Sunday, November 8, 2009

Appeal of Parole Denial

Below is a picture of 2009 appeal by Mansa Lutalo Iyapo, followed by a scanned reading of the document

Dear Taxpayer, et'al

The purpose of this letter is to educate you on how the Department of Corrections (DOC) is misappropriating your hard earned tax dollars to further a process that you may not be aware of.

The process that I'm speaking of is a process whereby the DOC keeps its prisoners in prison longer than necessary, in turn costing you more money, via its Program Review Committee (PRC). The purpose of the PRC is to determine what programs a prisoner needs; what prison a prisoner will be imprisoned in; and ultimately how long a prisoner will stay in prison, as the PRC and the Parole Board rely on each other's records when making their decisions about a prisoner's fate.

Due to my limited resources, I can only give you 3 examples of how this PRC is arbitrary and kangaroo.

The first example is me. To avoid being redundant, I've provided you with my last parole papers from 2008 and my PRC papers from 2009. As you can see, the Board states: It is also important that you[...] transition to reduced security, including an opportunity in a minimum security institution. All of this will help to lower your risk level, and allow for the possibility of release prior to your mandatory release date in June of 2018." (Emphasis added underlined, mine.) Now, keep in mind that the only way that I can get to "reduced security" or to a "minimum security institution" is via said PRC. A review of said PRC papers reflects that the PRC staff (whom I've never met)- recommended that I stay here in a maximum custody prison, even though I've been eligible for medium for years, and have only been written 1 bad Conduct Report (CR) (in 2007 alleging that I received a magazine from a prisoner without staff's permission and subsequently denied receiving it) since 2003! The PRC's arbitrary decision to keep me in a maximum security prison for another 12 months went against the recommendations of my social worker - and all other prison staff who are frequently around me - to send me to a medium custody prison:
Staff Appraisal and Recommendations (Pre-Hearing) Recommending medium custody at PLCI based on sentence structure and positive institution adjustment. He received no tickets during this review period and his last major ticket is from 11/12/07. He is not able to seek employment based on his "no work status" from HSU. He is doing well on the housing unit. He is a graduate of the fall 2008 Restorative Justice Program.

Despite said appraisal/recommendations, the PRC still decided to keep me in a maximum custody prison.

As you can see, my appeal of the PRC's arbitrary decision was arbitrarily denied on 10-9-09. The reasons?

Decision in compliance with DOC 302; Current Offense/History; Dynamics of crime/violations; Sentence; Time likely to be served.ES 6/2018 - Dynamics of offense and violation. Recent adjustment positive - continue to monitor in general population to next recall for further consideration at that time.

These vague and perfunctory reasons are not legitimate because they don't address my situation specifically. I base this on the fact that there is no nexus between me being transferred to a medium custody prison and my sentence structure being "ES 6/2018," considering the fact that I was eligible for parole as early as 2003, i.e., how can I be eligible for release to the street in 2003 by the judge who sentenced me to prison but not eligible for transfer to a medium custody prison in 2009 by PRC staff? The facts clearly show that the PRC staff are superseding the judge's authority, and also abusing their own authority, in determining how long I spend in prison. Prison officials are prohibited from punishing prisoners for crimes that resulted in their imprisonment. My punishment was 28 years in prison with the possibility for parole after 7 years if my behavior warranted such. Said punishment was issued by the judge in 1996 for the crimes that I was convicted of (masked armed robbery). The reason why such questions are essential is because they expose the abuse of authority that the DOC displays via a strategic efforts designed to keep prisoners in prison as long as possible (even though they're eligible for release), which adversely effects you because it's your tax dollars that are being used to ensure said criminal misconduct. If a prisoner's sentence structure and behavior qualifies him for release, then he should not be hindered by DOC staff.

My second example of said arbitrary PRC decisions is concerning a fellow prisoner named Aaron Alien. In Mr. Alien's case, he saw PRC in April of 2009, at which time they gave him a 6-month recall, i.e. in 6 months renew your request for transfer to a medium custody prison. However, when Mr. Alien renewed said request in 6 months, the PRC denied him again and shockingly gave him a 12-month recall, even though nothing changed during that time! The crazy part about that is the fact that the reasons that they used to give him a 6-month recall, they also used to give him a 12-month recall 6 months later!

You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. In other words,the truth knocks the brains out of falsehood every single time.

My last, but not least, example of an arbitrary PRC decision is concerning a fellow prisoner named Larry Johnson. Mr. Johnson's ordeal deserves some history in order to appreciate the context of the PRC's abuse of authority. Mr. Johnson's journey starts at the juvenile Ethan Alien School (EAS), where he earned a certain certificate. From there he was transferred into the adult DOC and eventually ended up at the Kettle Moraine Institution (KMCI).

In July of 2008, while at KMCI, Mr. Johnson was charged by KMCI staff with Theft, and Counterfeiting and Forgery because he was in possession of some Seal Stickers (Theft) and because of the mistaken belief that his said certificate wasn't authentic (Counterfeiting and Forgery). Since his advocate refused to call his former EAS social worker to verify the authenticity of said certificate, the KMCI found him guilty of said charges, sentenced him to 180 days Disciplinary Separation, and subsequently transferred him to the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), formerly named "Supermax Correctional Institution," via said PRC. Said transfer prevented Mr. Johnson from completing his college correspondence courses, thus he had to fill out an "incomplete" for that semester, i.e. he had to wait until the end of the next semester to complete that class.

Mr. Johnson was eventually transferred here (CCI), where the CCI college correspondence liaison told him that they don't have the course materials here for said class that he filed an "Incomplete" on (even though this program is taken throughout the entire DOC. Mr. Johnson was enrolled in said program since 2006 and had maintained a 4.0 GPA. As a result of not being able to finish said course it turned into a "U", i.e. a failing grade, which lowered his GPA. Unfortunately, this damage to his GPA discouraged him from enrolling in any other classes.

In late 2009, Mr. Johnson attended a PRC hearing and was told that his conduct and sentence structure qualified him to be transferred to a minimum custody prison. At that time Mr. Johnson only had 3 months left on his prison sentence, thus said PRC decided thus to ensure that he receive some necessary programming at said minimum prison to assist him in transitioning smoothly back into the non-prison community. Unfortunately, said recommendation was overturned by the PRC's so-called "Classification Specialist" (who's stationed in Madison, Wisconsin),
who ordered that Mr. Johnson stay here in CCI until he's released from prison. Why? Because Mr. Johnson would be released from the prison system in December of 2009! In other words, since Mr. Johnson is going home soon he doesn't deserve the tools necessary that will help him transition back into the non-prison community, or the tools necessary to ensure that he doesn't contribute to the high recidivism rate. Common sense would tell you that the DOC should be doing everything in their power to ensure that prisoners being released are equipped with the tools necessary to have an opportunity to succeed. They clearly missed their J mark in this case.

If your question after reading this is: "What can I do to stop these arbitrary decisions?", I can only answer with what I would do if I was in your shoes. I would start by finding out who my state legislators are by contacting the Wisconsin Legislative Switchboard (1-800-362-9472). I would then contact said legislator ( s) , including Senator Lena Taylor, and inform them about this information and then ask that they investigate it. I would tell them that if said information proved to be accurate, that they intervene via having the State's Legislative Audit Bureau (22 E. Mifflin St., Suite 500, Madison, WI 53703) audit all of the PRC decisions for the past 5 years in order to determine what measures to take to ameliorate the PRC's process. Finally, I would continue to play an active role in ensuring that the DOC is not misappropriating my tax dollars, and ensuring that it holds steadfast to the definition of "Corrections" in its label Department of Corrections.

Every year millions of your tax dollars are being wasted on a department (Department of Corrections) that's designed to have you spending money on a failed system. It costs $30,000 per year to house 1 prisoner. The PRC's arbitrary decisions are, for the most part, designed to keep prisoners in prison even though they're ready to be released, or hinder a prisoner from the tools needed to prevent him from coming back to prison once released. In either case, you're the one paying the bill.
Your attention to this matter is imperative and will be greatly appreciated.
MANSA LUTALO IYAPO -aka- Mr. Rufus West #225213,
P.O. Box 900 (CCI), Portage WI 53901

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