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Alderson Federal Prison Camp

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Alderson Federal Prison Camp

Location

Alderson, West Virginia

Inmate Reviews of:

Medical CareDental Care
Food/Dining HallCommissary
Prison ClothesSteel Toed Shoes
Incident Reports/ShotsMedications - Allowed
Medications - Not AllowedBus Stop
PunishmentStrip Search
CountCorrectional Officers
WardenAssistant Warden
MiscellaneousForced Labor
EducationWeight Gain
Arrest ChargeTransport to Prison
MarshallsWrits

Medical Care

Mr. Weaver was the head of HSU ( Health Services Unit), the medical facility at Alderson. There is so much to report on this man who should never work in a medical facility at any prison or government institution. Heartless and uncaring are two words that come to mind when I think of Weaver.

He resented giving “van passes” to the extremely high number of women in wheel chairs, walking with walkers and using canes. One day he simply voided all van passes which would have meant more than 50 women would have to use walkers to do the 1 mile walk to and fro the dining halls.

At 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. every day, there was a pill line for the hundreds of women needing medication. Even though the building could house the line for medication, Weaver forced the women to stand out in the snow the rain and in 100 degree weather He found this amusing.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

Health Services Unit The Health Administrator was a pompous, arrogant, unhelpful man, who was a former Army nurse. The only doctor on staff was trained as a DO trained in Obstetrics & Gynecology with no practical experience in general medicine. She was unprofessional, rude, uncaring and malicious. Even the HSU staff was frightened of her because she was extremely volatile and full of rage. She was not an approachable person and due to this staff, were not willing to question her or to intervene due to error. The doctor routinely refused to treat serious health conditions, often stating that symptoms were normal and nothing to be concerned about. She would also routinely confiscate medical devices such as back braces and leg braces, either replacing them with inferior ones or not allowing their use at all. This caused unnecessary injury, with no way to heal properly due to the difficulty in obtaining bandages and tape or even medicine. “Triage” was only conducted on Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri from 6:45am to 7:00am, if you felt sick at another time, you were not treated. Often scheduled appointments were not honored; hours of waiting and waiting with no answers was typical. There was no medical staff at night or on the weekends. If someone had a seizure or another serious medical condition, the Correctional Officers and the lieutenant, who had absolutely no medical training, were called to assess And more often than not, several Correctional Officers would hover over the ill person, ask inane questions of them or talk down to them, tell them they were alright and put them back in bed. On the rare occasion the lieutenant bothered to call the DO at home, the answer was ‘that condition is quite normal and nothing to worry about’. These calls at night were NEVER followed up with an appointment the next day. Carlswell is designated as a hospital facility in the Federal System and people who require surgery or are in ill-health are housed there. When a ‘regular’ facility cannot provide proper medical treatment, inmates are transferred to Carlswell. In the case of Alderson, they are reluctant to transfer because of the loss of funds to their institution. This means that people are treated by local doctors (if you are lucky) and sent to local hospitals for serious surgeries. People who required weekly doctor’s visits were taken sporadically due to lack of staff to escort the inmate and due to laziness and lack of concern on the part of the medical staff . Yet, transfers to Carlswell were rare. Always inmates were released from the local hospitals were sent back to Alderson prematurely with medical apparatus, or staples or stitches and denied follow-up treatment. The DO would insist that follow-up medical procedures could be handled at Alderson, even if she was unfamiliar with it. The patient, in pain, tired and susceptible to infection is put into a stressful, non-sterile environment (their housing unit) with no-one to help them, no way to get their medications (aside from standing in pill-line) and no way to safely get to the dining room, a ½-mile walk downhill. Inmates are required to go to ‘work’ 5 days per week, and can only be excused with a note from HSU, which must be presented to the ‘boss’ . If you are too ill to walk the 1 mile each way or to navigate the hills, too bad. The HSU staff will not call or email on your behalf.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

was great when i was at Alderson from 1968 to1971 Virginia McGlaughlin was the warden at the time and Mr. Ranger who was a real Prick was the associate warden.
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Dental Care

I was in need of a cleaning and put in a “cop out” for the dentist in January 2011. A cop out is a memo like form for all requests. They get sent to each department. I got my cop out back from the dentist telling me there is a waiting list for cleaning. They are backed up from 2007.

Dental does no crowns so if you have a bad tooth it just gets pulled. The reason you see so many women and men in prison with few to no teeth is the policy does not allow for fixing a problem with your teeth. They just pull them.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

at the time of my incarceration there was good medical care and dental care at that facility
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Food/Dining Hall

It is a mile walk to and from the dining hall for everyone at Alderson. If you wanted to eat 3 times a day, you would have to walk 3 miles to get your miles. For breakfast and lunch, you would have to walk in steel toed shoes So the walk is unbearable and the shoes cause pain.

The next problem is the dining hall seats several hundred while 1200 are waiting to eat. Those not lucky enough to get into the dining hall may stand 1 hour. During the winter, the wait could be in the snow, other times it is in the rain and in the summer, it can be in 90 degree weather.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

the food was great they allowed the workers in the dining hall decide the menu and once a month they would dedicate a ful week for us to prepare meals of different ethinicites so that every one could have a real good meal.
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Commissary

The food is the dining hall was not good enough to feed humans. Carbohydrates were primary, with donuts for breakfast, baked ziti for lunch, with pie, bread and potatoes, and spaghetti with garlic bread for dinner. If Alderson wanted to make new highs in the obesity area, their menu and willingness to feed “slop” to inmates was a success.

The commissary was the inmates alternative if you were lucky enough to have someone sending you money. The commissary had some products which made food choices a bit wider but only a bit. Prepared tuna ,prepared chicken, pepperoni slices, refried beans some cheese, angel hair pasta and rice were popular. Put them together and fight for the one microwave oven provided for each 150 women and you may get a slightly better meal than the dining hall.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

Everything in the commissary was tremendously over-priced....you could purchase food items such as peanut butter, rice crackers, pasta, meats and fish in pouches, raman noodles, chips and candy...being able to use the microwave was another story (many inmates would wake early and occupy the microwave all day long). The Commissary also sold yarn and craft items, toiletries, make-up, Over-the-counter medicines and clothes. I'm not sure about Mr. Bennett’s arrangement with the institution, but it always seemed to me that he had great incentive to severely jack-up the prices. It was said that proceeds from the commissary were to be placed a fund to provide microwaves and blow-dryers and sporting equipment, but those items were always hard to come by and the staff would be reluctant to provide those items. Basically, Mr. Bennett would charge 30% above retail price on all items, no matter the quality or quantity. Herbal tea, intended for dollar-store sale (with few teabags), was sold for $5, for example. Mr. Bennett would purchase items directly from Walmart or Drugstore,com and resell them. Additionally, you needed permission from Mr. Bennett to return items.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

we were only allowed to spend 20 dollars a month on commisary so you always made it last
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Prison Clothes

You arrive at prison and are given the following: 4 brown shirts, a couple of long sleeve beige shirts, 4 pairs of beige pants, 8 pairs of thin underwear, 8 pairs of tube socks, one orange hat and one green winter type jacket. The clothes are not sufficient either in quantity or to keep you warm. You have to afford buying sweatshirts, light jackets, sweatpants at the commissary if you want to be both warm and/ or comfortable.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

The women of FPC Alderson were required to wear uncomfortable prison uniforms 10 hours a day, 5 or more days per week. All shirts had to be tucked in. Outer clothing, such as sweatshirts, had to be worn under the uniform, which made removing layers impractical. There was no reason to wear uniforms in a camp for non-violent women other than to squash individuality and drive home to the Correctional Officers the idea that all inmates were nothing more than numbers and could be ill-treated, a such.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

we were allowed to wear our own clothes anfd there was no central living unit as it is now i was in cottage 11 then after a stint in cottage 26 i went to cottage 4
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Steel Toed Shoes

Warden Batts has a policy inmates must wear steel toed shoes at work and for programming hours. The shoes are pure torture causing dozens of women to have blisters and break toes. The shoes have a steel bar which rubs your toes. The shoes have no give and cause pain all over the foot.

Alderson is a camp for non- violent offenders; it is supposed to be less restrictive because of the nature of the crimes. Warden Batts, by forcing steel toed shoes and other restrictive policies has changed the definition of what a camp should be.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

Warden Batts instituted a policy that inmates must wear steel toed shoes at work and for programming hours. The inmates were made to walk very long distances each day in shoes that caused excruciating pain. Some merely suffered blisters, but most suffered broken toes, damaged heels and insteps, bruised toes and loss of toe-nails. In a camp for non-violent offenders with no real necessity for steel-toed shoes, the policy served only as further punishment. I, myself, was unable to walk without severe pain. I went first to the laundry, which issues shoes, to ask Correctional Officer Dalton for better fitting shoes, in the hopes of alleviating some of the pain, but I was denied and told that 'those shoes are only for inmates who work at landscape, I cannot help you.' Next, I went to the Health Services Unit (I was finally granted an appointment 6 weeks later) to ask Correctional Officer Rennick if she could offer me a 'soft-shoe' pass or otherwise provide medicine to lessen the pain. That, too, was met with ' I cannot help you'. I thought that I would never walk without pain again in my life.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

there was no such thing when i was there if you didn't have anyone on the outside to send you a care packagethen they provided you with tennis shoes
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Incident Reports/Shots

Congress spends 5 to 10 years to legislate “good time days”- days each inmate is to be given for being incarcerated. In Alderson, Warden Batts & Co. take ten minutes to take away the days Congress spent years providing.

An incident report is written by an officer on the compound against an inmate. There is virtually no way to fight it. Incident reports, often called “shots” result in punishment. The first shot usually results in the loss of your cubicle, which is the only privacy an inmate has on the compound. Two bunk beds make up each cubicle and it is the only place where an inmate can be somewhat alone.

The first shot results in the inmate sleeping in the Bus Stop which is an open area in front of the range. The first punishment is 90 days/ 3 months of sleeping at the Bus Stop which is a 24/7 hour lit part of the range. Fluorescent lights make it impossible to sleep.

Shots can also result in loss of phone use, email and commissary.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

At FPC Alderson, the Correctional Officers were “shot-happy'. Nothing excited them more than an opportunity to harass. Even small insignificant matters brought on harassment and incident reports. A few minor incidents come to mind. A woman had borrowed a knitting book from a fellow countryman, which a Correctional Officer found in her possession. The book was confiscated and the owner had to go through hoops to regain it. The woman who borrowed the book was sanctioned to 90-days on the Bus-stop and loss of her coveted job schedule. In another incident, a woman was 'shook-down' (her locker was raided by the Correctional Officers) in the hopes of finding illicit drugs. When none were found, a vent-brush (from Cosmetology, where she worked) and hair clips (available at commissary) were confiscated. She was accused of 'operating a business' , though they had no proof of this, and she was sanctioned to 90-days on the Bus-stop and loss of her job. Often, the Correctional Officers embellished and this resulted in harsh punishments.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

i had many many incident reports while there and spent a ot of time in Davis Hall on strip side because i refused to do what i was told guess you could say i was a little rebellious
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Medications - Allowed

Pill Line – 2x per day, at 7am and 2pm, medicine not approved for self-carry (this is anything that can be sold to others) is distributed. All new inmates must go to pill line for a thirty day period before being permitted to self-carry, but you must not miss more than 3x in one month or the thirty days starts all over again, and if the accounting is incorrect, you need to deal with the pill-line for even longer because the Health Administrator refuses to remedy any problems, That would require too much of the heath administrator and he is a gov’t employee backed by a union. The pill-line, particularly in the afternoon is extremely chaotic, disorganized, inefficient and very crowded. Because it can take over an hour and fifteen minutes of waiting in a line, often outside in the cold, just to get a pill, inmates begin to linger on the upper compound well before the broadcast announcement that’ pill-line is open ’in the hopes of not having to wait for a long time in the line. The process goes something like this…the line must not form until 1:55pm and anyone caught attempting to start a line before that time is made to wait until everyone is served before they can get their pill. If too many people get their early, the HSU staff start playing games, which makes the process even more arduous. I have seen several games. One goes like this: once the nurse collects all the IDs, she promptly throws them all into the back of a small truck and mixes them, as you would a salad. She then calls out random names and you must line up in that order , a 20 minute ordeal, just to wait in line for an additional hour and fifteen minutes. Other games goes like this: the nurse stands on the front steps of HSU and shouts that the line will form in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order (or alphabetical order or start from ‘M –Z’ and then ‘A-L’) only she doesn’t know the alphabet backwards and gets confused, this takes a good 30 minutes to accomplish, and you still need to wait an additional hour and fifteen minutes. On other days, it’s more ‘normal’ and once the line is formed, a nurse or perhaps the pharmacist collects IDs from everyone and brings them into the nurse who is dispensing the pills. Pills are rarely given in the prescribed form and are mostly crushed, which means that the correct dose is not being given, the medicine is not being administered correctly (particularly, this is a problem with slow release medicines, where ingesting the medicine all at once results in a super-dose) and the medicine is not palatable. Trying to take crushed medicine is nausea inducing to say the least. A good percentage of people are on psychiatric medicines and it’s no wonder. Lots of people are prescribed incorrectly (over prescribed, under prescribed, and prescribed entirely the wrong medications or medications that are contra-indicated.) Sometimes, people are taken off medicines as a cost-saving measure or because their medicine are not on the formulary. This often results in serious medical issues or even death. Seven people died (either in the Fed system or immediately upon release) while I was in the system due to medical neglect. It’s all a crap-shoot because the medical staff are ill-trained unprofessional, uncaring and do not really have an interest in medicine. I had a trying experience concerning medication, which I was unable to resolve with the Correctional Officers at the Health Services Unit. I had been taken twice to see an outside eye-surgeon. On the second occasion, the doctor provided me with much needed prescription eye-drops, which I was not permitted to have in my possession. Upon return to the facility, Correctional Officer who accompanied me turned my eye-drops into the Health Services Unit and told me that they would be approved by 3PM. I went to the Health Services Unit to collect my eye-drops and Correctional Officer Nurse Cales informed me that I could purchase the 'same thing' at the commissary. I assume that she threw them away. At Alderson, as a rule, necessary medicines were denied. Inmates were made to purchase over-the-counter medicines from commissary and had to prove to the Correctional Officers that these purchases were made before the HSU staff would even consider prescribing medications. Many people suffered needlessly due to this rule.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

i was on medications while there they were sent to my cottage and dispensed to me there
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Medications - Not Allowed

Bus Stop

The Bus Stop is the place where inmates are forced to sleep when they are punished for receiving an incident report or “shot”. For 90 days, sleeping in this area is nothing short of torture. Fluorescent light keep you awake all night. The 20 beds are on top of each other and there is no privacy. It looks like the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

On either side of the end area is the bathrooms. 150 inmates live in each range and the toilet flushing which goes on all night is partially responsible for keeping Bus Stop people awake. The ice cube machine which makes ice cubes all night is in the front of the bus stop and the crashing of the cubes is loud.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

What is now commonly referred to as the Bus Stops at Alderson were formerly common areas. Due to want of more Federal funds (otherwise known as greed - -the institution is given money for each person housed), these areas were converted to additional sleeping areas of 10 bunk-beds and 20 lockers. This enables Alderson to house another 160 in the Bus Stops and in addition to the close to 50 more housed in what is referred to as the “Fish Bowls”. Located just outside the shower/toilet rooms, there is no quiet in this area and you can expect to be awake much of the night, particularly if you are housed in the Range B3 or B4. Primarily used as a sanction for any number of minor infractions, it is also used as a transitional area while awaiting a cube assignment. Fish Bowl: This is an enclosed room, containing a large window to the hallway (anyone can look in at any time…hence the term “fish bowl’) with bunk-beds to accommodate up to 6 people.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

they had no bus stop
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Punishment

At Alderson, the primary focus of the Warden and his staff of correctional officers seem to be punishment. The stress caused by being watched, being checked, being questioned, being counted is enormous. Perhaps the greatest hardship for inmates is the constant need for correctional staff to “punish”, that is, give shots to inmates. This is an exercise the Warden and staff seems to enjoy.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

One would think that at a minimum security facility intended for non-violent offenders, the Correctional Officers would not be unduly harsh on the inmates. This was not the case. I have been witness and personally experienced some horrific incidents concerning Correctional Officers and Inmates. One incident concerning a non-violent inmate comes to mind. Sally Jones entered the Central Dining Room at breakfast time and was greeted by the usual gaggle of Correctional Officers who linger at the entry-way (this is always comprised of a lieutenant and several correctional officers) at each meal. Correctional Officer Smolls noticed that Sally Jones was wearing a wedding-band and asked whether the wedding-band was on her “Form 40” (an obscure form that outlines property of value permitted to an inmate----wedding bands, religious necklaces, earrings). Sally Jones replied that she didn't know what a “Form 40” was, but that she had been wearing the wedding-band since the time of her arrive 3 years prior. In front of Lieutenant Oats, presumedly her boss, Correctional Officer Smolls demanded that Sally Jones relinquish her ring. Sally was horrified at this treatment and removed her ring, slamming it on a nearby table. Later than day, Sally was presented with an incident report (otherwise known as a 'shot') written by Correctional Officer Smolls, in which she was accused of assaulting a correctional officer with the wedding-band. Lieutenant Oats upheld the incident report, knowing that Sally did not assault a correctional officer. Still later that day, Sally Jones was removed from the compound and sent 2 hours away to the Roanoke City Jail, as punishment. (Since FPC Alderson did not have a 'special housing unit' on the compound, the Roanoke City Jail served as the SHU). Sally was kept there for 3 weeks, pending a meeting with the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO). When finally Sally went in front of the DHO, the sanctions imposed on her were excessive: 8 months on the Bus-Stop, 8 months No Visits, 8 months No Commissary, 8 months No Phone-calls. Although the front-line Correctional Officers wrote the Incident Reports, the 'Unit Team” (read here 'unit manager' ) determined the sanctions or suggested sanctions to the Disciplinary Hearing Officer. Always the sanctions far exceeded the infraction, or the fabricated infraction. Minor infractions could result in loss of Good Days, which means that the Correctional Officers have the power to keep you in prison longer and there is no recourse. Be away from your bed because the Correctional Officers were late for count and you could not wait any longer to use the toilet...90 days on the Bus-stop; you are found to have borrowed a book from someone, 90 days on the Bus-stop, meet with your 'counselor' after the Correctional Officers in the dining room slammed the door in your face, not allowing you to 'let them know'....90 days on the Bus-stop, 90 days No Phone Calls. 90 days No Commissary.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

punishment usually consisted of a 6 o'clock lock in which you were locked in your room from 6 pm to 6 am i usually refused to lock in at 6 and would end up in Davis Hall for 30 days
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Strip Search

I was convicted for tax evasion. I had no history of drug use. The first day I arrived, I was forced to stand naked and bend over while naked so the officer could check for drugs. It was a humiliating experience.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

they didn't have a strip search at the time of my incarceration
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Count

Alderson is an open camp. There is no barbed wire and in twenty years, there may have been one person who tried to walk out of the camp. Inmates want to do their tie and get home. Yet correctional officers not only count us in the morning, at lunch, late afternoon and 3 times in the evening, but spring surprise census counts with the hope of finding someone in the wrong place.

The worst count is the 9:00 p.m. count. This is a standing count and for people who have worked all day, they are sleeping at the time of this count. They are forced to get up and out of bed; essentially they have to wake up. There is no need to have this count be a stand up count, especially for inmates who are forced to work every day.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

they did have a count about 10 times a day when i was there and if you were out on open campus and the whistle blew you better be in you cottage for count before they locked the doors i missed count 1 time just as they were locking the cottage door resulted in 60 days in Davis Hall
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Correctional Officers

The subtitle for correctional officers could be called “all in the family”. At Alderson , there are so many members of one family it is hard to imagine, these jobs were ever opened up to the public. For all the rest of the correctional staff, inmates know they are sleeping with each other and proud of it.

Smoking for officers only
Prisons do not allow inmates to smoke. But smoking areas are erected for correctional officers. The second hand smoke is hard to miss as it runs throughout the camp. How is it, it is against prison policy for inmates to smoke, but officers go through packs a day.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

Nepotism was so rampant, that is hard to believe that positions were ever made available to anyone not of the Alderson Family and much like Federal prosecutors they behaved with impunity. No-one will insist that their mother, sister, uncle, brother, or cousin act properly. With very few exceptions they were void of integrity, intolerant, ill-educated, insular, and lack sympathetic attitude towards the welfare of others. Additionally, they were also extremely harassing and vindictive. Because of their lack of intelligence and overall ignorance, making the inmates’ life a living hell was sport and a way to amuse themselves. In addition to the Correctional Officers assigned to FPC Alderson, a supposedly unbiased Correctional Officer Chris Metzger from FCI Beckley served as the Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO). Inmates issued numerous 'shots' or issued a severe 'shot' (100 level series) went in front of the DHO, rather than a Unit Team. The Unit Team and often the higher level Correctional Officers (Captain, Lieutenants, Associate Warden, Warden) provided Correctional Officer Chris Metzger with a list of sanctions that he should impose on the inmate not yet before him. Though it was not permitted, Correctional Officer Chris Metzger would meet with the higher level Correctional Officers prior to hearing the cases before him. Correctional Officer Chris Metzger was anything but unbiased. Also, Correctional Officer Matt Hayes often bragged that he and Correctional Officer Chris Metzger were 'good buddies and go biking together', as to say 'any Shot that I write will stick.'.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

The correctional officers then had their favorite inmates or as they were called residents i unfortunately wasn't one of them.But they were reasonably fair to all the residents
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Warden

Warden Myron Batts is a career correctional officer spending the requisite couple of years at one prison then moving on to the next prison. At Alderson, his memos show the systematic and deliberate limitations he installed as the Warden.

There were benches to site on everywhere on the compound; he had them removed because as his surrogate the captain said, it looked too “ghetto” and “like the projects” to have people congregating.

He spent his time in his car looking for inmates he perceived to be breaking the rules. He liked writing incident reports and handing out punishment. One of his favorite targets at Alderson was the roughly 100 women working in “landscaping”. Their work took a few hours and usually only the morning. There was no work to do in the afternoon which is precisely when Warden Myron Batts would come looking for landscapers. If he caught you sitting down, he interrogated you as to why you weren’t working.

Warden Batts, the highest paid government worker on the compound, had no interest in educating inmates, helping them to re-enter society or give them hope for their future Instead, he was eager to take away rights, good time and had a policy of punishment.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

Conditions under Warden Batts got progressively worse during his tenure. More and more restrictions were placed on female non-violent inmates each month. He insisted that the women wear uncomfortable prison uniforms during 'programming hours' and a 'work' and steel-toed boots. He condoned harassment of non-violent females and encouraged punishment. He did not care about education or improving inmates' chances for success upon reentry. He only cared about making FPC Alderson more and more restrictive. By the time I left FPC Alderson, most of the compound was off-limits. No-longer could we take long walks or run on the compound. Warden Batts removed all the park-benches on the compound (a real hardship for all the elderly and disabled women), did not allow non-violent females to congregate stating that it made the compound look like a 'housing-project' . As quoted from the November 2010 FPC Alderson Inmate Handbook: It has always been the mission of FPC Alderson to provide opportunities through work, education, recreation, and other self-improvement programs to help you prepare for a successful return to the community. You are encouraged to use your time at FPC Alderson as an opportunity to prepare for a better tomorrow. Myron L. Batts Warden This is the exact opposite of Warden Batt's intent and actions. Warden Batts would never do his own biding, but rather use Captain Lonny Branch.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

Virginia McGlaughlin was a very nice warden she was always willing to take the time to try and work out a situation Mr. Ranger on the other hand was nasty and he just solved the problems by putting you in lock down for long periods of time
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Assistant Warden

that would be Mr. Ranger he had no tolerence thought he was the gestaupo
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Miscellaneous

FRP (Financial Responsibility Program) Inmates with restitution were required to participate in FRP. The entire program at Alderson was a curious thing. According to the OPI: CPD/CPB NUMBER: P5380.08 DATE: 8/15/2005 SUBJECT: Financial Responsibility Program, Inmate The Unit Manager will ensure unit staff cross reference the Judgment and Commitment Order (J&C) with the Sentence Monitoring Computation Data SENTRY transaction. At Alderson, the Correctional Officers never referred to Judgment and Commitment Orders. In fact, the staff would routinely hide the existence of a J&C and hope that the inmate did not know that the J&C stipulates financial obligation. The Correctional Officers (unit staff) would then obligate the inmate to pay well above what was stipulated in the J&C. . In the event of an amended J&C, or an additional J&C order, unit staff will review for any changes in IFRP status. Specifically, the Court of Jurisdiction,sentencing date, docket number, and financial obligations must be reviewed to ensure accuracy. This step was also ignored by Alderson Correctional officers. At each program review, when reviewing the inmate's financial plan, the Unit Team must: • determine the total funds deposited into the inmate's trust fund account for the previous six months; • subtract the IFRP payments made by the inmate during the previous six months; and • subtract $450 (i.e., $75 x 6 months, ITS exclusion). Although the BOP policy states that FRP Plans are to be addressed at Program Reviews, and that FRP Plans (Contracts) are valid for 6 months, the Correctional Officers at Alderson, particularly Correctional Officer Tina Altizer, never complied with the BOP Policy and routinely, via her underlings, harassed inmates for greater payments than contracted; insisting that new contracts be signed even though the current contract had not expired. One owing FRP was under constant stress, never knowing when the next harassment would come. Basically, the Contracts were enforceable for Correctional Officers, but not enforceable for inmates
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

i had many behavioral problems while i was there but i was young and needed the disapline in my life at that time so i can't really say anything bad about that institution when i was there
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Forced Labor

At Alderson, you are forced to work long days. There is not enough work to do but the Warden insists on keeping everyone out of the ranges. Those working in the dining room have it hard. They must arrive at 9:30 and leave close to 7:00 at night. For these hours they receive $5.25 a month.

There is no work between lunch and dinner. Close to 100 women are forced to sit in the dining hall and do nothing. They are not allowed to leave, to read, to write a letter, to play cards. They must sit between 12:30-3:30 and do absolutely nothing it is pure torture. Others working in other locations are similarly not allowed to do anything but sit upright in a chair. If an inmate is caught sleeping or with their eyes closed during this period, they are given a shot and punished.

You don’t have to go to terrorist prisons to see torture, federal prisons have their unique brand of torture. Due to their ability to keep things secret, no one knows the extent of the torture inmates endure.


Posted by Evie Litwok on 1/15/2012 12:00:00 AM

At Alderson, Warden Batts insisted that we it was a ‘working camp’ and that everyone needed to ‘work’, yet there were not enough ‘jobs’ to go around. Pay was $5.25 per month for most inmates, a whopping $.03 an hour, certainly not enough money to survive in an expensive place like Alderson. The pay was set at $5.25 because in order to be considered indigent by the BOP, an inmate had to earn more than $5.00 per month (this has since changed to $6) and this alleviated Alderson of having to provide indigent packs. Since there weren’t enough jobs, ‘work-sites’ were extremely overcrowded and inmates were ‘warehoused’ from 7:30 A.M. until 3:30P.M with nothing to do, but walk outside (staying it site of the assigned building). Inmates assigned to the Central Dining Room (CDR) had it far worse then others; they were confined to a small area and were were forced to sit idle for hours; 'employees' were not permitted to leave the CDR. Even legitimate reasons for leaving were met with harassment by the Correctional Officers. The warden declared that playing, cards, reading materials, crochet, and such were not appropriate for a ‘workplace’ and so inmates were left to sit and sit and sit with NOTHING to do or bring in contraband items and hope to hide them if the warden came by. The only three occasions when inmates, not assigned to the CDR, were actually asked to work were ahead of announced Regional inspections, during visits from the Regional office or to maintain officers’ homes and vehicles. On those rare occasions that inmates worked, they were often put into dangerous situations by being asked to do things that they were physically unable to do or to do things that were not trained to do (even more dangerous than the ‘real’ world, if you consider that there is no health care provided and inmate emergencies are taken very lightly). Inmates were made to remove and replace shingles from rooftops in excessive heat and severe downpours with no protection and were asked to haul away extremely heavy tarps filled with debris or asked to lift heavy planks. On the occasion that the Regional Office would visit, the name of the game was to ‘be out of the shop and look busy’, often this meant creating non-existent work, such as painting beat-up, weathered, cob-webbed picnic tables, toiling with crowbars and mallets to take apart splintered tables that would later be dumped in the woods, and painting dirty, unprimed windows. Often we were made to clean very dirty houses, make repairs, do yard work, repair cars belonging to the Captain and other Correctional Officers. Never was outside help hired. I was always curious to know why we were asked to do this.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

there was no forced labor everyone either went to school or had a job i had several jobs while there i started off in the Bakery got caught stealing dough to make hooch 30 days in davis hall then i worked cottage maintinence cleaning the cottage then my day was done then i worked in the kitchen of the CDR then the dishroom when i got into a fight in the CDR was sent to cottage 26 for 6 months locked in my cell 23 hours a day i learned to appreciate working when i got out of there,my last job was ADP (automatic data processing) i was trained on an old IBM 026 and 029 machine
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Education

Alderson prides itself on the educational programs available to inmates, and are given cash incentive for inmate participation in educational programs. Those without a HS diploma were required to enroll in a self-taught GED program. For others, obsolete courses sponsored by a local community college were made available. The Library Program taught methods not applicable to the world we live in and the Medical Terminology program was taught by a woman who knew not how to pronounce basic medical terms. Always the instructors were educated in West Virginia, the State with the lowest ranking in education. A high percentage of inmates attended GED classes. For the rest of the population there were countless waiting lists to attend classes, even ones considered Adult Continuing Education (ACE). Alderson, like most of the Federal facilities are more interested in revenue than in rehabilitating or providing solid, transferable job skills. Lots of inmates never worked real jobs and require a trade or current skills, in order to integrate back into society, yet education which will enable inmates to obtain viable employment is not a provided.
Posted by Sabrina Rosenberg on 3/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

never took any classes but i did take my GED to try and impress the parole board at the time didn't work They said i needed to learn a trade
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Weight Gain

i was in dire need of gaining weight i was about 101 pounds then and 1 am 5'7
Posted by KARLYNE MERICO on 5/21/2012 12:00:00 AM

Arrest Charge

My charge was an IRS charge My name is Susan Sperl, I am a victim and this is some of my story. It started with an audit notice for tax year 1988, that turned into audits for 1989,1990 & 1991. After many years I requested the IRS agent to leave my hone, stat the case(s), five me a 90 day letter and I would resolve the issues in tax court, which I received. To my disbelief, shock and horror one morning, between 12 and 15 (ATF) Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms agents were storming inside my home, put myself and my husband in shackles and leg irons, said it was an IRS issue and we had to come with the. I asked if they had a warrant, upon a reply of NO i reached for my phone stating I was calling my lawyer. Picking up the phone, he put his hand on his gun and said, "put the phone down" or I'll shoot you." They would not say where they were taking us. On my way out the from door I told my son to flow us and bring the 90 day latter with him, which he did. My husband and I were taken in separate cars to jail and placed in separate cells; then finger printed and the mug shot process. Two hours later I was in front of a Judge in a court room; he asked me if I knew why I was there, I said no, my son was in the court room with my 90 day letter and I had an issue with the IRS. An IRS agent stood up to say they wanted me in jail, they had filed, ( I found out 10 years later) a civil suit after the 90 day letter, which was against the laws. The Judge said to the IRS agent, undo what you did, I'm not putting her in jail. Since now, the IRS broke the law and just got caught they made a deal through my attorney to let my taxes stay as filed, if I would't file a law suit against them. I agreed, but they lied, they only let the 1990 and 1991 stand as filed: taking the 88 & 89 income of then, a home building business with zero deductions, stating they wanted 5 million dollars before they would review my receipts. The 4 year statute of limitations was over, I didn't have 5 million dollars, didn't owe it and filed bankruptcy in 1996 against them and it was accepted. The IRS vengeance continued. IRS put a memo out across the United States stating if Sperl prepared the taxes, disallow all the schedule A., C.D. & E'd; going after my tax clients with unjust, unfair, audits disallowing all their deductions for their businesses; forcing them into their choice of audit offices, 1 of the 4 of them, San Bernadino,CA., Tulsa, OK., Nashville, TN., and an office near Atlantic City, NJ, not allowing taxpayers to transfer near their homes, some drove 2-4 hours to be audited; then they were told it was because of Sperl and they would be audited every year that they allowed Sperl to prepare them. Then with a warrant in Sept 2003 the IRS seized records and items in the Nashville office. Showing up at tax cases audits to cause clients to lose cases by making me the issue in tax court instead of their records, telling them I was under investigation and they were going to file civil and criminal charges against me, the people never had a chance for any kind of fair audit. IRS was deliberately giving false information to the grand jury, including telling them they didn't know how to reach me and telling them they didn't know how to reach me and when I got there, they jury had already convened, another lie I found out later. On 2007, upon turning myself in at the Tampa, FL court house to be arraigned is when I found out about the civil suit that IRS just left hanging in 1995 with no resolution, so the Florida Judge raised my bail from 20 thousand to 50 thousand, stating she didn't understand why the case had no resolution, another deception of the IRS Had to go back to Nashville, where she appointed me an attorney. i spent the next 3 years on pre-trial restriction, while fighting the IRS on the civil case about the same issues. I filed a motion pro-se to have the civil case on hold until the criminal case was over under my 5th amendment right, which I was granted. The attorney they had appointed stated to me, "I think you are guilty and I do g-d's work by punishing the guilty, among other things, the judge granted me another attorney, but a lot of damages were done as the first attorney had already tried and lost on the first part of the case. Believing the judge by being told so, that she was aware of the information that had been seized and was storied in the same court house., which was another lie. Leaning of my younger sister Barbara helping the IRS, as the agent told me to help them put me in prison After in prison, I found paper work that the IRS had subpoenaed Barbara on March 2, 2005 and had her affidavit prior to my indictment, stating she was the owner of Susantax,Inc, the same name bank account and the facts about her dealing with the coffee and textile investment, I was found guilty on both of these issues and all along the IRS and prosecution knew the truth and withheld the evidence. The third issue the new attorney had handed the prosecutor the evidence his witness wa about to testify to a lie and wa about to perjure herself, the prosecutor told my attorney is she entered it, he would do something else to me ... didn't understand, but the obituary was not entered and I was found guilty on all counts, the IRS agent Paul Conners, who started this whole things and 2 others I believe young prosecutors let out a "yeah holler", i think the look in the judges eyes, the shock of such unprofessional behavior, even surprised her. I self surrendered to Alderson on Aug 20,2010. I lost my appeals after 18 months in prison, realizing why 97% of Appeals were lost when a 15 minute argument was done on issues that had already been lost when the truth never came out to start with The IRS then filed a motion to reopen the failure to state a claim, as they were not trying to change the name of Barbara's Susantax Inc. to Sperl's Susantax Inc. to make a case against me and my son on issues not time related or cooured in their original suit, another deceit and violation of the laws. I've also filed a motion 2255 pro-se, submitting the exculpatory evidence that existed by their own subpoena and affidavits on 3-2-2005 and the obituary showing the perjury was committed with the prosecutors knowledge. IRS prosecutors have threatened, lied to abused and twisted the laws of the land tax laws and regulation, constitutional laws, not giving fair audits, even to tax court cases, trying to shut down my Susantax Bookkeeping System for Network Marketing that was a record keeping system to help businesses to properly compute their records to know at any given time what their tax liability would be. A system that had been approved by all 50 U.S. Attorney's general. Following the laws and a U.S. supreme Court ruling that to legally avoid paying taxes by whatever the law allows and not to evade was allowed. It was a system that would let me make a choice to build your business with your profits or pay taxes on the profits. The new Judge appointed for the 2255 motion has given prosecutors a deadline of April 15, to respond. I know beside myself, there has been many lives destroyed because of their unlawful acts of some IRS agent and prosecutors breaking the laws for their own personal rewards and gains. WIth no respect for the court system, the American way of life or the people they deliberately hurt by withholding exculpatory evidence, getting people to perjure themselves and make deals for convictions. I'm 70 years old, first time offender, non -violent. I state the the prosecutor in the very beginning, "I will be your Esther". ( old testament) Hamam is the corrupted system.
Posted by Susan Sperl on 8/20/2012 12:00:00 AM

Transport to Prison

Marshalls

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