administration,” said Ronald Day, associate vice president of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at the Fortune Society.

“We want to see momentum continue, and we’re concerned that that trend might reverse.”

Dorsey Nunn, executive director of the Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a leading advocate for the “Ban the Box” campaign, said it’s hard for him not to curse when talking about the new administration.

“I don’t think they give a damn about re-entry,” Nunn said. “Jeff Sessions is saying marijuana is still a really dangerous drug and people should be punished for that.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to get around to the question of re-entry.”

Big Change in One Year

Last year’s events included job resource fairs and mock interview sessions at federal prisons for soon-to-be-released and recently released prisoners. Local U.S. Attorney’s offices also held events with stakeholders to hear about barriers that prisoners face when they leave prison. While the week was spearheaded by the Obama administration, Republicans like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated in events.

For criminal justice reformers, that underlines the striking difference between the Trump administration and its predecessors.  Until Trump took office, re-entry has been a bipartisan issue at the federal level.

“The noticeable absence of National Reentry Week, under the Trump Administration, signals yet another rollback of Obama-era efforts to end mass incarceration and support reintegration,” Glenn E. Martin, president of JustLeadershipUSA, an organization with a mission of cutting the U.S. correction population in half by 2030, wrote in an email.

“This is further proof that President Trump is out of step with his own party, as bipartisan support for reentry dates back to President Bush’s 2004 State of the Union speech,”.

“You have Newt Gingrich, the Koch brothers, saying they want to move away from antiquated policies that don’t work,” added Day. “And it was President George W. Bush who actually signed the Second Chance Act in the first place.”

Some traces of that bipartisanship remain.Last month, the Senate passed a resolution introduced by Republican Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio to make April “Second Chance Month.”

Yet the DOJ made no public mention of “National Reentry Week” that The Crime Report could find, and links to reentry sections on the DOJ website go to archived pages. President Donald Trump  did not mention the week in his public statements—much less his ubiquitous tweets.

In a response to questions about this year’s events, a DOJ spokesman said that DOJ personnel participated in events around the country, “but it was not mandatory.” They did not respond to a follow-up email about which events occurred. The only DOJ events The Crime Report was able to track down took place at two U.S. Attorney’s offices: the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Southern District of Alabama.

A search of news reports turned up only one mention by a high-ranking Trump official. That was Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, during a visit to a correctional facility in Maryland to view their education programming.

“When men and women return to society better prepared for meaningful employment, the benefits extend beyond their own homes to the nation as a whole. They have the potential to rejoin society as positive, engaged, contributing members of their communities and workplaces,” DeVos said.

DeVos’ rhetoric echoed the lofty sentiments of earlier Republican administrations—and reflected the changing attitudes towards America’s incarcerated, underlined by Bush’s moving declaration in his 2004 State of the Union speech that “America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.”

He followed up those words three years later when he signed the Second Chance Act.

Since then, advocates say, there has been major progress in improving employment, housing and health services for ex-offenders. Bush sunk $300 million into employment training and transitional housing for ex-offenders.

Obama continued the effort. The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion has helped released prisoners access drug abuse and mental health services that they otherwise might not have. A Federal Interagency Reentry Council was established, releasing a report last summer with a “roadmap for the future.”  In 2015, the DOJ appointed its first-ever “Second Chance Fellow:” Daryl Atkinson, a senior staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) who was formerly incarcerated.

The declaration of the nation’s first “National Re-Entry Week” seemed to underline the sea change in attitudes. But will it be the last?

While movement may have stalled in Washington, re-entry continues to get bipartisan support at the state level. Democratic and Republican governors have created programs to improve re-entry services and reduce recidivism.

Nevertheless, the national government’s agenda-setting power is critical. Some of the advocates interviewed for this story said they’d be surprised if Re-entry Week was marked by any federal official next year.

But that has only inspired them to work harder.

“I think there’s some reinvigoration in the re-entry community to not lose the momentum that has been gained,” Day said. “The folks who have been doing this work for decades now, are not going to sit by idly and let us go back in time.”

Adam Wisnieski

Whether that will be enough remains an open question.

“I think the chase is on right now,” said Nunn. “It’s no longer about ‘Should we let you out?’ It’s about catching and locking people up.”

Adam Wisnieski is a Hartford, CT-based freelance reporter, and a contributing editor of The Crime Report. You can follow him on Twitter @adamthewiz. He welcomes comments from readers.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Prisons Are Packed With 200,000 Dead-End Lifers: Study

A new analysis by The Sentencing Project finds a record number of lifers in U.S. prisons. The author, who has been tracking sentencing trends for a decade, tells TCR’s David J. Krajicek, “As a society, we cannot challenge mass incarceration without including reforms to sentences on the deep end of the punishment spectrum.”

Photo via Flickr

More than 202,000 men and women are now serving dead-end sentences in U.S. prisons, according to an analysis released Wednesday by The Sentencing Project.

The report, Still Life: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences, says one in seven prisoners is locked up under three sentences that offer only the faintest hope of parole: life in prison, life without parole, or a de facto life term of 50 years or more.

Report author Ashley Nellis, senior research analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, said U.S. prisons in 2016 held 108,667 people on sentences of life with possibility of parole, 53,290 on sentences of life without parole, and 44,311 on sentences of at least 50 years.

“The increased prevalence of life sentences stands at odds with attempts to scale back mass incarceration,” the report says.

For nearly a decade, Nellis has been tracking the national trend toward ever-increasing extreme sentences. She says her latest report is the first to include a comprehensive profile of “virtual lifers,” described as “those living in the deep end of the justice system” for whom “death in prison is presumed.”

Ashley Nellis. Photo courtesy The Sentencing Project.

“There are mounting concerns about the extent to which people are sentenced to lifelong prison terms who aren’t ‘technically’ lifers but are unlikely to survive their maximum sentence,” she told The Crime Report. “From a budget as well as a moral and public safety perspective, there are real issues with these lengthy terms in prison.”

The 161,957 prisoners serving life with or without parole in 2016 was an all-time high, up slightly from Nellis’ count of 159,520 in 2012. Lifer populations have continued to increase even as overall numbers of inmates have declined over the past decade.

Other key findings:

  • More than 17,000 prisoners serving life, life without parole or virtual life sentences have been convicted of nonviolent crimes.
  • Nearly half (48.3%) of life and virtual life prisoners are African American, or about one in five black prisoners overall.
  • Virtual life sentences are handed down most frequently in Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana and New Mexico, where the rate of those serving de facto life range from 8.5 to 17.4 percent of the state prison populations.
  • Nearly 12,000 people have been sentenced to life or virtual life for crimes committed as juveniles. Of those, more than 2,300 were sentenced to life without parole.
  • The number of prisoners serving life sentences has more than quadrupled since 1984, and the increase in the life-without-parole population has been particularly acute.

Nellis found that more than 30 percent of state prisoners in California, Louisiana and Utah are serving terms of life, life without parole, or virtual life. The percentage is greater than 23 percent in three other states, Alabama, Massachusetts and Nevada.

On the other end of the spectrum, fewer than 7 percent of prisoners in Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin are serving those extreme sentences.

The national average last year was 13.9 percent. The federal prison system was well below that, with 3.5 percent serving extreme sentences.

Forms of super-punishment have become popular (and more palatable to some jurors) as enthusiasm for capital punishment has ebbed in many states.

In 1998, a total of 295 offenders were condemned to die. That number declined to 153 condemnations in 2001. The slide has continued ever since, to 85 death sentences in 2011 and just 30 in 2016.

At the same time, the number of lifers has mushroomed—34,000 in 1984, 70,000 in 1992, 128,000 in 2003, and 162,000 today. The boom in life-without-parolers began in the early ‘90s, just as the crime rate began its precipitous drop. Their numbers nearly tripled between 1992 and 2003, from 12,500 to about 34,000.

Nellis’ report suggests three reforms to turn the tide of extreme sentences:

  • Eliminate life without parole and dramatically scale back other life sentences.
  • Streamline the parole process, which is now stacked against prisoners through politicization.
  • Employ broader use of clemency at the state level to reward prisoners who prove themselves rehabilitated.

Most close observers agree that there is no political imperative for retroactive relief for hard-timers, even though it is a key toward reducing mass incarceration. These offenders have been warehoused in prisons for so long that we no longer recognize their potential for rehabilitation, experts say.

As Ryan King, an Urban Institute senior fellow who tracks sentencing trends, once told me, “We’re pushing this population to the margins and ignoring them, even though long sentences are not giving us a good return on investment.”

I asked Nellis if it is possible to bend the spiking trend of super-punishment given the leery stance that most politicians take toward lifers.

She said she is encouraged by state-level sentencing reforms, despite the Trump administration’s apparent determination to return criminal justice to a bygone punitive era.

“It is difficult to convince the public and policymakers that those who commit crimes–especially serious crime–can and do reform their lives with time, but that is the reality we see when lifers are released,” she told me. “Most go on to live crime-free, productive lives, having learned and outgrown the mistakes of their past.”

She continued, “As a society, we cannot challenge mass incarceration without including reforms to sentences on the deep end of the punishment spectrum, and including in reforms those who have committed serious crimes in their past and are serving life…Lifelong imprisonment for people who are no longer dangerous is a waste of limited resources.”

David J. Krajicek (@djkrajicek) is a contributing editor with The Crime Report.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Top Ten States for Imprisonment- State Incarceration Rates Over Time

Observations The District of Columbia and Louisiana have the highest rates of incarceration. Main has the lowest rate of incarceration. Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime […]

Observations The District of Columbia and Louisiana have the highest rates of incarceration. Main has the lowest rate of incarceration. Author Leonard A. Sipes, Jr. Thirty-five years of speaking for national and state criminal justice agencies. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

Why The Substantial Difference Between State and Federal Prison Recidivism?

Observations Federal Inmates: 15% of offenders released from federal prison in 2012 returned to federal prison within 3 years of release. State Inmates: Within 3 years of release, 49.7% of inmates either had an arrest that resulted in a conviction with a disposition of a prison sentence or were returned to prison without a new […]

Observations Federal Inmates: 15% of offenders released from federal prison in 2012 returned to federal prison within 3 years of release. State Inmates: Within 3 years of release, 49.7% of inmates either had an arrest that resulted in a conviction with a disposition of a prison sentence or were returned to prison without a new […]

from http://www.crimeinamerica.net

Why Doesn’t the Hippocratic Oath Apply to the Nation’s Prisons?

Many inmates will do anything to avoid seeking medical assistance if they can help it. A recent lawsuit in Washington State explains why.

The Hippocratic Oath has long embodied all that is good in the medical profession. Those who swear by it vow to act “for the benefit of the sick” and to prevent “harm and injustice” from befalling their patients.

But in the correctional system, the Oath is often undermined or, at best, ignored.

The Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) is an unfortunate example. Medical professionals within the WDOC acknowledge in depositions that its medical staff are required to use “a different standard to evaluate patients than is used [ ] in the community,” and some medical personnel in WDOC concede there is nothing “science-based or humane” about the policies that govern their decision-making.

These claims are currently the subject of a lawsuit, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, brought against WDOC by the non-profit Columbia Legal Services (CLS) on behalf of prisoners throughout the State of Washington. [See, Daniel Haldane, et al. v. G. Stephen Hammond, M.D., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01810-RAJ]

CLS is seeking to end WDOC’s use of “a healthcare pre-approval process to restrict medical costs at the expense of necessary prisoner healthcare” and maintains this practice poses “an ongoing, serious risk of harm to all 16,000 prisoners under DOC’s care,” according to the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification.

The medical conditions complained of include: commonly withholding opioid treatment even when a prisoner’s chronic and substantial pain is unresponsive to other therapies; and refusing to authorize surgery even when, as a result, prisoners must struggle to wipe themselves after toileting.

While the efforts of CLS should be applauded, prisoners should nevertheless resist the temptation to believe this litigation will lead to better medical treatment throughout WDOC.

Even enlightened, well-meaning policies can degenerate into arbitrary and unsound decision-making. Having suffered the brunt of such decisions over the last quarter century during my confinement, I have come to believe a correctional system’s shortcomings are often rooted in the negative views of the employees.

Views that developed in an era of mass incarceration.

One of the consequences of mass incarceration is the adoption of a military mindset by many correctional employees as the paramount goal within prisons came to be maintaining order and security. When this becomes the ultimate objective, staff members can easily begin to perceive the prison as hostile territory and prisoners as the enemy—especially when the level of violence within a facility makes the working conditions quite dangerous (relatively speaking).

Once this prisoner-as-enemy mentality takes hold of correctional staff, the idea that they should show care or humanity to those who are confined seems to be frowned upon and rejected.

Harm and injustice at first is tolerated, then becomes accepted.

The prison infirmary is no exception. I have seen and felt the iciness that medical providers evince when they have this mindset . Trust me, it would impress the most cold-hearted convict.

Furthermore, to expect proper diagnosis and treatment to be advanced by people with these attitudes is to ignore common sense and human nature.

Yet even in prisons with relatively safe working conditions, there is a general lack of sympathy for prisoners with medical problems.  Their health needs are rarely taken seriously.

Jeremiah Bourgeois

Indeed, I have long resorted to toughing it out or trying every home remedy that a convict can conceive before heading to medical to find relief.

Like other medical departments in WDOC, prisoners must be ready for war when they enter the medical facility at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.  While the inside is nice and clean, physician assistants and nurses face off with prisoners as adversaries.

When I explain what ails me, I know, without a doubt, that every attempt will be made to dismiss my symptoms as if I am malingering or exaggerating; and I will likely be sent away with, at best, ibuprofen or amitriptyline—WDOC’s cure-alls for damn near everything.

If I  complained,  it is almost certain that I would be ordered to leave unceremoniously; and, were I to hesitate because the pain I was enduring was all-consuming, I will be handcuffed and escorted to segregation—like the enemy.

The message is: We are unworthy.

We are degenerates.

We should be grateful to get any medical treatment by the DOC.

These ubiquitous views explain why a correctional system might see fit to establish “a practice of withholding necessary medical care from patients with serious and painful medical conditions,” as CLS claims to be the case with WDOC. Such practices only develop when correctional employees do not believe the welfare of prisoners is a priority.

That said, my jaundiced eye has not left me without empathy, so I urge readers not to judge correctional medical personnel too harshly.

With all due respect to Hippocrates, it is easy to tolerate harm and injustice when both have been perpetrated by one’s patients.

Jeremiah Bourgeois is a regular contributor to TCR, and an inmate in Washington State, where he is currently serving 25 years to life for a crime committed when he was 14. He will be eligible to go before the parole board in 2017. He welcomes comments from readers.

 

 

 

from https://thecrimereport.org

Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility: The Mysterious Phantom Prison

     Mount McGregor is a mountain in Saratoga County in upstate New York. In 1913, in the mountain town of Moreau, the state built a tuberculosis treatment retreat called The Sanatorium On The Mountain. The facility closed in 1945 and re…

     Mount McGregor is a mountain in Saratoga County in upstate New York. In 1913, in the mountain town of Moreau, the state built a tuberculosis treatment retreat called The Sanatorium On The Mountain. The facility closed in 1945 and remained unused until the New York Department of Corrections, in the 1970s, converted the abandoned complex into a medium security prison for men. The McGregor Correctional Facility, because of a series of prison escapes, became known as "Camp Walkaway." In 2014 the state closed the penitentiary.

     The Grant State Historic Site sits on the grounds of the empty prison. The main tourist attraction on the site is Grant's Cottage where Ulysses S. Grant spent the last weeks of his life finishing his memoir. Grant died of throat cancer in 1885. (To this day, Grant's memoir is considered the gold standard in the genre.)

     On July 23, 2014, a WNYT-TV crew led by reporter Mark Mulholland showed up at Grant's Cottage to film a piece in honor of his death 129 years ago. The next day, the television crew returned to the historic site to finish the project.

     As the TV crew shot footage of Grant's Cottage that just happened to include, in the background, a view of the former prison, a New York state collections officer drove up to inform Mulholland that he was not allowed to film anything on Mount Gregor. The officer, who identified himself as Lieutenant Dom, said, "No filming."

     The stunned reporter replied, "We're doing a story on Grant's Cottage."

     Lieutenant Dom, apparently under the illusion that the television people were on the mountain to clandestinely film and do a story on the closed prison, said, "You're up here for different purposes. You'll have to leave the mountain."

     "Are you telling me we can't visit a historic site?"

     "You can visit but you can't film at Grant's Cottage," the officer replied.

     When reporter Mulholland and his colleagues tried to film the cottage from another spot, other corrections officers came onto the scene and blocked their access to the site.

     As Mulholland and his crew started to drive off McGregor Mountain they were stopped by a state trooper who demanded they turn over the footage they had shot of Grant's Cottage. Mulholland couldn't believe a state police officer wanted to confiscate their footage of a public tourist attraction.

     The reporter, after making calls to his TV station and other officials with the state, left the mountain with his Grant's Cottage footage.

     A few days later, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Corrections told a WNYT-TV correspondent that Mulholland and his people had "blatantly disregarded a state police officer who informed them they were trespassing." Moreover, according to this corrections bureaucrat, "department regulations state that photographs and video taken on prison grounds require prior permission." This policy, according to the spokesperson, was for the "safety of all staff, visitors and prisoners."

     It didn't matter that the prison seen in the background didn't have prisoners or institutional visitors. Perhaps the corrections officials were worried that the TV crew was doing an expose about a vacant prison that still employed 76 corrections officers.

     

from http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.com/