United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect
Grangetto - Press Conference - September 7, 2005
|A lawsuit has been filed in the California Superior Court, Sacramento
County by the mother of Mark Grangetto, a mentally and gravely physically
ill prisoner against the California Department of Corrections.
The lawsuit requests a jury trial for Violations of Government Code Section 845.6, Medical Negligence and Violations of California Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 17 (Cruel or Unusual Punishment)
It it brought by and through his mother and legal guardian, Nora Weber against the California Department of Corrections for failure to furnish or obtain immediately required medical care, long term medical negligence and violation of his civil rights.
It seeks an injunctive order for proper psychiatric and medical care, an end to the segregated housing and cruel and unusual punishment being inflicted upon Grangetto, including retaliation by CDC custody employees for filing 602's and a lawsuit. Grangetto was moved from an isolated cell to the prison hospital at Corcoran weighing just 113 pounds after hundreds of families in the prisoner's rights group UNION promised to picket the prison if he didn't get emergency care. At 5'9" tall, Weber described her son as "looking like a refugee from a Nazi War Camp with his ribs sticking out." She has been allowed only one visit to him in the hospital
Mark's diabetes has been mismanaged, he also has TB and Hepatitis C, is blind, in a wheelchair with a clawed hand and crippled leg. After all the torture, stabbings and beatings he has endured for heroically standing up for all inmates over the years, he is in severe mental distress as well. He is dying according to a private physician that Nora sent into examine him. This physician, who once worked for CDC, told Nora that he must be moved to a nursing home immediately because CDC cannot take care of him in any of their facilities.
The fact is that CDCR is not equipped to handle anyone with the neurological and psychological needs that Grangetto requires in order to survive as he continues to deteriorate. Nora Weber has spent the past fourteen years documenting denied surgeries, begging legislators, the inspector general, prison wardens, Chief Medical Officers and every possible resource for help with Mark. His former doctor, Dr. Wu, was recently removed from his position at Corcoran Substance Abuse Facility
A press conference regarding Grangetto's abuse will be held after a public hearing scheduled by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on September 7 at 1416 Ninth Street outside the Water Resources Building Auditorium at 12 noon. The purpose of this CDCR hearing is to expand segregated housing minimum review times from it's current 30 days to 90 days and in some cases, 180 days. Grangetto's mother, Nora Weber plans to testify at Wednesday's hearing to the CDC panel members as an example of the legal consequences the State is bringing upon itself in neglecting and abusing inmates in segregated housing
Grangetto's present condition is not known because all communication has been cut off between Grangetto and his mother and attorney, even though this is a violation of the law.
B. Cayenne Bird
Remarks - Hearing to change the current ad seg rules under the pretense of an "Emergency Regulation
by B. Cayenne Bird,
I am here to represent families from across California who are a part of our organized network of prisoner activists for reform including doctors, teachers, nurses, social workers and family members from every walk of life. We vehemently object to the proposed rules changes and to the cruel and unusual manner in which segregated housing is being currently mismanaged.
For example, this section of the proposed change
§3335. Administrative Segregation,
(a) When an inmate's presence in an institution's general inmate population presents an immediate threat to the safety of the inmate or others, endangers institution security or jeopardizes the integrity of an investigation of an alleged serious misconduct or criminal activity, the inmate shall be immediately removed from general population and be placed in administrative segregation.
We all know that prisoners are frequently put into ad seg for minor reasons, and often for bogus reasons. For example, my son Eric spent six months in ad seg this year because the prison administration claimed that "his life was in danger" and most recently "because he knew a guard personally" The reasons for ad seg are blatantly vague. And in my very direct personal experience, they are invented to "manage" prisoners in an inhumane, retaliatory and arbitrary fashion
The murders of inmates by guards or "suicides" occur most frequently in ad seg where there are no witnesses. Ad seg cells are typically a tiny box half the size of a regular cell with no windows. No personal property or legal material , no television or radio are allowed. Often mail is blocked, no telephone calls can be made or received, the inmate is cut off from the world and his family and he cannot even work on his legal case.
Ad seg's purpose is to psychologically break inmates through extreme isolation. This torture now takes place for months and years at a time in the taxpayer's name. It should be noted that the families attached to state inmates now number in the millions, and are also taxpayers and voters who do not want to finance this destructive isolation practice from the dark ages.
Even the shortest ad seg term is at least 30 days now which is too long. Study after study since the 1800's has proven that inmates begin to go mad after only a few days in isolation. With these new rules the shortest term before a review takes place will be 90 days up to SIX MONTHS, depending on the circumstances. This is six months of a person's life. Six months of grief for their family members who are totally cut off from them and this is unacceptable to the families of the UNION. There are usually only about three visitation windows on each yard for people in ad seg which means that it is almost impossible to get a visit for one hour behind glass. Often prisoners are located hundreds of miles away from their family members. An expensive journey often over hundreds of miles for just a one hour to discuss legal matters and maintain family ties with children just isn't enough.
Ad seg is too harsh and needs to be shortened and modified and in most cases when "managed behavior" is simply retaliation or a sick power trip by a guard, eliminated altogether.
(c) An inmate's placement in segregation shall be reviewed by the Institutional Classification Committee (ICC) within 10 days of receipt in the unit and under provisions of section 3338(a) of these regulations. Action shall be taken to retain the inmate in segregation or release to general population.
If anything is missing at the ten day review such as witnesses, paperwork then it's three to six months in ad seg on merely an accusation yet to be proven. Most of the ICC committees have guards and administrators sitting on them who put the inmate in ad seg in the first place. These are the kangaroo courts for a prison within a prison where there is no oversight and no investigations to make certain those sitting on the Internal Classification Committee aren't there unlawfully due to a conflict of interest. It's depraved.
This entire process is so corrupt that the inmate is doomed if one of the guards simply doesn't like him and there is no relief from this injustice and oppression. It is nothing for a mentally ill inmate, or any inmate for that matter to have his prison sentence expanded simply from breaking under the pressure. Minor crimes can turn into strikes as prison administrators are masters at manipulating records and conditions until people go mad. This activity keeps the prisons stocked and the human bondage industry going, but it does not serve the public safety goals. People on the outside are powerless against these ICC committees. Attorneys have no pull there at all. Kangaroo courts There are no doctors and psychologists on the ICC Committees, no social workers to determine whether the person confined to the ad seg torture cell is simply a mentally ill person acting out.
The current policy of 30 days in a room the size of a bathroom is even too long for review, 90 days is horrifying and 180 days - a full six months is an unspeakable crime against any human being.
(1). At intervals of not more than 90, days until pending Division C,
D, E or F rules violation report is adjudicated. Upon resolution of such
matters an ICC shall review the inmate's case within 14 calendar days.
At that time, if no further matters are .pending, but continued segregation
retention is required pending transfer to a general population ICC reviews
shall be within at least every 90 days until the transfer can be accomplished.
rules violation report is adjudicated, court proceeding resulting from
a referral to prosecution is resolved or the investigation process is complete.
Upon resolution of such matters an ICC shall review the inmate's case within
14 calendar days.
What section 1 allows is for the prisoncrats to take as much time as they wish with transfers and hold prisoners indefinitely in ad seg WAITING FOR THE COURTS to act first which means the inmate could be isolated for YEARS legally. Cut off from his family, his lawyer, while being isolated until he breaks down. Most inmates are suicidal after three weeks in ad seg. When it goes into months and years they are traumatized and destroyed and they lose family ties. It is the opposite of rehabilitation. It is psychological torture and these rules changes will make it much worse.
(2) At intervals of not more than 180 days, until a pending Division A-1, A-2, or B rules violation report is adjudicated, a court proceeding resulting from a referrals to the district attorney for possible prosecution is resolved, or the gang validation investigation process is complete. Upon resolution of such matters, an ICC shall review the inmate's case within 14 calendar days.
Section 2 implies that certain rules violations would cause the prisoner to be in ad seg a minimum of six months with no maximum pending resolution by others such as the District Attorney which could take years.
.In other words, throw them in a half-sized cell, deny all their basic human rights and communications and throw away the key. These rules changes are to take away deadlines for review which means more time in ad seg no matter how you want to sugar coat it.
These "management cells" are abused as it is with the worst beatings, suicides, and psychosis being created there. There is almost no medical care in ad seg. My son went for four months without getting his laundry washed or being given personal care items. Medical care and mental health services, dental services and classes are almost non existent for the people who need them most. Semi-starvation takes place at CSP Lancaster and other prisons as part of this program to "break" people who will be returning to society at some point, or people who are already broken with some physical or mental illness. I have multiple reports of food portions being deliberately cut in half and I witnessed a shocking weight loss in my own son after he was semi starved for five months in the CSP Lancaster Ad Seg.
The Department claims to be interested in reducing the number of suicides but proposes outrageous rules changes that can only result in a more casual attitude toward isolation torture. The Department claims to be in compliance with Madrid vs. Gomez but the windows are still painted over as a deliberate effort to torture prisoners into compliance by denying them sunshine, a view of the sky or the landscape. The mentally ill are still being tortured in segregated housing units where they are warehoused in conditions comparable to third world countries.
All this amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. It amounts to torture and I believe that here today you are going to hear many human stories of how people's loved ones have been driven mad and deteriorated into much worse conditions than before they were incarcerated.
The continuous torture of my own son in these housing units is being detailed in a big screen movie about my struggle for justice, his case and our UNION's efforts to be heard about prison torture. I believe the taxpayers will have the final word on this as years of pleading for an end to these monstrous tactics has fallen on deaf ears.
Just as we made a major impact with our long campaign for a federal takeover of the medical care system to take place, we will also be unbending in our campaign to end segregated housing as it exists today. The destruction and sick worry is too great.
We simply are not going to quietly sit by and allow our loved ones to
be tortured without alerting the voters and filing lawsuits. With six pending
somebody in authority ought to be taking us seriously by now. The
next speaker, Nora Weber, is one of our UNION members who is going
to make it very clear that torturing prisoners in segregated housing units
- including ad seg, SHU and with continuous lockdowns is going to end in
lawsuits. The UNION doesn't make idle threats, we take action and
grow forward daily.
Thank you for exposing this horrific abuse of an inmate unable to help
himself in any way. This poor man has been tortured at the hands
of prison guards whose job it is to protect the inmates. Not only
has the inmate been tortured, but his mother has been cut off from all
communication with her son who is near death. No human being should
be put through this torture. If death is to be his punishment then
the courts would have ordered the death penalty. Over zealous, rogue guards
have taken matters into their own hands and are forcing a death sentence
on Mark Grangetto who is brain damaged with many other medical problems
and should not even be in prison.
Taxpayers need to be informed of this torture and prison personnel need to be removed from the system. Rehabilitation and reform are certainly in order for all California State Prisons. We should not be paying the wages of torturers and we should not be paying for inmates such as Mark to be housed behind bars when he should be hospitalized. Wake up California our money is being wasted and human beings are tortured at the hands of state employees.
Sincerely, Shirley Wetherwax (Voting taxpayer)
Dear Honorable Judge Henderson:
I am totally perplexed by these two misleading phrases and the fact that they are still believed by anyone is overwhelming to me and quite frankly beyond my imagination that we who are left alive on this planet could be so naive as to believe this masterful hogwash.
"Equal Justice For All" It should read "Justice For Sale" Beware!
You get just exactly the amount of justice you can afford to pay for.
"Constitutional Rights." It should read "Constitution? You have no Rights" Oh! you do have one right and that is to die as a result of your naive beliefs.
The torture camps our tax dollars have built, hidden behind the walls of so-called Correctional Facilities (PRISONS) have come to haunt this civilization with unbelievable violence and are only beginning to smell of the vile pits of human waste. There is a price to pay for leading people to believe they have Constitutional Rights and Justice but are faced only with torture, medical neglect and abuse. Many will die but the survivors will pay. It is time for wise individuals to rebuild this broken justice/prison system.
Mark_Grangetto - Story