Visitors Talk about Visiting
I would like DOCS to enforce the DOCS Employee Handbook, in this way:
I would like that the CO's and Employees stop using foul language that visitors can hear.... we do bring children to the visit. I wish I had a dime for every F*** word I have heard coming out of their months.
I think that they also need to stop calling the inmates that have mental illnesses and are heavily medicated "tards and turbs" (retards and disturbs).
On the other hand, in the visiting room I do not want my daughter to hear the F word either. So I want DOCS to give the guys a little lecture about how their visit could be ended because of a potty mouth from them or their visitor.
You say this could not happen? Well in the 80's this is what it was. In most prisons a Co could be reported for a potty mouth. And an inmate would be given a little talk by the visiting room co about his potty mouth.
What I am trying to say let's have a little civility ...and it could be done very easily if the powers in control of each prison said...no more!! Also each visitor could be given a sheet of paper to read (in Spanish/English/ and what ever) saying that potty mouths are no longer allowed in the visiting room. There is a directive for how a visitor is to conduct themselves so they do not have to change anything.... just enforce it.
I think that if there is a write-up on a CO and their actions that Albany should investigate it and see what the issues are and if there are too many complaints then that CO should be given a write up and they will change their attitude and remember that we as citizens do help to pay their wages.
I feel that all facilities should have hospitality centers and all should have play areas for the children.
I feel that if the facility will not furnish the cards and games for the inmates and families thru the ILC then the families should be able to bring in cards and games and make the CO's check them out.
I think that we should be able to bring in pictures to all facilities for the inmate to see with the screening from the CO's. (no nudes and etc.) to a reasonable amount like 25 pictures per visit.
I think that we should be able to leave money on a visit again and I think that we should get a receipt like we used to get when we left money. It doesn't matter because if you leave money and the co is going to take it or accounting dept. they are going to take it whether you leave it in an envelope or whether you give it to the co at the visit. But money was accounted for a lot quicker when we gave it on a visit.
I think the mail system at these facilities should be going a lot faster. When at some facilities you can be 30 minutes away and it takes 10 days for letters and yet you can be 7 hours away and it gets to the inmate in 2 or 3 days.
I think that the waiting list at some facilities to get married is stupid. They don't know the circumstances and who are they to judge if it has been long enough that these inmates have known these people to marry them.
Being so new, I guess that all I would need at this point is to be able to read the directives and try to be able to rely on them as fact.
Having the rules different from facility to facility is very confusing to families AND to inmates new to the system. Or if there is a reason for rules to be different from place to place, then I think it would be very useful for each facility to have a web site that family and friends can access that has all the rules for that facility listed very clearly; specifics on what is allowed to be sent and what is not, what is available in commissary for our loved ones, visiting information, key contact phone numbers for specific issues, etc any information pertinent to that facility.
I know that I have had to make several calls to the facility my brother is at to ask kind of silly questions sometimes and sometimes the people answering the phones sound like they have heard my question just one too many times! I think it would be helpful for the prison staff to have some of this information available for families to access through the internet. I know I would be grateful!
Many of the directives are old and out of date and need to be revised, we all have problems with this issue, the directive, old, new or revised, states one thing, the facility another. All Directives contain a clause that changes may be made at the discretion of the facility Supervisor if it is a problem at that facility. This is what each supervisor evokes so the CO's can have their own way.
Aside from possibly being rude, (CO's) there is no reason you or anyone else should not call a facility and ask questions. Too bad if they have heard the same question over and over again until they are ready to scream, that's part of the job. Yes I agree they should be informed and have the information at hand to impart to family members. Too often we call a facility, are told one thing, and when we arrive at the facility we are told that is all wrong. So even then we are not sure if we have the correct information.
Any facility changes to any directive should be conspicuously posted for all to see.
It's not a bad idea for Directive 4911 to be posted at every Package Room so visitors can see and refer to it when an item is in question. They used to do this at the Green Haven Package counter--the directive was spread out, page by page beneath the plexiglass counter top. I personally referred to it in dispute more than once.
I would like the 16 oz. limit of cosmetics to be raised to 16.9 oz. It is so expensive to buy the smaller bottles of mouthwash, etc. compared to the bigger bottles and most of them come in 16.9 oz. and sometimes the smaller sizes are not easy to find that are alcohol-free. I can't imagine that this would be a really big deal to DOCS but to me, I find this irritating, inconvenient, and a total waste of money because the larger bottles are much more economical..
For me, I would love to see the rules standardized. It is wrong to have to learn new rules for each facility. Obviously, the rules might vary depending on the TYPE of facility (max, medium, etc.) and based upon the prisoner's disciplinary record - but the rules should be uniform.
I would like to see DOCS expand FRP to the mediums, and give a priority for FRP for prisoners with "to life" on the back. I have communicated with a number of family members whose imprisoned loved ones are in this situation, and it is heartbreaking that many of these prisoners are moved to mediums because of excellent disciplinary records, but then don't make parole - and are also denied the best form of visitation by their families.
I would also love for DOCS to add a "family component" to "treatment" programs. In the addiction treatment world, family participation in treatment is considered a valuable component, and families are invited to visit treatment on a regular basis. Families meet in groups with each other, in groups with each other and the persons in treatment, and in groups that are just immediate family, person in treatment, and counselor. This is the accepted modality in the community, and DOCS should figure out a way to implement it.
It would also be ideal for DOCS to provide couples and/or family counseling, especially close to the prisoner's re-entry into the community.
List which items can be brought in on a vist, such as wallet, keys, comb, pens, playing cards, etc. Many facilities differ in this respect.
I called Clinton main before we left to go there and told them I was concerned--my son was supposed to call me and he didn’t. I wish they would have just told me that the prison was on lockdown, instead all kinds of horrible thoughts ran through my mind. They don’t have to tell specifics but they could have said something.