Showing posts with label 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2013. Show all posts

Friday, December 20, 2013

Carson City prisoner is fifth Nevada inmate to die since November

From: News3
Dec 19th 2013

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Las Vegas Sun) -- A prison inmate serving time for second-degree murder has died at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center, the fifth inmate death in the Nevada Department of Corrections system since November.

Michael Johnson was in the medical center at the Carson City prison when he died Wednesday.

The state Department of Corrections said Thursday that Johnson, 55, had been in prison since 2008 and was serving a sentence of 10 years to life out of Churchill County.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy.

Johnson is the fifth Nevada prison inmate to die since early November.

Read more here.

Corrections department flouts new law requiring autopsies for inmates who die in custody

Nevada inmate dies at Las Vegas hospital

From: MyNews3, Dec. 18th 2013

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada inmate serving a life sentence has died at a Las Vegas hospital.
The Department of Corrections says 59-year-old John D. Jennings died Wednesday at Valley Hospital where he was being treated for a medical condition. No foul play is suspected. Prison officials say an autopsy will be conducted.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pre-approval of books for prisoners no longer necessary!

NDOC has advised NV-CURE that prisoner book request forms are no longer necessary. You may just have the books sent from the publisher or book seller in accordance with AR 750.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nevada Cure NNCC Book Drive for the library!

Attention all NV-CURE Members and Supporters:
NV-CURE is in the process of gathering books to donate to the NDOC for prisoners at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC). 
--> All books must be paperback.  NO HARD COVERS.
Anyone with books to donate should contact:
Southern Nevada:
Kim,  [email protected], SUBJECT: NNCC BOOK DRIVE-KIM, or
Northern Nevada:
Marie,  [email protected], SUBJECT: NNCC BOOK DRIVE-MARIE
(or phone Nevada Cure at 702.347.1731)
When the NDOC approves the donations, which may take 6-8 weeks, all Southern donated books will be transported to Marie in the North and Marie will coordinate the book drop off with NNCC Officials.
Thank you for your help. The people at this medical facility are in need of books to read to help pass the time.  Again, thank you.
DONATE BOOKS NOW.  Do not be late.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Politics of Fear and Ignorance: Political Agendas at the Expense of Public Safety - The Inconvenient Truth

Political Agendas at the Expense of Public Safety
The Inconvenient Truth

The Spring 2013 Informational Bulletin Newsletter, published by Nevada-CURE reported that NRS 179A.270-290, passed in 1997,  required the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History to collect sex offender recidivism data. In 2009, the Central Repository petitioned to have these responsibilities removed through AB 81 apparently because “the agency has neither the staffing nor the technical expertise to address recidivism of sex offenders.” Unfortunately, AB 81 passed.

Interestingly, the State has nearly unlimited resources and manpower to pass sex offender laws and hand out extensive and multiple criminal sentences like free candy in light of an overcrowded penal system and substantial budget constraints. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when they put their minds to it. The Prosecutor’s office does not seem to be begging the Legislature to be relieved of their responsibilities to any degree like the Central Repository did.

It appears the rationale behind relieving the Central Repository from collecting sex offender recidivism data may have been a politically motivated decision made intentionally at the expense of public safety. The agency could have very easily been provided the resources to achieve their objectives.

Any official state-sponsored study on Nevada’s sex offender recidivism could call into question the rational of current sex offender laws and the political agendas of those responsible for passing and/or sponsoring them. Such studies could also reveal inconvenient truths about sex offender recidivism in Nevada that could take the steam out of election year. How can a politician or a judicial candidate compete for office, pass, or adjudicate politically popular laws based on unverified anecdotal assumptions, popular myths, or traditionally perceived conceptions about sex offenders when the truth about such offenders stands as an inconvenient obstacle to the promotion of fear and ignorance needed to persuade naive constituents for their vote and continued support?

Jumping from one unverified myth to another every election year only promotes fear and ignorance at an enormous financial expense while only benefiting a political agenda at the expense of.

Since at least 1959, the United States Supreme Court has observed that education is a deterrent to crime. See Kingsly International Pictures Corp. v. Regeats of Univ. of N.Y., 360 U.S. 684, 689 (1959).

Keeping the public uneducated or otherwise ignorant about sex offender recidivism by relieving the Central Repository from collecting data on the subject appears a substantial and affirmative step by our Legislature to promote crime. In other words, a political agenda has taken priority over public safety.

Fear and ignorance about Nevada sex offenders remain the status quo.

The Political Agenda at Work

The low recidivism rate of convicted sex offenders oddly remains a secret in today’s society. In McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 33 (2002), the United States Supreme Court cites to the DOJ’s 1997 report on Sex Offenses and Offenders for the finding that all sex offenders have a “high risk of recidivism.” Yet this report finds the recidivism rate of released sex offenders for new crimes as 7.7%, and that rate is the second lowest rate of recidivism of all released offenders in the study. Also cited by the High Court for this apparent “high rate of recidivism” is another 1997 DOJ report on Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983. Interestingly, after making an inquiry to the DOJ, no such report was released in 1997.

In Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, 103 (2003), the U.S. Supreme Court zealously upheld a sex offender registration and notification law by ratifying the Legislature’s findings that all sex offenders, as a class, have a high rate of recidivism without first independently verifying those facts.

Without those unverified legislative findings, it would appear that the sex offender registration and notification laws would have been decreed unconstitutional. That would have called into question the constitutionality of all sex offender registration and notification laws across the country. The entire opinion of Smith v. Doe relied substantially on the unverified or otherwise affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism.

When a constitutional right is at stake, the usual judicial deference to legislative findings gives way to an exercise of independent judgment of the facts to ascertain whether the legislative body has drawn reasonable inferences based on substantial evidence. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622, 666 (1994). Quoting from non-existent DOJ reports and making affirmative misrepresentations of fact from existing reports is not an exercise of independent judgment based on substantial evidence. It appears that a political agenda encouraged a desired result rather than a just and accurate one.

Legislatures and courts around the country are now making serious decisions about laws based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative misrepresentations about sex offender recidivism. Why must the truth be a pliable commodity in this country and be distorted to fit political agendas? The politics of fear and ignorance remain the order of the day.

Causes and Effects of Sexual Abuse

There are “correlations between childhood sexual abuse and later problems such as substance abuse, dangerous sexual behaviors or dysfunction, inability to relate to others on an interpersonal level, and psychiatric illness.” Kennedy v. Louisiana, 171 L.Ed.2d 525, 568-69 (2008)(Alito, J., dissenting) (quoting authoritive reports on child sexual abuse). “Victims of child rape are nearly 5 times more likely than non-victims to be arrested for sex crimes and nearly 30 times more likely to be arrested for.

There are legions of medical and scientific studies that empirically demonstrate that sexually abused children have a high disposition to commit sexually based crimes in the future. It is not uncommon for a convicted sex offender to have a history of being sexually abused as a child.

Without thinking twice, many in our society would find it absurd for a convicted sex offender to babysit a child or run a day care center. Would you take your chances with an adult who was a victim of childhood sexual abuse? They do not register and background checks will not likely provide a clue to their potential to commit a sexual offense. They are not subject to any degree of oversight. The heightened potential of a victim committing a sexual offense is an inconvenient fact that cannot be lightly disregarded if public safety, victimization, and crime prevention are to be taken seriously.

How many politicians expect to get your vote or support if they suggest or propose victims register to prevent future sexual offenses or to otherwise promote public safety? If registration apparently works so well for convicted sex offenders, then why not for victims if public safety is of central concern? Since registration is not a form of punishment according to a substantial weight of judicial authority, then there should be no problem. Right?

A Solution

Unlike convicted sex offenders, victims of sexual abuse are never required to register despite their heightened potential to commit a sexual offense. If there is a genuine concern for public safety and future sexual offenses behind registration and notification laws as authoritatively held by the U.S. Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, then it would be perfectly rational to require victims to register. To hold otherwise would compromise public safety and promote future sexual offenses followed by more victims. Why wait for a victim to commit a sexual offense and create new victims before requiring them to register? That’s illogical and only promotes a continuing offense cycle of new victims followed by future potential offenders. That kind of cycle needs to be stopped!

Any concerns for privacy over registration and notification requirements are substantially outweighed by the government’s legitimate objective of public safety. I have yet to see any court relieve registration requirements for privacy concerns.

Victims should be relieved that registration and notification requirements do not promote the goals of punishment and are purely regulatory pursuant to Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. at 105-06.

Furthermore, a conviction is not required to impose a civil regulatory law. Id. At 113 (Stevens, J., dissenting in part and concurring in part)(observing that a conviction is not a necessary predicate for civil commitment).

It is true that not all victims commit sexual offenses in the future. The same is also true with convicted sex offenders. In any case, registration and notification requirements are imposed on all sex offenders regardless of their individual risk to reoffend. Doe, 538 U.S. at 104. There is no reason why this same requirement cannot be imposed on all victims of childhood sexual abuse since public safety is of central concern.

If victims have a high potential to commit sexual offenses based of empirically accurate and verified research but are not required to register, then the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution requires convicted sex offenders be treated the same. If not, then the public safety rational that is at the very basis of registration and notification laws are truly pretextual to an agenda towards using legislative and judicial agendas to punish convicted sex offenders; a rational that plainly cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny on several fronts. Given the pervasive attitudes toward convicted sex
offenders, it would be naive to assume otherwise.

If our government chooses not to collect data on sexual offenses but yet continues to legislate and make fundamental decisions about sexually based crimes and laws, then they are willfully navigating in the dark. They have chosen to disregard your safety at the expense of their political agenda of fear and ignorance. The citizens and residents of this State should be outraged!

Ron S.

A Nevada prisoner

Monday, April 1, 2013

NDOC earns big money from prisoner calls to their loved ones

ATTENTION ALL NV-CURE Members and Supporters:
NV-CURE has now acquired, through the assistance of one of our members, the Contract between Embarq and NDOC for telephone services to prisoners.

Under that Contract, the NDOC received 54.2% of the profits from the telephone calls and is guaranteed a minimum of 2.4 MILLION DOLLARS each year from that contract. That is $200,000.00 per month.

Prisoners, their friends and families, are paying that money, plus the phone company profits (another $200,000.00 per month in phone company profits), EVERY MONTH. That is outrageous!

We need to take action to change this situation. Please provide your comments and suggestions to NV-CURE
It is time for us to work together to change this situation.  
Thank you for your help. 
Struggle in Solidarity.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


ATTENTION: The following are the North and South drop off points for books for the NV-CURE High Desert State Prison (HDSP) soft cover book donation drive.
NORTH: Gale, Reno, NV, telephone 775.335.7773 (9:00 AM until 4:00 PM Only - Weekdays).

SOUTH: Kim, 702-378.1217, call and arrange for drop off or pick up.

Alternatively, drop off at NV-CURE Office, 540 E. St. Louis Ave., Las Vegas, NV (9:00 AM until 4:00 PM ONLY - Weekdays)

We still have not obtained approval from the NDOC for the book donations. However, if you recall, it is a long process. We look to have approval in the very near future.

PLEASE - get the books together and get them dropped off. We are counting on you all to gather at least 1,000 books. GET BUSY. Thanks for the help. The guys inside will appreciate it.
Very Best to All

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bad News: ACLU NV supports AB 74

As a long time supporter of civil rights and liberties, I am bewildered and angered by the ACLU’s support  (under the heading “equality”!) for AB 74, which would establish fees and registration of documents preparers,  who are the often the only access to the legal system for poor communities in Nevada. How is this equality? Why would the ACLU support such a bill?
While attorneys in Nevada are not required to carry malpractice insurance; however, AB 74, if passed as written, will require paralegals to carry a $50,000. 00 bond. As stated in the bill, the bond is to cover any misconduct of the paralegal. If attorneys are not required to carry malpractice insurance, why are they not required to carry at least a $150,000.00 bond? How is the client protected from attorney misconduct when they do not follow the Rules of Professional Conduct?

There is more: registration fees and fees for FBI background check and fingerprinting and --possibly the most absurd and egregious portion --  a provision prohibiting ex-felons from preparing documents. How does that promote equality?

Why are attorneys not required to post notice of their fees for potential clients?  And provide the notice in English and any other language that are native to the majority of the attorney’s clients?
Imagine what would happen if attorneys had to post their fees? We would finally see accountability in the legal profession, or it would be a start anyway, some semblance of social responsibility on the part of Nevada’s legal community. Instead, the ACLU goes after paralegals?
I almost can’t believe I am typing these words.

If the ACLU was worried about equality, it would propose and support legislation to require increased pro bono hours by attorneys, AND not give attorneys an pass by paying a few hundred dollars.  Poor people
do not trust the legal community because the legal community is not trustworthy. This is not about paralegals. This is about attorneys taking people’s money and leaving them high and dry without legal help. These lawyers - and yes, there are many in Nevada - are called dump trucks.

Low income communities need paralegals. We can’t afford attorneys’ outrageous fees. Additionally, how many attorneys in Nevada have EVER done a pro bono case for a prisoner? Prisoners in Nevada are going blind from denial of basic medical care, denied their basic rights in the form of hearing aids and other assistive devices, suffering physical and sexual abuse , retaliation for use of the grievance process and other violations of their constitutional rights. Nevada attorneys, with a VERY few exceptions do not assist prisoners. Now the ACLU would like to take away the paralegals who do help them? Under the heading “equality”? Really?

Please reconsider your support for AB 74. It is bad for poor people and anyone who has been and continues to be denied access to the court system.
N. Smith

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NV Legislature: proposed changes in bills

Proposed Amendments to AB 65
Contact Information: John Witherow, President NV Cure
231.313.0059 or [email protected]

Propose to Amend Bill as follows:
Amend the bill by amending Section 2, page 3 by deleting the words grant, deny,
continue in line 7 and the words or to establish or modify the terms of the parole of a prisoner in lines 8 and 9

(c) Meetings of the State Board of Parole Commissioners
7 when acting to grant, deny, continue or revoke the parole of a
8 prisoner or to establish or modify the terms of the parole of a
9 prisoner.

Purpose of amendment: To bring that section into compliance with current NRS

NRS 213.1214 Evaluation of prisoners by panel before grant or continuation of
parole; panel to adopt standards of assessment; immunity; regulations; duties of
panel; conduct of meetings of panel.
10.  Meetings of a panel pursuant to this section must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 241 of NRS.

NRS 213.131  Consideration for parole: Duties of Department of Corrections;
use of photographs related to offense during meeting of the State Board of Parole
Commissioners; conduct of meeting; notice of meeting to victim; prisoner’s rights;
notice to prisoner of decision of Board
3.   Meetings to consider prisoners for parole may be held semiannually or more often, on such dates as may be fixed by the Board. All meetings are quasi-judicial and must be open to the public. No rights other than those conferred pursuant to this section or pursuant to specific statute concerning meetings to consider prisoners for parole are available to any person with respect to such meetings.


NV-Cure agrees with and requests that you amend Section 2(d) as requested by Special Deputy Attorney General Brett Kandt and George Taylor (Amendment #1)

NV-CURE adamantly opposes the inclusion of Section 2(c) exempting the Board
of Parole Commissioners when acting to grant, deny, continue or revoke parole of a prisoner or to establish or modify the terms of parole of a prisoner. The Parole Board ONLY ACTS IN A QUASI-JUDICIAL CAPACITY when revoking a parole of a
prisoner (Prisoners are provided minimum required due process procedural protections in a parole REVOCATION hearings) and those hearings, which are open to the public, may be exempted from all OML requirements.

However, the Parole Board is NOT ACTING in a quasi-judicial capacity when acting to grant, deny, continue parole or when acting to establish or modify the terms of a parole and those procedures are currently under the OML as evidenced in NRS 213.1214 and NRS 213.131.

Without changes to the provisions of Section 2(c) reflecting the position of NV-
CURE and the elimination of Section 2(d), in our opinion the bill needs to die in
committee as those sections are not in compliance with the current NRS.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Las Vegas: Prison Labor Used to Beat the Odds

This research article comes from the weblog: Voters Legislative Transparency Project. We are glad that they have investigated this:

Jan. 11th 2013, by Bob Sloan

Thousands of tourists, businessmen, CEO’s and executives from all over the world mix with citizens of Nevada in the luxury and splendor of Las Vegas’ many hotels and casinos. Most come to this beautiful city for the gambling and incredible shows found everywhere one turns. Inside the cool confines of casinos visitors can trust that every slot machine, roulette table and blackjack shoe is checked and monitored to guarantee fair play - no magnets under the roulette table, no dealer manipulating the cards or slots rigged to never pay out. Those trying to shave the odds are not welcome and at the first hint of cheating, find themselves on the sidewalk, banned or worse.

Each casino has a multitude of surveillance cameras to guarantee play is fair and the odds are understood by all who play the quarter slots or sit down at the high roller poker table. To ensure such fairness, the Nevada Gaming Commission regulates every aspect of gambling in the entire state. Strict penalties for violation of gaming regulations by casino operators keep each in line and playing by the rules.

Outside the casinos, locals find the guarantees of fair play and manipulation of odds are not so well regulated. State agencies responsible for overseeing and enforcing specific state laws and regulations have lost their vigilance. In at least one case a state regulation involving the Nevada Department of Corrections is providing one company an unfair advantage over competitors. The prize sought isn’t a hundred dollar hit on quarter slots, its millions in profits. An important aspect of this advantage provided to a single company, is an increase in Nevada’s already high 10.8% unemployment rate.

The issue is an ongoing battle being waged over the use of inmate labor by a private company, Alpine Steel operating out of Las Vegas, NV. Alpine is competing directly against other Nevada companies in the field of structural steel fabrication. Alpine’s competitors pay fair wages, benefits, provide unemployment insurance and vacation pay, while Alpine avoids all those costs.

It is not illegal for companies to be allowed to use prison labor under current laws but there are strict state and federal regulations involved that must be met before allowing direct competition with prison made products:

Mandatory Criteria for Program Participation Corrections departments that apply to participate in PIECP must meet all nine of the following criteria:

1. Eligibility. Authority to involve the private sector in the production and sale of inmate-made goods on the open market.
2. Wages. Authority to pay wages at a rate not less than that paid for work of a similar nature in the locality in which the work is performed.
3. Non-inmate worker displacement. Written assurances that PIECP will not result in the displacement of employed workers; be applied in skills, crafts, or trades in which there is a surplus of available gainful labor in the locality; or significantly impair existing contracts.
4. Benefits. Authority to provide inmate workers with benefits comparable to those made available by the federal or state government to similarly situated private-sector employees, including workers’ compensation and, in some circumstances, Social Security.
5. Deductions. Corrections departments may opt to take deductions from inmate worker wages. Permissible deductions are limited to taxes, room and board, family support, and victims’ compensation. If victims’ compensation deductions are taken, written assurances that the deductions will be not less than 5 percent and not more than 20 percent of gross wages and that all deductions will not total more than 80 percent of gross wages.
6. Voluntary participation. Written assurances that inmate participation is voluntary.
7. Consultation with organized labor. Written proof of consultation with organized labor prior to program startup.
8. Consultation with local private industry. Written proof of consultation with local private industry prior to program startup.
9. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Written proof of compliance with NEPA requirements prior to program startup. (emphasis mine, source BJA PIECP program overview) In the instant case, most of the above mandatory regulations are being ignored - entirely. Prevailing wages paid by most in the steel fabrication industry in Las Vegas are in excess of $17.00 per hour. The inmates manufacturing components for Alpine are paid less than half that scale at minimum wage or less.

By having access to and using inmate labor provided by Nevada’s Silver State Industries (SSI), Alpine Steel, is able to underbid competitors for structural steel construction projects. This company is just one of several businesses in Nevada (and 150 others nationwide) enjoying increased benefits and profits derived from inmate labor. Other Nevada companies enjoying similar access to inmate labor include; Vinyl Products, Inc., (vinyl waterbeds), Thomson Equipment Company (Silver Line Industries trailer manufacture and remanufacturing) and Jacobs Trading Company (repackaging).

Alpine Steel is currently manufacturing and installing prison made structural steel components at three locations in Las Vegas; the SkyVue (Ferris Wheel developed by Howard Bulloch), Staluppi Automotive Group’s Planet Mazda and Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas (financed by Andre Agassi; his wife, Steffi Graf; Dr. Steven and Karen Thomas, members of the Thomas family of Thomas & Mack Center fame; and Roger and Scott Bulloch, of SPB Capital Partners). Companies competing with Alpine Steel for these contracts, were totally unaware they were competing against a company with such a distinct and hidden advantage.

While the Staluppi and water park projects are actively being constructed, the Sky Vue job appears to be abandoned, though developer Howard Bulloch assures the absence of activity is due to plan revisions - and not a lack of funding.

Unfortunately the original post was removed, so part 2 and 3 are also not found. Until we find these...

Nevada-Cure News and Articles