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Life Arts    H1'ed 2/24/19

Federal Bureau of Prisons' 50 Shades of ... Brown?

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There was an additional incident that day that highlights how wrongfully I was singled out for abuse, as I was the only visitor to be denied visitation that day. There is a sign posted inside and outside the visiting room that says upon going through the door exiting the visiting room, visitation is terminated. However, upon my return and while waiting to be admitted to the visiting room, a visitor was allowed to exit the visiting room, go to a locker, open and access the locker, possibly get something out of the locker (I could not see what she did at the locker), then was buzzed back into the visiting room without being re-processed or questioned whatsoever, in clear violation of BOP rules. If, as Harris asserted, the signs don't matter, BOP Program Statements do matter, so that is an additional violation committed by the abusive prison employees.

JB: Never a dull moment in this unending saga. Good luck with your official complaints, Judy. Thanks for once again bringing us up to speed.

JW: Thanks for your interest, Joan. As much as I share, there is so much more. What is most frustrating and heartbreaking about all of this is that poor Gary continues to be unlawfully imprisoned. I learned earlier today that is by design of the warden, that the warden himself had personally directed the prison employees responsible for processing the prisoners who are due to be released to "drag out as long as possible" the release of the elderly prisoners who are entitled to release, including Gary. Imagine the top administrative official at the prison directing prison employees to defy federal law, committing conspiracy and obstruction of justice. But just like all prison employees who freely break federal laws, his wrongdoing will likely be covered up by the others. He may even get a promotion for doing such a great job of wrongfully keeping dozens of non-violent elderly men who are legally entitled to freedom in prison. That's how this most corrupt, broken federal prison system works.

JB: That is outrageous. But, you lost me. Why would they single out elderly inmates? For what purpose? You would think that they would want to get rid of the elderly first, since they're more likely to be ill, an added expense, besides demonstrating such callousness and gratuitous cruelty.

JW: Elderly prisoners are among the most expensive prisoners from a medical standpoint. They also have the lowest risk of recidivism, meaning they are the "safest" to release. But the BOP is not what they represent themselves to be. They are not public-safety oriented, nor do they have a commitment to rehabilitation. Instead, they need prisoners, who are the fuel on which the "prison industrial complex" runs. The BOP is all about money and jobs for prison employees and political influence and control, and they are the most dishonest of governmental entities. Consider, for example, the Elderly Offender Pilot Program under the Second Chance Act of 2007.

Congress established the program to determine the effectiveness of having elderly prisoners serve the latter part of their sentences on home detention and designated one federal prison as the pilot program which was to take place from 2009 through 2010. The BOP allowed very few eligible prisoners to participate, and then they reported to Congress that there were no cost savings! The reported results were so obviously false that Congress took the extraordinary step of rejecting the report and ordering an independent review, which determined that the BOP was not being truthful. Further, compassionate release has long been urged by Congress, and ignored by the BOP. Simply put, the BOP has a long history of holding on to sick and elderly prisoners despite the expense, perhaps because they are the easiest prisoners to control.

But there could be another, more sinister motive. For years I have heard rumors that the BOP has life insurance on prisoners, with the BOP being the beneficiary. If true, that would certainly make their interest in holding onto the sick and elderly prisoners clear, as well as the pervasive practice of refusing to provide needed medical care in the early stages when treatments would save lives. If the BOP receives bonus life insurance payouts with the death of every prisoner - prisoners who are not human to them, only numbers - keeping the sick and elderly in prison and refusing compassionate release for those who are dying financially benefits the BOP.

JB: That is so incredibly Machiavellian, even for the BOP, I can barely wrap my mind around it.

JW: Getting back to Gary's unlawful imprisonment, the First Step Act of 2018 was signed by the president on December 21st, the date on which it became federal law. The law includes several provisions intended by Congress to benefit sick and elderly prisoners and allow them to spend their final days at home with their families rather than alone in prisons. Under the FSA, the Elderly Offender Pilot Program was reestablished, now as federal law, and extended to all federal prisons, including FPC Montgomery. Under the law, prisoners who are over 60 years old with no convictions for violent crimes, sex crimes, terrorism or espionage, and who have a home to go to are to be released to serve the final one-third of their sentences at home. In Gary's case, he meets every criterion and had served two-thirds of his sentence in the spring of 2017, almost two years ago, meaning Gary should have been released immediately upon enactment of the First Step Act. Yet two months later, he remains unlawfully imprisoned as the warden and staff at FPC Montgomery summarily ignore federal law, obstructing justice and conspiring to deprive elderly prisoners of their freedom.

JB: So true. Thanks for regularly shining a bright light on some of the BOP's egregious behavior, Judy.

JW: Thank you, Joan, for your willingness to be my therapist-in-writing and allow me to vent. The BOP is the nightmare that never ends.

Wedding kiss, Birmingham, 1996
Wedding kiss, Birmingham, 1996
(Image by Judy White)
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JB: I can't wait until I can give up that role and your lives can return to dull, uneventful and together.

JW:We pray it's soon! Although life with Gary was never dull! He has always been light and love.


link to their "Visiting Regulations" - Judy points out: "note the date and the fact that neither green nor brown is mentioned in this 18-page document."

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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