A State of the Art Prison 2

I’ve just finished s chapter called State of the Art Prison System, and as I was writing this, I couldn’t help but think of several different things. One, why hasn’t anyone in Washington done this? Two, what has kept someone from doing this?

I mean it’s not a secret how dysfunctional the Federal Prison System is, especially in all of the United States Penitentiaries. These places are infested with gangs, drugs, corruption and murder. When I first arrived at the United States Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, someone was murdered within the first twenty-four hours, the warden then put the entire system on lock down. The prison leaves the TV’s on during this time so the inmates can watch from their cell doors. As a female guard walked past our door, my cellie asked her if she would change the channel to a football game he wanted to watch, her response was “I never touch the TV’s, the last person who did got stabbed.” I mean think about her statement, just how out of control is the prison system that changing the TV station would get you stabbed? And a guard, a person supposed to be in charge, is scared to touch the TV. I’d have to say these types of prisons are totally out of control. This is not some new information, everyone who works here knows what will happen if they touch the TV, yet none of them do anything to change it. So, this behavior is accepted.

My next question is, why would any prison system allow this type of behavior to continue? It’s like if a person has an infection, they understand that there is a cure, but do nothing and allow the infection to spread. This is exactly how the Federal Prison System is run. They understand there is an infection inside their prison system, they know there is a cure, and have done nothing but allow it to spread like a cancer. The sad thing is, there is a cure, but for whatever reason the people running the system allow it to right on running the way it always has. I have to ask myself, is the reason they have allowed this to continue because the Federal Prison System has turned into an industry like in Texas? Is it because they realize if real rehabilitation begins and the inmates start making it, they will have to start closing prisons? I’m sure the people in control of the Federal Prison system will say that’s crazy, but now my question is, why is the prison system run by gangs? Why are they flooded with drugs? Why haven’t they stopped all the killings? Why haven’t they taken these 122 prisons and turned them into a place of rehabilitation? I believe maybe part of it is because they think the men and women in here are not worth it. Who cares if they kill each other or waste their lives doing drugs? And I’m sure a big part has to do with the behavior of the prisoners through the years. I will be the first in here to admit that a lot of people in here don’t want to change, for whatever reason they are lost in a fantasy world and like living this lifestyle. So, I do get why the people in control would feel that way, but what about the men and women in here that don’t feel that way? What about the thousands that are doing good, not in gangs or sitting in here getting high every day? What about the ones that want to change?

The men who go to the United States Penitentiary do not have a choice in doing good. The first day a prisoner arrives in these prisons, they will be told by whatever race they are how things are run. Let’s say it’s a white inmate, the other white inmates will go to his cell and have a long talk with him. It will be established what is expected of him and how he will have to conduct himself. It will be made very clear that a day will come when he has to put work in. Which means he will have to take a shank and stab another man to death. Remember, this is not an option, he can’t say “I don’t want to kill someone.” If he isn’t ready to kill someone, he will be killed. Does the staff understand what’s going on? Of course, they do, how do they not? This has been going on forever in these prisons, yet nothing been done to stop it. The new prisoners already know what they will have to do. So, like I have been asking, how can a person come here and be expected to change? No wonder the recidivism rate is so high. Most people that come to prison are not murders, but if they go to a United States Penitentiary, they will be forced to become one. Let me ask everyone reading this, since the people who control these Federal Prisons know this, why haven’t they done something? Why would they allow people to be stabbed and killed over and over without making any type of changes? Could it possibly be they want it to happen? If someone was to ask the people in control of the Federal Prison System this question, I am sure they would say “of course we don’t want it to happen”, then why wouldn’t something of been done to stop it?

Remember this didn’t just start, this has always gone on. There is no logical excuse to answer my question. The fact is the guards and administration allow this to go on because they want it to go on. They already know who belongs to which gang, they already know the different groups that don’t get along. They know the people they shouldn’t stick into population because they will be killed. Can you imagine being in control of a prison, someone shows up and you can see from his paperwork that this man will be killed as soon as he hits the prison cell block, yet you still allow him to go inside the prison? The prison administration does this all the time. Now if people in the free world was to allow someone to be murdered, even though they didn’t do it themselves, but knew a certain person was going to be killed and did nothing to stop it, they would be charged. If a thorough investigation was to ever be done, they would quickly see that the people who are in control of these prisons have allowed hundreds, if not thousands of men to be murdered. Of course, once again they would say that’s not true.

Well allow me once again to use a famous gangster everyone knows to prove my point. The old Irish gangster that was just captured by the FBI a few years back, named Whitey Bulger. There have been numerous books and countless movies done about this man’s life. Our entire country watched his capture play out on every news channel and newspaper, his trial on TV for weeks. Everyone heard how he had paid off the Boston police and worked with the FBI. When he showed up at the United States Penitentiary here in Hazelton, West Virginia, everyone knew exactly who he was. As I have written before, there are numerous things a prisoner must go through before he is placed in population. When everyone first arrives, the SISO must speak with all of the prisoners and are asked if there is any reason they cannot walk the yard, basically it means were you an informant? They ask this question because if a man is a sex offender or if he was an informant, he will be a target for murder. So, when Whitey Bulger showed up here, he had to go through a process before he was placed in a cell block. Even if Whitey Bulger had told them he wanted to go into population, it is the administration’s job to look at his file and see that there is no possible way he can be placed in population. They were supposed to put him in isolation until they found a place to send him. There was no possible way for the administration to not know who Whitey Bulger was, but they allowed this 90-year-old man to go to a cell block. I really shouldn’t say allowed, because in all actuality the administration sent him to be killed, and killed he was the very first day.

The Lieutenant, the Captain, and the Warden all lost their jobs, but were any charges filed on these men? Of course not. These types of killings happen all the time, but nothing is ever done to stop it. If the man wasn’t a worldwide known gangster, I already know for a fact the Lieutenant, the Captain and the Warden would not have lost their jobs. No wonder the prisoners are leaving prison worse than the day they arrived. This is why I wrote there needs to be a state-of-the-art prison system. Please know I am not talking about prisoners living in luxury, I am talking about a prison system where the goal is to actually rehabilitate the men and women that are in here, a prison system that is not controlled by gangs or an administration that would allow prisoners to be killed.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez