Captain Cutler Strikes Again! Illegally Confiscated Legal File, Intimidation, and Pen Theft all in a Day’s Work!

The following information should give you fellow bloggers an idea of some of the tactics the officers use here on a daily basis to keep the prisoners off balance and oppressed.

 

Captain Cutler harassed me on November 15, 2011.  He intentionally stole my ink pen, a rhyme, and read legal paperwork that involved him and then he confiscated my entire legal file.  His acts were done with malicious intentions that had nothing to do with the prison’s security or the orderly functioning of it.  The other officers that were present admitted to recognizing the unprofessional acts of the Captain.  It was obvious to everyone that the Captain intended to escalate the situation by attempting to provoke me into violence.  However, I remained calm and respectful which made the Captain look like a school yard bully and the one sided conflict was defused.

 

Captain Cutler performed a pat down search on me when I was carrying my legal file in route to the law library.  When the pat down was finished he began searching the legal file.  I informed him that the file contained legal work and I was going to study it at the library.  He continued searching the file while reading its contents.  He discovered an old rhyme that originated from a Playboy Magazine.  He informed me “he thought” the rhyme was inappropriate and then stole it.  Because I was unaffected by his provocation he confiscated my entire legal file.  I still did not react, so he stole my pen.  It was evident that the Captain was looking for a fight.  But, everytime [sic] he tried to fish me in, he failed.  I followed his inappropriate orders which defused the situation.

 

I arrived at the library empty handed only to be called back to my living quarters by officer Waltz.  When I returned to the pod it was locked down and I locked myself in.  Two hours later the cell was unlocked.  At that time, I asked officer Waltz his reason for calling me back from the library.  He explained that the Captain asked him to go through the legal file with me so I knew what was legal and what was not.

 

Officer Waltz then began reading my legal paperwork that included privileged mail, letters, and information from my attorney including some case law.  Offer Waltz wanted to know how the various items in the file related to legal work.  I answered his questions.  At that point he became frustrated which seemed to trigger his inability to communicate ineffectively with the prisoners.  He rudely advised me for no apparent reason that he would have Captain Cutler go through it with me.  At that point I asked to see the sergeant.  Waltz refused the request informing me I can not [sic] see the sergeant but had the option to lock in my cell.  He also made a commit [sic] for the second time in a week that I will not be in his pod long.  I walked off and sat down in the dayroom to watch television.  Within a few minutes Waltz returned with my legal file.

 

There was no material in the file that violated prison policy.  By officer Waltz returning it to me proves that the Captain and the officers behavior was meaningless, it was pure harassment.  The Captain attempted to instigate violence, but he failed.  His own co-workers commented on his ridiculous, immature behavior.  They were embarrassed as they thought it reflected on there [sic] roles as officers.  It’s fascinating how Cutler and Waltz discriminate by intimidating and harassing humans that can do very little to defend themselves!  Please have the Captain by [sic] me a new pen and rhyme that he stole and ask them both to leave me alone!

 

Please understand that it is your $60,000 a year per inmate in tax dollars that pays for this oppression.  It will continue happening unless the public demands prison reform.

 

Demand the government spend your tax dollars on influencing the prisoners in a positive manner so they can be rehabilitated when released.  This will produce a safer society, redirect tax $ to more important matters such as education, and help the prisoners live a upright productive live that will only produce more tax dollars and less trouble!

 

This correspondence reflects my constitutional right under the first amendment which states that:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise theof [sic]; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievanes [sic].

 

Sincerely,

 

Henry

 

 

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Inmate Posts on Voices now Faces Retaliation & A Note from Sophie About MCC Breaking Fire Codes

8-14-11

Dear Sophie,

Well its [sic] nice to think that somebody is thinking about me.  But your computer is ok.  I didnt [sic] hear anything after I sent that letter to you.  Its [sic] good to know that someone knows what is going on here.  If ochea [sic] ever came in here they’d shut it down.  The only reason they can get away with it, is because its [sic] a state oned [sic] place.

They delivered my medicine for a year now.  And all of a sudden they want me to go over and get them.  Like one C.O. said this is a prison and were not supose [sic] to cater to you guys.  And I quote.  So I am trying.  [omitted for safety]  I try to get along with everyone.

Yes Im [sic] doing ok.  Im [sic] still in a lot of pain.  But I cant [sic] get help for that until I get out.  Im [sic] in [omitted for privacy] by the way.

I wish more people would write to the blog.  But they say they would be waisting [sic] there [sic] time.  Because nobody care about us.

Well it was good to hear from you.  And take care.

Your friend

[name omitted for inmate safety]

Maine Correctional Center

A note from Sophie:

 

Previously I published a letter by this inmate that outlined serious fire hazards in his pod (along with other very serious health concerns for prisoners).  He wrote to the blog that every fire exit and door is currently blocked with heavy things.  After receiving his letter I immediately emailed the fire chief in the town where MCC is located Windham, Maine.  Here is my email and his flippant dismissal of the issue:

 

Dear Chief Charlie Hammond,

I am writing out of a grave concern for the inmates and staff at Maine Correctional Center (MCC).  I am a prison advocate and today I received word from an inmate in MCC that the doors to the outside AND the fire exits in his pod are blocked.  Unfortunately, I do not know exactly which pod he lives in but I felt that it was imperative that I inform someone given the seriousness of the matter.  The letter from the inmate can be viewed here: p1yroD-40

I do know from reading the letter that wherever the man is housed is with other handicapped/disabled men, which of course adds to my concern.  These men are crippled and would have trouble with a normal evacuation where the doors are accessible.  Therefore, having doors and fire exits blocked is an extreme safety hazard for them.  This in turn puts the MCC staff at a greater risk for injury in the event of a fire because they would first have to unblock the doors and then help crippled men out of the cells and into the air. I do not have to go into details about the risks and unlikelihood that this could even be accomplished in an emergency situation. 

I hope that this letter prompts an investigation that leads to a swift resolve.  Thank you very much for taking time out of your day to check into this matter.

Solidarity in Struggle,

Sophie Inchains

 

Charles Hammond to Charles, me

           

show details Jul 20

 

Please contact the individual(s) and identify the building. I don’t want to spend the days correcting problems specific to one or two doors. We’ll do a random when we go to the facility. I am also forwarding this to the Fire Safety Officer at MCC.

 

 

As you can see, Mr. Hammond was not very interested in the conditions at MCC.  The inmate did tell me which pod he is located in, but I feel that for his personal safety, I cannot disclose his exact location.  The fire chief and his crew should have no problem finding the numerous violations at MCC in EVERY pod, I refuse to place this inmate in more harm so that Mr. Hammond can dismiss his claims.

 

Although I only used an initial when I published this inmate’s original letter, I believe that the reason that he is “suddenly” being told to walk and get his food (he is handicapped) is blatant retaliation for publishing on Voices.  I have taken the initial out of the original post, but of course, this person is still at risk.

 

Also, the inmate says in this new letter that the safety conditions have not changed in his pod.  Clearly, MCC does not care about the safety of their inmates OR staff.  If anyone reading this would like to contact Mr. Hammond and kindly suggest that his office make the visit to MCC soon (and preferably UN-announced) his email is: chhammond@town.windham.me.us

 

Sophie

Placed in Segregation Without Due Process: A Request for Job Reinstatement

To: Unit Manager Worcester

From: Bartolo [last name omitted]

Date: July 16, 2011

Subject: Classification

Sir:

On June 26, 2011, I was, through no fault of my own taken out of my housing area in the medium unit and erroneously placed on Administrative Segregation.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said it is wrong to place a prisoner on ad.  Seg status minus notice and anything documented in writing.  After my spending sixteen (16) days on ad.  Seg.  losing my job, good time, etc. etc., I still have no paper work [sic] documenting the cause for the ad.  Seg.  That by itself constitutes a violation of procedural Due Process Hearing.  I am requesting my A.M.G. pod job be reinstated immediately.

Thank you for your time and I thank you in advance for making this problem less difficult.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bartolo [last name omitted]

cc: file

Mr. Worcester

Voices form the Cracks

Warden Barnhart

Commissioner Ponte

Placed in Segregation: This MSP Inmate is Seeking Answers for His Losses

To: Sergeant Ross

From: Bartolo [last name omitted]

Date: July 16, 2011

Subject: Administrative Segregation

Sgt Ross,

On June 26, 2011 you had me placed on ad Seg.  I have a right to know, and I would like to know what your reason for placing me on ad Seg?

You had told me I would be on ad Seg for two (2) days, then I would return back to the medium unit.  I ended up being placed, erroneously, on ad. Seg for sixteen days.  I lost my job, I lost good time, nearly lost my mind, and suffered tremendous physical and mental pain.

Before I can get closure on this issue, I need some accountability.  I’m sure you can understand my dilemma and equally.  I’m also sure you will help me get to the bottom of this travesty of justice.

Thank you for your time and understanding.

cc: file                                                                          Respectfully Submitted,

voices from the cracks                                                 Bartolo [last name omitted]

Sgt. Ross

Warden Barnhart

Commissioner Ponte

Third Complaint to Commissioner Ponte: Inmate Rallies for Better Treatment from Guards

This letter is [sic] regards to the wardens response.

Response enclosed.

Dear Commissioner Ponte                                                                  7-13-2011

I sent you two complaints concering[sic] the prison staff that you forwarded to the Warden Barnhart for her response.  One complaint regarded Sergeant Ross’s unprofessional behavior; the other was regarding caseworker Dyer’s incompetency to proform [sic] his work detail.  Soon after I received a dual response from the Warden who naturally avoided the true issue while supporting the professional misconduct.  I will clarify my previous communications.  The prison staff are harassing and oppressing the humanity of the prisoners on a daily basis!

While speaking with Caseworker Dyer I requested use of [details omitted] to obtain vital documents that are necessary to [details omitted].  I explained to him it would be near impossible to secure a higher education in the future if I was unable to complete this task.  I explained my prior failed attempts through the mail servise [sic], and, let him know my request was the last resort.  He denied [details omitted].  A few days later I went to him seeking the University of Pennylvaia’s [sic] address as I was interested in their Behavioral Science Program.  His response was “I don’t look up addresses”.

I strongly disagree with the Warden’s response that implies this issue is not release planning.  Mr. Commissioner, this issue is absolutely release planning.  It falls within the scope of my future release.  In fact I am the only one concerned with my future.  Theres [sic] not one employee that has helped me in the Department of “Corrections” I have been met with roadblocks every corner I turn.  When I am released its time for me to add integrity to society, not take it away like I have in the past.  Please advise Warden Barnhart that we need to progress, not regress.

I’m further perplexed by the Warden’s response to Sergeant Ross’s unprofessional behavior.  I will refer to the Warden’s response.  “I am satisfied that Mr. Worcester has addressed your concerns and provided you with a sufficient explanation”.

Mr. Worcester has never addressed my concerns, nor has he explained Segeant [sic] Ross’s unprofessional behavior.  In fact, he informed me if I did file a grievance for the way Sergeant Ross treats me, the warden would not do anything with it.

While meeting both Sergeant Ross and Mr. Worcester they intimidated, disrespected, mocked, and belittled me.  The meeting abruptly ended by the sergeant disrespecting me while Mr. Worcester inappropriately rejecting me from his office.  However, if Mr. Worcester has an explanation as to why the sergeant uses these degrading tactics due to a question in regards to a missing clothes slip, please have him inform me of it.

I give you prior notice that sergeant Ross is a dangerous man.  On 07-06-2011 I witnessed him approach Prisoner [name omitted] who was drinking a hot cup of coffee.  The sergeant hits the bottom of the cup it spills all over himself and the prisoner; accusing the prisoner of spilling the coffee on him!  Prisoner [name omitted] is tackled by five c/o’s, cuffed and excorted [sic] to SMU where he is locked down 24 hours a day for well over a week now!  The segeant [sic] is so incognito about this deception he must have pulled it off hundreds of times before.

Sergeant Ross’s mantality [sic] is distributed among the other staff.  They deem it necessary to provoke prisoners into violating the policies solely to intrap [sic] them for desuplinve [sic], and oppression reason.

The latest example of this unnecessary behavior involves office Carl.  This state employee believes it is his personal duty to instill his own warped sense of Justice into prisoners.  He continuously harasses them for no reason and he makes every simple matter differcult [sic].

On 07-05-2011 the officer generated a very dangerous situation that led to many prisoners being punished for no reason.  He provoked a mentally unstable prisoner to the point of physical violence.  Officer Carl was struck many times and the security of the pod was jeopardized.

This tragic incident was due to a prisoner and a officer that did not pocess [sic] the adequate skills to effectively communicate in strenuous situations.  However, the criteria of a prisoner’s behavior is held to a far less standard then the correctional officer’s.  it is expected that a prisoner does not necessarily have the skills to communicate constructively while faced with controversy.  Therefore, it is at the most imporance [sic] to have the correctional officer equipped with the basic deescalattion [sic] abilities while dealing with a diverse population of prisoners.

In this situation the officer nagates [sic] the sole purpose in having him employed at the Maine State Prison.  Instead of securing the pod, he insecures [sic] it.  He induces the learned and supported harassment for Sergeant Ross on to a prisoner that was not causing troble [sic].  The prisoner, not familiar with these tackics [sic] fall into the trap.  This time the trap goes to far, which is very said for the humanity of the prisoner that will likely serve many more years in prison due to this incident.

Mr. Commissioner the prison staff is the problem, not the solution.  The Warden’s letter that is enclosed proves that she not only condones this misconduct, but she also defends and supports it.  Her leadership has contributed to the consensus of the staff regarding their mantality [sic], they deem it necessary to find ways not to help prisoner, rather then [sic] finding ways to help them.  This distorted reasoning is contrary to the Department of Correction’s mission.  IT produces a prisoner that is worse off when released, then when arrived.  The end result of the prisoner is passed on to the society where statistics prove that revictimization [sic] is prominent and recidivism is eminent.  The viscous cycle recirculates…

Please remember that these prisoners are “people” that are unaware of their true protential [sic].  They are born good and still are.  Some are born with mental defects; and many are subjected to the elements of lifes [sic] complications that have effected their cognition that results in poor decision making.  There are many different factors that lead to this mental distortion that may include poor guidance, substance abuse or traumatized veterans that are full of all kinds of distortions.

Mr. Commissioner today is the day for positive change.  With the trobles [sic] in todays world the tax payer can not [sic] afford 60,000 per prisoner, per year for staff that are ineffective.  For the sake of humanity please set a new standard for the Department of Corrections.  Build a new foundation of inspiration and encouragement that will lift the prisoner up and out of the oppresion [sic].  Instil [sic] this positive mantality [sic] into yoru staff and watch the prisoners become prosperous.  New oppertunities [sic] will open to all parties including society!

[name omitted]

Maine State Prison

Letter from the Warden:

Dear [name omitted],

    

     Your letters addressed to Commissioner Ponte regarding conflict with Sergeant Ross and your assigned caseworker, Mr. Dyer were referred to this office for response.

 

     It is my understanding that Mr. Worcester, Unit Manager for the Medium Custody Unit has discussed your complaints with you.  Mr. Worcester believes that your issue with Sergeant Ross was addressed and that there is no current issue or conflict with Sergeant Ross.  It appears that your primary issue is a clam that Mr. Dyer does not adequately provide professional assistance to you.  It is not Mr. Dyer’s responsibility to assist you in the preparation of [details omitted].  Mr. Dyer may direct you to appropriate authorities or organizations that may be able to assist you with the preparation of your [details omitted].  Caseworkers may permit a prisoner to utilize [details omitted] for legitimate reasons relating to personal emergencies or release plans but not as a convenience to complete personal responsibilities.  I am satisfied that Mr. Worcester has addressed your concerns and provided you with sufficient explanation.

   

     I trust this response answers your concerns

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Patricia Barnhart

Warden

Super Max: A Vivid Account of Solitary in New England

SUPER MAX

By Pornchai Moontri

The time I spent in a New England state prison’s Super Max unit is not easy to write about.  It changed me more than I care to acknowledge or talk about.  I spent three-and-one-half years in one stretch in Super Max.  Of thirteen years in that prison system, more than half of it was spent in Super Max.

The first time I was sent to Super Max was kind of scary.  I was sent there because I was accused by “confidential inmate informants” of planning to make a homemade bomb to try to blow up the prison.  I was nineteen years old, and had been in prison only four months when I was sent to Super Max.

When I first saw the place, it looked really tough.  It had rows and rows of razor wire around its perimeter, cameras at every turn, and three check points [sic] before you even get to the entrance.  As I was getting out of the prison van at

Super Max, I was met by six “SERT Team” guys in full riot gear.  They told me what they expected of me: no quick movements; keep my head up and my eyes forward; no speaking at all unless I was asked a question.  I was told that if I did not obey these rules perfectly upon command, as they put it, I would be dumped on my ass!  They really knew how to make a guy feel welcomed.

Once inside, when I first stepped onto the pod, it was the smell that I noticed first.  The smell of urine and fecal matter was so overwhelming, I thought I might get sick.  I was taken to a cell, and locked in.  My very first thought was that I didn’t want to touch anything.  It was filthy.  Then I knew that I would have to clean the place up before I could possibly live there, but I have nothing to clean with – no cleaning supplies at all.  Before I could ask the corrections officer (c/o) for something to clean with, the guy in the cell next to me told me that it would be easier to just set off the fire sprinkler system to douse the cell.  About ten minutes after the deluge began, the SERT Team was at my cell door to extract me from it.

I wrestled with four of them for a few minutes before they got me to the floor, and beat me like a dog.  My arm was so twisted behind my back, I thought it would break.  With a booted foot pressing my bare head to the concrete floor and another on my neck, my leg bent so far backward that my foot pressed against my butt, I was powerless.

Then I was placed in the black chair, chained and cuffed, and unable to move at all.  After five hours in the black Chair, I was asked if I was calm now, and ready to be

taken back to my cell.  I said something sarcastic and angry, and just spend longer in the chair.  Unfortunately for me, that was not my last time in the black chair.  I was brought back to it many times – usually for three or four hours at a stretch.  I just didn’t seem to learn my lesson.

Finally, I was brought back to my cell, cleaned by the sprinkler system just as my neighbor said it would be.  It got cleaned the hard way!  That was my first day in Super Max.

The Super Max cell had nothing in it but a stainless steel toilet, a bunk, and a stainless steel table bolted to the wall.  The window in the cell door was about twelve by sixteen inches.  Any time I had to be moved or let out of the cell, I was placed in four-point restraints, hands and feet, and then stripped to be searched after every movement.

Every day there was the same monotony: breakfast at 0530 followed by forty-five minutes alone in the rec pen.  That was like a big dog cage.  I could take exactly eleven steps inside it and then back again.  It was about five feet wide and eight feet long with chain link on all sides and above.  It really was a cage.  I could have a fifteen-minute shower five times a week, and one fifteen-minute telephone call per week.  There was no use of a TV or radio.

Lunch was always at 11:30 and dinner at 4:30.  Four times a day guards would come to count me at the same time every day.  I would have to stand up or sit on the concrete bunk.  I was allowed to look at three books per week.  I would take any books that were big so they would last a long time.  I read the Bible cover to cover twice.  I read Stephen King books because they were big.  ADD STORYI also read Shogun and any other large novel I could get.  At O7OO every day, someone would come by with a tube of toothpaste, put a dab on my finger, and I would “brush” with that.

Super Max was so depressing and so solitary that prisoners would try to cut themselves deeply or hang themselves just to get out of there.  Since this Super Max prison opened in 1992, there have been three inmate deaths there by suicide (one was a suspected homicide), and hundreds of prisoners were seriously injured.  One prisoner was extracted from his cell so he could not harm himself, and then he died from the injuries he sustained while being extracted.

The longer a prisoner stayed in Super Max, the more anti-social he became.  Inmates would do anything to try to break up their day and entertain themselves.  Some played with their own urine and feces, and others used those as weapons, throwing them at the guards after calling their names to get their attention.  Some of the more manipulative would talk other prisoners into acting up.  I know today that we acted like animals because we were treated like animals.

I survived Super Max by doing as many as 1,500 push-ups a day, and venting as much of my anger, frustration, and energy as possible into physical fitness.  In a way, this also worked against me.  The more physically strong I became, the more I was treated like a dangerous animal.  I knew that self-discipline was my only way to stay sane, so I lived a strict regimen of exercise for many years.

When I finally left Super Max for good, I had a lot of emotional problems.  I was angry, depressed, often hostile, and anti-social.  Then I was transferred to an adjacent state’s prison system where I had a new beginning.  I found a lot of help here, and all the baggage of those long hard years left me in time.  I never want to go back.  I am 38 years old now, and haven’t seen freedom for almost 20 years.  However, I have learned that freedom begins on the inside, not the inside of a prison but the inside of my own soul.  It is there that I am free.

Chronic Pain Not Taken Seriously as Inmate Detox’s While Doctor Vacations

7-26-11

Tuesday Night

1:40 A.M.

 

Hi Sophie,

 

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.  I put in a medical request over a month ago telling the DR. that prescribed me the synthetic pain-pills, Tramadol A.K.A. vitrams [sic], that the pain in my knee has been steadily worsening, and that the pills weren’t doing as much for the pain as they had in the beginning.  Last Thursday I was finally called to medical.  The DR said, well if the pills aren’t working, we’ll D.C.-Discontinue them.  I said, yeah and then what?  I put in the request a month ago because the pain was really getting worse.  A month later it only tolerable as I have amazing mental control of my body.  Tai-Chi and Kickboxing training years ago.  It still helps, at times.  So the DR. explains a series of injections to block the pain.  He said one a week for three-weeks.  Told me I only had a few days to decide.  I told him I’d let him know.  Thursday and Friday I got 600mg of Tramadols [sic].  Saturday on nothing…When I was put on the pills I’d asked what they were and did and all of that fun stuff.  One think I clearly remember was being told that there were no adverse effects of coming off them.  I just spent four days in hell.  I’m not an addict to have had no experience with detoxing, but there were times in the first two days that I was a very evil-minded person.  In the last four-nights, I may have gotten 5-hrs.  sleep total.  None of the counsellors [sic] have ever talked to me.  This is supposedly a prison-rehab.  They fed me synthetic narcotics for about two-months.  Long enough for my body to build an addiction.  Then yanked them away.  Cold-blooded…

I filled a medical-request on Monday to see that same quack.  I was canes [sic] down to medical.  After waiting 90-minutes D.T.ing while waiting, I was told the DR. Wouldn’t be back for at least 7-days more.  Vacation.  While I DT’D in a hot cell and in pain.  After that mood altering visit I was thoroughly pissed.  So now the pain in my right knee is excruciating.  I’m allowed to go down to the med window once a day, but not every day, once for up to 800mg. of ibuprofen.  I buy Advil from the commissary and eat them until there is blood in my urine.  Then I back off.  I see no way that this can go on now.  The DR. shut off my meds and then left the building…

I’ve recently both got a haircut, one every two months in here, and made it to level 3 in this program.  So I am allow [sic] to grow back facial hair.  As soon as I look normal again I’ll send you a photo so you have a visual.  It seems to make writing easier if I know the thing I’m writing about or person I’m writing to.

Wednesday 12:30 P.M.  I was called down to medical by some DR.  I’ve never seen before.  He gave me some novacaine [sic] and a big suringe [sic] of hydrocortisone.  I have no idea how long it will last, but for the moment it feels a lot better.  I told him of my detoxing adventure during the heatwave [sic] and he said it must have been horrible.  Honest at least.  He said he’d see me in a couple of weeks.  I need to find out what his name is and write it down.  He doesn’t belong here.  Way to realistic.

 

[At the request of the inmate, the rest of this letter is not published because it is personal.]

 

Take Care,

C