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?

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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.

NV-CURE has completed another successful book drive

The books we collected were delivered to LCC yesterday.  Thank you all for your donations and help.  
 
We will begin another book drive in the near future.  Again, thank you all for the help – and a BIG THANK YOU to the people that gathered and delivered the books.  Great job.

John
Feb. 4th, 2015

Nevada Cure for People on Parole & Probation in Nevada

Attention all NV-CURE Members and Supporters:
According to information received by NV-CURE, People in Nevada who are on parole or probation are being advised by their P&P Officers that they may not associate in any manner with NV-CURE because members and supporters of our organization are convicted felons.
NV-CURE has communicated with P&P Chief Natalie Wood regarding this matter and is in the process of attempting to change or modify the association clause of the conditions of parole and probation.  Persons on parole or probation should be permitted to associate with NV-CURE in our legitimate activities reflected in our mission statement without fear of having their parole or probation revoked.
IF YOU KNOW of anyone on parole or probation who has been advised by a P&P Officer that they may NOT associate or join NV-CURE because our organization has convicted felon members, PLEASE have that person contact attorneys Travis Barrick and / or Cal Potter with the details.
Thank you for your attention to this problem.

Concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections: a letter to ACLU-NV

This is the text of a letter that a member of Nevada Cure sent to the ACLU in Nevada about the high number of deaths in the custody of Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). Their response: just fill out their form. We have been gathering so much documentation on medical neglect since the class action lawsuit that ACLU settled with NDOC! 
We would like to see some more answers and pushes to real change, more transparency from ACLU and NDOC in this matter. The electorate and the taxpayers, but most of all, the people in prison have a right to know why so many people die inside of medical neglect or inadequate medical care, and what is being done to address this.

Nov. 15th, 2014:
Dear NV ACLU:
I am writing about my concern about the high number of deaths in the NV Department of Corrections.  Since I moved here 15 months ago, there have been 20+ deaths reported in the media with little or no information as to the cause of death.  As a matter of fact just today, I saw in the media that a 55 year old woman at FMWCC and a 28 year old man at High Desert both died!
It is well known that the NDOC does not treat hepatitis and perhaps many of these deaths are a result of painful deaths due to this disease? While I realize that HIPPA laws prohibit an individual’s medical conditions to be revealed publicly, our state government is charged with the health and welfare of it’s incarcerated population, no matter what.  
I moved here from Illinois where the IDOC was carefully and routinely monitored by the John Howard Association in Chicago who visited each facility over the course of every two years and distributed their findings publicly and to the state legislature about the conditions and problems at each facility. They have no authority over the IDOC but their public reports definitely have an impact on needed changes that are always found as a result of the tours and interviews with the staff and the inmates.  
Is anyone monitoring the NDOC, especially when it comes to the number of deaths among the inmates here?  I note that most of the deceased inmates are NOT old men/women but younger or middle age and not likely to be dying of “natural causes” that are associated with old age.  My husband is currently incarcerated with the NDOC and I am concerned for his welfare as well as the other American citizens who are not getting proper medical care.  
How can we as citizens of this state, get this critical issue addressed in Nevada?  
Thank you for your attention and I hope to get a response.
[G.A.]