On Conditions at Putnamville Correctional Facility and the Mental and Emotional Effects of Incarceration
January 7th, 2019
Everyone I hope this year brings the absolute best to each and every one of you! My current mental + emotional state is a’ight. I’m struggling with a straight face. There’s several situations I’m dealing with by myself with not enough support on a Consistent basis. It’s ok I’m excited + optimistic for what this year has in store for me!
Let me speak to you about what one of my right hands brought to my attention. Coming from where I was my transition to this facility has been ridiculous, outrageous, absurd, and bogus. All in the same there’s pros ‘n cons to everything. Ima speak to you about some of the things that I’ve observed. The first is the issue of grievances + the grievances process it’s the most important, yet the most hinder. It is seriously treated with dismissive contempt by the flippin’ administration, which has caused a complete lack of faith by the prison population. A brotha I know here filed grievances for various issues that were responded to with statements such as “you’re lying,” “this issue is non grievable” although they were, and most common “denied.”
In my opinion the reason the prison grievance process is so vitally important is because it is the only way for an offender to redress the issues that plague the offender population. It is a direct affront to the access of the Court, because without the exhaustion of the grievance process one cannot go to the legal system for adequate help. The grievance process here at ISF/PCF is all but non-existent (Facts).
As I sit back and wait paiently to get back in education I’m listening to a comrade run some of his experiences down to me. It makes me feel some type of way - SMH – dudes here have had a grievance stall for 6 months or so, only to be denied. The grievance office and officer are disrespected and given no thought. Another importance to the grievance process is what I’m waiting to get back into education the system of programs, or lack thereof. Due to the lack of educational opportunities it has been proven to be one of the fundamentals that we truly need. They have systematically removed several programs + courses. Example, when I first arrived at CIC in 2013 they had recently removed cources from local community colleges such as Ball State + Oakland College. There was Automotive tech and Business tech along with the literacy, GED, etc. They have recently removed Auto tech + replaced business tech with MSME.
They extended the timeframe for completion of the courses + shorten the time cut credit from 90 days to just a measly 60 days. The wait for the majority of the courses are anywhere from 4 to 6 months, during which people are forced (you can’t tell me this ain’t no slave plantation) to work jobs that they don’t want to, causing them to receive bogus conduct reports if they refuse to work. These conducts further extend the waiting requirement to get enrolled, causing a vicious cycle. There’s no longer a career training development class as of last year. There are virtually no job training, although the sanitation department has programs on computer design to train workers, they are outdated and no “new” regulation codes for handling chemicals that are giving. Dudes have been removed from the D.O.L. Sanitation program after 9 months and with 120 hrs. left in Rapids for doing a job assigned by their supervisor + taught by the sanitation department. They lost their disciplinary appeal and their 6 month time cut.
Teachers and instructors have little or any care about offenders’ understanding of the lessons + material and frequently do not show (Facts). It’s the exact way at “Waltrash” [Wabash Valley Correctional Facility] causing us to spend longer time in the courses. I believe more opportunity equals better chances of success (Flatout!).
My right hand has a job as 25 labor dorm sanitation that pays $13.00 a month. This is hardly sufficient to buy the necessary hygiene, all at the expense of phone time for family + friends + comrades =) which is something I love doing – talking on the phone it’s an escape route outta this slave plantation. With the rise in cost of commissary there should be a rise in this petty ass state pay. This job + the conditions are unarguably pathetic- they have recently removed the use of bleach, give no rags for cleaning only ripped shirts + shocks. Sometimes officers have refused to fill out pay sheets (Abn’t that petty + brothas have grieved this issue to no avail) causing no pay.
There are very few job opportunities for people entering PCF. Newcomers such as myself are given two options – work dining hall or dorm sanitation, two of the most menial jobs, or suffer conduct reports as stated before. The treatment by correctional officers + the relations among the prison pop. + the c/o’s are strained at best. There are constant violations by officers – abuse of force, unprofessional conduct, verbal abuse (that is not so much at Waltrash AKA “Walbash”) Because of the offenders treatment the guards have become to despise all people in brown. They lie for one another + against us + if someone stands up against mistreatment he is reprimanded or punished. Example – a brotha here I know had an officer Robertson #75 stood up to him being disciplined for a job he had him do. Now that officer is on PDA, a job none of them like. So, c/o’s are also at odds with the administration. There is currently a suit against the facility by one of its staff for mistreatment. There would be more suits against this trash facility, but access to legal resources have slowly been rolled back over the past few years. IDOC policies were once available on the law library computer but this facility removed them when officers began holding staff accountable. The new law library lady/officer has no legal experience, and has closed the law library 20 times in the last 6 months (no exaggeration) with no explanation. Both issues have been grieved with no avail. No materials are provided, and if provided copies from computers cost 10 cents per page. This was also grieved in 2016 to no avail. Each dorm is given one day a week for 1 to 2 hours, which is hardly sufficient. And when mailing legal mail, some have found mail not sent (example while I was at Walbash I had a grievance founded so I filed a tort-claim. The issue was over a ramadan sack I made + paid for 2 sets of copies of the entire tort-claim and I have yet to receive a response from downstate at central office. To at least let me know they have received my tort-claim.
I still have a little bit of time to refile I believe. But situations have been grieved about that here in 2018. Moving on, allow me to speak about racial discrimination. It’s so prevalent that it has become a cliché. I come from real small areas where it’s predominantly white, so I have experienced racial discrimination with staff in all areas of prison, i.e. disciplinary, job assignment, etc. There is a suit in right now against the discrimination practice of several staff during the disciplinary process. After reporting it, the fellow was told he was lying. It’s the same for inmates reporting sexual harassment or assault, but the only difference is they go to the hole for “investigation.” With the way i feel the only way to belittle these wrongs it seems is to have some real solidarity + support from comrades on the outside. Not too long ago here they have made an attempt to belittle the introduction of synthetic drugs, mail and pictures are being held confiscated, censored, and in some cases destroyed without due process (just like Walbash). Intentions are being made to bring Putnamville Correctional Facility to suit for these actions. The actions here at PCF have made it hard for any meaningful contact with loved ones. Recently, it has been made a rule that visitors can’t use the restroom during visitation. Again, ways to distance us from every form of real contact with our family members. #WhoCanRelate. #IfTheseWallsCouldTalk.
No cards can be sent here, and printed pictures to offenders. There aren’t no once a month phone calls although i feel there should be. Our counselors should be the person in charge of that. Since 2013 the prices have risen but we haven’t been notified of the increase. Yet our damn pay remains the same. This corruptive D.O.C.-wide mail ban has cost our family postage + pictures that the administration says they’ll destroy also has been grieved. These restrictions have made everyone very agitated + angry to the point of causing me to feel a little helpless and hopeless. With me a young 26yr old this experience has made me hate this life with a passion. Prison is so lame it don’t make no sense. With the censorship of our books they have made several self help books contraband, making one reconsider ordering books for fear of having to pay extra to send them home. So a lot of brotha’s order religious based books, although religious discrimination has become more controlling. In 2017 brotha’s the Muslims was told by the warden that they couldn’t pray as a muslim in a group in a dayroom area. Suits have been pursued since, unfortunately the court of Putnam County have been purposefully delaying suits of this matter -SMH.
The recently unequal and unfair cancellation of Islamic Services during the holiday seasons, yet other faiths have been able to hold service as usual. There have been issues that i have had to personally deal with and see during my incarceration that has made me stay stressful mentally. Thank Allah my outdate is fast approaching as soon as they get me enrolled in some more time cut programs. It’ll be sooner than now, possibly this year.
January 22nd, 2019
i wanna speak on a few things about what i’ve just realized… the school state’s pay is $8 to $6 and there’s absolutely no idle pay a typical $12 a month you get at Walbash just for being job eligible but idle. IF you are indigent which is usually $15 or less a month you’ll receive an Hygiene kit (if you request for one), 5-7 state bars of charm-tex or Baro soap, toothpicks, 4-6 bottles of shampoo, at least 7-10 state razors, like 4 state deodorants + you can get a writing tablet w/ a ink pen or pencil. You can request regular black white paper but people usually get a tablet.
From most of the guys incarcerated here at PCF say this facility is taking completely advantage of us. The things they’re getting away with is absurd. There has recently been a bit of an upgrade to the dirty, nasty smelling Dining Hall. The walls have been repainted. IF you were to ask me to rate the quality of the food + drinks here from 1-10, i’d say a 4 or less.
In closing I’d like to record periodically some of the other things i see on the daily. I need other rades to provide me w/ their cell to talk about such matter. I hope this finds everyone in good spirits.
Myron Walker #238214
Indiana Department of Correction
Putnamville Correctional Facility
1946 West U.S. Hwy 40
Greencastle, IN 46135
If you would like to help support Bro Abdul-Wasi (Myron), please set up an account at web.connectnetwork.com to send him money for phone minutes and commissary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.