RE: High Desert State Prison's ongoing Practices of Violating Prisoners Constitutional Rights
The reason for this letter is to inform you of the ongoing conspiratorial practices of both correctional staff and members of the administration that violate prisoners’ constitutional rights, state and federal law and the Nevada Department of Corrections claimed Ethics and Codes of Conduct. This practice involves (among other actions and inactions) retaliation, and deliberate disregard of the law, court orders, rule and regulations which are designed to sufficiently curtail official discretion by their use of mandatory language and confer a statutory duty upon staff to act or not act in a prescribed way.
For example: Administrative Regulation (hereafter “AR”) 339.01 (Code of Ethics) states at 339.01(1),(A),(4):“Employees shall be firm, fair and consistent in their performance of their duties. Employees should treat others with dignity, respect and compassion and provide humane custody and care, void of all retribution, harassment or abuse.” Further at (5) of the same section it states: “Employees shall uphold the tenets of the United States Constitution, its amendments, the Nevada Constitution, federal and state laws, rules and regulations and policies of the department.” This Code of Ethics is binding upon officials’ conduct and creates a statutory obligation.
AR801.05(2) states in relevant part that “close custody inmates will receive a minimum of five hours per day of out of cell time…” This AR is also binding upon officials’ conduct and creates a statutory obligation by its use of the mandatory term “will.”
High Desert State Prison(HDSP) fails to abide by the AR801.05 and over the past three years has never allowed me to have the mandated minimum five hours of out of cell time per day and in spite of many attempts to resolve this issue through the grievance process have gained no relief.
The American Correctional Association (hereafter “ACA”) standards for humane and decent confinement requires that each prisoner have a minimum of sixty(60) square feet of space unless more than ten(10) hours per day are spent in their cells, in which case eighty(80) square feet per prisoner is required. The current cells at the High Desert State Prison afford each prisoner a total of forty-two(42) square feet (if you count the space that the beds, sink, toilet and desk take up) if you count the space that can be used that is open floor it is more like thirty five(35) square feet(and that can only be used by one prisoner at a time without bumping into each other). This lack of proper square footage per prisoner combined with excessive amounts of time prisoners are required to spend locked in their cells creates an atmosphere of fear, anger, frustration, trepidation, foreboding and helplessness that has been shown to cause psychological deterioration, risk of injury due to sedentary state, and higher rates of violence against both staff and other prisoners.
There exists a pattern and practice of brutality and harassment by staff upon prisoners. Peer pressure among guards encourage this brutality and harassment towards prisoners and is further facilitated by indifference on part of the administration. Guard brutality includes arbitrary cell searches, theft or destruction of prisoner property, threats of violence, actual violence, and general day-to-day harassment via stare downs, comments and offensive gestures meant to incite prisoners to respond in a negative manner.
Prison staff as a whole are insufficiently trained, lack any ethics, professionalism, or fear of any real remedial actions for their violations of prisoners’ rights and open misconduct in violation of the NDOC’s claimed Code of Ethics. Now add to that the fact that HDSP lacks an adequate grievance mechanism for prisoners to legitimately redress issues and gain any relief and you can start to understand why I am sending this letter to you.
I have personally experienced the following unethical behaviors
- Denial of the minimum mandated five hours of out of cell time per day as outlined in AR801.05(2)
- Denial of the minimum mandated eight hours of outdoor exercise per week as outlined by Craig v. Hocker and Adams v. Wolf (and others)
- Retaliatory cell searches on the 26th day of November 2019, and again on the 22nd day of April 2019 (see grievance #2006-30-74343 and #2006-30-82177)
- Theft of personal property on the day of 26th November Correctional Officers Paryga and Atherton.
- Discrimination; based on my Religion(Muslim) by Correctional Officer(s) Willie Clayton, Bryant Vaughn, Mark Andrews, Chaplain Calderin, AwMonique Hubbard-Pickett from the 17th day of April 2018 unit 10B cell 18B.
- Destruction of my religious books by correctional officers Paryga and Atherton on the 26th day of November 2018
- Failure of Staff to report misconduct to their superiors on multiple occasions (see grievance #’s 2006-30-74343, 2006-30-71833, 2006-30-76928, 2996-30-76745, 2006-30-76481, 2006-30-73176 (Case# A-19-798011-C), 2006-30-82177, 2006-30-82858, 2006-30-82487, 2006-40-86894, 2006-30-90863, 2006-30-92151(and many more).
- Failure of superiors to investigate reports of misconduct via grievance, DOC-3012 and in person. See above grievance numbers as well as #’s 2006-30-98699, 2006-30-85861, 2006-30-92760, 2006-30-95375, 2006-30-96682, 2006-30-93407, 2006-30-89683, 2006-30-95705, 2006-31-00610, 2006-30-98706, 2006-30-00286.
- False or trumped up Notice of charges being used as a way to cover up for staff misconduct or in an attempt to chill or silence my attempts for redress/intimidate me into silence on 22 April 2019.
- Inhumanity to prisoners in the form of verbal harassment, intimidation, violence, and psychological games in violation of NRS 212.020
- Oppression under color of law in violation of NRS 197.200
- Unauthorized injury to a prisoner in violation of NRS 217.010
- Conspiracy to intimidate a witness in violation of 42 U.S.C.§1985
- Punitive, harassing and retaliatory frisks, cell/bed moves and reclassification
These and similar acts are typical. They are deliberate and concerted acts predicated upon evil intent and violate title 42 U.S.C. §1983, 1985(3) and 1986, these actions also violate state law and Constitutional protections.
This set of problems are deliberate and meant as a campaign of oppression intended to create a hostile atmosphere and to frustrate any attempt to secure peaceful and judicious remedies. This pervasive condition of confinement permeates every recess of the Department. It is condoned, permitted, encouraged and defended. The above mentioned Administrative Regulations are state regulations and such cannot be grieved pursuant to AR740.03(3),(B). Ergo, any exhaustion requirement imposed by title 42 U.S.C. §1997(e) is fulfilled by this correspondence prior to seeking judicial intervention, as such I am still attempting to redress through the Nevada Department of Corrections futile grievance process as way to prove my point further.
The foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and information pursuant to NRS 209.165 under Penalty of Perjury. This 7th day of July 2020.
[NAME & NUMBER]