Friday, September 02, 2005

Letter regarding visitation

This (below) is a letter written to prison staff in 2003 as I tried to appeal to their humanity. By the end of 2004, they had put bars on the visiting booths, with windows that could be opened, for SEMI CONTACT visits. The first day of contact visits was scheduled for Feb 14th, Valentines Day 2005.
I had a visit scheduled with my girlfriend. (now ex)
During the first week of February, 2 inmates tried to escape. The other 99% of the death row inmates lost contact visiting indefinitely.
Punished the majority for the misdeeds of 2 inmates.
Our recreation time has been cut to the bare minimum, and that means less time to use the phone and the window of opportunity to catch someone at home between the hours of 8-30 -9-30am or 4-5 pm, which is when people are at work, has also narrowed.
Now I can only pray that my other two children learn from Jeffrey's death, what I am unable to teach them, due to the policies that victimize my loved ones.
I am tired. Sixteen years worth of tired. I have paid my debt in one heartache after another. A part of me will be relieved if I'm to be executed. Dying seems to be the only peace I'll ever find in this life.
Hopes and dreams fade, and time is running out. My youngest child will be 21 years old in October........and the last time I was given a hug and kiss by anyone, was by her in October of 1989............ my life has passed.

To Deputy Warden of Operations.
I am writing this letter to appeal to your sense of humanity, and requesting more humane and fair treatment of death row's general population.
Before the Lucasville riot, in 1993, death row was being given more and more privileges, as time went by. We were allowed 40 inmates at a time on the rec yard, and in the gym, plus 20 inmates, (one range) at a time, in the evenings, went to the day room.
After the riot, we still went 20 inmates at a time in the yard.
Just before the riot, we were waiting for the Central Office to approve contact visitation. The visiting situation, even before contact visits were considered, was still better than the visitation, at Man C I.
Once we were notified that death row would be transferred to Man C I, we were assured that contact visits would continue to be pursued, the whole of death row's general population wouldn't be punished for the misdeeds of a few, and we would be just like the prison's main population, only segregated.
Also, that the outside rec yard would be built, between DR2 and DR3, by extending DR5's rec area to the end of each building. they went as far as digging the post holes for the fence. That was the end of any effort to build it.
The rec cage, inside and out, do not provide restrooms.
They do not met A.C.A. standards as far as minimum required space per inmate, and were designed as disciplinary cages for 2 inmates at a time. (To be locked in a cage is restrictive by its nature)
DR6 is portrayed as an "Honor Block", but is in fact only the standard by which all death row's general population should be living under. It is the ONLY DR pod that meets A.C.A requirements!
I'm not asking for the same privileges and conditions that DR6 inmates enjoy. I am only seeking to loosen the punitive conditions under which the majority of death row's general population must endure.
DR6 inmates are the same classification as the rest of death rows general population. We have the same sentence, same security status, same classification. Yet, they enjoy a "REAL" rec yard, not having to be cuffed before their cell doors are opened, and they're not locked into a rec cage, 5 inmates at a times, that's only designed to only allow 2 inmates at a time.
DRs1 thru 4 are locked in their cells 22 hours a day, with their food slots locked. We're fed in our cells. We're cuffed before exiting our cells. Our outside rec cages have 12 foot ceilings (6 feet short of A.C.A requirements, and built for only 2 inmates)
The difference between D/R 6 and DRs1 thru 4 is vast and very obvious.
The DR4 disturbance took place almost 6 years ago. Only a handful of inmates were found responsible, yet ALL of death row's general population was punished, and the majority of death row's general population continues to be punished under disciplinary procedures, except for DR 6.
It is a well known fact that death row inmates (as a whole) are better behaved than ANY other population of close or maximum security. Death Row inmates are mostly interested in their appeals, and don't want to jeopardize them.
DR6 inmates have enjoyed their privileges for a year and a half, and there have been no problems, thus far. In fact they've even won "Pod of the month"
The rest of us have been punished for almost 6 years for something we had absolutely nothing to do with. There is no justifying the disciplinary conditions and procedures we must endure.
With DR 6 being treated as we were ALL once treated, it seems we've suddenly been placed in a lower classification with no clear cut criteria to obtain the same privileges. Determination of inmates allowed to enjoy such privileges. Determination of inmates allowed to enjoy a lower security status, and other privileges afforded to DR6 inmates, is prejudiced and biased, with such decisions made by the whims and wont's of Unit Staff.
I'm only asking for the obvious unfairness between DR 6 and DRs1 thru 4 to be brought to the attention of this institution, and for the institution to close the gap by easing the punitive conditions under which the majority of us live.
I'm appealing to your sense of fairness, and humanity. I'm just trying to bring to light the injustice of punishing the majority for the misdeed of a few.
I thank you for this moment of your time, and appreciate you listening to this plea, and considering the hardships death row inmates must endure before they're put to death.

Sincerely and Respectfully
Ohio Death Row Inmate

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