Handcuffing in the Exercise Yard
I want to tell my story about what's happening to me and others like me. I'm labeled a Security Risk Group Threat Member (SRGTM) because I fight against oppression. Me and other members of groups are being targeted. We are being punished, and the form of punishment being use is violating the United States Constitution 8th Amendment. During our legally mandated meaningful hour recreation in outside air, I and other SRGTM prisoners are being handcuffed behind the back, and we can't properly get exercise while handcuffed in this painful way. After a half hour with my hands cuffed behind my back my wrists and shoulders are in pain, and this pain continues even after the cuffs are removed. And all SRGTM have been going through this for 5 to 6 months, maybe more. I believe this is cruel and unusual punishment.
Here's what I wrote to the unit manager captain Marinelly. I also wrote to Deputy Warden Faucher, Warden Angel Quiros, and Commissioner Leo Arnone. These people, these pigs of oppression, don't have morals or principles.
I am hereby addressing this policy that the administration has put into effect. This is my second complaint, since early this year about this condition where security risk group threat members have to be handcuffed behind the back. This in fact is a violation of my 8th amendment, the right to be free "cruel and unusual punishment", as guaranteed by the eighth amendment of the United States constitution...
I am an A.S./Phase 2 prisoner, I am also labeled as a Security Risk Group Threat Member and due to that label I am forced to be handcuffed with my hands behind my back if I want to go outside to exercise for my entitled one hour recreation. I already have pain in my wrist and shoulders being cuffed from the back for an hour. How can I exercise like that?
Sir, if you take a look at the "Connecticut prisoners right handbook" and look at chapter 8 page 66, "Exercise and Recreation," you'll in fact see how serious and severe this violation is.
Paragraph 2 explains this: Prison officials cannot take a prisoners' "exercise privileges for a substantial amount of time without a good reason. Restrictions on exercise must be limited to 'unusual circumstances in which exercise is impossible because of disciplinary needs.'"
Indeed, the fact that a prisoner is violent may justify segregating him or her from general prison population, but does not necessarily justify prison failure to make other exercise arrangements. In addition, prison may not invoke cost consideration in denying prisoners the opportunity to exercise.
Prisoners' right to exercise does not require prisons to provide games or weight equipment for indoor or outdoor exercise areas since reliance on running, calisthenics, and isometric and aerobic exercise satisfies the exercise requirements of the 8th amendment. Prison need only provide time and space.
Sir, how can one do any of the above mentioned exercises that satisfies the requirements of the 8th amendment with his hands cuffed behind his back. This situation isn't for a week or two weeks, but for however long it takes for those who are "SRGTM" to get to 2 East, those of us have to do 4 months as phase 1 with our hands cuffed behind our back. So a month in AS/phase 2 and 4 months in phase 1 of the SRGTM equals 5 months or more. I believe that is a substantial amount of time, wouldn't you agree?
This violation not only deprives me of my adequate exercise. May I remind you that's protected by our 8th amendment of the United States constitution. It also puts me in danger, how can one defend himself if someone slips his cuffs off and attacks me while my hands are cuffed behind my back. I am asking, Sir. Marinelly that this violation be investigated and corrected immediately.
This is yet another example of the brutality of the Amerikan criminal injustice system which barely pays lip service to even following their own rules and regulations. Because these are not just individual cases, MIM(Prisons) focuses on fighting the entire system. We know that we can't win until imperialism is defeated. But exposing the injustice system and organizing prisoners in a United Front are important for developing the anti-imperialist struggle here in the belly of the beast.