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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Letters About Abuses at SOCF

Inmate PhotoJoseph Riley, an inmate at SOCF has written letters to the ODRC administration with no response or action. He sent us hand written copies of these letters, which we have transcribed and will resend to Gary Mohr, ODRC, Governor Kasich and attempt to publish in local media sources.

The letters are below, they speak for themselves. Please think twice before calling the police to send more people to be tortured in these facilities.

TO: DIRECTOR GARY C. MOHR August 25th, 2011


Sir, I am writing you in regards to the on going abuse, harassment, neglect, and brutality that is being committed against the prisoners here at SOCF by the guards.

This behavior is also being supported by the staff and administration here at SOCF.

Your recent memo stated in part that you have directed there is to be “higher penalties enforced against prisoners who are combative with staff”.

This statement prompted me to write this declaration to you. Clearly your memo is biased and untrue. I did not see mentioned any reference to guards who are guilty of assaulting prisoners.

FACT: At least a majority of the altercations between prisoners and SOCF staff are caused by staff.

You, yourself have worked in ODRC for many years, so it seems odd to me that you would be unfamiliar with this fact, regarding SOCF (especially).

This tells me either (a). You are naive and do not have a clue how corrupt and underhanded SOCF guards and staff are. OR (b). You ARE aware of this problem and secretly support it!!

FIRST: Basically, the inmate grievance system can only work if we have an Inspector who takes the grievance system seriously, and most importantly, has the nerve to stand up to the guards and staff at SOCF; to sanction and/or penalize these officers for their behaviors!!!

The inspector, Ms Malhman, here at SOCF is failing to properly investigate informal complaints and grievances filed by prisoners against guards; showing a pattern of harassing and assaulting prisoners.

It's “common knowledge” that the guards here get away with everything they do to prisoners. Therefore, these guards fear no threat of punishment, and, know they will not be held accountable for their actions.

This in itself encourages these guards to continue these behaviors.

The problems at SOCF arise out of violations of prisoners rights and protected privileges. For example, guards are daily taking prisoners' rights to use the library, shave, shower, attend recreation, eat meals, etc...whenever any prisoner demands to see a supervisor most often he is laughed at! If he stops a nurse or staff member doing routine rounds, the guard retaliates by macing the prisoner with pepper spray and then lying on the prisoner, claiming the prisoner attempt to spit on the guard and/or throw something.

When the prisoner files an informal complaint and grievance, the inspector, Ms Malhman, does not investigate in any shape, form or fashion! The does not interview the prisoner who filed the complaint! If she does mention it to the guard, it is only so that she can help the guard git his or her story straight, to lie out of it!!

SECOND: I am waiting for you to put out a memo that says “any officers or staff that are found to have caused and/or attempted to cause or participated in any way in abuse, neglect, harassment or assault against any prisoner will be immediately discharged and charges filed under the Ohio Revised Code, which may be deemed appropriate.”

But that is not going to happen Director MOHR, because I suspect – you know exactly what has been going on at SOCF all these years. Between yourself. Ms. C. Davis, and all the rest who are involved; all I can say is that I will continue to expose these brutal, premeditated planned assaults that have been committed against prisoners as SOCF for the past ten years.

****I'm also going to expose Scioto County Prosecutors Office and local Judges for knowingly participating in a state wide conspiracy to obtain convictions against prisoners who have done nothing except to protect and defend themselves against pre-determined attacks by the guards and staff at SOCF.

I have personally witnessed over a hundred brutal attacks that were carried out by guards and supervisors as SOCF. Some of which were committed against mental health patients whom did not even have fully developed adult mental capacities. Childlike, so to speak.

TELL ME DIRECTOR MOHR, what kind of men can take out there PR-24 (Knight Sticks) and brutally beat a mental patient, then celebrate afterward as if they had just won a football game?

Some of these attacks occurred, simply because these officers were mad that the prisoner would not stop shitting and peeing the bed due to uncontrollable bodily functions.

Prisoners are being treated with extreme hostility and forced into positions where they must protect and defend themselves at SOCF.

Once this occurs, prisoners are further assaulted and then charged with fabricated crimes to ultimately cover up and/or justify these premeditated attacks that are being carried out against prisoners by the guards and staff here at SOCF.

Once they go to court, prisoners are explaining how these brutal attacks against them come about and how these prisoners were only protecting themselves.

The prosecutors, judges, and attorneys are intentionally disregarding these claims, and, in my particular case, the judge, during my pre-trial hearing, on several instances, struck what I had said from the record/transcripts. This occurred after I had said “Let it be shown on record that I am notifying this court of premeditated attacks being carried out by guards and staff against prisoners at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.”

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility guards, staff and administration have successfully mastered and refined the art of manipulation and twisting the truth and occurrences at SOCF for their ultimate gains.

They are playing Columbus Central Office, they are playing the courts, they are playing the media and they are playing the Feds for funding.

Whether any and/or all of these other agencies are involved knowingly or unknowingly in this conspiracy, is not for sure at this time due to my being incarcerated and restricted. But this is a serious problem that needs to be stopped!

I am making many copies of this declaration to send to numerous departments and agencies, civil rights groups etc... I would greatly appreciate any help that is given to stop this ongoing conspiracy and to protect prisoners here at  Southern Ohio Correctional Facility from future harm and wrongful convictions.

Submitted by prisoner Mr. Joseph Riley #349-443 on August 25th 2011.

Joseph Riley # 349-443
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 45699
Lucasville, Ohio 45699-0001

Release Date 6/24/2012

I hereby swear that everything I have said is true to the best of my knowledge.

Joseph Riley 349-443  8/25/2011

To Whom It May Concern : An Open Letter Addressing the Ongoing Abuses at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. 
Written by Mr. Joesph J. Riley

I am writing this declaration because the guards and staff here at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) continue to harass and issue fabricated conduct reports against prisoners; and this is still being encouraged and supported by the administration here.

This problem is especially serious when a prisoner faces scrutiny from the parole authority, which ultimately effects whether a prisoner receives a parole or not, or when the behavior is a direct threat of bodily harm against the prisoner, of which the prisoner must protect and defend himself against it. The latter usually results in fabricated charges being filed against prisoners to cover up and justify acts of severe brutality committed against these prisoners.

Guards are using specific techniques to annoy, harass, and cause harm to prisoners. For example, the guards have turned the metal detector on high sensitivity so that the slightest vibrations trigger the detector's alarm, thus giving the guards the opportunity to needlessly annoy, and harass prisoners. This is done periodically.

The guards will stop prisoners and make them go through the metal detector a second time, then tell the prisoner to place his hands on the wall for a body pat-down. The guard will preform the pat-down, then instruct the prisoner to return to his destination, but when the prisoner removes his hands from the wall and turns to leave, the guard pretends the prisoner is resisting and attacks the prisoner with pepper spray and/or their P-R-24 sticks, as if the prisoner came off the wall without permission!

In less severe instances, the guards use this same technique to simply annoy prisoners and then issue a fabricated conduct report, and most often, send the prisoner to the segregation isolation unit, when the prisoner speaks out.

This is just a few examples of how these guards constantly harass, annoy, and justify brutality against prisoners.

In fact, just last week the Unit Manager Administrator (UMA), a Miss Cynthia Davis, sat at the main metal detector, after having the guards turn the detector sensor on high, and then laughed and enjoyed watching prisoners being made to go through the metal detector over and over again being needlessly annoyed and harassed.

This can be verified by viewing the DVR footage for the week of September 19th through the 23rd and seeing how several prisoners in each group were made to go through the metal detector over and over again, and compare this to other weeks.

Miss Cynthia Davis is a highly placed member of the administration here at SOCF and she is highly corrupt and as dirty and underhanded as any guards she covers up for and protects. Miss Davis is a master at manipulation as I've witnessed with my very own eyes the dirty, underhanded tricks she, the Institutional Inspector, and the Prison's Investigator have used over the years to get away with their negligence, corruption and constant brutality.

This prompts me to ask your office three very important questions.

Question One: Under what circumstances does a prisoner have the right to protect and defend himself, and, to fend off physical brutality being directed at him by a guard or staff?
These guards and staff have lost all regard for the human rights of prisoners and for the law, by attacking and causing, or attempting to cause, serious bodily harm to the prisoner. These behaviors appear to be done for the guards or staffs own sick, twisted and sadistic pleasure or agenda.

Question Two: How are prisoners to protect themselves from fabricated charges and wrongful convictions in Scioto County Court that the SOCF has used to cover up and/or justify their constant use of brutality, especially when these judges and the prosecutors office seem to be in on the whole thing?

Question Three: What is a prisoner to do when speaking to the judge on record and he states that,
guards and staff at SOCF are knowingly causing and/or attempting to cause serious harm and suffering to prisoners; and then bringing fabricated charges of crimes against these prisoners in an attempt to cover up and/or justify these acts of severe brutality and suffering, which the prisoners are being subjected to at SOCF.”
and the responses of both the judge and the prosecutor are to fail to notify the appropiate government agencies of these accusations so that an investigation can be started? Instead the judge goes as far as to strike this very statement from the recorded proceedings and then threatens harder penalties if the prisoner refuses to accept the court's desired plea agreement.

These three questions are from my own experience here at SOCF and dealings with Scioto County Court. The guards and staff at SOCF seem to operate on their own secret agenda.

I have been in 4-B lockdown blocks for 8 ½ years straight, and I was finally released to a 4-A general population on June 3rd 2011. I have received zero conduct reports in the last 8 months and I continue to speak in mild, non-aggressive tones whenever speaking to officers and other staff.

I will continue to br respectful and compliant, though since my release to general population I've received several threats of physical bodily harm to my person by corrections officer, Azbel, of which I properly addressed through the prison grievance procedure.

My primary goal at this time is to share this most shocking truth with every agency, department, and civil rights group I possibly can, so that SOCF's corruption is stopped and prisoners are protected from future harm and wrongful convictions.

I may never free myself from the indignities and the torture and physical brutality I've been subjected to for many many years here as SOCF. But I hold hope that someday the government I believe in will bring SOCF and those involved in this on-going corruption to justice.

Until then I will do my very best to continue to speak out and hope that those who receive this declaration do so with an open heart.

SOCF continues to try and shock Ohio with these uprisings and threats of how “dangerous” the prisoners are supposed to be...when the staff of SOCF are the ones that are instigating the entire situations.
For example, tonight on the eleven o'clock news, there was a segment of Lucasville guards holding signs, protesting to keep the many guard towers open. They claimed that keeping these towers open is imparitive to protect the community.

This is nonsense.

Now I wait to see what SOCF will do next, what steps they will take to incite prisoners into “rising up” so they can step back and claim innocence. Then they will say, “Oh, look how dangerous they are! We need more guards, more money for funding! This is why we need to leave the guard towers operational!

This is what SOCF has been involved in for many, many years now. They have literally mastered the art of intimidating and manipulating the public by constantly inciting and attacking prisoners, then twisting the entire situation around to make SOCF appear to be an extremely dangerous prison. They make prisoners appear to be ten times more dangerous than they really are!

It would take me hundreds of pages to report the techniques SOCF has used and the depth of their corruption. It is all very intentional, as I have mentioned above.

I have seen hundreds of prisoners being subjected to nightmarish constant deprivations of human rights here at SOCF. We have been mentally, emotionally, and physically tortured for extremely long periods, sometimes this treatment has gone on for many years. No matter what grievance process we used, no matter what so called inspection committee we wrote or civil rights organization, the occurrences at SOCF prevail and the abuses continue and often worsen.

It is rumored that this entire corrupt process was concocted by the prison system in Ohio after the riots in the early 1900s. That there was an unspoken “free pass” given that guards and administration at SOCF could use whatever tactics needed, and that they simply need to back each other up, so to speak, to control the facility and those incarcerated there. So it becomes ultimately SOCF's word against the words of the prisoners. With that as the standard, who is going to be believed?

One can assume that this is where SOCF came together and realized that they no longer had to obey any human rights laws or any laws for that matter. They had now achieved complete unhindered control over a group of prisoners. To do with them as they pleased, and to be used as tools if need be.

SOCF is now training other Ohio prisons, so that they too can master this art of total corruption and control. Total brutality.

Now, when you check the statistics, a large majority, of prisoners in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) have very low educational skills, let alone the knowledge of how to put most of Lucasville's SOCF entirely corrupt processes into words. Most prisoners openly and honestly admit that they do not file informal complaints and grievances. Nor do they have the skills to file one properly and efficiently.

On top of this fact you add that the very institutional inspector we address these complaints to is a master at manipulating the truth and helping guards and staff to cover up and lie there way out of these complaints; shows these prisoners do not have a chance in hell, so to speak, from the get go.

Also, look at how the reports of physical brutality in Ohio's DRC's has increased dramatically since SOCF guards and staff have begun this statewide training of prison's corrections officers.

They are literally teaching these officers how to use physical brutality as an extortion tool to force prisoners to disregard our own human rights and to accept these illegal conditions we are being subjected to.

These conditions go well beyond what is considered to be an A-Typical hardship.

In closing, it is clear that something must be done about this problem.

I thank any and every one who takes the time to sit down and read this declaration.

I especially thank any and all who do anything that will help to expose this situation and to ultimately stop this brutality, wrongful convictions and ongoing corruption here at SOCF once and for all.

Sincerely submitted by Mr. Joseph Riley on September 26th, 2011.  

Mr. Joseph J. Riley #349-443
SOCF PO Box 45699
Lucasville, OH 45699

TO: The Correctional Institutional Inspection Committee

FROM: Joseph J. Riley # 349-443

I am writing you again because you have continued to fail to stop the abuse, negligence, harassment, and brutality going on against prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) by the guards and administration.

This administration is not only failing to address these issues, but as I've been explaining to your office all these years, they have been encouraging and supporting what has been going on even more.

Officers and shift supervisors continue to conspire against the prisoners and to constantly incite prisoners by using tactics and techniques of extreme threats and hostility and by violating our most protected and sacred rights.

This treatment surpasses what is considered to be an “A-Typical” hardship. And Most importantly, these same complaints you are hearing now, are the same you have been hearing all of these years. Yet they continue.

When a new prisoner comes to SOCF and immediately reports an incident of corruption and brutality, the Rules Infraction Board, the Deputy Warden and the Inspector all try to cover it up. They manipulate and twist the truth of the incident to put fault on to the prisoner.

How long must this go on? How many hundreds of incidences must you witness before you finally realize that these prisoners are telling the truth?

A majority of these attacks are simply prisoners who are fending off guards who try to attack them. They once they get the prisoner handcuffed and shackled, they are then attacking these prisoners with their PR-24 sticks and mace. It is always off camera, or the guards or administration lose the footage if it is on DVR camera.

It seems to me that the Governors Office and the CIIC must be involved in this corruption, because these facts are continuing to pile up and the same prison staff and administration members who have witnessed, participated in, provoked and orchestrated these attacks and situations over all these years, continue to work here!  What is more shocking to me is that they almost always end up receiving higher and better positions, as if they had passed some test by getting away with it!!!!

I have continued to write to your office and to expose the true behavior of these prison guards ad officials, and your office continues to disregard what is openly, clearly a type of statewide gang! A mafia! A group of people whom conspire to commit illegal acts on a continued basis.

When a guard attempts to attack and assault me I have the right to defend myself. So do all the other prisoners here! But the SOCF prison staff and administration are not only getting away with this corruption, they are also involving the Scioto County Court System in this conspiracy by wrongfully charging prisoners with fabricated crimes simply to justify and get away with their acts of brutality and corrupt premeditated behavior. Prisoners are, and have been wrongfully convicted.

For the past 9 years (or there abouts) I have been at SOCF. I have personally watched this prison move under some secret agenda in mostly a designed manner.

One moment the guards and staff will change abruptly and act calmly and rationally. Then unexpectedly they will increase harassing prisoners; writing prisoners conduct reports for behavior they have just previously stated was overlooked and tolerated. This change comes without warning. On top of that, if prisoners remain calm and do not allow this sudden attack against them to upset them, the guards intensify their aggression and threaten physical attacks against the prisoner as if it is some challenge to do what ever necessary to anger and incite prisoners to defend themselves. Which is the ultimate goal of the guards.

Prisoners have a right not to be subjected to such indignities, acts of brutality and maltreatment such as we are on a constant basis here at SOCF.  

Most importantly, these psychological and emotional attacks when mixed with and added to threats of physical violence, widely surpass what is considered to be an “A-Typical” hardship.

Had I not been exposed and subjected to this treatment for the better part of nine years, I myself, may not see it for what it truly is, a predetermined, premeditated attack. So, when you take a new prisoner who has just arrived at SOCF and has no idea of this whole corrupt process, and he is then subjected to treatment that is beyond his normal everyday perception; treatment that easily constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and is clearly a violation of due process, this is a complete shock to these prisoners reality. These prisoners do not have a snowballs chance in hell, so to speak, of how to properly address and rationally deal with this crap. Especially when, as I have explained to your office for several years now, the entire staff and administration at SOCF are either guilty themselves, or are an accessory to the fact. So they either keep quiet and turn a blind eye to this problem, if in fact they are not directly responsible.

I am still greatly shocked and awed that you people, the CIIC, who profess to be on the “right” side of the law and stand for justice and truth, become instantly blind and stupid when you are constantly exposed to this prison's constant corruption.

What in the heck is going on in Columbus? Do you think I am going to forget about this and that it is all going to be hushed up?

I am going to continue to speak out and expose these problems until something is done to stop this treatment and until SOCF is help accountable along with those elsewhere who have been involved in this corruption.

All that must be done to stop this corruption is to personally replace the Institutional Inspector with one who is not from this area and who is honest and, most importantly, one who will use strict and severe penalties against officers and staff who are found to be guilty of these complaints.  

Above all, these guards are staff need this employment...once they see that they can not manipulate Columbus, and get away with this corruption any longer they will cease this behavior, for their ultimate goal is employment and survival.

Also you must show the high officials at SOCF, such as Warden D. Morgan, U.M.A. Ms. Cynthia Davis, the Major Warren that they are no longer going to get away with helping the guards and staff to get away with their trickery and brutality and that they too will be removed. They will immediately become self-preservational and accept that the free ride is over! And you will see a complete transformation at SOCF and this is the only way.

As long as these people at SOCF see they can continue to manipulate Columbus and Ohio, they will continue to do so. They will milk Ohio for everything they can get...

In closing, either you are a part of the problem or you are a part of the solution. This will be determined by who is corrupt and by who is not. Lets get to it!

Sincerely Submitted by Joseph Riley 349-443 on September 30th  2011

Joseph Riley # 349-443
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 45699
Lucasville, Ohio 45699-0001

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