Prison Rights Activist Strong Says BBQ Video Raised Questions About DOC Policies

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Guam – Prison Rights Advocate Diane Strong argues that the barbecue video that triggered the firing of  DOC Director J.B. Palacios Wednesday raises serious questions about DOC policies and procedures.

Strong, who has been an out-spoken critic of Palacios and the way things are run at the prison, says that “the video shows indifference and collusion of the DOC warden” and that it was “not taken seriously by the Director.” She called the video “disrespectful to victims and their families” and says it “shows lack of diligence by some corrections officers.”

In reaction to the dissmissal of Palacios, Strong said : “Dedicated DepCor employees no longer have to suffer fear of retaliation. They can serve as the professionals they truly are. I have faith that reform can occur and rights of both inmates and employees will no longer be violated.”

Strong is also calling on the Co-Chair  of the Committee on Law Enforcement and Public Safety, Lt. Governor-Elect Ray Tenorio to urge Committee Chairman Adolpho Palacios to call an oversight hearing on DOC.

In an email to PNC News Strong lists the following issues raised by the BBQ video:

(1)  Failure of corrections officers to secure tools following a detail. An ax should not be present at a barbecue grill. The public should know that the policy during authorized visitation is that families and friends are not allowed to bring in plastic knives or chopsticks, and yet the inmates are shown with a meat cleaver, a large kitchen knife and an ax.

(2)  If this was an authorized barbecue, why was the Warden unaware of it? Held on Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, he would have had to issue a written memorandum. If it was in appreciation for inmates public works projects (new Visitors Processing Center, Women’s Unit, etc.) WHY was the Director himself not present? .

(3)  Why are inmates using bandanas – as Vince Palomo during his weight lifting routine? They are considered gang-related and are prohibited by inmate dress code.

(4)   Why are inmates from 3 security classifications levels allowed together? This is a violation of  TITLE 24 PENOLOGY AND CORRECTIONS
Chapter 1 Department of Corrections, Article 1 Administrative Provisions, 4 Classification of Inmates

(5)  Why are laptops needed when the library has computers? DVD players are allowed. On a case-by-case basis, perhaps a laptop without a camera might be allowed for inmates with less restrictive security classifications?

(6)  Where is the proof that the food at the barbecue was brought in from outside? Was it subject to inspection from the Visitor Processing Center? It looked like the inmates were preparing fresh chickens from the compound grounds, not frozen chicken donated by families and staff.

(7)  The weight lifting equipment used by Vince Palomo was donated by the Marshals Service from the military expressly for use by DOC employees, and NOT inmates. This donation and its restrictions exist in a written document.

(8)  The amount of food that becomes pig slop is evidence that the food service contract GSA-022-08 with California Mart (S.H. Enterprises) is wasting taxpayer money. The contract awarded on April 21, 2008, was $2,775,600. Cost is  $2.85 for breakfast, $4.50 for lunch, and $5.50 for dinner x 600 inmates/day.

(9)  The absence of corrections officers during the barbecue is not a function of the location of the “strategically hidden in plain sight” laptop. It is evidence of  under-staffing and “over-time cap” policies.

(10) The lack of security raises the issue of how inmate Allen Feranco could have been murdered in May 2010. The caption thanking Vincent Palomo and co-murderer Steven Albertson for bringing the Peace to Post 24 is an insult to the widow and family of Feranco.

(11)  The Feranco murder investigation needs to be re-opened and transparent. Only ONE corrections officer was interviewed by DOC’s Internal Affairs Unit and Palomo – in whose cell the murdered inmate was found – was never interviewed.

(12) The surrendering of authority by the Director of Corrections to Warden Crisostomo needs to be re-examined. Why is it that the Warden disapproves security re-classification recommendations made by the Adjustment Classification Committee? Palomo and his gang brothers are never demoted despite having been found guilty of infractions such as being intoxicated or fighting. Albertson is one example.

(13) How does an inmate like murderer Billy Cao Cruz have a “command post” inside a van which can obviously be used for illicit activities?

You can quote me – INMATE VIDEO feedback

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show details 1:09 PM (6 minutes ago)  
Sorry it took inmates to expose the systematic problems. Palacios’ incompetence has been revealed to outsiders. Dedicated DepCor employees no longer have to suffer fear of retaliation. They can serve as the professionals they truly are. I have faith that reform can occur and rights of both inmates and employees will no longer be violated.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


From: Kevin Kerrigan <kevin@spbguam.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 12:29:47 +1000
To: Dianne M. Strong Strong<strongdiver44@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: You can quote me – INMATE VIDEO feedback

what is your reaction to the firing of Palacios…i want to include it in story about the points you’ve made below…Kevin

On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 3:18 PM, Dianne M. Strong Strong <strongdiver44@gmail.com> wrote:

Kevin:

I hope the 4 p.m. GPD press conference is not a “dog and pony show.”

Here are my reactions to the inmate-produced video and how officials are responding to it.

As Co-Chair  of the Committee on Law Enforcement and Public Safety, why doesn’t Lt. Governor-Elect RAYMOND TENORIO chair an oversight hearing for DOC? 


Obviously Senator Palacios and his brother Director Palacios have an extreme case of conflict of interest.


Tenorio campaigned using his record of protecting the public. Yet how many public hearings for his committee did he NOT attend? Why did he vote AGAINST Bill 418 to require the Guam Parole Board to adopt rules and regulations?


VETOED by Gov. Camacho:

Bill No. 418-30 (COR) – A.B. Palacios, Sr. / T.C. Ada / V.A. Ada

An act to amend §§85.10, 85.14 and 85.26 of Chapter 85, Title 9, Guam Code Annotated, relative to the composition of members to the Territorial Parole Board. 


Senator Palacios should be questioning the CONTENT of the “Bad Boyz Gone Good” video, rather than questioning its origin. Where is “whistle blower” protection?


The issues raised by the unauthorized video which should be examined include:

(1)  Failure of corrections officers to secure tools following a detail. An ax should not be present at a barbecue grill.


The public should know that the policy during authorized visitation is that families and friends are not allowed to bring in plastic knives or chopsticks, and yet these inmates have a meat cleaver, a large kitchen knife and an ax!

(2)  If this was an authorized barbecue, why was the Warden unaware of it? Held on Friday, Oct. 9, he would have had to issue a written memorandum. If it was in appreciation for inmates public works projects (new Visitors Processing Center, Women’s Unit, etc.) WHY was the Director himself not present? This is what the Director stated on K-57 Ray Gibson’s show this morning.

Where is the credibility of both Director J. B. Palacios and Facilities Superintendent/Warden Francisco B. Crisostomo?

Where is the watch dog that can catch them in their lies? Court Monitor for the U.S. Department of Justice Atty. Bradley Klemm is not serving that role.

(3)  Why are inmates using bandanas – as Vince Palomo during his weight lifting routine? They are considered gang-related and are prohibited by inmate dress code.

(4)   Why are inmates from 3 security classifications levels allowed together? This is a violation of TITLE 24 PENOLOGY AND CORRECTIONS 

Chapter1 Department of Corrections 

Article 1 Administrative Provisions 

4 Classification of Inmates 

 On K-57 this morning Director Palacios said they were all Mimimum security inmates. NO, yellow shirts are worn by MEDIUM security inmates who live inside the ACF compound, not outside the fence (like Halfway House and Former Post 24). Orange t-shirts are for detainees. 

(5)  Why are laptops needed when the library has computers? DVD players are allowed. On a case-by-case basis, perhaps a laptop without a camera might be allowed for inmates with less restrictive security classifications?

(6)  Where is the proof that the food at the barbecue was brought in from outside? Was it subject to inspection from the Visitor Processing Center? It looked like the inmates were preparing fresh chickens from the compound grounds, not frozen chicken donated by families and staff.

(7)  The weight lifting equipment used by Vince Palomo was donated by the Marshals Service from the military expressly for use by DOC employees, and NOT inmates. This donation and its restrictions exist in a written document. (Many stateside correctional facilities prohibit inmates from using weight lifting equipment.)

(8)  The amount of food that becomes pig slop is evidence that the food service contract GSA-022-08 with California Mart (S.H. Enterprises) is wasting taxpayer money. The contract awarded on April 21, 2008, was $2,775,600. Cost is  $2.85 for breakfast, $4.50 for lunch, and $5.50 for dinner x 600 inmates/day.

(9)  The absence of corrections officers during the barbecue is not a function of the location of the “strategically hidden in plain sight” laptop. It is evidence of under-staffing and “over-time cap” policies.

(10)                The lack of security raises the issue of how inmate Allen Feranco could have been murdered in May 2010. The caption thanking Vincent Palomo and co-murderer Steven Albertson for bringing the Peace to Post 24 is an insult to the widow and family of Feranco.

(11)                The Feranco murder investigation needs to be re-opened and transparent. Only ONE corrections officer was interviewed by DOC’s Internal Affairs Unit and Palomo – in whose cell the murdered inmate was found – was never interviewed.

(12)                The surrendering of authority by the Director of Corrections to Warden Crisostomo needs to be re-examined. Why is it that the Warden disapproves security re-classification recommendations made by the Adjustment Classification Committee? Palomo and his gang brothers are never demoted despite having been found guilty of infractions such as being intoxicated or fighting. Albertson is one example.

(13)                How does an inmate like murderer Billy Cao Cruz have a “command post” inside a van which can obviously be used for illicit activities?

The video shows indifference/collusion of DOC warden, and is not being taken seriously by the Director. It is disrespectful to victims and their families. It shows lack of diligence by some corrections officers.  


Dianne M. Strong, Ed.D.
130 Chalan Ayuyu
Yona, GU 96915

(671) 789-4500

strongdiver44@gmail.com


Dianne M. Strong, Ed.D.
130 Chalan Ayuyu
Yona, GU 96915

(671) 789-4500

strongdiver44@gmail.com


Dianne M. Strong, Ed.D.
130 Chalan Ayuyu
Yona, GU 96915

(671) 789-4500

strongdiver44@gmail.com


Kevin Kerrigan
News Director
Office: 671-477-0791
Cell:    671-482-7391
eMail: kevin@spbguam.com
Address:
Pacific News Center
J & G Commercial Plaza
138 E Marine Drive
Building C, Suite 102 C
Hagatna, Guam, 96910

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