MAC Chairman - Retaliation
Date: Dec 21, 2004 - 1:28am
This nearly killed me to read this article tonight. If only we had known! Another MAC chairman retaliated against and the guards are getting away with it!
Where is the all new inspector general's office or internal affairs?
These inmates that really stand up to the system are tortured, falsely accused and punished. That is why family members must organize and do the fighting for them.
A citizen's group could provide consequences to evil DA's. In the meantime, we should all write short letters to the editors to this astute reporter and try to track down this family!
My God! This is a life here!
Speech on Med Neglect Mark Ravis
Date: Aug. 10, 2004 - 6:52am
Mark Ravis, M.D. J.D.
Mr. Ravis is an experienced civil and criminal trial lawy er from Los Angeles. He is also a physician who has been licensed in C alifornia for 23 years. He has practiced family medicine and internal medicine in the Los Angeles area. He has been an attorney for 15 years and is in the full-time practice of law in Los Angeles and San Diego. Many of his cases have in some way involved health care.
In addition to his medical (University of Missouri) and law (Southwestern
University School of Law) degrees, Mr. Ravis also holds a Masters Degree
in Public Administration (University of Missouri). Mr. Ravis received his
undergraduate degree from the University of California-Berkeley.
A Stacked Deck
It is my privilege to represent Mr. Charles Wesley. He was released from Chino in 2000 and has since been generally gainfully employed and been successfully pursuing his college education. His goal is to work in some capacity in the legal field. But it is only by the Grace of God that he is here today. He nearly lost his life to the medical care system at Chino, where he was luckier than most because he was the Chairman of the Men's Advisory Council, the so-called "MAC Chairman," and had easier access to educational materials and key persons.
Mr. Wesley has permanent nerve damage because a needed su rgery was delayed for seven months by MTAs who were angry at him because he complained and filed appeals. We have evidence that some of his medical records were shredded at the direction of an MTA. He was in severe pain, unable to make it to chow, fellow inmates brought him his food, he was observed lying on the ground on multiple occasions because of pain, none of this did anything to speed up his surgery. In fact, he w as teased and threatened and told that unless you withdraw your appeals, you'll never get your dammed operation.
Unfortunately, medical care is routinely withheld or delayed as a form of punishment in California prisons. The keys to medical care are in the hands of guards, known as MTAs [Medical Technology Assistants], who effectively run the prison medical facilities. Let's be clear: guards should not be permitted to affect in any manner life and death medical decisions. They must not be placed in a position whe re they can affect access to medical care because they are not competent or properly motivated to do so.
We must have a prison medical system controlled by doctors and nurses who are independent of the guard union, independent of the guard culture, independent of the guard mentality and motivated not by a desire to punish but by a sincere desire to preserve the mental and physical health of our prisoners, who are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Anything less than that is inhumane and has already proven to be a failure.
In the long run it will be cheaper to provide proper and timely medical care to inmates because disease processes will be interrupted earlier and the earlier a disease is treated, the cheaper the treatment. Moreover, it is better and cheaper to release an able-bodied inmate who potentially can be gainfully employed and can become a productive member of society instead of someone crippled by the medical system and dependent t hereafter on the government for support.
The solution lies in legislation, not litigation. T he inmate has little chance of success in court. The deck is stacked a gainst the inmate litigant by the code of silence among the guards and the inmate's lack of access to legal information and professional legal a ssistance as well as every other possible impediment, including punishment inflicted on inmates for filing appeals which legally must be exhausted before obtaining access to the court system. Appeals can be a risky venture for an inmate especially when the appeal calls into question the conduct of an MTA.
In addition to taking guards out of the business of medical care, the medical staffs themselves should be upgraded. The physician staff should be filled with energetic, highly qualified, multi-specialized and, above all, dedicated physicians AND NOT the semi-retired doctor seeking an easy avocation and plenty of spare time. The medical staff should be filled with physicians who can speak English fluently and there should be some who speak Spanish on the medical staff at each facility. Providing a doctor who can't understand English is the same as not providing a doctor at all and may be unconstitutional.
I would like to say a few words about compassionate release. AB 1946 is going to be revived, and hopefully passed, because of your combined efforts. Together we have tremendous political power which will not be ignored. Compassionate release is not only humane but makes great economic sense. It certainly costs more to care for the terminally ill or the paraplegics in prison than it would in some in stitution specialized to provide appropriate services for these conditions or at home. The public deserves good statistics on the number of inmates with terminal diseases or profound handicaps and the cost of providing appropriate in-prison care to them. But cost considerations aside, prison ers are people and, in general, they should be given a chance to spend their last weeks and months with their families.
Let us remember that there but for the grace of God, go I. Most of us are free, not because we are morally superior to those in prison but because we are luckier. Most of those incarcerated are probably guilty of the crimes charged and should serve their sentences; some are innocent but couldn't fight the right kind of legal fight for one reason or another; some have sentences which make no sense whatsoever. But it should not be left to guards to impose a death sentence to anyone who displeases them by withholding, delaying or interfering with medical and psychiatric care. Sentencing is a matter for judges, not guards, just as medicine is a matter for dedicated physicians and nurses, not guards.
Shocking proof that affects us all
Date: Jan 23, 2004
December 22, 2003
The Office of the Inspector General has received your recent letter .
Due to constrained resources, we regret we are unable to provide assistance with your complaint. Instead, we encourage you to pursue the appropriate administrative remedies available at your institution, such as the CDC -G02 inmatc/parolee appeal process, the BPT-1040 appeal process, the ward gr ievance process, or the employee grievance process.
If you have questions about administrative remedies and/or the status o f an appeal or grievance, please ask an appropriate counselor for advice and assistance. If you wrote on behalf of an inmate, parolee, ward, or correcti onal employee, please inform him or her of the need to pursue administrative remedies as described.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
Above is the form letter that was sent to inmates who had very serious medical problems and life and death emergencies throughout the month of December, perhaps longer.
I will be happy to fax this to anyone who would like a copy with the logo of the Office of the Inspector General on it.
This is an original I have in my possession.
The holidays are the most stressful time for illmates. It is a ti me when illness from the rampant epidemics seems to get worse. It is a time when suicides rise and the psychological intimidation seems to increas e.
It is a time when the legislators are mostly all on vacation and there is no one for families to go to even in life and death emergencies.
We have a man who reported to us a broken leg who has been on lockdown in Lancaster. The warden is fired but this man has still not been taken to a doctor. He says he has lost 60 lbs and was starved along with all of B yard as punishment for the missing blades.
I turned in this emergency the first week of December. He still has not been to the doctor. A broken leg can easily cause death when not attended, and the lawsuit that this man can bring due to deliberate indifference will cost the taxpayers at a least a million dollars.
We have a number of UNION subscribers who never have had assistance from the Inspector General's Office even in life and death emergencies.
They have had no choice but to file lawsuits after there has been no re medy.
The idea of an Inspector General's office is good. The results of work with Secretary Presley and now Roderick Q. Hickman are equally as unproductive.
Mardele is a member of the clergy. She is also one of them any mothers in the UNION whose son has been tortured without remedy from any legislative aide, YACA official, Ken Hurdle representing the OIG, even after several members of the UNION and an attorney tried continuously to get help.
Scott was beaten and hospitalized because he is a MAC chairman who was taking up for the inmates. There has been no proper investigation and he sat in ad seg for months. There was no choice but to file a lawsuit against the guards.
You would see in this case, many parallels to what happened to my son. I am going to include Mardele's recent letter which will update you in her own words.
My files are full of these types of cases and we should all take our co mplaints directly to Mr. Hagar so that the actual picture can be viewed here .
B. Cayenne Bird, Director
Jan 22, 2004
Roderick Q. Hickman
I attended the Senate Hearings on prisons on Jan. 20, 2004. You stated that the prison system was capable of investigating cases fairly.
I wrote this letter to you Dec. 15, 2003. What is being done about this investigation? It's obvious that the officer was in the wrong. There are many witnesses to this incident. Why is Scott still being punished for reporting a guard that was threatening him? The men want Scott back on D yard where Scott and the other inmates were happy until this happened.. Scott is a peacemaker and friendly. He was heading up a bible study when this happened. Why is the guard still there? I hear they're thinking of transferring Scott. What good will this do? Scott's only problem was that a guard was threatening him, and he reported it. This is just the usual retaliation on an inmate that was in fear for his life, and reported it. What else is there to do? We heard many reports of this kind of wrongdoing by the guards on Tuesday.
We'll be watching the outcome of this investigation, now that the truth is out on what really happens. Will the guards stick up for each other once again, or will the truth come out? We're interested in seeing what you mean by a fair investigation.
Scott has never been written up and was given time off for good behavior when in Shasta Co. Jail. Does this tell you something?
Thank-you for your time
I just returned from visiting with my son, Scott Larson yesterday, Sunday Dec. 14. I was able to visit with him for 1 hour behind glass, as he is in ad seg.
The reason that Scott is in ad seg, is that he was harassed and threatened by officer Guerra, and Scott is in ad seg "for his protection." What a joke, nothing has been done to this officer.
On Nov. 4, 2003, Scott was minding his own business, doing his work as a MAC rep when outside on D yard officer Guerra called Scott over. Officer Guerra asked Scott what he was doing, and Scott said he was the MAC rep, doing his job. Officer Guerra told Scott that he doesn't like MAC reps, and started harassing and threatening Scott. A little while later officer Guerra called Scott into the office where he was with Sgt. Cerda. Officer Guerra continued to provoke, harass, intimidate, and threaten Scott. During this time, Sgt. Teres (not sure about spelling) went into the office, and overheard this conversation. Officer Guerra used harsh language, and said he didn't give a s--t about the Sgts, and the authority they have. When this was over, Scott asked the Sgt. Cerda why she didn't do anything about this, no reply, she just looked the other way.
If Scott did something wrong, officer Guerra was supposed to
That evening at chow, officer Guerra was in the gun tower, and still harassing Scott. Scott didn't realize it, until other inmates told Scott to look up, and there was officer Guerra, with his gun, harassing Scott. Scott told me that "he was scared, and he said he was just waiting for officer Guerra to shoot him."
Officer Guerra apologized to Scott, and Scott thought all is well. I spoke with Chief Deputy Warden Tony Malfia, and he also told me that officer Guerra apologized to Scott. This is proof that these allegations are true.
A few days later some of Scotts friends went up to Scott and told him that officer Guerra wanted them to get some "dirt" on Scott, so that he could do something to Scott. Instead of getting the "dirt", they told Scott what officer Guerra asked them to do, now officer Guerra is seeking retaliation on Scott. Scott gave me the names of these inmates. The last names are: Smith and Hernandez.
Scott wrote me a letter also explaining some of these things, but I never did receive the letter.
This guard is breaking California Penal Code §147. "every officer who is guilty of willful inhumanity or oppression toward any prisoner under his care or in his custody, is puni shable by a fine not exceeding four thousand ($4,000) and by removal from office."
Why hasn't something been done about this matter? This guard is still on the yard. Other inmates have called me and told me this. They say that they get sick to their stomach when they see him, and that he is an evil man.
This guard has multiple complaints and write ups on D yard. A civil complaint was filed against him in 2000. Nothing has ever been done about this officer, he's never been prosecuted. This is why he continues to have this attitude against inmates, and even Sgts. He gets away with this, because he has never been stopped.
This is just another bomb, ready to explode at any time. A prison guard killed an inmate at PVSP 2 months ago. Something must be done before another inmate gets killed.
The only person being punished is Scott. Instead of removing the officer from the yard, Scott was placed in ad seg. Why wasn't Scott "CTQ" confined to quarters? Why is Scott being punished for something that the guard did to him, and has done to others? Scott has never been written up. He always goes around making peace. He just started a bible study with 25 men just before this happened. When I was visiting Scott, many of the other inmates came up to me, and asked me when Scott would getting out. They want Scott back on the yard with them.
This is creating another problem as Scott can't work on his writ of habeas corpus. I just spoke with Scotts attorney, and Scott is supposed to file a supplement to his habeas. His attorney told me that this is supposed to be in ASAP, as Scotts attorney just filed the writ on Dec.2 , and it is imperative that Scott gets the rest of it in immediately. Also, Scott is supposed to help his attorney file a response to his brief, that is due Dec. 22. None of this is possible because the guard has created this problem, and Scott is in ad seg. Scott can only get to a legal library 1 hour a week if that. All of Scotts legal papers, and legal books have been taken away from him. This is OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE !!!!!! Something must be done immediately !!!!!!! Scott needs to work on his case. Instead, he just sits in the HOLE freezing cold, while this officer is on the yard.
Scott wanted to drop the investigation just so that he could go back and work on his case, but they said they had to continue the investigation. All that happens, is the guards, and CDC stick together, and help each other out, and lie for one another. This guard will stay on the yard, harassing some other inmate again so on, and Scott won't be able to work on his case for his release.
Scott said that he was called in to a meeting about his investigation and the investigating officers all work for ISU. The names of the officers are Mills, and Jeffries. Scott said that they are all working together, so of course, Scott will be found wrong, and officer Guera will be found innocent, although he has had several other write ups and complaints about his threats and harassment to inmates. An investigation needs to be done, but not by anyone in CDC. They all stick together, of course. Think about it, why would Scott create such a big problem for himself?
Things were going well for Scott at PVSP, until this officer started harassing and threatening Scott. Now, they are thinking of transferring Scott to another prison. Why? Our family worked hard to get Scott somewhere close to us. Scotts sister and her son try to visit Scott whenever she can. She's a working mother, and still tries to see Scott often. She lives in San Francisco. Scotts father lives in San Jose, and tries to visit him often, and I live in Danville, and see Scott often. We want to support Scott while we are going through this terrible tragedy that has happened to him and our family. We just can't accept Scott being transferred to somewhere far from us. Why don't you transfer this guard that is creating so many problems, not only for Scott, but other inmates too?