PRISON ABUSE AND CRIMINAL ASSAULT

The following report will outline an ongoing existing problem which must be viewed as a great concern not only from the standpoint of basic “Human Rights” but also as a clear violation of trust to the general public, in that several criminal acts are happening against prisoners are happening within New York State Prisons which have been left unchecked and deliberately unrecognized. Some can say that the criminal acts described herein may constitute a gross misappropriation of tax payer’s money. This problem or phenomena spelled out below are the alleged reports of assault on prison staff used as a cover for abuse on inmates, which serve as a scheme for an illicit money scheme. Direct incidents may be noted for further reference.

 

THE REPORT

It is by personal belief of the composers of this report that the aforementioned phenomena can be better proved through statistical information; and the research into matters, places and times through which these incidents occurred.

People are creatures of habit. Therefore, throughout a period of time, any person’s behavior can be observed for patterns and predictability.

POINT: Between 1996 and 1997 legislation was passed granting more protection to the prison staff against assaults from prisoners.

Between 1997 and 1998, prison staff uniforms were changed from grey to blue allegedly because it was discovered that the color had a psychological affect through its more aggressive appearance. The intent behind the change was to reduce prisoner assaults on staff.

Through this report, I would direct any investigating body in their efforts to identify the root of the problem by collecting, comparing and interpreting the following as a whole.

1.     The most assaults happen in the Maximum Security Facilities as opposed to Medium and Minimum Security Facilities.

 

2.     Assaults on prison staff seldom, if at any time, happen in open areas such as recreation yards, dormitories, dining halls, or program areas where other inmates would have an opportunity to join in.

 

3.     In facilities that have more camera surveillance, assaults almost never happen where they are caught on tape.

 

4.     In the alleged assaults, it is usually the prisoner that bears the most noticed signs of injury at the completion of these alleged assaults on prison staff.

 

5.     Many of these alleged attacks take place during a period when there is supposed to be no prisoner movement. 

6.     As the laws are written and acted on behalf of prison officials, the bulk majority of alleged assaults are never adapted into any formal criminal charges.

POINT: (A) -Without claiming the status of a criminologist but, after experiencing incarceration nearly my adult entire life, I have yet to see spontaneous acts of violence without an underlining cause. Prisoners just don’t do things while incarcerated for the sake of doing them. Especially knowing the consequences is almost always against them.

POINT: (B) - If in fact the prisoners are the initiators of these random acts of violence, patterns would be more sporadic and as restricted to isolated areas.

POINT: (C) - Once it is proven that prisoners are the instigators of these acts, there would be little or no concern for securing the camera angle in favor of the prisoner. In most cases in an assault on a staff situation where video footage may be available, it is usually the prisoner that requests the video footage as defense in their tier hearings whenever it is available and not mysteriously lost.

POINT: (D) - What should be seen as self evident is that these occurrences are never brought as formal criminal charges because such would require more scrutiny on the incidents, further investigation by actual law enforcement agencies and actual inquiry into the alleged injuries of the supposed victims.

 

Identifying the phenomena:

Choose these facilities and compare them for an example: Five Points, Attica, Sullivan, Shawangunk, Eastern, Green Haven, Clinton, Great Meadow and Coxsackie. Not knowing any of the numbers, I would say that less assaults on staff are committed in Five Points, Sullivan, Eastern and Shawangunk than at Attica, Great meadow, Clinton and Coxsackie.

The question that some may ask are, why is that? Does it have to do with the size of the prison population? Does it have to do with the overall size of the prison? Does it have anything to do with the quality of the prisoners at these facilities or the quality of the staff? These questions are very interesting and do lead to some insight into the phenomena, yet they are the wrong questions to ask.

The size of the prison and its population may or may not have something to do with the levels of violence and the quality of prisoners may also be contributing factors to levels of violence at any given facility. All this is true but, having incorporated other information into the equation Sullivan, C.F. is known for hosing high profile case prisoners. Shawangunk C.F. is known for housing most Central Monitoring Case prisoners and Five Points C.F. originally were slated as a Special Housing Unit for the worst of the worst but is now a General Confinement Facility. Still in all, violence as whole is far less in these prisons as opposed to the other aforementioned.

The real question that should stand next to “why is that” is, what’s different about these facilities outside of size and quality of prisoners that set these places apart. Aside from the fact that Five Points, Shawangunk and Sullivan C.F., have more video surveillance equipment in most areas of these facilities, the administrative structure of these facilities are a top down structure as opposed to Attica, Clinton, Great Meadow and Coxsackie, which are more bottom up in their structure. To define the difference, a top down administrative body would signify that the higher ups such as the “Executive Team” and top brass are the ones who set the tone for the facility and dictate the rules on how the facilities are operated. When it is evident that the superior authority is respected, the overall subordinates will exhibit a higher degree of professionalism. Where as in the bottom up administration, the executive team and top brass are more or less symbolic positions. Due to the fact that the real influence, control and authority are to be found in the rank and file. Therefore, when rank and file are the ones setting the tone of the facility and dictating rules, the threshold for unprofessional behavaior and violence against prisonsers increases

Now, in an attempt to bring what has been mentioned here into focus in order that the picture can be made clear and those truly responsible exposed, let us reflect on the following:

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s there were growing concerns about prisoners taking in millions upon millions of dollars in legal suites due to the abuse they were receiving from prison staff. With the passage of this time, laws were developed and adopted that wish to serve the purpose of curbing that type of litigation. However, not one single law was adopted much less enacted into order to curb the abuse against prisoners that was actually the cause of prisoner’s litigation.

In the middle to the 1990’s , when further legislation was passed which empowered the Department of Corrections even more, this new found power eventually evolved into a system of its own which gave an easy answer of financial concerns which were already being voiced in Albany.

To be clear, while the people in Central Office were finding ways to minimize wasteful spending and cutting down on the amount of overtime that had been allotted, the ingenuity of the rank and file found their own way to still get paid. It is identified as workman’s compensation”.

If fifty prison guards work on a given shift with little or no chance for overtime, what will be done? Throughout the course of three months, let’s say five to seven guards go out on workers compensation so that overtime could be rotated amongst other guards. How is that “comp” (as it is often identified by prison guards) acquired? A prison must be involved in assaulting someone. This gives the perfect excuse for someone to stay home and get a check from the state and another from their insurance company.

In simple terms, the word is “fraud.” Anyone who has an interest in ending it should begin by researching the numbers.

Suggestion for evidence:Beginning with the facilities that report the highest numbers of assault on staff incidents, collect the following Data for a span of at least three years:

All “Use of Force” reports on a particular incident.

  • All “Unusual Incident” reports on the same.
  • All relevant log book entries on these incidents.
  • Ascertain the times and locations where these incidents occurred
  • Look at the content of what was actually reported on each misbehavior report issued to the prisoner in question

Check the background history of the prison guard(s) prior to incident for any grievances filed against them prior to said incident

The number of prison guards out on “comp” for that year.

The number of prison guards that received comp for that year.

The number of prison guards that received overtime that year.

With this information, definitive profiles can be made and a very disturbing pattern should emerge.

After the collection of the aforementioned data is complete and the appropriate people review it for what it is, the picture should be astonishingly clear. The remaining task for those concerned would be to develop the methods to nullify that cycle.

In closing, to address anyone who may be skeptical as to these conclusions that I have made, please keep in mind one reality that is undeniable. Extreme scrutiny should be placed on this matter so as to expose the root cause of this   “phenomena”.

Whoever is to blame, be they prisoner or prison guard, the abuse of “workers comp” in this system is one of many ways that money is being leached from honest tax payers of this state.

On a moral note, one should be repulsed at the mere idea of the possibility that half of what I have mentioned is actually the case, let alone that money is being made through the physical abuse of human beings.

Correcting this would indeed take us one large step forward in prison reform; and possibly open the door for many other ways to better the state of affairs in this system thus, planting the seed for a better environment conducive of true rehabilitation.

Written by inmate X

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

“phenomena”.

 

 

Written by inmate x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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