Followup to Retaliatory Transfer Back To Idaho
My inmate property arrived with the most expensive items missing, as well as legal work that was in progress at Eagle Pass Correctional Facility.
The property wasn’t compensated for following an exhaustion of the grievance process. The legal work was sent from EPCF a month after my transfer and held by the Idaho Department of Correction for an additional month before being delivered incomplete. GEO Group also neglected to forward items still arriving at EPCF, legal mail included. Grievances filed for missing property and undelivered mail were responded to with a lack of action. An appeal based on an insufficient response requested encouraging immediate safeguards to ensure I would receive all mail parcels being delivered to me at EPCF, including responses from the complaints I filed while in Texas.
Corrective action for the mail issue took effect on the day of the appeal’s decision but failed to inform me of notifications that arrived prior. IDOC took no action to compensate my missing property following the exhaustion of appeals and calls requesting explanation from my immediate family.
Meanwhile, IDOC placed limits on the letters I was sending to media, special interest groups and Idaho lawmakers. An inquiry into my inability to access the postal system was responded to with a Sgt. Trobock stating that IDOC’s property policy limits inmates to twenty envelopes a week, therefore any amount of items being received by the mail-room exceeding that number are to be denied. A grievance submitted requesting access to my First Amendment rights was then reviewed and denied by the same Sgt. Trobock.
An appeal maintaining that while Property Limits does limit an inmate to possessing twenty stamped envelopes argued that the envelopes I was attempting to process were not stamped. They were submitted naked as mail to be metered for the fifteen percent inmate savings on postal access. As there is no limit placed on envelopes to be metered, the number being sent to the mail-room was irrelevant. Sgt. Trobock misstated the policy.
The policy for property shows no restrictions on manila, blank or envelopes received. The only mention is of “stamped envelopes.” When the question was presented to an IDOC property officer, they informed that these other types of envelopes are considered paperwork and allowed to be kept in increments of three cubic feet. Additionally, IDOC’s policy on mail places no restrictions on the amount of items one can send in a week.
We now break format for a summary of events with “Irving’s Ish”.
My status as an American was reinstated despite the Appeal Review’s neglecting to view the property policy cited in the grievance. The citation, iteration and immediate reiteration of the actual policy had no effect on the adjudicator bonds formed between the two responding correctional operators. The Appeal Review supported the first reviewers misrepresentation of the property policy cited. I was also mis-FYI’ed in the final response while being assured that even though I’m right, I’m still wrong.
I deem the result of these exchanges acceptable: Sgt. Trobock will be metering my mail while working in the mail-room, as federally required when one works in the mail-room, regardless of the quantity being sent.
Sidenote: A letter sent to a Canadian Book Fair full of invitations to my civil dissent project was held for three weeks before being returned to me with a stamp that said only commissary purchased envelopes were allowed to go out. As the envelope sent was one of the hundred I purchased that week from the Keefe monopoly, the operating assumption is the stamps I placed on the envelope – which came in transit with my property from Texas – induced an emotional response that triggered the childhood defense mechanism known as “Nuh-uh.”
While stamps are and always will be a valid form of postal currency – so much so that IDOC only permits the possession of twenty stamped envelopes at one time, and the United States Postal System guarantees them “forever” – the stamps exposed to Texas invited such panic in Idaho that salutations to anarchist book enthusiasts in Montreal had to be offered by other means. Because I’m only allowed to exercise the First Amendment serum three grievances at a time, I put this one in my pocket for the future.
Meanwhile, of federal concern…
The grievance regarding staff retaliation was filed a week after arriving in Idaho. It focused on the timing of my transfer coinciding with my publicly airing inmate concerns and filing several formal complaints in Texas. That a disciplinary offense from four months prior was modified was significant as I was (and am still) the only inmate of a large group sharing the same offense from the same day to be reclassified. The grievance’s investigation, initial response and appeal were all processed by the staff members facing my allegations.
I answered their finding themselves not guilty of retaliation by grieving the policy that allows staff to investigate themselves for accusations of misconduct. The initial response confused this grievance as a repetitive claim of retaliation, and failed to recognize that it specifically stated an issue with policy. This point was made in an appeal and responded to by Warden Howard Yordy. Yordy denied the appeal based on my assumed confusion over whether or not IDOC employees are accountable for conspiring with GEO Group employees to infringe on Civil Rights in Texas. Confused or not, my grievance addressed the IDOC policy that allows employees to investigate themselves for misconduct.
Because Monte Hansen, Tim Higgins and P. Donaldson didn’t forward the retaliation grievance to the Special Investigations Unit for review, my grievance addressing that failure found a different audience.
Per IDOC policy, accusations of employee misconduct are to be reviewed by SIU. Tim Higgins responded to a Concern Form asking if he followed this policy by stating this information was not to be shared with an offender. When sent the same question, Investigator Nicole Fraser did inform me that Higgins didn’t follow this policy requirement while processing my retaliation grievance. Neither did Donaldson or Hansen.
The response to the grievance addressing this failure confirmed that the retaliation grievance has since been forwarded to SIU. This response was then appealed as insufficient in that it failed to address additional training for the staff charged with neglecting to follow the policy requirements.
Begins more commentary with Irving: Copies of additional grievances showing that this isn’t an isolated incident can be made available.
It is concerning that the accused has access to an investigation focused on the charges belonging to them. Increasing the likelihood of additional retaliation is as bad of a management example as doing nothing after something like this has been brought to your attention.
Thank you for watching “People in Taxpayer Funded Positions of Authority.” Is it normal to pay employees of state departments to decide whether or not their behavior is unbecoming of their position? Will I one day be allowed to decide what corrective action and penalties I should face for my own criminal actions? What a horrible example being set by the very people responsible for my rehabilitation, folks!
Tune in next time, when this mismanagement strategy inspires our antihero to organize a petition and lobby to prevent correctional employees from investigating themselves for misconduct. Will the petition be limited to Idaho? Will it address property damage, medical denials, sexual assaults, forms of violence and administrative manipulations, etc? We’ll find out after our legislative break…
It should be hard to imagine a state-paid employee anywhere in the United States having the keys to drive their own criminal investigation.
Patrick Irving 82431