What the CDC-doesn’t want you to see

Anderson, James P.



What the CDC Doesn't Want you to See (The Adjustment Center) It should first be understood and known that "What the CDC Doesn't Want You to See" is the result of a recently published article in the Pacific Sun(.com) newspaper (January 6-12, 2016- "A Day on San Quentin's Death Row"), which reported only a small fraction of the truth. There's also the reality of this writer having once again being housed in the hole (The Adjustment Center, aka "Little Gitmo"), as the result of yet another fraudulent and falsified discipline report and having numerous "privileges," personal property (prints, books, T.V., CDs, etc.) confiscated by the administration. This is the third time that this has happened in the past eight years, and being so, I don't have the usual "distractions" that restricted my ability to intensely reflect on some of the persistent realities of the California Department of Corrections. I've intentionally eliminated the "R" from CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) simply due to the fact that the "R" was only recently added by the "powers that be" in an effort to influence the public into believing that their tax dollars (billions) were actually being used to rehabilitate prisoners. Nothing could be farther from the truth. However (and in the interests of full disclosure) of course and as always, there will be a few exceptions and prisoners such as Curtis Carroll (aka "Wall Street," see Kitchen Sisters article) will be able to take advantage of educational programs available to those on San Quentin's mainline, but for those on death row (whether innocent or guilty of their convictions) its quite a different reality. For those that aren't intimidated by seeing or hearing the truth, simply obtain or view a "Judge Judy," August 20, 2012 T.V. program (Case Number 1- "Loan for Love"), in which an actual San Bernardino, California CDC officer exposes the frauds and scams perpetrated by many other "officers" for financial gains. The details are revealed in detail right there in Judge Judy's courtroom. I'm somewhat bewildered as to why a federal investigation hasn't been initiated since the broadcast of this particular program, or why no one has brought this to the public's attention through the various means of social media? (Especially with the economic climate being what it is and the public being so outraged about the mortgage crisis scandals and bank bailouts, etc.). But if Judge Judy's segment isn't enough to convince you of the levels of fraud and corruption in the CDC, research "Judge Thelton Henderson's" visit to a California prison several years ago, then employ your common sense by using yourself, "Why has CDC fought so hard and relentlessly for over ten years to keep the media out of the prison system? The answer is simple, there's much that the CDC (and prison industrial complex) doesn't want the public to see or know! The increasing numbers of police assassinations and killings of innocent and non-threatening citizens in broad daylight (mostly black and latinos- Oscar Grant, Steve Salinas, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Cau Tran, Andy Lopez, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Mario Martinez, Freddie Gray, Jamar Clark, Mario Woods, Sean Bell, Anita Gray, the Grinage brothers, Artell Dickerson, Alberta Spruill, Quang Ta Lee, and Diaz Zeferino- just to name a few) is a perfect reflection of some of what takes place behind prison walls everyday and much more frequently. CDC would have the public believe that cellphones in the hands of prisoners are "a threat to the safety and security of the prisons" and facilitates drug trafficking, prison gang activity, etc. But there's documented, undeniable hard evidence (Judge Thelton Henderson, etc.) that prison authorities and administrators have literally "arranged" fights between prisoners (some with deadly weapons given to prisoners by corrections "officers" many times, at many different prisoners, and that officers actually "placed bets" on which prisoner would win! (Corcoran Prison is the best known and there is film footage available for viewing). Also, "critical resistance.org" and "PrisonLegalNews.com" are two of the well respected venues that the public can find more information on this subject. As briefly mentioned in another article, the last two death row prisoner deaths of 2014 (Michael Jones and Ronald Seaton) remain listed as "pending" in terms of the causes of their deaths. Ronald Seaton would've lived longer (as would've some others) had he been given a professional medical diagnosis and treatment only a year before his death. I'm truly in hopes that at least of the Jones' family members, friends, or attorneys have at least requested a copy of the autopsy report of the "activity" that at least "contributed" to his death (if not the direct cause of death). But in any event, I'm not aware of any autopsy reports that require over five months to complete, and nurses have been told to not talk. It's also important that the public gain some real insight into the mental health (or lack thereof) of some of the people that CDC employs. Records will reflect that some doctors have had their licenses "suspended or revoked" (in other states) and not allowed to practice medicine. Yet, they're hired in California with exorbitant salaries (Forbes Magazine- Feb. 16, 2009- "Gilt Edged Pensions;" KTVU News- Dec. 2, 2012 "Arduous Pay Investigation") and some of the mental health departments employees have questionable previous employment and/or terminations- the "records" will speak for themselves, as there's obviously a reason that the entire medical department at San Quentin Prison was placed under "receivership." Records will also reflect that there are numerous corrections officers assigned to positions on death row that have psychological or psychiatric impairments (Bipolar, depression, anxiety, etc.) and that take prescription medication for their illnesses. It's strange that these persons aren't considered to be a "threat to the safety and security to the institution," but then again "hypocrisy" is one of the attributes that CDC is very well known for. There are also those that have major marital issues, multiple marriages and divorces (with children), double child support payments etc, and that are truly "miserable" people. Just imagine this same miserable officer (such as Officer Ward, whom committed suicide a few years past) having escorted a death row prisoner to the visiting room, to visit with a loving and devoted wife (or girlfriend) for over ten years. My. Miserable Officer wonders, "how do these death row prisoners (with absolutely nothing and that may be executed at any time one way or another) maintain such loving relationships with these attractive women for so many years? When I'm gainfully employed, paying a mortgage on my home, own two nice vehicles, but I can't maintain a relationship?" This kind of envy is talked about at the officers "snack bar," at the ends of "unit meetings" and during general "just hanging out, boredom" conversations. Unfortunately these realities fester in the minds of miserables and manifest themselves in cell searches (prisoners' cells are left in various stages of disarray), fraudulent disciplinary reports, incoming and outgoing prisoners' mailings being "lost" (I've received several envelopes from friends that had "no contents"). It's these kinds of realities that very very few in the public ever really think about (if ever), or see, but it's a reality that many prisoners live and exist with every day. Why are A/C death row prisoners not given monthly legal phone calls? Records will also reflect the number of officers that have been terminated (fired) due to being uncontrollable alcoholics, yet these are the same officers that only need to have a "flashback" on some uncomfortable stage of their life, and make an allegation that a death row prisoner violated a rule. The prisoner always suffers the consequences immediately (there's no "due process" in the hole) and the administration will ask questions later, just for the record and to give the appearance that the prisoner has been treated fairly. Once a prisoner is housed in "A/C" (Little Gitmo) the personal property that was in the cell he occupied will be handled by at least three or four different people, and of course this allows for no one to be held responsible for what will be missing or broken. If or when a prisoner drafts and submits a "22 and/or 602 appeal form," this is viewed as being "an act of defiance" or "question authority," which will be retaliated against by simply forcing the prisoner to mail all of his property out of the institution (no property means no problem and no accountability). Family photographs of parents, children, out of print music CDs, no longer allowed stereo headphones (those manufactured today are "designed to break"- which means prisoners must order another pair) new and expensive nylon typing ribbons, paints and brushes, etc. All are simply forced to be mailed out or "donated" to the state/prison. The "donation" means that items will be given to informants in exchange for "good information" or distributed among other in the inner circle officers/staff. There's little doubt in my mind that if several of the "property officers" homes were visited and searched by federal authorities, that many items once owned by prisoners would be found. There's no doubt either that these officers could [not?] provide "receipts" for all of the items in their residence (yet they expect prisoners to provide receipts for every little thing in their cells). There are actually many psychological aspects of being housed in Little Gitmo to be considered for the prisoner that isn't institutionalized and that functions with some degree of integrity and principles. Prisoners are often not issued a flimsy plastic spoon or fork upon arrival, and in these cases, when the food trays are given to the prisoners, the prisoners literally eats his food with his hands (or fold a piece of paper to make a scoop to eat beans, corn, etc.). You literally pick up a few leaves of lettuce with your fingers, dip them into the dab of mayonnaise on the tray and eat it with your fingers. I've had to do this myself and during the process, I thought about how cavemen had to eat their food and the number of articles I've read about "prisoners being treated like animals." In any event, the average amount of time that prisoners are allowed to bite and swallow their breakfast and dinner is three minutes. If you don't surrender your tray, the guards will "suit-up" in their "riot/cell extraction gear" (which excites most of them and they'll have something to talk/brag about at the snack bar or at the few bars that police and prison guards frequent in the free world), mace you, three or four officers will rush into the cell, handcuff you, retrieve the food tray and slam the cell door closed. Of course the prisoner will receive a serious disciplinary report for "disobeying a direct order" and possibly for "inciting a riot" as well. Making something out of nothing is what stimulates their adrenaline and they get to play out their fantasies from all of the prison and police T.V. programs that they've stored in their DVD collections. There's also the very real reality that some guards seem to obtain some kind of psychological (or physical) release from slamming the food slots open and closed. It's as though the harder and louder they slam the food ports and cell doors, the more "authority or power" they feel or the more of their life frustrations and disappointments are released (the little smirks on their faces actually tell much about who they are- if you know what to look for, it's quite easy to see). Also, if it weren't so serious, it would be amusing, but the scene is actually something to pay attention to, which is simply how and why does it require two guards (6'3"- 270 plus pounds) with baton in one hand, mace canister in the other, to escort a 5'2," 160 pound prisoner from the prisoner's cell to the tier shower? Of course the prisoner is handcuffed (behind his back) and the other guard has a firm hold on the prisoners' upper arm. It's like using a sledge hammer to kill a mosquito, but so it goes in the land of Little Gitmo. There are seventeen cells on each of the three floors of A/C and whenever a single cell is opened (for showers, yard release or recall, disciplinary hearings, committee hearings, medical, dental, or escorts to visit), there's a loud series of clicks, clangs, and thuds that are heard and sometimes felt by everyone housed on the tier. And as the entire unit is very much like an echo chamber, when cells are opened or closed on one tier, everyone in the unit hears it. This is 24/7/365 days a year. A recent KPFA News segment announced that Pelican Bays' prisoners (another California maximum security level 4 institution) have made some progress in reducing the frequency of guards wellness checks (supposedly designed to reduce the number of suicides in prisons). Every 30 minutes guards will stop at every prisoners cell, look into the cell, and hit the food slot (which has an electronic device attached to it) with a hand held metal wand that beeps. As the electronic receiving device attached to the food slots and the wand are both metal, there is always a loud, echoing clack, of not only the metal hitting metal and beeping sound, but there's also the "clang" of the food slot door hitting the cells metal bars, in essence, three different sounds resulting from one motion. Prisoners are often awakened from a deep sleep by the loud clacking and beeping process. There have been numerous studies done by respected universities (such as Stanford, Johns Hopkins, etc) and published research in "The Lancet" (United Kingdom), which confirm that interrupted sleep is actually worse (on the body and mind) than no sleep at all, which amounts to the type of torture suffered by Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Needless to say, the same startling effect disturbs the concentration of prisoners that are painting, drawing, reading, or any other activity that requires concentration (even watching T.V., or reading or writing a letter). This "wellness check" has actually made conditions worse for death row prisoners, especially those actively working on their appeals and trying to prove their innocence. There's also the indisputable fact that the less contact the prisoners have with guards, the lesser the possibilities of disciplinary reports being contrived and written. How many of the victims of police killings would be alive today if they hadn't had any contact with the police? (It's not rocket science). The relief and solution for this problem is a simple one. San Quentin's administration can draft a simple three or four lined waiver that releases the prison and CDC from any and all responsibilities resulting from a prisoner committing suicide, or attempting to commit any bodily harm to ones self, and having death row prisoners sign the waiver. A copy (on yellow paper as to be recognized from a distance) would be made and attached to the outside wall of each prisoners cell. This process would also lessen the workload of the guards assigned to the "beepers," and prisoners wouldn't be constantly distracted, interrupted, or harassed by disturbing and torturous, annoying noise. The alternative solution would be to locate a California based Rubbermaid type manufacturing company to have "rubber rings" made and attached to the electronic receiving device and the ends of the wands. This would eliminate at least one element of the loud clacking noice. It should also be mandated that there be "open public bidding" for the designing and manufacturing of the rubber rings, as should California's attorney general (Kamala Harris) or the FBI initiate an investigation into some of the closed bid construction and maintenance contract for work done in the California prison system. Rental contracts for heavy equipment (which often sits unused during weekends- but still costs taxpayer dollars) etc. It would find that some of the same company names and contractors will appear. San Francisco and Marin County have a record of extending "closed bid contracts" to a select few companies (see Willie Ratcliffs San Francisco Bayview Newspaper articles, etc.) which automatically eliminate minority owned companies. With this reality being the standard, the investigation would reveal financial kickbacks of tens of thousands of dollars to those that arrange these contracts (crime does pay for those at the top of the system). There have been an equal amount of complaints from prisoners about guards seeming to think that their new LED high intensity flashlights are actually new toys, to be flashed in the faces of prisoners during both day and night at times when prisoners cell lights are on and the prisoner is in plain view. A recent (Jan. 19, 2016) "coast to coast" radio talk show announced that a recent study suggests that sleep deprivation can result in diabetes (www.coasttocoastam.com-910am, San Francisco, CA). If true, the CDC is again creating the conditions that will result in multi-million dollar medical expenses for prisoners in the future. What CDC doesn't want you to see. Also see: www.prisonerpetitions.org). Another peep behind the green curtain will revel that many of the guards and staff of CDC were abused (in many different ways) and/or neglected as children and they haven't forgotten those years or decades of abuses. So it's not difficult to understand how or why so many of these employees literally love their jobs. In short, CDC has offered them a sense of real belonging, security, and trust that they've never seen or known before in their entire lives. It's also one of the reasons that so many guards hate to see photographs of death row prisoners with their wives, children, or long time girlfriends, especially photographs taken in the visiting rooms, as it literally shows them everything that they've never had, will always regret, and that still remains missing from their lives. So it's not surprising for death row prisoners to find these photographs removed from their photo albums, on the floors of their cells with bootprints on them. This is what hate can do to a person in a position of authority. Another sad reality about San Quentin prison is that it has a very long history of inventing or creating its own rules (many of which are applied to prisoners daily, but that can't be found in any of the "Title 15 rules and regulations manuals"). And simply by virtue of being one of the oldest and most infamous prisons in the state and county, other California prison administrations blindly follow its lead and "rules" (follow the leader and don't think for yourself applies to most administrators). An excellent example is that up until the 1990s, prisoners could order and possess radios, cassette/CD players, and TVs with the small speakers intact. But as death row prisoners began writing complaints about the excessive and abusively loud alarm and public address system in the unit (another "toy" for guards at 120 decibels when they get bored), the prison needed to show the prisoners that it was still in charge and in control. The prison contacted its approved vendors (another source of financial kickbacks) and instructed the vendors to "cut all speaker wires on appliances" and to charge prisoners an additional $10.00 fee for this disservice- the vendors complied. It should be noted that companies such as Radio Shack, Montgomery Ward, and other small, independently owned, local outlets that wouldn't comply to this whim were simply removed from the approved vendors list. Over the past decade or so this practice has escalated to removing all speakers from all such appliances (which destroys the integrity of the appliances) and results in prisoners being able to listen to their appliances through headphone or earbuds (which isn't healthy mentally or physically) ONLY! There are a number of studies that have been done over the past 10 years or so (by respected institutions) on the psychological effects of solitary confinement and isolation on prisoners. As such, being forced to listen to music or TV through headphones or earbuds is a health hazard and creates an additional sense of constant isolation, which over extended periods of time can have devastatingly negative and irreversible psychological effects on the mind, as well as damaging a persons ability to hear normally. There are more and more death row prisoners (some are relatively young) wearing hearing aids and fluorescent green mesh vests (which state in bold black letters "Hearing Impaired Prisoner"), as a direct result of having been forced to listen to their appliances through headphones or earbuds. Prisoners have also had to have cyst removal surgery on the backs of their ears (this writer included), as a result of years of decades of wearing headphones. There are a number of physical scars to see for any persons that may have any doubts or reservations. Finally, as CDCs prison administrations "Rules Violations Adjudication System" is loosely based on the United States criminal justice system, in order for readers to achieve a stronger foundation on which to base your beliefs and opinions, it's strongly suggested that you review "Criminal Law [2.0?] (Georgetown Law Journal- 44 Geo.L.J.Ann. Rev. Crim. Proc.- 2015), authored by former Chief Justice Alex Kozinski- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It surprisingly reveals many of the inner workings, assumptions, presumptions, and corruptions (from police reports to the Supreme Court) or how the system operates and often doesn't result in favorable decisions for death row prisoners, etc. However, it's also important to keep in mind that only a few years ago (July 8, 2010, Ed Brayton article, "9th Circuit Declares Actual Innocence Irrelevant"). This same court ruled that innocence doesn't matter. As there's obviously been a little progress, the reality remains that the entire justice system needs to be removed (just as a surgeon would remove a cyst).

Author: Anderson, James P.

Author Location: California

Date: January 25, 2016

Genre: Essay

Extent: 10 pages

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