Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report
Vol. 4, No 3 “Veritas in Caritatis” Summer Issue 2014
THEME: “Audi alterum partem”
Listen to the other side!
“Voice of the Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report”
Statement of Purpose:
The NJPR Newsletter reports on current prison conditions, good and bad; more importantly it looks at and evaluates the legal processes and the substantive laws which are designed to keep men in prison: Pre-trial issues, probation and parole policy, sentencing structures, post-conviction law, and most important, the philosophy underlying policy in practice.
The purpose of the NJPR Website is to provide a repository of affidavits, declarations and grievances in Web-Dossiers organized by categories of intuitional behavior. Fundamentally, this is a whistleblowing organization trying to associate with other “transparency” projects at an intrastate, national and global level. We seek to identify patterns which can be utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice.
We invite any resident, and especially judicial officers of the Courts and government Administration to write letters to the NJPR.
Index to this Issue:
Section One: Conditions
1. Cameras: For Us, or Against Us? By Rahsquo
2. Crowding, Violence and Nevada Stickney Report
3. Uppity Inmate: Engineering Submission, by Cal
4. Government Pushback, Small Town Style
Section TWO: Law, Equity and Policy
1. The Darkness Deepens
2. Sicherungver wahrung and the Male Peril
Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1. Report: Nevada Appellate and Post-Conviction Project Now Defunct
2. Justice Brandeis Innocence Project
3. New College Program: New Free Dom College
4. Sociological Study Underway
5. Obamacare Now Covers Ex-Felons
6. Poem: The Man in Me by John Fenton
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Section One: Conditions
1) Cameras: For Us or Against Us? By Rahsquo
In a putative effort to curb violence and other illegal activity at NNCC ( a medical/retirement facility) cameras were installed in 2011. Prior to this installation of cameras in all units (except the human barn unit 10), the only areas where cameras were active was the infirmary and the visiting room.
The British author George Orwell (ne Eric Blair) in his visionary novel, 1984, described a futuristic society that furnished cameras almost everywhere. “Big Brother” would be individually monitoring your whereabouts. Mr. Orwell’s book was published in the 1930’s, and may have inspired the voyeuristic practices that are today disguised as legal surveillance.
Immediately, I can attest to have witnessed grown men stimulated by the camera installation to exhibit behaviors of hysterical panic about the sudden lack of privacy. They wondered what the cameras were for? Some speculated that they were there to deter and ward off any further assaults by a rogue group of correctional officers under the leadership of a sadistic lieutenant that harassed and physically abused old and crippled prisoners. The mutual occasional fisticuffs that are bound to transpire among 1500 men did not seem to warrant the rise in “get tough” measures imposed by the administration. After all, NNCC, in addition to being a medical facility, is a low-medium yard. Surely the majority of the elderly sick and dying prisoners were no threat to the safety and security of the institution.
Here is an example of the seemly side of camera usage in prison:
After the cameras were up-and-running, a newly admitted prisoner was allegedly assaulted by one of two prisoners in general population. When the “alleged” assault victim reported the incident, the cameras were “played back” and the prison investigator swiftly apprehended the two perpetrator caught on camera—or so the officials thought. In fact, there was no coverage where the actual assault took place— inside the bathrooms. Only the hallways have video monitors in the units. Two black men who appeared on the hallway video “around” the time of the assault. These mistakenly accused were pressured to randomly name two others, who were then charged with the assault. One of the now falsely accused had an alibi that arbitrarily disregarded; he had been in the infirmary for a doctor’s visit and had proof of it. The other black man lived in another wing, and no video footage was use to prove he left that wing to go to the other at the time of the assault. Both innocent men did serious hole time, while the actual bully went home 2 days after the beating!
On the other hand, video evidence has brought some justice to the yard. On Thanksgiving Day 2009, an official lynching occurred in the mental health wards of the prison infirmary, and because of the existence of a video tape of the “cell extraction” the killer correctional officials were removed from duty (at this time there is no knowledge of and criminal changes ever brought against them). Rumors coming out of the correction staff community report the mentally deranged inmate was gassed, tazed, and deprived of air with a plastic bag. One of the rogue cops, before the excrement hit the fan, retired. The video evidence reportedly resulted in the firing of two officials, the suspension of two others.
So, are the cameras for us or against us? It appears to depend on the practice of a virtue called justice by the controllers of the cameras.
2) Crowding, Violence and the Nevada Stickney Report
On and off the NNCC situation has included the usage of dayrooms for use as temporary housing in order to upgrade the facility’s Unit bathrooms, increasing the mandated 90 to 1 ratio of staff to inmate to about 140 to 1 in the two housing barns 10A and 10B. this Unit did not need any retrofit, having been built in 2007, so it was used as overflow. The work is now done and the overflow was moved out on July 28.
The mandates of population-staff ratios stem from a lawsuit in the early 1980’s that lasted until 2002. It is captioned Stickney v. List, CR-R-79_11_ECR. I am told stories by old timers, that in those days, correctional officers made minimum wage and supplemented their income by selling drugs, hookers and booze to inmate. The ratio of officers to inmates was 1 UNIT to 1 GUARD, resulting in shockingly high levels of rape (yes, man rape) and assault, obviously exacerbated by drugs and alcohol.
3) Uppity Inmate: Engineery Total Submission
It is unfortunate duty to report on the retaliation by an NDOC official against a fellow inmate. It is truly troubling because, as a witness, it was clear to me the inmate was innocent of any wrongdoing. It was even more disturbing to witness the capricious, arbitrary, irrational behavior of a high-ranking NDOC official, who was so drunk on her own infallible power, she lost custody of her mind.
The NDOC was in the midst of implementing its standard [unwritten] institutional procedure of genopunitive retribution. This term describes the practice of operant conditioning of groups. It is a practice consistent with the deprivation theory of corrections that justifies subtle forms of terrorism against target populations aimed at deterring future bad acts.
An inmate of the Unit that [illegally] houses 140 inmates was caught making pruno, or home-made fruit wine. The police found it in the ceiling. He [the winermaker] was sequestered to the disciplinary housing unit. But the [unwritten] policy of NDOC is to punish the entire community in which the transgressor lives. The policy requires acts of aggression by the prison officials against the entire cohort, and in this case included:
- The arbitrary and capricious taking of property under color of a law or housing code,
- The disestablishment of practices and customs of the inmate community, in this case the use of curtains in front of the defecation toilets and in and around the bank beds for sleeping privacy,
- The drastic and absurd removal of the ceiling tiles in the rooms where the pruno was hidden ;
- The invention of cosmetic rules of prohibition regarding the placement of fans and television reception antennas, and the storage of clothes, and usage of shelf space.
- The sudden capricious demand that “this place has to look like a military barracks”.
- The officials made people straighten out the towels hanging at the ends of beds and take down decorative items, or intensive micromanage
Although these seem extremely mild irritants the psychological exacerbation of fear was impressive, due to the mere increase of police presence in the unit. Normally there is one officer on duty 24 hours a duty, and visits by “suits” (high ranking officials) are extremely unusual. During the height of the government hysterical overreaction to the pruno crime, an uppity inmate had the gumption to ask the ringleader of the high rankers applying the operant retribution what the provocation was for such an attack. The Ringleader government thug responded by demanding the inmates Identification card, and ordering his “level reduction” by moving him out of his “Level One” unit into a level Two unit. The level reduction may cause the loss of his job, which would directly increase the amount of time spent in prison because non-workers do not get “good time” credit. The loss of lower custody status reduced his privileges, but he is too terrified to file a grievance, because he fears escalated government push-back by his being moved to a higher custody yard.
The aider and abettor of the Ringleader carrying out the orders of his superior official told me personally, when I asked “why all this hubbub?” “The inmate who confronted the Glorious Ringleader really pissed her off, he should have known his place”.
The practice of harem scarem mass punishments (genopunitive retribution) has a counterproductive effect of causing inmate-on-inmate violence which is the exact opposite of the job of a correctional facility. The behaviors of the officials trigger mimetic behaviors of the inmates. Because of the immature example of bullying and irrational scapegoating of 139 men to pay for the act of one alcoholic inmate, (violence begets violence), the inmates experienced a huge community increase of blaming, finger pointing, character assassination, backstabbing and faultfinding—against each other. Only a tiny fraction had the gumption to file a grievance, which will be reported on next issue.
4) Government Push-Back, Small Town Style: How to Chill a Prisoner
A recent exposé in the Rolling Stone, (Putin Clamps Down by Janet Reitman 5/8/14) there is an interesting series of observations. Each phenomena has an American homologue.
First, this sentence uses a category of relation between the government and an individual or group:
“Wary of government push-back, the protesters played by the rules,…” (53)
Here, the term push-back refers to the use of the police power of the national government of Russia. Here is an example of how push-back works at a prison facility in the backwood polity of Nevada.
A prisoner at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, run under an experimental regime that imposes collective psychological conditioning (mind control) through a “level system”, suffered head trauma from a piece of falling concrete. He received treatment and was even taken out in chains to be checked at a local hospital. Several days later he found out another man had suffered from a near miss of falling concrete in the same Unit 4 (the lowest level of the operant conditioning system). He filed an emergency grievance, stating he wanted an official to take pictures of the dilapidated concrete ceiling and to be compensated for the pain suffered.
The officer in charge called the victim of falling concrete up to the main administrative office. When he got there he was met by a bizarre sight: all of the correctional staff assigned to the Mayberry control center had collected up into a choral group of 5-7 persons and when the inmate arrived inside the building, they all sang out, in UNISON, the same words, in the same voice:
Robert filed suit later, and it passed screening, because in addition to the bizarre stage show, these clowns took him to administrative segregation under the color of law.
Section Two: Law and Equity
1) The Darkness Deepens
The Nevada Department of Corrections is generally exempt from all rulemaking procedures which executive branch officials must use. These Rules are found in Chapter 233B of the Revised Statutes (NRS). There was an exception, until recently. The prison store fund rules used to require that the Administrative rulemaking process had to be utilized. It appears that this requirement might have been revoked. This rules requirement penciled in at NRS 209.221 (7) and (8) is referred to in the 233B, stating “except as provided in 209.221, NDOC is exempt from 233B rules”. However, this language is deleted in a recent computer printout of the statute, making NDOC’s discretionary rulemaking power absolute, and thus a despotic dominion. Chapter 176, NRS 176.0125 establishes the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, at paragraph 4, states that the commission shall: “Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department of Corrections… with consideration as to whether it is feasible… to establish an oversight or advisory board…(c) policies for the operation of the Department of Corrections;” There’s some hope in that.
Now, any warden with common sense would want to obtain the intelligence of circumspection by offering to receive “input” from all parties possible. The unwritten rules of reason require this. There are cases where this is done. In 2008, this writer was witness to the actions of Chaplain Garcia at Lovelock. He asked for inmate participation, he was delivered an article of the Prison Legal News article regarding the case at Pelican Bay Prison in California where the officials refused to allow hardbound books. (PLN, July, 07, pg 19) The result of that case was a court order for the officials to cut the cover off. Garcia brought that law to the meeting and a policy was established to do this. Another example of rulemaking input is at AR 802, Community Volunteers. At 802.04(i) it states “A volunteer is encouraged to submit suggestions for conducting, enhancing or improving volunteer services”. What needs to happen is to change the language to say, “The warden shall request, on a yearly basis, the volunteers and families of convicts and the general public to submit suggestions. The input shall be tallied and formatted, and a copy delivered to the survey participants, and to the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, and the Legislative Counsel Bureau, who shall make said survey report available to the general public in both formats, digital and hardcopy”.
A third example of current potential input for policy review and rules process is the Inmate Advisory Committee (IAC). This practice is being used at the medium yard at NNCC, and in general is used for conveying decrees from the Glorius Leader, and as a pressure release value that deals with cosmetic issues regarding the conditions of confinement. It’s basically a place to whine for whiners and moaners about trivialities like television reception. The Principle of Government Secrecy is necessary in some situations, such as in times of war, and the executive war machine needs to conceal its hand from the enemy. The so-called War-on-Crime justifies civil government secrecy. But the “war-on-crime is a product of the ideological apparatus of the official anarchists trying to escalate the war-on-crime for economic good. Malinski v. NY 68 S. Ct 781 demands no ear be given to loose talk about war on crime!
2) Sicherungver wahrung and the Male Peril—Myth, Spin and Therapeutic Economy
In the April 2014 CURE Civil Commitment Newsletter, the article “The Presumption of Dangerousness” did an excellent job describing the state of affairs. This reports on two dimensions which are important if we attempt to be scientifically circumspect. The first dimension is the historical, and the second is the normative, or “ethical”.
The historical dimensions open upon the Germanic homologue of “civil commitment”, or a “non-punitive” taking by the government of some normal civil right. Traditional German law has something called Massregeln, which seem, like civil commitment, to fall between civil and criminal forms of law. Massregelninclude sanctions such a taking away a privilege, like the right to drive a car or work in a particular industry. The non-punitive taking of physical liberty is called Sicherungsverwarung. Like here, the taking of a right in the realm of civil law have fewer procedural safeguards. In the1871 German penal code they did not distinguish between penalties civil and criminal. Because the civil taking causes suffering, the taking cannot logically be thought of as a non-penalty. There was a movement to bifurcate the Massregeln from criminal law that could not get legislated. The German lawmakers did not want to make it easier for the executive branch to impose civil penalties. However, that increase of power to impose civil removal of physical was gained by guess who? Adolph Hitler and his fascist regime. Although abused by that regime, it has not gone away. However, today civil commitment must be pronounced at original sentencing (like many American enhancement laws here). It must also be reviewed and confirmed by due process hearing upon termination of the criminal sentence. Also the civil penalty of post-punitive confinement is safeguarded from abuse by the legal principles of proportionality and equity (fairness). Safeguards are built-in in ways that don’t happen in America. This information is taken from “Abusing State Power or Controlling Risk?”: Sex Offender Commitment” by Nora Demleitner, 30 Fordham Urb. L. J. 1621.
The second dimension is the normative, or the moral aspect of law, in its most traditional sense. The current ideological apparatus uses a positivistic rhetoric which colonizes the public discourse to a point of exclusive monopoly, even among the most strident critics of the American law-and-order regime. This means an exclusion of the moral-virtue dimension of law. The historical dimension is tolerated, but the moral is absolutely dismissed as mere opinion. Therefore, all public discourse is a soliloquy of the actuarial statistical mathematics, which appears and sounds impressively scientific. But it is not. The usage of the rhetoric is done purposely by the law-and-order regime to stir up widespread panic, sway the minds of juries and judges, and colonize the minds of the offenders the regime seeks to over-control. This thesis is support by the well-concealed thesis the critical analyses of academics who have exposed the validity of psychotherapeutics as entirely non-scientific.
For example, William M. Epstein, a clinical social worker and professor at university of Nevada University Las Vegas, writes “Psycho therapy as Religion: The Civil Divine in America”, in which he demonstrates convincingly that “The meaning of the field [of psycho therapy] is derived not from objective evidence of effectiveness but from the preferences of the culture– a sociological marvel rather than a clinical one”.(4)
What this implies is that the normative/moral dimensions of society has been expropriated from its traditional religious institutions and monopolized by a secular institution which conceals its religiosity behind a spurious mythology of a morally neutral “science”. This amounts to an expropriation of meaning by the forces of the dominant economic naturalism—“science” merely means “knowledge”, and there can be a “science” of the now shunned realm of reality called the divine, which has been imprisoned into the non-scientific realm of the subjective opinion. Thus human institutions that relate to the divine are targeted and labeled as “non-scientific”, and therefore rejected as a valid source of moral and ethical discipline, in both the day-t-day practicalities of life and in the sphere of political governance. In fact, the so-called legal principal of the “separation of church and state”, in operation, serves the merge and conflate the functions of the church (and religion generally) into itself. This phenomena did not happen overnight, but the process has a history, and is taken up in the next section of this essay, which is forthcoming. The current Massregeln of the United States tends to point its violence on the weakest and most morally suspect of society. In the Supreme Court case, Buck V. Bell, it upheld the eugenic therapeutics of purifying the whole fabric of society by sterilizing the morons, mentally retarded, racially impure and sexually deviant, with a minimum of administrative due process—given notice and a one-sided hearing. Only the glaring evils of Adolph Hitler wiped out the statutes I the state legislatures. It is a know fact that Hitler modeled his reforms after the genocidal cleansing statutes of California.
Civil commitment laws are nothing less than euphemized forms of eugenics, seeking to “cleanse” society not only now, but in the future, of all risk of the new genetic peril: the sex offender. The latest “peril” of (mostly male) is added to the perennial list of targeted classes in the prosecution of national warfare. The First World War saw the mass psychological manipulation of the state psychologist to rouse the American public to war against the “German peril”. In World War II it was the “Yellow peril”. In the cold war it was the “Red Peril”. During the drug wars it was the “Black Peril”. Today we see a gender war, creating the target of the “Male Peril”. [See “The Emerging Criminal War on Sex Offenders” by Corey Raybarn Yung, 45 Harv. C. R. –C.L.L. Rev. 435]. Since the vast majority of sex offenders are male, it is not illogical to see the current Massregeln in terms of a military offensive in the broader Gender War. [See “The Feminist War on Crime” by Aya Gruber, 92 Iowa L. Rev. 741]
As an “enemy combatant” labeled as a “sex offender”, men convicted of such an offense against the “state” all face civil commitment, especially if we evaluate the phenomena with sophistication. In other words, there are now increasing restrictions attached to the regular penal sentences that constitute indirect and constructive forms of civil commitment in operation, yet not called civil commitment. They are imposed without due process.
Men released from prison are paroled, because the vast majority, no matter the degree of the crime, are give life sentences with possibility of parole. So they are on life time parole, which federally or locally mandated residence restrictions, and are subjected to lengthy sentences for failing to register every three months or being found within three or four football fields locations of any congregations of minors. So, we see the presumption of dangerousness not only upon release. We find the presumption in the pre-trial stage during incarceration, at parole hearings and when granted parole—for the rest of the offenders life.
The other observation with an American homologue is this:
“A second and even more crucial change in the law gave the prosecutor’s office unlimited discretion on whom to prosecute [in violations of public assembly law].”
So, the implication here is twofold:
- That prior to this liberation of state prosecutors from limitations on their discretion, there were more stringent rules in place,
- That the hallmark and measure of how despotic and tyrannical a government is, one looks at the constraints in place on the state prosecutors.
Therefore, we can conclude that there is no greater tyranny and no great despot in the international scene than the USA. Why? Because only in the United States does the government prosecutor have absolute discretion, unfettered by any rules, any oversight, or any power greater than themselves; and this power is not hierarchic and inefficient. The absolute power is networked in a polycentric grip through 3,144 county district attorneys, plus the huge staffs of 50 state attorney general’s office (not counting territories). Add to that number the massive United States Attorney General’s office spread out through the federal district court system, with each deputy exercising with not a single constraint on their discretion—they have despotic dominion. All that exist is a hollow and meaningless, as well as non-binding, codes of professional ethics, all of which clearly and expressly do not give legal rights or cause of action to hold the network of District Adversaries accountable.
Section Three: Art, Culture, Education and Religion
1) Report on the Nevada Appellate and Post-Conviction Project
NJPR editorial policy is to maintain a letter-of-inquiry campaign to follow-up on people, organizations and writers who show concern about the American police state. Recent solicitations to the national office of “Critical Resistance” [at 1904 Franklin Street, Ste. 504, Oakland CA, 94612] produced a national “Pro Bono Legal Resource” list. The only outfit listed for Nevada is:
Nevada Appellate & Post Conviction Project
When this reporter wrote to the address on the Resource list, he was replied to by Michael Pescetta, Chief of the Capital Habeus Corpus Unit at the Federal Public Defender office [at 411 E. Bonneville Avenue, Ste. 250, Las Vegas, NV 89101]. Says Mr. Pescetta “The Project no longer exists. The capital habeus unit of the FPD now does the work that the Project formerly did”.
The guy goes on to say he might be able to provide referral services if a concise clear summary of the case was sent to the Federal Public Defender. Here is the follow-up letter which has been sent to the Federal Public Defender, Michael Pescetta:
Thank you for your letter of July 15, 2014. You implied in your letter that you might be able to provide a referral if a clear status summary of the case is provided. I’m just checking to see if I understood you correctly.
Also, I’m enclosing a copy of a letter received from the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project. It identifies a Non-DNA technique of fighting actual innocence cases. As a contributing editor to an all-prisoner written whistleblower newsletter, Nevada Jurisprudence and Prison Report, I am seeking referral to investigative journalists who might be interested in starting a West Coast innocence project that serves the horrifying embarrassment of the Nevada criminal justice administration. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .”
2) Justice Brandeis Innocence Project
As mentioned above, NJPR has discovered (through the Critical Resistance Resource List) the Innocence Project at Brandeis University. The Project is run by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at 415 South Street, MS 043, Waltham MA 02454. The Project does not use forensic DNA evidence as all other innocence projects. Also, as all other innocence projects, the Brandeis Project serves an exclusive region without exceptions.
NJPR is attempting to compile a list of investigative journalist in order to organize a Western United States Innocence Project that would utilize the journalistic method, as it is sorely needed.
Let us remind ourselves that in the Motherland of the U.S., Merry Old England, has a permanent, government funded innocence commission, which excludes all police and prosecutors from its review board. Here are some authors of investigative reports on the criminal administration:
3) New College Program for Prisoners
New Freedom College is a non-profit school recently established with non-accredited college courses available on a sliding-scale starting at $33.00 per unit ($99. Per 3 unit course), a price which INCLUDES the price of the textbook.
NFC has applied for official accreditation from the nationwide Distance Education and Training Council. The mandatory probationary period for the school began in June 2013 and the school officials fully expect to pass master in June 2015, less than a year from now.
The low price above applies to those who have agreed to pursue a 2 or 4 year degree program. There are fear: Business/Entrepreneur Paralegal Studies Drug and Alcohol Counseling, and English Language.
New Freedom College
1957 West Burnside St. #1660
Portland, OR 97209
4) Sociological Study Underway
The July 2014 Prison Legal News article titled “BOP Grievance System Contributes to Compliance or Defiance of Prisoners” will serve as an inspiration for an upcoming investigative piece on the NDOC grievance system. A contributor to the NJPN whistleblowing project will poll inmate populations and create a statistical analysis of the data collected.
The Editors of NJPN invite contributions from all sources to add to the data set, such as ideas for polling questions and the name and location of sociological prison studies or ideas for future research projects. Contact our public e-mail address:
the data of this study will be situated in comparison to the study “Procedural Justice and Prison: Examining Complaints Among Federal Inmates 2000-2007” by the U.S. Marshalls Service and the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.
5) Obamacare Will Cover Prisoners? Uh, No.
It is interesting that prison officials are refusing to disseminate to all prisoners the great hope-creating news that affects the future well-being of prisoners. Inmates are thus once again deprived of the comforting sentiment of hope.
The National CURE outfit reports that “Some [un-named] correctional systems are helping” to get inmates enrolled into Obamacare prior to release. For older invalid inmates, this means release can be to a community nursing home. CURE also reports that the Affordable Care Act also covers, if the state applies, prison and jail inmates who have to go to outside hospitals for intensive care.
It’s a complex law that will be research and report on later. Family and friends ca call 1-800-318-2596 for information. That the prison population of America is deprived of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is an expression of the general policy of the ”deprivation theory” of corrections. To extend this hypothesis further, the exclusion of prisoners from basic care is sure evidence of a government advancement of the religious principle of the “unworthy poor”.
6) Poem: The Man in Me by John Fenton
Before it’s too late
I saw the man in my house
And he could hardly breath
I pursued the man to desperate end
I’d see him here and there again
Standing there in my refracted dreams
Too scared to bleed, to ‘fraid to fight
Steal away into the night
Where only a thief should have the right
Leaping through every hide-and-find
Ever allusive not quite in my grasp
I finally met the man where I could see
Behind the mirror he wept, the man cries for me.