After Orange Halfway Home for women

By Cassandra Marie
In: NV-CURE Informational Bulletin (IB) Nr 21 (January 2017)

Cassandra and Jamie, sisters, come from loving parents and a loving home. Jamie was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10-25 years in prison. That was the beginning of our experience with the prison system. We obtained approval to visit and discussed the things we could do to make a difference.  Jamie has been incarcerated for nearly 10 years now.

With 2.3 million people incarcerated in our country and a 68% recidivism rate, we came up with a concept to follow people as they left prison. Where would they go, what would they do, and who would they hang out with? I started documenting women leaving FMWCC more than 3 years ago. I called the project After Orange. I have witnessed a variety of behaviors from the women I’ve interviewed and followed. From reconnecting with friends and family, going to Hope For Prisoners, turning to prostitution, and dipping back into old behaviors. We have learned of the many problems and issues in and around the NDOC.

One of these issues is the unanswered demand for housing when women are released. On November 1st, 2016, I opened “After Orange: Halfway Home”, a nonprofit transitional home for women being released from prison. We also documented a series about the women’s journey through and after their incarceration. We had a desire to help women who are ready to change their lives, partnering with community organizations like Hope For Prisoners, LV Urban League, FIT, Larson’s Training Center, NV CURE, God Behind Bars, LV Public Defenders, The Metropolitan Police Department, Private Practicing Lawyers, Department of Parole and Probation, and The District Attorney’s office. We bring trauma healing experts into our home and we’ve cultivated a healthy daily program with a set curfew, daily house meetings, house maintenance, substance abuse meetings, spiritual avenues, and structured life mapping to help women live their absolute best lives while giving back to their community. There is accountability in our home, primarily driven by our residents keeping each other in check.

After Orange: Halfway Home is only for women who want to live their absolute best lives. Our vision of helping female ex-offenders is taking shape. My sister and I are committed to bringing positive change to the prison culture in our country. Jamie goes to the parole board this March 2017, and upon release, she will be assisting to move this project forward from the outside.

The women from After Orange Halfway Home have been volunteering for NV CURE, helping with office duties and are very happy to give back to their community. If you are a woman inmate interested in living at our home, please write a 250 word statement about your story and why you’re ready to live your absolute best life and send it to NV CURE, Attn: After Orange Halfway House, 540 E. St. Louis Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89104. We will send you an application and look forward to hearing from you. Please spread the word.

Book Drive to the women at FMWCC

Attention ALL NV-CURE Members and Supporters:
Book Drive for FMWCC. Anyone interested in donating paperback books to the women at FMWCC should contact Nevada-Cure and arrange to drop the books off at our office or contact our Northern or Southern representative to arrange for a book drop off or pick up. Contact information will be provided upon request. 
Thank you for the help – the women could very much use the books.
PAPERBACK BOOKS ONLY.
Spread the word!

–> All books must be paperback. NO HARD COVERS.
Anyone with books to donate should contact:
(phone Nevada Cure at 702.347.1731 to learn who to contact in the north and in the south of Nevada)
When the NDOC approves the donations, which may take 6-8 weeks.
Thank you for your help. 
DONATE BOOKS NOW

Good Time Credits paralegal aid

Hope for Freedom will draft the necessary documents in cases to secure good time credits for $1500.00. If after reviewing all documents and facts, the person is not entitled to good time reductions, $750.00 will be refunded. Email hopeforfreedom at yahoo dot com if interested or call 231-313-0059.

Background:
(from our IB #16)
For years, the NDOC has misapplied AB510 to effectively block earned early release credits to the vast majority of category A and B violent or sexual offenders. But on June 24, 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled this was an error. In fact, the plain and clear language of NRS 209.4465(7)(b), pre 2007, does not preclude credit application to the minimum terms for the majority of these inmates.

In its Order, the Court found that:
1) AB510 was enacted in 2007 (therefore it cannot apply to offenses pre-2007); and,
(2) each offender, between July 17, 1997 and June 30, 2007 is entitled to application of his or her stat time to his or her parole eligibility (Category A offenses that specifically
state “a minimum sentence that must be served before a person becomes eligible for parole “are not included in this ruling).
All B, C, D, E and Attempts to Commit A felonies are affected.
See Frederick VonSeydewitz v. Warden Robert LeGrand No. 66159, June 24, 2015 for complete information and ruling.

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.

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.

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.

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.