Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee

Sunday, December 9, 2018


If the General Assembly's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission is concerned with the rising cost of medical care for prisoners the within Virginia Prison system and it's Department of Corrections then the primary locus and orientation should be on prevention, styming causes that are within the Virginia Department of Corrections control, which the department already has a constitutional obligation to do. Under the United States Constitution 8th Amendment and Virginia Constitution Article 1 section 9 prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

" The Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of "cruel and unusual punishment," U.S. Const. Amend. VIII, this prohibition proscribes more than physical barbarous punishment. It also encompasses the treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions under which he is confined. In particular, the Eighth Amendment imposes a duty on prison officials to provide humane conditions of confinement and ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care."  

Starving prisoners, Use of Solitary Confinement are also causes of prisoner chronic medical conditions.

A recent report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission presents an idealistic and one-dimensional conclusion that totally ignores that the very nature of how the Virginia Department of Corrections performs its duties, practically unaccountable to the Virginia taxpayer is a primary cause of chronic health issues among the prisoner population.

So for starters, if the food service departments of the various prisons i.e. Red Onion State Prison would obey the U.S. Constitution 8th Amend. requirement of providing prisoners with adequate food and comply with the Departments Master Menu and its provisions and stop starving prisoners, by using food as an ad-hoc extrajudicial punishment. Prisoners would be relatively healthy enough with a fortified immune system to resist levels of ailments that are currently precipitating and necessitating, heightened medical care of Virginia prisoners and its costs. 

Secondly, medicine has long determined that stress causes trauma which induces all sorts of chronic and extreme medical conditions and health problems and what is more stressful than the solitary confinement aspect of prison? Yes, despite this medical fact which the Virginia Prison officials have the professional responsibility and constitutional obligation of knowing and not violating.

The Virginia prison officials i.e. The Red Onion State Prison official has reduced the metric of their administration philosophy and its practice to crude but novel ways of confining prisoners in solitary despite contrary assertions and espousals of reform of the practice. So prisoners at Red Onion State Prison are confined in solitary, in conditions that cause hypertension, cardiac disease, atrophication, respiratory conditions due to the indiscriminate and violative use of OC Gas and spray inside the closed confines of cells.

"it has long been established that prison officials violate the Eighth Amendment by using "mace, tear gas or other chemical agents in quantities greater than necessary or for the sole purpose of infliction of pain."

Thirdly, if the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission finds the Department of Corrections mental health care prohibitive. A more practical and objective finding would have been, that the totality of practices of prisons i.e. Red Onion State Prison is contributive to the prevalence of chronic medical conditions and mental health issues among the prisoner population. Study in point prisoners is not sentenced to commit suicide in prison. Yet, Red Onion State Prison has had suicides which Virginias Government hasn't for all practical purpose investigated.

So if the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission is being objective and not performing another bureaucratic pro forma study that only highlights a conventional colloquialism. Then it should do what the medical and mental health community have consensus on: Preventative care and that will require a comprehensive critique of the Virginia Department of Corrections philosophy.

William Thorpe is in Solitary Confinement at Red Onion State Prison since 1998


Monday, November 19, 2018


Copy of 2017 Certificate of completion

NOTE: The following post is a second in a series of two letters written by Steven Riddick #1196988 confined in Long-Term Solitary Confinement at Virginia's Red Onion State Prison. In the first letter, we expressed the smug attitudes and inclinations of prison officials and QMHP towards prisoners. In this second letter, the same theme recurs. His account of his experience one of many prisoners who has shared the same stories over and over again. That is~Prison/jails employ more often than not unprofessional, cold, indifferent, underqualified, and unsympathetic Prison officials, guards, and QMHP. We must expose these attitudes and inclinations.


Today around 1:30 p.m. I had an [a] meeting with the External Review team that consists of staff from [Virginia] Red Onion, Wallens Ridge prison, and the D.O.C. [Deparment of Corrections]. Former Wallens Ridge and Red Onion State Prison Warden and current Department of Corrections Program Manager Randall C. Mathena led the meeting and all he was concerned about was if I was going to do the Challenge Series Program again, a program I've completed twice. There was around 18 staff and none of them asked me about my mental health. Only two staff talked to me and asked me a question (It has been reported the majority of prisoners who were interviewed during this Review were not asked any questions by the any of the estimated 18 members of staff in attendance but only 1 or 2) There weren't any mental health staff at the meeting and it last around 10 minutes. About 7 inmates got interviewed. The review team wanted to know why we were in segregation [Solitary Confinement] and if we'd program to get out of segregation.

copy of Riddick 2013 certificate of completion
When I told Methena I wouldn't do the Challenge Series again, he got visibly angry and said we're done and I was sent back to my cell. The Review Team is none concerned about the inmates doing their program, (Step-Down) then the inmate's mental health. Mental health should have come first. I told Mathena and the review team about what mental health illnesses I've been diagnosed with including major depressive disorder, PTSD, anxiety, Schizophrenia, personality disorder and Bipolar Disorder, and the Review Team wasn't interested in that. Most of them looked angry, withdrawn, and coldhearted, and distant and turned their heads and rolled their eyes. They looked like they didn't want to be there and like they couldn't wait to leave either and I probably won't attend another External Review. It was one of the worst experiences and feelings I've had and I always feel that way when I deal with D.O.C. and prison staff. They're bullies and they get mad when they don't get what they want. They want the inmates to do the same programs and make them look good so the D.O.C. can keep collecting money for the program. Thats what's it's about, "money" and I 'm not right mentally, I can't get through the Step-Down Program.

Written by Steven Riddick


Friday, November 16, 2018


Steven Riddick #1196988 confined at Red Onion State prison in Solitary confinement is sharing with our readers a series of letter dealing with his struggle with the systematic indifference our prison and governmental agencies "proclaim they are trying to intervene (quote Marie Albiges | Daily Press Editorial: Virginia wants to help people with mental illness navigate the criminal justice system) by adding clinicians, psychiatrists and behavioral health specialists in its jails; [prisons] increasing crisis intervention sites; giving prosecutors and judges training on mental illnesses; and creating diversion programs for inmates with mental illnesses. (unquote) This is his 1st posting a secondary one will follow in the days ahead

His account of his experience one of many prisoners who has shared the same stories over and over again. That is~Prison/jails employ more often than not unprofessional, cold, indifferent, underqualified, and unsympathetic Prison officials, guards, and QMHP. We must expose these attitudes and inclinations.

On 7/11/17; I completed the "Challenge Series Program"  which is the first "Step Down" programs requirement to leave segregation. [Solitary Confinement] After completing the program, I thought I'd return to the SIP/SAM pod,  (called Secured Allied Management Pod, or SAM, and a special pod for people who repeatedly commit minor violations with the goal of staying in segregation (called Secure Integrated Pod or SIP. Men in these pods live in single-celled housing with meals eaten in cell.) Where I was housed for two years and three months. The SIP/SAM is a mental health unit and I met the criteria for that pod and the DOC [Department of Corrections] approved me for the SIP/SAM because I didn't want to be in population or in a cell with someone. The SIP/SAM is a single cell pod. I'm also an mental health and chronic care inmate with P.T.S.D. [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]  ( "it could be argued here that being in Solitary Confinement at length may have something to do with his mental health issues as it exacerbates conditions and had he adequate mental health intervention in his early years maybe he would not even be having to plead his case on this platform about this subject") Schizophrenia, Deep emotional Depression, anxiety, paranoia and personality disorder and I've been diagnosed as being psychotic. My Unit Manager Larry Collins and Warden Jeffery Kiser disapproved me for SIP/SAM and tried to put me in a pod that would've required me to be in a cell with someone and that pod is not a mental health pod. The Warden and Unit Manager didn't put me in the SIP/SAM pod out of retaliation because I'd written people in society about how they're using the "Step Down Program" to keep inmates in segregation "Long-Term". I need to be in an [a] mental health unit. Doctor and Psychiatrist E. McDuffie told me last month that he was going to try to get me out of Segregation and he told me this twice in August. He has the power to get me out of Segregation, On 9/13/18; Warden Kiser told me he was going to get me out of segregation on 9/13/18. I'm in segregation daily and I hear voices every day. Warden Jeffery Kiser didn't do what he told me he'd do. All of my symptoms can cause someone to "commit suicide" and that concerns me and people with my symptoms have committed suicide while they were on medication. Because I wouldn't go to a pod where I would've been required to be in [a] cell with someone, I was set back to the beginning of the Step-Down Program and I was told by Warden Kiser and Larry Collins to do the Challenge/Series again. I've completed it twice. I wrote the DOC about this situation and they didn't do anything about it. Please share my story.

Written by Steven Riddick who is confined at ROSP at this time.
Collaboration "vapac"

Note: Mr. Steven Riddick's Supporting Documentation he has successfully completed the Challenge Series-Transition "twice."

10800 H. Jack Rose Highway
P. O. Box 970Pound, VA 24279(276) 796-7510


Monday, November 12, 2018


"If at every doctor's appointment we are told that we are overweight and need to lose some, how are we to do such with what we are given to work with?

For each of the meals provided daily, the portion of starch is undeniably the largest! Lose weight? Caloric intake seems to simply be a number to abide by, even though the serving sizes are misproportioned. They just slap something on the tray for the sake of the job! Just to say "hey we fed them today"

Even though the vegetables were dirty and rotten...even though the fruit had been frozen, thawed and served because it was bought in excess.."hey we fed them today." Even though the staff is provided with bottled water and we drink the contaminated water and contract H.Pylori, "hey, at least we [prisoner] have water to drink."

What about the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary for good health? What about Vitamin C to fight off germs in a medical facility? Why all the processed meat that we don't eat go to waste? Why, when people are starving out there and it would be so simple and much more cost effective to serve things like tuna salad or egg salad?

What about the vegans and vegetarians? How many beans must they eat? How about more leafy, green vegetables for those of us whom are iron deficient and are forced to purchase a multivitamin from the commissary which contains no iron?

And what about Keefe Commissary Network that has once again raised prices to ridiculous amounts yet provide nothing healthy? They continue to rip us off for billions of dollars annually and people are still dying in a medical facility because we cannot even at least eat right to maintain our own good health!

So...Between Keefe and our own chow hall which is secretly interconnected, who cares if we suffer poor nutrition? As long as the rich get richer, who really cares?"

Written By Chanelle Burnette

Chanelle Burnette is currently a prisoner at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, she is a member of Virginia Prisoner of Conscience as well as Coalition for Justice, She has expressed she is highly appreciative for any platform where "I am able to stand on and allow my voice to be heard, we all need an outlet to express ourselves from behind these walls"  we at "vapac" thank Ms. Burnett for sharing her story and  for being the first Women's submission. 

Further Reading 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


For all of you out there who were under the illusion and delusion of what's the driving motive force of prison. The below should easily shake you out of it. The driving force is as everything else in life  MONEY. The state of Virginia and it's VADOC has a monopoly contract with the Keefe Company and not even the U.S. 1st amendment prohibition against state interference in religion hinders it. So you see Prison Policy Reflected.

By vapac

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Editors Notes: We at "Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee" would like to thank the family of Prisoner Hector Ledesma for sharing their story with us. Mr. Ledesma has expressed he is now on St.Croix V.I his hometown prison, Golden Grove Correctional Facility and is still having problems mentally and to this day he has received no help and there are still V.I prisoners in Red Onion along with Wallens Ridge prisons in Virginia (quote) getting tortured and abused.

Virgin Island Justice Department covertly delves into Account of Stateside Prison Abuse proclaimed by Prisoner Hector Ledesma relating his experience of his imprisonment in isolation subsequent to being shipped to Virginia's Red Onion State Prison. Conditions at Red Onion have been the subject of an HBO Docu titled "Solitary" a narrative based on a prison on an Appalachian strip-mined mountaintop where the sights and sounds hints of infertile destruction alone are sufficient to set your skin creeping and your brain working in unbearable and painful ways where life is obvious and desolate, particularly in supermax prison, where prisoners are isolated 23 hours daily locked down in cells with no human contact. Other articles have been written in an array of media, Variety Magazine, and the Washington Post to name a couple.

Some articles portray the supermax as "Virginia's Worst of the Worst prison," intended to oversee prisoners who are especially risky or oppose discipline.

Ledesma served a part of his 13 years, 9-month term at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility on St. Croix and Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto, Florida.

He was sentenced for aggravated rape at the age 18, accused of engaging in sexual relations with a 12-year-old minor on St. Croix. The punishment delivered to him in 2004 was 15 years with no parole.

Since then Ledesma has bid his case, based on changes in a witness testimony. But the appeal was rejected by the U.S. District Appellate Court in 2009 and also rejected upon review by the V.I. Superior Court in 2016. The alleged victim’s coerced testimony was apparently the only claimed evidence that was used to falsely and wrongfully convict Ledesma. We at vapac have been provided and given permission to share her recanted statements.

Another Virginia prison confining Virgin Islanders is Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. As per data shared on the web, Wallens Ridge was intentionally built to enable different states to mitigate prison overcrowding.

The Source a U.S. Virgin Island online-only newspaper since 1999 whom considers itself  A trusted independent voice of the Virgin Islands community in a recent article reported: (quote)

Several days into an investigation into the living conditions of Virgin Islands prisoners, Attorney General Claude Walker said he had little to say about it. However, he admitted the probe began with the publishing of a letter from one of those prisoners. But because Walker chose to limit remarks about the off-island prisoners, it was hard to determine if the investigation will extend to the 202 V.I. inmates now serving time in Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. In his letter, inmate Hector Ledesma recounted his placement in solitary confinement after being transferred to Red Onion State Prison. When asked when the inquiry began, Walker said, “a few weeks ago.”But the AG added few details after that.“I do not have anything to share with you at this time, as it in an investigation,” he said. The article went on to say the Bureau of Corrections Public Information Officer Irving Julian said there are 56 inmates in Virginia, 66 in Mississippi, 85 in Florida and one in South Carolina. The last group to leave the territory left after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. But Julian could not say how many inmates left in the 2017 group (unquote)

Attorney General Claude Walker confirmed to Virgin Islands Consortium another online news platform that The Department of Justice has launched a full investigation into the treatment of Virgin Islands prisoners being held in stateside prison facilities.

By vapac


Monday, October 29, 2018


This innocuous nature of this form reveals it's insidiousness. The prison is well aware of legal confidentiality. So why is it even presenting a waiver which naturally can only harm the prisoner? This is but one aspect of Virginia's Red Onion. That's why transparency and the subsequent accountability is needed.

By vapac

Monday, October 15, 2018


Opportunism and its exploitation by politicians is nothing new and society is equally jaded to expect and naturally accept it. Nonetheless, if governance in the Commonwealth of Virginia isn't to be reduced to a speculative exercise, then certain instances of its display have to be highlighted and for the purpose of this work scrutinized.


A little over a fortnight ago Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety Homeland Security and executive elements of the Virginia Department of Corrections intimidated at an opening of a new collaborative front with Virginia Conservatives and the effort at controlling women's bodies. Specifically the bodies of Mothers, Wives, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, the Women of Virginia Prisoners, under the guise of responding to illicit drugs within the state's prisons. The Department of Corrections weirdly determined that focusing on the menstrual function of Women visitors to its prisons was the correct response because it targeted bloody tampons and menstrual cups.


Consequently, 28 Democratic lawmakers presented a letter to the elements responsible for the state's reprehensible focus on the menstrual functions of Women, stating their misgivings and in extension, their constituents. The classic definition of political opportunity is a politician's reflexive exploitation of the low hanging fruit of contradictions within the society and prison and its issues are always low hanging fruit for politicians and their pursuit of speculative power. What however is troubling in this context: The state and condition of Virginia prisons it's problems and official misconduct have been well documented by the tireless work of Virginia Reform advocacy. Despite the focus on the state's Red Onion State Prison and it's extrajudicial propensity, the Virginia prisons system is a rug well cushioned with the dirt of it's prison officials malfeasance swept under it due to the lack of accountability and political apathy.

If the standard for accountability and focus on the state of Virginia prisoners by Virginia politicians is "Drug overdose.....that are.....preventable "as stated in 9/26/18; democratic lawmakers letter to the Director of the Department of Corrections. Which implies and rightly so, that Virginia citizens are not sentenced to its prisons to die, whether by prisoner suicide or the indifference to prisoner health and nutrition. Then those 28 Democratic lawmakers who correctly reminded elements within the Virginia Department of Corrections, purveyors of the tampon and menstrual cup fight over a Woman's body and it's antebellumesque backwardsness and its Conservative myopia, of once again, another attempt at controlling a Woman's body should recognize that what the effort by those responsible for the tampon menstrual cup policy tells us in that tip of the iceberg manner is the state of the Virginia prison system. Notwithstanding Brian Moran's exhortation that Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke has "changed" and reformed the culture. Which we are expected to accept as euphemism for its officials and rank and file guards are now following U.S. and Virginia Law and Department s own procedures and policies. Actions like the tampon and menstrual cup policy that are perverted and morally wrong, even bordering on the sadistic exposes to the Virginia taxpayer that it's prison officials lack the common decency to fundamentally respect Women and if this behavior exemplifies a cultural change, then what exactly preceded it? Case in point at the Virginia Department of Corrections, Red Onion State Prison, not a single Woman has been promoted beyond rank of Sergeant since its 1998 opening, for all practical purposes.

So if those 28 Democrat lawmakers are not petty machiavellian exploiters of the #MeToo political emergence, then concerns about the Virginia prison condition isn't limited to drug overdoses.


Have any of the 28 Democratic lawmakers went into, Red Onion, Wallens Ridge, Sussex I, and Sussex II State Prison and spoken to prisoners, actually paid attention to what Virginia Department of Correction proclaims in its press releases with what it does?

By William Thorpe who is held in Solitary Confinement at Red Onions State Prison.


Virginia Prisons Ban Visitors From Wearing Tampons, Citing Contraband Concern 

8 Investigates Virginia halts tampon ban for state prison visitors

Lawmakers to Virginia prison chief: Tampon ban is an invasion of visitor privacy

Sunday, October 14, 2018


There are some (advocates) who assume the system has the best interest of Prisoners at heart and is acting in good faith when in actuality of the reality says otherwise. Because for example if educating Prisoners and job training were really genuine efforts      The system i.e., Virginia Government would make it easy for released Prisoners to then get jobs and reintegrate into society but on the contrary, we don't see Virginia Government changing laws and its perception of released Prisoners meaning the system talks of rehabilitation, education e.c.t. are only window dressing, a deflection from the push to reform Prisoners and hold Prison Officials accountable.

We don't expect those who assume the system has the best interest of Prisoners at heart to instinctively understand this but what "vapac does demand of them if they claim to speak for Prisoners then they should listen to Prisoners. Now it isn't that all Prisoners per virtue of being Prisoners have some special insight. But what Prisoners do have is an intimate view of the system, Prisoners, have a cynical view of anything the system claims it's doing in good faith and those who profess to speak for Prisoners can then add on the cynicism of Prisoners with their (advocates) instincts to then develop a practical approach to hold the system accountable.


Friday, October 12, 2018


When prisoners and families are faced with questions as it concerns the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] the only approach is to refer to the VADOC Operating Procedures first, secondly visiting the relevant policy, from there this is the guidelines for which prisoners will follow to file his/her complaints and grievances. We at vapac [Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee] will be periodically sharing policy and procedure on our site.

Correctional agencies must deliver clear and brief composed mandates for staff, prisoners, and the community. Given the issues of authoritative risk, accreditation benchmarks, case law, and the need to help proficient conduct, written policy and procedure is a requisite.

Prisoner family and friends should go on the VADOC website and familiarize yourselves with the policy and procedure so you can understand what prison guards are SUPPOSE to do.

Recently vapac received a concern from a prisoner family member pertaining to "incoming mail and publications as it pertains to foreign language" sharing their concern stating "just because somethings in a different language and they can't read it, doesn't mean that the inmate shouldn't get it! What do they do for the non-English speakers?" Unfortunately, as it pertains to "publications" policy considers and states "Publications that are written or communicated in languages other than English or Spanish that cannot be readily translated and reviewed for content pose an overriding security concern for the DOC." (note~see page 8 of 10).

We are highlighting this issue in hopes it will be of some help to other prisoners and their loved ones. Again every one familiarize yourself with VADOC policy and procedure as this is ammo to battle a war we more often than not find ourselves in the middle of.

By  Dee


Virginia Department of Corrections Procedures

803.2Incoming Publications

Thursday, October 11, 2018


ST. CROIX — Editor-In-Cheif and journalist Ernice Gilbert of The Virgin Islands Consortium who first published the appalling account of Virgin Island detainee Hector Ledesma's recount of prisoner abuse while imprisoned at Virginia's Red Onion State Prison  shared in his October 9, 2018 edition that the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections said in an announcement issued to The Consortium that it has been working together with the Department of Justice on an examination concerning the treatment of Virgin Islands detainees being held in off-island facilities.

The announcement follows after a  statement made by Virgin Islands detainee Hector Ledesma published in the VI Consortium which described inconceivable and heartless treatment carried out on Mr. Ledesma at the Red Onion Supermax Prison in Virginia, that abuses Virgin Islands law, as well as human rights.

“The Bureau of Corrections takes all allegations of inmate’s civil rights violations very seriously. The Bureau is aware of Inmate Hector Ledesma’s allegations and is working in tandem with the Virginia Department of Corrections to address these allegations,” reads the statement.

It continues, “The Bureau of Corrections is working with the Virgin Islands Department of Justice to ensure that all inmates being housed by off-island facilities are treated with dignity and that their human and inmate’s rights are met. The Bureau of Corrections conducts yearly visits with off-island housing facilities, during these visits the Virgin Islands delegation reviews inmate’s files and conducts one on one interviews with the inmates. Once the Office of the Director is made aware of any grievance or allegation that affects inmate’s rights an investigation is immediately opened.”

Attorney General Claude Walker announced D.O.J.’s investigation last week......

Read the full story here at the Virgin Island Consortium

By vapac, Contributing Article Virgin Island Consortium

Related Articles

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


This week we learned from Editor-In-Cheif and journalist Ernice Gilbert of The Virgin Islands Consortium who first reported an astounding account of Virgin Island detainee Hector Ledesma recount of prisoner abuse while he was imprisoned at Virginia's Red Onion State Prison by Guards.

The following article is about the ongoing reports of unimaginable mistreatment prisoners persistently endure at the hands of corrupt prison guards in Virginia Penitentiaries written by Virgin Island Hector Ledesma. 

My name is Hector Ledesma.  I have been incarceration for the past 13 years and 9 months.  I was recently doing time in Virginia Red Onion Super-Max State Prison.  I was sent there from Citrus Count detention center. Upon arrival to Red Onion, I was placed in a locked down cell with stool all over the walls.  I was told to remove my clothes and give it to the officers, so I did. I was then locked in that cell with no clothes. The officers refused to give me showers for three months, they refuse to give me any soap, toothpaste and other hygiene.  The first time I brushed my mouth my gums was so tender that they started to bleed. I was given no toilet paper and the toilet and sink in the cell was not working either. The officers refused to give me a bed mattress so I had to try to sit and lay o the cold iron for months.  I was being STARVED FOR THREE DAYS of EVERY SINGLE WEEK. So, for three days straight per week I would receive no breakfast, lunch or dinner. I had to DRINK MY OWN URINE TO SURVIVE. I was BEATEN/ABUSED by the officers all BECAUSE I was from the Virgin Islands. I thought I was going to die, I felt like dying.  I tried sending some type of letter to my mother over on St. Croix but one day SGT. Flemming came to the cell door with something in his hands, he looked at me and said ‘what is this boy, you trying to snitch on us? Nobody could help you, don’t you see that your own Government don’t care about you, that’s why they sent you up here.’  I just ignored him. Next thing I knew my door was being buzz opened and in comes the officers, I moved back up on the wall and they kept coming after me calling me “Island Monkey.” They said where you gonna run to, and started beating me up, they left me on the floor bleeding through my mouth.
On another occasion I was sitting with my head between my legs while I sat on the cold floor, and the officer said stand up you piece of shit before I come in there and F*** you up.  So I took a little time to stand up and he called back up. When they came in my room, I said what was the problem, they said get on the floor now mother f***er, so I did as I was told.  They then had the dog breathing and dribbling over me while they laughed. Sgt. Flemming then took his foot and put it on top on my buttocks and said don’t f***ing move. Then he started to rub his foot on my butt and said nice ass, then he started rubbing harder, my penis and testicles started to hurt cause it was rubbing on the cold floor, so I tried to move and he punched me behind my head and said I told you not to move you piece of shit.  When they left, again I was coughing out blood. Even writing this right now is killing me inside, having to relive those moments. I thought I was gonna die. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like giving up. I drew a face with my blood on the wall. I used to speak to the face on the wall to try to give myself some type of hope some type of comfort, some type of energy so I wouldn’t give up. I was so tired and beaten down. I didn’t know how much more I could have taken.  I spent nights crying inside. I prayed so hard. Just when I was thinking of a way to give up on life, I started thinking about my family and friends and I kept telling myself to be strong for them. I heard my Sister Demaris voice in my head telling me to keep fighting. Don’t give up the family needs you.
I started thinking about a few people and the good they have done for me, and I told myself I have to find a way to stay strong, don’t give up, don’t surrender, keep pushing through, you have love ones waiting for you to be free.  So I refuse to die, I refuse to give into the pressure. One day I took a chance and sent a letter to my mother and from what I was told, she received it, she cried out for me when she read it. I was telling her they trying to kill me and to get help asap and so on. I’m pretty sure she still has that letter. So my Mother went to B.O.C Golden Grove crying and spoke to Officer Morris among others and showed him the letter. They assured her that they was gonna help me but they did nothing. I kept getting TORTURED DAY IN AND DAY OUT with NO HELP.
One day B.O.C. Officials to include Director Mulgrav, Officer Morris, Classification Leader Ms. Dewese, Head of Medical Linda Caldwell came to Red Onion to visit us and see how The V.I inmates were doing.  All of US told them about the abuse and mistreatment we are receiving. I even told them about the officers beating my mentally ill cousin Michael Ledesma unconscious. They bust his head open and let the dog bit him up, all because they was telling him to come off the bunk and he took too long to respond. Of course, he would. He is MENTALLY ILL, but they don’t know how to deal with mentally ill inmates so they think beating the crap out of them is the right way.  B.O.C officials saw him for themselves and still did nothing about it. They claimed said they would look into it because that’s not the first time that they are hearing complains like this. They assured us that they were going to move us from that particular prison because of the abuse of not only Virgin Island inmates but reports of excessive force and abuse of other out of state inmates. I told them, by us coming to them about the treatment that the officers will retaliate and I was told not to worry because B.O.C will continue a check on us to make sure that we are okay. On my way back to my cell the two officers who were escorting me said to me, You rat mother***er, we told you that nobody gonna help you.  You thought we were joking. We got something for you later. I said nothing. I just felt like BREAKING DOWN.
So later that night around 9pm I heard my door popped open and saw the same two officers standing there with an African American inmate.  They said you bitch mother f***er, here’s a present for you. So they locked us in and walked away, I knew what time it was, because they don’t move anyone so late at night and they also do not mix race in the same cell unless you request it on paper.  It’s VI with VI, Spanish with Spanish and so forth. So I already knew I was about to get stabbed maybe to death. I jumped off the bed, there was inmate AJ with a shank in his hand, so I stood there with a wire in my hand and my shoes ready to fight for my life.  But then one guy yelled out to me through the AC vent. He said VI what’s going on down there. I told him nothing I’m good. When inmate AJ heard my accent he said oh shit you from the islands. I said yeah and what. He said what the f*** did I get myself into and told me the cops lied to him.  They told him that they gonna put him in a cell with A White Snitch, deal with him and they gonna look out for him, they gonna send him to a lower land prison. Inmate AJ then said dude I don’t want no problems with no VI people. I got love for you guys. I love the VI so I told him what are we gonna do about this then cause you can’t stay in this cell with me when I already know your motives.  AJ then gave me the shank/knife and said dude that’s proof that I don’t want no problems with the VI. So three days after the officers realize nothing was done to me and they ask him why the f*** is He still breathing. AJ then told them he is from the VI he ain’t no white dude like you told me. I sent word to my mother to alert B.O.C officials about this retaliation on my life. My mother emailed Director Mulgrav, Linda Caldwell and Ms. Dewese about the latest incident and the only reply my mother got was from Director Mulgrav asking who she was.  And once again they did nothing to help. That’s when I was convinced that B.O.C. left me there to die.
The following day the same officers brought a charge against AJ.  The charge was that he disrespected them which was a lie. They wanted him out of my cell to try put someone else, but the same day AJ had to go to what we call Kangaroo Court for the write up, that same exact day I was So Blessed that some Marshals came to get  me for another case back in the VI. My life was spared because of my accent and also because the Marshals came for me for another case. I tried seeking help and was unsuccessful. Last December I spent about three weeks on St. Croix in Golden Grove, my first night sleeping up by booking control, at night two officers opened my door to check on me and saw me lying down under the bed under the iron and asked me what was wrong with me and why I was sleeping under the bed on the cold floor, and for a moment I realized I was back in the VI.  I slept under the bed because I figure whenever the door open the officers coming in to beat me so I felt safe under the bed. While I was in Puerto Rico Federal Prison I did the samething as well. I had 15 different roommates because nobody lasted there with me. I was losing it. I was losing my mind. And still my torture and abuse is still going unnoticed.

As I write this, I am on St. Thomas prison, the Annex and I’m still having problems mentally and to this day I have received no help and there are still V.I inmates in Red Onion along with Wallens Ridge prisons in Virginia getting tortured and abused. One of the sad things is that we’re just up there filling slots for other inmates who left.  It’s a vicious cycle. Those two prisons are max prisons for high risk deadly inmates. If you ask BOC’s Director to contact BOC’s classification for the prison records of any VI inmate housed in those prisons, you would be shocked to learn most of these inmates are inmates with good behavior. I know of VI inmates sent to these supermax prisons without a single write up while incarcerated in the Virgin Islands, but they are in a super max prison.  It’s a cycle that needs to end. They rotate us and sell us like slaves. They sell us off to the lowest bidder. I believe, if the contract for, lets say Red Onion, states that 15 VI inmates will be housed there, then what happens is everytime an inmate gets release or moved from Red Onion State Prison, BOC just sends another body to fill that vacancy.
It’s sad because the Virgin Islands is such a small and beautiful place where everybody knows everybody.  How could you send away your own people to racist, homosexual, abusive, gang prisons to be hurt? There is no rehabilitation in those prisons.  Those prisons just fill you up with hate. There are no programs for us up there and by law their should be.
VI Code says “the Director of Corrections is authorized to enter into agreements to use the correctional or detention facilities of the United States Bureau of Prisons; or the correctional facilities of any state or local government or private correctional entity located in the United States, its territories, possessions, commonwealths or the District of Columbia, which are accredited by the American Correctional Association, when the Director of Corrections determines that detention and/or correctional facilities within the Virgin Islands are inadequate to serve the best interest of the inmate or the general interest or welfare of the Territory; provided that as a condition of the prior to the transfer of any inmates, the Director of Corrections shall ascertain and ensure the availability of educational and/or vocational programs at the institution they are to be transferred to for the purpose of enabling such inmate to gain marketable skills, and provided further that no inmate is to be transferred to any institution lacking any such program(s).”
Also on December 28, 1979 Ali vs. Gibson, civil number 76-535, Mr. Ali argued about his illegal transfer to an out-of-state prison was a violation of his due process because you are not allowed to send away an inmate to state prison without giving him or her an advance notice and a hearing as to why you are sending that inmate away.
Title 5 V.IC.s 4501 Through s4503 Indicates the proper procedure for sending VI inmates to out-of-state prisons.  As of currently, they are sending us away to these abusive prisons for no reason knowing fully well of the abuse we receive in those prisons. To this day, I still dream and have cold sweats whenever I think about what I went through up there and what my fellow VI inmates are still going through up there. These prisons are setting us up for failure.  It feels like we are being set up to come right back in prison, be killed, or continue a life of crime. We want none of these things for ourselves. However, we are a byproduct of what has happened to us, of what our VI government allowed these out-of-state prisons to do to us. There is no rehabilitation. In the 13 years and 8 months I have been incarcerated what I have learned more than anything else how to survive. I have gained alot of pain in my heart from being away in out-of-state prisons away from my loved ones.  There is a sincere disappointment that our VI Government has allowed state prison officials to take advantage of me and my fellow VI inmates. Please end this cycle. People keep saying stop the violence. Well you should start from in the prison system. Help us. It’s cheaper to educate than to incarcerate. Don’t wait until it’s somebody you love to want to help. Bring us home to our families or put us in better state prisons so we can get the proper care, treatment and education that we need. This will allow us a chance of being successful when we return to our community.

By Hector Ledesma Submitted by: Cydmarie Cruz, cousin of inmate Hector Ledesma.

Editors Note: Written with the permission from the family of  Hector Ledesma expressing they are trying to be heard. Stating It's sad how people could automatically think an inmate is lying when he or she reports abuse by prison officials...Mr. Ledesma's cousin Cydmarie Cruz states: They assume that prison officials are there to protect and ensure safety so they can't possibly be abusive...Who feels it knows it. My family Mr. Ledesma is not worried about the doubters..He is to focus on getting something done..The Attorney general and Prison officials are now claiming that they are investigating Prison abuse..Yesterday a Sergeant that works in the prison and for PREA met with Mr. Ledesma to discuss what happened in Red Onion...the family states Truthfully the government are full of crap. They are only trying to do something now because election time is next month. We are not concerned about them and their bs Politricks ..We just need a course of action. The abuse has to stop..


The VI Consortium was founded in 2014 covering U.S. Virgin Islands news, politics.

Monday, October 8, 2018


How can prisoners better nurture and cultivate their relationships with family In Virginia prisons when Guys in Solitary Confinement cannot even send an I LOVE YOU CARD to a loved one?  As limited as gift giving is for prisoners to their loved ones? A simple card, simple but a multifaceted treasure that is beyond personal communication. It is flashes of moments in time of feelings across the miles,  it is I am thinking of you, I miss you, and I LOVE YOU!  It is incomprehensible love cards are considered UNAUTHORIZED by Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC]  When Solitary Confinement prisoner William Thorpe was REJECTED his Keefe Commissary order for 2 I love cards to send to his beloved wife by Virginia's Sussex 1 State Prison. We must ask who made this negative apathetic judgment call?

By William Thorpe & Wife Dee

Sunday, September 30, 2018

State Responsible Offender Demographic Profile FY2016

Most up to date VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS Demographic profile for the most recent year 2016. The report describes prisoner populations by jurisdiction, most serious offense and demographic characteristics. Selected findings on a prison. You can read the stats HERE

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cover-Up And Corruption By Prison Guards & Nursing staff Asserted by Julian Mitchell

Vapac received this letter via our email Submission by Mr. Julian Mitchell who is imprisoned at Red Onion State Prison at this time.

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l've been housed in long-term segregation for the last two years. The Administration is doing this as a way to prevent me from timely filing a Civil Lawsuit against them for "The Use Of Excessive Force", because This has happened on camera more than once, which clearly established a consistent pattern of Abuse. On 6/6/2015 I was approached and propositioned at Wallens Ridge State Prison by a VADOC employee who told me to assault my cellmate, because he had filed a complaint on another VADOC employee who planted a Razor in my cellmates property and wrote a False Weapons charge on him.  An investigation and help from the outside resulted in that officer getting exposed and the charge was dismissed.

I was offered an opportunity to be Transferred to a lower level facility to assault my cellmate, when I refused the staff told me they'd have me assaulted by another prisoner and put the Canine on me.
They drugged me and had another prisoner start a fight with me; the guy threw a punch, and I defended myself, there were no weapons involved but the staff still shot me with several IMPACT ROUNDS throughout the short duration of this simple fistfight, and once we were on the floor and 15 ft. apart no longer scuffling, the K-9 officer entered the pod, looked up to the Gun tower and asked which one, the Gunman screamed and pointed at me, then the K-9 officer literally picked up his VADOC assigned Canine by the collar and forced it to engage and attack me, latching onto my Neck, Shoulders, Back and Face tearing through my Lips. They then took me to medical but denied me proper medical treatment and a tetanus shot. I was threatened and taken to segregation for about 45 days, then released me back to the general population. I went through the proper exhaustion of all administrative remedies made available to me by submitting an informal complaint and grievances stating that: VADOC employee did, in fact, Use Unprovoked, Unrestricted, Unnecessary Use of Excessive Force by forcing his VADOC assigned canine to engage and attack me while I was on the floor bellie down with my arms outstretched in full cooperation and compliance which the Pod camera footage clearly confirms, I requested that the camera footage be Preserved for Further Preponderance of the Evidence in Court to establish proof of excessive force claim. I went on to file a civil lawsuit and to prevent that from happening the staff plotted once again to stop this from getting out. I don't take any medicine nor was I at that time, they needed me to take something and open the doors so they can drug me and assault me so, They called me to the dentist who deliberately drilled into my teeth hitting nerves for second time, they prescribed antibiotics and Tylenol which was what I was supposed to have been given; however, I was drugged with illegal psychotropic mind, thought, and mood altering medications that have never been prescribed to me, so unbeknownst to me I had consumed these drugs without my prior knowledge and/or consent and as result I had adverse affects and was fainting and throwing up blood, I attempted to get medical treatment which they refused although several people and our families contacted the Warden and Other Wallens Ridge State Prison Staff and told them I needed to be seen; The Warden came to the pod and had the Sgt. Cochran call medical the same nurse that drugged me S. R. Owens said I'm a waste of time she's not gonna do nothing for me they are short staff and she ain't got time to deal with me, and stop having people calling up there.

At 3:00 pill pass came and Nurse Stacy Owens came to pass out medication, afterwards she'd called me out and told me to leave whatever paperwork I had in my hands upstairs because share didn't want to see it, I told her it was the list of medicine that I'm allergic to, she said: I don't give a damn, I'm not doing nothing for you, you are wasting my time I told you we're short staff and you kept having people calling up here, you're not dead yet cause you can walk, if you can walk you can walk faster, you got 10 seconds to get downstairs and across this pod or I'm leaving. I made it to the office as fast as I could. Nurse Stacy Owens immediately stated: I ain't give you the wrong medicine, I'm not wearing that and I'm not doing nothing for you.
JLM: I had to have taken the wrong medicine, I've been throwing up blood and had blood in my stool, plus I've fainted 3 times already!
I don't care you're not dead yet you're breathing and you can walk; That's it! Officer.Adkins, He can return to his cell, there's nothing I can do for him, he's wasting my time.
Then she stormed out of the office and out the pod headed toward the Warden several other staff members.
As I got up to leave ofc. Adkins put out his arm and told me to wait and sit back down until she's all the way out of the building. I did so. Once she had left the pod I headed up the staircase to cell #643 in bldg. B- pod 6.where I was being housed. Midway up the staircase, other prisoners asked what were they going to do for me; and I told them she said I'm not dead yet cause I'm breathing and I can walk so she's not wasting her time doing nothing for me.
Many prisoners were outraged and concerned, shouting simultaneously where is the paperwork? and, Did you show her the papers of medicine that you can't take?
JLM: I got the paperwork right here. I tried to show her but she refused to look at them she said I ain't give you the wrong medicine, I'm not wearing that! Then she said I'm not yet cause I'm still breathing I'm wasting her time she ain't gonna do nothing for me and told the C-O she's done put me back in my cell and she stormed out of the office and out the pod. I'm gonna put this in the lawsuit too.
Ofc.T.Adkins: What's that in your hands?
JLM: The list of my medication allergies.
T.Adkins: Bring the paperwork down here to the table.
JLM: You can check it out or give it to them to keep I got plenty copies.

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T.Adkins: I don't need to see them. Get down here until they decide what we wanna do to you.
JLM: Look, She's already gone, so if you don't want the papers and she's not gonna do nothing for me then let me go back in my cell because there's no reason for me to be out here.
T.Adkins: No! You're not going to your cell, You gone do what I say, when I say it! Didn't I tell you, I'm the boss, you gon do what I say do?
(At this time Another prisoner named Mr. Winston walked up on that statement being made by Ofc.T.Adkins, Winston being aware of T.Adkins having harassed and threatened me using those same words just 2 weeks prior in an attempt to provoke me, reminded me not to let the guy get under my skin.)
Winston: Be cool, Bro you know what they tryna do, don't let them trick you up.
JLM:I'm aware! Dude ain't try a let me go back in my cell.
JLM:I'm ready to go back in the cell, you not trying to let that happen so, You need to put the cuffs on me; I'm putting my hands behind my back, cuff me up and take me to the (segregation) hole.
T.Adkins: I'm not putting no cuffs on you or taking you to the hole, something else is gonna happen! Didn't I tell you at the table that you got one more time to pissed me off? We gone get you under the stairs.
As he said this he was already double locking his handcuffs like brass knuckles.
He created a Zone of Danger at this point, and I reacted out of fear of being hurt and experiencing serious bodily injury or death, and I throw a punch before he could hit me with the double-locked handcuffs. We started throwing blows, and another C-O named Thomas came running up screaming we're gonna kill your ass nigger, get his ass under the stairs, he met me with a can of mace and threw  up his offensive guard, so I had to fight him too, I was now fighting both of these officers at the same time;The Lt. came in and told me to get on the floor, I did and they cuffed and shackled me, then maced me again as more came to join in screaming get that nigger under the stairs; they finally got me under the staircase and at least 7 officers started kicking and punching while I was on the floor in full restraints, then as they all screamed stop resisting the K-9 Officer T.Spears forced his new VADOC assigned Canine Anon to engage and attack me on my left leg while they stabbed me with a knife; they took me out the pod and assaulted me again in the saliport/hallway in front of LT.Cochran who did nothing to avert the attack besides saying hey guys wait until we get him to room 2 in medical then you can fuck him up; they took me outside and choked me in front of the Warden who also did nothing to avert the attack besides saying get him to medical first; Lt.King (who I'd filed a Prea complaint on) was outside at the A-bldg. fence and said I'm sending somebody to deal with your ass I told you I'd get your ass one day! ;They took me to medical and Sgt.Crabtree came in and him and multiple officers assaulted me in the medical doorway he kicked my left leg over and over and broke it they also broke my ankle; they got me into exam room #2 in medical and kicked and punched me even attempted to gouge out my left eye; Nurse R.Davis (who was named in previous lawsuit) was there and said I hate this fucking guy he refused treatment (which I didn't) everybody heard it right, Yes they all said in unison,good get this nigger out of my face strap him down; they strapped me down after denying me medical treatment until Sgt.Dickensen came to Wallens Ridge State Prison to transfer me to Red Onion State Prison.
Once Sgt.Dickens changed me out into transportation gear and full restraints, he and other staff roughed me up before they got me in the car and told him, he hasn't cried out once, he won't break, the guy is a fucking rock! Sgt.Dickensen said: Don't worry we're gonna break his ass at Red Onion!

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While transporting me to Red Onion State Prison, Sgt.Dickensen told me: You know we're going to fuck you up right?
JLM: How long is this ride gonna be?
Dickensen: You heard what I said? You understand we're going to kick your ass again as soon as we get to Red Onion, you know that right?
JLM: Are they as racist at Red Onion as they are at Wallens Ridge, can I get visits from people of another race or is it pretty much the same everywhere in these mountains, just wanna make sure before I have my biracial family try to come all the way to Virginia to visit me and get shut down and turned around again.
Dickensen: You think I'm kidding about us kicking your ass when we get to Red Onion, you're worried about the wrong things, you should be terrified about the shit we're about to do to you, you'd be begging right now if you only knew!
JLM:You've already made it clear that you guys are gonna round your gang up and jump me upon arrival, I'll have to endure it when that time comes, I can accept that there's no way to stop what's inevitable, I will not beg nor cry, your gonna do what you're doing regardless, it is what it is and what will be, will be!
Sgt.Dickenkensen told his partner to call Red Onion and he began to slap the dashboard and window yelling out stop kicking, this guy's being a real asshole we're gonna need a lot of backup!
When we arrived at Red Onion Sgt.B.Berg (who was the investigator at Wallens Ridge and was also named in the previous lawsuit) was there at Red Onion waiting on me with several other staff members; they took me to intake and filmed me change out in full compliance noting my leg was severely injured and refused to get a wheelchair instead they forced me to walk in full restraints knowing I wouldn't physically be able to walk fast; they pushed me and told me to walk faster then out of somewhere insidiously sadistic without warning they Picked me up and slammed me on my face bruising my face busting my lips giving me a concussion and fractured my shoulders while they pulled on the cuffs to yet cause me as much pain as possible while screaming "stop resisting, stop resisting" although the camera footage clearly shows that I was never resisting nor became combatant; They took me to the medical intake door but didn't take me in to get treatment; they got a wheelchair instead and took me to the B-bldg. 3-4-5 side and put me on my knees to face a wall in full restraints still with my hands behind my back; and in another attempt to make me cry and beg they grabbed my hands and broke several of my fingers on camera, when I didn't cry out beg or shed even a solitary tear; Sgt.Berg said: He can't break, we gotta strap him down; they put me in a filthy cell with fecal matter smeared all over and strapped me to the bed so tight that it cut off my blood circulation and (which caused permanent nerve damage) denied me proper medical treatment and left me there to bleed out for over sixteen hours;the next day I was taken to medical but even with multiple 3 inch deep stab wounds I wasn't taken to the hospital, given stitches properly treated at Red Onion.
Once they did pill call a few times I noticed I was feeling a very strange agitation and paranoia I demanded to know what I was taking, that's how I found out that I was still getting medication that I wasn't supposed to take and that it was psychotropic medication never legally ordered by the Mental Health Doctor, Dr. Everett McDuffie, which clearly shows that the medical staff were using prisoner's medical insurance to purchase medications and medical supplies that we know nothing about nor need in order to receive kickbacks.

The staff stacked charges and threw away my personal property to put me in a position where they could cover up what I already started to expose about the VADOC creating false institutional, personal and legal profiles and identities on prisoners, and also take all my money (which I never received) from Wallens Ridge and to block my phone privileges so I couldn't call anyone and expose what happened to me, they tampered with and outright threw away my incoming and outgoing personal and professional/Legal mail (and have still been doing so).

They gave me Counselor Kegley as a staff advisor for these institutional charges who was also on the longterm segregation board, even though I stated I'd been drugged and denied medical treatment and the camera footage clearly shows that I'm not at fault. I was given a guilty verdict at the hearing.
I completed the sentence imposed, but since I wrote up the incident and tried to file a lawsuit for "Use of Excessive Force" the Administration decided they weren't going to let me out of segregation nor let my legal mail and lawsuit out of this prison and they've done everything they can to prevent that even sending me all the way to Sussex 1 State Prison all the way in Waverly, VA without any of my personal property and/or legal paperwork each time for months at a time. When I made it here in 2016, Another prisoner Mr.J.Salisbury and I were both starved at Red Onion and had Racist Officers spit chewing tobacco in our food or put sleeping meds in our food and juice and refused to let us go to recreation or shower, I couldn't for a full month.

I believe proof exists the Administration of the VADOC even in Richmond and the local courts are trying to do more than stop these lawsuits, they know there's enough evidence to Establish grounds to bring forth Federal charges under THE FEDERAL RICO ACT if a proper investigation is conducted.
What these Racist people are being allowed to do and get away with is morally wrong and unacceptable! We as a people have moral responsibility to "STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, AND EXPOSE " what the sadistic and insidious Virginia Department of Corruption and its employees are doing!

By Julian Mitchell

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Story Of Professional Irresponsibility and Ethical Indifference By A Virginia Sussex l State Prison [SXISP] Mental Health Official By William Thorpe

On 8/30/18; a prisoner soon to be released was removed from Sussex l State Prison [SXISP] General Population [GP] and placed in Solitary Confinement Unit because he was allegedly cursing and acting out because SXISP guards wouldn't allow him use of a phone to set up an alternate home release plan because his mother was refusing to let him live with her once he was released.

On 8/31/18; a SXISP Mental Health official came to the prisoner's cell door, identified herself and said she was here to talk to him because he'd got locked up last night. To which the prisoner responded, and I paraphrase, he goes home in a week and his release plan fell through because his mom wouldn't let him live with her, so he had to use the phone to figure out alternatives and the officers wouldn't allow him its use. The prisoner was cogent and clear in expressing what his issue was. To which the Mental Health official responded and I am paraphrasing, the counselor for the Solitary Confinement unit didn't show up for work and Monday is Labor Day so she'd email the counselor about his situation after the Labor Day holiday.

Professional Duty and Ethical Responsibility 

Virginia Law provides a generalized requirement for a Mental Health official's contact with a prisoner initially placed in Solitary Confinement and Virginia Department of Corrections Operating Procedure [VADOCOP] 730.4, 730.5, 841.1 861.3 all specifically detail and define a VADOC Mental Health Officials Responsibility. This "Story" about a SXISP Mental Health officials contact with a prisoner initially placed in the prisons Solitary Confinement unit reveals, the legal obligations, professional duty and ethical responsibilities of a Virginia prison Mental Health official. But what it also seriously exposes is official misconduct and the culture of professional irresponsibility and ethical indifference that grows unchecked when prison officials accountability to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which particularly includes its prisoners are allowed to be demagogued away by political reaction.

This Story: A Second Aspect  

The prisoner then told the SXISP Mental Health official that he had spent the entire night in the cell without a blanket and sheets and he was cold to which the Mental Health official responded: and this is a direct quote, you look pretty warm to me, your face is red", then she turned around and left the prisoners door. The Mental Health official never bothered to look through the glass window to verify the prisoner's claim of being without a blanket and sheets. Which the U.S. Supreme Court has long since settled the question: that prison officials have the legal obligation to provide prisoners with adequate clothing and not to do so violates the U.S. Constitution 8th Amendment dicta against the cruel and unusual punishment of prisoner. Also the Virginia Constitution and formulations of Virginia Statutorial Law also prohibits cruel and unusual punishment of prisoner.

Prisoner Official Accountability: It's Lack

For the reader and the Virginia public, I ask:
  • Is the behavior of the SXISP Mental Health official reflective of the professional duty and ethical responsibilities anticipated by the Virginia taxpayer?
  • The Virginia Department of Corrections is a sprawling $1.5 billion a year behemoth of taxpayer money and if it's function is so integral to Virginia society, are the watchdogs: Governmental and non-governmental up to it?                                                                                                                                                    
The callousness displayed cavalierly by the SXISP Mental Health official on 8/31/18; besides those specific violations of VADOC OP's i.e not even a pro forma inquiry into the state of the prisoner's mind, or a follow up on the inadequacy of the prisoners clothing. Instructs of and illustrates what endemic, systemic indifference looks like. We are constantly lectured by Senior Virginia Governmental officials and VADOC executives that Virginia penology is on the just side of history because for one, "low" recidivism says so [this work isn't dealing with recidivist claims by Virginia's Government] yet the actual behavior of Virginia prison officials in its prisons are anything but. From acts, which if were committed by a regular taxpaying citizen would be seen as felonies and prosecuted as such. To administrative malfeasance of the like existing at the U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs of which the Virginia mainstream media presumes its disclosures satisfies and completes its duty to educate the taxpaying citizen, while serious acts of governmental misconduct and unaccountability play out as nauseam behind the concertina wire and storm fences of its prisons, without a squeak from its mastheads.

Re-Entry Into Society

The release of a prisoner back into society is serious business and those responsible for its process should see it as such. When a prisoner within days of release informs the only prison official with administrative authority, he had contact with, within hours of his placement in Solitary Confinement, due to an issue with his home release plan because it has fallen through and he virtually has nowhere to go upon release and that prison official only sees the issue as an emailing one, for another prison official, a counselor who wouldn't be back to work till after the holidays, then the question has to be asked to what extent is this SXISP Mental Health official cognizant of her professional duty and ethical responsibilities and what exactly are the taxpayers of Virginia paying for?

Furthermore what has become of Brian Moran's Virginia Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security much vaunted "Re-Entry Program" and the assertion, no prisoner is released from Virginia prisons without Re-Entry Programming? Because had this prisoner been in the SXISP "Re-Entry Program" this wouldn't have been an issue necessitating critique.

By William Thorpe who is in Solitary Confinement currently at Sussex l State Prison