Report on Prison Abuse in US Jails to hit Congress by Mitch E. Perry

06/07/06

After a year of studying the problem of abuse and violence in U.S. Prisons, a Commission is poised to present its findings and recommendations to Congress tomorrow.

The report, called Confronting Confinement, details the impact of violence in prisons on public safety and public health, and how correctional facilities nationwide can become safer and more effective.

Members of the reviewing Committee, called the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons, held 4 public meetings throughout the country last year, including 1 in Tampa.

Alex Busansky is the Executive Director of the Commission on Safety and Abuse (roll tape#1 o.q.� the street again�)

With a recidivism rate of 60%, and a national re-incarceration rate of 50%, Busanksy said the Commissioners asked as they approached their year long investigation: -how can we do things differently in our prisons?

As far as cleaning up the abuses by guards and others inside American prisons, Commission member Nick Katzenback, a former U.S. Attorney General, said it should be a test of the country’s moral character to want to clean up the problems inside prisons (roll tape#2 o.q.�another human being�)

But Katzenbach did say that one of most egregious things he learned while working on this commission was what happens with mentally ill prisoners (roll tape#3 o.q.�as anything but mentally ill�)

There are 30 recommendations in the final report.

Tim Ryan, runs the correctional department in Orange County, Florida He says that making sure that prisoners are ready to adapt to the civilian world is something that he has become more focused on in the past few years (roll tape#4 o.q.�positive as well�)

Pat Nolan is President of Prison Fellowship's Justice Fellowship and a member of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, and a former Republican leader in the California State Assembly who served 25 months in a federal prison on a racketeering charge said that every study shows that the most successful indicator of a safe and successful re-integration into society comes with those who have family members to return to. (roll tape#1 o.q.�families lives�)

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the report on Thursday afternoon..The report will be released on the Commission’s s website in the morning…That’s at prisoncommission.org

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Hi, my name is Kenneth Carson, I was directed by Paul Wright, the Director of the Human Rights Defense Center to attempt to contact Civil Rights Attorneys In North Carolina as ones in Wisconsin are not up to the kind of representation I need. I hope you can assist me, Thank You. I see on the news, and ‘magazines’ on TV, all of these shows depicting prison life, about prisoner abuse. I am someone that is crippled by the Wisconsin Dept of Corrections. I have all the supporting witnesses, records, everything to without a doubt; show not only medical malpractice, but the ones responsible, the medical staff at the prison(s) towards me, which, by direct action by them, is the cause for me being crippled. I am seeking media coverage for a protest to take place at the capitol in Wisconsin at Madison soon... My phone number is (920) 256 1470, my email address is kennethcarson68@yahoo.com I am getting ready to go to the state capitol here at Madison, in Wisconsin, to protest the criminal actions against me by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections personnel/medical staff that almost killed me, has left me crippled. I have been advised by not only the SSI/Disability Admin, but lawyers, my doctors, everyone in a professional capacity to sue the state for their criminal actions against me, thusly leaving me crippled. I have had no success in finding representation for this matter, although attorneys that have reviewed my informational package assure me that I have grounds for lawsuit against the WI. Dept of corrections, the employees that caused me to be crippled should be criminally charged for their actions/inactions towards my serious medical concerns, of which they acknowledged, but did a minimum, if not anything. I have been advised to get media attention for this matter. I have seen all the news shows on persons that have been abused by the prisons; CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, MSNBC at the places of incarceration for which I am one of. When I go to the State capitol here at Madison, and if I could attract news media coverage it might help me, doctors, others have told me. I plan to do just this in the upcoming weeks, in April, weather permitting. If you are interested in covering this protest by me against the state, at which time CD’s containing the contents of the informational package will be made available, please contact me at the above information, i.e. ph#/email address, thank you. I can relate to criminal actions by the judicial system!!! The Wisconsin Dept of Corrections crippled me!!! A state senator, Lena Taylor, whom I contacted knew of what was happening, only asked for my medical records....I had a 50K a year career as a shipbuilder, worked over 2325 hour years, never had no problems with my legs or knees until I had to go into custody of the WI Dept Of Corr. They made me so sick I almost died, several times! I had to be in a wheelchair for over 7 months, then while rehabilitating, relearning to walk, forced me to traverse 5 flights of stairs under threat of disciplinary action, I literally had to drag myself, crawl up the stair ways... at which time the damage occurred crippling me, which they were totally aware of, said my symptoms were imaginary, a ruse on my part to get a sick card...the damage that occurred is so extensive that all the connective tissue in my knees is torn apart, I am literally bone on bone, need extensive corrective surgery to fix my legs, if even possible....I have contacted attorneys, which after reviewing my informational package, medical records, witness testimonies, have told me that I have grounds for major lawsuit against the state, and criminal charges should be brought against the medical staff for their in action towards my significant medical concerns, forcing me to traverse stairs when there was an elevator available for persons with health needs!!!! My doctors, the SSI/Disability admin, professionals, others have said I need to sue them, and believe me I have tried! Everyone I talked to at the Wisconsin government level has stonewalled me, not surprisingly so!!! As I have said, I had a career as a shipbuilder for over 50K a year, walked into custody, and was released homeless, crippled, no money, no resources, had to cash in my retirement fund to start my life over again, on disability, unable to continue work in my career as a top Journeyman Boilermaker/shipbuilder, or any other career due to the extent of the injuries to my knees/legs, that was incurred by the persons working for the Wisconsin dept of Corrections...I have been encouraged to seek media attention for what has happened to me, of which I am trying to do now. I went into custody for a ticket for an OWI, and my penalty was to be crippled, have my life ruined!?! If anyone knows of anyone that can help me, is interested in what happened to me, please contact me at: kennethcarson68@yahoo.com Thank You! Kenneth Carson. I have an extensive info pack available for review. I was incarcerated by the WI DOC, I was made extremely sick by them, became wheelchair bound. was rehabilitating, transferred to another facility, forced to traverse stairs, under threat of disciplinary action...I was experiencing great pain, tearing sensations in my legs/knees, of which I brought to the medical staff's attention numerous times, my condition was downplayed, I was even told (off the record) that my injuries exceed their area of medical expertise, that I needed off facility medical attention, but due to budgetary concerns, prison cost overruns, I would never receive it, this went on for many months. Finally I was released, having to use a cane, could barely walk, still am that way. I went to my private doctors was told that I have significant damage to my knees, need complex surgeries to correct if possible. Before being in custody, I had a career as a shipbuilder, worked over 2000 hour years, with employee package of 50k, annually...walked into prison, left crippled, now am on disability, and need many surgeries to help me. I am having trouble getting my DOC med records from the WI DOC and the community clinic here, that I signed the release for them to have them in the first place. I do not know who to turn to for help; the WI DOC ruined my life. I have an extensive info pack available for review. Thank you. I have contacted many government officials, lawyers, etc…have been told that there are many, “fronts” for which I have grounds for lawsuit. I have been also advised to seek, “media attention”, to achieve notoriety, then, “they” (attorneys, others I assume) will be “falling over themselves” to represent me. I don’t know about any of that stuff…all I know is that I have been done a great injustice, one for which I have did everything humanly possible to overcome, suffered greatly then, now and into the future as well for my condition. I am not ‘crying’…just hope to have someone see what has happened to me, to help me, to see that the wrongs against me, the ones that are responsible for those wrongs, leaving me crippled are acknowledged by the proper authorities, I receive ‘justice’, which is overdue. Email: kennethcarson68@yahoo.com Ph# (920) 256-1470… Sincerely, Kenneth Carson. Kenneth R. Carson Jr. 608 N 3rd Ave #6 Sturgeon Bay, WI, 54235-2325 Ph# 920 256-1470 Email: kennethcarson68@yahoo.com Below is a statement of facts of which I have compiled providing insight into what has happened to me…I have contacted every state official with no help. A state senator; Lena Taylor knew of what was happening to me, while it was happening to me, as I wrote to her, but did nothing to help me then, nor afterwards…although she did contact the facility where the criminal abuse of me was happening that left me crippled, asking for my medical records. I have contacted every agency in Wisconsin I can think of, and outside of Wisconsin too. No one will help me; I have had such a bad time since being released from the custody of the WI dept of corrections. I had to go see a clinical psychologist, referred by my private physicians, of who diagnosed me with PTSD, (post traumatic stress disorder) for what they did to me, how it has affected my life, ruined it. I have talked to high profile Attorneys, that upon reviewing my informational package have told me that I have grounds for major lawsuit against the state, that not only lawsuit should happen, but criminal charges against the employees of the dept of corrections that are directly responsible for the crippling of me, acknowledging my serious medical needs, concerns, and not providing adequate medical attention for me, indeed, forcing me to traverse stairways, when an elevator was available for persons with health concerns, but denying me the use of it. My doctors, the SSI/disability admin, lawyers, other professionals have encouraged me to go the media, to try to get attention; for what has happened to me, how the government officials of the state of Wisconsin have stonewalled me in all my attempts to find representation for what occurred to me. I am going to the state capitol, here in Wisconsin, at Madison, with a large supply of CD’s containing the informational package on them, and am trying to get news/media coverage for the event. I do not know what else to do, as no one will help me!!!!!! To Whom It May Concern: Enclosed are depositions of facts, for which I have compiled chronologic to events, which occurred while I was in the custody of the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections, events subsequent to my release. They detail what happened to me in custody that has left me crippled. Included are many other documents that detail my life, my struggles since my release to overcome my condition, my disability, which is without dispute that happened to me while I was in custody due to mistreatment by prison staff/employees. The simple truth is that I was not crippled when I went into custody. I became so while in custody. When I was released I was, crippled…am to present time, and will be into the future…crippled, disabled. I include copies of medical request slips (several of many) where I would ask for help for my knees/legs, then where I literally ‘begged’ the HSU (Health Services Unit) at the Chippewa Falls’ treatment facility to address the issues that occurred to my knees/legs while being forced under threat of disciplinary action that I had to use the stairs, many flights of them repeatedly which caused the damage to my knees/legs, made it worse. I also include test results from MRI imagery taken by my private physicians which verify that there is substantial damage to my knees. These MRI tests show significant complex tearing of the medial and lateral menisci. There are noted other significant damage to my knees, the bones, the connective tissue, loose objects, which get caught in between my joints. I have NEVER had any problems with my knees or my legs with exception for the rashes on my knees which were the beginning of psoriasis as well as the deep vein blood clots for which I was hospitalized for. My doctors tell me that those two conditions…could not be…contributing factors for the significant damage that occurred, is present in my knees. I am told though, that the significant damage that is present through the MRI imagery parallels, mirrors… is exactly consistent with…the symptoms I exhibited while being forced to traverse the stairways while in custody…symptoms that I repeatedly informed the medical staff that were occurring, getting worse by being forced to do so….which were ignored, passed off as being “imaginary, a ruse on my part to get a ‘sick card’. My condition was not imaginary, the ‘tearing sensations’ I experienced, the accompanying excruciating pain, was and is not as well. The significant damage that is verified through MRI imagery is not construed, nor…imaginary…either. I am told that the significant damage to my knees requires surgery to correct. I was told this time and time again while in custody, but was also told that due to budgetary concerns, prison cost overruns I would not receive adequate medical attention that I desperately needed then, and now. The medical attention, the surgery would not have been required at all if the damage to my knees/legs did not occur. Upon my release, my first contact with private physicians I was informed that I needed immediate corrective surgery for my knees. I have been told time and time again that I need this ‘immediate surgery’ especially after MRI imagery confirmed the significant damage that exists in my knees. I am also informed that I now have severe osteoarthritis in my knees as well. I have been told that this condition more than likely manifested itself while I was inactive, being wheel chair bound for the extended period of time that I was. Incidentally, I would not have been in the wheel chair if the prison medical staff had properly monitored my blood work/laboratory tests, hadn’t made me so terribly ill, so sick that I had to be wheel chair bound. Simple facts are that I was too sick for them to adequately provide medical attention for me…which they admitted time and time again “Your condition(s) exceed our area of medical expertise. I, at this time would often be told, “You will not get the medical attention required because of “budgetary concerns, prison cost overruns.” I cannot emphasis enough, nor reiterate time and time again that I have never had any problems with my legs or knees until I was made sick, the damage that had occurred, did so while being forced to traverse stair ways. I have never had any problems with arthritis. My condition was not pre-existing. My condition did not happen after my release. The condition for which I have suffered for so very long occurred while in prison, especially while being at the Chippewa Falls’ Treatment Facility being forced to ascend-descend stairways under threat of discipline if I didn’t…in my weakened state, poor health; weak legs strength that became an issue after my health matters became exceedingly worse at the Dodge Correctional Institution, so terribly ill that it put me into a wheel chair. I’ve heard people say that the response to my complaint towards the Wis. Dept. of Corrections will be that I should have never got into trouble, was incarcerated. That premise of thought seemingly is the way the justice system/employees at the places of correction conduct business, perceive those that are incarcerated. Unless you are a person of substantial notoriety; a celebrity, someone with significant financial means, you are without a voice, no one to petition on your behalf regarding the many injustices that occur towards you while under the control of the ‘justice system employees’. Injustices towards you, while being in custody often exceed, are even more a ‘criminal offense’ than the ones committed for which you are incarcerated. The employees of the correctional institutions seemingly do not have to answer to anyone. Their actions and behavior are kept ‘in house’ are…swept under the carpet…hidden from ‘outside eyes’. I committed an offense for which I ‘did my time’, have met all of the requirements according to the ‘justice system’ for my offense; the penalty, but my ‘punishment’ did not include the immense pain and suffering that I had to endure while being in custody as sick as I was, then by the hands of employees of the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections made extremely worse. I was so sick that it too became a life threatening condition. Subsequently then myself being crippled, having to suffer from that as well. Suffering that I have had to endure, to contend with for many months while in custody…many months for which I have had to suffer from as well upon my release and still do to this day….being crippled…and into my future! It is not hard to verify all as facts. My company records/medical reports will reflect that until I was incarcerated…(except when I began chemo therapy and was extremely sick as one can imagine)…that I never missed work for being sick, worked not only 40 hour weeks, but often 6 and 7 day weeks, was able to work over 2000 hour years, something that I would not have been able to do if I had the significant damage present in my knees/legs of which I do now, that occurred while in custody… it is verifiable that I never had any problems with my legs. Witness testimony by my supervisors and my co-workers is readily available for verification that this is a…fact…Medical records, testimony by my doctors that had treated me for many years up to and after my incarceration to the present are also…readily available…for verification that indeed I…never had any problems with my legs, my knees until I was in custody by the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections. Witness testimony by my AODA counselors: Ms. Melanie Perrin, Ms. Sarah Munthe, the AODA supervisor, MR. Middleton at the Chippewa Falls’ Facility can verify that I was constantly in immense pain. That I complained often of the damage I felt happening in my knees while attempting to negotiate the stair ways…by being forced to do so…as well as many of the staff at the facility had first hand knowledge of just how greatly I suffered, that they petitioned the HSU there at the facility only to be told that my symptoms “were imaginary, were a ruse, my attempt to get a ‘sick card’.” There are many witnesses and medical records before, during my incarceration, and afterwards up to the present to substantiate that indeed the damage that occurred to my knees, happened to me while my being incarcerated without any doubt, that are readily retrievable. Any attempt to dispute this as truth should be recognized as attempted obfuscation of the truth, the facts, to exclude them, the employees of the Wisconsin Dept of Corrections of culpability for directly being the agents for, which my crippling disability occurred. Neither the offense for which I was incarcerated, nor any other variable should be brought into consideration except my health issues during my incarceration, the events that led up to me being crippled, disabled. The constant blatant indifference, the disregard towards me by the medical staff, especially by the nurse practioner at the Chippewa Falls’ facility regarding the injuries that happened to me, to my knees/legs are the matters of contention. I was not crippled before I walked into prison, my disabling condition happened to me while in custody. Upon release I was…crippled…and am to this day. My disability is not incidental, an unfortunate circumstance that could not have been avoided…it most certainly could have been prevented. There is nothing circumstantial about my condition being crippled, disabled, it is not a mystery. It should not have ever happened. It is unfortunate for sure. My condition was caused directly through and by blatant disregard for my condition, which was known by the medical staff…and all others…at the Chippewa Falls’ treatment facility. The nurse practioner at the Chippewa Falls’ Facility constantly made abasing remarks to me being a big person…used much more ‘colorful’ reference to this fact in the negative to the point of her statements being done so with malice, great indifference. Well…as for being a ‘big person’ I would like to interject that….before the Wisconsin Dept of Corrections…got their hands on me…I was (still am) recognized as one of the top employees for thee shipyard that services all of the vessels for the Great Lakes, repairs most all marine vessels you can imagine, builds freighters, oil barges, etc… that I worked not only 40 hour weeks, but often 6-7 day weeks. I had an employee package, which exceeded $50.000.oo annually. I did not have a career, one that I am unable to continue due to being crippled by the Wis. Dept. of Corrections, nor am I able to secure any type of employment due to my condition. I am an avid outdoorsman, my children as well, and when I wasn’t working… while being a ‘big person’, I spent my days and nights exploring nature. I went on lengthy excursions within the forests, the many waterways, the lakeshores, beaches. I went mushroom hunting. I went hunting for wild asparagus. I am an avid bird watcher, an amateur ornithologist, many were the hours spent, the miles hiked to find the optimum places to enjoy each activity. I am, as well as my children, we are avid fishermen. Many the hour, many the mile we would spend and travel hiking along the breakwaters, the shoreline, rivers and creeks in the pursuit and enjoyment of these activities…all as a ‘big person’…I had no problem doing so, would jump into our boat…(which I lost through the legal nightmare along with most all of my other belongings…thousands of dollars worth of possessions that were supposedly thrown away…more likely stolen)…and out of our boat into the water swimming. I, we, went canoeing, hiking, played horseshoes, swam, and rode our mountain bikes, went camping. I shot basketball with my youngest son, enjoyed every kind of activity…which can be verified by witness testimony…imaginable. I, we, would partake of, enjoy…which required walking, climbing, hiking, running…all as a ‘big person’ I was able to do…to enjoy life…to be active…until the Wisconsin dept. of Corrections got their hands on me…finished with me…left me crippled. After the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections got their hands on me, crippled me, I could not stomp my feet to remove the snow on my shoes. I had to and still have to walk with a cane. I should use a walker for stability but make due with my cane. I have to be near objects to hang on to for support so I don’t fall down and hurt myself…still I often fall down. When I go shopping, most times I need to use the mechanized shopping carts for disabled persons for mobility…but I just go really slow…hang onto the shopping cart for stability and balance. My knees continually buckle, almost dislocate, I often fall into things and am always bruised and battered. I never had these problems until the damage occurred while being forced to traverse 4-5 flights of stairs during my incarceration. After the Wis. Dept. of Corrections got done with me I am too crippled to go back to work building ships or able to attain any other type of gainful employment. I am in constant excruciating pain. I have become clinically depressed… (Who wouldn’t be?); suffer from immense anxiety and depression. I have to take anxiety/depression medication, medication to assist me sleeping, and I have to be constantly taking high level doses of pain medication… I have to be on pain medication before I can even bend my knees to sit on the toilet. The simple truth is that I had no issues with my knees or my legs until the Wisconsin prison system caused the damage. I have did every thing humanly possible in a pro-active capacity…progressively active…to improve my life, my situation and circumstance since being released from custody in the condition that I am…but the extent of damage that occurred is thee main prohibiting factor, which prevents me from progressing. The Wisconsin Dept of Corrections….ruined my life….and I want my life back!!! A life that I would be able to reacquire through hard honest work that with my credentials, experience is obtainable, only to be prevented so by being crippled, in terrible pain all of the time. Now it has affected my presence of mind; my personality has even been changed in the negative through suffering for so very long. What can possibly compensate me for the damage that occurred to me, my knees/legs? What can possibly compensate me, for the enormity for which I have suffered physically, emotionally, and mentally for so very long? What can compensate me for the amount of time that I have suffered with being crippled which was caused by employees of the Wis. Dept of Corrections. I now have enormous medical bills from all of the doctors I have seen, all of the procedures that have been performed regarding my condition with my knees/legs…and there are more to come. I have lost so much time and money by not being able to work that it makes me physically ill considering such loss. I was sentenced for the offense that I had committed by the ‘justice system’ accordingly…but where is justice for me? For me ‘justice’ is a travesty immense in proportion. Who shall see to it that the injustices committed towards me…my being crippled by action, directly or indirectly, that the parties are held accountable? That this accountability is ensured, that the parties, which caused me the immense pain and suffering I have had to live with for so very long are brought to light? That…justice…for me is served? The ‘justice system’ must have their…pound of flesh…but at what costs? They have gotten substantially more. My ‘punishment’ included being crippled? For all practical purposed the Wis. Dept of Corrections seemingly has done this to me with impunity. I am the only one to petition on my behalf, to be my own advocate, and rightly so…no one else can or should as for the initial petition, but hopefully, someone in an official capacity will take interest towards the injustices that happened to me…so that I can have…justice. Kenneth R. Carson Jr.