Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ongoing Crisis at Bayside State Prison



Bayside State Prison in South Jersey has a history of severe prisoner abuse,
racism, and systemic accountability problems.* Now 100++ prisoners, who were recently transferred from Bayside due to infrastructure problems, are speaking out (as are their families), alleging extreme violence, racism, intimidation, retaliation,  and corruption by prison staff
.

Prisoners and human rights activists and attorneys have been collectng testimonies of transferred prisoners. family members of prisoners and former prisoners, as well as analyzing checklists of commnonly reported Bayside problems. Organizer, attorney, and flimmaker Matt Pillischer. Esq. is workting to produce a short advocacy video to expose abuse and corruption at the prison, and put pressure on the Department of Corrections, law enforcement, legislators and journalists to investigate the crisis.
Concerned citizens have initiated a Bayside State Prison Organizing Commlttee, to strategze how to publicize conditions at Bayside and coordinate multifaceted appoaches to change.
Our objectives are:
Short terrn:
1.     to protect prisoners recently transferred frorn Bayside, who are providing information about conditions at Bayside;
2     to continue gathering information from prisoners, forrner prisoners and family members about these conditions;
3.           to educate legislators and people in the community about conditions at Bayside;
4.           to mitigate harn, by defending indviduaIs at risk and making systemic recomrnendatlons to the DOC.
Long term:
1.        effecting significant change at Bayside - focusing on violence, racism and related serious justice, accountability, and quality assurance problems at the pnson;
2.        uslng the persistence of the problems at Bayside to highlight the necessity for formal  independent community based pnson system oversight in NJ. Jersey.

We want to work with people who were confined at Bayside, or their families, to bring attention to this crisis. Therefore, we are also seeking participants for a short advocacy documentary about the crisis at Bayside State prison, being produced by Matt Pillischer, Esq. (producer of Broken on All Sides).
Contact Jean Ross, Esq. at: jeanross55@aol.com  phone and fax 609-924-6508

Bayside State Prison Organizing Committee, including members: American Friends Service Committee, Women Who Never Give Up, People's Organization for Progress. Please direct questions and return petitions to Jean Ross (above)

Bayside Voices:  2014 - Voices from Bayside  State Prison in Leesburg, NJ


"I have never, in all my years in prisons, experienced anything like what is happening here at Bayside." (Common statement)

(When I was at Bayside) "I saw some inmates get beat up to the point that they were almost dead."

"These were not just any beatings, but beatings inflicting such brutal force that one was broken to the point of sobbing, begging for his life."

(In 1997, after Officer Baker's death) "I saw that the guards that were of color were left out of the unites where all the beatings took place and all the racist name calling took place."

"If an inmate did do any complaint about any staff member or guard they were beat up then set up. I would keep writing more, but it hurts me bad to keep thinking about the things I went through there..."

"I have personally seen the carnage and witnessed the boots to the head, face, and body of handcuffed and sometimes unconscious prisoners."

"They got people trained not to go near that (remedy) box. They know what will happen."

"He then layed me face down on the ground and jumped on me off a desk onto my mid to lower back, which caused me to deficate on myself..."

"They have prisoners who clean up the blood, before SID comes to investigate."

"They go into inmate cells and open their food and dump it all over the cells or take trash cans and dump them in cells."

"I have been threten by officers day by day"

A mother reports: "He gets harassed for just asking a question...His supplies have been ransacked...shampoo and lotion poured out all over his papers and things..."

(Heard from an officer's shack.) "Here come those fucking monkeys."

"I witnessed a guy get kicked and stomped while handcuffed"

(An officer said) "Are you scared?" "When I said yes, he said you'd better be, we'll kill you down here you fucking spit."

"After a beating, they will go to the witnesses and threaten to beat them if they say anything."

"They use prisoners to do lookout for the Sgt. while they watch TV and gamble and drink."

"A guard called "B" used to beat up Black and Hispanic prisoners."

"There was a guard who gave me cigarettes to sell to the prisoners..."

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