SHU conditions at Upstate Correctional Facility
I have been in Upstate Correctional Facility plenty of times, and it is a double bunk control unit called Special Housing Unit.
There is about 800 to 900 people contained in there. 90% of the facility is SHU, the rest is porters that cook and serve the food trays and do the laundry. The double-bunk cells are large because it's a room for two and your shower is in the cell as well as a rec cage in the back of your cell. So basically, you never leave the cell unless it's for a visit, hospital call out or release from the box.
The national makeup is 50% Black and 50% Latino. There are numerous prison rule violations to be placed in SHU, for example: assault on staff or on convict, gang lessons, dirty urine for drug use, weapon possession and all of these must be a tier three ticket. Anything lower , like a tier one or two ticket don't go to those SHUs. So a tier three ticket is considered a serious offense.
This unit is the largest in NYS, and it opened around 1999. The SHUs in NYS have expanded by opening smaller ones that hold 200 convicts. They are still double-bunk and they were built behind medium security facilities throughout the state. Many are empty and a big waste of tax-payers money.
I have not heard or read any memos about new SHUs planned for NY, I hope there are not. We need some schools and social programs, not control units that are hardly occupied.
These control units are very dangerous and hazardous to the minds of convicts who are mentally weak and they lose control and become self-destructive. There were instances where a convicts bunkey almost killed him and tied him up. They put you in a cell with anybody, a perosn you never met in your life and who knows what ill intentions he might have, it's a surivival of the fittest!
They feed you small portions of food, so that prisoners lose lots of weight. The visit are behind a chicken fence gate that separates you from your visitors, so there is no real humyn contact. They put brothers on food and water restrictions, they censor our magazines and books thoroughly and most times violating our right to periodicals that don't pose a threat to security. These control units should be shut down because it doesn't reduce prison violence and its a waste of money and hazardous on the mind.
Shut Down the Control Units