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Nevada Cure Informational Bulletin Newsletter 3 - Spring 2013

Nevada Cure Informational Bulletin Newsletter 3 - Spring 2013

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Published by Nevada Cure
Nevada Cure Informational Bulletin Newsletter 3 - Spring 2013
Nevada Cure Informational Bulletin Newsletter 3 - Spring 2013

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Published by: Nevada Cure on Mar 17, 2013
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NV-CURE
(Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants
540 E. St. Louis Avenue 702.347.1731Las Vegas, NV 89104 website: nevadacure.orgemail: nevadacure@gmail.com 
STRUGGLE IN SOLIDARITY
 
“The cruelest tyranny is practiced behind the shield of law and order” 
 
INFORMATIONAL BULLETIN NEWSLETTER 
Spring 2013
NV-CURE Meetings With NDOC Director Cox 
The last two meetings of NV-CURE
with NDOC Director Cox have been cancelled. According to the Director’sOffice, the December 2012 meeting was cancelled because of a scheduling conflict that prevented the Director’s legal
counsel from attending. NV-CURE attempted to re-schedule the meeting in January
 –
to no avail. NV-CURE hascontinued to attempt to schedule a meeting with Director Cox
 –
to no avail. Apparently the Director is too busy withlegislative issues, being as the Legislature is currently in session, to meet with NV-CURE to resolve problems within theprison system.The issue of primary concern at present for NV-CURE is the retaliation against NDOC prisoners for filinggrievances and lawsuits. This was to be the main issue of discussion with Director Cox at our last two cancelled meetingswith Director Cox. This will be the primary issue discussed with Director Cox if and when we meet with him again.NV-CURE will continue to attempt to arrange meetings with NDOC Director Cox to discuss issues of concern toour members and supporters. We believe it is important to meet with the Director to discuss and resolve our concerns.NV-CURE appears to be the only prisoner advocacy organization in Nevada with an interest in securing reform of theNevada prison and parole systems. We will keep you posted on developments.
NDOC Retaliation Against Prisoners For Filing Grievances
 
Retaliation against NDOC prisoners for filing grievances and lawsuits is rampant. Anyone that has filed agrievance is familiar with this retaliation. The retaliation comes in many forms and is always detrimental to the prisoner.NDOC officials are notorious for making a prisoner pay a price for voicing their complaint in a grievance.A prisoner that files a grievance against an NDOC staff official for any type of misconduct and/or conditions of confinement is subjected to: disciplinary reports; property destroyed or confiscated during
“routine” cell searches;
harassments by staff and/or prisoner agent provocateurs; adverse classification decisions; detrimental parole reports;denial of jobs and/or programing activities; and/or labeling as a snitch or child molester. The list of adverseconsequences is long and diverse. Many prisoners refuse to file grievances because of those adverse consequences.NV-CURE salutes those prisoners brave enough to voice their complaints in the grievance process. We commendthose prisoners for having the courage to speak out against cruelty and inhumane conditions. Without the voice of thegrievant, NDOC staff would have free reign to do and act as they please, without control or oversight, and conditions of 
 
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confinement would deteriorate tointolerable. The grievant is anadvocate for constructive change andshould be highly respected by all forspeaking up on behalf of theimprisoned.NV-CURE has made stoppingretaliation against prisoners for filinggrievances the number 1 issue to beresolved by the NDOC. We startedthis campaign over six (6) monthsago
 –
and the retaliation has onlyincreased and the consequenceshave become worse. This isintolerable. We have receivednumerous retaliation complaintsfrom prisoners and have reportedmany of those complaints to NDOCDirector Cox. Unfortunately, NV-CURE has not had an opportunity tomeet with Director Cox to discussthis issue personally.NV-CURE is currently in theprocess of turning over to the U.S.Department of Justice all of theretaliation complaints sent to us byNDOC prisoners over the past nine(9) months. We will request aninvestigation. Anyone that wants tomake their voices heard onretaliation may send an affidavit to:Jonathan Smith, Chief Civil Rights DivisionU.S. Department of Justice950 Pennsylvania Ave., NWWashington, D.C. 20530Remember, the DOJ is concernedwith major systemic problems withinthe penal system. Retaliation forfiling grievance is a major systemicproblem and we need to STOP THERETALIATION. Please copy NV-CUREwith any letters or documents sentto the DOJ.We must all work together toSTOP ANY AND ALL RETALIATIONagainst prisoners for filinggrievances. Reporting each believedinstance of retaliation in thegrievance process is the first step.Making appropriate authoritiesaware of each instance of retaliationis the second step. Please do yourpart.
Retaliation Personified Solitary Confinement Symposium
 John Witherow and Robert King
 
NV-CURE President JohnWitherow met with Robert King atthe University of MichiganSymposium on SolitaryConfinement on February 2, 2013,in Ann Arbor, Michigan. RobertKing is the only one of the Angola3 to be released from solitaryconfinement. He was releasedfrom solitary confinement after29 years in a 6 x 9 cell because hewas found innocent of the crimefor which he was confined. Bothmen support the abolition of solitary confinement as apunishment in prison systemsworldwide.Robert King, HermanWallace and Albert Woodfox inthe early 1970 were placed insolitary confinement by the Stateof Louisiana for the murder of aprison guard. There was nophysical evidence connecting themen to the crime but they weretargeted by Angola prisonauthorities for their activist workseeking to expose continuedsegregation, systematiccorruption and horrific abuseswithin the prison. HermanWallace and Albert Woodfox willcommemorate 41 years in solitaryconfinement this April 17. Thesemen have clearly been thesubjects of retaliation.Anyone interested insecuring the release of these menfrom solitary confinement shouldhave their family and friends gowww.angola3.org website andsign the petition to the Governor.The Symposium onSolitary Confinement wasinteresting and informative. NV-CURE met many professors,attorneys, medical experts andothers involved in prison issuesand interested in ending solitaryconfinement as a punishment.NV-CURE President JohnWitherow and Secretary NatalieSmith met with many of thosepeople and established contactsfor future reference. TheUniversity of Michigan is doing awonderful job of training their lawstudents in their obligations toour society involving assistance toprisoners. We commend the U of M for their law school programs.
The Art of Frustrating Grievances,By Chris Jones
Although the extreme right-wing wiz kids of Congress along withthe oppressive Attorney Generals of each state got together andcontrived the
Prisoner LitigationReform Act (PLRA)
, that, in part,requires mandatory exhaustion of allavailable administrative remedies,i.e. the prison grievance process (AR740). The Supreme Court hasstrangely also ruled that there is noright to a grievance process.Therefore, this means that anyintentional acts on the part of prisonadministrators to frustrate ourgrievances is
not
a cause of action.
 
3
Mann v. Adams
,
 
855F.2d 638 (9
th
Cir.1988) (and cases cited).Such unjust attempts andwrongful acts of frustratinggrievances is all too commonthroughout NDOC and, in mypersonal experience, at SouthernDesert Correctional Center (SDCC) byand through documented acts of Assistant Warden Burson. In myopinion based on information and
belief, the Attorney General’s Offices
in a preemptive defense to all inmatecivil rights actions sanctions, directedor otherwise encourages thefrustration tactic to set the stage forRule 12 Motions based on failure toexhaust.But all is not lost. The NinthCircuit in
Sapp v. Kimbrell 
, 623 F.3d813.823 (9
th
Cir. 2010) held:Exhaustion is not required whereadministrative remedies are
“effectively unavailable” because of 
improper screening of grievances.Also see
Fields v. Bannister 
, 453 Fed.Appx. 720 (9
th
Cir. 2011) (Citing Sapp)(
Fields
attempts to file grievancesregarding retaliatory placement inad-seg. were improperly rejected asduplicative of his excessive forcegrievance).In short, when prisonadministrators reject your grievanceon some blatantly erroneousposition, but you have otherwiseadhered to all of the provisions of AR740, the 9
th
Circuit, according to
Sapp
, will deem the issue exhausted.Also, another good rulingexists in
Sikonski v. Whorton
, 681 F.Supp. 2d 1327 (D. Nev. 2008) in that,if you receive an upheld ruling inyour favor at the informal or firstlevels, you are not required toproceed any further to exhaust. Buteven if you do, the issue is exhaustedeven if you receive a subsequentdenial or somehow do not completethe later grievance submissions.If you encounter a blatantattempt to frustrate your grievanceby way of a clear misconceptionupon the part of NDOC officials,
simply state: “I reiterate the factualstatements in the previous level” –
 informal or first --, and briefly explaintheir error, thus giving the next levelan opportunity to correct themistake rejecting your grievance.This will comport with thespirit of administrative exhaustion
Woodford v. Ngo
, 126 S. Ct. 2328(2006).Be vigilant, and good luck.
Grievance Process Decisions
The following is a list of grievance process decisions compiledby NV-CURE Members confined bythe NDOC. Check out these decisionswhen navigating the grievanceprocess. Know what you are doingand what needs to be done.
Wyatt v. Terhune
, 305 F.3d 1033;
 Jones v. Bock 
, 549 U.S. 199;
Woodford v. Ngo
, 548 US 81;
Kaba v.Stepp
, 458 F.3d 678;
Macias v. Zenk 
,495 F.3d 37;
Marella v. Terhune,
568F.3d 1024;
Moore v. Bennette
, 517F.3d 717;
Panaro v. City of N. LasVegas
, 432 F.3d 949;
Dole v.Chandler 
, 438 F.3d 804;
Boyd v.Corrections Corp. of America
, 380F.3d 989
 ; Booth v. Churner 
, 532 U.S.731;
Lane v. Doan
, 287 F.Supp 2d210;
Fields v. Bannister 
, 2011 AppLEXIS 20770;
Sapp v. Kindrell 
, 623F.3d 813;
Richardson v. Goord 
, 347F.3d 431;
Nunez v. Duncan
, 591 F.3d1217;
Turner v. Burnside
, 541 F.3d1077;
O’Guinn v. Lovelock 
Correctional Center 
, 502 F.3d 1056;
Dole v. C/O Chandler 
, 438 F.3d 804
 ;Dale v. Lappin
, 376 F.3d 652;
Brownv. Croak 
, 312 F.3d 109;
Miller v.Norris
, 247 F.3d 736;
Barrett v. Cate
,211 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135412;
Dillard v.Pierce Co
, 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 66840;
Yates v. King
, 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS60315;
Wakefield v. Indermill 
, 2011U.S. Dist LEXIS 46666;
 Jacobs v.Woodford 
, 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS44742;
Cole v. Munez
2010 U.S. Dist.LEXIS 135412
 ; Stratton v. Buck 
, 2010U.S. Dist LEXIS 75042;
Dobson v. Vail 
,2010 U.S. Dist LEXIS 77190;
Rhodes v.
 Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept.
, 1999U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11466;
Rhodes v.
 Alameda County Sheriff’s Dept 
. 1998U.S. Dist. LEXIS18812;
Bridges v.Gilbert 
, 557 F.3d 541;
Sapp v.Kimbrell 
, 623 F.3d 813,823 (9
th
Cir.
2010) (…Exhaustion is [Not] required
where administrative remedies are
“effectively unavailable” because of 
improper screening of grievances.
NV-CURE Legislative Committee Activities
 Juan High, Greg McWilliams, Assemblyman Harvey Munford, Flo Jonesand John Witherow 
– 
Meeting to DiscussPrison Issues
The NV-CURE LegislativeCommittee consists of Flo Jones andGale Sanders. The Committee is busyworking on issues of concern toprisoners with various Legislatorsand other concerned parties in thecommunity. Flo is busy researchingand writing proposals relevant to awide variety of issues. She is apowerhouse, with widespreadcontacts in the political community,and she is working very hard onissues of concern to us. Gale is aparalegal, interested in beinginvolved in the legislative processand in the reformation of the NVcriminal just-us system.NV-CURE is working toamend the provisions of NRS§209.385 to require testing allprisoners for the hepatitis C virus

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