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  #1  
Old 12-08-2007, 02:37 AM
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Default Supermax inmate held in 'solitary" for 24 years

DU takes case of Supermax inmate held in 'solitary" for 24 years
The Associated Press
loadApVideo();
http://ap.dodgeglobe.com/stories/sta...21216295.shtml

DENVER — A lawsuit filed Wednesday challenges the status of a prisoner housed at Supermax, alleging that a "no human contact" order that placed him in solitary confinement for 24 years amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Thomas Edward Silverstein, 55, has been segregated from others since Oct. 22, 1983, after his conviction in the slaying of prison guard Merle Clutts, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court. Silverstein also has been convicted in the slayings of three inmates, but one of those convictions was overturned and he wasn't retried.

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  #2  
Old 12-08-2007, 08:33 AM
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24 years is a long time to be in solitary confinement but what are you going to do. Shoot the guy? He kills people while in prison. He has nothing to lose. He's in for life. He is a danger to other inmates. A danger to the guards. Give him another chance? I doubt it. The Judges are going to side with the prison guards. The only thing missing in this story is that he has found the Lord. BTW It makes no mention of remorse. Even if it did, who'd believe it.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:26 AM
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Since there were also 3 inmates killed along with a guard, there could be some safety considerations as well. None of the inmates are going to trust him and he could be targeted figuring get him before he gets us. It sounds cruel to keep him in solitary so long, but then as state by PCGS70 what do you do with him?
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:06 PM
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I think there are a lot more inmates who need their cases looked at besides someone like Tommy, who has killed both inmates and a guard. Not to mention his ties as being an accused leader of the AB directing orders outside the walls.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:45 AM
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Default Violations of Constitutional Rights

Regardless of what ANYONE has done, either in prison or on the outside, their Right to Due Process is protected by the same US Constitution that protects you and me. One of those murder convictions was overturned. There was no re-trial. No status hearing. "Alleged" gang affiliation, and alleged "orders" to the outside. ....Where is the proof?

All it really takes is a prison-snitch who needs television privileges to create a fictious tale. Plea bargains and witness testimonies in exchage for lighter sentences, early release, or extended tv privileges should be outlawed (testimonies from other SuperMax prisoners who also are in solitary---why should they be believed under the circumstances, since they're desparate to get out of solitary, esp. if they've been there for years).

The violation of "DUE PROCESS" for inmates is status quo. I've been posting news articles in PTO for months now regarding medical neglect and maltreatment, heinous violations of human rights, violations of due process and elimination of constitutional rights.

Injustice against one is injustice against all of us...

In the past few years, more than 200 people have been freed from prison and from DEATH ROW, due to the work of "The Innocence Project." That's TWO HUNDRED INNOCENT people, many of whom were scheduled to be EXECUTED. ....That's only the tip of the iceberg. ...

The War on Terrorism and Homeland Security Acts eventually will cause many of us who are here on "the outside" now to be on "the inside" someday soon. Freedom of speech is gone. The right to a speedy trial is gone. The right to Due Process is Gone....and methods of Exteme Torture have been approved and sanctioned by our government. ...And if there are any "gaps" in the video tapes of interrogations from the CIA, it's only a news story on tv.

...Where is the OUTRAGE? Where is your Patriotism? ...Where is your HEART?

The government is going after "alleged" gang members (of all races) based on what "they might" do. As far as I learned in grammar school, what someone might do is not the same thing as what they DID. Whatever happened to "guilty until proven innocent?"....This tactic is a stepped-up campaign to further diminish the power of the US Constitution, to promote the growth of the US prison industry.

Take the execution of Tookie Williams, for example. This man was executed in order to make an example of the potential repurcussions of becoming a gang member, not because of "new crimes" he committed or allegedly committed behind bars. He was blamed for the gang membership of every black person in the US. ....That isn't even logical. ....Just imagine what would happen if Jesus Christ appeared and started"recruiting" members for his "alleged" gang? ...Oh yeah, that's been done already....JC was a gang founder and recruiter, so his government gave him what he deserved, right?

But I diverge from the point. My experience with the DOC is that the US Constitution is completely irrelevent. The US violates every standard of Human Rights and Due Process that it holds other countries accountable to, including the guidelines established at the Genva Convention. We are on our way to becoming a totalitarian facist nation. (oh yeah, we can vote for change...as long as there are no dangling chads and broken-down voting machines...and as long as we aren't ex-felons...)

Last edited by northstar; 12-09-2007 at 03:09 AM..
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2007, 03:13 AM
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Nortstar I dig the things that you say
,,,the majority of men serving life plus years in solitary confinement are poor black men.
Even tho this man deserves confinement, if it brings attention to what this type of incarceration does to the mind then its serving its purpose for others if not him.
I have a loved one that is unfortunately going to spend many years in solitary he's been there since he was 17, the last 6 years at ADX.

Last edited by Wobabi; 12-09-2007 at 03:14 AM..
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:37 AM
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This guy had his due process for the crimes commited on the outside and the murders commited while in prison. He was convicted for killing a prison guard. Convicted for killing 2 inmates. He was accused of killing a third inmate. That conviction was overturned. Why waste my tax dollars with yet another trial for this guy to get ANOTHER murder conviction. When is enough enough. Just throw away the key and keep this guy inside. You'd change your tune if he killed your Father, brother or your son who is trying to hack out a living as a prison guard. I wouldn't want this guy living in my house. I don't want him living in my city.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default felons can vote

Hey,
I'm with you up untilthe part where you said ex-felons can't vote. If you are currently on probation or parole, a felon can't vote, but once you are discharged you can.





Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar
Regardless of what ANYONE has done, either in prison or on the outside, their Right to Due Process is protected by the same US Constitution that protects you and me. One of those murder convictions was overturned. There was no re-trial. No status hearing. "Alleged" gang affiliation, and alleged "orders" to the outside. ....Where is the proof?

All it really takes is a prison-snitch who needs television privileges to create a fictious tale. Plea bargains and witness testimonies in exchage for lighter sentences, early release, or extended tv privileges should be outlawed (testimonies from other SuperMax prisoners who also are in solitary---why should they be believed under the circumstances, since they're desparate to get out of solitary, esp. if they've been there for years).

The violation of "DUE PROCESS" for inmates is status quo. I've been posting news articles in PTO for months now regarding medical neglect and maltreatment, heinous violations of human rights, violations of due process and elimination of constitutional rights.

Injustice against one is injustice against all of us...

In the past few years, more than 200 people have been freed from prison and from DEATH ROW, due to the work of "The Innocence Project." That's TWO HUNDRED INNOCENT people, many of whom were scheduled to be EXECUTED. ....That's only the tip of the iceberg. ...

The War on Terrorism and Homeland Security Acts eventually will cause many of us who are here on "the outside" now to be on "the inside" someday soon. Freedom of speech is gone. The right to a speedy trial is gone. The right to Due Process is Gone....and methods of Exteme Torture have been approved and sanctioned by our government. ...And if there are any "gaps" in the video tapes of interrogations from the CIA, it's only a news story on tv.

...Where is the OUTRAGE? Where is your Patriotism? ...Where is your HEART?

The government is going after "alleged" gang members (of all races) based on what "they might" do. As far as I learned in grammar school, what someone might do is not the same thing as what they DID. Whatever happened to "guilty until proven innocent?"....This tactic is a stepped-up campaign to further diminish the power of the US Constitution, to promote the growth of the US prison industry.

Take the execution of Tookie Williams, for example. This man was executed in order to make an example of the potential repurcussions of becoming a gang member, not because of "new crimes" he committed or allegedly committed behind bars. He was blamed for the gang membership of every black person in the US. ....That isn't even logical. ....Just imagine what would happen if Jesus Christ appeared and started"recruiting" members for his "alleged" gang? ...Oh yeah, that's been done already....JC was a gang founder and recruiter, so his government gave him what he deserved, right?

But I diverge from the point. My experience with the DOC is that the US Constitution is completely irrelevent. The US violates every standard of Human Rights and Due Process that it holds other countries accountable to, including the guidelines established at the Genva Convention. We are on our way to becoming a totalitarian facist nation. (oh yeah, we can vote for change...as long as there are no dangling chads and broken-down voting machines...and as long as we aren't ex-felons...)
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2007, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstermaker
Hey,
I'm with you up untilthe part where you said ex-felons can't vote. If you are currently on probation or parole, a felon can't vote, but once you are discharged you can.
One in 41 Adults have permanently or currently lost their right to vote as a result of a felony conviction. 13% of Black Men can't vote due to felony convictions (7 times the national average). 676,730 women can't vote as a result of a felony conviction. Two million white Americans can't vote due to felonies. In five states that disenfranchise ex-felons, 1 in 4 Black men are permanently disenfranchised.
2.1 million disenfranchised (can't vote) are ex-offenders

READ The FACTS:

[PDF] Page 1 FELONY DISENFRANCHISEMENT LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES ...
www.sentencingproject.org/pdfs/1046.pdf


American Civil Liberties Union : Voting Rights : Ex-Offenders
http://www.aclu.org/votingrights/exoffenders/index.html

http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/faq.aspx

Laws barring felon voting hit blacks hard - Politics- msnbc.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9008232/

Ex-felons face roadblocks in regaining voting rights

http://realcostofprisons.org/blog/archives/2007/04/disenfranchisin.html

ex felon disenfranchisement

Last edited by northstar; 12-09-2007 at 04:52 PM..
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2007, 06:16 PM
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Twenty four years is a long time and I can't imagine enduring it. What would you have them do though when there is a potential problem with a prisoner in the general population. This guy was convicted of killing a guard and two prisoners. The 3rd guy since he wasn't convicted of the killing, officially he is innocent, but that won't mean anything to the prisoners around him. Consider the prisoner(s) in there with him and their thought processes that say get him before he gets us. Jeffery Dahmer was kept in a pretty isolated setting and they still got him one day (I kind of always wondered it that might have been a set up but thats another story). If this guy were left out and was killed there would be people screaming that they knew he was in danger so why did they not do a better job protecting him.

But the other point that I was going to make, is that it takes energy to fight against something. Sometimes a lot of energy. Most of us have limited energy for that since we are supporting a loved one on the inside along with other household or job related issues. And we each have hot buttons based on particular experiences. Something blatantly horrific will get my attention like the article you posted about the pepper spray on mental patients. I keep coming back on this one to what else can they do with him. The honest response here is that I would not want him to share a bunk with my loved one.

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  #11  
Old 12-10-2007, 02:49 AM
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I wouldn't want to be his cellie. It's tough, cruel even but maybe he is too.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:32 AM
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I wonder whether this man is the same person he was 24 years ago. I know that my fiance has been in there for 18 years (not in solitary) and he's definitely different from the angry young man who committed his crime.

What I have to ask is, if there's no incentive to change or improve then how can we expect anybody to want to do so? I have a real problem with the prison system writing our loved ones off and warehousing them to rot -- what's this but a more extreme example of the same?

I don't know what the answer is, but I know that it can't be this.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:30 AM
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Talking prison education

Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar
Regardless of what ANYONE has done, either in prison or on the outside, their Right to Due Process is protected by the same US Constitution that protects you and me. One of those murder convictions was overturned. There was no re-trial. No status hearing. "Alleged" gang affiliation, and alleged "orders" to the outside. ....Where is the proof?

All it really takes is a prison-snitch who needs television privileges to create a fictious tale. Plea bargains and witness testimonies in exchage for lighter sentences, early release, or extended tv privileges should be outlawed (testimonies from other SuperMax prisoners who also are in solitary---why should they be believed under the circumstances, since they're desparate to get out of solitary, esp. if they've been there for years).

The violation of "DUE PROCESS" for inmates is status quo. I've been posting news articles in PTO for months now regarding medical neglect and maltreatment, heinous violations of human rights, violations of due process and elimination of constitutional rights.

Injustice against one is injustice against all of us...

In the past few years, more than 200 people have been freed from prison and from DEATH ROW, due to the work of "The Innocence Project." That's TWO HUNDRED INNOCENT people, many of whom were scheduled to be EXECUTED. ....That's only the tip of the iceberg. ...

The War on Terrorism and Homeland Security Acts eventually will cause many of us who are here on "the outside" now to be on "the inside" someday soon. Freedom of speech is gone. The right to a speedy trial is gone. The right to Due Process is Gone....and methods of Exteme Torture have been approved and sanctioned by our government. ...And if there are any "gaps" in the video tapes of interrogations from the CIA, it's only a news story on tv.

...Where is the OUTRAGE? Where is your Patriotism? ...Where is your HEART?

The government is going after "alleged" gang members (of all races) based on what "they might" do. As far as I learned in grammar school, what someone might do is not the same thing as what they DID. Whatever happened to "guilty until proven innocent?"....This tactic is a stepped-up campaign to further diminish the power of the US Constitution, to promote the growth of the US prison industry.

Take the execution of Tookie Williams, for example. This man was executed in order to make an example of the potential repurcussions of becoming a gang member, not because of "new crimes" he committed or allegedly committed behind bars. He was blamed for the gang membership of every black person in the US. ....That isn't even logical. ....Just imagine what would happen if Jesus Christ appeared and started"recruiting" members for his "alleged" gang? ...Oh yeah, that's been done already....JC was a gang founder and recruiter, so his government gave him what he deserved, right?

But I diverge from the point. My experience with the DOC is that the US Constitution is completely irrelevent. The US violates every standard of Human Rights and Due Process that it holds other countries accountable to, including the guidelines established at the Genva Convention. We are on our way to becoming a totalitarian facist nation. (oh yeah, we can vote for change...as long as there are no dangling chads and broken-down voting machines...and as long as we aren't ex-felons...)
Northstar, I am right there with you on your post. I'm in a situation that I would appreciate your input on. I started teaching African American History in a male medium security prison a few months ago. I am a great teacher and, after teaching for a bit, I made it clear that I felt a deep commitment to prison education and wanted to finish my career there. My class meets once a week so that three days of college time "on the street". Naively, I assumed that if these men paid and did the work, they would have their college transcript with a grade that meant they had the appropriate content to ready them for transition to educaition on the outside. I offered to bring books, documentaries, etc. from my personal library because there is not adequate material on Black Studies in the library to research topics for papers, etc. I have never hesitated to be a respectful, caring person which means I speak to the men in and outside the classroom and have never done aything illegal or immoral. In my class, I recognize the power of social science classes such as this in developing positive male identity, confidence, self-esteem, etc. I have done a great job and the men have been powerful. I have been told I need to go the women's prison because some of the CO's perceive inappropriate relations between myself and the men. The following are abuses toward the men and myself that I have reported to my supervisors and have been told to be quiet, not to be disruptive, that I am a great teacher but am getting the Co's upset.
1. On several occasions, I have witnessed verbal, psychological by female CO's toward students, cursing them out, calling them names, accusing them of general "stuff:, yelling all these things in the lobby of the school building, lies, lies, lies, about the students not reporting in for count, etc., accusing me of "being too attractive" to come to school, bringing in too many papers, books, films that might have pornography (all Black Studies material so of course it's porno!) I have heard these CO's make sexually suggestive coments to these men, make sarcastic comments like "what are you studying all that Black stuff for?" The warden has ignored requests for books and films enen though i went to great lengths to detail everythig relevant to course content. I've had class cancelled before I arrived by the CO's and when I complained, again told I was too disruptive.

My question and request for input. I really would like to raise hell but I also know that I can be an asset in prison education and the more I try, the more I get shut down. Most importantly, these men, who are trying to do the right thing, are being punished. They were told that instead of having African american history this coming semester,they could take European history!!! These folks basically F***d the last part of the semester and we have not covered material that should have been covered. Not sure whether to quit, appeal my transfer, demand meetings, what .. I have documented and saved all my back and forth e-mails so I do have a paper trail of my requests.

We had a power African American liberation theologist come to class to speak religion and the church in the context of African american history. The school officials loved, men all over the yard asked if they could come to hear him and everyone was behind this minister coming in for a program to speak. I sent in a very detailed request, rationale, benefits for total campus, the undeniable community and spiritual credentials for this man and my request went ignored for a month. When it got close to time for him to come back in, I asked again, and got back the following answer "disapproved".

Any suggestions/comments/advice on legal venues vs. suckin' it up and doing' the best I can. I tried to make it very clear that I realized I was in a prison, security was an issue, I was not an "innocent", and that most importantly, I wanted education to be seen as a means of improving not only the prison community, but the community outside these men would eventually be a part of.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstermaker
Hey,
I'm with you up untilthe part where you said ex-felons can't vote. If you are currently on probation or parole, a felon can't vote, but once you are discharged you can.
Not in every state. In 2 states, once you have a felony record you can NEVER vote in that state again.
http://www.aclu.org/votingrights/exo...olicy2007.html
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:03 AM
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I would like to have more compassion for him, but I also want to see compassion from him, either past or present.

I had a dog once, from the time he was six weeks old he bit people. As a puppy, as a young dog, and as an adult. By the time he was 3 he had racked up 21 bites that broke the skin or worse. I couldn't find anywhere to put him that would have been safe. He had threatened me while I was in bed because I moved my feet, so how could I give him to anyone? I couldn't find a farm that would take him, because he also chased and bit other animals. Finally, having tried 3 different dog trainers, I called my vet and had him put down. I didn't know what else to do, the dog trainers were out of ideas and said he would continue to bite - that he had a screw loose and there was no fixing it. A cage for life would have been the only other choice.
This guy sounds too much like ol' Bugsy.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachrighteous
.
1. On several occasions, I have witnessed verbal, psychological by female CO's toward students, cursing them out, calling them names, accusing them of general "stuff:, yelling all these things in the lobby of the school building, lies, lies, lies, about the students not reporting in for count, etc., accusing me of "being too attractive" to come to school, bringing in too many papers, books, films that might have pornography (all Black Studies material so of course it's porno!) I have heard these CO's make sexually suggestive coments to these men, make sarcastic comments like "what are you studying all that Black stuff for?" The warden has ignored requests for books and films enen though i went to great lengths to detail everythig relevant to course content. I've had class cancelled before I arrived by the CO's and when I complained, again told I was too disruptive.

My question and request for input. I really would like to raise hell but I also know that I can be an asset in prison education and the more I try, the more I get shut down. Most importantly, these men, who are trying to do the right thing, are being punished. They were told that instead of having African american history this coming semester,they could take European history!!! These folks basically F***d the last part of the semester and we have not covered material that should have been covered. Not sure whether to quit, appeal my transfer, demand meetings, what .. I have documented and saved all my back and forth e-mails so I do have a paper trail of my requests.

We had a power African American liberation theologist come to class to speak religion and the church in the context of African american history. The school officials loved, men all over the yard asked if they could come to hear him and everyone was behind this minister coming in for a program to speak. I sent in a very detailed request, rationale, benefits for total campus, the undeniable community and spiritual credentials for this man and my request went ignored for a month. When it got close to time for him to come back in, I asked again, and got back the following answer "disapproved".

Any suggestions/comments/advice on legal venues vs. suckin' it up and doing' the best I can. I tried to make it very clear that I realized I was in a prison, security was an issue, I was not an "innocent", and that most importantly, I wanted education to be seen as a means of improving not only the prison community, but the community outside these men would eventually be a part of.
I am not an expert but you might need to lower your security level. Sometimes just that change in custody level can mean a whole heck of a difference in staff and attitude. You can't change 600 years of thoughts but there is always more than one way to skin the cat!
Maybe get to the men who really are closer to the door. and if the system fails you,,trust me there are plenty of post incarcerations programs floating around that need you,,,and if not,,, write a grant and do it yourself
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Old 12-11-2007, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachrighteous
My question and request for input. I really would like to raise hell but I also know that I can be an asset in prison education and the more I try, the more I get shut down. Most importantly, these men, who are trying to do the right thing, are being punished. They were told that instead of having African american history this coming semester,they could take European history!!! These folks basically F***d the last part of the semester and we have not covered material that should have been covered. Not sure whether to quit, appeal my transfer, demand meetings, what .. I have documented and saved all my back and forth e-mails so I do have a paper trail of my requests.

We had a power African American liberation theologist come to class to speak religion and the church in the context of African american history. The school officials loved, men all over the yard asked if they could come to hear him and everyone was behind this minister coming in for a program to speak. I sent in a very detailed request, rationale, benefits for total campus, the undeniable community and spiritual credentials for this man and my request went ignored for a month. When it got close to time for him to come back in, I asked again, and got back the following answer "disapproved".

Any suggestions/comments/advice on legal venues vs. suckin' it up and doing' the best I can. I tried to make it very clear that I realized I was in a prison, security was an issue, I was not an "innocent", and that most importantly, I wanted education to be seen as a means of improving not only the prison community, but the community outside these men would eventually be a part of.
Please, Don't Give Up!! Knowledge is Power!! The fact that there are between 25 to 40 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE ILLITERATE IN THE US(depending on which source you use) is an obscenity. The fact that this issue is rarely, if ever, addressed in public forums, in the news, or in our college classrooms, really speaks eloquently about the failure of our public education system and denotes our rapidly disintergrating infrastructure. WE, the American People, are in a heap of trouble, and by dis-empowering huge segments of our population by allowing rampant illiteracy, we leave them powerless, and poor. Poverty, disease, and crime are fueled by the failure of our government to address this issue. READ "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paolo Freire. We need to shift our paradigm so that our education is inclusive rather than designed by the wealthy in order to maintain classist, racial, and ethnic division. ...Again, our educational system enforces a "hidden" caste system that haunts every segment of our society, and creates invisible economic warfare....The US prison system is a reflection of this, and until it is changed, word by word, book by book, one inmate at a time, we'll be unable to achieve equality as a people, or reach our potential as a nation.

I DO have some suggestions, comments and questions, but those will have to wait for now--I have to go to work in a minute, but I'll come back to this thread when I return. ...Until then, don't let the sonsofbitches get you down. YOU ARE THE MISSING LINK!! ("When the student is ready, the teacher appears"...You are the last defense for too many people to throw in the towel and give in. Don't give in, don't give up---your commitment to knowledge and learning may be the "drop in the bucket" that saves someone's life.)

"Be Good," Northstar
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2007, 04:27 AM
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He's dangerous and in need of mental health care so perhaps he is in the wrong place.
But i wouldn't want him in a cell with my man. Would you ?
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:17 PM
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With federal felonies can you ever vote again?
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:17 AM
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I think there at there wits end with this man you can't put him around people any people he is dangerous!

Just out of curiosity what do you think they should do with him??
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:56 AM
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Default Guilt and Innocence

While I don't believe that everyone behind bars is innocent, I also don't believe that everyone behind bars is guilty, either ...No one here know the circumstances of this man's original trial, or whether he is in fact guilty.
Here's an example of a miscarriage of justice from today's news: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/14828163/detail.html

What I'm fairly certain of, however, is that once a person is behind the walls, there is very little chance, if any, that he/she will be found innocent of other charges that have been alleged. I've never seen a prison hearing or a prisoner's trial, where an innocent verdict was returned.

If the prisoner is mentally ill or criminally insane, then obviously he should be someplace else beside supermax.

It's amazing to me that PTO members would believe anything that any DOC tells them or the press, under any circumstances, especially when they don't believe the DOC or the press instead over their incarcerated man/loved one. I'm also surprised about the "not in my man's bunk" comments in here...especially when there may be inmates who've done worse things, sleeping in your man's bunk.

As far as the COs etc., who were killed, unless the incident was caught on camera, you really can't believe anything that you're told. All it would take is a prison snitch who wants a better job or television privileges to testify and lie about the situation....all it would take is the guards or warden to hold a grudge against a convict , in order for this to happen.

If the system is corrupt already, how do you KNOW the truth of the matter in this situation? This sounds suspiciously like a double standard to me.

Last edited by northstar; 12-12-2007 at 09:58 AM..
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  #22  
Old 12-12-2007, 12:14 PM
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I can't imagine there is really "no human contact" at all. Someone has to bring him meal trays 3 times a day and I'm sure the staff have to check on him. Sometimes others are close enough that they can hollar back and forth.

I write a number of men at the Tamms Supermax. As far as I know, none of them has killed one person in prison! Assaults, yes. Some of them are alleged to be gang leaders and they won't let them out of there unless they give up information! Now that to me is unfair. I don't know any particulars about any one person because they are not allowed to discuss things like that in letters in other than general terms.

I doubt that most mental health facilities are equipped to deal with criminally insane people. I think they should be treated if that will help them, but I want them held securely.

What I would like to see is mental health experts who visited the supermax prisons every 6 months or so and reviewed all the cases of those who are mentally ill, including medications and treatment of them.

Over and over prison staff think inmates are "manipulating" who are indeed not in control of themselves and mentally ill. This outrages me. I wonder what continuing education the staff receive?

Last edited by tweedybird; 12-12-2007 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:56 PM
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Teachrighteous, I'd like to comment on your situation. It's a whole other topic but one I also feel deeply about. One thing that caught my attention is that you said you have just been teaching there for 2 months. I have never worked in a prison, but I've heard enough stories to know that change takes place SLOWLY in them. There was a new warden in an IL max security prison, who was AA and I heard went to work out with weights on the yard with the men! He lasted about 2 months before the union or whoever forced him out. Some of the staff are caring in prisons, some have long ago hardened themselves and don't care and don't want any changes! Prisons are places of pain and negativity. I imagine lots of the more sensitive souls don't last long working there.

You have figured out there is a deep longing for education and in particular for black studies. I dont' want to see you give up or go work in a lower security prison. Things like video tapes will make them nervous! They don't know you! You might be sneaking something in. Does this course have to be for credit? Are there other ways of doing this? I would slow it way down and meet with the people in charge and ask them what they are comfortable with? If certain books are not allowed perhaps you can still lecture based on them, or bring in photo copies of documents for study. I'm white, I don't know a whole lot about European history and most white people do not! As for AMERICAN history, the history of Native Americans, African Americans and us Euro's are intertwined and no good history can really separate them!

Surely there must be some studies that show that inmates who have some pride in themselves are better behaved? And that education, rather than boredom also leads to better behavior? I'd dress like a nun if I had to, meet with the person in charge, share some of your materials you want to teach from, and have some stats in hand about the benefits of African American history and study.

I just have to go on here a bit and say that I think most whites just do not understand what AA history and Native Am history mean to blacks and natives. Our country still suffers the effects for the wrongs done. Most whites do not understand how systematically families were torn apart for hundreds of years. Among the men I write, ( and my husband) there seems to be a deep longing to know their roots and have pride in their heritage.

Oh and no sexy shoes or anything! Dress conservatively and you'll earn points with the staff. These are celibate men in their primes and they don't need much to get them stimulated if you know what I mean! You'll still look attractive.

There are often security problems in prisons with outside people coming in because they are not familiar with the rules and they aren't searched like visitors are. Often especially with women, the inmates try to get real friendly and ask them for a little favor to be brought in.... something totally harmless but against the rules. Then they try to up the ante later on. A lot of these inmates are slick! My mother used to volunteer in a women's prison and they had to quit letting the volunteers come in with craft supplies because of problems. Then imagine one inmate got a favor from a volunteer and the others did not. I do understand why the prisons insist on outsiders following the rules exactly.

Last edited by tweedybird; 12-12-2007 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:24 PM
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Northstar, when I read the info available I didn't see anything that indicated he was claiming innocence just unfair treatment for the years of isolation.

From your post you indicated that he is being represented by law students who have done this before for class so if there is anything there to work with I assume they will find it.

If you have it keep us updated on the status.

If I didn't say so earlier, I do find your posts interesting. Keep them up because you are much appreciated.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:57 PM
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Guilt or innocence isnt the point here. Have any of you ever read this mans website and writings? There is no question of his guilt. He admits it. What is in question is the treatment he has received. The man has been ticket free for 19 years. This is the Patriot Act taken to the Nth degree.

http://www.tommysilverstein.com/index.html
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