Retaliation for Exercising Rights
I have been a prisoners rights advocate for years, being sentenced to life imprisonment for my first and only felony, I have found exercising my legal rights difficult and opens myself up to retaliation from both prison staff and their inmate minions.
I have learned about legal practices and have been studying my legal rights here in prison. I have done grievances in order to promote change and be able to exercise my rights in court.
I have filed 2 lawsuits since being in prison over the last 10 years or so, the last lawsuit ended with a settlement agreement that stipulates I will not be retaliated against by the DOC (Department of Corrections) of South Dakota. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Since I signed the settlement agreement in February of 2019, I have faced constant retaliation from both DOC staff and their inmate minions who will gladly do their bidding.
Almost on a nightly and early morning basis I have had to deal with the constant, open, discussions of me being sent the hole (A-floor or SHU) between
1 officers on the floor and inmates here. There is open talk of if or when they are going to move me over the prison officers radios as well as face to face discussions.
I should not have to face the constant retaliation, intimidation and threats of being moved from my cell and my property and commissary items stolen, but I do on a daily basis.
The unit staff are well aware of the on-going discussions and ignore it. The administration, including the Warden and Deputy Warden who signed the legal settlement agreement are well aware and have done nothing to stop it.
It takes courage to stand up for one's rights in the South Dakota State Penitentiary. This prison is very vindictive.
I hope I will be able to write more articles of prison experiences to promote change and am not silenced by the prison for exercising my First Amendment rights. I guess only time will tell.
Submitted by: Shane Bell
P.O. Box 5911
Sioux Falls SD 57117-5911
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