Oscar Stilley promised in an earlier post to litigate and he did it. The retaliation has started. He’s had two frivolous incident reports. He spent 30 days in SHU (Special Housing Unit–“the hole”) on hunger strike ending 08/20/15. Back in SHU on 09/10/15, he is again on hunger strike. His response: He wants your help to improve literacy in federal prison.

The title is from an old song, but it aptly describes my current situation I need a little help. Let me explain.

On the last blog post, I said I plan to help other inmates file tort claims and litigate, mostly on medical and dental issues. I’ve neglected the blog because I’ve been so busy with these issues; at least my excuse, please forgive me.

I’ve drafted over 40 tort claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and had about a dozen FTCA lawsuits underway. I have gotten several surgeries, other medical care and dental care done as a result of my letters, tort claims and FTCA lawsuits.

Before going to SHU (Special Housing Unit – essentially jail for the prison), on 07/21/15, I had gotten one case passed a government motion for summary judgment. The court had appointed counsel for trial, and I was preparing a witness and exhibit list. I had several other cases in which I was confident of the same result. We would defeat a government motion for summary judgment and the case would go to trial, generally with counsel. On some cases, I thought we had a good chance of getting summary judgment against the government. As such, a trial would be necessary only to determine the amount of damages.

In February 2015, our Assistant Director of Health Services, Ms. Judith Lamarre, called me to her office to discuss my tort claims. She asked me to give her a chance to solve the problem before I filed the tort claim. I agreed to do that as much as possible. Some success was had with that program, benefiting the inmate as well as the taxpayer.

I asked for opportunities to improve health while cutting costs. For example, I wanted a chance to do kidney cleanses and liver cleanses before resorting to expensive procedures such as lithotripsy for kidney stones and gallbladder surgery. The response was lukewarm at best. Mostly, I was told that such efforts did not mesh well with the DOJ–FBOP Bureaucracy.

Sometimes what looked like a loss (dismissal of a compliant) really should have counted as a win. For example, Tom Gregory got cataract surgery he had been denied for some three years with a promise of surgery on the other eye in May 2015. The promise didn’t happen so I drafted a motion for reconsideration of the dismissal. It was pending when I left Forrest City Low on 08/27/15.

In June of 2015, I was called to the Lieutenants Office by a lieutenant, Ms. Lonero, and told amongst other things that I couldn’t use my Trulinks account to draft legal documents for other inmates. She claimed: 1) that I wasn’t supposed to help other inmates with legal work and; 2) if I did, I should use the computers at Education and; 3) I shouldn’t help anyone draft a document that included a threat to hunger strike.

I explained that I had already been told by an associate Warden named Mr. Smith that I could not help others with legal work. He came back later, apologized and told me I had a legal right to do such legal work.

I also explained that I didn’t have access to the computers in Education; they only have 16 of them and they are either locked up or in use by a class and aren’t hooked up to printers anyway.

Based on further conversations with staff, I concluded that my right to help other inmates with legal work was undisputed. After all, dozens of letters, tort claims and legal pleadings have been submitted to DOJ–FBOP officials and courts with my Trulincs header at the top.

Feeling the need for further assurances of the right to threaten a hunger strike, with or without help, I submitted a “Request for Informal Resolution” on that issue on 07/0/7/ 15. On 07/08/15, my Unit Team agreed with my contention, saying that I did have that right. On 07/05/15, I resave most of my existing Trulincs “draft email” documents. I have to do this because: 1) I can only see 30 days worth of documents at a time and; 2) documents with a “last save date” older than 60 days are erased. On 07/21/15, I was called to the lieutenant’s office by Ms. Lonero and accused of writing threats to hunger strike. I asked what your evidence is. She responded that she didn’t need evidence. I was hustled out the door going to SHU.

I frantically tried to explain that the documents were resaves of old documents. I tried to explain that the archival data would show I was telling the truth about that. I explained that my “Informal Resolution” established my right to do that.

Nothing worked. The Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO) agreed that I wasn’t guilty of trying to incite a group demonstration, but in the same breath said I was guilty of “Conduct Disruptive to the Security of the Institution.” I had the informal resolution with me and my unit manager, Mr. Hunt, who signed it, was my staff representative. Mr. Hunt saw nothing wrong with telling me I had a right to do something and then punishing me for doing precisely that thing. He didn’t defend me; he defended the DHO finding of guilt.

I lost 41 days good time, six months commissary and Trulincs, and 3 months phone. I also got 30 days disciplinary segregation (DS) time, with no credit for 22 days already served in SHU.

From 07/21/15 to 08/20/15, I was in SHU on hunger strike. On the morning of 08/20/15, I was told: “Good News, Stilley, if you eat, you get out of SHU as soon as Medical clears you.” Later, Captain Gotreauthe came to my cell and confirmed it, saying: “I cut your DS time, if you eat, you get out.” However, he would not look me in the eye.

I got out of SHU on Monday 07/24/15. On Wednesday, two days later, I was called to Receiving and Discharged (R&D) and told that I was being shipped. They wouldn’t say why or where I was going. They just said to be ready to leave in the morning.

Piecing together the facts, I now realize they had already started the paperwork to ship me before they cut my DS time. They put me on the compound so I would eat and get into condition to ship.

I arrived at Oakdale FCI-1 on 09/02/15. I went to R&D to get my property on 09/10/15. A correctional officer (C/O) named T. Ardoin saw that I had a 3 ring binder. He grabbed it and started berating me for having it. I calmly explained that it survived many locker/cubicle searches at Forrest City. Nobody had a problem with it there. He just got louder and more agitated.

I perceived it was an attempt to provoke me into an outburst and he tried to avoid giving any basis for accusation. However, I would not gravel or admit wrongdoing.

C/O Ardoin finally said: “Put him in a holding cell, I’ll write him up for in insolence.” A few minutes later, I was escorted into an office with Lt. Trill, C/O Ardoin and another individual. Lt. Trull got within 9 inches of my face and began loudly berating me. I responded in a polite but unflinching manner. LT. Trill demanded an apology to C/O Ardoin, which I gave.

C/O Ardion accepted the apology. He told me that I was completely forgiven and that no “shot” (formal incident report) would be written on me. He offered me a cart to take my property home, which I gratefully accepted. We had a very pleasant conversation of about 10–15 minutes. I felt I had made a friend.

I left R&D at the 9:00 move and brought the cart back, with a “thank you” note, at 10:00 yard recall. Arriving back at the housing unit, my unit manager told me to go see Lt. DeVilla. I met him and Lt. S. Gotreaux at the Associate Warden’s complex. Both are part of SIS, or Special Investigative Service.

Lt. DeVilla informed me that I came with a history of hunger strikes and litigation. He made it clear that he wanted a commitment that I would not help other inmates with litigation. I made it equally clear that I claimed that right pursuant to the constitution and case law.

Lt. DeVilla informed me that I had been sent to Oakdale to “chill out” from my litigation assistance. He informed me, in no uncertain terms, that if I failed to heed this low-level warning, he could put me in a Medium or a US penitentiary (USP) which would be very unpleasant. He assured me that he had the total power to do this and I couldn’t affectively resist.

I asked him if he intended also to get me hurt or killed. He just laughed.

Within three hours, I was served with a 200 series shot for balling my fists and advancing on C/O Ardoin in a threatening way. That is much more serious than a 300 series shot for insolence. This shot was not signed by C/O Ardoin.

This shot is littered with defects but one trumps them all; if C/O Ardoin thought I balled my fist and advanced and threatened him, he certainly would not have threaten a shot for insolence. A shot for insolence is far less serious than what I now face.

The Forrest City shot and the Oakdale shot are part of a plan to destroy my ability to help other inmates with litigation. My counselor had just put me in for camp. I told him if he did that I would hunger strike; I wanted to stay at Forrest City Low. Before the Forrest City shot, I had camp points. I qualify for a transfer to Oakdale Low because of the Forrest City shot.

The only way I know to put me in a USP is to write me a series of malicious shots and jack my security points all the way from camp, the lowest security level, to USP, which is the highest sort of Superman.

Why does this matter? Consider this fact: A carton of cigarettes is worth $1000 in prison because they aren’t sold legally. In a prison where I am unknown, SIS only needs to do three things to get me stabbed or even killed: 1) spread the rumor that I’m a “snitch” or a “child molester” (chomo), two despised classes; 2) let the high inmates know that they will get a carton of cigarettes if I get stabbed and; 3) let it be known that the attacker will get little or no punishment.

I don’t want “diesel therapy.” I don’t want a beating or stabbing, whether great or small.

Therefore, I humbly request your assistance on the following project.

I want your help to get NeoSmarts or similar devices for any inmate who wants to learn keyboarding at EITHER Forrest City or Oakdale. I want to teach a class of 20 and recruit enough instructors to make sure that inmates who want to learn or improve their keyboarding, writing or editing skills have the opportunity to do that.

We don’t need any text money to do this. Let us pay for the NeoSmarts, the printers, paper, toner, etc. We will even pay for the printer repairs; we can just use their video link to tap an experienced repairman at his customary rate. We’ll do the hands on labor.

I know the prevailing view at both prisons. Asking for NeoSmarts is almost like asking for a helicopter. Forrest City keeps the NeoSmarts but confiscates them from incoming inmates. They aren’t allowed outside the library; files are erased daily. They don’t have nearly enough for the population.

Oakdale has an upcoming keyboard class. It is limited to 16 students or 1% of the inmate population; probably 40 times that many inmates need to learn keyboarding.

NeoSmarts isn’t a complete solution but they’re a start. Forrest City has had 60–90 computers sitting on pallets for about three years. Getting those into the housing units, with printers and the peripherals is the permanent and expected solution. Make sure they know that.

To dissuade Oakdale from shipping Oscar, SHOW Forrest City that shipping Oscar solved nothing. Let them know that you will ratchet up the heat until the housing units are well-stocked with computers and well equipped with software.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Both prisons are terrified of writing devices because writing devices are perceived to be litigating device. Ditto for knowledge. Keyboarding is a precursor to literacy, which is precursor to inmates willing and able to enforce their rights. I’ve been told in plain language that I can’t get these because they’ll just be used for litigation. That’s why we have 45–70% recidivism. That’s why federal prisons are hotbeds of incompetence, graft, featherbedding, naked theft and corruption of every kind. Literacy is the enemy of the DOJ–FBOP for the same reasons that cruel and ungodly slaveholders in the antebellum south hated literacy for black slaves. Literacy is in empowerment.

Literacy allows every man to rise to the level of his own competence. That’s why The DOJ-FBOP spends vast sums on the pretense of education and stops at nothing to destroy or neutralize any inmate who seeks educational excellence at no cost to the taxpayers.

Remember the three ring binder? I was given a choice of donating it to the DOJ–FBOP for trashing or sending it home. I donated it to the DOJ-FBOP.

The action was statutorily authorized by 18 USC 4044, which authorizes the donation of money or property to the DOJ–FBOP. That statute also authorizes the DOJ-FBOP to “sell, assign, transfer or convey such property other than money.” It is perfectly legal to give the DOJ-FBOP 20 each NeoSmarts on agreement that they in turn be conveyed to 20 named inmates.

I need the following:
1) Research NeoSmarts or equivalent devices; get descriptions, specifications, reviews, prices and availability info; probably from eBay or Amazon. Email this to the Education Supervisor, Associate Warden in charge of education and the warden of both prisons. Also, mail two copies to me. We can “go up the chain” to Regional, National and Congress, later, if efforts at the institutions don’t work.

2) Email Ms Wilson, Oakdale Supervisor of Education, and ask her for a copy of my electronic cop-out (request to staff) that is dated 09/08/15 at 12:32 PM. Lobby the individuals mentioned in Paragraph 1 for their support to a friendly competition between Oakdale and Forrest City to see who can do the best job for upgrading keyboarding skills in the inmate population.

Please post comments to the blog, especially if you do the research in Paragraph 1. I’m not saying that only one person can work on it or have input. I just want to make sure that work isn’t wastefully duplicated.

Keep this in mind: Oakdale Warden Becky Clay has a reputation as a reformer who wants to improve corrections. I haven’t been here long enough to form an opinion one way or another. When you talk, look for opportunities. Make notes about the conversations. Put appropriate comments on the blog to help others who may call or write.

I admit of being critical, sometimes sharply critical of the DOJ–FB0P. My preference, however, is to find ways to make friends and ways to make my world a better place to live.

I have written this from a SHU, on hunger strike, with a blood sugar in the 30s. I’d really like to make peace if I can do so without devastating myself. If you get a chance to make me look human, please do so. Please understand that I’ve seen my friends rot in the SHU for six months without so much as a formal accusation. I can’t afford that.

I did 30 days (less 1 meal) on hunger strike, got a three-week break, and now on Sunday, 09/20/15, I’m on day 11 of another hunger strike. My normal weight is 170, give or take a few. I am at 149 right now. I have some fat left but not a massive amount. If you communicate to prison authorities the fact that you care, you help me a lot. I appreciate that.

Thanks so much for your time.