June 2, 2011

A Letter to Superintendant O'Brien

by John Feroli (author's profile)


P.O. Box 5896
Boston, MA 02114
January 19, 2009

Steven O'Brien, Superintendent
Old Colony Correctional Center
1 Administration Road
Bridgewater, MA 02324

Dear Superintendent O'Brien:

Commissioner Clarke has stated publicly on several occasions that he has no tolerance for abuse of persons in the custody of the DOC. As a citizen of the Commonwealth, I am holding all DOC officials to that standard. That is why I am writing to you.

John Feroli is a prisoner at OCCC. Over the past month or so he has been repeatedly harassed by Captain Paul Gordon. The harassment has taken the form of multiple searches of Mr. Feroli's cell and the taking of Mr. Feroli's property, with the charge that said property is contraband and "rubbish."

Anyone who knows Mr. Feroli knows that he is a talented artist and artisan. He wants to put his talents to good use. He has discovered that he can transform Styrofoam food trays into beautiful works of art, such as crosses and picture frames. He experiences peace of mind when engaged in this constructive endeavor and enjoys making people happy with his creations.

In the testimony that End the Odds Coalition gathered for its public hearing in Boston on 11/18/08: "From Cell Block to City Block: A Strategy for a Successful Re-entry," what we heard and read consistently from prisoners is that they want meaningful activities so they can develop a sense of self worth and prepare for their return to the community. It is well known that DOC-sponsored rehabilitative programming is grossly under budgeted. And where it does exist, not all prisoners are eligible. Instead of remaining idle or getting angry, some prisoners like Mr. Feroli are resourceful and use their talents to a good end despite the lack of a priority on programs.

I have to ask, how does depriving someone of self-expression through a benign art activity achieve the dual mission of the DOC to rehabilitate, or "correct," those in custody and to make the public safe? If anything, deprivation of meaningful activities has just the opposite effect: it instils a sense of hopelessness and feeds rage. Neither the individual nor society benefits.

I expect that you will maintain zero tolerance for any form of abuse and that you will ensure that Mr. Feroli can return to his art work without harassment from Captain Gordon or anyone else. Thank you in advance for you attention to this matter.

Marguerite Feroli

From: "Donna Karo" <dmkaro@verizon.net>
To: "Michelle Farrell" <Michelle.Farrell@state.ma.us>
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:00 PM
Subject: Re: John Feroli

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for your response to my e-mail. I sincerely appreciate Commissioner Clarke's and your assistance, in this matter. I'm certain the Commissioner can appreciate the importance of constructive programming for inmates. The art program which you mention, will certainly benefit many inmates and the addition of the Styrofoam material, which John uses, will allow him to continue his craft of constructing crucifixes.

On behalf of my brother, John Feroli, please extend my sincere appreciation to Commissioner Clarke.

Donna Feroli-Karo

PS: We look forward to the consideration of a "furlough" program within Massachusetts.

{Donna wrote this note to (Michelle) Com. Clarke office

-----Original Message-----
From: "Michelle Farrell" <Michelle.Farrell@state.ma.us>
To: "Donna Karo" <dmkaro@verizon.net>
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 5:35 PM
Subject: Re: John Feroli

Good Afternoon,

Commissioner Clarke has asked me to respond to your recent email regarding your brother John. Please be advised Deputy Commissioner James Bender had directed Superintendent Steven O'Brien of OCCC to start an art program (they purchased higher quality colored pencils, drawing papers and charcoal for the project). This project began the first week of May at OCCC. I understand this is not your brothers art form, and therefore Deputy Commissioner Bender has asked Supt. O'Brien to see if they can get 'clean' Styrofoam material into his art program, so that your brother can participate.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Michelle Farrell
Executive Assistant to Commissioner Clark

{Com Clark's office answered

They also gave me some nice gifts to commemorate my visit.
There was this wonderful cross, which they made for me.

[image of a cross]
Posted on the Cardinal's Blog

[image of a sign saying:- This hand-made cross was designed for and dedicated to Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley by Old Colony Cursillistas and Administrators. January 20, 2011]


Commit No W42512
Location A3
Date 20110329
D-Report No 223595

Category Offense(s)
3 12- Possession, manufacture or introduction of an unauthorized tool
4 01- Receipt or possession of contraband
4 11- Violating any departmental rule or regulation, or any other rule, regulation, or condition of an institution or community based program
4 14- Possession of an altered appliance

Description of Offense(s)
On Tuesday March 29, 2011 at approximately 11:45 AM I Officer Green did conduct a cell search in cell G-20 in Attucks III where inmate John Feroli is housed. During this search the following contraband items were confiscated: 4 razor blades wrapped in Styrofoam and tape concealed in the top leg support of the cell bed, 3 crosses made from Styrofoam, Styrofoam pieces from food trays, 1 mattress with numerous tears and holes, 1 container Elmer's glue, 1 container glue substance, 1 foot long piece of wood, one inch in diameter concealed under Feroli's footlocker attached with one screw to the footlocker, 1 altered hotpot, no security seal with a hole in the bottom, 2 pens with reservoirs, 2 altered mirrors, 1 pencil with a brush attached, 1 pencil with metal sticking out of the eraser fashioned into a screwdriver, 11 rotten apples carved into headshapes, one with hair attached, 1 torn state sheet, 1 altered laundry bad, 1 extra pillow, numerous paper clips in various manipulated into various shapes, 1 tool attached to a pencil, 6 pieces of metal similar in size and shape to razor blades. Tape was found through out the cell painted over. Evidence was given to IPS. Lt. Cotta notified of the situation.

Disciplinary Report Type: Formal

Has inmate been placed on Awaiting Action Status Yes X No

Referred to DA Yes X No Referred to DDU Yes X No

Reporting Staff Kelley M Green Date 20110329 Time 13:04
Days off Thu Fri
Shift 7x3
Supervisor Corey K Cotta Date 20110329 Time 13:52
Shift Commander Al R Saucier Date 20110329 Time 14:50
Disciplinary Officer John R Poulin Date 20110330 Time 08:24

Continuance Length
Continuance Date
Projected Date
Reviewing Authority

20110330 08:26


Replies (3) Replies feed

gixxaJ Posted 11 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
Well I see things are never going to get better behind the wall and it really sucks that we have never had the opportunity to not have any time without searches and guards and so forth exactly how little freedom can a man get how many rights can be stripped from him and how much longer can one man pay for something that happened how long ago I don't even remember how much is enough rehabilitation John its your son you have 2 grandchildren that would love the chance to meet someone in their family we are all alone and non existent to cindys family I just wanted to let you know we exist

Mferoli Posted 10 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 10 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
John it's your brother mike.your doin a great job. I'm in California job training. When Ivey back to Oregon I will write ya. Love ya

Mferoli Posted 10 years, 5 months ago. ✓ Mailed 10 years, 5 months ago   Favorite
If you want to write before that my address is 227 Sunday dr, crewel Oregon 97426. Talk to ya later.

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