Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee: February 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Red Onion State Prison Food Violations

We have received numerous complaints from Prisoners at Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] Solitary Confinement concerning the activities of P. Scarberry, the Food Service Manager at ROSP.

Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee [vapac] is concerned that P. Scarberry is violating clearly established Virginia Department of Corrections [VADOC] Food Service Manual provisions and what the standardized Master Menu requires is prepared and with mandated portion size served at ROSP.

Numerous Prisoners detained at ROSP Solitary Confinement have informed us that you are well aware of P. Scarberry's violative activities because they have written you, bringing it to your attention that P. Scarberry is not following VADOC Food Service procedure.

P. Scarberry has attempted to explain her actions in response to Prisoner complaints and grievances that she has the discretion to make menu substitutions.  Vapac disagrees that P. Scarberry is simply making Procedurally correct substitutions.  On the contrary, what P. Scarberry has been doing is "altering and changing" the menu at the institutional level and she doesn't have the authority to do so.

Vapac states that Virginia Citizens are well served when prison officials and prisoners both comply and abide by the necessary prison procedures and rules.  Vapac anticipates you agree with us and you will ensure P. Scarber
ry operates ROSP Food Service within the appropriate guidelines.

Virginia Prisons Accountability Committee

Monday, February 20, 2017

Contra -Kristi Jacobson and She Was Exploited By Red Onion State Prison

Either Solitary Documentary Director and Producer Kristi Jacobson is a moll for the Department of Corrections [VADOC] and it's Red Onion State Prison [ROSP] practice or she is recklessly naive and in her idealistic eagerness to participate in the relatively current debate on the use of  and Solitary Confinement and state organized violence of prisons, she has allowed herself be exploited by VADOC and ROSP in their shell game of Solitary Confinement reform.

My name is William Thorpe and since 1998 I've been detained in Solitary Confinement at ROSP.  I was confined in D/6-Building during the filming of Kristi Jacobson's work, the documentary Solitary on detention at ROSP.

Let me state this: Kristi Jacobson should take every last cent gained from the documentary Solitary and establish a litigation fund that will facilitate legal challenges to the Solitary Confinement of ROSP prisoners, whom in her reckless naivete and idealistic eagerness are being doubly victimized by her help and enabling the VADOC and ROSP shell game narrative that there is cogent and authentic reform in their practice and use of Solitary Confinement.  Because what Kristi Jacobson with her Solitary Documentary has become is a manipulated moll and an outmaneuvered shill for the idealistic futility of those historic minds who have and employ the practice and use of Solitary Confinement as a conscientious governmental function in the name of taxpayers and citizens.

Despite the idealistic construct of the use of Solitary Confinement and its arbitrary imposition of its practice by ROSP officials who by their malfeasance and misconduct work hard and diligently at instructing and tutoring prisoners on how to violate with impunity Virginia and U.S. laws and VADOC procedures in spirit and in deed.  Kristi Jacobson should have enquired of VADOC and ROSP, she should have exercised  due diligence into what was ROSP's anticipation and speculatively to what end would it's prison officials go to attain it. Instead by her own admission, Kristi Jacobson revealed that her due diligence went as far as the colloquial conclusion that ROSP is one of the "worst" prisons in the nation, without understanding what that colloquial "worst" meant.  Instead, she allowed her own suppositionary bias fill in and flesh out what "worst" could mean which as her Solitary documentary exposes is that dubious mystification and mythology of prison, which prison officials have historically utilized in shrouding and diverting attention away from their law breaking and malfeasant activities-and ROSP particularly is no exception.  ROSP is first and foremost a "worst" prison because of its operational philosophy and model results in daily VADOC procedure violations and Virginia and U.S. law-breaking by its officials and guards.

The closest Kristi Jacobson came to in exposing this fact is by retaining and not editing out of the Solitary documentary what ROSP guard Jordon expresses as the satisfaction of loving it, having scored a touchdown or hitting a home run during the violence of a cell extraction.  Which simply means 4,6 and 8 ROSP guards in riot gear [helmets, Kevlar vest, shin and arm guards] after OC gassing a prisoner inside a windowless 8x10 cell, charges into the cell and whether it's 4, 6, 8 guards against one prisoner, violently subdue the prisoner.  Sometimes using handcuffs or shackles as brass knuckles to hit prisoners, which at that point becomes assault and battery and a federal civil rights violation a la Rodney King.  Had Kristi Jacobson understood what ROSP as one of the "worst" prisons meant, which as I've shown above is specifically in the context of it is a serial violator of the law and VADOC procedure, her lenses would have given us something comparatively authentic as Ava Duvernay's 13th.

The Leopard Spots of Solitary Confinement Reform at ROSP and Kristi Jacobson Exploited

Besides pockets of Northern Virginia and enclaves around some of Virginia's College campuses, Virginia is a reactionary state.  This reaction, despite Barack Obama carrying the state twice, in 2008 and 2012; is squarely entrenched in its political activity which is to mean it's Jurisprudence. Consequently, this reactionary inclination extends to its imprisonment practices. Contextually particularly in the lack of accountability of prison officials and legitimate oversight from the appropriate political overlords.  So it's to this backdrop Kristi Jacobson haplessly found herself being outmaneuvered by prison officials who always have a self-serving and adverse interest and their association with her as if heaven-sent manna falling into their laps was a moment they couldn't ignore and seized the opportunity to maximize how Kristi Jacobson would be exploited. 

ROSP has been and is a prison without purpose.  Virginia legislators determined in 1985 that never again would Virginia pursue a prison policy of having the so-called "worst of the worst" prisoners at one prison considering the fiasco one of the nation's prototypical super-maximum prisons, Mecklenburg Correctional Center turned out to be for the state.  Beginning with the 1984 first mass escape of death row prisoners in the nation and culminating in an approximate 23-hour building take over,  the hostage situation that necessitated the then Gov. Chuck Robb appearing on network T.V. Sunday Morning Shows arguing that the state had a competent Department of Corrections.

Fast forward to 1998 and the opening of ROSP doing exactly what the 1998 Virginia Legislature determined it shouldn't.  Nor is it operating as it was designed, considering its $70 + Million price tag and it's only imperative to date is the self-serving pursuits of prison officials perpetuating and maintaining their economical relevance for themselves and for the adjunct support for the diminishing returns of its Southwest Virginia locale, Coal Mining Industry.

It isn't difficult to grasp why certain VADOC elements and their ROSP functionaries would recognize that the music for the ROSP operational game of musical chairs would self-servingly play longer, hence extending their relevance by exploiting the language of Solitary Confinement Reform without actually reforming its use and practice. Which would mean affording release of prisoners who have been detained 20+ years in Solitary Confinement.

VADOC and ROSP have bandied about claims of dramatic reduction of detention in Solitary Confinement. But what has conveniently been omitted is, the rate of the reduction is historically consistent with the type of prisoners being released. It's one thing for ROSP to release prisoners who have historically it detains for no more than 3 to 5 years in Solitary Confinement. Than for it to release prisoners who have been detained in Solitary Confinement for multiple decades and those prisoners are not being released and Kristi Jacobson swallowing the bait, hook and sinker of VADOC's Reform Talk failed to recognize this and make the distinction.

Nothing about ROSP's Solitary Confinement Reform as it is presented as a Step Down Program is novel, enlightened or objective, because the fact of Solitary Confinement or Administrative Segregation in Virginia and ROSP is still arbitrary and vindictive and release from it's condition is still subject to the whims and caprices of prison officials who for their self-serving interest maintain it.

Conflating VADOC and ROSP pre-release program which is relevantly for prisoners within 2-3 years of completing prison sentences as Kristi Jacobson naively allowed prison officials to do, with Solitary Confinement Reform, reveals the insidious comprehensiveness to which Kristi Jacobson was out-maneuvered by prison officials in the quest to maintain relevance and the grace of public opinion with the narrative of reform of a Human Condition that even the 19th Century knew to be Barbaric and ahumanistic.

"Unprecedented Access"

Kristi Jacobson and HBO have made much more about her "unprecedented access" to ROSP. Unprecedented access to a prison that's a public facility and we are supposed to "applaud" prison officials for that?

Let's talk about the unprecedented access: Did it allow Kristi Jacobson to document and reveal to the public scrutiny that; ROSP Prisoners are denied meals, prisoners are assaulted, beaten while in handcuffs and shackles, Prisoners are chained in manners that inhibit and limit ability to stand upright for hours on end, even days, Prisoners are tied to bunks hours on end, denied access to the toilet, Prisoners are denied outside exercise, prisoners are denied showers, Mental Health Prisoners are mistreated, confined in cells months on end without ever let outside for exercise and showers, taunted, provoked, denied meals, meal tampered with, Prisoners are starved due to the noncompliance of food service to provide VADOC food guidelines mandated meal portion amounts, Prisoners are denied forms to file complaints and grievances and then "VADOC can claim that grievances and complaints have decreased by 70%", Prisoners mail tampered with, prisoners allegedly commit suicides, Prisoners are OC pepper gassed in windowless cells, Prisoners are lied on and given contrived and fabricated charges for the purpose of justifying detention in Solitary Confinement, Prisoners are kept in stripped cells, prisoners given loaf diet, prisoners are denied clothing, mattress, blankets, sheets.

Despite the harm, Kristi Jacobson has done and I say "Harm" because her Solitary Documentary has in no way, form or fashion been a shot in the arm of the abolish Solitary Confinement movement.  Nor did Jacobson's lenses delve into the latent impetus of malfeasance and misconduct once it discovered it along with the concurrent hint of the apparent mental and psychological health of prison guards who are obviously ill-suited by their own comments, for the professionalism required to uphold the privileges, the citizens of Virginia have given them per virtue of employment at ROSP.

However, despite Kristi Jacobson's opining to the Independent that......"there are enough portrayals in the media of one-dimensional inmates and one-dimensional guards, and I wanted there to be far more complexity than we are normally given in today's world of media and criminals and prisons "[unquote] she still ended up doing exactly that which she derided.  What would've been refreshingly complex is "instead of apologizing for ROSP guards symptomatic malfeasance with her"...."I think I began to understand if you're looking from the outside but thought those guards were incredibly brave for sharing some of their honest feelings about what it's like to work inside there" [unquote].

What Kristi Jacobson ignored was prisons exist because of law and if it was about empathy and apologies prisoners equally lay claim to both as prison guards and as such a prison guards propensity for malfeasance shouldn't be excused nor apologized away.  If the Documentary is to be made on prisons it should give us that.

By William Thorpe ~ I'm detained at ROSP Solitary Confinement

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Free Speech, Dan Cathy of Chic-fil-a..And God Said Or The Bible Says and History Will Erect Tombstones

The Implicit activity of free speech is it anticipates antithesis, it recognizes there will be opposition.  Couching theological liberties as free speech is either the work of a lazy and feeble mind or at its very core an effort to reassert idealistic dicta.

Dan Cathy of Chic-fil-a Restaurants as most Republican-Conservatives when confronted with the reactionary nature and backwardness of their thought and world view find refuge under the banner of...and God said or the Bible says.  So when Dan Cathy touched off a recent firestorm with his anti-gay comments, he was quick, along with his supporters and defenders to claim free speech because it was his religious belief and liberty.

The Issue and the problem with... and God said or the Bible says, as free speech is we cannot argue with God, we cannot debate God, even the Devil isn't truly antithetical to God.  So... And God said or the Bible says for purposes of free speech definitions is as idealistic as the notion of "being outside of history" which is what Dan Cathy and his ilk would always demand of the Human Condition and it's dialectical-materialist reality.

The United States Constitution articulates religious freedoms as specifically being without the dicta of the state and its bias.  Free speech is subsequently defined antithetically to religion because free speech is the activity of thought, mental labor.  Religion isn't an idea to its believers, it's rather a suspension, suppression, and repression of ideas, it frowns on the activity of free speech.

So for the very elements, free speech warns us against to conceal their reactionary practice under its mantle hints at two occurrences, either we have become militantly decadent or we have lost the Jacobin edge of polemics.

Dan Cathy, his reaction, and backwardness can and will invoke God as a medium of their idealistic intolerance and history will erect tombstones to their failure.

By William Thorpe Imprisoned at Red Onion State Prison

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The American Status Quo, It's Policing Organized Violence, Black Masculinity, Cooperation and Control

The Idea that the American status quo and it's policing organized violence is fearful and threatened by Black masculinity isn't wholly accurate and can be disproven by the level of injustice the American status quo and it's policing organized violence metes out to Black masculinity.  Because if the American status quo and it's policing organized violence was fearful and threatened by Black masculinity, it would be cautious and circumspective in it's blatant and overt practice of injustice, because the prospect of retaliation and retribution would loom large in it's Conservative imperative, but as the murderous practices of it's policing organized violence shows us, it's oblivious.

What however is accurate and correct is Black masculinity, in the calculus of the American status quo is to be controlled and as much as the American status quo and it's policing organized violence denigrates and dehumanizes Black masculinity it requires cooperation from Black masculinity to effect the control.  Meaning the American status quo and it's policing organized violence recognizes the humanity of Black masculinity as a comprehending medium even as it propagandizes the dehumanization of Black masculinity, a recognition that exposes the petty base nature of the controlling dynamic.

By William Thorpe Held at ROSP in Solitary Confinement

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Religion is the New Racism, Intellectual-Liberalism, Charity and it's Political-Economy Contradictions

Religion is the new Racism.  Specifically, it is that old friend tyranny guised up under the Johnny-Come-Lately of the monkey see monkey do banner of that lover of the Human Condition, ignorance.

Racism being intolerance and beyond the pale is understood by the most backwardly naive to the sophisticated cynic.  But religious intolerance in all it's diverse forms thrives from planes slamming into the Twin Towers and Pentagon to the shrilling babel of voices across the land that places of unfamiliar worship and fellowship are sinister and evil.

Intellectual activity during ages past was of reason and enlightenment, laboring for tolerance and selfless apathy.  Intellectual activity in the age of religion is the new Racism labors for intolerance and it's defense.  It is Intellectual-Liberalism resurrecting the most crass, idealistic and misanthropic attitudes.  Religion is the new Racism is selfishness wrapped in the mantle of charity and it's Political-Economy contradictions.

From every religious fundamentalism to it's reaction and intolerance, religion is the new Racism has pathetically shown itself to be the bastion of Farmers Almanac aphorisms, pop psychology, and snake oil charlatans.  Each hypocritically requiring it's purported antithesis for survival and existence.

By William Thorpe Imprisoned at ROSP since 1998

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Smoking But Not Inhaling and Marijuana Legalization

To those defiers of respiratory physics, Smoking but not Inhaling. To those who for whatever reason defame and extoll the virtue's of Marijuana. To the question of Marijuana Legalization. I have for you one experience, Read, Dope inc. By Lyndon Larouche.

by vapac

Monday, February 13, 2017

On Injustice

Injustice exists and is pervasive because it's prey and victims rarely respond in that conclusive and commensurate manner that would give pause to the machinery and medium of injustice.

By William Thorpe Imprisoned at ROSP