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  #1  
Old 10-05-2015, 02:28 PM
rmc50 rmc50 is offline
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Default Penpal wants me to file complaint w/ internal affairs.

I have a penpal that is an inmate in the California, Santa Clara County jail, "Elmwood Women's Facility"

She has been incarcerated in the jail for 5-1/2 years. The last 2-1/2 she has been in solitary confinement, only allowed one hour out of her cell every 48 hours.

She claims that the event that put her in solitary in the first place was unfounded and untrue, and she has been unable to get down classed ever since.

If I were to do this, I assume I would mail a complain to the Internal Affairs division of the Santa Clara County Sheriff.

Before I do this, can anyone tell me if this is a bad idea?

Keep in mind that this is the county jail system where three guards were recently arrested for murder of an inmate, and over the weekend two more were relieved from duty due to illegal activity. I wouldn't want my penpal to become a victim of retaliation and end up another statistic.

Is 2-1/2 years in solitary confinement excessive?

Thanks for any insight.

R. Mc.
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2015, 02:34 PM
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Your worries about causing more trouble than you solve are probably very valid. My other concern is that you only have your penpal's word - how sure are you of her? I don't mean to be disrespectful but if this is a new relationship....... I guess I'm recommending extreme caution and researching as much as you can before getting stuck in. Does she have any family of friends in touch with her who could help?
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:16 PM
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I agree with Mooshy. If this is a new pen pal relationship how do you know if what she is saying is true? Solitary confinement that long especially for a women is cruel and unusual punishment and they are coming down hard about that in California. Before you can even petition or write a letter you would need her original write up to get the actual events according to them and get a full detail as to what happen from her. You cant petition based on her words soley. They will need a copy of the write up and the events leading to what happen. The fact that they are under investigation could work in her favor however the key is actual facts. I hope this helps.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:24 PM
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Hi I agree with what has been said, you have no evidence to make a complaint. You have your penpals word that is all. Without any evidence or facts other her say so I doubt you have basis for a complaint.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:27 PM
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Contact De-Bug or Prison Law Office and ask them for help. Both of these organizations are located in the Bay Area and do a lot of advocacy on behalf of people in SCC jails. Your PP's situation is pretty standard for SCC, so it's likely she has a legitimate grievance. Moreover, since the jail is under so much scrutiny right now, this could actually be an excellent time for her to raise her complaint without (as much) fear of reprisal. De-Bug or PLO will be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:04 AM
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I'll give the Prison Law Office a try, that looks promising.

Thank you all for your input.

R. Mc.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:10 PM
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btwcm: Thank you VERY much for that suggestion.

I emailed the Prison Law Office regarding and someone from their office visited the inmate last week! The situation hasn't changed yet, but my penpal is thrilled that someone is taking an interest in her case.

thank you!

R. Mc.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:00 PM
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Update:

My penpal has been downclassed and is no longer in solitary!

I don't know if the Prison Law Office actually had anything to do with it, but after 2-1/2 years of no action, then less than a month after PLO taking an interest and she gets down classed, I'll give them the win!

Thanks to all who helped.

R. Mc.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2015, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmc50 View Post
I have a penpal that is an inmate in the California, Santa Clara County jail, "Elmwood Women's Facility"

She has been incarcerated in the jail for 5-1/2 years. The last 2-1/2 she has been in solitary confinement, only allowed one hour out of her cell every 48 hours.

She claims that the event that put her in solitary in the first place was unfounded and untrue, and she has been unable to get down classed ever since.

If I were to do this, I assume I would mail a complain to the Internal Affairs division of the Santa Clara County Sheriff.

Before I do this, can anyone tell me if this is a bad idea?

Keep in mind that this is the county jail system where three guards were recently arrested for murder of an inmate, and over the weekend two more were relieved from duty due to illegal activity. I wouldn't want my penpal to become a victim of retaliation and end up another statistic.

Is 2-1/2 years in solitary confinement excessive?

Thanks for any insight.

R. Mc.
I will say that you only know her side of the story and what happened. I myself would stay out of it and let her take care of her own shit. And, if you were to get involved, it might make things even worse for her, even though it seems that it cannot get any worse.

I do believe that solitary confinement for any length of time is not cool, but I have known people who preferred to be there, to avoid the idiots every day, day in and day out. They would rather be alone and do their own thing.

I hope your friend can take care of this herself and get back to general pop.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:26 PM
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I am excited to hear that PLO helped you guys and in such a fast timeframe too! Its encouraging that we on the outside can sometimes make a significant change for the better for those on the inside!

And to answer your question, I would say according to a DOC, 2 1/2 years is just a shrug's worth. On the other hand the United Nation's considers solitary confinement of over 15 days torture so....
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmc50 View Post
Update:

My penpal has been downclassed and is no longer in solitary!

I don't know if the Prison Law Office actually had anything to do with it, but after 2-1/2 years of no action, then less than a month after PLO taking an interest and she gets down classed, I'll give them the win!

Thanks to all who helped.

R. Mc.
R. Mc., that is fantastic news! I'm glad that things worked out--it's so rare to hear!

Your PP is extremely lucky to have you!
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