Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee: 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Virginia Department of Corrections In Its Operation Unlawful Treatment of Reentry Prisoners At Virginia's Greensville Correctional Center

We at "Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee" have received the following alarming letter from concerned families of prisoners  At Greensville Correctional Center. We have been alerted officials there are not doing their jobs and denying guys their earned good time, overriding their security levels thus keeping them incarcerated longer than they should be. VADOC headquarters in Richmond (atmore) is also not listening to the families when they call the court legal services unit and the correspondence department is not responding to inmate requests, assistance etc. my husband should’ve been home last month and they’re denying him his review and all the things aforementioned. 
We are asking our followers and members to share this post as a step in the process by exposing VADOC violations at Virginia's Greensville Correctional Center. 

Thank you
Submitted Anonymously protecting their identity by a member and follower of Virgina Prisons Accountability Committee.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Appalling Conditions at Virginia's Danville City Jail Needs Action Immediately

I am wondering if you can help me out by letting me know who I need to contact about the conditions at the Danville City Jail.

They are making the inmates sit in their underwear both female and male inmates and this process is taking 5 to 6 hours each time they come to ask the inmates if they want a new jumper.  Also, they are not turning the heat on but maybe once a day and so the inmates are cold as well and many of them don't have underclothing because the jail doesn't provide it for them.  The food amounts that they used to get are being cut in half as well, many of the inmates are not receiving their commissary as well because they keep telling them that there is a mix up of their funds even though the inmates were handed a receipt showing that money was put on their accounts.  They are being denied their religious rights as well, many are not being allowed to go to the bible studies or even able to see the Chaplin when they ask to see him.  There are several of them that don't have hot water in their cells and many that barely even have any cold water.  

If you could point me in the right direction as to who I need to express my concerns to that would be very much appreciated.

Thank you
Submitted Anonymously protecting their identity by a member and follower of Virgina Prisons Accountability Committee

Monday, November 27, 2017

Victims Ploy Or Accountability


Are the various victims "Rights" enactments actually designed to address issues confronting victims of crime or are the enactments political ploys exploiting victims for the benefit of politicians in the pursuit of speculative power?
Let us hear from you!

By vapac



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Virginia Tax Payers and $30,000

How many Virginia Taxpayers understand that the approximate $30,000 per year spent on imprisoning a prisoner within the state's Virginia Department of Corrections approximate 38,000 plus prisoner population is comparable to the Commonwealth of Virginia giving 30,000 citizens $30,000 per year.

There would be an uproar and a revolution were Virginia taxpayers and voters to realize 30,000 of its members have the privilege of such a yearly stipend.

If law, order, and justice are the logic of society, it's social contract and compact and if, imprisonment besides sanction of execution is the absolute social imposition on the sovereign individual. Then there cannot be any abstractions of nuances in its cognitive determination as it is voted for and funded by the taxpayer.  Virginia taxpayers and voters have to understand what is being done IN THER NAME.

The question isn't what is to done with citizens who run afoul of Virginia's criminal laws. Rather what we have to come to terms with is: If the Virginia taxpayer is unwilling to spend $30,000 on citizens in mitigative expenditure on the probability and possibilities of imprisonment in the first place, why then do we gladly spend it to imprison the citizen?

Why should a Virgina citizen convicted of larcenous activity to the tune of a $1,000, given a prison term of 5 years cause a $150,000 financial outlay by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Which is what it would approximately cost Virgina taxpayers and voters to imprison the convicted citizen. There isn't an argument or reasoning that defends such political fact. yet taxpayers and voters glibly participate in this social insanity. Particularly when those same taxpayers and voters criticize and are antagonistic towards the various governmental programs giving assistance to laid-off workers and disabled taxpayers in need.

Imprisonment is a governmental function that is practiced by the state as voted for by taxpayers and if society is a constituent progression of enlightenment. Then citizen-voters have a specific obligation: to recognize what is practical and what is idealistically-speculative.

By William Thorpe
At Red Onion State Prison Solitary Confinement.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

On The March 30th 2017 Tour of Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] By Interfaith Action for Human Rights [IAHR]

On Thursday, March 30th, 2017; a coterie of self-styled advocates for prison reform in Virginia including members of the group, Interfaith Action for Human Rights [IAHR] toured Virginia's Red Onion State Prison [ROSP].

The group walked past cells in c-building ROSP's primary solitary confinement building. Cells which held and hold prisoners who are denied outside exercise, showers and sometimes meals. They walked past cells improperly and inadequately holding mental health prisoners. [it is noteworthy that since 2014, 3 prisoners in solitary confinement in ROSP's C-Building have committed suicide], They walked past the cells holding prisoners, some of whom have been in Solitary Confinement over 20 years and the walk through, tour for them was a festive affair. Their voices rang giddy with the excitement of being inside the ROSP environment. As one asked their tour guide [a member of ROSP's investigative or intelligence department] could they go out into the outside exercise cages! Then a prisoner's voice yelling through a cell door, in C-Buildings 3/pod called to account the spectacle that prisoners are not animal exhibits or displays in a zoo.

IAHR in its subsequent newsletter/email titled "Report on visit to Red Onion State Prison" gave itself the proverbial congratulatory pat on the back.

What IAHR and its ilk ignore is: 1. Prison officials work for citizens of society which also includes prisoners. 2. Advocates for prison reform shouldn't be motivated by friendship with prisoners or prison officials. What I mean by prison reform shouldn't be motivated by amicability with either prisoners or prison officials is this: Prison reform is necessary because prison and imprisonment stand at the accountability apogee of society, playing a crucial and pivotal role to the social contract and compact. Because when society practice of imprisonment is done in an idealistic and reactionary manner, society as a whole suffers and pays the price. Because prisoners, once released from the imprisonment, who have been brutalized and dehumanized while in prison will now interact with an unsuspecting society in alienating and destructive ways and daily news accounts bear this out. to which prison officials are quick to shift the narrative and blame prisoners and the released prisoner for whatever stupid mayhem the released prisoner brings society. But the reality is prison officials are squarely and primarily to blame because of the idealistic conditions and sadistic treatment they subjected that imprisoned human to. Conditions which if the prisoner before the imprisonment was deviant, prison officials and their prison experimentation have now catalyzed and enabled the maturation of the deviancy. So society's interest in prison reform is primarily all about society's self-interest because to put it simply, accountability irrespective of the subjective is the objective of the social-contract and compact.

But as it related to IAHR and their March 30, 2017, ROSP tour, IAHR is oblivious to all that I have said. If Government is, to quote Abraham Lincoln, "of, by and for the people", prison officials are functionaries of government and are not exempt from the"..... by and for the people" nature of government and the only dilemma [which IAHR in its "Report on visit to Red Onion" describes itself as facing] was when it was confronted with the inadequacy and immaturity of its understanding and perspective of what is the prison official in a modern American prison. Which was starkly exposed by IAHR's behavior, its interaction with ROSP officials prior to and during the March 30, 2017, tour within the fraudulent context that it is about prison officials and the gentility of their sensibilities.

IAHR doesn't see the prison officials as a functionary of government which then means it doesn't understand that the only interactive operative prison officials have with society is that of accountability, specifically treatment of the imprisoned and how it readies and prepares them for release in a practical manner and not self-serving sloganeering for budgetary opportunities.

Instead, IAHR's behavior on March 30th, 2017, revealed it has a fantasy, an idea, a supposition that prison officials are to be reasoned with, cajoled or implored. Which then upends the only relevant fact: Which as I've stated, prison officials are functionaries of government and are bound by law, procedures, and policies to which they must and can only be held accountable.

Had IAHR interacted with ROSP officials within accountability imperative and context it wouldn't have accepted Virginia Department of Corrections and ROSP's  pre-condition for the tour, that it shouldn't talk to prisoners, whom it claims its advocacy is for?  Maybe prison officials wouldn't have permitted the tour. But then IAHR could have challenged such a decision and the obvious lack of accountability by 1. Legal action to obtain access to ROSP and 2. Politicizing the issue of access to ROSP and if it took a ballot initiative to specify public access to prisons which are governmental function funded by tax payers, so be it.

Instead on March 30th, 2017, IAHR and advocates for prison reform walked right past cells holding prisoners at Red Onion State whose conditions and experiences are the self-claimed basis and motive-force for the advocacy. Once again IAHR and prison reform advocates toured Solitary Confinement building at ROSP, walking right past cells that held and hold prisoners who experience daily violations of the United States, Virginia Law, and Prison procedures and policies. But because of a pre-condition that only mocked and undercut the very reason for prison reform advocacy, IAHR rendered itself impotent.

By William Thorpe

William Thorpe is held in Solitary Confinement at Virginia's Red Onion State Prison.




Saturday, August 26, 2017

Accountability, Prison Reform Advocacy and the 13th Amendment

The focus on the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution as an educational tactical tool by prison reform advocacy is idealistic.

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." 
13th Amendment circa 1865

Focus on the above 13th Amendment places prison advocacy on the defensive and at a disadvantage. Because for example, let's take the state of Virginia. Virginia does not have specific laws of what it's imprisonment practices are. Despite the existence of Virginia Code Title 53.1 which deals with: Prisons and other methods of correction, it has consciously and purposefully omitted specificity of its prison related law.

What Va. Code 53.1 does is, it sets up parameters. So for example, Va Code 53.1-32 "treatment and control of prisoners; recreation; religious service speaks to employment, training, and education of prisoners and Va. Code 53.1-32-1 references payment or wages but in a pedestrian manner. Meaning Va Code 53.1-32.1 do not embrace the 13th amendment, nor does Virginia Legislative Action specify wages       what it does codify at Va. Code 53.1-32.1 "Classification system; program assignment; mandatory participation" @ F, is..."inmates employed pursuant to Article 2 (53.1-31 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title shall not be deemed employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia or its agencies and shall be ineligible for benefits under chapter 29 (sec. 2.2-2900 et seq) of title 2.2, Chapter 6 (sec. 60.2-600 et seq) of title 60.2, chapter 5 (sec.65.2-500 et seq) of title 65.2 or any other provisions of  the code pertaining to the rights of state employees. "[unquote] 

What is significant and noteworthy is the degree of specificity to which Virginia keeps at arm's length any hint of prisoners being employees of the state, despite the fact in all other regards Virginia prisoners are subjects of the state. On the question of wages, Virginia leaves its response to the undemocratic and non-legislative speculations of the State Board of Corrections and the Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

The point I'm making and the motive-logic behind "vapac" [Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee] is people, the citizenry needs to know and understand that what goes on in Virginia prisons or any prison system for that matter [because the lack of specificity in-laws governing the prison condition isn't limited to Virginia] are consequences of ideas, prison officials [who are no more qualified than any drunken bum under a bridge] have about how to treat a prisoner.

So, for example, the idea and practice of Virginia prisoners confined in Solitary [segregation] only permitted 2 phone calls a month are simply that "ideas," the Virginia Legislature neither debated it as law nor it passed it. Virginia prisons officials enacted it because Va. code 53.1-10 "powers and duties of Director" permits the Director of the Virginia Dept. of Corrections statutorial authority to "speculate" on what his administration and governance will be. So regardless and irrespective of how the 2 phone call a month idea was concluded and decided on, the fact remains: That it is simply that someone's idea.

On the question of ideas, let's take for example the idea why drivers and passengers should wear seatbelts in cars. It's an idea based on scientific and measurable fact. Meaning science-physics instructs that if one is in a vehicle unrestrained by a seatbelt and there is a crash, you will keep moving forward till you smash into the dashboard or windshield, incurring injuries beyond the initial crash. So the requirement seat belts are worn in vehicles is based on science and not idealistic-speculation.

So on what science is the practice of 2 phone calls a month for Virginia prisoners confined in Solitary [segregation] based on? Despite whatever logic prison officials dredge up, what is ignored as prison officials experiment on prisoners, is the prisoner, not proxy for exercising and playing out fantasies by the state as it develops the social-contract. Virginia prison officials bandy about a term "evidence based program" to cloak their speculative treatment of prisoners as science based. But none of it is. Which is why the Virginia Legislature, left the notion of what is the imprisonment condition up to prison officials with a wink and nod, understanding that the social-contract mandates of the state can be one-dimensionally and superficially pursued by the surrogacy of un-elected prison officials.

What prison advocacy the reform movement has to orient from is the position: If people are imprisoned as a result of the social contract and if prison is a function of government and if government is "off, by and for people," then the people have every right to question determine whether treatments being done to prisoners in their name are valid and not the sadistic ideas of less enlightened minds for the sake of mere gratuitous cruelty. Because in all other aspects and facets of society and its consciousness, the trend and imperative are towards enlightenment. But, only when it concerns prisons and the treatment of prisoners do we encounter a speculative, idealistic hodgepodge. So what happens is: The one facet of society that requires society's full throttled enlightenment, it its treatment of its members who violate and run afoul of its laws      is where we find society retreating from enlightenment and behaving and displaying the exact impulses that resulted its citizens to do that which landed them in prison [regardlessof reason] In conclusion. Yes as we do the work of demanding accountability of social-contrast, as we focus on the antagonisms of the 13th Amendment and its endorsement of the par none ahumanistic relation, slavery. Nonetheless, as a tactical response to the struggle of holding the imprisonment practice and it's prison official subjective, accountable, it's merely an intellectual speculative exercise.

Constitutions, laws, procedures, policies, and practices do not precede the human condition. Instead the human condition defines constitutions and laws, naturally, the dominant narrative will frame their utility    and redefining the narrative, not constitutions or laws but the socio-narrative is the work of prison reform advocacy, because once there is a cleansing of the narrative of its status quo impulses that have nothing to do with the practice of justice, then our political action will be practical and up to the task.

By William Thorpe held in Solitary Confinement at Virginia's Red Onion State Prison
  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Prisoners Wife By Asha Bandele: A Review

The book is supposedly A Love Story. But I don't know what to make of it---It's too full of recriminations, regrets, resentments, and condescension to be a result of love, as love is understood by the human condition.

The setting for this "Love" is Prison, not any prison for that matter but the insidious and
Machiavellian enterprise of an American prison, The Department of Corrections of The State of New York. The story is a reflection of the tumultuous state of American cultural expression and it's subjective, American Hearts and Minds, because if the cultural and emotional expression of the human is simply a sum of character, then love as the ultimate value of emotion and its medium culture will reflect the state and nature of its subjective. Emotion in the most sublime of conditions and environment is still a strange and mysterious beast, add the ingredient of the most alienative and perverted environmental condition known to humanity, prison and what will you have? What you should have is the sum value of human character, that baptism by fire through adversity, that qualitative redemption from the disjointedness of chaotic quantity but Ms. Bandele fails to even have an inkling of the maxim "I'm Solitude made Man" ---- Solitude which in this context is anguish, that accomplice of love, love which she claims.

The author's emotional consciousness is either objectively malnourished or her alienation from the objectivity of her femininity is so complete that she is confused, She mistakes the adventurous inclination of her Eros with that most consuming of emotions, "Love". Whether or not she wants to face up to and has the presence of mind to acknowledge it, she simply had a stimulating adventure with a prisoner, a test in that most simplistic and primitive of human urges, self-gratification in its motive of one-upmanship. As she tongue in cheek, succinctly puts it "I wanted to be important to someone again" [ pp.27]

For starters, Rashid her beloved, lover and subsequent husband is too one-dimensional and acquiescent, an emasculated corollary of collateral damage from the war between the sexes submitting disgracefully to his wife Asha's each and every undisciplined desire an infantile idealism for whatever it is and was, that was between them to be of that higher human emotion, Love, The only excusable rationalization for his behavior is the stimulus of the relationship in-it self and its satisfying impact on his "...Scorched-Earth" [pp.165] psyche was enough to overlook the dominance of his wife and that spells eunuchism.

Asha, on the other hand, would have us, readers believe that her most yearned for desire and sought for reality is to have her imprisoned mate free and with her, yet when she is impregnated, granted the germinating testimonial seed of their love, she has no problem aborting the fetus.

What is striking and revealing is at every turn of the way, their way and obstacles crop up, which in the general sense, with its solution or how they contend with it would enable their humaneness to define and give credibility to the love they purportedly share both fail its qualification pathetically. Rashid the prisoner and husband for being effeminate and obeisant to his wife's each and every indulgence and Asha the wife for misplacing her need for self-affirmation and its redemptive catharsis with love.

The author presents an unstated and treacherous premise that the pursuit of emotional, mental and physical communion between the imprisoned human and a free one is utterly unrealistic, futile and its fidelity is unattainable--- this premise itself raises the question of what role if any those higher sentient and sapient potentials of humanness plays in the condition of love, not as we misconstrue it to be but as we aspire it to be. If as we are wont to say that love has many facets and conditions then Rashid and Asha's rank at that, no greater than the sum of their undeveloped psyches. What then is Ms. Bandele telling us, "that the spirit is willing but the body is weak"? Or the whole relationship was nothing more than an academic project that is now bearing fruit with her writing a book about it.


To make a long story short "The Prisoners Wife" is a story of relationship between male and female and their dishonesty and inability in coBming to terms with the fact that they lacked the manhood and womanhood to develop, nurture and sustain love in that most stifling of environments------Prison.

I close with Asha Bandele invoked Assata Shakur's
"...If I know anything at all
it's that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.


It can be brought down."
And for 219 pages made a mockery of it with erecting that most noxious of walls       
"condescension".

By William Thorpe, I am detained in Solitary Confinement at Virginias Red Onion State Prison

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Prison Phone Calls Hustle-Priority Alert

One of the results of Donald Trump becoming the President is he either doesn't care or favors (whatever the reasons are) phone companies jacking rates and policies back up on prison phone calls

During Obama's Presidency, the FCC made phone companies price down rates on prison phone calls. Naturally, phone companies squealed, hating it because the prison phone call business is an extremely lucrative hustle, squeezing every last hard earned penny from families and friends of prisoners.

So phone companies appealed the Obama FCC rule and in early June 2017, the United States Appeal Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC exceeded its authority by regulating intrastate prison phone call rates. To which the Donald Trump FCC will let stand and not appeal. So prison phone call rates can or will be jacked back up to those outrageous rates pre-Obama.

As it applies to Virginia we need to know this: Virginia has a Special Law, Va-Code 53.1-1.1

  • Telephone systems within Correctional facilities the Department of Corrections shall offer debit or prepaid telephone systems, in addition to any existing collect calling system, which allows telephone calls to be placed to the telephone number or numbers on an approved call list. Such telephone systems may be established with the lowest available rates.
The law quoted above requires the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] provide prisoners with the cheapest call rates available.

During the Obama FCC prison phone call rate decrease. The average rate of intrastate (within) state calls in Virginia averaged $1.10 for 20-minute call  This is very important. Because it reveals it was a low rate phone companies would provide prison phone calls and still make a profit. Which was a dramatic decrease from the pre-Obama ruling of approximately $5 for a 20-minute phone call?

So if phone companies providing prison calls within Virginia want to return to their $5 rates, VADOC will have to square it and explain why it isn't in violation of VA. Code 53.1-1.1.

So, people, we must be vigilant and use every means at our disposal to ensure that phone rates for prison calls are not slyly increased by phone companies with a wink and nod from VADOC.

LET US HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

In Strength,
By vapac


Monday, June 26, 2017

Sporty Black Works

Illustrations and Art by Sporty Black warehoused at Red Onion State Prison in long-term Solitary Confinement since its opening in 1998. He's been Held imprisoned 38 years.








Thursday, May 11, 2017

Solitary Confinement At Red Onion State Prison: They Want To Silence You, While Warehousing You


On 5/1/17; @ 10:37 a.m. Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] Counselor J.M. Gibson violated Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] Operating Procedure 830.1 "provisions governing Solitary Confinement Release Review and a prisoners right to speak at a hearing."

I have been in Solitary Confinement, continuously since August 9, 1996, and every 90 days VADOC procedure requires a formal Solitary Confinement review for either continuation or release from the detention. The Prisoner is to make a statement during the hearing.

During the 5/1/17; Solitary Confinement release hearing at ROSP, Counselor J.M. Gibson REFUSED to take a statement and he quipped "I asked for a statement, not a book." Here in its entirety is the "Book" Gibson didn't want.

"I want a security level decrease and transfer. The 1/11/16 ICA [institutional classification authority]  that changed the security level to 6 used erroneous and contrived grounds in violation of O.P. 830.2 and it was deliberate. My continued detention in Administrative Segregation or Solitary Confinement since 1996 is being done in violation of O. P. 863.3 specifically @ IX (A) ALL OF IT. This ongoing continued Solitary Confinement makes a mockery at least and at worst, the pronouncements of VADOC AND ROSP on reform and practice of Solitary Confinement a lie.

My 5/1/17; experience is just another example of prison officials at ROSP violating VADOC policies while using it, misusing it, when it suits their idealistic intent of warehousing Prisoners in Solitary Conefinement. In essence, they want to silence you while they warehouse you.

The public is blatantly manipulated by VADOC strategically placed propaganda in the media, touting Solitary Confinement Reform at ROSP.  But the reality is , the practice of Solitary Confinement at ROSP IS MAXIMUM.

By William Thorpe

(William Thorpe is detained at ROSP, Solitary Confinement)

  


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The PREA Directive Antinomy



By Definition~The PREA Directive: Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) "Ends the abuse - Protecting LGBTI Prisoners From Sexual Assault.

PARADOX
*Note The Response*
"I Can't Read Your Handwriting"
But should have read
"I Don't Have A Clue"

By vapac

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

At Red Onion State Prison, Solitary Confinement Reform Is Reduced To Platitudes, Murals and Sloganeering

A dated memo 6/6/2016 to Red Onion State Prison
Note the written comment: The problem with this memo is, it relates to the Solitary Confinement of Segregation building, where prisoners are held and warehoused for decades. There isn't any HEALING ENVIRONMENT. It's only abuse, mistreatment, and violence against prisoners. Murals & slogans on walls will not impact any of that. What will is an investigation by an NON-VADOC source. Solitary Confinement reform is a must but it needs a unified voice against it. By the way? It is now 2017 and they have yet to put up mural/slogan!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Virginia Department of Corrections Considers Transgenders Mental Health Cases and It Labels Transgender Prisoners as GENDER NON-CONFORMIST

Virginia Department of Corrections Memo to prisoners:
Note the written comment: What O.P. 810.1 and 810.2 are saying is Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] considers and classify Transgender prisoners and issues as Mental Health cases and issues. But most importantly VADOC does not recognize Transgenders and considers Transgenders as Gender-Non-conforming. This is discrimination against transgenders.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Solitary Confinement Reform Advocacy Is Golden Goose For Vera Institute of Justice

Reform Advocacy is Golden Goose
presenting an exploitive opportunity for the usual suspects, i.e The Vera Institute of Justice.

Along with holding prison officials accountable for their action.  We have to expose this culture, where prison reform becomes petty opportunity for certain mind and hearts, i.e The Vera Institute of Justice to profit at the expense of Prisoners who are subjects of the barbarity of prison officials experimentation.

Prima facie evidence, see from the Vera Institute of Justice for upcoming 4/25/17; Reimagine Justice Gala. That is obscenely nothing less than profiting at the expense of Prisoners.

By William Thorpe, I am detained in Solitary Confinement at Red Onion State Prison

Monday, April 3, 2017

VADOC's Red Onion State Prison Food Service & Starvation Portion Control

Yes, the menu LOOKS good to the eyes until you actually SEE the food items and how indicated portion size ISN'T what Prisoners at Red Onion State Prison get. We at vapac Use Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] as the example as most Department of Correction [DOC] prisons are to be included.

(note #VADOC & #ROSP's MENU IS  the Punchline NOT the misspelling of  standardized on menu)

*Menu Not Funny Enough*
*The Joke is with our starving Prisoners*
Food Operations Director [FOD] and "IT IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE!


By vapac

Friday, March 31, 2017

Advocacy To Action On New Mail Room Policy


Advocacy to Action On New Offender Mail Policy

The Virginia Department of Corrections has Revised the Incoming Offender Mailroom policy from the old policy.
The old policy VADOC O.P. 803.1 clearly states that Prisoners are allowed personal mail only weighing 1 oz., which is 5 sheets of paper FRONT AND BACK  but this new mailroom policy will eliminate the writing ON THE BACKBecause they are only copying on three sheets of paper. ( 1 oz. = 5 sheets of front to back pages which = 2 1/2 sheets of paper, including the copying of the envelope this will = the 3 sheet of paper). We the members of "Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee" [vapac] PROTEST  against this new policy as it will:
  • PLACE A HARDSHIP ON FAMILIES BECAUSE FAMILIES WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO WRITE ON THE FRONT AND BACKS OF (1 OZ) 5 SHEETS OF PAPER, we will now only be able to WRITE ON THE FRONT SHEETS OF PAPER THUS CAUSING A DOUBLE COST FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO SEND A LETTER THAT ONCE COST 1 STAMP AND 1 ENVELOPE--------- WILL NOW COST 2 STAMPS AND 2 ENVELOPES. 
  • The new mailroom policy DEPRIVES FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF SENDING COLOR PHOTOS  because the mailroom memo says everything will be copied in BLACK AND WHITE yet photos from commercial vendors will be ALLOWED in color, because, as the memo doesn't cover photos from commercial vendors.--O.P 803.1 allows photos from commercial vendors.      
We at "Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee question VADOC mailroom change. Is it the VADOC prefers family and friends to use "Jpay"  (Pressinquiries@jpay.com) thus again causing hardships for family and friends as some don't have access to all the new technologies of a computer or cell phone. Vapac understands that the VADOC  and Jpay get kickbacks from monies spent on emails and color photo attachments. Vapac also understands it seems to be too much work for on the mailrooms clerks, thus cutting back on incoming snail mail by CONTROLLING  how many pages family and friends can write.

The members of "Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee" [vapac] urge the Virginia Department of Corrections to RESCIND this new mailroom policy/procedure and keep the policy as it is now. There are many " assumptions" vapac members can make regarding this change, as it states in the above VADOC video, due to incoming contraband from mail, However, the VADOC has in place an effective way to keep contraband from incoming mail to prisoners, this is with VADOC K9 drug sniffing dogs and mailroom clerks. Also, there are NEW INNOVATIVE TOOLS  along with the K9 drug sniffing dogs, thorough hands-on searches by mailroom clerks,  the VADOC can implement in their mailroom searching procedures with NEW ILLICIT DRUG ANALYZING tools such as portable analyzers from varied ADVANCED technologies companies without causing hardships on family and friends and not to exclude the negative effects it will have on the psyche of our imprisoned loved ones where once our imprisoned loved ones were angry about food issues now there will be an added anger issues of incoming mail to prisoners for the VADOC  manage. Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee urge the VADOC again to rescind this new revised expensive hardship and deprivation on family, friends, AND prisoners.

Drafted for our Members and followers and those who want to join us in our fight against the new mailroom policy.

By vapac






Monday, March 27, 2017

NEW OFFENDER MAIL PROCEDURE & EFFECTIVE WAYS TO FIGHT THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS



We at vapac are challenging the "New Offender MailRoom Policy" stating [quote]
  • All Security Level 2 and above Institutions. All incoming offender general correspondence to include the envelope at security 2 and above institutions will be photocopied in the institutional mailroom and a maximum of (3) three black and white photocopied pages front and back will be provided to the offender.
  • The original envelope, letter, and all enclosed contents will be shredded in the institutional mailroom. Exceptions to this requirement include but are not limited to official legal, government and court ordered document. etc..
  • Offenders will be limited to receiving a maximum of 3 81/2 x 11, black and white photocopied pages front to back "including" the envelope etc..
  • Enclosed items will not be manipulated to print multiple items on a single photocopied page. etc..
  • The entire correspondence and all items that exceed the established photocopy or size limit will be returned to sender with the "notice of unauthorized correspondence" 803_F2 advising the sender of the reason for return.
 Below is an example of what we family and friends will receive from the institutional mailroom "notice of unauthorized correspondence" advising us the reason for the return.

  • Offenders will "currently" still be permitted to send messages, photographs, and other attachments through Jpay ect...   
We at vapac are placing on the link for the "old"/complete mail policy that friends and families of our imprisoned loved ones can study. (click on sentence to link up with old policy) One will see how "at odds" this new memo is with the old one.

  • We all must email the VADOC, The  Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, our Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe that this "new memo" will place "HARDSHIPS" on families because it limits letters. [O.P. 803.1 "allows" personal mail only weighing one 1 oz., which equals 5 sheets of paper = 1 stamp].
  • The new policy "DEPRIVES" families of sending "COLOR" photos because the mailroom says everything will be photocopied in black and white. Yet we are unclear if photos from commercial vendors will be allowed in color cause the new mail memo doesn't cover photos from commercial vendors.
  • O.P. 803.1 "allows" photos from commercial vendors.  
If it's about drugs as they claim? Why make it harder for everybody else? All the VADOC have to do is focus on whoever they catch/bust handling the situation as need be. What the VADOC should be doing is enforcing valid and thorough search procedures on their own employed prison guards within their prison? WATCH YOUR OWN EMPLOYEES!
    It will be an economic "Hardship" on families because they will be unable to write on front and back of 5 sheets of paper which as of 3/26/17 = 1 oz = 1 stamp. The new policy will cost double now (3 sheets of paper including copy of envelope on one of the 3 sheets) for a family to send a letter in two envelopes. The new memo is at odds with the O.P. 803.1 policy.

    We must fight this policy for our imprisoned loved ones! Vapac is getting reports of retaliation from C/O'S against prisoners for submitting grievances against this new policy, so we at Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee Must dig into the trenches with our imprisoned loved ones & help them fight this battle with the VADOC NEW MEMO POLICY

    The effective way is to Flood our Governmental officials and agencies in our opposition with complaints in emails, letters, phone calls, call your local radio stations, write letters to the editors of our local and national papers. Use our social media accounts to expose what is happening in the Virginia Department of Corrections as it will soon be carried out across our nation's Penal System. Figure into the cost of what it will cost taxpayers! Our average Virginian citizen that doesn't have an imprisoned loved one should be up in arms about this new policy, However, we are sure they remain unawares to this insane policy. As one of our vapac members stated "This policy is clearly an attempt at censorship! WE must expose this suppression of families to remain in contact with their imprisoned loved ones.  We want our voices to be heard out on the opposition to this new mail memo. Family and Friends in a focused manner, we must unite!

    Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee submits the following contacts:

    VADOC
    Mailing Address:
    Virginia Department of Corrections
    P.O. Box 26963 
    Richmond, VA 23261-6963
    General Email Address:
    docmail@vadoc.virginia.gov
    Department Director's Email Address:
    Director.Clarke@vadoc.virginia.gov 
    Phone Number:
    804-674-3000
    Twitter:@VADOC
    Facebook:@virginiacorrections

    Governor Terry McAuliffe

    Mailing Address:
    Common Ground for Virginia
    P.O. Box 1475
    Richmond, VA 23218
    Phone:804/786-2211
    Fax:804/371-6351.
    Twitter: @GovernorVA
    Facebook: @GovernorVA

    Attorney General
    Mark Herring
    Mailing Address:
    Attorney General's Office
    202 North Ninth Street
    Richmond, Virginia 23219
    Phone: (804) 786-2071
    Twitter: @AGMarkHerring
    Facebook: @AGMarkHerring

    Related article:

    The mailroom may have no control over this new VADOC mailroom policy But we the Family and Friends of imprisoned loved ones in the Virginia Department of Corrections Do!
    FAMILY AND FRIENDS MUST UNITE WITH VIRGINIA PRISONS ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITTEE AND FIGHT THIS POLICY! 
    By vapac

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Solitary Confinement Reform In Virginia Is All Talk and The Vera Institute Is Being Duped

    $2.2 million and an association with the social good of correcting governmental barbarism is a reality few will resist and the Vera Institute of Justice can be understood but not excused for succumbing to its opportunity.  As a tool in the employ of Prison Officials, Solitary Confinement or Administrative Segregative, it's current euphemism has long since been understood as barbaric.  The U.S. Supreme Court in 1870 in it's in Re: Medley Ruling indicted its practice and excoriated its use.

    For over a hundred years critics of the practice of imposing Solitary Confinement on prisoners have railed against it and only during the Obama Presidency did the criticism gain traction. Nonetheless, practioners,  proponents, and defenders of its barbaric use have as all reactionaries responded with deflection.  whether it's with euphemism or and as with the case with the Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC], exploiting affliction with NGO i.e. The Vera Institute of Justice     The intent is to maintain the practice and use of Solitary Confinement.

    VADOC has been playing a three card monte, a shell game of musical chairs, that old tired sleight of hand, two step shuffle of reactionary deceit while maintaining the practice of Solitary Confinement.  Despite press release after press release that it has reformed its use of Solitary Confinement at it's primary prison, Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] and other illegitimate claims concerning prisoner complaints and grievances, that purport to indicate operational ethics and management efficiency, the practice of Solitary Confinement and it's use at ROSP is maximum.

    After securing recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Council of State Governments, Southern Legislative Conference and others, all of whom have their relative self interest, that VADOC's euphemistic scheme touting Solitary Confinement reform has dramatically reduced it's use at ROSP. VADOC has recently secured alliance with the Vera Institute of Justice to anoint it's "Solitary Confinement Reform" claims.  It is easy to understand the eagerness of Vera Institute, considering it is receiving $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Justice, to attest in that idealistic usual congratulatory manner that VADOC is progressive.  While turning a blind eye to the reality ongoing at ROSP Solitary Confinement.

    What Solitary Confinement reform looks like are: the headlines coming out of California with it's  Ashker v. California settlement.

    The almost daily news out of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3d circuit of the release from Solitary Confinement of prisoners confined for 29, 22,37 years to list a few.

    Virginia on the other hand, despite having it's share of prisoners in Solitary Confinement for 21 years and counting is conspicuously absent from the roll call of Solitary Confinement reformers and no amount of NGO affiliations and it's dupe of the Vera Institute can deflect and distort the fact that Solitary confinement  reform is all talk in  Virginia.

    By William Thorpe and I've been in Solitary Confinement in VADOC since 1996 and at ROSP since 1998

    Monday, March 6, 2017

    RED ONION STATE PRISON SUICIDE POLICY: OC PEPPER GAS THE PRISONER

    Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] Suicide Prevention Policy  (*NOTE* page 17 in VADOC policy and procedure 730.4/5) seems to be in practice: OC Pepper Gas the Suicidal Prisoner while the Prisoner is hanging with sheet around the neck, before prison guards in riot gear enter the cell to cut the Prisoner down. Don't forget the time it takes to put on the riot gear.

    On 2/19/17; @ Approx. 4:30 a.m. a Prisoner detained in ROSP C-Building #106 [Solitary Confinement] [who wants to remain anonymous] was hanging himself and the ranking officer in charge [OIC] authorized the OC Pepper Gassing of the hanging Prisoner before guards entered the cell to cut the Prisoner down.

    OC Pepper Gas is a debilitating toxin that causes a gag reflex which one would which one would think is the last thing a potential hanging victim should be subjected to.

    ROSP, Solitary Confinement Unit, C-Building has had at least 2 suicides over the past 2 1/2 years as well as others over the compound since its opening in 1998, (Its sister prison Wallens Ridge State Prison [WRSP] has had a few of its own as well since it's opening in 1999). Why are Prisoners dying and attempting to kill themselves at ROSP Solitary Confinement?

    By vapac

    *NOTE* vapac affirms https://www.facebook.com/groups/vapacommittee/?ref=group_cover Every day someone dies of suicide, A link to the facts: http://bit.ly/2mKSqgm, 43,000 Americans per year and our imprisoned loved ones be not excluded. To our members who have loved ones on the inside, be aware of some of the warning signs and know their Rights While they are In Prison/Jail, the following link provides us with some legal Rights to advocate on behalf of our imprisoned loved ones be they need it, these are also the people we contact when there is suspicion of VADOC abuse and violations against our imprisoned Mentally Ill: 
    Criminal Justice Self-Advocacy
    Frequently Asked Questions: http://bit.ly/2n4POGD in Virginia. The NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness]
    NAMI Virginia’s Information Line And Email
    Phone: (804) 285-8264 (not a crisis line)
    Email Address: info@namivirginia.org
    PO Box 8260
    Richmond, VA 23226-0260
    Crisis Lines:
    NAMI Virginia Area Crisis Line
    Crisis Line: 1 (888) 486-8264
    NAMI’s National Information Helpline
    (800) 950-NAMI
    References & Related articles
    VADOC Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Aerosol Spray http://bit.ly/2mXovkr