Meeting with the new warden

Arterberry, Richard W.



"Meeting With The New Warden" About ten days after I sent the accompanying letter (Redacted Letter To The Warden), our New Warden summoned me on the institution loudspeaker system. Of course everyone thought I was going to the hole due to the odd nature of the announcement. Just Prior to this meeting, another mentally ill prisoner, in crisis, was placed in the hole. He did not make it to a cell, crisis or otherwise. He hung himself in a recreation cage, in full View of staff and prisoners, while waiting to be processed into the hole. Another prisoner was on a hunger strike entering the fifteenth day and counting. I told the New Warden about the prisoner on hunger strike, emphasizing that his strike was 15 days old. She conferred with her assistant and stated that the "institution" was in compliance with policy. Note the deflection to the impersonal word "institution". I informed her and her assistant, that in my opinion, after 15 days the prisoner was either serious or crazy. I asked her if she was comfortable betting his life and her career on the prison medical staff and her policy. The prisoner was quickly transferred to a mental health crisis facility. The New Warden went to lengths to assure me that she and her staff, cared, but due to the open investigation she and her staff were unable to comment. She further admonished me not to say "killed" when referring to the death of Mr. A ————— ——. I was using a walker due to a back injury. The New Warden attempted to break the ice by relating an incident, that happened on her way to work. Apparently a man using a walker was going Page—1 up a steep hill causing a thought to pop into her head that it would be comical if the walker started rolling down the hill out of control like in a cartoon. She said she felt bad about having that thought. I Her mission was to find out what I knew about Mr. A s death. What I could prove and most importantly how I came to know so many details of the incident. The time tested crisis ‘management technique of all prison administrations is to deny, lie and blame the prisoner. Any prisoner will do and above all do what the Central Office bosses tell you to do. Always blame the prisoner. The New Warden understood this lesson. She skillfully attempted to handle me, assuming wrongly, that all I wanted was some attention. She was concerned, not by the preventable in custody deaths or the man on hunger strike, rather by my comment that we were in a race to the bottom. The prison was in that race, by design. Prisoners‘ were not supposed to be able to perceive this due to her superior management skill. I stressed the obvious that during the prior administration, mental patients were not beaten to death. She again admonished me for using that descriptive wording. I related the incident discussed in the letter when a guard threatening to gas prisoners on the way to supper with Fox spray if anyone stepped on the painted yellow line. I added that it was common knowledge that this particular guard was often drunk. The New Warden was shocked that she didn't know this and said to her assistant there appears to be a hidden world of the prison she was unaware of. I told her that staff were experts at keeping her in the dark. She will only know what they want her to know. She will never understand because it isnlt written into policy. Page-2 I noted the lack of safe cells for the mentally ill in crisis” The New Wardens‘ reply was, "what do you mean like padded cells?"% I said, "yes exactly like that"fi Other prisons have themn Cells of this type will prevent a prisoner from self injury long enough for staff to respondfi A simple, cheap, common sense solution, that was summarily dismissed, The concept of a crisis or safe cell, seemed exotic to herfi The New Warden did not appear to understand, that it is not sound practice to place a mentally ill prisoner,in crisis, with a broken nose packed with gauze, strapped flat on his back in 4-way restraints, in a sealed, sound proof, room behind glass, with the observer on the other side of the glass” This ensured not a sound of his struggle to breath could be heard by the observer, We are on the third generation of Prison Administrators that have minimal front line experience, A degree gets you a supervisory position” Prison Food Service workers with a college degree have transferred into correctional supervisor positions. The policy writers come from the same place, most are failed administrators, moved to a "safe" position where they can do less actual harmfl Policy replaces common sensefl Common sense is limited because there limited experience, Central Office is full of these creatures, There is a new policy on policies, that directs that the Warden shall now be referred to as the "Managing Officer" (O1-COM- O1), very corporate. Another very detailed policy directs the handling of in custody prisoner deaths (66—lLL—O2)fl Along with, of course, a checklist form (DRC2602) to ensure nothing is forgotten, except the deadg This policy will receive much use by the New Managing Officerfi Richard W” Arterberry #A146—762 North Central Correctional Complex P3O5 Box 1812 (NCCC) Marion, Ohio 43301-1812 Page—3

Author: Arterberry, Richard W.

Author Location: Ohio

Date: April 2, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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