Retaliation for filing grievances
Here at SCI-Houtzdale, there is little or no action taken by the administration when correctional officers or general staff members go out of their way to intentionally mistreat, harass, and do things contrary to department of corrections policy to prisoners who dare to use the Inmate Grievance System.
Retaliation is very common and many prisoners are fearful of getting a fabricated misconduct report and being sent to the RHU (Hole) or having their correctional file sabotaged with misleading information that could harm them when its time to be reviewed for parole.
Basically if a prisoner files a grievance complaining about being mistreated or the conditions here at this facility, within days their name and photo is distributed throughout the institution on the C/Os good old boy network and that is when the harassment starts. C/Os and staff that the prisoner may have never had an altercation with are now openly harassing the prisoner. Cell searches every day, withholding of the prisoner's mail, being intentionally singled out for frequent pat searches when moving about inside of the prison are just a few of the ways COs and staff show their dislike for having one of their co-workers named on a grievance.
A large number of grievances that are filed at this facility, SCI-Houtzdale, are later dismissed as being frivolous. Specially when issues are brought up that the administration is trying to avoid addressing. Responses to grievances are worded on purpose in a way that dehumanizes and makes the prisoner appeal disgruntled in an attempt to discourage the prisoner from continuing on with the appeal process and filing future grievances. COs and staff regularly make remarks to prisoners they are having a disagreement with that has a sarcastic under tone like "you can always file a grievance" knowing that their supervisor will be the grievance officer and will dismiss it. Plus the repercussion the prisoner will fact.
The inmate handbook says on page 12, policy number 804: All grievances and appeals must be made in good faith and for good cause. You will not be punished or otherwise harmed for good faith use of the inmate grievance system. If only these words were true!