New Independent Committee to end Seg Abuse

We are forming an Independent Citizen Committee which will investigate cases of overuse and abuse of segregation. This committee will make reports and recommendations to the prison officials and powers that be, and will take certain cases to the World Court and US Courts. The target here is long term segregation- where the mentally ill and often the politically astute prisoners are kept in segregation for years.
The goals: a) to end the warehousing of the mentally ill
b) to free from segregation the prisoners who are isolated for years because of their leadership and legal abilities and
c) to force the public to build effective treatment pathways for our most vulnerable citizens. (Treatment not prison)
d) FFUP will also use the data collected by the committees to proceed more effectively with the individual advocacy.
We are looking for help on all levels. Please contact us with your ideas, comments.


Wisconsin Committee for the Ethical And Humane Treatment of Prisoners (WCEHTP)
1) Mission Statement:
To monitor , screen and review why prisoners are being held in extreme and uncivilized conditions of confinement for indeterminate periods of time.
A fresh and independent re-evaluation of the psychological and social damages of the “SHU” and “supermax”conditions.
2) Motto: A nation’s standards are judged by its treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. Our present system strips the citizens in prison of the ability to protect themselves. It is therefore our obligation as citizens to be the "watch tower” to prevent and hold accountable all visible and invisible forms of “misprision”.
3) Committee composition:
a) Ideally an assemblage of independent professionals and citizens with no WI DOC ties .Under no circumstances will these members be employees of the DOC, paid lobbyists or part of the guard union.
b) Members should include a diverse group of professionals with backgrounds in mental health, sociology, education, rehabilitation, penology, corrections reform, community services and prisoner rights.
c) Non professional members of the community should be well represented and efforts shall be made to keep the committee reflective of the ethnicity of the prison population.
d) In the interest of fairness, prisoner's family members and close friends will be welcome to help with processing prisoners' applications and doing other intake work and will be able advocate for their loved ones at committee sessions but will not be part of the final decision making committee.
e) The committee will work with other advocacy organizations to most effectively use resources.
f) All gatherings of committee members shall have a moderator, to be chosen by the committee, to help maintain open discussion.

4) File review Eligibility:
Because a large volume of review requests are anticipated some standard for review must be established. Files will be reviewed of those prisoners in one or more of these categories:
a) have been in segregation or administrative confinement for 5 years or more
b) are being denied programs that would allow them to be released to less confined status or are otherwise needed.
c) are showing “decomposition traits”, i.e. who are showing signs of severe psychological stress
d) have predetermined psychological concerns before being placed in indeterminate segregation status.
e) more shall be added to this clause as the committee become more firmly rooted and oriented to the problems.

5) Duties
a)The committee will review case files of long term prisoners confined in segregation or administrative confinement for five years or more or who otherwise fit the criteria outlined in above section(4).
b) This assemblage will use documents supplied by the prisoner and verify those documents with open records requests. The committee shall review the documents that are being used by the prison to keep the prisoner locked down as well as documents submitted by the prisoner showing why the prison administrations findings are oppressive. This assemblage will have the discretion to request any other documents needed either by open records request to the prison or direct request to the prisoner. For health records, each prisoner must sign a release of information permission form stating that the prison can reveal heath information to the committee.
c) When appropriate, prisoners will be visited by appropriate experts and independent evaluations made.
d) The committee will work with other advocacy organizations to most effectively use resources.
6) Results:
a) The committee shall make their recommendations in a report of the prisoner being reviewed. The prisoner shall also be provided with a copy and shall determine if he would like the committee to send a “certified” copy of the recommendations to the prison administration.
b) If the committee has determined a prisoner is being inappropriately confined or denied programming, and that the placement is damaging to the prisoner, the committee as public policy authority, may file court action in support of the prisoner and his release from inappropriate confinement. Such legal actions will be determined by the committee and at the advice and counsel of the committee's legal consultant.
7) Legal methods:
a) Once the committee is properly fitted and seated, they should seek out the appointment of a legal coordinator from among them or a volunteer who shall serve as a lay person legal consultant. This person or persons can be a member of the committee or not and should have a sound degree of legal knowledge; Volunteer lawyers, paralegals at the lower bar, judges or law professors.
b) The legal coordinator shall provide the committee with the proper venue and assess which cases are worth litigating in regards for humanitarian relief for the prisoners in US courts, the UN, the World Court etc. The legal consultant will apprise the committee of the relevant prison litigation law and the state of the law in germanous to the file on review. As the committee reviews files, patterns will be revealed and class actions are possible.
d) Other non legal actions by the committee are possible such as public reports, advocacy campaigns and the like. These will be determined as the committee gets its bearings.

7) Agency Structure
Once the bones of this humanitarian agency are perfected the committee will have the discretion to add to its staffing, duties and permissions as long as it remains constant to the mission and integrity of the entity.
At base, group order and cohesion will be maintained whenever the committee convenes to discuss a case, file or agency, with these positions:
1) Committee secretary: who in accordance with Wisconsin common laws of incorporation, take notes, dates, minutes.
2) Supply and resource officer: to make arrangements to receive donated materials, funds and services. Shall record all resources the agency receives. Assistants and fill in staff will be available when these people are not in attendance.
3) Intake person//persons- this needs to be a designated person or persons to receive WCEHTP mail coming in from prisoners . If more this task is done by more than one person, there needs to be coordination between them. These people will read incoming mail, designate it to proper volunteers, and report on it at committee meetings.

From: Wisconsin Committee for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Prisoners (WCEHTP)
Subject: Documents to be submitted by prisoners who request public review of their continued long term segregation status.
Date December 7, 2011
Attention: long term seg or / AC or other prisoners:
The following documents would be the initial requirement for this independent public committee to use and assess your long term confinement in segregation status. If you meet the thresh hold criteria, i.e. been in segregation or AC for five or more consecutive years or have psychological concerns, send us the following documents so we can see if we can help.
1) your last PRC results
2) Your initial and last AC recommendation sheet and your initial and last AC- committee decision sheets
3) a six page statement from you pointing out in clear and legible format why you think you should be released and/or why you should not be continuously held in seg/ac. (Note: the 6 page requirement, is approximate and we understand that it is too much for some with disabling mental illnesses. We are flexible. Make the statement clear and reasonably detailed.)
4) A two page outline of all legal and court actions you have attempted to get relief; meaning sec 1983 suits or writs of certioraris etc.
5) to better understand the scope and principles behind this committee, see the accompanying WCEHTP mission statement sheet.
6) This is a volunteer project so we cannot make any promises or commitments to anyone. Time and resources are weak so do not send originals. Only send copies as we cannot afford to send documents back.
7) After our initial assessment, we may then request more detailed information and documents. To keep this simple, anyone who sends more will probably not be reviewed. For simplicity is what is required at this stage.
You prevent us from helping you by not following these pertinent instructions.

Wisconsin Committee for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Prisoners
Mental Health and Stress Evaluation Form

Note: The purpose of this questionnaire is to garner both individual and collective data. The information here will not be disclosed to anyone outside of WCEHTP without your consent.
Feel free to use extra paper- just write the number of questions you are answering
1) Your name____________________________________ prison ID#__________
2) Prison name and address______________________________________________
3) Your age_______________
4) Any serious mental health conditions already diagnosed ______________________________________________________________________________
5) Any psychological or mental diagnosis
6) Who made the diagnosis? ___________________________________________________ List any diagnoses you got before incarceration And who made theses diagnoses(institution or person)_______________________________________________________________________
7) *List your emotional happiness for the week . for example, 1 is poor, 10 is happy. List week and days. If you experience the same emotion for all seven days or most of the days, what is the determining factor?.
8) How much sleep do you get on the most stress free day?
9) How much sleep do you get to the most stressful day?
10) How many times in the week do you feel hopeless?
11) How long have you been in solitary confinement? How long have you been incarcerated in total?
12) What is the longest period of solitary confinement you have experienced prior to your present confinement?
13) Do you feel you will ever be released?
14) Do you have people outside of prisoner that keep contact with you?
15) If so, how often do you receive mail from them?
16) If you have relatively little contact with the outside, how does this make you feel?
17) When feeling stressful, how do you get rid of the stress?

18) If and when you feel low, what kinds of things do you do to help you get over this?

19) Are you permitted to have photographs of your family, friends and loved ones?
20) Magazines, newspapers?
21) How long does your low period usually last?
22) When watching tv or listening to a story or reading a book that is sad, do you ever empathize with that sadness or ever cry?
23) After having slept for more than 8 hours do you ever feel tired or emotionally exhausted?
24) Have you lost any family or friends or anyone you care for while in the hole? If so, how did you cope?
25) Describe in approximately 6 words how your family and loved ones feel about you being in solitary confinement this long: in words they have personally used with you.
26) Has being in solitary confinement caused disputes between you and those on the outside?
27) Without being too descriptive, describe one example of such a dispute.

28) If you have tried unsuccessfully to used the court system to be released, how does this make you feel?

29) Have you ever said these words in regards to trying to prove you are no longer a threat and should be released:"(explicative)I'm through trying to__________________________
(fill in the blank with your words).

30) How often do you make the above statement ( 29)
31) Will you try again to seek relief from the court system?

1 comment:

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No place for them. Should be transfer on where they belong.