Digest Post 4/11/13

By BitcoDavid

Unidentified Old Couple - 1934 by Sam Hood
Unidentified Old Couple – 1934 by Sam Hood

Two weeks from today, I’ll be 56 years old. Who’d a thunk I’d ever make it this far? Worse, in 3 weeks, my marriage will be 19 years old. All the credit goes to Maureen. Woman’s a saint.  I wouldn’t have stayed with me, for a month.

I’m working on a new piece of gear, which will increase my blogging potential substantially – I’ll let you know more when it’s launched. I wrote an awesome Supporter Contribution for Jean Trounstine of Justice with Jean fame. It’s about the Gideon v Wainwright Ruling, and how states are trying to get away with denying legal representation to indigent defendants. Here’s the link on her site. There’s also still tons of video on the symposium to get to, plus several other Supporter Contributions and collaboration pieces, still in the mix.


Let’s get the tough stuff out of the way first. This video comes from my good friends at SolitaryWatch. There is some dialog, but it didn’t seem worth the effort to caption. What little dialog exists is covered pretty well after the break. Before you click on this bad boy, I should tell you that it’s a pretty tough video to watch. The subject is a mentally ill inmate, and the video contains language and graphic violence.

In the 24 minutes between Schlosser being sprayed and when he can wash the spray off his face, Welch strolls in and out of the cell holding the OC spray canister, telling Schlosser that if he doesn’t cooperate, “this will happen all over again.”

“You’re not going to win. I will win every time,” he says.

Welch says repeatedly, “If you’re talking, you’re breathing,” suggesting that as long as Schlosser was complaining, he was not in serious medical distress. Welch does call for a member of the prison’s medical staff.

At one point, he whispers to Schlosser, “Useless as teats on a bull, huh … What do you think now?” an apparent reference to an insult Schlosser directed at him two days earlier, according to the investigator’s report.

The investigator concluded that Welch’s treatment of Schlosser was personal.

“Welch continues to brow beat Schlosser and it looks like he has made this a personal issue,” said Durst in the report. “There is not one incident of de-escalation and in fact Welch continues to escalate the situation even after the deployment of chemical agent.”

In my discussions and interviews with Glenn Langohr, I have learned that the industrial strength pepper spray cops use, is much worse than what girls carry to ward off stalkers and drunks. The sprayer isn’t some little Binaca tube. It’s about the size of a small fire extinguisher, and it sprays a copious amount of a much more concentrated solution, Glenn told me that at one point, some inmates actually died from it. This officer is standing directly above the man, repetitively spraying right into his face. On top of that, the mask – called a spit mask – acts to trap the noxious substance in his face. When he complains he can’t breathe, I – for one – believe him.

Here’s the link to the SolitaryWatch story. They include a bit more coverage, and a second video of another extraction taken several years earlier.


Some prison shanks
Some prison shanks

You know how states have nick-names? The Sunshine State, the Keystone state etc.? Well, I’m convinced that Colorado and Texas are in a neck and neck battle for the name, the Nut-job State. This was brought to my attention on Lipreading Mom and Dads Network by Dan Schwartz. According to MailOnline, apparently, Dylan Quick – a Deaf student at a Texas community college – stabbed 14 other students. In a confession, he claimed to be trying to kill them all, but his knife broke before that could be accomplished. At least in prison, he’ll learn how to make a decent shank. Here’s the Brit’s coverage.


The SORT Team - CCA's Elite. Click the link to learn more about CCA's SORT teams.
The SORT Team – CCA’s Elite. Click this link to learn more about CCA’s SORT teams.

What would a DeafInPrison.com Digest Post be, without a slam on CCA? Think Progress published this story this week. In Ohio, at the nation’s first completely privatized state penitentiary, government inspectors failed the company on none less than 47 violations, ranging from fire safety to food distribution. Inmates sleeping on the floor, inadequate medical care, poor diet, overcrowding and dirty facilities were but a few of the complaints the auditors had. They added this bit, at the end.

Despite the many abuses discovered at private prisons all over the country, CCA and other industry giants have greatly benefited from cash-strapped states’ attempts to save money. However, recent studies show that private prisons actually cost more than state-owned ones. Undeterred, CCA has started offering states millions to buy state facilities like the Ohio prison. Ohio sold the prison to CCA last year to help balance the state’s 2012-2013 budget, and CCA recently offered to buy another one in exchange for the state’s guarantee of 90% occupancy for 20 or 30 years.

Again, here’s the link to TP’s coverage.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, California has been embroiled in a battle with the Federal government over control of their prisons, and in particular their inmates suffering from mental illness. My nemesis – the Gray Lady – has been covering the story for quite some time now. Here’s their latest update. Briefly – before I go get knocked around the ring for the next hour – the overcrowding situation and the use of semi-permanent solitary confinement forced the U.S. government to step in, assuming control of California’s prison system. Jerry Brown – Governor – has been appealing the decision via the courts. You really should go to the Times, and read this article. It’s an important case, and could have landmark implications.

Well, that’s it for me.

Peace. Out.

BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.


4 thoughts on “Digest Post 4/11/13

  1. So, you’re saying that Public Defenders, who are supposedly for indigent defendants no longer practice or are available ? here in Washington folks are asked in arraignment if they can afford rep. and are given a random public d. Have things changed? I thought this was per usual – disabled , mentally or not- being indigent was the operative woed – well of course the medical community was also brought in


    1. Only in certain states and under certain conditions. States are trying to find ways around the costs, on one hand, and on the other, too few law school grads are willing to work in the PD’s office, when they can make much better money outside. The law you speak of is still the law of the land, but it’s getting more abused now.


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