Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee: 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pain Killers, Black, Brown, White America and Illegal Drug Activities

So when will criminal laws on the Federal and State level reflect that Pain Killers prescribed by the nations well fed doctorare now enemy number one in that other war, The War On Drugs?

Or are we to accept the proposition that the war on drugs as all proscriptions and social controls are nothing more than thinly veiled gambits to destabilize Black and Brown America particularly Black and Brown Men because what we see with pain killers medication is it is illegal activity indulged primarily by suburban White America and rural White America.. We don't see monologues in the various political chambers across the land, demanding the sort of Draconian Punishment illegal drug activities practiced by Black and Brown America experiences.  What we do see is the sophistry bias of law, order and justice and it's logic is stacked when the violator is the suburban neighbor or the hunting rifle toting, dysfunctioning family, religious opportunist NASCAR rural America.

By William

William Thorpe is confined at ROSP Administration-Segregation since opening in 1998 and has been in AdSeg. since 1996.

Monday, December 5, 2016

WHEN NOTED "EXPRESS INDIFFERENCE": RED ONION STATE PRISON, MENTAL HEALTH and IT'S PRACTICE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

As early as 1890: the U.S. Supreme Court in the case: In Re Medley, 134 US 160 [1890] dealing with Solitary Confinement or as it's currently nuanced euphemistically Administrative Segregation wrote:


"A considerable number of the Prisoners fell after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition from which it was next to impossible to arouse them, and other became violently insane; others, still, committed suicide; while those who stood the ordeal better were not generally reformed, and in most cases, did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community."
That 1890 court concluded that Solitary Confinement is "an infamous punishment"

In 1988; The Seventh Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals determined in Davenport v. Derobertis 844 F.2.d 1310: 

"That isolating a Human Being from other Human Beings year after year or even month after month can cause substantial psychological damage, even if the isolation isn't total".

The court went on to state "there is plenty of medical and psychological literature concerning the ill effects of Solitary Confinement [of which Segregation is a variant]

In 1995; The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in Madrid v. Gomez 889 f.supp.1146 [A case so comprehensive in it's finding that the state of California didn't even bother to appeal] wrote:

   "Subjecting individuals to conditions [Solitary Confinement] that are "very likely" to render them psychotic or otherwise exacerbate a serious Mental Illness cannot be squared with evolving standards of humanity and decency, especially when certain aspects of those conditions appear to bear little relation to security concerns. A risk this grave      this shocking and indecent----simply has no place in civilized society".

In 2003 Human Rights Watch quoted a California Prison Psychiatrist in Human Rights Watch, Ill-equipped: U.S. prisons and offenders with Mental Illness 149-513 saying: "It's a standard psychiatric concept, if you put people in isolation [Solitary Confinement] they will go insane.......
most people in isolation will fall apart".

In 2005: in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Wilkinson v.Austin #04-495, also 545 U.S. 209.  A group of Psychologists and Psychiatrists filed a Amicus Curiae or Friend of the Court brief in support of Prisoners stating:


No Study of the effects of Solitary or Supermax-Like confinement that lasted longer than 60 days failed to find evidence of negative psychological effects".

Recently the fourth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals which has Jurisdiction over the Commonwealth of Virginia and four other states determined in the 2015 case, Incumaa v. Stirling 791 f.3d 517 [2015] that:

"[Prisoner] had liberty interest in avoiding Solitary Confinement in security detention, as required for his claim that his placement in Solitary for 20 years violated [U.S.] Fourteenth Amendment Procedural Due Process: [Prisoner] was subject to near daily cavity and strip searches, he was confined to small cell for all sleeping and waking hours aside from 10 hours of activity outside the cell per month, he was denied educational, vocational, and therapy programs, [Prisoner] was socially isolated, and confinement was indefinite."

In light of the above cited, quoted and excerpted authorities which are but a sample of the exhaustively comprehensive legal and Mental Health findings and works on practice of using Long Term Administrative Segregation or Solitary Confinement, of which contrary to recent noises by the Virginia Politicos and officials at it's flagship primary Solitary Confinement Prison, Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] that Solitary Confinement in VADOC has been reformed and done away with.

The practice of Long Term Solitary Confinement is alive and well and ongoing at ROSP, where a number of Prisoners have been detained in Solitary Confinement for over 20 years and counting of which I am one, experiencing identical conditions as the Prisoner in the Incumaa case, since 1996.
It is to the above-referenced works as back drop, that the Mental Health Department of ROSP, a Prison where Solitary Confinement is the Primary Form of detention. Gave the terse response "NOTED" in it's professional capacity to my question on:

"What is the current contemporary consensus from Mental Health Professionals on Psychological and physiological effects of Long term Solitary Confinement or Administrative Segregation".  [see response from ROSP Mental Health Department: "NOTED".

What is to be made of the situation where ROSP officials are indifferent and unwilling to recognize that a practice of detention utilized as their Primary Operational Model----Solitary Confinement is distinguished by negative critique extending over a hundred years?

By William Thorpe
William Thorpe is detained at ROSP in Solitary Confinement since 1998 

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

THE PRISON CONDITION, ANAL CAVITY SEARCHES and TERRORISM

The following is an interesting statement, written by a Prisoner.  It deals with the Prison Condition.  It deals with the cavalier nature Prison officials approach the antagonistic intrusion of Anal Cavity Searches and it shows conflicting presumptions when contrasted with security concerns of the general public and Terrorism.
"Lieutenant T. I spoke to you about the Prison's Anal Cavity Search Policy and you stated certain things as facts.  You described a scenario where a Prisoner being escorted to the showers quickly pulls a regular sized lotion bottle filled with feces out of their rectum and douses the escort guards with feces and that is the primary reason for the Anal Cavity Search Policy.  The reality is Prison officials have long since explained away the antagonistic intrusion of a Prisoner's body as it concerns Anal Cavity Searches, that Prisoners as a group place objects inside their rectums.  I wonder how much of this is excessive supposition.  I find it more plausible for a guard to blame his or hers inattentiveness during a search on a Prisoner sticking something in their rectum after something happens.  Because this begs this question are Prisoners anatomy any different than any other Human?  Does the mere fact of a conviction and subsequent imprisonment instantly transform a Prisoners anatomy to the point that a prisoners body now begins to defy all natural laws?  This is a valid point.  I wonder who and how many Prison officials have inserted bottles and objects inside their rectums and anal cavities to then become authorities, speaking with certainty on the ease and opportunity of objects going in and out the rectums.  Because anything less than empirical knowledge of this, particularly, when the question is dealing with the antagonistic intrusion of a prisoners body is assumption.  And assumptions alone are not enough to base such violations so casually.
I raise another point.  I understand governments interest in maintaining a safe and secure Prison environment, just as government has an interest in maintaining a safe and secure society.  Since the terrorist acts of 9/11.  The Federal Govt. has enacted a number of laws, policies and practices to dissuade Mass Destructive acts. One of the primary targets has been Airports.  Policies and practices that mandate and warrant airline passengers to remove shoes, submit to a hand frisk, pat down, walk through metal detectors, hand held wands have been enacted.  But and I find this peculiar, no security personnel or legislator is proposing and advocating the practice of Anal Cavity Searches of all Airline passengers.  The U.S. Govt. has all the reasons to pursue all security measures that will ensure the safety of the Homeland, yet Anal Cavity Searches isn't one.  The mass general public and people out there in society have an infinite array of objects that can be concealed in their anal cavities and rectums which can be relative Weapons of Mass Destruction.  If it is to be accepted that Prisoners so casually secrete bottles in their anal cavities."
 The above was written by a Prisoner who has asked vapac to secure his identity.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

RED ONION STATE PRISON AND IT''S FOOD SERVICE SCHEME: IMPROPRIETIES AND VIOLATIONS BY FOOD OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

The improprieties being done and violations by Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] food service under the supervision of it's food operations director [FOD] doesn't end with denials and deprivations of adequate and well balanced meals, for Prisoners confined in Solitary confinement, [Administrative Segregation]. ROSP food service utilizes a meal serving procedure that relies primarily on ROSP guards or security to serve meals to prisoners confined in ROSP Solitary Confinement. This meal serving procedure is done without supervision by any certified food service personnel who have the legal responsibility for all food issues. Instead the ROSP Food operations Director has given meal serving responsibility to unsupervised prison guards who are unwilling to ensure that meals are served at correct temperature. Subsequently the ROSP'S FOD is a party to a rosp food scheme operational scheme that isn't accountable to Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] food service guidelines and policy directives. Nor has there been any meaningful and transparent-external and accountable oversight.

The scheme is simple: it denies accountability from all supervisory positions at ROSP concerning meal issues.  ROSP Prisoners are told that when ROSP guards serve meals it is the Prisoners responsibility to then tell the prison guard whatever issues there are with the meal and the prison guard is suppose to contact food service if, for example items are missing on meal trays, if meal portions are wrong. this scheme makes a mockery of the fact that it is the Food Operations Director responsibility and legal obligation to ensure that a Prisoners meal is in compliance with Virginia and United States law and VADOC food policy.

Naturally, what happens is ROSP guards ignore Prisoners claim. Without any supervision from food service during meal serving, Prison guards are left to their own attitudes and bias unresponsiveness and when complaints and grievances are filed concerning violations with the meals, prison guards lie and claim nothing was wrong with the meal or the Prisoner never complained about anything. This is done particularly with a wink and a nod tacit approval from it's Food Operations Director and ROSP officials who intrinsically use food as punishment contrary to Virginia law.

Furthermore Prison Guards are quick to speak for Food Service, defending ROSP'S Food Operations Director's improprieties and violations. For example when spoiled milk is served, prison guards are extremely reluctant to notify food service. When meals are served cold in violation of VADOC policy, prison guards didn't plug up the food cart to keep the meals warm as VADOC policy and ROSP post orders requires of them.  When trays are served crusted dirty with earlier meals, meaning ROSP food service employees failed their supervisory duties to ensure that trays were actually washed and properly cleaned, not to mention the potential for meningitis and other diseases.  It becomes a major issue and issues with meals and surrounding meal serving, are the primary source of the majority of problems that escalate into confrontation and incidents at ROSP.  Which could just as easily be eliminated were the Food Operations Director and ROSP food service employees supervising meal servings.  When the Food Operations Director fails to serve the correct food portion size, prison guards who are ill-suited and trained to assume food service obligations become combative and indifferent when challenged over the violations by a recipient prisoner and the prison guard typical refrain is "that's what the kitchen sent over" when a Prisoner protest and resists, ROSP officials are quick to punish the Prisoner by either tying the Prisoner to the bunk for days on end, placing the Prisoners on stripped cell,placing Prisoner in hand cuffs, chains and shackles in a doubled over manner that renders the prisoner unable to stand erect for hours at times days.  Prisoners are gassed with OC Pepper Gas, in violation of prohibitions against its use in a 8x10 windowless cell.  All these examples are consequences of the ROSP Food Operations Director unwillingness to comply with the directives of VADOC food policy. The Food Operations Director also violates VADOC food policy by rotating meals calibrated by VADOC Master Menu for lunch and dinner of separate and different days.  The Food Operations Director violates VADOC food service manual requirement that the Food Operations Director keep track of and log of food items the Prisoner population isn't eating, because of her failure to supervise meal servings, she is unaware of what the Prison Population in ROSP Solitary Confinement are not eating.  the Food Operations Director violates VADOC food service guidelines concerning meal portion size.  Because she consistently fails to comply with the meal portion size and provide Prisoners confined in Solitary Confinement with an adequate and nutritional balanced meal and this specific meal portion size violation is done deliberately.

Another aggravating factor is both Unit Manager and building Lieutenant, security supervisor of C/building, which is the primary Solitary Confinement building are apathetic and unconcerned in requiring and ensuring compliance from prison guards serving meals with VADOC food service policy.  Both Unit Manager and building Lieutenant virtually enable the lying and malfeasance by prison guards because a simple review of the cell houses in pod surveillance camera will reveal and show that prison guards are lying.  But rarely is this done because prison guards eep on violating VADOC food service policy.

If the state of Virginia intended on pursuing Prison Food Policy as practiced by the ROSP Food Operations Director, it would state so. However contrary to ROSP's Food Operations Director's actions with her petty-tyrannical violations of VADOC Food Service guidelines, the state of Virginia hasn't.

By William Thorpe

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


RED ONION STATE PRISON AND IT''S FOOD SERVICE SCHEME: IMPROPRIETIES AND VIOLATIONS BY P. SCARBERRY FOOD OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

The improprieties being done and violations by Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] food service under the supervision of P. Scaeberry, Food Operations Director [FOD] doesn't end with denials and deprivations of adequate and well balanced meals, for Prisoners confined in Solitary confinement, [Administrative Segregation]. ROSP food service utilizes a meal serving procedure that relies primarily on ROSP guards or security to serve meals to prisoners confined in ROSP Solitary Confinement. This meal serving procedure is done without supervision by any certified food service personnel who have the legal responsibility for all food issues. Instead P. Scarberry the ROSP Food Operations Director has given meal serving responsibility to unsupervised prison guards who are unwilling to ensure that meals are served at correct temperature. Subsequently P. Scarberry ROSP'S FOD is a party to a ROSP food scheme operational scheme that isn't accountable to Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] food service guidelines and policy directives. Nor has there been any meaningful and transparent-external and accountable oversight.

The scheme is simple: it denies accountability from all supervisory positions at ROSP concerning meal issues.  ROSP Prisoners are told that when ROSP guards serve meals it is the Prisoners responsibility to then tell the prison guard whatever issues there are with the meal and the prison guard is suppose to contact food service if, for example items are missing on meal trays, if meal portions are wrong. this scheme makes a mockery of the fact that it is P. Scarberry responsibility and legal obligation to ensure that a Prisoner's meal is in compliance with Virginia and United States law and VADOC food policy.

Naturally, what happens is ROSP guards ignore Prisoners claim. Without any supervision from food service during meal serving, Prison guards are left to their own attitudes and bias unresponsiveness and when complaints and grievances are filed concerning violations with the meals, prison guards lie and claim nothing was wrong with the meal or the Prisoner never complained about anything. This is done particularly with a wink and a nod tacit approval from P. Scarberry and ROSP officials who intrinsically use food as punishment contrary to Virginia law.

Furthermore Prison Guards are quick to speak for Food Service, defending food service and P. Scarberry improprieties and violations. For example when spoiled milk is served, prison guards are extremely reluctant to notify food service. When meals are served cold in violation of VADOC policy, prison guards will claim that's how the food service sent the meals over when in reality prison guards didn't plug up the food cart to keep the meals warm as VADOC policy and ROSP post orders requires of them.  When trays are served crusted dirty with earlier meals, meaning ROSP food service employees failed their supervisory duties to ensure that trays were actually washed and properly cleaned, not to mention the potential for meningitis and other diseases.  It becomes a major issue and issues with meals and surrounding meal serving, are the primary source of the majority of problems that escalate into confrontation and incidents at ROSP. Which could just as easily be eliminated were P. Scarberry and ROSP food service employees supervising meal servings.  When P. Scarberry fails to serve the correct food portion size, prison guards who are ill-suited and trained to assume food service obligations become combative and indifferent when challenged over the violations by a recipient prisoner and the prison guard typical refrain is "that's what the kitchen sent over" when a Prisoner protest and resists, ROSP officials are quick to punish the Prisoner by either tying the Prisoner to the bunk for days on end, placing the Prisoners on stripped cell, placing Prisoner in hand cuffs, chains and shackles in a doubled over manner that renders the prisoner unable to stand erect for hours at times days.  Prisoners are gassed with OC Pepper Gas, in violation of prohibitions against its use in a 8x10 windowless cell.  All these examples are consequences of P. Scarberry's unwillingness to comply with the directives of VADOC food policy. P. Scarberry Director also violates VADOC food policy by rotating meals calibrated by VADOC Master Menu for lunch and dinner of separate and different days.  P. Scarberry violates VADOC food service manual requirement that the Food Operations Director keep track of and log of food items the Prisoner population isn't eating, because of her failure to supervise meal servings, she is unaware of what the Prison Population in ROSP Solitary Confinement are not eating.  P. Scarberry Director violates VADOC food service guidelines concerning meal portion size.  Because she consistently fails to comply with the meal portion size and provide Prisoners confined in Solitary Confinement with an adequate and nutritional balanced meal and this specific meal portion size violation is done deliberately.

Another aggravating factor is both Unit Manager A. Duncan and building Lieutenant C Gilbert, security supervisor of C/building, which is the primary Solitary Confinement building are apathetic and unconcerned in requiring and ensuring compliance from prison guards serving meals with VADOC food service policy.  Both Unit Manager Duncan and building Lieutenant Gilbert virtually enable the lying and malfeasance by prison guards because a simple review of the cell house's in pod surveillance camera will reveal and show that prison guards are lying.  But rarely is this done because prison guards keep on violating VADOC food service policy.

If the state of Virginia intended on pursuing Prison Food Policy as practiced by P. Scarberry, it would state so. However contrary to P.Scarberry's actions with her petty-tyrannical violations of VADOC Food Service guidelines, the state of Virginia hasn't.

By William Thorpe

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

ON DEATH ROW IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, LAST MEALS and BACKWARDS REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS

Seal of the Texas Death Row, photographed in t...
Seal of the Texas Death Row, photographed in the Polunsky Unit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Instead of being outraged over the practice of the condemned on Death Row in the state of Texas ordering last meals of their choosing. Those backwards Conservatives and Republican Politicians in the Texas Legislature should be outraged over the injustices and travesties of it's Justice and Legal System. Considering innocent citizens have been murdered under the farce and misnomer execution by the unconscionable Texas Justice System that has seen over forty of it's condemned prisoners released due to the revelatory exigence of DNA Science showing they were wrongly convicted and condemned.

By vapac

Monday, October 3, 2016

PRIORITY ALERTS: RED ONION STATE PRISON

VAPAC STATES: Millions of tax payer dollars has been spent and an inordinate amount of man hours wasted by the government of Virginia in arbitrating litigation's against unlawful acts and violations of Virginia and U.S. law by prison officials and rank and file guards at Red Onion State Prison [ROSP].

The wasted tax payer resources would have been spent on other significant obligations of Virginia Governance i.e education, healthcare, job training, to name a few.  But because of the well documented historic malfeasance of ROSP officials and guards and because, the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] in its operation of ROSP is unlawfully and unethically opaque, relatively unaccountable to Virginia tax payer and transparently even less so, Virginia's Prison Experiment at ROSP is a morass of law breaking and VADOC policy violating reality, by ROSP officials and guards.

VAPAC STATES: The operational model of ROSP lends itself to an inordinate amount of daily abuse and violations of Virginia and U.S.  This violation is pronounced and egregious in C/building, which ROSP uses to detain the Long Term Administration Segregation and Mental Health Prisoner population.

VAPAC STATES: ROSP obstructs complaint and grievance filing by Prisoners, particularly Administration Segregation and Mental Health Prisoners with tactics employed, in violation of VADOC grievance policy, by it's grievance department.

VAPAC CALLS FOR ROSP TO STOP:
POSTED BY VAPAC

Monday, September 19, 2016

OUR PURPOSE



VAPAC STATES: Virginia Prisons exist because of laws.

VAPAC: Is organized to ensure that the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] complies with Virginia laws and Prison officials and guards follow VADOC policy an procedures.

Lets stand to make Virginia Prisons transparent and accountable

Posted By VAPAC

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SOLITARY WATCH and THE ANTAGONISM Of IDEALISTIC-JOURNALISM and ACCOUNTABILITY


In a recent August 4th, 2016; Solitary Watch article on  Virginia's Supermax Red Onion State Prison [ROSP], a prison one prison guard characterized to a prisoner as a place where "crooks watch over crooks" and another guard said "an investigation waiting to happen".  Was described by Solitary Watch as "one of the harshest prisons in the nation".  This descriptive expression by Solitary Watch is another example of the age-old semantic Achilles Heel plaguing progressive hearts and minds who despite the motivational intent of exposing government's behavior within the prison environment end up giving it cover and enabling it.  Because their word choice confuses and distorts the condition their efforts intend on exposing.

PRISON OFFICIALS AND LAW

Red Onion State Prison is a lawless prison where prison officials, it's rank and file guards in it's operation break every law imaginable and violate each and every aspect of their very own Virginia Department of Corrections procedures and policies. [VADOC].  Prisons by definition are legal constructs.  This simply means each and every fact of the prison condition is because of law and defined by law ROSP isn't any different.  A prisoner is in prison because of the dictates of law. The prison guard is able to physically touch a prisoner and the totality of the relationship a prisoner has with prison is because law authorizes it.  Law defines it.  The parameters, context, and extent of the contact and relationship come into existence because of law.  So the conditions at ROSP, Solitary Watch attempted to expose in it's August 4th, 2016; article are not a mere question of "harshness". But are narratives of law and in certain cases criminal violations by ROSP officials and its rank and file guards and this definitive clarity of description is what Solitary Watch, in its work should have given us.  

IDEALISTIC JOURNALISM AND ACCOUNTABILITY

The problem with works as Solitary Watch's August 4th, 2016; article on ROSP is it rehabilitates and decriminalizes governmental malfeasance by reducing it to a moral hazard ambiguity, an academic indulgence of prisons, as conventional wisdom supposes are expected to be harsh and VADOC and its ROSP operatives as a matter of fact welcome the "harshness" critique because not only does it let them off the hook, that conditions at ROSP which Solitary Watch per virtue of it's work finds offensive are a result of prison officials breaking the law, behaving with impunity above the law and violating their own VADOC procedures and policies.  But in a perverse manner endows ROSP with a notoriety mystique that governmental organized violence which prison is a foot soldier, strives to assert. The imperatives of Solitary Watch- type works present the expectation but as evidenced in it's ROSP article fail and neglect to give us the conclusion that:  Red Onion State Prison must be investigated by an independent agency, if the general public, not only is to have faith but maintain faith in government.  Because the ROSP question is quintessentially that of criminality, prison officials behaving criminally.

So when Solitary Watch cites self serving assertions by VADOC, Virginia politicos i.e State Senator Adam Ebbin, State Delegate Patrick Hope, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Southern Legislative Conference as reflective and indicative of reform of the ROSP operational model relative to Administrative-Segregation, which Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Homeland Security Brian Moran is quoted in the article as "restrictive housing".  We have to ask why Solitary Watch didn't indepthly critique the reform in question as being window dressing, chasing federal funds, which the U.S.  government provides VADOC and a charade which any first year law student would have exposed from a cursory reading of VADOC prison procedures and policies governing the purported reform, that it is all a sham---from the name change of Administrative-Segregation to restrictive housing it is all a sham and those politicos cited touting the reform who make laws and therefore know how to read the substance in policies, have to know, relatively nothing changed.

Solitary Watch omitted that the prison policy in question also known as Step Down Program is an arbitrary construct, which despite having the weight of statutory law is also susceptible as any other law to the question: Is the law constitutional.  Presently over 30 ROSP prisoners detained in Administrative-Segregation are challenging the law in Federal Court for the Western District of Virginia.

ON THE QUESTION OF REDUCTION IN PRISONERS CONFINED AT ROSP ADMINISTRATION-SEGREGATION

Solitary Watch didn't delve into the fact that the post 2011 decrease in the number of prisoners detained at ROSP Administration-Segregation had as much to do with the fact, VADOC transformed half of ROSP's four buildings back to its original quasi-general population operational model.  Had Solitary Watch factored this into it's work, it would have discovered that since opening in August and September of 1998, VADOC hasn't been able to resolve what it needs ROSP for and subsequently needs it to be, besides the obvious economic role ROSP plays in the economic depressed, rural and politically marginalized region of Southwest Virginia.  This bureaucratic vacillation by VADOC has only confirmed the fundamental objection opponents of ROSP have expressed all along that not only doesn't VADOC need ROSP but it built it against the conclusions and findings By the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in its 1985 and 1986 reports on August 4th-5th, 1984; uprising at ROSP's  precursor, Mecklenburg Correctional Center that VADOC shouldn't confine at one place it's so-called "worst of the worst".

If as Solitary Watch writes VADOC is reducing confinement of prisoners in Administrative-Segregation [AdSeg] why didn't it obtain the current VADOC rate for placing prisoners in AdSeg. And for what in contrast with pre-2011 rates and reasons.  Also what are the figures for prisoners held in AdSeg. in other Virginia prisons i.e Wallens Ridge, River North, Green Rock, Keen Mountain, Pocahontas, Augusta, Sussex I and II to name some of the major ones.  What this would have revealed is the AdSeg. practice in Virginia is arbitrary.  Detention and confinement in Virginia's AdSeg. varies from prison to prison.  Based on an arcane calculus which falls in the all too familiar dynamic of: Vindictiveness of prison officials who have scores to settle against certain prisoners for 20 and 30 year old acts and allegations.  So VADOC due process policies are misapplied, documents are falsified, infractions are fraudulently concocted against prisoners to effect placement in AdSeg.  which are all unlawful and in some cases criminal acts by prison officials.  Other factors are: Racism, where White prisoners are not generally subjected to the extremity of AdSeg. and relative length of confinement as Black and Latino prisoners for identical acts and allegations. Also: Black, White and Latino prisoners from urban areas of Eastern, Central and Northern Virginia, bear the brunt of AdSeg. and are more likely to be transferred to the rural prisons of Red Onion and Wallens Ridge AdSeg. in contrast with prisoners from rural Virginia.  The urban bias is an unchallenged fact.  But the more implicit insidious suggestion is, the mainly Black and Latino staff of prisons in non-rural areas are incapable of managing urban prisoners.

CRIMINALITY AND A TEXT BOOK STUDY OF MALFEASANCE

Solitary Watch in its August 4th, 2016 article shy's away from calling for an independent criminal investigation into criminality and malfeasance that is the operative conduct of ROSP officials and its rank and file guards:


  • ROSP guards assaulting and battering prisoners who are handcuffed behind their backs, shackled and kneeling. See [rebuttal to petitioner response, Canada v. Methena 7:13-cv00322  also Re: Complaint of Abuse and Misuse of Restraints DOC-2013-401055].
  • Also...Asiatic Allah #1030654 on 7/15/15; punched in the face and beaten by ROSP guard upon arrival at ROSP from Augusta C.C.
  • Also...D Freeman #1108494 in 2015; assaulted and beaten up by prison guards at ROSP-B/3 Pod. 
  • Also...T James on 7/29/15; prison guards broke his hand while he was handcuffed and shackled at ROSP - B/3-31 Pod.
  • Also...Andre Goodwin #1008696 on 6/16 /15; aussalted in ROSP-C/3 Pod by unidentified guards.  

The practice and racist totem of ROSP; all white K-9 Corp sizing attack dogs on a majority Black and urban population, reminiscent of White police officers behavior during the anti-Segregation struggles of the Civil Rights Movement.

The unlawful practice of ROSP guards denying prisoners meals and criminal acts of ROSP guards tampering with prisoners meals.

The unlawful act of ROSP guards denying prisoners showers for months on end despite VADOC AdSeg. policy mandate prisoners are given showers 3 times per week.

The unlawful practice of denying AdSeg. prisoners outside exercise for months on end,8-9 months straight.

The misuse of Stripped Cells and unlawful practice of depriving prisoners property.

The unlawful practice of deploying OC Pepper gas inside the confines of a 8x10 foot cell without regard for prisoners held in windowless cells.

The unlawful practice of using food as punishment by skimping and not providing the VADOC Master Menu and Food Service Manual required portions to AdSeg. prisoners.

The unlawful practice of chaining prisoners wrists to ankles, thereby denying the prisoner the ability to stand upright for hours on end.

The unlawful and unethical treatment of Mental Health prisoners confined at ROSP AdSeg. where the are subjected to denial of showers, outside exercise, food, meals tampered with, deprived of property, taunted, insulted, provoked by ROSP guards and once they react, they are gassed with OC Pepper Gas, put on Stripped Cells for weeks on end, tied to bunks       everything is done to Mental health prisoners, save for a legitimate and professional Mental Health Care.

The unlawful practices of retaliation against prisoners who dare complain and speak out against the criminal and malfeasante actions of ROSP officials and guards.  Prisoners are accused of false infractions, mail is tampered with, outside exercise and showers denied. Meals denied. In some cases prisoners assaulted and battered by ROSP guards, AdSeg. confinement extended.

Last but not least ROSP, with tacit approval from VADOC executive leadership has effectively quashed the filing of Complaints and Grievances despite VADOC policies that speak to the filing of Complaints and Grievances.  This quashing of Complaints and Grievance filings is what allows VADOC to be quoted by Solitary Watch that "It has successfully   decreased the grievances filed by men at ROSP by 71%" and Solitary Watch just as it hasn't called for an outside independent investigation into the operation and practices at ROSP, didn't ask VADOC on how it managed to decrease complaints in any prison for that matter, let alone a Supermax one by the astounding revelation of 71%.


What the advocacy of Solitary Watch imperative needs to understand, then subsequently emphasize in its work is: The situation at ROSP as I have attempted to show isn't the colloquial "cruel and inhumane treatment" as Solitary Watch paraphrases certain ROSP prisoners as saying.  But the issue is specific. Red Onion State Prison is a lawless prison.  Each and every aspect of its operation is a text book study of malfeasance.

The attitude of ROSP official, inculcate into its rank and file, bubbling beneath the veneer of pseudo-professionalism is ROSP prisoners are convicts, the worst of the worst, so if a ROSP guard commits the criminal act of spitting in a prisoners food or committing the criminal act of assaulting and battering a prisoner in the ROSP guards mind it is not a criminal act because the victim is a prisoner.  The Irony is casually lost on the guard that he/she are breaking and violating the same law that effected and permits the imprisonment of the prisoner to begin with.  This fact isn't a simple issue of mistreatment, or harshness of conditions.  But these are crimes that have to be recognized as such and its one thing for prison officials to excise hypocrisy as the only refuge-rationale of their lawlessness and malfeasance. But its entirely another for Solitary Watch and its side of history work, in an expose' that pursues as it's imperative governmental-accountability to give cover to and enable the lawlessness and malfeasance with distortive semantics

Solitary Watch and its allies should lend their voice and talent to the cause of demanding that Red Onion State Prison is investigated by the outside independent agency and in the interim the Virginia National Guard manages its daily operations

By William Thorpe

William Thorpe is confined at ROSP Administration-Segregation since opening in 1998 and has been in AdSeg. since 1996.

Monday, September 5, 2016

WHAT WE ARE ABOUT

FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF VIRGINIA PRISONERS

ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE ESTIMATED 510,000 VIRGINIA FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER AND FRIEND IMPRISONED IN THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS? 

VIRGINIA PRISONS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE (vapac) is: Virginia families for transparency and accountability in Virginia Department of Corrections and Prisons (VADOC).

TAX PAYERS OF VIRGINIA meaning families and friends of Virginia Prisoners spend a $1 billion a year on the Department of Corrections. Yet VADOC, in the recent words of one Virginia Mother whose son is imprisoned "Behave as if it's above the law and it's accountability.

VIRGINIA PRISONS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE States: To often those who exploit a biased, one sided and unequal application of the rule of law.  Have successfully distorted the idea of holding prison officials accountable as its proponents are soft on crime and coddling prisoners.

VAPAC disagrees.  We stand to expose that narrative as a petty argument for prison officials to break laws and violate their own policies and procedures.

VAPAC asserts that no one is above the law especially prison officials who are entrusted with the privilege, of maintaining the imprisonment experiment.

LETS STAND TO MAKE VIRGINIA PRISONS TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE.

BY VAPAC