We post here the entire Report that was made by the Human Rights Coalition / Fed-Up! of Pennsylvania and published in August of 2010. This is the report which Dallas 6 and others contributed to about ongoing abuse from 2009 to 2010 at SCI Dallas. All notes (between brackets) are beneath the text.
Click link below to get a pdf copy of reports:
Institutionalized Cruelty: Torture in SCI Dallas and Prisons Throughout Pennsylvania (2009-2010)
Resistance and Retaliation (Human Rights Coalition, August 2010)
Click here to view ABUSE LOGS
The result of over four years of investigation into prison conditions inside Pennsylvania’s jails and prisons, the Prison Abuse Logs consist of more than 900 entries detailing human rights violations by prison officials and law enforcement. Despite repeated efforts to notify county, state, and federal law enforcement, along with elected officials of evidence of criminal acts being perpetrated by prison authorities and staff, every level of government has consistently turned a blind eye to routine, institutionalized attacks on the human rights of prisoners.
Resistance and Retaliation: Continuing Repression at SCI Dallas
Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up!
Table of Contents
1. Overview _______________________________________________3
2. State of Lawlessness: The Human Rights Situation at SCI Dallas 4
3. Resistance and Retaliation ________________________________ 6
3.1 April Cell Extractions____________________________________ 6
3.1.1 Escalation ___________________________________________6
3.1.2 Isaac Sanchez________________________________________ 8
3.1.3 Resistance___________________________________________ 9
3.1.4 Andre Jacobs________________________________________ 10
3.1.5 Anthony Kelly________________________________________11
3.1.6 Carrington Keys______________________________________12
3.1.7 Anthony Locke_______________________________________14
3.1.8 Derrick Stanley_______________________________________14
3.1.9 Duane Peters-El______________________________________ 15
3.2 Transfers, Cover Charges, and “Burials” __________________ 16
3.3 DOC Policy Violations___________________________________ 17
4 Seeking Justice___________________________________________20
4.1 Criminal Complaint: Turning a Blind Eye?__________________ 20
4.2 Human Rights Obligations_________________________________21
Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up!
5129 Penn Avenue
Pittburgh, PA 15224
Human Rignts Coalition FedUp
Resistance and Retaliation: Continuing Repression at SCI Dallas
“It is not possible to give precise statistics for the current prevalence of torture and illtreatment of prisoners. It is in the nature of such practices that they take place without independent witnesses. Physical scars, if any, may not be long-lasting; the tortured and those close to them may be too afraid to complain . . . The only certainty is that the authorities can be expected to deny the existence of anything resembling torture”Nigel Rodley (1)
In April 2010, guards in the solitary confinement unit at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Dallas, Pennsylvania began an escalation of their ongoing campaign of terror against prisoners in the unit. Over a period of five days, prison staff subjected seven men to abusive tactics starting with deprivation of food and water, racist slurs, and threats of violence, and culminating in physical assaults with pepper spray, electroshock weapons, fists, and boots. Seven men were beaten bloody and several were left naked in cells without property and in restraints for hours.
These attacks were carried out by European-American guards against prisoners of color and were in reprisal for the prisoners' participation in the recent publication of a report by the Human Rights Coalition/FedUp! (HRC/FedUp!) that documents severe torture and other human rights violations at SCI Dallas. The report, Institutionalized Cruelty (2), detailed the findings of a ten-month investigation into SCI Dallas, largely
focusing on the solitary confinement unit, and featured testimony from several of the men beaten in the recent attacks.
The actions of prison staff at SCI Dallas detailed in Institutionalized Cruelty and in this report are in clear violation of state, federal and international law and extend all the way up SCI Dallas' chain of command. Criminal complaints filed with the Luzerne County District Attorney have been rejected on demonstrably false grounds in direct violation of Pennsylvania law. To date, no meaningful investigation of these events has been conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections or by law enforcement agencies.
The men subjected to the attacks remain in solitary confinement.
2. State of Lawlessness: The Human Rights Situation at SCI Dallas
As documented by HRC/Fed Up! in a report released in April of 2010, the solitary confinement/Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) (3) at SCI Dallas has been operating in a state of lawlessness for at least the last year. Institutionalized Cruelty (hereafter IC) detailed “an unsustainable and appalling culture of criminal conduct within the PA DOC” that is permitted to exist because of the “inaction and indifference [of] DOC and state officials when presented with substantial documentation” of racism, assault, starvation, incitement to suicide, and other acts of torture and ill-treatment in Pennsylvania prisons.(4)
Focusing on SCI Dallas and based on the review of “thousands of pages of prisoner letters, institutional paperwork, civil litigation documents, affidavits and declarations, correspondence to and from family members, and  hours of interviews with those who have loved ones at SCI Dallas,”(5) the report’s major findings consisted of the following:
• Frequent usage of racist slurs, threats of violence, verbal and physical abuse by guards;
• Retaliation against prisoners exercising their constitutional rights to file grievances, criminal complaints, and civil suits regarding conditions of confinement and guard misconduct/crimes. This practice commonly takes the
form of the issuance of fabricated misconducts and subsequent placement in solitary confinement, as well as the seizure and destruction of legal property;
• Failure to provide adequate, or at times any, physical or mental health care;
• Brown drinking water, filthy cells, exposure to infectious diseases, and generally substandard environmental conditions;
• Encouragement of prisoner-on-prisoner violence, including encouragement of suicide;
• A defective inmate grievance system that is systematically biased against prisoner claims of staff misconduct and substandard conditions, commonly refusing to permit prisoners to present witnesses or security camera evidence in support of their claims, and thus violating their right to due process.(6)
The torture and abuse of prisoners at SCI Dallas and throughout the PA DOC is concentrated in the solitary confinement units.(7) Torture and the logic of dehumanization that enables its practice can only thrive in places hidden from public view and shielded from legal accountability. As demonstrated in the testimony presented in the subsequent sections of this report, the primary purpose of solitary confinement is to terrorize the prisoner population into compliance with the arbitrary and racist order of the prison system.
Prisoner resistance to this unjust and criminal order takes a myriad of forms. Filing grievances, criminal complaints, and lawsuits are the channels for seeking redress that the constitution claims to protect. More often than not, however, prisoners who attempt to utilize these means for redress find that PA DOC guards and officials have successfully immunized themselves from accountability.(8)
This is in large part due to the refusal of local, state, and federal law enforcement to apply the law to the conduct of prison officials.(9) Efforts to prove civil liability via the filing of a lawsuit are typically sabotaged as well, either by provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (10) or campaigns of terror and retaliation conducted by DOC staff. These retaliatory practices discourage prisoners from pursuing claims and/or destroy the evidence necessary to preserve and prove violations of their rights. (11)
Resistance to racism and torture take other forms inside the prison, including corresponding and collaborating with outside organizations like HRC in order to expose these grave crimes.
Sometimes resistance takes more direct forms. At the end of April 2010 guards in the RHU at SCI Dallas initiated another escalation in their campaign of terror. Many prisoners report that this was in direct response to and in retaliation for the publication of IC.
In order to maintain their dignity, sanity, and humanity, several men confined in the RHU took a stand in defense of human rights.
3. Resistance and Retaliation
“It’s no coincidence that right after we got word that you finished the report on Dallas RHU Human Rights Violations and Jacobs received your copy, they started attacking Anthony Kelly and Isaac Sanchez and threatening the rest of us.”—Carrington Keys (12)
“I sat here the past couple of days and thought and played out different scenarios in my head and the answer ends the same – STAND UP BEFORE THEY KILL YOU.”—Anthony Kelly (13)
3.1 April Cell Extractions
In early April Andre Jacobs, who was confined in the RHU at SCI Dallas at the time, was sent a copy of the 93-page HRC/Fed Up! report on torture at SCI Dallas. Delivery of the mail was delayed and an unnamed member of the security staff told Andre that he had “just got something really interesting from Fed Up.”(14)
Soon thereafter, guards began withholding meals and threatening prisoners who contributed to the report inside the RHU.
Derrick Stanley reported (15) how on April 25, 2010 staff began withholding food from Anthony Kelly: “The range (16) heard the guards say [on 4-25-10] ‘Since he wanna run his mouth 28 cell, Kelly, don’t eat!’ Harrison and Laiuvara deprived Kelly of his food tray, “using food as a disciplinary measure in violation of the DC-ADM 610.” (17)
Isaac Sanchez spoke out against this act of food deprivation: “When they didn’t feed Kelly it sparked an uproar because the guards had no right not to feed the man. .
. . Mr. Sanchez reacted out of the wrong being done to Mr. Kelly to try to get Mr. Kelly a tray, along with a chain reaction of responses from others also trying to get Mr. Kelly a tray.” Because of his outspokenness, officers Silva and Zofcin refused Sanchez his supper meal. “So, Mr. Kelly reacted, because the guards didn’t feed Mr. Sanchez.” Kelly had his wrist slammed in the slot (18) and was denied medical treatment on the 27th by Sgt. Hutchins and Nurse Leah.(19)
We first received word of these deprivations in a letter from Carrington Keys, which read in part: “Since 4/25/10 they have been attacking Isaac Sanchez and Anthony Kelly. They have been depriving them of food.
The officers involved are C/O Harris, Sgt. Buck, Lieutenant Mosier, C/O Morelli, C/O Silva and C/O Potsko
among other officers.” Carrington added that Isaac Sanchez had been subjected to a cell extraction on the 28th (see next section) and that “they threatened to get Anthony Kelly, Andre Jacobs and me next. They also threatened Duane Peters.” (20)
These acts were corroborated by Andre Jacobs in a declaration (21) authored the same day as the letter from Keys:
“On April 25, 2010, guards Laviuvara and Harrison deprived prisoner Anthony Kelly of his meal on the pretext that he refused when the camera shows otherwise. I personally informed Sgt. Buck that I heard guard
Laviuvara say to Harrison “we’re not feeding Kelly 28 cell shit” before even going to Kelly’s cell. When Isaac Sanchez, who is one cell away from Kelly, spoke in his behalf, he was also targeted for harassment, issued false misconducts and both prisoners were placed on yard, shower and water restriction.
In the following days up until April 28, 2010, guards Morelli, Hoskins . . . and others denied Kelly and Sanchez meals on direct order of Sgt. Buck/Sgt. Hutchins and with the express approval of Lt. Mosier. It was made clear by Sgt. Buck and Mosier that they were being targeted for the report recently released by HRC and that others named will be next, including myself.” (22)
Lt. Mosier’s authorization of these practices was also acknowledged by Derrick Stanley: “On Monday morning as Lieutenant Mosier was making a round (4-26-10) Mr. Kelly brung to his attention that he is not being fed by Lieutenant Mosier’s guards. Lieutenant Mosier said ‘And you ain’t gonna get it.’” (23)
On May 2nd Anthony Kelly wrote that “[a]s of 4/25/10 I haven’t had a sip of water and only 2 baloney sandwiches. . . . They cut off your water and see how long you go before they can break you. They starve you.”
He added that guards in SCI Dallas had “received that 93 page report you and your staff put together with the information that us inmates provide you with. Since receiving and distributing it among the C/Os they have been on a very vicious roll.” (24)
In a letter sent to family a couple of days earlier, Kelly wrote “C/Os Morelli, Bower, Depiro, Day, Wilk, Blain, and numerous others for the longest have been threatening to kill us niggers and spics (25) (their words) and with promises of doing severely bodily harm. . . .These C/Os are a racist regime under the cover of law.
They do what they want because they know the law is behind them and they’re going to get away with it. They write fictitious write ups to keep us back here in this RHU which is their personal torture chamber.” (26)
On April 28th and 29th guards in the RHU at SCI Dallas would make good on their threats, attacking seven prisoners with pepper spray and electro-shock weapons, beating them bloody, and utilizing torture devices to restrain them for hours afterwards.
3.1.2 Isaac Sanchez
Isaac Sanchez had been confined in the RHU since his transfer to SCI Dallas on 2/27/08. Prior to his arrival at Dallas the 24 year-old Mr. Sanchez was at SCI Coal Township, where in late September 2007 he was attacked from behind by an unknown person or persons. Mr. Sanchez was placed in the RHU on Administrative Custody (27) (AC) on the pretext that prison staff could not protect him until he informs them who his enemies are, although he claims to not know who attacked him. Staff repeatedly made comments to Mr. Sanchez and other prisoners clearly indicating the coercive purpose of his continued placement in solitary confinement, even telling him that he will not be permitted to hold his two small children or be able to make parole until he provides names, truthful or otherwise.(28)
In late summer of 2009 Isaac Sanchez authored an affidavit describing how RHU staff had tormented Matthew Bullock and encouraged him to commit suicide. (29) Mr. Bullock hung himself in the RHU at SCI Dallas on August 24, 2009. (30) Bullock’s parents “have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against prison officials, 10 guards, two companies that provide prison health services and state Department of Corrections
Isaac has been a regular target of violent and racist retaliation for his filing of grievances. On August 27, 2009 he was assaulted by C/O Elmore, who called him a “spic” and a “disgrace to his country.” (32) Mr. Sanchez wrote in October that he was threatened for writing to HRC and set up with fabricated misconducts, had his food tampered with, his water shut off, and been assaulted several times. (33)
On April 28, 2010 Isaac Sanchez was the target of a cell-extraction. A cellextraction is when guards equipped in riot gear and armed with pepper spray and electro-shock weapons forcibly enter a cell in order to overwhelm a prisoner, place them in hand and leg restraints, and move them to another cell by force. These are violent procedures that are frequently accompanied by beatings and grossly excessive force and often initiated on trivial grounds that provide a pretext for carrying out a targeted assault under the cover of policy.
The cell extraction was ordered by Lt. Mosier on the pretext that staff had to retrieve a food tray that he had had in his cell since April 25th. (34) Carrington Keys reported that “They administered the use of pepper spray on Sanchez and caused most of the inmates on the block to have breathing problems and some asthma attacks.” (35)
Andre Jacobs corroborated the story: “Lt. Mosier, Morelli, Sgt. Hutchings and others pepper-sprayed Sanchez, cell-extracted him, and he’s now in the “torture chair” without having been washed off. Only one of the nearby prisoners was removed from his cell to avoid the collateral effects of the spray while we all were
made to suffer.” (36)
In his own recounting of the extraction and subsequent maltreatment Mr. Sanchez wrote, “I have been placed on bag lunched restriction, a spit mask (37) and then I was extracted from my cell, for standing up for one of my comrades, on which I was violently beaten and shocked for sometime, then I was placed on the restraint chair for sixteen hours. . . . The nurses didn’t follow procedures on how tight/loose the straps are suppose to be and even though I had told them that I had bruises and cuts on my body, they refused to take pictures of them.” Some of the officers involved included C/Os Potski, Gibson, Morelli, and Lt. Mosier. (38)
Again, it was emphasized that the attack on Isaac Sanchez was in retaliation for his speaking in defense of the human rights of Anthony Kelly: “[T]he incident with Isaac stemmed from the guards retaliating against Anthony Kelly for speaking out against their injustices and I stand with both of them on that position.” (39)
The day after this attack on Isaac Sanchez, prisoners in the RHU at SCI Dallas decided to take a united stand in defense of human rights.
The following day (April 29) at least six prisoners in the RHU covered the windows of their cells in protest of the ongoing torture and human rights violations.
This collective action in protection of their rights and lives was taken in full expectation of a violent, criminal response from a vengeful staff.
Andre Jacobs would later write, “We covered our windows to obstruct count, refused to answer them, barricaded our doors closed (which they used pry-bars and cutters to open) and forced cell-extractions. It was 7 of us but one copped out. . . .
. . . I did put it on camera that we were tired of the b.s. and, since the guards don’t have to follow rules, we were no longer following any rules. I held back for as long as I could.” (40)
Carrington Keys reported that “On 4-29-10 we asked everyone to make a peaceful protest by covering up the door and demanding to talk with public defenders office or media, to prevent further abuse. Instead of trying to talk with us, they immediately resorted to violence by spraying Jacobs. Although about 10 inmates had their doors covered, they selected out Jacobs first, Anthony Kelly second and me third. . . . They ran in on 6 of us, even after we removed the cover from doors. . . .” (41)
3.1.4 Andre Jacobs
Andre Jacobs entered the criminal legal system at the age of 15 and has been incarcerated ever since, subjected to assaults, incessant racism, and wrongfully convicted on fraudulent criminal charges on multiple occasions. He has spent the last nine years in solitary confinement in retaliation for filing lawsuits against prison
guards and DOC officials who routinely violate his civil and human rights. Mr. Jacobs is now 28 years old and is a certified paralegal.
In November of 2008, Andre represented himself in a lawsuit against DOC staff and officials and was awarded $185,000 after a jury decided that his rights had been violated when SCI Pittsburgh staff confiscated and never returned his legal property, issued him a fabricated misconduct, and retaliated against him for exercising his rights to access the court. (42)
The following year found Mr. Jacobs in the RHU at SCI Dallas. On November 24, 2009 he attempted to obtain medical attention for Bernard Carr, another RHU prisoner. Medical and RHU personnel ignored his and Mr. Carr’s pleas, and in the morning Bernard Carr was dead. Upon arriving to work that day Sgt. Ransom stated “Another dead nigger. Jacobs’ next.” (43)
Later in November a live mouse was placed in Mr. Jacobs’ kosher food meal. After killing the mouse, Andre wrapped it in a newspaper and mailed it to HRC/Fed Up! along with two declarations. The declarations and dead mouse arrived in our Pittsburgh office on December 7th. (44)
On January 7, 2010 Andre Jacobs was assaulted by at least six guards in the RHU at SCI Dallas. Anthony Kelly and Carrington Keys both authored affidavits stating that C/Os McCoy, Wildes, Chalker, Wilk, and Walters entered Mr. Jacobs’ cell without following procedures and began striking him and calling him racist slurs.
Keys heard McCoy and Chalker state “We told you we were going to get your black ass nigger.” (45)
Given his consistent filing of grievances and lawsuits against staff misconduct, it is not surprising that Andre Jacobs was the first one to be targeted by the cell extraction team. Anthony Kelly reported that “Inmate Jacobs was extracted first he suffered a bloody mouth as well as being peppered spray more than 4 times and
tasered more than 15 times. They transferred him to another jail that night.” (46)
Mr. Jacobs was transferred to SCI Coal Township.
3.1.5 Anthony Kelly
Anthony Kelly turned 27 years old on June 20, 2010. He arrived at SCI Dallas on January 13, 2009 and was sentenced to the RHU on August 16, 2009. (47) By all accounts he was the initial target in this latest bout of racist terror by the RHU staff.
Like the others who covered their windows in an attempt to force negotiations and an end to the abuse, Mr. Kelly had been targeted because he filed grievances and submitted reports to HRC.
In October of 2009, the water in Mr. Kelly’s RHU cell was shut off for ten straight days. He had to wash up in the toilet and drink toilet water, and was unable to flush his toilet for several days at a time. (48) In the same letter Mr. Kelly reported that he was continually called “nigger, coon, monkey,” and told that he was going to
be killed because of his religion, which is the Nation of Islam. (49)
Also, in October of 2009, Anthony Kelly reported that C/Os Wilk, Pudloski, Patton and Lt. Mosier entered his cell with a stretcher when he was in need of medical attention and began choking him and digging fingers in his eye, nose and mouth. He suffered a bloody nose, a scratch by his eye, and bruises on his neck and
arms as a result. (50)
Mr. Kelly was extracted after Andre Jacobs:
“I was second and I was severely beaten upon them entering my cell. Tasered more than 20 times in my head, balls (penis), ass, back, neck and any other place you can name. They tried to pull my dreadlocks out and punched and choked me severely. I was then stripped naked handcuffed to a waistbelt which was tightened around my waist to the point it left scabs after peeling it off and shackled at the ankles and thrown in my cell for 50+ hours with no mattress blankets or sheets no clothes draws or nothing. My cuffs and chains were
released by 2-10pm shift at 7:02pm on 5/1/10.” (51)
Anthony Kelly was transferred to SCI Retreat on May 17, 2010.
3.1.6 Carrington Keys
Carrington Keys is 29 years old and has served twelve years on convictions for robbery. He has been prevented from completing necessary programs and being seen by the parole board because of repeated and prolonged placement in solitary confinement. Racism and retaliation on the part of DOC guards have been the
primary cause of his prolonged warehousing in the RHUs of SCI Mahanoy, SCI Camp Hill, SCI Dallas, and now SCI Frackville.
Mr. Keys authored an affidavit regarding his witnessing of the abuse of Matthew Bullock (52) and another after witnessing Andre Jacobs being assaulted by RHU staff in January. (53)
Solitary confinement is profoundly damaging to an individual’s psychological health (54), with particularly devastating effects upon emotional wellbeing and cognitive ability. Mr. Keys testified to such in a letter of August 2009 where he wrote that his “ability to focus has been severely hindered,” his short-term memory has been impaired, and his attention span reduced. He also reported experiencing blackouts in the middle of conversation. In his own words: “My thinking became altered while in solitary confinement, accelerated heartbeat, chest pains, paranoia, panic attacks, post traumatic stress, and a feeling that all the state officers were against me . . .” (55)
Cases like this and countless others throughout the PA DOC led us to conclude that “the predictable psychological consequences of these conditions is of such an egregious and apparent nature that it cannot be credibly understood as anything other than the deliberate intention of the PA DOC to inflict severe mental pain on prisoners targeted for prolonged solitary confinement.” (56)
Violent retaliation against prisoners who attempt to exercise their constitutional rights fuels the cycle of psychological deterioration as a matter of course. On October 14, 2009, Mr. Keys was assaulted by C/O Elmore while being escorted from the shower. Elmore told him he would “punch [his] teeth down his throat” if Keys did not stop working with HRC. (57)
Carrington Keys was the third one cell extracted on April 29th. In a letter of the following month he wrote, “they shocked me a few times in my back with taser and in my groin. I grabbed the taser, I still have the marks on the palm of my hand. . . . They punched me in my head a few time and in my face. They tried to get off as much as they could, but I took their shock shield from the first guy to prevent him from hitting me with it.” (58) In an earlier letter he stated, “After leaving me in the cell naked in shackles and handcuffed to a restraint belt for 8 hours, I was emergency transferred to SCI Frackville.” (59)
Anthony Kelly corroborated his story when he wrote, “Third was Alan Carrington Keys. He was severely beaten and tasered and suffered a busted mouth.” (60)
3.1.7 Anthony Locke
Anthony Locke was the fourth individual to be cell extracted. Mr. Locke was “also severely beaten, tasered more than anyone else. He was also cuffed to waist belt and shackled and left in his cell with nothing butt naked.” (61) This was confirmed in a letter from Mr. Locke received shortly thereafter in which he wrote, “I’m one of the individuals that was shocked and taser as well as shackle, handcuffed, at the waist with pepper spray over my body. I was extracted in #47 and placed in #49 . . . No toilet paper or working toilet or sink!!!” (62)
The shutting off of cell water in the RHU after an extraction or use of force by guards is a routine practice throughout the PA DOC. Deprivations of medical treatment, food, hygiene items, and shower are typically employed as well, reinforcing feelings of helplessness and desperation in order to discourage the filing
of grievances, pursuit of civil litigation, or other methods of seeking redress.
3.1.8 Derrick Stanley
“Five was Derrick Stanley who as a result of excessive force need 3 stitches over his right eye. He was also severely tasered and afterwards stripped naked under the same conditions as [Anthony Kelly] & [Anthony Locke].” (63)
Derrick Stanley reported these events in a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), the DOC’s internal investigations unit. OPR has consistently failed to respond to substantial documentation of torture and other criminal acts committed by PA DOC personnel, whether these reports were sent by prisoners or HRC.64
In his report to OPR Mr. Stanley implicated Lt. Starzynski as the individual who oversaw the cell extractions and accompanying assaults. (65) According to this account, Starzynski made it a point to proclaim “stop resisting” as soon as the cell door opened in order to be heard and seen on camera.(66) This is a common practice, judging by similar reports sent to HRC from other prisoners statewide.
The cell extraction team “came with violence and drew my blood splitting my head open over my eye, whereas, I had to get three stitches. Not to even mention how they bruised and injured the left side of my face, and my right knee, etc. . . . Yeah, they threw me in the hard cell naked with nothing [but] a tight restraint belt, barely, allowing me to breathe correctly; my blood could not even circulate properly because of the tight handcuffs and shackles. . . . I had no running water, not even a piece of toilet paper, all I had was a hard cold frame, whereas, I was going through convulsions all night because of the freezing cold. I was without clothes in restraints over 24 hours. Around dinner the next day after the cell extraction I was transferred to SCI Mahanoy. Mahanoy had me in a hard cell for a week until I saw PRC.” (67)
Mr. Stanley made it clear that he was being assaulted and not resisting, writing that he was “being tasered over and over again, as well as assaulted – stabbing me all in my head and face with the opened tightly held sharp ends of the hand cuffs; punching me in my face and in the back of my head, etc, “stop resisting!” (68)
3.1.9 Duane Peters-El
Duane Peters-El has been in solitary confinement at SCI Dallas since 2005. In a letter sent to HRC on May 15, 2009, Mr. Peters described how his civil and human rights to showers, food, and recreation were violated during the first two years: “the authorized RHU guards [kept] me in my cell for months on end [with] no shower or exercise yard, and no food trays during the first shift. This went on for all of the first 2 years (05-07).” (69)
Mr. Peters-El had earlier filed a lawsuit against Sgt. Buck “because he was obtaining my mail from his wife who used to work in the mail room, then he would come on the tier with my personal and legal mail, read it out loud to the tier as the ‘daily report from Peter’ and then tear it up in front of my cell door and leave the
confetti on the range as an intimidation tactic.” In that same letter of June 2009, Mr. Peters-El described how Sgt. Buck “and his guards deliberately refused me medical attention when [he] asked them to call medical because my back and ribs were pressing in on my lungs making it hard for me to breathe causing me severe chest pains . . .” (70)
Sgt. Buck is widely acknowledged and frequently reported as one of the primary organizers and perpetrators of the torture and abuse in the RHU at SCI Dallas. He participated in the cell extractions of April 29, 2010.
Duane Peters-El “suffered a busted mouth [and] was pepper sprayed and severely tasered,” during the attacks of April 29th. (71)
3.2 Transfers, Cover Charges, and “Burials”
Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, and Derrick Stanley were given emergency transfers to SCI Coal Township, SCI Frackville, and SCI Mahanoy respectively. All three prisons are close to one another in the eastern half of central Pennsylvania.
Prisoner unity and defiance in the face of criminal racist oppression was presumably the “emergency” that necessitated the transfers.
Anthony Kelly and Isaac Sanchez were subsequently transferred to SCI Retreat and SCI Fayette in the weeks that followed.
Duane Peters-El and Anthony Locke remain at SCI Dallas at the time of this report.
Upon arrival at SCI Coal Township Andre Jacobs wrote that he was “on hard-cell status, no linens, underclothes, etc. Dogs live better than this.” (72)
Carrington Keys reported the following upon his arrival at Frackville:
“When I arrived at SCI Frackville they had about 10 officers waiting on me like I tried to kill the president or something. They put me in a suicide vest in a cell with a camera as a means of humiliation and antagonization. On 4-30-10 I received 7 misconducts from SCI Dallas stating that I assaulted 7 guards. The only misconduct that was true was the one that said I covered up my door.” (73)
Mr. Keys eventually received 630 additional days in solitary confinement in a hearing in which he was denied witnesses, his accusers were not present, and he was prevented from viewing the videotape footage of the extraction. He was also charged $25 for cell cleaning. (74) The hearing took place at SCI Frackville and the incident
reports were written by staff at SCI Dallas. (75) The application of “cover charges” is also standard operating procedure when guards physically assault prisoners.
The harassment and deprivations have by no means stopped for Mr. Keys either:
Also they [Frackville] are using the suicide cell to torture inmates that they don’t like. They had me in a suicide cell for 8 days under camera, no mattress, in a suicide vest. It was dirty in there, insects, urine all over toilet and floor and bright light shining 24 hours. They had me sleeping on a hard plastic shell. . . . It’s a security measure that they are misusing for punitive purposes. The warden had the nerve to tell me he was doing it to protect the guards. How does putting me in a suicide vest and depriving me of a mattress “protect the guards” from harm? . .
Bullshit never has to make sense.” (76)
Derrick Stanley was also found guilty of misconducts from the cell extractions and sentenced to two 90 day terms in the RHU to run concurrently. Mr. Stanley was found guilty of “kicking members of the extraction team” and “refusal to obey an order.” (77) The order he allegedly refused was the order to “stop resisting” given by Lt. Starzynski while guards were beating and repeatedly shocking him with the taser (see
Isaac Sanchez was placed in the restraint chair after another cell extraction on May 26, 2010. On the Monday before, May 24th, Major Zakarauskas told Mr. Sanchez that staff can do whatever they want because they are “white people.” C/Os Provow and Dipero had earlier flooded Mr. Sanchez’s cell to incite him. (78)
After Mr. Sanchez was removed from the restraint chair on May 27th, he was “reshackled and placed in a hard cell (no bed, blankets, water, etc.). Sanchez was paraded in shackles and naked through the cell block as a form of humiliation.” Lt. Mosier remarked to C/O Provow, “He wants to play, well let’s teach the monkey how to dance.” (79)
Mr. Sanchez is now at SCI Fayette, a prison notorious for racist abuse of prisoners.
All of those targeted in the above-described attacks face indefinite burial in solitary confinement.
3.3 DOC Policy Violations
[Superintendent] Walsh will simply say I’ll look into the matter—but he never does. [Deputy Superintendent Vincent] Mooney will simply tell you he doesn’t give a fuck and you deserve it. In essence they both turn a blind eye and let these C/Os run wild.
—Anthony Kelly (80)
The PA DOC claims their “mission is to protect the public by confining persons committed to our custody in safe, secure facilities, and to provide opportunities for inmates to acquire the skills and values necessary to become productive law-abiding citizens, while respecting the rights of crime victims.” (81)
In order to comply with that mission, all employees and officials are required to abide by the Code of Ethics and all policy prescriptions. Adherence to these regulations is intended to create a culture of responsibility and professionalism amongst prison staff.
The systematic bias against prisoners in the grievance and misconduct systems violates the provision in the Code of Ethics that mandates that “all correctional employees in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  perform their duties with integrity and impartiality and to avoid situations whereby bias, prejudice, or personal
gain could influence official decisions . . .” (82)
Referring to prisoners as “niggers” and “spics” and directing deprivations and abuse at people of color violates the anti-discrimination provision of the Code of Ethics. (83)
The Code of Ethics mandates that prison personnel treat prisoners in a respectful and positive manner and never subject them to degrading or inhumane treatment:
“Each employee in the correctional system is expected to subscribe to the principle that something positive can be done for each inmate. This principle is to be applied without exception.
This involves an intelligent, humane, and impartial treatment of inmates. Profanity directed to inmates, or vengeful, brutal, or discriminatory treatment of inmates will not be tolerated. Corporal punishment shall not be utilized under any circumstances.” (84)
The following subsection precludes using more than the “minimum amount of force necessary,” in any situation in which force is justified. “Excessive force, violence or intimidation will not be tolerated.” (85) This provision is replicated in the Use of Force policy as well.86
The Use of Force policy also stipulates when force is justified. Section V.A outlines seven possible justifications for the use of force. Of particular relevance to this report is V.A.6, which permits the use of force in order to “effect compliance with the rules and regulations when other methods of control are ineffective or
insufficient . . .” (87) In regard to the cell extractions of April 2010 at SCI Dallas, RHU staff and supervisory officials did not even attempt “other methods of control,” instead opting for violence immediately.
The obvious solution when prisoners violate the rules in protest of torture and abuse is to stop the torture and abuse. Guards and ranking officers could have effected compliance with count procedures (i.e. persuaded the prisoners to uncover their windows) by terminating the abuse and removing the offending staff from the RHU.
A more appropriate response would have been for Superintendent Walsh and Central Office to intervene by requesting that state and federal law enforcement conduct a thorough investigation into the prison and prosecute criminal staff and officials.
As stated in the Use of Force policy, “Force is not authorized as a means of punishment or revenge.” (88)
The aim of the attacks detailed above was to repress the legitimate aspirations of prisoners not to be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. These attacks were retaliatory in nature and unjustifiable under the PA DOC’s own policy.
4 Seeking Justice
“So when we act like men and draw the line before tyranny pledging our own lives, I think that bold and brave line of comradarie and defiance should be respected and appreciated by everyone on both sides, because what we do here has and will continue to have long reaching effects in the long run. I know I am part of history and I will direct my script and the part I play in it. These men that I am proud to stand with deserve the utmost respect from all involved, along with bona fide support, anything short of that is a disservice and disrespect to this struggle.”
—Duane Peters-El (89)
“It is not fair to be strip naked of all my rights, and not be able to receive justice for it. A crime is a crime, and criminals are criminals. But obviously if you are a KKK member, Caucasian, or work for the administration as a cop/etc. you are allowed to break the laws at your own will.”
—Isaac Sanchez (90)
4.1 Criminal Complaint: Turning a Blind Eye?
“Bullshit never has to make sense.”
HRC filed a formal criminal complaint with the District Attorney’s office in Luzerne County that was received and signed for on May 12, 2010. (91) The complaint detailed the circumstances surrounding the Matthew Bullock suicide, the targeting of Carrington Keys and Andre Jacobs, and the events of April described in this report.
The complaint followed the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure and requested that the matter be forwarded to the Attorney General of Pennsylvania’s office for investigations and prosecutions if the DA was unwilling to enforce the law for any reason. It was also requested that the matter be forward to the U.S. Department of
Justice and the U.S. District Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
An earlier complaint citing some of the same criminal acts by guards was rejected by the Deputy District Attorney for Luzerne County David Pedri. On December 18, 2009, Mr. Pedri signed the formal disapproval, citing the following reasons:
“Complaint fails to allege which specific section of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code has been committed by the Defendants. In addition, investigation by Pennsylvania State Police was completed with no criminal charges to be filed.” (92)
Neither of these pretexts for disapproval can withstand scrutiny.
Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 504(6)(a) states that complaints alleging a misdemeanor or felony must allege the facts pertaining to the offense, “but neither the evidence nor the statute allegedly violated need be cited in the complaint.” (93)
It is beyond belief that a Deputy District Attorney who handles criminal complaints on a routine basis is unfamiliar with this provision. This reply by Mr. Pedri appears to constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of §5101 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Statutes, Obstructing administration of law or other governmental function. (94)
The second pretext for disapproval—that the PA State Police had carried out an investigation into the matter—cannot be reconciled with the fact that at no time were any of the witnesses or victims in the complaints visited by state police pursuant to any investigation. Furthermore, the contents of any investigation are unknown. The PA state police has an official policy of ignoring complaints from prisoners and permitting the DOC to act as a law unto itself unless prison officials themselves request police intervention. There are provisions for “unusual circumstances,” however, and the reality of lawlessness within the PA DOC certainly meets this criteria. (95)
After months of stalling, Mr. Pedri finally sent another rejection notice, this time citing the “lack of prosecutorial merit” and the inability to find “witness corroboration.” Mr. Pedri also alleged that a police investigation into these events was conducted and that it “does not fit with the complainant’s allegations,” although victims and prisoner witnesses were never interviewed. (96)
The DA of Luzerne County, Jackie Musto Carroll, has just been named in a lawsuit filed by Carrington Keys in Luzerne County Court because she “turned a blind eye” to the abuse of prisoners when she ignored his criminal complaints. (97)
Through his actions Mr. Pedri is continuing the policy of turning a blind eye and further exposing the complicity of local law enforcement in facilitating racist torture.
4.2 Human Rights Obligations
“[I]nternational law prohibits every act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, no matter where, when, or against whom it is perpetrated . . .” (98)
The violations described in this report fit the precise legal definition of torture articulated in the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereafter CAT). (99) The absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment is one of the few binding norms on all governments regardless of whether or not the state in question has ratified the CAT. No treaty or domestic statute can supersede this prohibition. (100) This prohibition is subject to universal jurisdiction and obligates governments to apprehend and bring to justice
perpetrators wherever they are to be found. (101)
Acts of torture and other ill-treatment also violate article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (102) and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (103)
The racist nature of the torture and abuse in the RHU at SCI Dallas violates article 5(b) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)104 and article II(a)(ii) of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. (105)
The CAT also provides for “prompt and impartial investigation[s], wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.” (106) Individuals who report that they have been victims of torture or other ill-treatment (107) and witnesses are to be protected from reprisal. (108) When it is found that an individual has been the victim of an act of torture he or she is
entitled to redress, including “an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.” (109)
Investigations conducted according to internationally accepted standards serve to further the principles articulated in the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Law. These guidelines specify three core components of accountability constituting the victims’ right to remedies:
1) Justice: Equal and effective access to justice;
2) Reparations: Adequate, effective and prompt reparation for harm suffered;
3) Truth: Access to relevant information concerning violations and reparation mechanisms.(110)
Local, state, and federal law enforcement are obligated to conduct legitimate and transparent investigations and prosecute guards and officials involved in the perpetration or enabling of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners. Survivors of torture are entitled to justice and state officials of every
jurisdiction are responsible for ensuring the abolition of torture within institutions subject to their control.
“Stay strong stay up stay smart and think positive. Keep your head held high. I love you and miss you. Until we speak again catch my heart because I send my love.”—Anthony Kelly, from a letter to his mother
For Law Enforcement:
1. The District Attorney of Luzerne County, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, and the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice must initiate and complete comprehensive, credible, and transparent investigations into violations of local, state, federal, and international law.
Investigations must extend beyond the discrete incidents of this report and take into account the pattern and practice of criminal behavior that has been long institutionalized within the PA DOC.
Criminal charges must be brought against all involved, including those who turned a blind eye to the criminal acts of their subordinates, no matter their status within the PA DOC. Law enforcement agencies are reminded that refusal to enforce the law for any reason renders them complicit in the continued perpetration of these crimes and subverts the rule of law.
When the crime in question is that of torture, a crime against humanity, failure to enforce the law calls into question the legitimacy of the government itself.
For the Pennsylvania General Assembly (111):
2. A series of legislative hearings featuring the testimony of current and former prisoners, their families, civil and human rights organizations, and other relevant persons must be convened in order to expose, acknowledge, and begin to address the reality of torture and other ill-treatment inside PA prisons.
These hearings must directly confront the debilitating psychological impact of solitary confinement and its use as a tool of terror and repression.
3. The General Assembly should create a commission to investigate torture and other ill-treatment within the PA DOC. This commission shall be shaped by prisoners and their families and focus on the voices and experiences of those whom have had their rights violated by staff misconduct and/or substandard conditions.
Each prison under the control of the PA DOC must be visited for the purpose of conducting interviews with the prisoners. The commission must be granted the authority to subpoena government officials and DOC
employees and records and to extend the duration of the investigation as dictated by the evidence.
Periodic progress reports will be mandatory and the commission must be granted the authority to bring criminal charges as soon as the evidentiary threshold for such is met. All records of the commission’s investigation shall be made available upon request in order to satisfy the requirements of transparency.
4. Recommendations 2 and 3 should be construed as part of a broader process of Truth and Accountability that seeks to abolish solitary confinement, other forms of torture, and mass incarceration. This process will only be effective if it is rooted in the empowerment of prisoners and communities targeted by policies of mass incarceration.
For the Legal Community:
5. HRC calls on bar associations, civil and human rights lawyers and legal organizations, and the legal community in general to provide critical assistance to prisoners and their families through the establishment of a legal committee and fund that will enable lawyers to litigate prisoners’ civil rights claims on a pro bono basis.
6. The legal community is called upon to help conduct investigative visits with prisoners so as to gather evidence and respond to urgent situations.
7. HRC calls on the legal community to acknowledge the poisonous effect on the rule of law and the vocation of lawyers when the law is perverted to commit crimes against humanity.
8. HRC acknowledges the work of those in the legal community supportive of prisoners’ rights and are requesting that all lawyers utilize their positions, resources, knowledge and power in order to further the movements against racism and prison injustice.
For Prisoners and their families:
9. Current and former prisoners, their families, and communities most impacted by policies of mass incarceration must insist that their voices and experiences are central to all political questions and social crises facing their communities and this nation. These communities must organize for their own empowerment and develop their own strategies and solutions to problems of crime, racism, and poverty.
10. Toward this end these constituents should support, join and build associations dedicated to the defense and enforcement of human rights in all spheres of social life.
For Civil Society:
11. Civil society organizations, especially those that are part of faith communities, are called upon to take a public stance against torture and racism in the criminal legal system.
12. Civil society organizations are called upon to demand that the government investigate and prosecute PA DOC officials and employees for torture and other criminal acts.
13. HRC acknowledges the dedicated work of our allies in Pennsylvania and around the world working to build an integrated movement for universal human rights and liberation. We urge social justice movements to continue to build creative, principled, and sustainable alliances.
(1) The Treatment of Prisoners Under International Law, Third Edition, Nigel S. Rodley with Matt Pollard, Oxford University Press, 2009. (emphasis added)
(2) Institutionalized Cruelty: Torture at SCI Dallas and at Prisons Throughout Pennsylvania, Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up!, April 2010, www.thomasmertoncenter.org/fedup/scidallas.htm.
3 Solitary confinement consists of being locked in a cell approximately 8 x 6 feet for 23-24 hours each day. Visits are severely restricted and all correspondence is subject to intense surveillance. In the PA DOC the solitary units are commonly referred to as Restricted Housing Units (RHU). There are two Special Management Units (SMU) that employ even more severe restrictions and surveillance. There also exist several Secure Special Needs Units (SSNU), which allegedly provide more intensive mental health treatment. The two Death Rows also employ solitary confinement.
(4) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 73.
(5) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 6.
(6) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 7.
(7) Institutionalized Cruelty, see especially p. 21-30 for accounts solitary confinement in SCI Dallas; p. 59-61 for more context on the solitary confinement throughout the PA DOC, especially the psychological impact it has on prisoners.
(8) Institutionalized Cruelty, see p. 70-72 for discussion of the anti-prisoner bias of the institutional grievance system.
(9) Institutionalized Cruelty, see. P. 53-56 for review of efforts by HRC/Fed Up! to compel investigations and prosecutions of criminal conduct by PA DOC staff.
(10) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 67-69 for discussion of the effects of the Prison Litigation Reform Act on prisoner lawsuits.
(11) Institutionalized Cruelty, see 39-45 for testimony regarding retaliation at SCI Dallas.
(12) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, May 2, 2010.
(13) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly to his mother, May 5, 2010.
(14) Correspondence from Andre Jacobs, April 22, 2010.
(15) Letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) from Derrick Stanley; sent to HRC/Fed Up! and forwarded to OPR on June 19, 2010.
(16) Refers to the cell-block area.
(17) PA DOC policy DC-ADM 610, Food Service, section VI.B.2.c states that “Food shall not be used as a disciplinary measure.”
(18) Each cell in the RHU has a solid steel door with two narrow windows and a small slot for food, mail, and other items to enter.
(19) Content of this paragraph taken from the letter to OPR from Derrick Stanley (see footnote 15).
(20) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, April 28, 2010.
(21) A declaration is a witness statement, usually sworn pursuant to the penalties of perjury.
(22) Declaration of Andre Jacobs, April 28, 2010.
(23) Letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) from Derrick Stanley; sent to HRC/Fed Up! and forwarded to OPR on June 19, 2010.
(24) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(25) For more discussion and documentation of the routine use of racist slurs and the operative logic of white supremacy within the PA DOC see Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 9-10, 45-46, 64-67.
(26) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, April 30, 2010.
(27) The PA DOC defines Administrative Custody as “a status of confinement for nondisciplinary reasons that provides closer supervision, control, and protection than is provided for in general population,” DC-ADM 802, Administrative Custody Procedures. AC means placement in the RHU and subjection to severe restrictions on property, communication with prisoners and those outside the prison, and the attendant psychological harm of solitary confinement.
(28) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 40, 43.
(29) Ibid., p. 15.
(30) Ibid., p. 14-17.
(31) “SCI Dallas sued over convicted murderer’s suicide,” Steve Mocarsky, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, February 25, 2010.
(32) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 43-44.
(33) Ibid., p. 43.
(34) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, April 28, 2010.
(36) Declaration of Andre Jacobs, April 28, 2010.
(37) A “spit mask” is a hood that is placed over prisoners’ heads.
(38) Correspondence from Isaac Sanchez, May 10, 2010.
(39) Correspondence from Duane Peters, May 11, 2010.
(40) Correspondence from Andre Jacobs, May 7, 2010.
(41) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, May 2, 2010.
(42) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 17-21.
(43) Ibid., p. 9-10.
(44) Ibid., p. 20.
(45) Ibid., p. 20.
(46) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(47) Affidavit of Anthony Kelly, executed July 5, 2010.
(48) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 31.
(49) Ibid., p. 46.
(50) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, November 2009. Also, download and see p. 25 of the Abuse Logs for SCI Dallas at http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org/fedup/scidallas.htm.
(51) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(52) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 14-15.
(53) Ibid., p. 20.
(54) Ibid., see especially p. 21-30 for accounts solitary confinement in SCI Dallas; p. 59-61 for more context on the psychological impact of solitary confinement throughout the PA DOC.
(55) Ibid., p. 28-29.
(56) Ibid., p. 60-61.
(57) Ibid. p. 42.
(58) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, May 19, 2010.
(59) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, May 2, 2010.
(60) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(62) Correspondence from Anthony Locke, May 15, 2010.
(63) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(64) Institutionalized Cruelty, see p. 53-56 for more on OPR and other DOC and state officials’ deliberate indifference to reports of torture and ill-treatment.
(65) Letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) from Derrick Stanley; sent to HRC/Fed Up! and forwarded to OPR on June 19, 2010.
(66) All cell extractions are recorded by an officer with a handheld camcorder. The officer recording the incident typically does not follow officers into the cell, often points the camera at the ceiling or another guards back, and generally avoids close or any recording of what actually takes place in the cell.
(67) Letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) from Derrick Stanley; sent to HRC/Fed Up! and forwarded to OPR on June 19, 2010.
(69) Institutionalized Cruelty, p. 45.
(70) Ibid., p. 41.
(71) Correspondence from Anthony Kelly, May 2, 2010.
(72) Correspondence from Andre Jacobs, May 1, 2010.
(73) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, May 2, 2010.
(74) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, June 1, 2010.
(75) Institutionalized Cruelty, see p. 69-70 for discussion of the anti-prisoner bias of the misconduct system.
(76) Correspondence from Carrington Keys, June 1, 2010.
(77) Misconduct #B136958 DC-141 Part 2B Disciplinary Hearing Report; Part 2E Misconduct Hearing Appeal, May 27, 2010.
(78) Correspondence of Duane Peters-El, May 26, 2010.
(79) Correspondence of Duane Peters-El, May 27, 2010.
(80) Affidavit of Anthony Kelly, authored on July 5, 2010.
(81) PA DOC Code of Ethics, p. 1.
(82) PA DOC Code of Ethics, §A
(83) Ibid., §A.1
(84) Ibid., §B.1
(85) Ibid. §B.2
(86) PA DOC DC-ADM 201-1, Use of Force.
(87) Ibid., §V.A.6
(88) Ibid., §V.D
(89) Correspondence of Duane Peters-El, May 11, 2010.
(90) Correspondence of Isaac Sanchez, June 10, 2010.
(91) Complaint on file and available upon request, along with the U.S. Postal Service return receipt.
(92) Correspondence from David Pedri, December 18, 2009.
(93) Pa.R.Crim.P Rule 504(6)(a)
(94) Pa.C.S. §5101
(95) PA State Police Field Regulations Manual, Criminal Investigations Section.
(96) Correspondence from C. David Pedri, Deputy District Attorney of Luzerne County, July 21, 2010, on file.
(97) “Ex-inmate sues SCI-Dallas, D.A.,” Sheena Delazio, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, June 17, 2010.
(98) The Treatment of Prisoners Under International Law, Third Edition, Nigel S. Rodley with Matt Pollard, Oxford University Press, 2009.
99 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, article 1(1); (hereafter CAT)
(100) The Treatment of Prisoners Under International Law, Rodley and Pollard, see p. 65-66
(101) Ibid., see p. 49 and Chapter 4: The Legal Consequences of Torture and Other Ill-Treatment.
(102) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 5 reads as follows:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
(103) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 7 reads as follows:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.”
(104) Article 5(b) of the ICERD provides for “The right to security of person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual group or institution[.]”
(105) The relevant section of the Apartheid Convention identifies “torture . . . cruel, or degrading treatment or punishment” as constituting “the crime of apartheid” when “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”
(106) CAT, article 12
(107) CAT, article 16 stipulates that acts that are cruel, inhuman or degrading but do not rise to the level of torture are subject to the relevant protections of the convention.
(108) CAT, article 13
(109) CAT, article 14
(110) UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Law.
(111) The General Assembly is the legislative body for the state of Pennsylvania.
From: PA Prison Report of Sept 3rd 2010
Human Rights Coalition:
Prisoners in solitary confinement who were beaten, tasered, pepper-sprayed and left naked in restraints for hours at SCI Dallas on April 29, 2010 have been charged with riot by the District Attorney's office in Luzerne County.
Carrington Keys, Andre Jacobs, Derrick Stanley, Duane Peters, and Anthony Kelly have all informed HRC that they have been charged with riot and have a preliminary hearing set for Thursday, September 16th in front of Judge James Tupper in Trucksville, PA. The men were informed of these charges approximately one week after HRC released a 25-page report on the incident. The report, Resistance and Retaliation, documented how guards targeted prisoners who participated in an investigation by HRC/Fed Up! into torture and human rights violations at the prison.
In a manner similar to the way in which victims of police beatings are often charged with "assaulting an officer", the men are being charged for attacks in which they were targeted and assaulted by guards. In the days leading up to the April 29 assaults, prisoners were deprived food, called racial slurs, and threatened with violence by guards. The physical violence began on April 28th, when Isaac Sanchez was attacked by guards in riot gear, beaten, tasered, pepper-sprayed and left naked in a restraint chair for 16-20 hours. In protest of the attack upon Mr. Sanchez, 6 men in nearby cells of the solitary confinement unit covered their windows and demanded an end to the abuse and to speak with media and the public defender's office. Guards in riot gear proceeded to assault each of them with electro-shock weapons and pepper spray. Three of the men--Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, and Derrick Stanley--were given emergency transfers to other prisons where they currently are held.
In response to the attacks, an investigator with HRC/Fed Up! submitted a 10-page criminal complaint to the Luzerne County DA in May, charging staff at SCI Dallas with the torture of prisoners under their care. Assistant DA David Pedri has refused to prosecute. Several of the prisoners are involved in litigation against DOC officials and employees and one of them, Carrington Keys, is suing the DA of Luzerne County, Jacqueline Caroline Musto, for "turning a blind eye" to crimes perpetrated against prisoners by SCI Dallas. The DA's office declined to comment when contacted by a reporter on Tuesday.