Friday, December 18, 2015

Huffington Post: Nevada: The Shooting Gallery

This is a featured story in the Huffington Post Highline, Dec. 2015, about guards using shotguns in the prisons run by NDOC, and the deadly results this practice brings with it.

AUTHOR: Dana Liebelson, ARTIST: Corey Brickley

Guards inside prisons shouldn't have guns. That's pretty much an accepted fact. Except in Nevada—and the results are mayhem and death.

In the solitary unit at High Desert State Prison in Nevada, the guards usually follow a simple practice: Never let two inmates out of their cells at once, because you never know what might go wrong. The prison is a massive complex less than an hour from Las Vegas, surrounded by electric fences with razor ribbon and then miles of brush and gravel. In “the hole,” as the solitary unit is known, inmates are isolated for around 23 hours a day—sometimes because they’re being punished, sometimes for their own protection. One evening last November, a 38-year-old corrections officer named Jeff Castro was supervising prisoners as they took turns in the shower cage when two inmates were released into the corridor at the same time.

Andrew Arevalo was a heavily tattooed, round-faced 24-year-old who had been convicted of stealing two paint machines. Carlos Perez, who was four years older, was serving time for hitting a man with a two-by-four and was due to get out of prison in March. Even though they both had their hands restrained behind their backs, they started trying to fight. To Steve McNeill, a prisoner who was watching from his cell, it looked pretty funny: two guys in T-shirts and boxer shorts yelling at each other, clumsily kicking at each other's shins and then backing away. “Neither could affect an effective offensive,” McNeill recalled. “It was like some awkward and quirky dance, then 'BOOM.'”

About 30 feet away, another officer was manning the control room—a trainee named John-Raynaldo Ramos. His job was to remotely open the cell doors from “the bubble,” the glass room overlooking the floor. The elevated booth is equipped with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with 7 1/2-birdshot—the same tiny pellets that sport shooters use to blow apart clay pigeons and that hunters use to kill birds and rabbits. The windows of the bubble, which are reinforced with security bars, can be opened to aim a gun through. “Get on the ground,” Ramos ordered the two men.

...

Jackie Crawford, who served as Nevada's director of corrections from 2000 to 2005, also pointed to the state’s historically low staffing levels. She described an instance when inmates were fighting under a gun post at High Desert, but the officer was too close to fire on them. One inmate was seriously injured and subsequently died, she said. However, she added, “You can’t control inmates just with gun towers or other uses of force. There needs to be treatment, training, education and meaningful work programs.” The warden of High Desert when Perez was shot, Dwight Neven, defended the policy emphatically in court in June 2015, testifying that it protects officers. The law, he said, allows “my officers to break up even a small altercation in the dining hall with whatever level of force is necessary.”

Read the rest here.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our latest Info-Bulletin is available now!

Nevada Cure has just published its 14th Informational Bulletin for the months of November and December.

You can read an/or download this issue by clicking on this link.

Our imprisoned members will receive a printed version of this issue.

If you would like to donate to Nevada Cure and help send our Bulletin to members in prison, please send your most welcome donation to: 

NV-CURE, 
540 E. St. Louis Ave, 
Las Vegas NV 89104

Or send your donation via Paypal.

THANK YOU!!

Front page of IB 14 (2015)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Monthy Meeting Agenda for November 18th

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
For November 18, 2015: 6:30 PM PST

Meeting Location
Conference Room
Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Tel.: 702.347.1731
Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code:
Code: 493815#
Tel:712-432-0926

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

  a. CURE International Special Meeting Report (John)

  b. Fundraising Report (Rich)

  c. Hep C Case Report (Alexis)

  d. Resource Booklet Report (Chris)

  e. Newsletter Report (Greg and John)

  f. ESP Book Drive (John)

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting January 27, 2016)

8. Adjourn meeting.

PLEASE NOTE:

We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to
attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. We want all members to
participate in the process.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Monthly Meetings in November, December and January

The November 2015 Meeting of NV-CURE will be held on 11/18/15

There will NOT be a NV-CURE Meeting in December of 2015.

The January 2016 Meeting of NV-CURE will be held on 1/27/16.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Monthly Meeting Agenda Oct. 28, 2015

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

For October 28, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST

Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC

Meeting Location:

Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Conference Call Number and Code:
712-432-0926
Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.


4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

  a. Discussion, Nomination of Adam Tingley, Legislative Coordinator and Vote (John).

  b. Discussion, Nomination of Deanna Franck, Prison Communications Specialist and vote (John).

  c. Headquarters Bldg. (John)

  d. Report on Fundraising Activities (Rich)

  e. Report on Resources Booklet (Chris)

  f. Report on 1st Video Editing (Parole) (Craig)

  g. Report on Hep C Case Status (Alexis)

  h. Report on NDOC Medical Case by ACLU (John)

  i. Report on Newsletter / Printer Collaboration (John)

  j. Report on DC Meeting (John)

  k. Big Thanks you to ALL for NV-CURE Work (John)

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting November 25, 2015)


We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to 

attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. We want all members to 

participate in the process.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nevada Department of Corrections Director Greg Cox quits

This is from the Las Vegas Review Journal, Sept 14th, 2015:

Embattled Nevada Department of Corrections Director Greg Cox resigned abruptly Monday under unknown circumstances.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement he accepted Cox's resignation and appointed E.K. McDaniel to serve as interim director of the department, which has come under scrutiny for use-of-force issues leading to inmate injuries and one prisoner fatality.
"I would like to thank Greg for his service to our state and I appreciate his hard work serving the people of Nevada," Sandoval said.
No reason was given for the Cox's resignation, but John Witherow, head of the NV Cure prison reform organization, has a laundry list of problems with the way the department treats inmates.
"I don't know why he resigned, but I suspect it was his inability to control his subordinates," he said.
NV Cure had met with Cox to discuss retaliation against prisoners who file formal grievances against the department. Witherow said Cox told him he would not tolerate that kind of treatment.
"The retaliation did not, in fact, stop. It increased," Witherow said.
Cox's resignation follows months of high-profile conflicts at Nevada prisons, beginning with a fatal inmate shooting in November at High Desert State Prison, just outside of Las Vegas, that wasn't revealed until four months later when the Review-Journal discovered the Clark County coroner's office had ruled it a homicide.
Inmate Carlos Manuel Perez, 28, died Nov. 12, 2014. [link added by NV Cure] A second inmate, Andrew Arevalo, was injured.
More recently, seven inmates were injured in August at Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City when a fight broke out during dinner and guards opened fire with rubber pellets. One inmate who was not identified was flown to a Reno hospital, though details of his injuries remain undisclosed.
In July, three inmates suffered minor injuries when guards fired rounds to break up a fight at Lovelock Correctional Center. One inmate at Ely State Prison was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas in April after he was shot by a guard during a fight. Eight other inmates were injured.
Cox's resignation came the night before he was expected to present the findings from a study on the department's use of force at Tuesday's Board of State Prison Commissioners in Carson City. The prison board, comprised of the governor, Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, requested the study at the last meeting after Perez's death led to controversy.
On Monday, an unnamed spokesman for the department told the Review-Journal "there is no final report as of yet" in the study conducted by the Association of State Correctional Administrators.
Read the rest here.

News: Governor accepts resignation of Nevada prisons director

This comes from  KRNV-DT Reno:

CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- The director of the Nevada Department of Corrections has resigned, according to the governor's office.

Gov. Brian Sandoval accepted the resignation of Director James "Greg" Cox on Monday, his office said in a statement. The cause for his resignation was not immediately known.

Cox was appointed as director in June 2011, according to the department's website. He began his career in Nevada in 2003 as warden of the Southern Desert Correctional Center in 2003.

E.K. McDaniel was appointed as interim-director, effective immediately, according to the statement.

McDaniel has been with the department of corrections since he started his career in Nevada as warden of the Ely State Prison in 1993.

He was recently promoted in 2011 to deputy director of operations, the statement said.

"As we move forward, E.K. will help provide a smooth transition while we work to find new leadership for the Department," Sandoval said in the statement.

Read the rest here.

The Las Vegas Sun has this to say about it:

"...State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, defended Cox on Twitter following news of his departure.

"This is so sad. Cox was a real reformer stuck in an underfunded institution which refused to reform," he wrote.

Deputy Director of Operations E.K. McDaniel will serve as the interim director, according to a news release from Sandoval's office.

“I would like to thank Greg for his service to our state and I appreciate his hard work serving the people of Nevada,” Sandoval said in the statement. “As we move forward, E.K. will help provide a smooth transition while we work to find new leadership for the department."

McDaniel began working as a correctional officer in Oklahoma in 1975 and eventually became the deputy warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary before joining NDOC as the warden of Ely State Prison in 1993, according to Sandoval's office.

He worked there until 2011, when he became deputy director of operations, according to the statement."

We are definitely worse off with E.K. McDaniel, and we are glad he is only an interim. Therefore let us hope that a real strong reformer will be appointed who can stand up to EK and his old-boy network likes, who have been the cause of so much pain and suffering inside, so much torture.

Times are changing, with more and more awareness about the many human rights abuses and over-incarceration in prisons around the country, and Nevada has to change too, for the better this time.

From our Facebook-page:

Director Cox resigns; E.K. McDaniel appointed interim director. McDaniel is the former warden of Ely State Prison. He is responsible for the death of Patrick Cavanaugh by gangrene because Cavanaugh's diabetic medication was withheld.

McDaniel went to court and made himself conservator over Cavanaugh without the consent of Cavanaugh's family.

McDaniel stood on the tier of Unit 3B at ESP and laughed after Timothy Redman allegedly hung himself after guards emptied seven or eight big cans of pepper spray directly into his cell.

McDaniel testified to the ACAJ that "THERE IS NO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NEVADA."

In the opinion of NV-CURE, this shows that McDaniel will lie to the legislature, that he can't be trusted with the well-being of prisoners or our tax dollars, and that he must not be appointed to a permanent position as Director.

This is a huge setback to all the hard work NV-CURE has done. Please join NV-CURE and help us STOP McDaniel from receiving a permanent appointment as Director of NDOC.


Our Autumn Informational Newsbulletin is out now!

You can read the latest Informational Bulletin by clicking here.

In this IB more attention for the Hepatitis C virus and (non-)treatment inside Nevada's prisons, hygiene inside the women's prison, the solitary confinement-survey by ACLU of Nevada, and more.

Please consider donating to Nevada-Cure towards the cost of printing and sending this to hundreds of our incarcerated members, thank you!

Join NV-CURE! It's $10.00 per year for people in the community and $2.00 per year for prisoners. Your donations can also go toward your membership.




Front of Nevada-Cure Informational Bulletin nr 13 (2015)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Free Criminal Record Sealing Class - restore your right to vote!

FREE CRIMINAL RECORD SEALING Class offered on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM at the Clark County Law Library from Sept. 2, 2015, thru Nov. 4, 2015.  

If you, a friend, or a loved one has a criminal record you are interested in having sealed, you should attend this Class. Seal those records - and restore your right to vote.

Use that vote to elect people that are concerned for the safety and well being of our people confined in our prisons. 

See the information on the leaflets for more info.



Monday, August 17, 2015

Agenda for the Monthly Meeting of August 26th 2015

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
For August 26, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST

Meeting Location
Conference Room
Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV  89104
702.347.1731
Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code
712-432-0926
Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4.  Open comments by members and guests.

5.   Issues to be discussed at meeting:
                        a. NV-CURE Pay to President discussion and vote. (John)
                        b. Denial of Travel Pass and Need for Attorney. (John)
                        c. Bus passes for parolees. (John)
                        d. Medical and Hep C cases strategy (John)
                        e. Videos – Recidivism and Legislature  (John)
                        f. Update on Release Package Booklet (Chris)
                        g. Update on NV-CURE halfway house (Rich)

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7.  Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting September 30, 2015)

8.  Adjourn meeting.

PLEASE NOTE:
We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. 
We want all members to participate in the process. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Agenda of the Monthly Meeting Agenda for July 29th

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

For July 29, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST

Location:
Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV  89104

Tel. 702.347.1731

Website: Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code:

712-432-0926

Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4.  Open comments by members and guests.

5.   Issues to be discussed at meeting:

  a. Report by Craig on Videos (Craig)

  b. Report by Richard on Advertisers (Richard)

  c. Report by Chris on Release Info Booklet (Chris)

  d. Report by John on Hep C litigation (John)

  e. Report by Diana on Mail Scannng (Diana)

  f.  Report by Sharnel on Complaint Logging (Sharnel)

6.   Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7.   Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting August 26, 2015)

8.  Adjourn meeting.

We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled.  We want all members to participate in the process.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Is Poor Medical Care Killing Nevada's Prison Inmates?

This comes from Nevada Public Radio, and was transmitted on tuesday 7/7/15. John Witherow, director of Nevada-Cure, is one of the people who were interviewed.

knpr

Is Poor Medical Care Killing Nevada's Prison Inmates?

prison.jpg

jail cell
The number of inmate deaths at Nevada prisons is raising questions.
In Nevada’s state prisons, four inmates die every month, on average.
But in May and June of this year, 12 inmates died. And in the last year, the number who died in Nevada prisons is just under 50.
That compares to an average of 31 deaths per year in Nevada prisons from 2001 to 2012, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Nevada’s prisons aren’t places we hear much about. Media access is severely restricted. Family members don’t always want to talk about a brother or father in prison. And, frankly, many Nevadans don’t care – out of sight, out of mind.
But some states, such as Ohio, are being sued for substandard prison medical care. And it’s no secret that many Nevada inmates die from medical conditions.
Between 2001 and 2012, 80 percent of 379 prison deaths were due to medical problems.
John Witherow knows firsthand how difficult it is to get medical care in Nevada prisons. He spent 26 years in prisons across the state, after being convicted of attempted robbery in Reno. His sentence included a habitual criminal enhancement, which adds years to the sentence of people who have been convicted of another crime.
“Getting medical care within the NDOC is an extremely difficult job,” Witherow told KNPR’s State of Nevada, “The few instances I had with the medical department were terrible.”
---

Read the rest here.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

NDOC: Forty Five (45) Prisoner Deaths in One (1) Year

On Tuesday, July 7 at 9 am. NV-CURE President John Witherow will be interviewed on Nevada Public Radio 88.9 FM on this subject. 
This comes from our Informational Bulletin nr 12, 2015:

Forty five people have died in custody in Nevada’s prison facilities since August, 2014. Four committed suicide.

One was shot by a prison guard. One died of cardiovascular disease and the rest are either deaths caused, according to NDOC, by “medical condition”, unknown”, “natural”, or “prolonged illness”. We want to know the causes of death and whether any of these deaths are attributable to the Hepatitis C virus.

This information was provided to NV-CURE by an NPR Senior Producer Joe Schoenmann and former Correctional Officer Mark Clarke, whom we thank for their time and efforts regarding this matter.  We hope that further investigation will reveal the facts regarding each of these
deaths.

Not one noted death is from hepatitis C, even though we know that the prevalence of that disease is much higher than in the population at large and we know that NDOC gives very little treatment for this very treatable disease. Allegedly, many of these deaths are “under investigation”, and NV-CURE finally has volunteers willing to keep track of each death, order the coroner’s report, which is a matter of public record, if necessary, and log the deaths on a spreadsheet, making sure that the media, legislators and the US DOJ are made aware of the high number of deaths due to disease. It is estimated that 12-35% of prisoners nationwide are infected with the Hep C virus. We will never know exactly how many prisoners are infected with the disease, until we have testing, which the Nevada legislature and the NDOC refuse to provide.

NDOC claims that they are investigating the potential of providing hospice care, but we have seen no action yet on that claim.

On Tuesday, July 7 at 9 am. NV-CURE President John Witherow will be interviewed on Nevada Public Radio 88.9 FM on this subject. A recording of the program will be posted on our website, Nevaacure.org.  Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Summer Information Bulletin out now!

This is nr 12, June 2015:

PDF

Word-format

Friday, June 19, 2015

Agenda for the 6/24/15 NV-CURE Meeting

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

Agenda for the  6/24/15 NV-CURE Meeting

Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
Meeting Location
Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Tel. Nevada-Cure: 702.347.1731
Website: Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code: 712-432-0926 - Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

  a. Board of Directors Election and Results.

  b. Appointment of President, 2 Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasure, Webmaster, Legislative and  Fundraising Committees and Mail Handler.

  c. Medical Care for Prisoners.

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting July 29, 2015)

8. Adjourn meeting.

PLEASE NOTE:

We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. We want all members to participate in the process.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Agenda for Monthly Meeting on May 27th

REVISED MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

For May 27, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST
Meeting Location:

Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Tel: 702.347.1731
Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code:

712-432-0926
Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

  a. Add Space and Pricing, Decide Prices (Craig)

  b. Nominations for NV-CURE Board of Directors (John)

  c. Vote on Removal of Mo as Fundraising Chair (John)

  d. Fundraising Chair Nomination – Anyone Interested (John)

  e. CURE October Meeting – Fund Authorization (John)

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting June 24, 2015)

8. Adjourn meeting.

PLEASE NOTE:

We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. We want all members to participate in the process.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nevada-Cure Monthly Meeting Agenda March 25th

Our Monthly Meeting is on March 25th, our apologies for the late announcement.

Here is the Agenda:

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

For March 25, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST

Place:
Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
Meeting Location, Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Tel: 702.347.1731 - Email: Nevadacure@gmail.com - Website: Nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code: 712-432-0926
Code: 493815#

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new
members/guests.

2. Approval of Agenda. (Agenda is late. Any objection to less than 10 day notice).

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

    a. Election Procedures for Board of Directors – June 2015

    b. Update on medical issues. (Weisner)

    c. Advertising in Newsletter (Greg).

    d. Meeting With Senator Bower on Ombudsman Bill SB 279 (John)

    e. CA PACT (Parole and Community Team) (John)

    f. Update on Relocation (John and Natalie)

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting April 28, 2015)

8. Adjourn meeting.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Please express strong support for SB 279 for an Independent OMBUDSMAN in Nevada

TO ALL NV-CURE MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS - AND PRISONER RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS:
Please read Senate Bill (SB) 279 to create an Independent Ombudsman in the State of Nevada to investigate prisoner complaints.
 
This is a fantastic bill that will finally bring justice and fairness to resolution of prisoner complaints and grievances.  Your support for SB 279 is sincerely appreciated.  
 
Please write, call, or e-mail the Legislature, if you have not already done so, and express your strong support for passage of SB 279. We commend our Legislators for sponsoring, drafting and passing and passing SB 279.  Fine job and our most sincere appreciation.
 
SB 279 is a fine example of the action that needs to be taken in every state to address the problems with our prison systems.  All prisoner organizations should bring this bill to the attention of their state and federal Legislators. Bring justice and fairness to ALL of our citizens.
 
You can share your opinion for SB 279 here (just search SB 279).

Thank you!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Agenda for Monthly Meeting of Nevada-Cure

The next Monthly Meeting will be on Feb. 25th, at 6:30 PM.

Meeting Location:

Conference Room
Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Tel.: 702.347.1731

If you cannot make it to the meeting, please call the Conference Call Number and Code to attend at distance:

712-432-0926

Code: 493815#

You can view the Agenda by clicking here.

Nevada’s legal purgatory: Paroled prisoners stay behind bars

This is an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, published on Feb. 14th, 2015

By BETHANY BARNES and JAMES DEHAVEN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

The case of Russell Yeager isn’t a whodunit or a claim of wrongful conviction.

Yeager is, without a doubt, a murderer.

The mystery lies in what led to Yeager walking out of High Desert State Prison on Jan. 2, 2014 — more than 12 years after the Nevada Parole Board said he should no longer be behind bars.

Because in Nevada, being granted parole doesn’t mean you get out.

The parole board determined in 2001 that Yeager, 52, no longer posed the same risk to society he did as a rage-filled 15-year-old runaway who killed in cold blood.

For 13 years, Yeager asked the prison system, lawyers and the Nevada Supreme Court to give him what he had been granted. But nothing seemed to help.

Then suddenly, inexplicably, Yeager was out.

So why did the government decide Yeager was fit for release but not follow through for more than a decade? And more importantly, why are dozens more people — some convicted of nonviolent crimes — caught in the same legal purgatory?

It’s a conundrum that continually pops up in the Legislature. And it comes at a high cost to Nevada taxpayers: About $4 million a year to house and feed inmates the government determined should be let out.

Yeager — whose case is an extreme example of delays an inmate can face — is part of a parole backlog that is not only expensive but also puts the public at risk, according to criminal justice experts. Many of the inmates will serve their full sentence in prison, then be dropped back into society without supervision from a parole officer.

Through public records, interviews and correspondence the Review-Journal has found:

■ Some inmates are just too poor for parole. There is a limited amount of public funding available to help inmates pay rent at the state’s few halfway houses, leaving some stuck.

■ The parole backlog largely has been pushed aside by anyone with the power to do something about it.

■ The seemingly haphazard process could violate constitutional rights.

If Nevada leaders figured out how to get their backlog of paroled inmates out of prison, it could save millions and offer a fairer system on the surface. But one thing is clear in this mystery: With the legislative session underway, no one seems to have a plan to speed things up.

GRANTING PAROLE

Nevada’s 21 prisons, conservation camps and transitional facilities housed an average of 12,739 inmates a day last year. This year, the corrections department is authorized to spend $300 million on the system.

The Nevada Parole Board, in determining whether inmates are ready to rejoin society, takes the first step in cutting those numbers.

Prison sentences typically involve a range — say two years to five years, with the inmates eligible for release once they have served their minimum. The parole board then can deem prisoners eligible to serve the remainder of their sentence supervised by a parole officer.

The board considers the likelihood the prisoner will break the law again; the severity of the crime; the inmate’s criminal record; testimony from crime victims; the inmate’s history of violence, drug use or sexual deviance; and whether the prisoner has failed a previous probation or parole.

If the board grants parole — a privilege, not a right, according to Nevada law — the inmate must submit a plan for life on the outside to the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation.

And that’s where the system hits a snag. For one in three paroled inmates, something goes awry with the submitted plan and Parole and Probation officials won’t sign off. The inmates then wait, often for months or even years.

Those holdups result in Nevada taxpayers paying roughly $343,000 per month — or more than $4 million in an average year — to feed, house, guard and provide medical care for more than 300 people a year the state has decided don’t need to be in prison.

Read the rest here.

NV-CURE has completed another successful book drive

The books we collected were delivered to LCC yesterday.  Thank you all for your donations and help.  
 
We will begin another book drive in the near future.  Again, thank you all for the help - and a BIG THANK YOU to the people that gathered and delivered the books.  Great job.
John
Feb. 4th, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nevada Cure for People on Parole & Probation in Nevada

Attention all NV-CURE Members and Supporters:

According to information received by NV-CURE, People in Nevada who are on parole or probation are being advised by their P&P Officers that they may not associate in any manner with NV-CURE because members and supporters of our organization are convicted felons.

NV-CURE has communicated with P&P Chief Natalie Wood regarding this matter and is in the process of attempting to change or modify the association clause of the conditions of parole and probation.  Persons on parole or probation should be permitted to associate with NV-CURE in our legitimate activities reflected in our mission statement without fear of having their parole or probation revoked.

IF YOU KNOW of anyone on parole or probation who has been advised by a P&P Officer that they may NOT associate or join NV-CURE because our organization has convicted felon members, PLEASE have that person contact attorneys Travis Barrick and / or Cal Potter with the details.

Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Agenda for the Nevada Cure-Meeting of Jan. 28, 2015

This is the Agenda for the Monthly Meeting of Nevada Cure on Jan. 28th 2015:

Law Office of Gallian, Welker & Beckstrom, LC

MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA

For January 28, 2015 : 6:30 PM PST

Meeting Location

Conference Room
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

702.347.1731
nevadacure.org

Conference Call Number and Code:

712-432-0926
Code: 493815#

The following is the Agenda for NV-CURE Monthly Meeting:

1. Identification of Members and Guests present at meeting and introduction of new

2. Approval of Agenda.

3. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.

4. Open comments by members and guests.

5. Issues to be discussed at meeting:

continue as NV-CURE Treasurer. (John).

violations and retaliation. (Myra).

a. Discussion on Board of Directors of NV-CURE – duties and responsibilities.

b. Director Vote on removal of Greg MacWilliams as Director. (John)

c. Vote on appointment of Diana Henderson as Director pending next election.

d. Consent of Director by Michelle Revell to resign position as Director and

e. Vote on appointment of Sharnel Silvey as Director pending next election.

f. Over Use of Admin. Seg. for investigations and using ESP transfer for minor

g. State Boards of Medical Examiners, Nursing and Social Workers – use

h. Report by Fundraising Chair Maureen Mercer on activities.

6. Suggestions and recommendations for acts to be performed before next meeting.

7. Set date, time and place for next meeting. (Next Meeting February 25, 2015)

We welcome the participation of all Nevada CURE Members/Supporters and invite all to attend any monthly NV-CURE meetings that may be scheduled. We want all members to participate in the process.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Please Watch these to learn about the work of Nevada Cure!

Nevada Cure presents the following new video's:

We start with our president, John Witherow:



About Nevada Cure: our mission statement:



How you can help Nevada Cure:



We need Hepatitis C testing for those in prison in Nevada. Learn why:



Why Nevada needs an independent Ombudsman for its prison system:


Eliminate the "discretionary parole system" in Nevada:


Restore the vote for convicted felons. Why? Watch this video:



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections: a letter to ACLU-NV

This is the text of a letter that a member of Nevada Cure sent to the ACLU in Nevada about the high number of deaths in the custody of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). Their response: just fill out their form. We have been gathering so much documentation on medical neglect since the class action lawsuit that ACLU settled with NDOC! 
We would like to see some more answers and pushes to real change, more transparency from ACLU and NDOC in this matter. The electorate and the taxpayers, but most of all, the people in prison have a right to know why so many people die inside of medical neglect or inadequate medical care, and what is being done to address this.

Nov. 15th, 2014:
Dear NV ACLU:

I am writing about my concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections.  Since I moved here 15 months ago, there have been 20+ deaths reported in the media with little or no information as to the cause of death.  As a matter of fact just today, I saw in the media that a 55 year old woman at FMWCC and a 28 year old man at High Desert both died!

It is well known that the NDOC does not treat hepatitis and perhaps many of these deaths are a result of painful deaths due to this disease? While I realize that HIPPA laws prohibit an individual's medical conditions to be revealed publicly, our state government is charged with the health and welfare of it's incarcerated population, no matter what.  

I moved here from Illinois where the IDOC was carefully and routinely monitored by the John Howard Association in Chicago who visited each facility over the course of every two years and distributed their findings publicly and to the state legislature about the conditions and problems at each facility. They have no authority over the IDOC but their public reports definitely have an impact on needed changes that are always found as a result of the tours and interviews with the staff and the inmates.  

Is anyone monitoring the NDOC, especially when it comes to the number of deaths among the inmates here?  I note that most of the deceased inmates are NOT old men/women but younger or middle age and not likely to be dying of "natural causes" that are associated with old age.  My husband is currently incarcerated with the NDOC and I am concerned for his welfare as well as the other American citizens who are not getting proper medical care.  

How can we as citizens of this state, get this critical issue addressed in Nevada?  

Thank you for your attention and I hope to get a response.
[G.A.]

Nevada-Cure News and Articles

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