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Old 04-26-2020, 06:42 AM
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First, this should be addressed by the prisoner, not his family. Prisons expect the men and women in their custody to take responsibility. If you want to hear taunting: "You were tough on the street when you _______; now you call your wife for help?" So let him handle this.

Second, informal trumps formal when it comes to complaints. The prisoner should first try to determine why he has been singled out. I'm not implying that he's to blame, but it helps if he can figure out why a specific guard (or more than one) have decided to target him. This is helpful when he brings it to the attention of superiors.

His first attempt would be to respectfully ask the officer why this is happening. If the officer is purely racist, it must be happening a lot. Our DOC is mostly non-white inmates and a racist isn't going to target just one. he is giving the officer a chance to state his reason(s). It may accomplish nothing, but he was man enough to give the officer a chance.

He then SPEAKS with a sergeant or lieutenant. This keeps it in the Security chain-of-command and keeps it off paper. Informal complaints like this are easy to resolve because the officer knows there's no record of it. Failing there, he can report it to his counselor, but that officially raises it to a complaint of abuse and it will probably be recorded. Finally, he can file a written grievance. These are escalating steps, each more formal than the one before, and they should be taken patiently, because the higher this goes, the greater the chance of retaliation from wither the officer involved or his friends. Again, knowing why this officer has singled him out can be a crucial piece of information.

The Prison Society can get involved, but we would be counseling him to take the same steps before we would speak with the administration. At PHX, our team members can often go to a lower-level supervisor informally rather than drop this on the Superintendent's desk.

You don't say if he is in classification (blues) or has been classified there (browns). If he's on his way into the system, he won't be there long enough for this to play out. if he's in population (browns), then he should know some of the "white shirts" by now and can speak with one.

I hope this helps.
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