Mule Creek Torture of Eric Knap
|[Note Eric Knapp has
now been moved to another prison, this is his story.]
February 11, 2003
Warden Knowles, a desperate man, has resorted to behavior even lower than his usual neandrathal retribution.
My son is reported in "critical care" in the infirmary of Mule Creek. They will not allow him to call me or any other family member so I am assuming he is hurt until Matt Gray goes to see him in person.
He is being charged with Inciting a riot which is ridiculous. All he did was report the food contamination incident to the legislators who always get his journals and hung our protest flyer on the inmate bulletin boards. Families of inmates cannot be told they may not organize. What a pompous bunch of apes out there at Mule Creek, raciously violating everyone rights not at all fearing the consequences.
The families of inmates who subscribe to the UNION reported the food contaminations to me. Much later Eric copied me on the journals he sent to officials.
This is the technique most of the wardens use when they want to cover up their wrongdoings from legislators and/or from the media.
They discredit the inmate by placing them on suicide watch.
Reading from a script, the public information officer Eric Reyes FINALLY called me today at 1 p.m. to tell me that Eric was in "their critical care".
I asked him "what have you bastards done to him?"
Then he told me half a dozen enemies against Eric have listed themselves with the warden.
At this moment the men at Mule Creek are furious that Bristow and Eric are in the hole. Their parents are us.
Of course "enemies" can always be bought or coerced, but unless these people were interviewed I'm not buying any of it.
As I told you many months ago, the "victim" in Eric's case stepped forward last march to say he is innocent. A habeas is in progress and Eric will be free. He knows he will be free if there is one grain of justice left.
Secondly, he has a wife and two sons (one his own, one his stepson) who visits him several times a week.
He would never, never attempt suicide when Matt Gray was just out to get his story last Friday and he knows he has the backing of so many people in the UNION - not to mention a MOM who never says die.
So this is all part of the cover up plan. But it isn't going to work. The article in the Register today threw them all for a loop, but it is mild compared to the wallop that is coming.
Why should the taxpayers pay billions for such a screwed up system that only serves to chew people up into bits? Nope, we're going to use our brains on these bullies, our pens, our mouths and hands.
David Bristow has been in the hole for several weeks because he alerted the other men their food was contaminated.
Eric is in the hole because he helped the MAC Committee draft a letter requesting the kitchen be placed on B yard after repeated food contaminations. Now he is charged with inciting because the warden is angry that so many Mule Creek families belong to the UNION and have reported his illegal activities to Presley, legislators and the press - not to mention the Center for Disease Control.
Ramoz undoubted ingested razor blades and required medical procedures but he was shipped out and is hidden in the hole someplace where the press can't get to him. He was also on "suicide watch" before he went. This is a status used to discredit the men.
Inmate Byrd required medical attention but was released back into the population (for now).
Inmate Thomas Lee has been threatened with a transfer for reporting his desperate need for medical attention. When an inmate needs surgery, they are denied and if they complain, severely punished for it.
This scenario has been described in many of the letters of complaint I receive statewide. Instead of fixing the problems, they punish everyone who complains. They are so powerful that they get away with this bullying behavior most of the time.
But not this time. Anyone who would so cruelly punish half a dozen people for courageous action in an ongoing food contamination crisis just to keep his name out of the paper is a lunatic. Which is exactly why I testified against Knowles last summer and brought out the horrible inhumane conditions at Mule Creek.
It is obvious that even after Eric was paraded and placed in the hole without clothes that the information flowed into me that he was "hospitalized" in their sorry excuse for an infirmary almost immediately.
People in the hole or in the hospital MAY NOT call their families. Until he does, I will assume the worst because these monsters are capable of anything.
They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars engaging in this type of psychological warfare on families and inmates throughout California and nobody in the legislature or in an official position can do anything about it.
One inmate has filed a lawsuit over the food contamination. There might be more as UNION families are furious.
But the best course of action is for us to keep notifying
families statewide to file letters of complaint with the Center for Disease
Control so that the much needed inspection takes place systemwide before
any more people die from STUPID unsanitary practices and INHUMANE
I have spent the day giving good ole' country cussings to a whole bunch of bureaucrats who were needing it. I have letters from people who are taking as many as 50 names each to contact for our March 13 protest.
That is what I would like us to do as I wait to hear from my son directly. They say he is refusing food and who wouldn't, after this type of treatment. He has lived under severe psychological intimidation since our Vacaville campaign.
He would want us to respond with ACTION instead of grief to their cruelty and injustice. He is after all, my son. We must not let these intimidation tactics take us off our course.
How many inmate addresses do you need to mail in last Friday's email with the info they need to know about?
B. Cayenne Bird
February 12, 2003
I have reason to believe my son CANNOT speak on the phone, may be heavily sedated or unconscious and is starving himself over this horrible treatment and fear of the food. Every family whose loved one goes into crisis experiences this same treatment, no real picture of their condition, no notice they have been hospitalized, no contact allowed even if they're dying.
It's a promise. Nobody should have to suffer this type of sick worry which is intentionally inflicted on families. When I KNOW his condition by speaking with him or Matt Gray tells me he has seen him, I will report it to you. So far, I have been in suspense for 48 hrs and counting....
Knowles is responding in the only way he knows how and in a way that has always worked in the past. Warden Knowles doesn't comprehend yet that this time UNION is forcing the issue by our NUMBERS and through our ACTIVE involvement.
By doing this we have changed the rules of the game and he hasn't figured out what the new rules are yet. He is unable to adapt to this reality. And why should he have to? He has never had to before. Problem solving is not his strength. His outdated (dinosaur days) are over.
The danger is to Eric and possibly even to you because of his fear and confusion and desperation and outright stupidity. The fear factor, which the rest of us have already had to deal with or are coming to terms with, applies to you also, dear lady. I'm sure that has already occured to you. Must one lay down one's life to bring about peaceful change in America today?
Knowles needs to be bound and shackled, not by chains, but by the sunlight. He must learn to rein in his own behaviors and to correct himself as well as those of his staff. He knows full well what is going on in that hell hole he runs. In fact, this man is an outlaw. Good journalism is our hope. We are inside his prison and he is wild over it since even most of the legislature supports the media ban.
My son is helping us now, he's 40 and very experienced
at organizing. We
I can't imagine what you must be going through, Cayenne. Even our household here is tense waiting to hear how Eric is doing. My son says we no longer live in the America we read about in our government classes and in our history books. And it hasn't been that way for a long time. In our household we are talking about Ghandi and the quote attributed to him:
"When the people
You are our heroine, Cayenne. And we are praying for the day that Eric will be released and for the others, too.
Eric has been in danger since we began in 1998 and since the day he was incarcerated in these violent, disease-ridden bloodhouses. He is taking the brunt of our success while they make an example out of him.
I will not know until Matthew Gray physically goes to see him whether he is conscious or not, part of his punishment (and mine) is that he cannot call me. Nobody has seen him, they are cruel and brutal so I will assume the worst until I can hear his voice on the phone or until Matt tells me that he has personally seen him.
The thing we need to face is that NOBODY has authority over these wardens except the voters...that's you and I everyone we can bring to our side. The legislators are either bought off or powerless against these goons who have taken over our State and bled us dry through all these indirect costs.
Anyone who stands up to them or criticizes them in the capacity of a journalist or activist is considered their enemy. They attacked Polanco and Vasconcellos many times. So what it means is that they're rattled over our size, they underestimated us, but it's too late, they can't violate the First Amendment and apply codes that don't remotely relate to the situation.
I believe that true patriots will stand through this freedom fight which has been going on for twenty years and nobody has known what to do about it. So let us push forward and continue to educate, the UNION isn't just one person, we are too numerous to stomp out and they will not be slowing us down one bit with these events.
You all know what to do.
I am so sorry that they are now taking retribution on your son.I spoke with my loved one this morning and she received the UNION Flyers crumbled and torn.We believe the guards did this. Looks like the word is spreading fast.
She did not know if the others had received the flyers yet but I warned her to pass them around cautiously. Lisa said she and the other women at the prison will pray for your son and do their best to get the word out.
Your son's enemies are reported to be those people who were threatened in interrogations of inmates Nazi style to find out whose parents belong to the UNION.
Knowles feels he must stop all the eyes and ears out to to the press and legislators and so this is his crusade.
This a really stupid and futile crusade but Eric is very much loved, respected and has no real enemies where he lives. Your entire family, including you are heroes right now, as well as our unified actions to bring in the Center for Disease Control.
Most of the men are aware of their lies and how frightened they are that we are in there. I will continue to report in. They're not going to tell me what to do and we are organizing faster out there, not slower.
Everybody knows the protest is March 13 and it's up to them to send their families to show numbers who are upset. If they don't, they get what they work for (or in this case don't work for).
Mule Creek Mom
Eric is on B 12 145 L
He is being kept in 5 point restraints...leg to bed, leg to bed, arm to bed, arm to bed, and neck to bed. The word out is that he went off and they had to take him down.
My loved one says that is NOT true as he knows Eric and that is not how he operates so they are lying again. What is new. He is shackled and treated like a real security risk for attempting to incite a riot.
The men have been told this is a warning to all to shut up and keep out of outside news. Anyone with a medical problem of any kind is to be shipped out if they open their mouths. He says Thomas Lee will be shipped to Vacaville because he had made too many waves already. Three on his yard are going there also because they have opened their mouths and complained.
They cannot get any word on Bristow. They think he is going to be shipped without ever coming back on the yard but no proof of that.
The men are divided now with some trying very hard to get information. Others are saying the UNION is not going to help as it is a personal agenda to run for office.
When I heard that I said what fools tell them even if that is the truth be the first to vote to get any UNION member in office as then we will have at least one voice for us.
I am told many of the inmates do not have the capacity to figure things out and they just run their mouths on things that do not make sense. We just have to get more information in to more people.
They have to know we are not abandoning them because of what is going on in there. Loved ones need to keep them informed what we are doing. Many are very upset about what is happening to Eric.
Even some who do not even know him are upset and they ALL agree anything can happen in there where there are no witnesses. The letters I sent are there now .
My son is not posting anything but passing it from one to another by word of mouth and by hand to hand.
I told him not to put himself in any jeopardy but to pass it around to the ones who are leaders and who count so the rest will find out from them.
He has been there a long time so he knows a lot of the guys on all the yards and knows who to get things to for the information to flow. I will keep you posted as to what I know. have more letters from families as well as some things you have written to send and now that I know they got through I am sending more and more as that is the way the guys know we are still trying to make their situation better.
My prayers continuing for you and for Eric, Mule Creek Inmate
Dispel the rumor that anyone would EVER run for office from the UNION unless it was to do good for them, and that is the last thing we want to do.
The legislature is unhappy because we broadcast the news and tell people there is no help available. Has anyone on our six lists ever received help from a legislator or aide, if so tell me about it.
I'd like to witness this eighth wonder of the world.
Knowles is not at the prison today, he is having a sweet day off while my son is shackled.
"Taking him down" probably means he has been beaten and is certainly being psychologically torture as I can sense...
This is a very grave mistake they're making....Move forward faster with our work. This is our hope for the future, the UNION is their hope, let us not allow hope to be disintegrated by bully tactics.
B. Cayenne Bird
If you would like to call the prison to demand the release of Eric from restraints that is a very good idea. The call proves to them we are still getting information even though he is in the hole and not backing down one bit. The objective of the entire retribution exercise is to "scare"
people out of protesting - out of organizing. A call is a message that this tactic is not working.
Mule Creek Prison
It's appalling that Knowles would go ff and leave Eric in restraints. Eric is one of the sweetest, devout Christian, caring people we've ever met. Our family love he and Natalie as if they were our own kids. People at Mule Creek are outraged over this, I'm sending in the article in the Register so they can see the media is involved. This will make their sacrifice to get the word out worthwhile.
Mule Creek Mom
Mr. Eric Knapp J10618
6-247 Mule Creek Prison
P.O. Box 409000
Ione, Ca 95640-9000
I don't know if you are conscious, how badly they have tortured you mentally or physically trying to make an example out of you to scare the families out of coming to our protest March 13.
But I just want you to know that it isn't working. The
LA Times has been watching all that you've
The Register has already told everyone about the reprisals and the food crisis. Although the food there is contaminated and disgusting, it is best that you eat. There is no reason for you to starve to death when we moms and dads are organizing rapidly in the UNION, the press is covering the danger, and we're bringing in the Center for Disease Control to audit all the prisons.
We'll do the fighting for you from out here. Have a nice meal and know that everything they did to you will be in the light of the media.
We're going to honor you and all who are being punished for doing good deeds with big UNION awards. We've already won when they became so desperate it was necessary to torture and humiliate you for no reason. The world saw it and this time, they're not getting away with it.
Get a message to us, it has been two days and we don't know for sure if you are dead or alive, only that you were attacked by several guards, put in 5 pt. restraints and they're trying to force you to eat their poisoned food.
Consider that you have about 500 moms and dads who are not letting this pass by. We are getting the messages even with you in the hole, so don't fret about your mail blockage. They are losing this one.
Eat so the buggers will let you up and then call your mom. We're on it from here. Trust us, we're writing so many complaints to the Center for Disease control they will have to investigate all the prisons, jails, juvenile halls.
Ann McNulty, RN
It could be that they have hurt Eric so badly that not even Matthew Gray can get in to check his condition. They cover up much better than they ever solve anything. It's good that Michael Knowles will be reading about his hateful acts in the media That's just about the only thing these warden's care about.
Februay 14, 2003
I made every attempt to see Eric yesterday. I called in advance to set everything up, and then went down there.
When I arrived, I was denied access pursuant to his Dr.'s orders -- which is a valid excuse.
I requested to even have a peak to place my own eyes on him, and was denied stating reasons that care for other inmates also in there might be interrupted -- which is also a valid excuse.
Unfortunately, I don't know what else I can do. Ken Hurdle was also down there to review, but did not physically see Eric.
A court order was sought and obtained to forcibly medicate
Eric. He has been medicated. I am told he was released from his 5-point
harness 2 days ago, and has been eating and complying. I'm at a loss
for what else I can do at this point.
As you know, I usually don't put our correspondence in the newsletter, but I think that the fact you as a key legislative aide and Ken Hurdle as an ombudsman are not allowed to physically see Eric is an admission that they have committed criminal acts against him and have something to hide.
You were out there on Friday and he was fine, except that they took his jacket away from him as another form of torture. I received a journal from him in the mail yesterday that he managed to get out which ends Feb. 10.
He says that he was forced to stand waiting for you in 32 degrees for several hours after they laughingly confiscated his jacket.
This is another unlawful act, but I wonder if anyone in the legislature actually has any gumption or authority to provide consequences for this neandrathal behavior.
The fact that neither you nor Ken can actually see or speak to Eric tells me that he is injured and cannot come to the phone. So I do not believe he is out of restraints or eating, or even conscious. I know my son, he would not need forced medicating.
He has one of the sweetest temperaments in the world. His wife Natalie has loved him since he was 17 years old. She is retired army, has served in three wars, devotes her life to visiting him several times a week in prison.
He is emotionally supported by our work, very popular and respected among the other inmates.
Most of all, he knows that he is getting out because the "victim" stepped forward a year ago to say that she lied on him and couldn't live with herself (after ten years).
So I don't believe any of their lies, I sense that he is hurt and it's a big cover up which isn't going to work. I have his journals which are good enough for the press to do one hell of a revealing story on this situation.
Not even the inmates can see whether or not he is dead or alive, he was taken to the hole to be tortured. The men are being interrogated and punished but the problem of food contamination is being ignored.
No telling how much disease is being spread like wildfire through that prison, as they focus on stamping out the hope of the parents of the UNION instead of cleaning that filthy place up. Priorities are skewed.
Heads are going to roll over this....
Thank both you and Ken for trying, but please try some more. I think your denied access for FOUR days, the fact that none of us can see or talk to him is a story topic of shocking relevance but typical of what I deal with for other inmates almost daily.
Do you remember all the times over the years I've had to fight for a dead inmate's body for as long as ten days? Or the recent beating of Scott Larsen at High Desert, the intimidation of the Lancaster MAC chairman, the many deaths and cries for help that are never heard?
The press is officially inside the prisons through families who are trained to report in to the us and to the media. We're never going back to the evil darkness and Knowles can't punish and ship out the entire prison because their parents subscribe to a newsletter that teaches how to put an end to the suffering and dying in a non violent manner.
I need to know the actual condition of my son here on day four, but let it be known the people of the UNION haven't missed a beat in organizing.....not now, not for the six years past. Many eyes are wide open in this matter.
I thank you and ask you to keep trying. Until you or I talk to him, I can only assume the worst.
B. Cayenne Bird
The items they were searching for is letters from his mom containing the UNION newsletter. Isn't this an incredible story, the loved ones are not allowed to fight back against the abuse they're suffering through the democratic process?
We couldn't get any more mainstream - nurses, social workers, teachers,clergy, families from almost every occupation but most of them a little more educated than you typically see in prison reform groups, most middle-aged....and we are the enemy?
Yes, we are the citizen's group that has the knowledge to outnumber their bully guards and put them all in the soupline. They're furious, they're stunned and my son is suffering the brunt of it, but then he has paid since we began in 1998.
His letter to me says "mom, don't ever stop sending me the newsletters. I refuse to give up what few rights I have left."
Then he describes many days of freezing without his jacket, they never did give it to him.
On Feb 7, he describes interrogations (Nazi style) of other inmates trying to find out just how many families subscribe to the UNION newsletter.
He says that Warren and Gutierrez are preparing to subject him to further harassment, retaliations, oppression, emotional/psychological distress and violation of his rights because of his lawsuit including Warren as a defendant and the employee misconduct complaint he submitted against Guitierrez on 10/30/02.
There are many pages where he knows they have a "plan" to intimidate him and try and accuse him of committing a crime because he alerted these people to the food poisoning crisis
Ken Hurdle, Senators Vasconcellos, Romero, Burton, Robert Presley, myself, Matt Gray, Lucy Armandarez, Nettie Sabelhaus, Senate Select Committee on Ca prison system, Office of the inspector general.
Eric submits his journals to all of these people regularly but little if anything is ever done to correct the problems, but he never gives up trying.
For people who don't really know my son, he was a delight to rear. He never smoked, drank, experimented with drugs, he had excellent grades, and was very studious. He was extremely popular with the girls and in his life, everyone who ever loved him still does.
He has a personality similar to Wally, the Beaver's older brother. Gentle, straight-laced, compassionate and he is a soft shoulder for everyone.
Rearing him was a joy, he loved the Boy Scouts and pets. He brought home every stray cat and dog he could find. We had lost hampsters, loose pet tarantulas, rabbits that responded to his commands, I cannot tell you how soft hearted my kid has been since birth. I allowed all those critters in my house because they gave him such joy and ultimately I took care of them too.
Eric is calm but firm on matters of ethics. A Christian in every sense of the word without a hot temper. I am much more cussed than he is since he likes to see everyone happy. But he has his limits so whatever they have done to him was on purposeful.
He had no other offenses, not even a traffic ticket when he was accused and Convicted of raping a woman who now she lied. His goal was to be a medical doctor, he served four years in the army and had many awards, he passed the medical specialist courses (LVN) and was a California Paramedic.
He is a gentle and caring person of whom I am very, very proud and for whom I will battle with my dying breath. There was no evidence, no DNA, no signs of a struggle and nobody had a scratch upon them....my son received a sentence of 98 years with no priors...on the word of a very mentally ill girl who was pressured by the DA to lie. Even if he had done everything accused, a maximum sentence would have been eight years.
But the judge was promoted from municipal to superior court on my son's back, he was a career stepping stone right about the time mandatory minimums and three strikes were initiated. He said outright in court "we got ourselves a white boy." It was a nightmare of injustice, his habeas is ready to go and if there is a grain of justice left he should be retried and out. She has made a very detailed statement and should never have been considered a credible witness in the first place with a history of suicide attempts, and severe alcoholism.
I am at peace that my son hurt no one, but I am outraged at how he has been and is now being treated just to keep a labor union in place.
We shall continue to grow and shine the light of hope brightly into these hellholes that are a waste of taxpayers money and creating more crime than they're preventing.
6500 people can change any law....so look out CCPOA, we moms, dads and other family members are going to put you into the soupline come hell or high water. Let this be fair warning that many lawsuits are coming which will personally name everyone who was asked for help but didn't bother to try with these horrible complaints of abuse and torture.
B. Cayenne Bird
I spoke with Scott Curran, an Asst. Warden or something out at Mule Creek and asked them what the hell they were doing torturing, jumping and then putting Eric in restraints. He was a smart aleck to me, thought the whole thing is funny and told me so many lies I almost got sick. I remember how they kept Jimmy in restraints for weeks on end, simply because he is mentally ill, how they beat him, denied him his medication, he has Hep C, he didn't have it when he went to prison. He was at Vacaville for a year before his medical records were ever sent there and he could get interferon. At one point, they said he didn't even have Hep C even though it was in his medical records.
Believe me, we are all suffering with you in this low act. I'm working, working and working some more to build our UNION. They know that if we succeed a little further, that's the end of them and their reign of terror.
Dear Ms. Bird:
Your son Eric is being very mistreated because he told about the food crisis. They will do everything to discredit us all and keep this out of the press. The doctors in here are just as criminal as the wardens, don't believe anything they say.
We are all upset at the example they are making out of Eric, although there is a rumor that since the newspapers are involved they may not do the transfers. That is how they torture us all the time. In sensitive needs, we're supposed to be protected, if they put us in the wrong place, we could be killed instantly. So they control us by reminding us of that constantly. We are praying for Eric and our families are making complaints to the Center for Disease Control. Keep on going, nobody else cares about us. Don't believe any "official" words you hear, Knowles has to get everybody punished so we won't spread news to the outside. It won't work. We will.
Mule Creek Inmate
Mine is just another voice crying out for the most despised population in our state. Not nearly is enough is said about the abject condition of our prisons. There is no freedom of speech there and if we continue our sotto voce, we too will have signed off on our own freedom. Here's the letter I just sent to Warden Knowles.
February 14, 2003
Warden Michael Knowles
What continues to go on at Mule Creek State Prison?!
A whistle blower inmate in 5pt restraints for warning others of the danger?
Other potential truth tellers threatened with deportation to other locations?
How can you call this professional conduct? It is y our obligation to shine the light of day into these practices and enforce professional conduct by your officers. The only way you can be believed is to admit unbiased observers into the prison to verify that conditions are being corrected.
Margaret Driscoll, LCSW, a tax payer and concerned parent
February 15, 2003
I don't agree with Matt Gray or Ken Hurdle. They have been bullied and bluffed with the comments that they cannot see Eric (doctor's orders) or that a quick peek will interfere with the care of other patients. This is not plausible. I am sure Matt is doing everything he can without going toe to toe with these bullies but it is time to go to someone who can order that Eric be seen by someone other than the sadistic outlaws that manage that hellhole.
I think they are scared and have snapped under pressure and have made some big mistakes and are stalling for time while they figure out what steps next to take in their cover up. These people have a lot to hide and hiding is what they do best. Once a cover up begins there is no turning back. The only thing they didn't count on and have never had to deal with before is exposure to the truth. I think they are probably wondering what to do next and are sick to their stomach's right about now wishing they had just done the right thing and fixed the problems while they still had the chance. Heads will roll over this. Either that or one or more may be kicked upstairs -- literally given promotions just to get them out of there.
I would be looking for a federal judge to intervene. Eric has become a political prisoner and there is good cause for alarm.
Matt: This is not meant as an insult to you. Nor is it really about you at all. It is about Eric. If you were talking about a doctor in the outside worl (outside prison walls) I would agree with you completely. But I have enough knowledge of what prison doctors are like and they are mostly incompetents and not deserving of your respect. We are talking about a completely topsy-turvy world where the rules are much different.
There is no reason for Eric to be under sedation at all. I believe he has no history of erupting emotionally in anger. This should be the first tip off that something is very, very amiss. He is gentle and calm although determined that he will not give in to the intimidation. He will be able to weather the storm without 5 point restraints, sedation or anything of the like.
Knowles and his henchmen deserve to be investigated and quickly. There is no reason for his mother to go four days without knowing the status of his health unless they have something to hide which I firmly believe they are doing.
If the state of California can do nothing for this boy, then it is time to move on and find someone who can. I say this as a mother, and a grandmother. Once we get to be past age 60 we women turn into tough old turkeys who call things as they see them and let the chips fall where they may. No offense.
They all went off on a nice week-end while no one has seen or talked to my son so that I can have an eye witness accounting of what happened.
I enter day 5 in an hour or so, I can only surmise that they took him to the hole to hurt him out of sight of the other prisoners. I worked with two reporters today who are long time UNION subscribers. They're astonished and taking this very personally as a further ban on the media light.
We have his journals through Feb 10 and they foresee even
more retaliation, and there's enough
Remember when Jerry Wayne Morgan was badly beaten in the Shasta County Jail, they hid him for five days before they ever took him to the medical doctor.
Let's all go out to the anti-war protests with the flyer tomorrow.
Or to the prisons, jails, juvenile hall parking lots. We must WORK to make our protest worthy of the national press' attention. That is the best direction.
I believe that the "forced medication" was really "forced feeding" - Eric was so deeply incensed over the food contaminations and psychological torture that he refused to eat. Anything derogatory that could turn away coverage of these events would be stated to callers.
Only this time, it isn't going to work. Michael Knowles name is definitely coming out in the newspaper along with others who sit unresponsive to inmate emergencies. The public has a right to know what their tax dollars finance.
B. Cayenne Bird
Thank you for bringing to the attention of the public the food crisis and overreaction by prison management at Mule Creek (Editorial 2/11/03). The warden should have reacted--by making changes to ensure that the men could eat their barely adequate food without swallowing dangerous, foreign objects.
But, no, instead he reacted by punishing two men who were victims and two who warned fellow inmates of the danger. It would be like arresting the victim of a crime and the bystander who called police instead of going after the perpetrator. Confirms my suspicion that our prisons deal out far more punishment than simple incarceration.
How is your son, any news yet?? We all fear this sort of retaliation, if your son is anything like you, just your strong will and stubbornness will get him through.....
Thank you for the Fed State Law on mail. I sent a bunch of copies of presleys letter in and last Fridays e-mail and as of yet no one has got them... I am going to resend everything with a copy of the Fed State law on mail right on top of the stack so those knuckle dragging Neanderthals over at Lancaster can get an eye full....
Please give me the latest on your son. My husband stopped being involved with Mac rep because of the threats and intimidation, he will still help the committee members with 602s and paperwork but that's it. He has never been retaliated against so much until we got to Lancaster, at other prisons upper brass would look to my husband to help with issues, racial, cop related, whatever, now they have him in a cell block where no one gets nothing, no showers, no phone calls, no yard, no dayroom, no nothing, rumors are they will cut off the tv cable.... just another day in paradise....
Inmates should never take on these battles, their families should just organize and vote the bums allowing the Prison Guards to run our state out of office. There are 3 million of us, enough to outnumber any oppressive group. Any MAC position is a suicide mission, the family councils have been created for "spy" information at most prisons. We cannot trust one word they say or expect any sort of civil behavior.
My son has been retaliated on constantly since we began in 1998. He is a patriot, he wants us to continue this true freedom fight because inmates cannot fight back for themselves. We shall continue. They only like to hurt "leaders" who could form the necessary voting block to end 70% of the prison industry. This is why we have it, guards know how to show up for protests, raise funds, write letters to the editors, how to organize to buy off the Governor and Legislators. Otherwise, it would all be different. We are allowing this situation by not creating a machine equally as powerful, there are many more of us, we could whoop their arses at any time enough people get together to do it.
B. Cayenne Bird
We have you, your son, your UNION subscribers clearly in our sites. Expect media back up.You ought to be proud of yourselves, you've broken though the media ban. If they don't like the second hand reports of the families being printed in the media, they ought to let us back inside.
Anything you or your son has to tell me about what happened will be considered credible and reliable. You are teaching people exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. I applaud you and all the UNION readers who are courageously taking action through this tense time. The psychological torture to you is no doubt intentional.
You are more than impressive as a leader. Do not bend, they are going down if people keep the news flowing out of those hell pits. We read the newsletter daily, thank you for your years of devotion to the public's right to know, you are truly a heroine and an ACE journalist!
I sit in awe of you.
Berta Garcia, (another member of your media family)
I have word from inmates that my son Eric Knapp, J10618 was severely beaten by the Guards at Mule Creek.
They are trying to make a case that he is "out of his head" and forcing a very dangerous drug on him called Thorazine.
They are trying to make him appear delirious so they can ship him out to Vacaville to cover up what they have done here according to my sources.
I know my son, he is very calm and well supported, although he has been taking intense psychological abuse for several years out there just to stop the UNION from forming a voting block that change any law, eliminate 70% of the prisons.
This is exactly what was done to the capitol truck crasher Michael Bowers when he was successful at getting a judge to investigate Delano prison. They beat him so badly that he lost sight in his left eye, and caved in Bowers face.
Then he was put at Atascadero and called "crazy" so his beatings and wrongdoing at Delano could be covered up. We believe this same tactic was used on Inmate Ramoz who required medical treatment instead of a beating. He is most likely hidden in the hole in Vacaville but with our long standing relationship with The Reporter this will be brought to light.
Is it any wonder that by the time he was released, after years of torture, he felt compelled to park a semi in the capitol building that ended up costing the taxpayers nearly $20,000,000.
There's a figure that won't be averaged into the $27,000 cost per inmate we see out there, billions aren't included this figure.
The information comes from a reliable source. He was taken to the hole after being psychologically tortured for the purpose of being beaten out of the site of witnesses.
All this because we have eyes and ears at almost every prison, jail, juvenile hall in California, because the press is attacking the CCPOA/Davis partnership, and because Eric told the legislators of dangerous food contaminations and other human rights abuses.
But then, we see this needless suffering and dying at the hands of the bully guards daily, and this is just further evidence of the police state that the apathy of the voters have allowed.
No one has been allowed to see him in person but reports from the inmates are that he is in really bad shape. We shall continue with our work and not let allow this bully tactic to slow us down one bit.
I have no idea how serious the injuries might be but knowing them, anything is possible. This time nobody is going to fall for this "tactic" - too many media folks know Eric and followed this entire story as it unfolded day by day.
Neither Matt Gray in Senator Vasconcellos' nor Ken Hurdle were allowed to view Eric after repeated attempts this week so I am prone to believe this report is valid.
Please honor me, honor Eric's sacrifice to notify the legislators of the food contamination by continuing to build our troops. Beatings of Jerry Wayne Morgan, Darryl Dietle, Scott Larsen, and so many others who have suffered and even died because of their efforts toward justice have taken the fall for you, so proceed full force, or it will get worse and worse.
And Jesus said "Whatever you have done to the least of you, you have also done it to Me."
"Go ye into the hospitals and prisons......"
B. Cayenne Bird
God and his Christian ministries are with us. I do not fear but I do get ticked off. What is the reason it is so hard for CDC to accept that the UNION is everywhere and trained to report the incidents to the media and the legislators.
Moving Bristow, Ramoz, Eric, Lee is not going to stop the flow of information from Mule Creek. What's the idiot going to do, move the entire yard? We are talking less than a room temperature IQ here. They can't stomp out the UNION newsletter at any prison OR jail because we have ACTIVE families everywhere.
They are voters, mostly professionals, but this desperate behavior is because they know that all it takes is 6500 intelligent people to end 75% of the prison industry through initiatives.
They will torture, kill and resort to any length to preserve their high incomes. But we know how to work for other prisons and organize and will not operate from a position of fear nor we will ever bend to intimidation. In fact, intimidation will cause us to speed up our efforts.
You'd think that after six years, somebody would have figured that out by now. Let us move forward, let us not agonize, let us organize.
February 17, 2003
Well, Cayenne, this is what they administered after keeping Eric out in the rain for many hours without his jacket (in freezing temperatures), then the beating by his tormentors, then the 5 point restraints or was it the other way around? For our UNION family and interested journalists ~ read it and weep.
Generic name: Chlorpromazine
Why Is This Drug
Thorazine is used for the reduction of symptoms of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia; for the short-term treatment of severe behavioral disorders in children, including explosive hyperactivity and combativeness; and for the hyperenergetic phase of manic-depressive illness (severely exaggerated moods).
Thorazine is also used to control nausea and vomiting, and to relieve restlessness and apprehension before surgery . . .
What Side Effects May Occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Thorazine.
Side Effects May Include
Abnormal secretion of milk, abnormalities in movement and posture, agitation, anemia, asthma, blood disorders, breast development in males, chewing movements, constipation, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, drooling, drowsiness, dry mouth, ejaculation problems, eye problems causing fixed gaze, fainting, fever, flu-like symptoms, fluid accumulation and swelling, headache, heart attack, high or low blood sugar, hives, impotence, inability to urinate, inability to move or talk, increase of appetite, infections, insomnia, intestinal blockage, involuntary movements of arms and legs, tongue, face, mouth, or jaw, irregular blood pressure, pulse, and heartbeat, irregular or no menstrual periods, jitteriness, light-headedness (on standing up), lockjaw, mask-like face, muscle stiffness and rigidity, narrow or dilated pupils, nasal congestion, nausea, pain and stiffness in the neck, persistent, painful erections, pill-rolling motion, protruding tongue, puckering of the mouth, puffing of the cheeks, rapid heartbeat, red or purple spots on the skin, rigid arms, feet, head, and muscle (including the back), seizures, sensitivity to light, severe allergic reactions, shuffling walk, skin and peeling, sore throat, spasms in jaw, face, tongue, neck, mouth, and feet, sweating, swelling of breasts in women, swelling of the throat, tremors, twitching in the body, neck, shoulders and face, twisted neck, visual problems, weight gain, yellowed skin and whites of eyes
If taking Thorazine in a liquid concentrate form, you will need to dilute it with a liquid such as a carbonated beverage, coffee, fruit juice, milk, tea, tomato juice, or water. Puddings, soups, and other semisolid foods may also be used. Thorazine will taste best if it is diluted immediately prior to use. You should not take Thorazine with alcohol.This was done to teach Eric and the other prisoners and the UNION families a lesson.
This will not stand!
"When the people lead, their leaders will follow. . .
Thank you so much for being here for me through this tempest. Let me document my thoughts here on day 7.
There still has been no "official" who has been allowed to witness Eric's condition. All of the info that was relayed to me came last week third party. The inmates are still informing me that he was badly beaten.
This would explain why neither Matthew Gray nor Ken Hurdle were allowed to see him, so that some healing could take place.
He was not taken to a hospital, another method of "hiding" brutality frequently used at all 33 prisons.
Ron Barnes in Presley's office did not return my calls Thursday or Friday. Barnes did tell Margie that "in a few days he would request that Eric could call me" which means that he knew Eric was so badly injured he could not come to the phone.
I have located journals that Eric wrote to Ken Hurdle for months, years begging for help against constant psychological intimidation. He copied Vasconcellos, Matt Gray, Nettie Sabelhaus, Senator Burton, Robert Presley and a number of others. These were all totally ignored. After the food crisis the gestapo tactics intensified according to his journals.
Finally he is blocked in the hole but we still have reports coming from the prison so CDC did not win and Knowles is toast because nobody in the media is going to believe Eric needed Thorazine. Matt Gray saw him last Friday to hear complaints and his appeal of an intensely threatening situation and Eric was fine. Eric's journals indicate impending retaliation and everyone has those documents, but again, nothing was done.
Ken Hurdle has told me that I need to trust him. After years of ignored appeals that my son made to him and others this is impossible for me to do. He said that he will personally look into this but those words ring shallow based on a track record where only a few surgeries were achieved by the ombudsman office, where only a few transfers happened and there has been very little remedy, only denial and cover up by the wardens.
I will trust what Matt Gray witnesses if he can ever gain access but the person I will trust most is my son whom I may not see in his time of crisis and need for his mom after being brutalized by these monsters.
I know there are complaints and lawsuits filed against the doctors out there, as well as the warden and guards and whomever issued the prescription for Thorazine is implicit in a crime.
I will ask UNION members to file complaints with all medical governing boards.
It is important to stress that medical people associated with the State are inferior 99% of the time. Actual healers could not witness these knuckle dragging episodes and live with themselves, some are so old they can't even make it to the clinics without a cart.
It amazing to me how the cronyism works, and how people such as the "nutritionists" are considered to be qualified professionals beyond reproach. The inmates report that no "nutritionist ever prepares meals" which was stated in the CDC memo - untrained inmates prepares the meals.
At 3 am this morning I remembered two contacts in the Justice Department who told me that if I ever needed assistance to contact them, Lonnie is looking up their names and I will have them by tonight.
People with money would have already bought their way into knowing which judge signed the order for Thorazine, which "Dr." ordered it, and Eric's true condition.
My only possession is a silver pen.
My best friends own a silver pen too.
And this will not just "blow over"
I have several people who have emailed me they will support a massive lawsuit broad to cover many of the beatings of our UNION subscribers.
February 18, 2003
Dear Amnesty International:
We have a grave situation going on in California with an inmate you have helped before. His name is Eric Knapp. He is a well-educated young man, gentle and kind, who is not known for violent outbursts of temper or for exaggerating facts or for telling tall tales.
His mother, B. Cayenne Bird, has already contacted you for help and has been told there are just not enough volunteers this time around to help him. We have reliable sources who have informed us that Eric has not only been taken into the hole but also put in 5 point restraints, badly beaten by the guards, and then placed on the strong sedative, Thorazine -- mostly to keep him quiet and out of view until his wounds heal. He is not a combative type and would never under any circumstances need either restraints or Thorazine which is a drug usually given to control the behavior of mental patients. His only "crime" was that he contacted state legislators and the media (through his mother) about unsafe living conditions at Mule Creek State Prison where he is incarcerated. In fact, things like glass, razor blades, semen, urine, feces, saliva and other foreign objects have been reported embedded in prisoner food for years. All attempts to alert California government officials about these dangers have fallen on deaf ears. Considering the rampant spread of disease in prisons nationally, we feel Eric did the responsible thing to report this condition to those who could fix things. Unless we intervene, and quickly, it is entirely possible that he may pay for his honesty and his courage with his life. No one is able to control the "rogue" guards (both men and women) in our prisons and they run roughshod over all, including their own supervisors and senior staff. Our Governor is beholden to their union for their generous campaign contributions. When you mix it all together, you can see we have a dangerous and explosive situation and we are at a standstill as to how to best proceed.
We need your help in these ways: 1.) We want you to give us the names of Amnesty International Chapters located in colleges and universities around Sacramento and Ione, California which is where Mule Creek State Prison is located. 2.) We would also like the names of any and all professors of political science or adult education students or graduate students who might like to take on this problem as a class project in much the same way that students successfully took on the cause of Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers many years ago.
We are working seriously for prison reform -- not just for the short term. We want sensible and humane alternatives to a problem we feel is tearing our country, and our families within it, apart.
We ask once again for immediate intervention with Eric before it is too late. We need help in freeing him from this brutal tyranny. We consider him a political prisoner because he has used his First Amendment Rights to alert others and was severely punished for this courageous act.
By making contact with others of like
mind, perhaps we can expand the volunteer base for Amnesty International
so that other people like Eric may
February 21, 2003
AND NOW, CDC, whose word is considered credible by the legislature has completely changed their story to say that itwasn't Thorazine but Hallidol Eric was given. Which timewere they lying - then or now? Let's say that they knocked Eric around and did things such as ransack his cell, leave him in freezing temperatures for hours and hours and he reacted emotionally. He's a little guy with a precious personality, would it require many goonies to jump him? And why did they put him in restraints except to intimidate and make him an example to the other inmates. This was not necessary. Then the court order thing...why wouldn't a simple sedative have worked if they pushed him into an emotion response.
None of this adds up to anything but retaliation because he blew the whistle.
So far I've been told that they threatened the security of the entire prison because almost every family out there subscribes (and we could and still might call a picket of that bloodhouse) and now that they caused my son to break down according to his doctor.Never mind that he was escorted to the hole to be punished out of site of the rest of the inmates so they could all wonder what happened to him for his crime of notifying legislators of the food contamination and writing a CDC appeal to have the kitchen moved. Never mind that he has been psychologically tortured at this prison ever since our campaign to end abuse of the mentally ill began at Vacaville, 2001- let us overlook everything that is well documented about his complaints and treatment and allege a "breakdown" which never happened, so that he and us could be discredited.
Sorry, none of this rubbish is going to work this time.
I have saved this message as evidence if we vote as a group to combine all our complaints into a major class action lawsuit. To me it is just laughable that anyone with an ounce of common sense would dare leave such dribble on my answering machine.We do not agonize - we organize.
We do not know who will be next to suffer, we only know
that there will definitely be other victims of abuse and injustice as the
prisons operate out of control.
March 23, 2003
Report on Eric Knapp
Eric is so distraught from living five weeks in a tiny little box (4x5) for no good reason that he is refusing food and water. I was able to see him on Thursday and tell him that many people are watching the psychological torture that he is experiencing and that he shouldn't refuse food and water because we are definitely taking action!
The inmates are so isolated in ad seg and the SHU, Psychologists often won't work for CDC because of this horrible practice. We have a good article about the nightmares of the SHU posted at the website.
Could we have a couple of volunteers to write to three men in ad seg including Eric to calm their nerves.
The Administrative Law judge came in and told Mule Creek to stop forcefully drugging Eric, it was clear to him that he was suffering retribution and did not need heavy psychotropic drugs. They are torturing him and he is responding to it.
Eric had terrible withdrawal symptoms. His "Dr." told Eric "You made a fool out of me in front of that judge and you won't even get an aspirin"
This same doctor had prescribed other medicine such as a stool softener, but for days, Eric suffered and he claimed he couldn't prescribe an aspirin. I believe that this Dr. needs to be named in our lawsuit because this is not what a physician does to ANYONE, especially someone suffering PTSD. It's all about ego and power, not about the well being of the inmate.
My son is suffering the pain of injustice, which the human soul cannot bear. Kearns told him, in order to enhance the psychological torture they're dealing out to him daily, that Thomas Lee (Thom Thumb) the young man we've been trying to get help for now for two years had claimed him as an "enemy."
Thom Lee doesn't have a representative in the UNION. I asked Matt Gray, Ken Hurdle and Dr. Vismara in Burton's office to respond to a specialist in San Francisco who might be able to stop the spread of nodules in Thom's body to help more than a year ago. They did not help. Thom Lee is being psychologically tortured for asking for medical help, a common practice in all prisons.
We helped Thom Lee because this was a preventable situation. Here is a young man with three little children who shouldn't even be in prison who is being allowed to die and become more and more crippled because nobody wants to spend the money to give him medical care. If he lives until release, this is going to be huge grounds for a medical neglect lawsuit. We documented every request for help and none came.
Anyone who needs medical help at Mule Creek is being shipped to Corcoran. This is so Warden Michael Knowles will not be subject to any medical neglect lawsuits and his name won't ever get out into the media for the horrors in his prison. If an inmate in Corcoran gets sick, they are taken to a Bakersfield hospital which is a long distance.
I haven't been able to name the inmate who committed suicide at Mule Creek because it was on ll block.
but it was because of a life sentence (3 strikes) for a non violent felony, he barricaded himself in his cell and strangled himself somehow.
This is why sending the newsletters, teaching inmates to spread the word of our UNION work is so important. Our work is the only hope they have and thousands do not know it takes place. You'd be surprised that many inmates do catch on to the fact that it is families who must use their power of the vote and do the fighting for them....
Here is a rumor that Matt Gray went out to interview some of the people on B yard who told them that they very definitely fear retribution for reporting to any legislator. Duh!!!!
Matt is a well meaning young man but has no life experience yet that can help him really handle these complaints. He tends to believe anything CDC or the Inspector General tells him without checking it out. He puts the burden of proof on the families making the complaint instead of investigating deeper.He isn't in touch with the terrible retribution and psychological torment handed out daily at Mule Creek and other prisons.
Even if he knew, he is powerless to do anything about it.
His father is the MAC Chairman on C yard where the contaminations have been originating for years.
And that is precisely why we all traveled to protest in Sacramento from prisons statewide - the families of prisoners have no place to go for help with medical emergencies or intimidation
The Inspector General's office sent a representative to visit Eric and asked if anyone had "punched" him. It didn't matter to them that MTA Morris conducted a strip search so unprofessional that it left Eric catatonic for two days,it didn't matter that he should have been hospitalized and wasn't so that everyone could cover up that he was completely unconscious
It didn't matter that he didn't have a real doctor attending him, only someone who should be drummed out of the medical profession who is totally sympathetic with the evil carnage left by retributive guards.
It didn't matter that he didn't see the sun for two weeks, that ridiculous
115's were heaped on him for no reason. They decided to drop the
one that his unconsciousness was "delaying a guard" How ludicrous!
But they still have others standing including punishment of Eric's love
Natalie who has from her own money, which is not Eric's money at all,
given inmates postage stamps and helped them in other ways. This
is not against the law! How dare them punish Eric over something
that has nothing to do with him!
It didn't matter to the Inspector General's office that putting Eric for five weeks in ad seg when there is no evidence is psychological torture.
Any 115 is supposed to specify a time, a date, a place. The one that accuses Eric of contaminating the food (so ridiculous!) "Conspiracy to Commit Extortion" does not name a date, a time, a place and so the entire thing is just bogus.
The Inspector General's office is a big joke.Believe me when I say that I will never forget all the lies and inconsistencies that I was told in ELEVEN DAYS of wondering what had happened to my son at the hands of these evil busters....and none of them are getting away with it.
EVERY parent involved is still outraged and upset over this situation. Even if Eric is moved, we have enough network in there to continue to report every wrongdoing, every rights violation, so none of this is going under our radar.
His torture continues, the injustice continues, and there is no assistance available from anyone in the legislature as Knowles and his gang of knuckledraggers gets completely away with gestapo tactics to force a confession out of innocent men
.Everything is being documented and the federal lawsuit underway is only expanding by each and every misstep. There is more than one doctor involved, and I will ask everyone to file complaints with the medical association against the ones most responsible. More on this later.
B. Cayenne Bird
March 26, 2003
Here is the latest update from a Mule Creek family member.
Even with Eric and Bristow in the hole because they told about the food
contaminations, another incident is being reported to us
Eric is refusing food and water, he is so angry over 5 weeks in the hole when they have zero evidence and no case at all.
Everyone is afraid of reprisals because of their testimony or for telling the truth.
They were told the the whole story of how things happened before Eric was even at Mule Creek and how even Capt Latimer found metal on her tray after Eric was in the hole.
The guy (investigator) who was questioning him, said all the other guys did NOT back Eric up. They are scared or the guy doing the investigation is lying.
Capt Latimer has to have said something to somebody about the metal on her tray found after Eric and Bristow were put in the hole
The cooks in the kitchen know about the jello that had to be thrown out. Many other similar contamination have occurred.
One guard is telling everyone that Eric will not come back to the yard.
Kearns is telling people Thomas Lee is an enemy. Thomas Lee has suffered severe retribution because we tried to get Ken Hurdle and Matt Gray and Dr. Vismara to help him with his medical problem. He is under intense pressure and scare tactics right now. Kearns does not know that we helped Thomas Lee even though he has no one representing him in the UNION. We felt sorry for his many cries for help and none came. He has grounds for a big lawsuit but until he is free, he will simply be tortured.
People might say things against Eric because they think that is what the gestapo wants to hear under fear and intimidation.
The whole process is a psychological game for them and the inmates are not smart enough to play the game.
The guards are telling the inmates that you are helping them because you want to run for office. They hate politicians (even though we certainly need friends up there) but this is part of the psychological warfare.
Many inmates saw you and the other parents fighting for them on television at the protest. They feel that no one cares about them, very hopeless.
The inmate that committed suicide on 11 block strangled himself, he felt so hopeless.
Mother of Mule Creek Inmate
March 27, 2003
Razor blades were found in the food at Mule Creek, even with the accused, and now convicted "conspirator" my son Eric Knapp in the hole since February ll.
The inmate who reported razor blades to administration (not to us, God forbid he would be severely punished for telling anyone on the outside about his endangerment) is Inmate "Tiny Mite" Jimenez.
Bristow was released from the hole some time ago but stripped of his MAC position and put on A yard. His crime? Alerting the other men their food was contaminated. So once again, it is clear, that the MAC positions are suicide jobs and big joke.
ALL of the inmates reported to the interviewers that they feared retribution but nothing will be done about this as far as I can see.
Knowles had to put the blame somewhere so he put it all on my son in attempt to destroy our organizing efforts at Mule Creek. The Mule Creek families who have witnessed this injustice are eager participants in our upcoming lawsuit so Knowles didn't win, and all of this retaliation added 75 more pages to the federal lawsuit that Eric had already filed for psychological intimidation and torture.
It is just more proof of what happens to whistle blowers at Mule Creek.
However, Knowles is breaking laws (the 115 for conspiracy to commit extortion is ridiculous but Kudhea made it stick to get Warren and Guiterrez out of the UNION spotlight) and to get Eric out of the prison. 115's are required to name a date, time and place and this one does not.
Knowles is too dense to realize that transferring Eric to Folsom Represa or any other point in California will not stop the inmate family reports out of his hellhole prison. We have plenty of reporters inside and are gaining more daily.
I also have a family report that Matt Gray's father has been taken out of his position as C yard MAC chairman. I was sent a roster and his name wasn't on it but I can't verify this yet.
Obviously all that happened here is that everyone who knew and reported the food contaminations were illegally severely punished and yet another incidence of razor blades in the food has occurred. No solutions, just punishment which is business as usual at Mule Creek, Ione.
The complaint form against physicians and psychologists is located at this website.
This physician's name is REALLY ringing a bell with me, can anyone recall if this was JAMES DIESSO'S psych? From where do we know this name?
Eric had severe withdrawal symptoms and Danzinger was so vengeful over the judge's ruling that he refused to allow anyone to issue even one aspirin. Eric suffered for weeks alone in the hole where he remains waiting for the next punishment.
Danzinget is not a healer, this is a punisher who deserves a ton of complaints on his record. If he would do this to Eric, he would do it to anyone and most likely has....ask your inmates for their stories on "Dr." Danzinger.
Amazing that his license isn't listed at the medical board website. Every doctor registered with the Medical Board is supposed to be at this website.
All CDC's "Doctors" are subject to the same regulations as other medical doctors.
AND YOU always have the right to file complaints, as many as you like against these unethical people. If SARS cuts loose and they all stand by and don't demand that the inmate population be reduced immediately due to extreme inhumane conditions, then they all need to have complaints filed against them....it is incomprehensible to me that people would know of such a grave danger and not make a move.
Is BACA the only decent law enforcement official in California? At least he has them out of the disease incubators and into alternative programs. That is the most decent thing I've seen in years. But what about the other 157,000 inmates who are highly at risk?
Inmate Barnes P13767 C-11-130U committed suicide 3/12/03
Hispanics on C Yard at Mule Creek are now locked down without visits
and have been for the better part of two years. This is cruel. This
is inhuman. There is no excuse for putting incompatible gangs on the same
yard in the first place. This SATANIC abuse of lockdowns needs to
April 6, 2003
C.O. Poe intimidated and threatened at least 30 witnesses before Eric's 115 hearing. The inmates told them all that they refused to testify in a showing of solidarity.
Kudhea found Eric guilty of "conspiracy to commit extortion" although the 115 unlawfully did not name a place or time. Eric's crime was notifying Matt Gray, Vasconcellos and Burton's offices that the food was contaminated.
Eric was also punished because Natalie gave inmates stamps and small amounts of cash from her own paycheck. This is not against any rule, this should not even be a valid 115.
Kudlata has been reported not to even know how to read the Title 15. It is section 2932 c 1 8. This action just got him included in our class action lawsuit. Gone are the days when UNION families are going to put up with CDC's kangaroo courts without taking action.
Two doctors were involved in the forceful drugging torture. I misspelled Dr. Danziger the first time I mentioned his name. The second one was Dr. Warzarovski. Prison doctors are under the same professional codes as those on the outside. Whenever complaints are filed against them, there must be an investigation and convictions of violations stay on their record for a very long time. They can even lose their licenses.
If we as families fail to file complaints when we witness abuse or neglect, we are allowing other people to get hurt. The complaint forms are at the Medical Board website.
The same process applies to all professionals. Whether they are judges, lawyers, psychologists. dentists, they all have standards to follow. If they commit abuses and these are allowed to pass without complaints being filed, then they continue. What is in the light has a chance of being seen and possibly rectified.
Knowles punished everyone severely who told about the food contaminations. Bristow was stripped of his MAC chairmanship and put on A yard simply because he told the other men their food was poisoned. His elderly mother was intimidated and told he would be shipped far away from her where the children could never visit their father.
We gathered our own evidence and almost every family whose loved one was punished for alerting legislators of the problem has enthusiastically agreed to join our class action lawsuit.
In Knowles twisted mind, if he could just punish everyone who told, that would be a lesson to the inmates not to reach out for help again. They would be scared to send their families to the March 13 protest and they would be scared to organize the voting group that could end 70% of the prison industry.
But that didn't happen. We had a nice-sized protest for the middle
of the week in Sacramento on March 13, had some news coverage and our Mule
Creek families are committed as ever.
On February 10, 2003, Bird's son Eric Knapp was thrown into segregation (the hole) at Mule Creek Prison in Ione, Ca. by Warden Michael Knowles. Knowles wants to hurt Knapp and his mother in any way he can because there are many families of inmates at his prison that are reporting the news to Bird and she releases it to the media, protecting her sources.
Reports of Mule Creek Prison suicides, medical neglect, and the latest horror -rocks, pubic hair, glass and razor blades in the food abound in the UNION newsletter as the families attempt to alert the media and the legislators.. Knowles threw Knapp into a box 6' x 9' with a 5" window. He has been there 70 days because he reported to Senators Vasconcellos and Burton, and other officials that several foreign objects had been discovered in inmates food three times in nine days in January. Any inmate who reaches out for help is severely punished, especially at prisons such as Mule Creek, where the warden will go to any length to keep his wrong doings out of the news. Legislative aides are powerless and allow retribution to happen, even the ones that pretend to be advocates for inmates.
Last summer, Knapp wrote up a description of horrible inhumane conditions (posted at the UNION website) which also told of impurities in the food. Nearly 100 inmates helped to summarize dangerous, life-threatening, cruel and unusual conditions and practices. Hundreds of men living in the gym, 65 using one toilet, not enough soap or toilet paper, no disinfectant to the individual cells, contagious epidemics raging out of control and still no medical screening of food handlers were just a few of the descriptions.
Bird presented these horrors before the Senate Rules Committee in June, 2002 when the UNION opposed the permanent appointment of Warden Michael Knowles. Burton referred her to Robert Presley, Secretary of Adult and Juvenile Corrections as "the guy who could fix it". Repeated appeals for Presley's intervention by dozens of families were ignored. Others wrote to Presley describing conditions at their own prisons and he disregarded them all, as if the families, many of them licensed health care professionals, were lying or didn't exist.
Knapp's torture at Mule Creek worsened after he asked the legislators to end food contamination that had been going on out there for years. The law forbids excessive cell search, but Knapp's cell was ransacked four times in a two week period in January. They were looking for the UNION newsletter! Then they purposefully took his state-issued jacket and made him stand for hours in the cold 32 degree weather on several occasions for ten days. This was a blatant violation of the law but there are no consequences for torturing inmates.
Knapp was made to wait for two hours in freezing cold in order to have a meeting with Matthew Gray, a young aide in Vasconcellos' office whom he repeatedly appealed to for help since 2000. Gray never bothered to look into his confiscated coat nor any of the other warnings that retaliation was coming. "Matthew Gray and Ken Hurdle, the CDC rep appointed to the UNION by the Senate Rules Committee in 1999, have ignored hundreds of life and death inmate complaints although they pretend to be advocates. There are no advocates for inmates in Sacramento who will actually intervene or investigate abuse. Not one. They assume the inmates and families are all liars. I doubt they have any power even if they wanted to help.
Because of this ineffectiveness, thousands of people are needlessly suffering and dying. This is costing the taxpayers millions in lawsuit pay outs over preventable situations" Bird
explains. Eric Knapp suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a severe beating he received from a mentally ill inmate in 1994. Instead of protecting him and healing his disorder, Knowles has made every effort to aggravate it. Bird has been a strong voice against routine abuse of the mentally ill in prisons.
On February 10, Knapp was handcuffed and marched across the yard so all the other men could see he was being punished for speaking up. A degrading strip search was done on Knapp by MTA Morris, as part of an effort to further break Knapp's spirit and make an example out of him to the other men. (The goal being to stop families from organizing in the UNION and reporting the prison's many abuses to anyone outside.)
Knapp thought Morris was going to rape him and in the middle of the strip search he passed out from fear as a PTSD episode was triggered. During his unconsciousness, Knapp was dragged naked by prison guards through his own urine and intentionally left lying face down on the freezing cold, bare concrete floor of an ad-seg cell.
While still unconscious, catatonic for 48 hours, Knapp was dog-piled three times by gangs of prison guards wearing crash helmets and wielding stun shields and billy clubs.
The inmates thought he was being punched, but his beating was more a psychological one, which is viewed by the legislators as an acceptable practice in prisons statewide. Bird was chastised for publishing inmate reports that Eric had been injured, even though he had, but in an unusually cruel and deliberate manner.
Still unconscious, Knapp was put into five point restraints: arms, legs and neck and kept like that for two days. Why a simple waist strap wouldn't have done is a mystery. He was not taken to the hospital and nobody from the legislature was allowed to see him, although they tried one time. His condition was a cover up. Knapp was injected with a dangerous drug called halperidol.
Bird received a call from Eric Reyes of the prison which he read from a script telling her that her son was in a crisis bed in the critical care unit of the prison. She immediately asked, "What have you bastards done to him?" Knapp's letters had been warning her of the coming retribution, which had been going on for several years just because he is her son. She was made to wait eleven days before she could see him, know what had happened or even if he was dead or alive.
The UNION families cried, agonized, and it became very real to everyone that in an emergency they are totally cut off from their loved ones with no access or information. Several members of the press called the prison and they were told various stories which were mostly untrue. The intent of waiting eleven days was simply to torture Bird and hide from the world that Knapp was unconscious for two of those days due to emotional distress purposefully inflicted upon him.
Knapp had been appealing to Matthew Gray of Vasconcellos' office and Ken Hurdle of the Inspector General's office for assistance with psychological intimidation and torture since 2000 when Bird had several articles published on mistreatment of the mentally ill at CMF Vacaville and his mistreatment intensified. These appeals are well documented and we circulated to ten or more other officials. Knapp had no choice but to file a federal lawsuit against Knowles and several staff members at Mule Creek for psychological torture. It has not yet come to trial.
All Knapp's complaints were ignored, even those in the days just prior to February 11 where he begged Gray and Hurdle to stop the coming retribution. Bird said, " They were powerless and totally insensitive to his suffering. When I saw him, he was thin, and pale. He almost died and nobody cared except our UNION families. I will never forget that nightmare as long as I live but all it does is make us all work harder because we know it is happening to thousands of others every day."
"No matter what happens the inmate is always wrong. They and the families have no person, individual, or agency to turn to for help even in life and death circumstances.
There are a handful of legislators and aides who might like to help but they are basically powerless against the CCPOA. Most are in bed with them, and believe their lies.
The only remedy is for us to organize and take down the machine down. 6500 people moving together can do it."
Everyone who notified the legislators and the UNION of needed medical treatment, food contamination's and Gestapo-style interrogations was and is still being severely punished at Mule Creek. Sgt. Guiterrez and Lt. Warren had already been named in a federal lawsuit filed by Knapp in 2002 for psychological intimidation and torture.
They were on a witch hunt and turned the situation around to where the blame was put on him for food contamination's that have been going on for years before he ever came to the prison. Razor blades were found in the food since he was put in the hole."
The inmates on "C" yard at Mule Creek have been on lockdown for the majority of two years simply because Knowles mixes rival gangs on the same yard. "This is stupid, because mixing gangs always results in a blood bath or constant inhumane lockdown, but Warden Knowles is knuckle-dragging Neanderthal mentality. He likes lockdowns. Less visitors, more control. He brags of his superior management to the Senate Rules Committee and they eat it up. The man is dishonest and cruel and his actions here are going to cost a great deal of money in damages." Bird declared.
The "B" yard, where bodily fluid contamination's such as urine in the Jell-O is commonplace, is a sensitive needs yard. The inmates on "C" yard feel it is their duty to kill and torment those in protective custody. This is a convict mentality that exists at many prisons in California. These contamination's have been going on our there for years, long before Eric Knapp ever came along and suggested the kitchen be set up on "B" yard in order to save lives.
The legislators cover this up because the State has a responsibility to protect inmates and it is failing. This means that those injured or catching life threatening diseases are entitled to legal remuneration. Before Bird, no one was really pointing out these incidents. Now they want to stuff it all back into the bag, but the cat's out on abuses at Mule Creek and support for a class action lawsuit is sought against all 33 prisons for similar methods of cruel and unusual punishment. This will cost the State millions so they're not helping or acknowledging the dangers and are in fact trying to beat Bird and the UNION down for publishing it.
The Center for Disease Control reports that 8000 cases per year of hepatitis are caught in California's prisons mostly due to unsanitary conditions and contamination's of bodily fluids. Such a simple move as having a safe kitchen on the B yard at Mule Creek would save lives.
But the prison's response in order to keep this all out of the media was just to throw everyone who knew about it in the hole and totally degrade and torture Eric Knapp to make an example out of him and "scare" off the UNION families.
What it did was the opposite. 350 outraged families vowed to join a class action lawsuit naming everyone who ignored complaints, including Hurdle and Gray, Warden Knowles, Sgt. Guiterrez, Lt Warren, C.O. Kernan, Lt. Kudlata, appeals coordinator Hansen, and everyone who participated in the long term torture of Eric Knapp and medical neglect of several other inmates who were moved in retaliation.
The lawsuit which will name individuals callous to or responsible for many methods of cruel and unusual punishment. Bird hopes to rally 2600 supporters and participants in the lawsuit and to hire the "meanest lawyer we can find" rather than depending on pro bono assistance which is usually low quality if it can ever be found.
The UNION has identified $360 million in lawsuit pay outs under Davis for preventable prison and jail mismanagement with millions more pending. These lawsuit pay outs are hidden across several budgets. They are listed at the UNION Website.
One of the doctors who forcefully drugged Knapp for several weeks, Frederick Danziger, is not only being named in the class action lawsuit, but having multiple complaints filed against his license with the California Medical Board. He is suddenly no longer at Mule Creek. A judge stepped in and ordered the forced drugging stopped, but it went on for several weeks before anyone would help. This expanded the federal lawsuit by 75 pages of abuses.
Because Eric Knapp cared enough about dangerous and frequent food contamination's to reach outside of the prison, he ended up with false charges and convictions, an elevation of points that is totally illegal, a six month extension to his prison sentence and a 6 month term in the SHU.
But to his mother and the families of the UNION he is a hero for standing up for other inmates. Knowles has the families outraged with him over this and other actions, enough to participate in a lawsuit naming him personally. He didn't win.
The inmates on "B" yard who knew or required surgery because of razor blades have been threatened, put in the hole, had false charges put on their records. The MAC Vice Chairman, Davis Bristow was stripped of his office, his elderly mother was harassed by C.O. Hansen. Bristow was put on A yard with the condition he could only be able to visit his children if he keeps his mouth shut from now on about this incident. So far he has, but everyone knows he sat in the hole for eight weeks just so the media couldn't reach him.
Two of the men, Inmate Ramon and William Byrd were seriously injured by the razor blades and required medical care. CDC lied to the media about these injuries and shipped Ramon off to Vacaville to keep it quiet.
Byrd was threatened that "he will get it" if he tells anyone, but one of the medical workers reported it to the UNION. Byrd didn't have to, he dares not speak up.
So there are now eyes and ears at every prison. It's Bird they want to hurt, mostly because she reports the actual news which California journalists are either afraid to do or don't have the information. She brought 150 people to the Capitol on March 13 to make it publicly known that inmates and their families have absolutely no legislative help for surgeries and injustice in CDC's kangaroo courts. Fox News and other publications covered it, but Bird says that 1000 people must picket the Capitol regularly to be heard.
The picket followed six months of meetings and letter campaigns to Robert Presley, the man responsible for Adult and Juvenile Corrections facilities. Bird considers her meeting with him "a waste of time" and plans to name both Presley and Gov. Davis in the class action lawsuit for cruel and unusual punishments and callousness.
"Anytime an inmate asks for medical help, fills out a complaint to the Inspector General's office, files a 602 or reaches out to the legislators, they will suffer severe retribution for being a whistle blower. The Inspector General's office is a joke" Bird says, "Steve White is a former D.A. who is the fox guarding the hen house."
"The system is too corrupt and cannot be fixed, what we need to do is organize and put an end to the prison industry. It's a personal decision to fight back or be a victim of other voting groups who are smart enough to organize. Our writers use pen names. Some people are afraid to do work at their own prison so they work for another prison, but one thing is for sure, when things get this bad, doing no work to organize is not an option. We cannot operate from a position of fear or be lazy."
Six years since their first picket over the Corcoran murders, the UNION is still short of the 6500 workers but they have been able to achieve success in staving off many threatening bills, saved packages numerous times, and are often the only voice for inmates. They grow every year though, and don't give up.
Their present campaign includes demands to prepare for a possible SARS outbreak that could claim many lives of inmates due to unsanitary conditions such as food and laundry contamination's with bodily fluids. They want masks on the health care workers and disinfectant given to every cell.
"There is almost no medical care in prison. No respirators, inmates are rarely taken to the hospital, they receive almost no pain medication even though many have cancer and need transplants. A SARS outbreak would no doubt leave thousands dead since they are already suffering from other prison plagues such as TB, hepatitis, staph, AIDS, and other dangerous diseases." Bird explains.
"The health care workers moonlight at prisons after going to the hospitals where the SARS cases exist. CDC will cover this up, inmates will strangle and die horrible deaths. We need to all be demanding immediate release of terminally ill, elderly and non violent inmates."
"At Mule Creek there are hundreds of men living in the gyms, stacked 3 bunks high, 18" apart, sharing the same air, 65 men to a toilet. The prisons are disease incubators. The families should be out picketing at the prisons, picketing in Sacramento, nobody is going to care, if we don't care" stress a worried Bird.
Raw courage, a commitment to the higher picture and some real advocacy work as a dedicated volunteer describes Bird and many of her supporters. They are people who were not active in the prison reform movement before she pulled them together and taught them that efforts can be effective as mainstream people.
"Another mother in the UNION group , Mardele Duarte, has a ministry in the Bay Area which is national. She has appealed for help for inmates many times over the years long before she joined the UNION. Her son is also being tortured for her efforts to get help for him and other inmates and has been badly beaten at High Desert State Prison. She believes the beating was purposefully set up by the guards, and Warden Runnels has been in unresponsive in her requests to protect him. A lawsuit has been filed against High Desert Prison as well.
"MAC chairmen across the State, anyone who stands up for inmates rights are being tortured and thrown into the hole. These are very bad times, but it is the leaders of our efforts to organize that are targeted. After all when the UNION reaches 6500 workers, that will be the end of the 3 strikes law, the end of bad parole policies, the end of 70% of the prison industry. They're not going to help us organize to put them in the soup line, where they belong, they will do everything to stop it, but mostly to the leaders, not the subscribers who are very smart and out of their reach."
"Any change is going to come from the families themselves, there are no rescuers. No judge, no legislator, no lawyer can really help us, we must organize ourselves into a noisy force to be reckoned with and end the abuse in prisons. They can't kill us all."
Email is free at every public library. Only families may subscribe to the UNION newsletter online and then mail it in to their inmates. The price is $30 per year, the money is used for postage and copies, nobody gets a salary. Forms are at the website for signing up, or there is an alerts page where non subscribers can still help to fight back for themselves. Bird is recognized as the key advocate for prison reform in California and several books have been written by UNION journalists and authors, one Dedicated to her work by Professor William Chambliss of George Washington University, “Power, Politics and Crime.” A legend in her own time, B. Cayenne Bird, founder and director of the U.N.I.O.N, a true David and Goliath success story.
Jerry Baker, Columnist
The buzz: Prisoners play it cool as governor pays a call
For the first time in eight years, a sitting California governor walked into a state prison last week.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived at the Mule Creek medium-to maximum-security penitentiary near Ione to check out some vocational classes and some crowded cellblocks. Our inmate correspondents (who often seem to have the time to drop us a line) tell us the prison was in a frenzy of cleaning and preparation for his visit.
Indeed, the polished concrete corridor of the Facility B vocations building was gleaming as the governor strode down it in his cowboy boots and peered at industrious prisoners through classroom windows. But while they may have been expecting his visit, some of the inmates seemed a bit blasé.
One man sitting near the window of the sewing classroom just stared back and munched on a bowl of cereal as the governor waved and gave a thumbs-up sign. A guy standing nearby had his hands in his pockets, as if a live Arnold Schwarzenegger looking through the window were no different than Schwarzenegger on a television screen.
Schwarzenegger turned his charm on woodshop teacher Mike Doud, whose students made a conference table that sits in the governor's suite of offices. "It's my favorite table, I'll tell you that," he said. "I mean, no one can lift it except me. How much does it weigh? It must weigh 1,000 pounds."
As he made his rounds, the governor made sure he would be allowed back out. He walked up to a chaplain, shook hands, and said, "I haven't done anything bad yet."
The Bee's Kevin Yamamura can be reached at (916) 326-5548 or email@example.com
. Clea Benson of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.
Seems that things have not changed much at Mule Creek - 2006
Letter from an Inmate
We the inmate population at Mule Creek State Prison are very concerned with the decisions of our Acting Warden, Ms. Rosanne Campbell.
There has been a new Standardization of inmate property. Article 43, was recently put into effect. Article 43 allows inmates to possess two (2) appliances however, items such as Fans and Hot Pots that were NOT considered appliances, now are.
Article 43 allows exemptions for these items on the basis of institutional needs. Our MCSP Fac-C Men's Advisory Counsel (MAC) has presented evidence to our Acting Warden as to why Fans and Hot Pots must remain exempt items at MCSP, however, our Acting Warden has decided to put our Health and Welfare at risk in order to save a few bucks on electricity and in doing so is setting herself, CDCR and the State of California up for liability suits.
Mule Creek State Prison has contaminated the ground water in this area, check with the City of Ione. Twice recently our inmate population has been advised to "boil" our water before consumption, (see Memo attachment). If Hot Pots are not made exempt, many inmates will be forced to send theirs home by July 1, 2006, and no longer be able to boil their water putting the entire inmate population at risk of sickness that may spread due to the inability to sanitize our water. For this reason Hot Pots must be an exempt item at MCSP.
Illegal Housing, Over Crowding and Poor Ventilation in our housing Units and Gymnasiums are the main reasons as to why fans must be exempt but there are much more serious issues. Contaminated air is being pumped into the cells in every Housing Unit where inmates are illegally housed in the Day-Rooms. Our air systems heat and/or cool air then pumps a large percentage of this air into the cells. Illegally Housed inmates in our day-rooms with their wool blankets, linen, towels, clothing, dead skin cells, dust and dirt as well as other air born pathogens are contaminating the air that's pumped into our cells, for these reasons fans must be exempt here at MCSP.
Inmates who suffer with Asthma, Allergies and other respiratory problems need their fans in order to sleep at night. The air circulation is the only thing that keeps some of the inmates from having attacks at night and if their fans are taken, they will have to suffer with increased medical care that someone will have to be held liable for. For these reasons, the MCSP Health Care Manager (HCM) should issue those inmates with respiratory problems a "Medical Appliance Chrono" CDC 128-B for their fans.
Inmates on Heat Sensitive Medications must remain in a cool environment or they are at risk of sickness or death. Unfortunately our cells here at MCSP often get above 90 degrees throughout the summer. These inmates must be allowed to keep their fans as Medical necessities. (see Plata v Davis attachment)
Please come to Mule Creek State Prison and speak with our Fac 'C' Men’s Advisory Counsel (MAC) as well as some of our regular inmate population.
Thank you for your time and considerations in this matter.
Mule Creek Prison Guard
Mule Creek State Prison - News Articles
California State Prison - Sacramento [Folsom]
Three Strikes Legal - Index