This is an article written especially at the request of prisoners for their Newsletter (Nevada Prisoners’ Newsletter, NPN), which is for and by prisoners.
By Natalie Smith, Secretary, NV-CURE
By now, many of you are aware that Nevada Cure (NV-CURE) has been reorganized under new leadership and we are taking a proactive approach to problems within the Nevada prison system .Our new president, John Witherow, spent 26 years in Nevada’s prisons and is acutely aware of the problems prisoners face.
NV-CURE’s Investigation into Abuse of Prisoners
As the NPN is going to press, NV-CURE is sending out seven (7) more cases of excessive force/abuse of prisoners to Director Cox.
At our meeting in December, Director Cox expressed an interest in disciplining bad guards, the ones whose names repeatedly make their way to our mailbox as the perpetrators of cowardly acts of violence, sometimes against chained and shackled prisoners, some of whom are old or sick, handicapped or mentally ill. We have to give the department the first opportunity to correct the problems, even though that method has failed in the past, before we go to a higher authority to force them to correct the problems.
Abuses addressed in the mailing to Cox include a 70 year old prisoner who has tumors and a pacemaker beaten inside the medical unit of NNCC, guards using force only before the video camera arrives, five guards attacking a restrained prisoner while yelling racist slurs and acts of brutality in retaliation for prisoners “seeing” guards committing other atrocities. Another case involves a prisoner having his face bashed into the wall, and even after his face split open guards continued to bang his face into the wall. This behavior must not be tolerated. Please continue to provide NV-CURE with affidavits of any such incidents you are a victim of or witness to.
According to correspondence we have received, some prisoners condone the actions of the abusive guards, perhaps because the mentally ill are irritating, perhaps because it makes some people feel safer to be on the side of the guards; or, perhaps those prisoners are receiving “favors” from their sponsoring guards; however, remember that not all our correspondence is from mentally ill or “weak” prisoners. Once the floodgate of abuse is open, any and all prisoners may fall victim to vicious attacks. Speak up when you see an act of abuse committed against a weak prisoner or someone with a mental illness. Remember, guards are not your friends and condoning their abuse only leads to more abuse. You may be next on the list of prisoners disfavored by guards!!! The old boy system of protecting abusive guards must STOP, regardless of whether you personally like or dislike the prisoner being abused. Join us in the struggle for JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS FOR ALL!!!
Free! Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook!
The Center for Constitutional Rights offers FREE copies of their “Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook”. It can be downloaded by family and friends from their website at ccrjustice.org or you may order it directly by writing to CCR at :
Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook
c/o The Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Order it, read it, know your rights! The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook is a primer on how to bring a federal lawsuit to challenge violations of your rights in prison via a section 1983 civil rights lawsuit
Become a Member! Invite your family and Friends to Join us!
NV-CURE invites all prisoners to become members. All we ask is a $2.00 donation of stamps. Please send your name ,number and address and $2.00 in stamps to:
Law Office of Gallian, Wilcox, Welker, Olson & Beckstrom, LC
540 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
702.347.1731 – nevadacure.org
Conference Call Number and Code
Code: 493815 #
Please ask your family and friends on the streets to become involved with NV-CURE. There is a lot of work to do and we need as much help in the struggle for justice and fairness for all. Nothing will get done without typing, mailing, attending prison commission meetings and more. NV-CURE meets on the last Wednesday of each month at the above address and we invite the attendance and participation of all. For family and friends not in the LV area, they can call in and join the meeting on a conference call by calling conference call number listed above and entering the code.
We welcome any and all suggestions from prisoners. Write to us with your ideas and issues. We will present your information at the monthly meetings.
Unfortunately we do not have the financial resources to accept collect calls or to copy and return documents. We will, however, accept pre-paid calls at the above number.