James Eldon Rogers
I am a Vietnam era military vet. Combat engineer. I draw V.A. disability. I have only been arrested this one time in my life. I have a very high IQ (160+). I have university. Since 1980 I renounced my U.S. citizenship and I am a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, solely. I did this at first while I was an independent military "contractor" and to circumvent U.S. restrictions on "mercenary activity," but now I am glad of it and fully support my new country. I have "children," now fully grown, in Germany and Russia. Four. All are professionals in various engineering fields. I have two in the U.S.A. both are in grade school education professions. The one son is gay and lives in San Francisco.
I believe that America, as a whole is in serious trouble with its moral and family foundations. I do not support the current military endeavors of the U.S. I believe that too many lives will be lost for nothing. Some president, some day will stop it all and the "so called" radical Islam will return and control all contested areas. I believe that the federal government is filled and controlled by too many with special interests filling their pockets. The government (Fed.) doesn't represent any of the ideas of our founding fathers and the constitution has been voided. I have been incarcerated now, going into the 18th year. I started in supermax custody and have been in all levels of custody except minimum. I have had no disciplinary issued in those years. I have always have "sensitive" and trusted work positions. Many because I'm smarter than 90% of the staff, and though I'm not supposed to do it, I handle their work. I am privileged to special insight and knowledge. Arizona's prisons are totally dysfunctional. The administration is corrupt and even criminal. The staff is disillusioned (sic) and lazy. It has many disasters covered up and many waiting to happen. Everyday human and legal rights are violated. I also am starting a blog which will be based on the U.N. Mandela-Rules. It will be in a letter format. I do hope to become a better activists and get my name "out there." Also, I have been twice approved for transfer to Germany by both governments, but Ariz Dept of Corrections has refused, "We don't want to." Solid penelogical interest.
We currently have a very special and serious situation here at Santa Rita/Tucson, Arizona Dept. of Corrections (ADC) has always been segregated with its inmates. Staff is integrated, but still African-Americans are a very small minority. Only one or two on a whole unit. White and Mexican-Americans are the majority of staff, with it tilting at times to the Latino side for staffing. In the administration, again very few Blacks, but also very few Latinos in the top positions. It is good 'ol boy oreintated, native Arizonans predominate (white).
The "special" situation is the court-ordered racial integration of the Arizona prison population (Rudisill v. Ryan, etal., U.S.D.C. Ariz/Tucson). As I ave tried to say, the Arizona prisons have been racially-segregated since statehood in 1912. The races in Arizona's prisons (ADC) have always been housed and eat separately. Control by the racially-based gangs as always been severe and prompt. Inmates "crossing" their own color-line were usually given a "death-sentence" by the "heads" and shot-callers. Offenses, at a minimum, were given a "helicopter-ride." A crippling gang beating requiring hospitalization. Generally the "white-race" was controlled by the Aryan-Brotherhood (The Brothers), but have been replaced by various skinhead-white supremacist gangs. The blacks have evolved from the Black Panthers to the Mau-Mau's. This has changed to street-based gangs, evolving either from "Crips" or Bloods." The Mexican Americans and the Mexican-Nationals have various gangs ranging from the Mexican Mafia to the Border Brothers. All races have off-shoots and splinter gangs. Some sear allegiance to the top gangs, others are independent. All strive for the same thing: control of the prison dope trade. The contraband. "Yard Taxes" and monthly rents and money from extortion and blackmail. Several gangs run "street-operations" through cellphones, moving dope. Monies made in the local "hood" and even run smuggling operations across the U.S./Mexico border involving dope, weapons and human trafficking. There are full-blown criminal organizations. You, as a citizen are effected directly. The drugs sold in your town or neighborhood, the weapons that felons use to commit crimes, home invasions, murders and executions. Don't think this is a problem in Arizona. I know personally of criminal organizations that move dope and people to Kansas City, Chicago and New York City. This is every American's tax dollars and resources being squandered by DOMESTIC TERRORISTS.
Domestic terrorists that receive their training and support from the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). ADC has taken REHABILITATION from it's charter. There is none. You see, ADC tolerates these racially-based gangs. Tolerates and encourages them. Not on paper, of course, but ADC makes "deals" with these gangs and shot-callers on a daily basis and has historically done so since ADC inception.
ADC uses the gangs as a means of controlling the general population. When ADC wants a certain thing, say the Blacks are getting too independent. They are filing a lawsuit against ADC and it's director it will force ADC to do something whether it's civil rights or the brutality of the staff.
ADC will bring in the White or Mexican gang leaders to the S.S.U. or I+I and allow certain favors or even "overlook" some criminal action by that head or gang to start racial tensions, attacks, beatings, riots, to bring the Blacks back into control.
I have had one administrator actually tell me that is isn't a good day when he can't start or stir up some kind of racial tension.
It is a management tool for ADC divide and separate. When inmates are not united, but divided by racial interests, it is a simple control tool.
AD does not want the racial gangs to go away. That is what is exactly happening under RUDISILL.
At my unit, Santa Rita/Tucson, we were the first. Rusidill was an inmate here (he is now in solitary-protective custody at Lewis Complex until his release in 2022, because of the threats against his life by all races). We, saw an opportunity to rid ourselves of the gangs and racial control. Most don't care about racial-civil rights. We were not only in ADC, but our every day freedoms were controlled by persons we didn't choose. Resistance, or refusal to their demands meant a beating or death at the hands of the gangs "minions." Usually something like 5 on 1. We were "taxed." We had to pay taxes to these heads. We had to pay rent every month to these heads. Just for the privilege of staying at Santa Rita or any prison in ADC.
That doesn't exist at Santa Rita. We signed the INTEGRATION HOUSING PROJECT (IHP). We fought and ran off the heads and the gangs, when we gained numbers. It was both psychological and physical. Threats, intimidations, and people thrown off tiers.
ADC, in writing, promised the courts all kinds of enticements, rewards and tolerant-liberalization to inmates who signed IHP. So far its been a big screen TV and a X-Box. Other things happened maybe once and were forgotten. A dog and pony show for the courts and then back to old S.O.P.
Rudisill made $5,000.00 from his court case, minus the filing fee. He got solitary for the rest of his time. The California law firm KENDALL BRILL & KELLY LLP of Los Angeles saw a golden opportunity. Rudisill's lawsuit was against racial-balancing in ADC jobs. That still hasn't happened or changed in ADC. The law firm was awarded $195,000+/- in it's first years, plus expenses, starting in 2017 and court directed to be finished in 2022. The law firm will eventually make millions of taxpayer dollars only for stepping into a lawsuit that was almost entirely done by Rudisill. The law firm had already done JOHNSON in California and collect large fees. Nothing new was needed to make even more money in Arizona.
Unlike California, Arizona will always agree to a consent ruling, but then look for legal loopholes and then drag it out for years in court. More money for lawyers.
Although KENDALL BRILL & KELLY made out to be champions of civil rights and prisoner's issues, the only came on to the unit once. Now they even refuse to answer our letters, or even identify the court appointed monitor-expert.
What exists now is a department the doesn't want to get rid of the racial gangs. In fact, only two other units have made apparent racial integration. North Unit/Florence and Rynning Unit/Eyman-Florence. One unit at Tucson, Manzanita is under-going the IHP. Rynning unit is called a "Refuse to House" (RT+D Unit) is nothing other than a protective -custody (PC). Those that have been run off other units by the gangs (or have debts they can't pay from gang-dope) it is all misfits and the dregs of the inmate population. It is the homosexual or mentally-ill that are not tolerated at normal G.P.units.
North unit and Manzanita unit are different. At those yards ADC made deals with the gangs. "Sign the IHP and pretend you are integrated. We will let you still have prison politics (race) and run your businesses." I have this directly from the mouths of the heads and shot-callers. There has been an attempt by ADC to discredit this and call it a lie.
The fact is that our Deputy Warden is called a liar. "He lies every time he moves his mouth." This is what his staff says! We already knew this.
We inmates, who took part in the original implementation of IHP, those who ran the gangs off. Who stood-up to the shot-callers know different. We have been told by the heads of the "big homies" that there will be retribution and revenge for stopping their cashflow. For us rejecting the gangs and their control. Our names have been put on "KOS lists." I know my own case. I have a relative who was a controlling member of the Brotherhood before his death this year. He said I was on the KILL ONSIGHT LIST (KOS list). That it will not go away, that the gangs have made a "deal" with the ADC and they will be back, That he could do nothing about it or my name on the list.
Because the gangs have "ordered" their inmates not to agree or sign-up of IHP, Santa Rita unit is filled with the dregs and RTH inmates. General populations knows us as a PC-child molester year, (we have sex offenders "blended" in undercover. They are PC's from S. O. yards) That is how we will be dealt with regardless of individual circumstances. We will be beat and/or killed upon arrival at other units when transferred by ADC.
These inmates are to 90% persons who broke and continue to disregards ADC rules on brewing hooch, using drugs, homosexual, sex, contraband cell phones at Santa Rita.
In response to these violations, ("the Administration's Embarrassments"). But also in minor violations like refusing to go to school. The Administration has threatened (and in some cases, acted) to "remove the inmate from IHP and send them to a non-IHP yard/unit".) I ask, how can ADC remove you from a federally mandated and ordered program, to begin with?
In a recent incident, one cellphone that was used by approximately 4 inmates for criminal-gang activities (brought in by staff) over 40 inmates were charged and found guilty of "possession of a communications device." The number will be over 100 before its through.
All were refused any part of due process rights. Refused assistance of counsel in a "street"-chargeable felony. Not given MIRANDA. The charge sheets were marked guilty before the appearance. All appeals were completed with 24 hours. All with the same exact response. All were interrogated, threatened with "immediate transfer to a regular-yard," unless they gave useful information incriminating themselves or others. (Sounds like the trial of the "Wobbies" in Montana. 400 defendants. One 11 minute trial. All found guilty. Shades of Joe Hill!)
In writing, the Deputy Warden and his staff have threatened to send all further disciplinary offenders to regular non-IHP unity. And saying he doesn't care what happens to them. Isn't this very close to communicating a threat, and conspiracy to commit murder? Where is the justifiable penelogical interest?
What about those of us that live 24/7 under the real threat of violent and unexpected death? Isn't that psychological torture? Mental duress and anguish. I allege that it is. I also say that the CONVENT AGAINST TORTURE (CAT) states the psychological torture is physical torture.
Some of us are trying to do something to control this. Protect our well-being and lives. We won't be silent. We won't be slaughtered like lambs with ADC's deliberate indifference and negligence. For those of you who might care see CASSIUS C. WHITEHEAD V. CHARLES L. RYAN et al. U.S.D.C. Distr. of Arizona-Tuc No CV-17-00257-TUC-RCC. If you are a law firm or know of one, help us! This is class-action material and big feed guaranteed. Contact us.
(To be continued)
If you are working on an APWA-related project, please let us know how you plan to utilize the Archive. We hope to share information about your work with our readers and, whenever possible, with relevant APWA authors.
APWA is an open access archive. We encourage use of the writings for research, course planning, and projects engaged in examination of the criminal legal system. Reproduction of essays in their entirety infringes on author copyright without their explicit consent from the writers. Please contact us if you plan to reproduce entire essays; we will do our best to put you in contact with the authors for consent, and their compensation for any project that is profit making.