DW Hartsuck and/or DW Aguilar, Warden Fizer and IF&F liaison Ms. Cassiano,
DW Hartsuck and I spoke via e-mail on this subject in February 2009 (see e-mail below), shortly thereafter many inmates have filed grievances on or around that time in regards to this subject. Why hasn't the prison responded to the 30 plus grievances that the minimum custody inmates filed for months ago regarding housing minimum and medium custody so close together, not allowing the freedom of movement that a general population minimum security inmate would be allowed? They also sent complaints to the ACLU, and I am trying to follow up as a free person, who can question this breach of policy. I have been in touch with, and I am working with the ACLU on resolving this major security and fair treatment issue.
You have been most helpful in the past, and I hope that you can respond with an explanation since I am acting on behalf of all these inmates who are in protective custody and are minimum security, they have yet to have a respone and the department has had ample amount of time to respond. These inmates are being treated like they are still in medium security and this is against the law suit John Doe vs. Lewis, Terry Stewart from back in 2001. Not so much the housing situation, but the treatment of one level to the other, protective segregated inmates are not to be "punished or put in a situation any different than the inmates who are in general population". The minimum security inmates are being denied freedom of movement, certain jobs are not available, and privileges that they have earned are being withheld by sharing a common area with a higher security level inmate population. Not only that, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen, if there is an assault on a minimum security inmate from a medium security inmate DOC will be held liable since these populations should not co-mingle, and they do.
Since the budget crisis has now been reportedly "fixed" with the possibility of the sale of Perryville, Yuma and Eyman, this still doesn't address the overcrowding or the under staffing or the lack of funds. I'm sure that the DOC will be making a lot of changes with regard to population adjustments, this should be one that needs to be looked at. There has been talk of the possibility of moving minimum inmates to SACRAC, is this a rumor or something that is a possible solution?
I am frustrated at the fact that there is a security issue and it's not being addressed. I assure you that I will continue to research the legalities of this, the policy guidelines and continue to work with the ACLU to shed light on this to whomever is responsible in insuring that protective custody inmates are being treated the same as their counterparts in general population.
I'm sure that there is a protocol and there are procedures to follow in addressing this, and I would like to know who, within the Department of Corrections has control over this issue, and what is being done about it if anything at all?
Thank you for your time and response to this e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Mrs. Misty XXXXX
Wife of Inmate Brian XXXXX 121XXX
E-mail from DW Hartsuck a few months ago in response to a question I had about the different custody levels sharing common areas.
On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 3:25 PM, KEITH HARTSUCK wrote:
Manzanita Unit does have some different custody levels which include Mediums and Minimums. The lower custody is given some additional privileges than the mediums according to policy guidelines. There are also some additional job opportunities which is established according to the inmate's custody level and EIP phase level. The Department is looking at other housing locations, however, they are working through the Budget Crisis and the Agency's overcrowding. Manzanita Unit and many other prisons throughout the state is being reviewed for population adjustments, to assist with the over crowding and the changing inmate populations. The Department is conducting reviews in order to ensure the best use of its resources.
I recommend, if you have any further questions regarding Manzanita Unit and its operations, Deputy Warden Aguilar should be able to assist you.