March 11, 2016

Wisconsin Punishes Prisoners Who Make PREA Complaints About Guards' Sexual Torture

From Prometheus Writes! by Nathaniel Lindell (author's profile)


Wisconsin Punishes Prisoners Who Make PREA Complaints About Guard’s Sexual Torture
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed and most states agreed to abide by that federal law. But that didn’t end sexual abuse of prisoners.
The problem is that prison staff are the ones charges with enforcing the PREA, and its staff who cause (or allow prisoners to cause) the sexual abuse. Most prison staff in Wisconsin are trained to see prisoners as sub-humans, which justifies any mistreatment of us.
For guards, in the other hand, people tend to assume that because they wear uniforms and work for the state and are guarding non-humans who’ve been convicted of being bad guys, guards are good and would never sexually abuse prisoners!
When I was in the segregation unit at Waupun Correctional Institution (W.C.I.) in 2013, guards regularly used sexual degradation to torture prisoners. It went like this: when a prisoner was accused of being “disruptive” (e.g. banging on a cell door), guards brought him out to a strip cage (in handcuffs and shackles), where cameras weren’t monitoring, put a taser to the prisoner and threated to shock him if he resisted, while several guards held the victim in place as another guard cut off the victim’s clothes with surgical shears then spread the victim’s butt cheeks, lifted up his testicles and penis (supposedly looking for contraband), sometimes fondling those areas.
Every time force was used on a prisoner at W.C.I. or was put in Control status, the sexual torture procedure was used on him, without giving him a chance to cooperate with a normal strip search.
You probably recall how the media cried foul when leaks about this kind of thin, or less invasive tactics, was being done by our soldiers to Iraqi prisoners and terrorists. Many prison guards are vets, so they probably learned these tactics, which are sexual torture.
I knew of that systematic sexual torture when, on 24 August 2013, a guard surnamed “Schouten” (think that’s the spelling) and I got in an argument and he invited me to “go for a walk” to a strip cage (I’d be handcuffed and shackled—brave guy, huh?). I phoned in a PREA complaint, saying that I believed Schouten was going to put me through the homosexual torture routine.
Every WCI prisoner who’d phoned in PREA complaints had received Conduct Reports (CRs) and were disciplined for lying about staff.
Prisoners aren’t humans, after all, while guards are the good guys.
In November a WI P.O.C. PREA Investigator came to WCI, stopped at my door and asked me if I wanted to be interviewed about my complaint. To be interviewed, however, I’d be strip searched before and afterwards, with no sensible reason. So, instead, I offered to be interviewed at my cell front, which was refused. No matter—my call said it anyway.
Couple days later I received a C.R.#2406066, written by the security Director*, Tony Meli, accusing me of falsely accusing Cpt. Olson of attempting to molest me. Cpt. Olson ran the property dept., never came to seg and wasn’t mentioned in my complaint. I’d never seen cpt. Olson at all, ever.
At my disciplinary hearing, Meli admitted having no knowledge of what I stated in my PREA complaint. Nor was a recording or transcript of the complaint present, as I requested (It’s prove my innocence regarding Cpt. Olson). I was found guilty with no evidence, given 360 days in seg. Before I could appeal to the discipline, I was sent into federal custody. When returned to WI custody on 25 August 2015, I got the form I needed and filed an appeal to the warden here, Gary Boughton. (see the appeal, attached too). His response was bureaucratese for “I’m not stepping on my fellow gang-member’s toes”. (It too is attached). Boughton says I should appeal to WCI’s warden. But I know from experience that WCI has none of my records—they’re here, so only Boughton can review the appeal.
This baseless, retaliatory discipline remains on my record, is used to justify keeping me in solitary confinement, and is probably cited to shoe auditors that us scumbag prisoners are misusing PREA.
Now you know the truth. Please share it with others.

It’s unheard of for a Security Director to write a C.R., probably because he’s the one who must review/approve C.R.s, supervises the hearing officer, and has captains under him to do so.


Replies (3) Replies feed

kmerten Posted 3 years ago. ✓ Mailed 3 years ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I worked on the transcription for your post.

Momof2boys Posted 2 years, 10 months ago. ✓ Mailed 2 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Nate- I am saddened by the torture you have endured , esp at Waupun. I have A son who has also been assaulted while at Waupun- and after obtaining the entire PREA records( which is a very difficult and expensive task to do) the ACLU has agreed to take this case on against Waupun. I Have forwarded your name to the attorney representing my son as well. The way Waupun handles any and all PREA concerns and complaints is against both the federal act as well as the WI act. If a call or complaint- even a concern- is made in good faith there is to be NO punishment. Punishment is only to be used when it can be proven That there was a motive for making a false claim. 85% of PREA cases filed at Waupun in 2015-2016 resulted in punishment - even thou these investigations were found to be incomplete, interviews performed by untrained personal, none of the PREA guidelines followed but no punishment to be brought upon the WI DOC. I'm a strong woman who has already stood face to face with the warden at WCI and will continue to fight for humane treatment for all in the DOC custody. These reports that are not completed correctly are across the board- inmate/inmate as well as staff/inmate. Please know there are people out here that demand the institutions follow the rules, just like we all have too. As
You know WCI is so very good at failing to get appeals and such out to Madison in the timeframe- I have all appeal forms at my home and send them in as needed (in order to meet the deadlines that they try to prevent you from meeting by withholding the mailing of your letters) and because of that – my sons "lying about/ to staff" was reversed. I wish you luck- and I hope that all the "nagging" I've done with the ACLU will pay off to all of the incarcerated men and women in the Wisconsin Department of corrections – it sickens me to know that they are getting extra money every year to improve their previous standards when they can even meet the basic ones

Nathaniel Lindell Posted 2 years, 8 months ago.   Favorite
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