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Old 09-04-2005, 09:01 PM
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Default Article from Free Press

Professionalism in Ohio’s prison system
by Dan Cahill
in Journal issue January-February 2005
January 23, 2005

I arrived at the Correctional Reception Center (CRC) in Orient, Ohio, on October 26, 2004. CRC is the facility where male prisoners from central and southern
Ohio are processed into the state prison system.

I was housed in cellblock A2. I heard the second shift guards, Conley and Rollins, announce to all the prisoners in the block that they would punish the entire cellblock if anyone talked in line on the way to and from the dining room. The one guard, Conley, went into detail and explained that we would not be allowed to take showers or use the telephones, nor allowed out of our cells. He further explained that he would inform all the other prisoners which man was responsible for the punishment, and that we would remain on restriction until someone (other prisoners) “beat down” the prisoner caught talking in line. In a boastful manner, Conley stated that the system was stacked in his favor, that he would have no problem lying and falsifying reports to cover up the incidents.

Within a couple of days, I saw two different prisoners attacked by other prisoners in an effort to appease Conley and Rollins.

Once I actually heard Conley tell a prisoner, “Don’t draw any blood, or I can’t cover it up”—moments before he unlocked the cell door of the prisoner who was to be attacked. Conley and Rollins watched the attack from their station in the center of the cellblock and laughed when they heard the sounds of the prisoner struggling and calling for help.

I was upset with the boldness that these guards displayed and wrote an article at that time for the Free Press to report what I had witnessed.

On November 19, another guard found that article during a search of my cell. He took the article and made some copies of it before returning the original to me. I knew I was going to have problems with Conley and Rollins the next day, so I wrote a letter to Terry Collins, Deputy Director the Dept. of Rehabilitation & Corrections, explaining the situation to him and asking him to call CRC to try to stop the anticipated retaliation from these guards before it got out of hand. I mailed the letter that evening.

On November 20, Conley came to my cell, took the original article, and left my cell. About thirty minutes later, he returned and handcuffed me. He turned me over to another guard, who escorted me to the isolation unit.

When I arrived in isolation, I heard two guards talking. One said, “Is that Cahill, the one Conley called about?” The other guard verified that I was. The first guard stated, “I’ll take care of him.” He walked over and ordered me to give him my eye- glasses. I asked why he was taking my glasses, and he replied, “Shift Captain has to approve whether you can have them or not.” I told the guard I had never heard of that and surrendered my glasses.

An hour later the guard informed me that my glasses were broken and held together with a paper clip, and the Captain decided I couldn’t have them. When I tried to tell this guard my glasses weren’t broken, he insisted they were. When I asked to see the Captain, the guard said, “Write me up, my name is Atley.” (I don’t know if that’s really his name or not.)

While I was in isolation, I wrote to Terry Collins again and told him of the incident with my eyeglasses.

When I got the Conduct Report for the charge for which I was placed in Isolation, I discovered that Conley had written me up for “disrespect” and for “disobeying a direct order.” Conley said I cussed him out and refused to place my hands on the wall while he searched my cell and took the article. I never cussed him out or disobeyed his order! But, true to his word, Conley had no problem lying and falsifying the conduct report. I was found guilty by the Rules Infraction Board, who also refused to call my witnesses who had observed the incident.

On November 26, I was transferred from CRC to the Pickaway Correctional Institution. When I was given my clothing, I discovered that there was in fact a pair of broken glasses held together with a paper clip. When I informed the guard that those weren’t my glasses, he said, “That’s all we have for you. Take them with you, or leave them here.” So I took the broken pair with me.

While at CRC I had had an eye examination which I passed because I had my glasses. The glasses I have now are a much different prescription, and I could not have passed the eye exam with this pair. I’m sure the guard who took my glasses will attempt to say that this was just a mistake, and the glasses somehow got switched. But I’m certain this was done intentionally, as an act of reprisal, just as the bogus conduct report was an act of reprisal for exercising my right to freedom of speech and writing the first article.

It was rumored at CRC that Rollins was one of the guards under investigation for the prisoner who was transported naked to another prison. At CRC, the abuse and corruption appear far worse than at most other
Ohio prisons. Even though there have been some recent firings of CRC guards, I don’t believe they have even scratched the surface of the depth of corruption and brutality towards prisoners there.

I filed the necessary appeal on the bogus conduct report, and filed a grievance on the retaliation and theft of my glasses. Nothing has been done so far to remedy the situation. My vision is extremely bad, but I can still read and write.

The next time you see some prison official or state politician on TV talking about how “professional”
Ohio corrections staff are, remember Conley and Rollins organizing assaults on prisoners and laughing at their cries for help.

If you want to voice your concern, you can write to
Reginald Wilkinson, Director, Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation & Corrections
250 Freeway DriveNorth
, OH43229
I cried out to the Lord and He heard my cry
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:35 AM
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I'm inclined to believe this one....because we had terrible problems with CRC also. I had to send many emails and make many phone calls just to get very necessary meds for my brother.....and staff members I had to deal with at CRC were very unprofessional, uncaring and downright rude and nasty! It helped our case when I contacted the State Nursing Board and the head office of DOC.
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Old 09-05-2005, 05:51 AM
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That's awful! I sure hope this poor guy gets his issues resolved. But ya know this kind of stuff happens in all the prisons, you just don't hear about it very often. It usually has to be something really bad in order for it to be in the news, or talked about by anyone. It's a shame. Our loved ones shouldn't have to go through anything like this EVER!I don't remember my husband having that many problems at CRC, but I do remember the staff being discourtious, and unprofessional, but thats been 4 years ago when we had to deal with CRC.

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Old 09-05-2005, 08:16 AM
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All I can say for the CO's who do this to our loved ones behind bars is, "What goes around, comes around!"

"...for this too shall pass..."
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:15 PM
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What a shamefull article. We cant treat the POW's we have in Cuba this way without it being on every news channel. But we cant prevent it in our own country? We need to take a look out of our own back doors........
This is horrible.
Thanks for the post! Something really needs to be done! I am just not sure what?
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:52 AM
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Old 09-09-2005, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MsChiku
All I can say for the CO's who do this to our loved ones behind bars is, "What goes around, comes around!"
well said........and i sure hope they get what they deserve!
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