Judd the Trickle Down Theory of Prisoner Rehabilitation Life at Wsp 1995
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f J The Trickle Down Theory of Prisoner Life at the washington state Penitentiary 1965-1980 Sandy Judd HST 492 March 13, 1995 ~udd / 2 INTRODUCTION Dr. Karl Menninger came to Washington on Febru~FY 6, 1970 to praise the state's efforts to reform its priton system. In his address to correctional officials, ~ assailed the more traditional American approach tow d incarceration: " . . . I think it .is a crime. change anybody. It doesn't make anybody do differen ly. doesn't correct anything. It A man doesn't sit in his abominable cell in the filth, the drabness and the loneliness, thinking about his wife and children cry~ng at I home, and then say, 'well, I will never forge another check .... ' That doesn't cure anybody . . . . But st~ll we ! perpetuate a system in which we subject people to on i two, ' t four, nine, seventeen, twenty-five, thirty-five year of this on the idea that the more of this horrible sort of t eatment I, we give them the nicer they'll be when they get out.r' 1 By contrast, he later said that "Philosophy of correctfons," written by Dr. William Conte of Washington's Departmtnt of Institutions was the finest statement he had ever Was Washington really that different? ? re~d.- Judging trom the progressive wording of a 1965 law, one would think if was: "The director of institutions shall provide for the] 1 establishment of programs and procedures for convictrd persons at the state penitentiary, which are designe~ to be corrective, rehabilitative and reformative of the un esirable behavior problems of such persons, as distinguished rom '1 Judd I programs and procedures essentially penal in nature.,,3 3 Just what programs legislators had in mind was, for the most part, ill-defined, although other laws from approximately the same I time period leave some clues as to what they might h,ave I meant. For instance, a 1959 law called for the cre~ion of a "state narcotic farm colony," be sent for treatment. 4 to which drug addict$ would Also in 1959, the Instituti~nal i Industries commission was created in order to '\assi~t the I department of institutions in . . . promoting rehabil~tation by affording such [idle] inmates an opportunity to I participate in industrial and agricultural activiti~~.... ,,5 Furthermore, in the 1965 law, special provisions ! wer~ made for the care and treatment of the criminally insane.~ i The professional literature of the period indic.rted that I correctional officials, psychologists and sociologis~s had i similar ideas of what constituted a rehabilitative prOgram. Much was made of the need for psychotherapy, and successes of experimental therapy programs gained attention. Other major topics of research and th~ wi~e I discu~sion were drug and alcohol treatment; encouraging prisonef ties to the community; the treatment of the mentally ill; an education and vocational training. In the professio· al I literature, however, the ideas were much more detail~d than in the Washington legislation. Even seemingly minor:i points got attention, such as the effects of architecture a d nutrition on the chances of successful rehabilitatio Judd / 4 The need for these types of programs was not a sUbject of much controversy among professionals. They did qraw a battle line, though, along the question of whether punishment complimented or detracted from rehabilitative effor~~. We have seen the view that punishment is inconsistent ~th rehabilitation in the statement by Dr. Menninger. ~~milar sentiments were also expre-ssed by Dr. Richard Ball: 1 "It is frustration-instigated behavior which brings many inbo I trouble with the law in the first place. FrustratiQ~ is thus augme~s part of the problem, and an institution which i frustration actually aggravates the problem it was ~esigned to solve." 7 Engel, M.D.: The opposing view was best summarized ~y S.W. "By accepting his punishment the prispner reaffirms his identification with society, and this jenables him to dissociate himself from his misdeed."s A study of the washington State penitentiary (~SP), I to i which the 1965 rehabilitation law eluded, will shed lsome i light on this debate. The literature of the period jindicates that the ideal rehabilitative institutions would indlude programs of mental health treatment, drug treatment ", education, job training and extensive PSYChotherapyJ such an institution would also maintain an atmosphere condudive to character reform, where the prisoner's contacts community would be encouraged and expanded. The reqlity at the state's largest prison, however, was very far ideal. Furthermore, the punitive role of the J the Wl' t ~4 f~om this priso~ often led to those aspects of prison life that stood in tde way of i j ~/ • rehabilitation. In short, the inherent nature of pr~sons 5 in general, and the conditions at this prison in particular, made implementing major rehabilitative programs impo~sible in the short term and unlikely even in the long term. * * * , LIVING IN A WALK-IN CLOSET WITH THREE OTHER G~S i Overcrowding has been a common phenomenon in A~erican prisons throughout the latter half of the twentieth I ~entury. Washington State prisons in the 1970's were no exception, and i I WSP was the worst offender. From the perspective of: prison I management, this was a serious problem and a key fad~or in I many incidents of violence. From the point of view pf a i rehabilitation advocate, however, it was a problem t~at would ! have to be overcome if any new program was to have d ", realistic chance of success. It had ramifications fpr counseling and mental health treatment, drug treatm~t, and I education and vocational training, as the I availabili~y of such programs would be limited by the proportionally! small ~ number of facilities and staff. Overcrowding also ~ffected visiting, as the number of visitors were limited to Ithe capacity of the visiting room, which probably disco~raged some visitors from making the trek to Walla Walla tq see i their friend or family member, knowing that they ma turned away at the gate. be ~M/ 6 Although these things would have been affected py even a small amount of overcrowding, the situation at WSP beyond this. According to Judge Jack Tanner, who w~nt far writing wa~ ~owest in a 1980 court opinion about conditions there, the i population at Walla Walla in recent history was 1000,j to 1100, which exceeded the state's own rated capacity by abo~t two j hundred. Tanner then applied the American correctio~al I I Association (ACA) standards, and determined a capacity of j ! 492. This meant that the state would have to remov~i thirds of the prisoners at WSP in order for the ACA consider the facility humane. two ~o 9 i The use of numbers to describe overcrowding mig,pt make ! it hard to relate to the problem, but the consequencbs to prisoners were quite grave because it aggravated exi~ting , resource problems. In addition to the difficulties ~ith rehabilitative programs mentioned earlier, more basib ,I services suffered. A medical care system that could not serve prisoners in a timely fashion under ordinary qpnditions 1 became even less effective in a situation of overCrq~ding. Similarly, building facilities no longer sufficed; ~or , ! example, the cafeteria became too small, forcing so~e prisoners to eat standing up, which led to fights. Opportunities for exercise, which relieved tension, ialso became more rare as the prison became more crowded. I J ! Furthermore, the tension level increased as opportuqities for privacy decreased, and this contributed to the Vi011nce. Judd / 7 Crammed together into spaces considered too small fOf zoo animals lo , prisoners tended to get on each others nerves. i Prisoner against prisoner violence, however, war not the i only consequence of the heightened tension level. aftermath of a 1979 riot at WSP, the washington Ip the Stat~ Senate Subcommittee on Adult Corrections determined that "The ~he single most serious problem in adult corrections is degree to which the inmate population exceeds the ! r~~ed 1 capacity of state facilities."ll Overcrowding was ~etermined i • to be a major cause of the riot, wh1ch cost the I ta~ryers I $2.2 million. ~onroe In 1980, similar riots at prisons in and Shelton, which were also overcrowded, cost the million dollars each. l2 s~ate a I Adding weight to the Senate Subcommittee's condlusions were the recommendations made earlier by investigat~rs from I the American Correctional Association (ACA) to the Washington Adult Corrections Division. 1 The investigators immediate relief of overcrowded conditions by for the call~d movin~ anyone ; I within 120 days of release to a work release or program. si~lar They also suggested that all prisoners be released , as soon as they reached their parole dates, which t~e parole board had become more and more reluctant to do as p~blic pressure to keep people locked up increased. 13 That the ACA made these recommendations and th~t it had a set of standards designed to discourage overcrowding indicates that it was a widely occurring problem. that they I sent investigators to Walla Walla indicates that thts and j ! Judd / other problems were particularly acute at WSP. 8 Ther$fore, the prospect of implementing new programs that would be adversely affected by overcrowding was especially bl~ak at the washington State Penitentiary. * * * SCANNING THE WANT ADS FOR LICENSE PLATE JOBS Among the services that suffered due to overcrowding were education and vocational training, which were tme most intuitively sensible of all the rehabilitative progr~ms. Common sense tells us that many people turn to propetty crimes in order to survive because they are unemploY$d, poorly educated, and have no occupational skills. conclusion was supported by 1963 statistics from Tl!lis :i was~ington, where only 14.3 percent of prisoners had graduated high school, and more than half of the male prisoners had no occupational skills. 14 Apparently, the problem existed nationally, as ~rison officials in many states experimented with education and training programs in the hope that they would better prepare prisoners for the hardships awaiting them in the out$ide world. A study of one such program at the Indiana Reformatory, for example, concluded that while 36.6 percent jl of all its parolees were returned for parole violatins, only 15.8 percent of those who received institutional eduation Judd / were returned. 9 A 1965 analysis of Washington's academic programs showed similar, though less dramatic, results: Parolees as a whole had a 39.6% failure rate, compared to 36.5% for program participants. The study's author ~oncluded that these numbers were insignificant in light of ot~er factors, such as the success rate among non-particiPfnts of the same age group, but parolees, parole officers, a~d I : employers generally considered the program to be of ralue. 15 I A 1980 report from the washington State Departm~nt of I Social and Health Services (DSHS) contained similar! sentiments: "Education and vocational training pro~rams comprise a major part of rehabilitative efforts in a~ult corrections facilities in Washington. i Resource expe*ditures i in these areas reflect, in part, a judgment that conticted i felons lack both educational and job skills that cou~d enable I them to survive in a competitive emploYment 116 market.'~ ; According to the report, only 23% of those prisonersjwithout I a high school diploma or GED were enrolled in an edufational program. 17 It also stated that 28% of all washingto~ State prisoners wanted to participate in such programs but; could not be fit in. 18 Furthermore, the unmet demand for I i vocational training was 40%, with a 67% unmet demand! for the ! more popular training programs in mechanics, construction. 19 busines~ and When it came to actual work experie~ce, 55% of the state's prisoners were employed, but only 5% were employed in Institutional Industries, which had the ?O demand. - rreatest Judd / Perhaps the reason for the popularity of 10 Instit~tional ga~ned Industries was the perception that the experience there would be more valuable than that gained elsewhere. it was, released prisoners would have a hard enough ~ime finding a job with only prison work experience, but ~f As that experience were in milking cows or making license pl~tes, , their chances of success would be even slimmer. Thu~, the inherent nature of the prison as a place of punishment, which served to stigmatize prospective employees, combinedJwith the 1 inadequacies of emploYment within the prisons to mak~ it very difficult for prisoners to find work upon release. * * * DRUGS ARE BAD POR YOO Just as overcrowding at WSP negatively affected; the availability of education and vocational programs, ·.1 i!~ I also posed a problem for the implementation of substance ~buse treatment. Even prisoners who asked for drug treat~nt could i not get any, despite the known effectiveness of treatment programs in reducing recidivism among the addicted.! For I example, the Seattle Police Department began an exp~~imental project in 1948 to send alcoholics to treatment cent~rs ", instead of jail. concluded: \\ A study on the desirability of th~ i program f. [I]t is apparent that a rehabili ation facility can cut down the arrest rate of chronicall1 arrested i ! Judd / alcoholics, at least for the six months following 11 re~ease. Aside from the benefits to individual alcoholics from such a I project, the financial savings to the city are treme~dous.,,21 I A 1974 Census Bureau study concluded that 53% of ho~cides , and 67% of assaults were committed under the influen~e of , alcohol,22 so the savings to the community probably ~ent beyond the financial domain. Although most of the studies done on treatment programs up to this time concerned alcohol treatment, correct~ons I professionals were also experimenting with narcotic~ One such program, the Cornerstone Progra~ in Oregon, was later found (in 1985 and 1989) to greatl~ reduce treatment. i recJ.'d"J.vJ.sm. 23 Part of the reason for this was that ~he treatment facility was completely separate from the ~rison, 24 and participants helped to run the program. It is; interesting to note that this aspect of treatment wJII come up again later when discussing self-esteem therapy and the Resident Governmental Council at WSP. I In any case, the availability of drug and alcoijol treatment at WSP was quite limited. According to tbe DSHS I report mentioned earlier, the only drug treatment i~ any of the state's prisons was not treatment at all, but d~ug education, and even this was unavailable at WSP. On the other hand, 46% of WSP prisoners wanted to particip~te in a treatment program. 25 Three of them even tried to ge~ treatment by filing suit: "We assert that our add~ction is an illness, and that failure to provide us with nee,ed I i J i I i I , Judd / 12 medical treatment or care amounts to a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United State$ i Constitution." They added to their grievance that 9he I justification for incarcerating them was based on th$ policy , 26 o f re h a b ~' l '~tat~on. i Like in the case of the Seattle police project, !the state would have done well to give addicted prisoner, the I treatment they demanded. According to two separate $tudies, alcohol was involved in the crimes for which 43% of Washington's prisoners had been incarcerated in 1979, up from 40% in 1977. The figures for drug involvement were 1979 and 47% in 1977. 27 in ~2% Although there was probably Isome overlap between the two sets of numbers, the incide~e of drug and alcohol involvement in leading to eventual imprisonment was astonishingly high. The reason behind WSP's poor response to the indicated by these figures is unclear. ne~d Undoubtedly, overcrowding would have made treatment programs implement, but the striking difference between the Cornerstone and Seattle police projects and the to dife~cult ,I ! prog~ams (or lack thereof) in Washington's prisons indicates that.: the i problem went beyond just overcrowding. for instance, was meant to be entirely ~roject, The Seattle rehabilitati~e at all punitive, whereas the primary purpose of the and not ~rison was to punish and only secondarily to rehabilitate. The I Cornerstone Program avoided this contradiction by s~nding prisoners to the program at the end of their sentendes, so I J1udd / that the punishment phase was over, providing a between punishment and rehabilitation. clea~ 13 break In prisons, $ubstance , abuse was treated like a crime because prisons were ~riminal I institutions, and thus the natural tendency was to Pfohibit consumption rather than to eliminate the user's addittion. , Like in the case of education and vocational trainin$, substance abuse treatment was limited both by the po~r conditions at WSP and by the very nature of the pris~n setting. * * * SHARING THOUGHTS OF INTIMACY WITH THE PRISON C"SOR The above pattern also held true in the realm d~ ! community ties. Although the establishment and mai~tenance of strong bonds with members of the community was knPwn to have a rehabilitative effect on prisoners, those ti~s were constantly being threatened by the nature and condit.lions of the prison. The DSHS report on program needs recognized th~t I continuing contact with family members increased the ?8 prisoner's chances of post-release success.- Furth$rmore, in a 1967 study of parolees in Chicago, Italian pardlees, who generally maintained close family ties throughout imprisonment, were found to be more successful than Polish • • ?9 parolees, who d1d not have th1s advantage.- dd / 14 In addition to the more formal studies, B.J. Rh y, the warden at WSP for twenty years beginning in the late 1950's, went to Europe to study what corrections professiona s considered to be advanced prison systems. In his re ort on the trip, Rhay noted that England had a volunteer would program where community members visited prisoners not otherwise have gotten visits and later assisted re-entry into society.3o He also noted that the gen al use of home visits served "as a salutary bond between t e community and the offender.,,31 The significance of such observations was not 1 st on Dr. Conte, whose "Philosophy of Corrections" earlier. was m ntioned Two of the four major reforms that he impl in 1970 as director of the Washington Department of Institutions dealt with the prisoner's ties with the community. First, prisoners were allowed to make co lect phone calls to people on the outside. As Conte wrot , "The purpose of this endeavor is to assist the resident maintaining contact with the family and friends. .. other related reform was the discontinuation of the ' censors h lp 0 fprlsoner ' mal'I . 33 olicy of In his 1990 book on reform, Dr. Conte described an event that showed th such a change: The need for "A young man once showed me a letter he had received from his girlfriend. It had been censored. The woman had obviously been writing her tender tho hts because the general nature of the paragraph censore revealed her feelings of intimacy. ed me The incensed young man a 15 how it was that his lover's innermost thoughts inter ered with the security of the prison or how they could po sibly be interpreted as being destructive to his adjustment i correctional setting. I was at a loss to answer." the 34 Despite Dr. Conte's efforts, mail censorship wa a consistent problem at WSP throughout the 1970's, esp cially in the segregation unit. 35 A constant source of irr'tation for prisoners, putting an end to mail censorship was usually on the list of demands made during the numerous prot sts they staged, It was item number four on the prisoner of Rights, written by Resident Governmental Council representatives in 1972 as a guide for how to impro WSp. 36 The problem culminated after the 1979 uprisi administrators stopped mail delivery completely for months. life at everal 37 The situation was not much better for personal In her book on language and culture at WSP, Inez Ca isiting. ozo- Freeman quoted prisoner Eugene Delorme: "The genera attitude of the prison personnel is that there isn' a decent sonovabitch inside the walls as far as they are con it just follows that a woman that would marry a per us would have to be a low-life, and probably a crim'nal herself. , , 3~ This attitude led to a great de frustration for the prisoners and discouraged visit from their friends and family, The problem continued on through the 1970's an , like the mail censorship, culminated in 1979, when priso udd / led to the complete elimination of visiting. Invest'gators from the American Correctional Association criticiz move: 16 this "Inmates have been denied visiting for an ent re month or more. We believe this to be totally inconsisten sound, humane, rational correctional treatment. ,,39 other hand, it was perfectly consistent with WSP's n the . story of discouraging prisoner ties to the community. This can partly be explained by the prison's i nature. lated Since the purpose of prison was to separat the prisoner from society, it would follow that contact ith people on the outside would be limited. te in his Philosophy of Corrections, and isolating. . . . As Conte w "Prisons are both This isolation, which is part parcel of the prison system, constitutes a major ob to be overcome at this point in time when every effort is being made to help the individual relate to and adjust in the community from which he came, to which he will ulti tely return, and in which he will, hopefully, demonstrat an improved relationship to others.,,4o Beyond the isolation factor, another aspect of prison that is just as deeply ingrained had a negative eff prisoners' ability to maintain their community ties Since prisons were primarily places of punishment, the te the public as well as the guards was to expect pris to suffer. that It followed that they should be denied any might make them happy, and for most people, having eaningful relationships with friends and family members did j st that. udd / 17 This turned out to be a very difficult psychological factor to overcome in this segment of the struggle to rehab'litate. * * * VERMIN INFESTATION AND OTHER UNPLEASANTNES Along with their discussions of the need for p 'soner contacts with the community, correctional professio Is wrote about more subtle changes that should be made, like he creation of a community-like atmosphere within the institution. As Sim Van Der Ryn of the University California put it, "Treatment is beginning to focus on modifying the immediate environment in order to mod'fy human behavior. Under this concept, architectural design ecomes a problem of creating a truly adaptable, non-threaten' g setting in which a natural and gradual transition m be made from external control to a more social and internal'zed control.,,41 Along a similar line, Dr. E. John Leas that environmental factors such as diet seem to pIa 42 in human behavior. Thus it would be of some use t noted a role examine these types of conditions for WSP prisoners. Basically, this aspect of prison life also pro contrary to the philosophy of rehabilitation. For i stance, Superintendent James Spalding reportedly told Judge that he thought WSP should be shut down due to the deterioration of the facility. Although Spalding 1 dd / 18 retracted this statement,43 Judge Tanner concurred wi h his original assessment, calling the physical plant "01 , dilapidated, and ill-maintained." Specifically, he that poor lighting caused eye strain and hindered itation efforts; poor plumbing produced a threat of water contamination; lack of fire prevention created a in living areas; food was prepared under unsanitary including the presence of rodents; vermin infested prison; and the air "was generally dank.,,44 To sum up, conditions at WSP were far from idea If the food preparation could not even be considered sa itary, it is difficult to imagine how prison officials coul have provided diets specifically engineered to positivel affect behavior, as Lease suggested. s could Similarly, if offici not or did not bother to expel the vermin from the institution, they could hardly be expected to take an architectural project dedicated to creating an atmo here conducive to rehabilitation. * * * BIG RED That the poor physical plant conditions at WSP resulted from unwillingness as well as inability to make imp ovements was suggested by the existence of Big Red, a segreg tion unit used for solitary confinement. If creating a commu ity dd / 19 atmosphere was rehabilitative, then sUbjecting a pri oner to sensory deprivation and solitary confinement must ha e been its opposite. Dr. Conte tried to control this by el minating strip cells as one of his four major reforms, 45 but e use of Big Red continued. Transfer to segregation was what happened to pr soners who became active in strikes and other protests agai st the conditions at WSP. Naturally, the conditions in seg egation were worse than in the units for the general populat·on. For instance, in 1976 prisoners from protective custody, who were generally "rats" and enemies of the activists, got control of food preparation for the ISU. This resulted ending up in pudding, Purex in coffee and urine shakers. ap chips It This, in turn, led to a conflict between prisoners and staff: "The urine in the salt shaker touched off a bitter struggle. It started off as a unger strike and escalated to the point where prisoners e throwing shit and piss on their captors. ers are still suffering from the lingering effects of beati s inflicted during the course of this struggle.,,46 Abuse from guards was also worse in the ISU other parts of the prison. The Walla Walla Brother , a group of activists in segregation, summed up the situatio 1976 article: in in a "Prisoners are at the mercy of guar Because the segregation units are isolated from the rest of the prison and the outside world, qualified, decent guards can't stop racist, often sadistic guards from haras ing or dd / 20 beating prisoners, or, in some cases, tear-gassing tern. Guards rarely, if at all, have to answer to higher . for the1r treatment ' " 0f pr1soners. ficials 0 47 Besides being counterproductive to the rehabili ation of prisoners in its grasp, the segregation unit served punish 0 those who could playa role in the rehabilitation of others. In a 1977 article, the Walla Walla Brothers propose to counteract the negative effects of prison: to the system is such a failure that it actually contribut problem it purports to solve. We are rights consci s prisoners who not only want to expose this dangerou fraud, but who want to work towards alternatives as well . . There is a lot we can do to reduce crime against wo en, small business people, the aged and working people. ,,48 One way that they went about this was to creat Against Sexism (MAS). Men The short term goal of to reduce prison rape, but in the long term this gr have achieved the Walla Walla Brothers' objective with victims of street crime to reduce violence on outside. uniting 0 he One example of the work of MAS was descri article about overcrowding that was written by one members: in an fits "We have frequent occasion to deal with problems [of overcrowding] in Men Against Sexism. ·risoners stumble into the office with a broken nose or a bla k eye asking us to help find them a cell where they can g t along." 4Q - 21 The above quotation is meaningful for two reaso s. First, it shows that prisoner groups were trying to eal with problems that the administration should have already resolved. It is also significant in that the mentio of an office implies that the group was officially sanctio ed. Despite this, both prisoner members and outside asso iates were harassed by prison officials because Ed Mead, founding member, had belonged to a radical prisoner rights g t h e outS1. d e k nown as the George Jac k son B' r1ga d e. 50 Furthermore, Mead and another important MAS member, anny Atteberry, were kept in segregation for much of the stays at WSP, and they were both transferred to the feder penitentiary in Marion, Illinois in the early 1980' again the philosophy of punishment had collided wit Once the objectives of rehabilitation and left only broken s behind. * * * TAKE TWO ASPXRIN AND BLEED TO DEATH BY MORNI G Discussed thus far have been the results of ef,orts to provide substance abuse treatment and to improve pr soner occupational skills and community ties. The implic tions of the physical plant conditions, nutrition and segreg tion have also been examined, leaving only one element yet to be discussed: psychotherapy. Before it would be appro riate to 22 discuss the logistics of providing psychotherapy fo prisoners, however, it is prudent to first look at e availability of more basic services, such as medica and mental health care, beginning with a look at medica care. In general, WSP prisoners in need of medical a had a great deal to be concerned about. One exampl prison hospital's less fortunate patients was Rober who was stabbed by another prisoner on May 23, 1978. ention of the Redwine, Doctors determined that his wound was not serious, stitched it up and sent him away. When he complained that he was in p needed further attention, the head nurse had him 10 Other prisoners heard him screaming and tried to ge attention for him, but the nurse refused. internal bleeding within a few hours. He died 51 This was not an isolated incident. Like with he mail censorship, decent medical care was always on the 1 demands of activist prisoners when they organized s and other protests. it In the case of a 1974 hospital tak became the central issue. The incident began when he Resident Governmental Council (RGC) requested that he warden, B.J. Rhay, consider a list of demands that ere mostly related to medical care. RGC members warned that prisoners were very upset about the situation and t at they would become violent if he did not start negotiatin He refused, the prisoners rioted, and then he told the press . 1 ence came as a compl ' 52 t h at t h e Vl0 ete surprlse. 23 During the uprising, Danny Atteberry and anothe prisoner gained control of the hospital and took hostages. ral When an RGC member informed them that negotiations were going nowhere, they stabbed four h stages, injuring them superficially.53 Guards beat the prisoners, and the demands were never met. 5 In an article published in the Northwest Passa , an anonYmous author said that unnamed prisoners critici ed the takeover, and particularly the stabbing. They felt prisoners would have made gains had their actions extreme. hat been so They also complained about the injuries to the nurses, because they felt that civilian employees we e their only friends at WSp. 55 Obviously, men like Robert R would not have shared in this sentiment, and for thi wine reason the stabbing should not be viewed solely as a negoti tactic, but also as a sYmbol of protest against the hospital staff treated prisoners. In addition to the evidence presented by priso lack of decent medical care was documented by In Hoptowit v. Ray, a 1980 class action lawsuit objecti conditions at WSP, Judge Jack Tanner made nine issue: on this The staffing and the administration of the care system were inadequate; medication was by people who were not trained or licensed; the medical system was deficient; there was no preventive healt facilities were ill-equipped; and there was no basic mental health care. / His other two points dealt with the inadequate medical care: 24 ccess to "Sick call is not conducted on a dai and preliminary procedures at sick call often cause delay of necessary medical care.. Much discretio enial or to decide which prisoners will get access to medical ca e is vested in the guards. Often, guards fail to forwar complaints and use their discretion as leverage ove • J.nmates . . medical the , , 56 Thus it appears that prisoners had legitimate c ncerns about the quality and availability of medical care. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Tanne decision in 1982: "Based upon the findings of fact district court did not err in concluding that the m ical services provided at the penitentiary are so defici t that they reflect a deliberate indifference to the serio medical needs of the prisoners and therefore constitute a v' lation of the Eighth Amendment." 57 * * * DIAPERS I CHAINS I AND A MENTALLY ILL PSYCHOLOG ST Regarding basic mental health care, Judge Tann r declared that it was non-existent at WSp,58 while th DSHS report of the same year (1980) asserted that the on psychiatric care available in the Washington prison system 59 was at the Mental Health Unit at Walla Walla. Whi e the udd / 25 report declared this care to be woefully inadequate, this still represents a contradiction to Tanner's findin Perhaps the reason for this was the timing, as the ad psychologist, Dr. william Hunter, had only recently eft his leadership position in this unit that was largely h' creation. Another possible reason for the contradiction this creation, even under loose criteria, could called beneficial to the mentally ill. s that y be under Created in Hunter'S direction,60 the Mental Health Unit at wsp supposed to provide psychological therapy for the p isoners, but in reality it functioned as a laboratory for th sadistic doctor and as a control mechanism for the administr , , use agalnst prlsoners wh 0 acte d up. 61 "treatments" The experimen sand the prisoners were subjected to could not have been legally administered to free people, and had t is man practiced these methods in the free world, he might well have been brought up on criminal charges. Dr. Hunter's theory was that people who commit ed crimes had not gone through childhood correctly.62 therapeutic techniques were the practice of making risoners wear baby diapers and carry baby bottles, chaining their beds for days, thereby forcing them to urinat and defecate on themselves, locking them in strip cells and allowing "good" prisoners to "discipline" the ot ers. 63 The latter element was perhaps the worst part treatment. f the The patients who were willing to betray their udd / 26 fellow prisoners and to follow Dr. Hunter, like dogs trying of the to graduate from obedience school, were put in char facility. Hunter allowed them to do whatever they nted to . 64 t h e ot h er pat1ents. The Walla Walla Brothers described what this m nt to patient Donald Snook: "As soon as he got [to Health Unit], he was assaulted by the resident atte (the 'good' prisoners) while the guards watched. ants H was handcuffed to a radiator during group sessions at 'ch he was ridiculed by other prisoners; he was hosed water, tied between two mattresses with rope, chain bed for 16 days, isolated in a strip cell, injected massive doses of tranquilizers and maced. ,,65 ith They mention whether these actions were provoked in any in any event, it is hard to imagine what Snook coul done to deserve this treatment. Hunter's "good" have One gets the impre patients were psychopathic and did not need a reason to hurt someone. Incidentally, in that sa e article, the Walla Walla Brothers noted that severa of Hunter's patients had committed suicide, some under suspicious circumstances, while being held in the M Health Unit. Dr. Hunter himself was a megalomaniac who beli had found the answer to the crime problem. he In givi lecture to a group of prisoners in a psychology cIa claimed that no one who had been through his progra reoffended. He also said he believed that all pris had ever 27 should have to go through his program, that they sho be released, and that if they committed another should be executed. 66 they Ironically, Donald Snook, atient mentioned above, ended up on death row for prisoner. He did this hours before he was to appear the parole board, which probably would have his way toward release. His victim was one of Dr. resident attendants, the one who had wrung urine fr onto Snook's face while he lay chained to the bed. a mop 67 As for Dr. Hunter, he was pressured into 1976 but was later taken on as a consulting psychol in ist and essentially remained in charge of the Mental Health The controversy surrounding his practices continued~ however, and he was forced into an early retirement in 1979. Clearly, a state that was serious about providng treatment for mentally ill criminals would not hire someone like Dr. Hunter to head up a mental health facility On the other hand, Dr. Conte's sincere desire to promote rehabilitation is inconsistent with this analysis, king one wonder if he even knew about Hunter, especially sin e Hunter received no mention in Conte's book about his exper ences as Director of the Department of rnstitutions. 68 At any rate, the case of Donald Snook, the sui ides, and the behavior of the "good" patients combine to in icate that the effect of the Hunter method was to turn vi lent people into violent psychotic people. The mental at WSP was therefore not merely inadequate, but alth care udd / counterproductive. Given this situation, the possi have implementing a serious psychotherapy program there been remote. 28 The extreme nature of the situation particular to WSP, but it must be noted that part 0 what gave rise to it was the WSP administration's use of the Mental Health Unit as a place to send prisoners who were "acting up." In other words, it was used as a pI e of punishment, mirroring the overall problem of reconc ling punishment with rehabilitation. In a way, this result was quite logical. Acco ding to state law, mentally ill criminals were not supposed to be in prison at all. In 1907, the legislature ordered th t a ward for the criminally insane be added to WSp,69 but in 957,70 1959,71 and again in 1965,72 the legislature require institutions administrators to send the criminally state hospitals. Therefore, anyone who was in than in a hospital would have to be considered disciplinary problem, not a psychological one. * * * BUILDING UP #250986'S SELF-ESTEEM The reality of mental illness in prisons diff ed considerably from what the law would have predicte , however. According to the DSHS report on program needs, bet en nine and twenty-two percent of the state's prison popul ion had udd / • serious mental health problems. 73 29 This left prison administrators in the difficult position of dealing ith mentally ill prisoners who were mentally healthy in he eyes of the law. re to This problem was compounded by the fai recognize that even prisoners who were not sufferin from a diagnosable illness could still benefit from therap and that this therapy could assist them in avoiding criminal activity in the future. Simply providing a trusted therapist for priso discuss their problems and anxieties with would hav been the ideal place to start on the road toward such therap 74 Although counseling was available, only 21% of WSP risoners reported discussing their problems with counselors, as opposed to 47% who confided in other prisoners, and 44% who 75 talked with no one at all. This implies that whil counselors were often available, not only were they not therapists, they were not trusted. In many cases, the reason that a trusted thera ist was so important was because the prisoner's downhill sl de into the criminal justice system began when they were be rayed by those on whom they had depended, usually their pare ts. As psychologist Isadore Hyatt put it, " . . . the bulk of prison 7 - inmates consists of immature, love-starved, lonely eople."o A recent study showed that children who are abused r neglected are 53% more likely than other children t be arrested as juveniles and 38% more likely to be arr sted as adults.?7 Although this study was done after the p iod in / 30 question, one juvenile specialist stipulated that study merely confirmed what corrections professionals had own all along. 78 In light of this, theoretical therapy programs iscussed in professional journals often dealt with building t prisoner's self-esteem. For example, Hyatt suggeste that rehabilitative efforts focus both on the building of individuality and the acceptance of responsibility.7 latter of these ideas will be discussed later.) (The Als, one of the things that had most impressed Rhay on his Europ an visit was that he found within the institutions there "a " concern f or h uman d ~gn~ty." enuine 80 The building of individuality and human dignit was a tall order in the American prison setting, though, in a situation of overcrowding as existed at WSP. t only was the prisoner's identity reduced to a number, but he was often abused and treated as though he were less tha human. Two examples of this abuse follow, the first with the use of prisoners as guinea pigs in radiation experi nts, and the other dealing with guard brutality. g about these incidents, it is important to keep and abuse had led to the incarceration of many of t people in the first place. neglect se udd / 31 * * * CASTRATION ANYONE? During the Cold War the U.S. government conduc d secret radiation experiments on sometimes unsuspecting, us lly ill- informed human subjects. From 1963 to 1970 one suc experiment was performed on sixty-four prisoners at SP and about the same number at an Oregon prison, under direction of the University of washington's C. Alve Paulsen. Experimenters irradiated the prisoners' testicles i order to discover the effects of radiation on human reproduc which was thought to be particularly susceptible to damage because of the rate of regeneration of sperm cells. A discrepancy exists between Paulsen's testimo that of a prisoner regarding what happened to sUbje experimenters were finished. According to Paulsen, subjects were given v~sectomies,81 but the prisoner were castrated. aid they In fact, it was when he learned of intention to castrate him that he refused to go thr 82 the experiment. Although Paulsen would be in a be ter position to remember how his test was run, the pris ner's story is more plausible, because the doctors knew t at radiation caused cancer, and one would hope that th y would have taken measures to prevent the subjects from de eloping tumors. II i' Although doctors knew of the risk of cancer, m prisoners did not. An article in Newsweek noted th consent form presented to Oregon prisoners side effects but made no mention of cancer. udd / 32 t the some 83 some WSP prisoners who participated in the study cl 84 they were not informed of all the possible side eff tS. This claim was recently supported by a Government A ounting Office report that stated: "In some of the tests experiments, healthy adults, psychiatric patients, d prison inmates were used without their knowledge or consen or their full knowledge of the risks involved.,,85 It is hard to imagine why anyone would have ag have his testicles irradiated, especially knowing t t he would be sterilized afterward, but it is easier to derstand when the subject was a prisoner with low self-estee Prisoners were also vulnerable due to literacy and barriers and because of their complete dependence officials to provide for and protect them. 0 prison Paulsen admitted that at the time it was common to use pris guinea pigs,86 the implication being that they were recruit. to At that time prisoners made up only a sma percentage of the overall population, though, and i would have been much more convenient to recruit from free The other implication of Paulsen's statement it was ethical to experiment on prisoners but not on f people. In essence, the state had dehumanized put them in prison. This is yet another example of it udd / 33 punishment philosophy conflicted with that of rehabi itation: To dehumanize someone was perfectly consistent with unishing them, and it followed naturally from the permanent of the rights of citizenship (such as the right to te) that accompanied imprisonment, but it ran contrary to the goals of the therapeutic process. * * * CRIMINAL GUARDS Another sYmptom of the dehumanizing process was guard brutality. At WSP, overcrowding made it difficult for guards to maintain order, and lost interest in interfering in prisoner to violence. Then the guards began to fear for their safety, and lacking guidance from the administratio , they started to abuse the prisoners. Among the most biting comments made in Hoptowit v. Ray were those pertaining to this pheno "Guard brutality was the norm. It was encouraged peer pressure among the guards and facilitated by indiff the part of the administration." Part of the reas on for this was the way in which staff was selected and Obviously, if Dr. Hunter was any indication, the at WSP was not selected with a great deal of care. went on to say: The "The recruiting program drew a predomi udd / 34 white, rural prison staff, in contrast to the large minority, urban inmate population. The screening p gram was inadequate to find persons suited to perform ons work. n the The recruiting program was inadequate proper number of prison staff. . d equate 1 y supervlse . d ." lna The prison guards w e 87 The subcommittee on Adult Corrections and the investigation team both agreed with this point. in 1980, Subcommittee members stated that the prison s was "in a state of major crisis" "a long time coming." and that this crisis riots They went on to refer to t at WSP and two other prisons as symptoms of, among ' d guar d s. 88 ' t h lngs, poorl y tralne The ACA recommenda ions mentioned earlier implied similar conclusions. recommended a complete restructuring of the way gua ds were recruited and of the way in which staff interacted .. . a d m~nlstratlon. ith the 89 The incident of brutality on which most of the above conclusions were made was the one that occurred in uly 1979. In order to put this incident in perspective, howev r, we must first describe the events leading up to it. began on June 15 when a guard was stabbed and trying to break up a fight between prisoners. I all while The administration reacted by locking down the entire p ison, which meant that prisoners were denied showers, exe cise, and visits. Then guards performed a shakedown on each removing and destroying prisoners' personal items, nit, nc1uding udd / legal papers and family photos. 9o On June 15 after 35 -wing was shaken down, prisoners there tore up their cell in protest, and were taken to the yard where they the next forty-four days outdoors without protection elements. 91 On July 8 some of the prisoners in segr gation 92 tore up their cells in solidarity with 8_wing. Se regation guards then called in the riot team which handcuffe six prisoners to their cells, maced and beat them, then took them 93 to strip cells. An investigator from the Office of the Attorne General was sent in to determine if the allegations of guar brutality were true. His findings were meticulousl detailed, though sometimes poorly expressed, but hi conclusions were somewhat bizarre. For example, he began one paragraph by concluding, "We do not find any resis ance nts that during this period of time on the part of the would explain or justify the violence on the part officers." 0 the In that same paragraph, however, he wr "There has been some criticism of the correctional officers requiring the residents to crawl to their cells. G ven the uncuffing of three residents for each cell, this wo ld appear to be acceptable procedure.,,94 He was not very cle r about why the guards made the prisoners crawl, and the re son he gave did not explain why he thought the act was ju~ ified. In this way, he seemed to be contradicting his orig nal conclusion, because he had stated that the prisoner resisting. were not udd / 36 At any rate, his ultimate conclusion was that b utality occurred, that prisoners exaggerated its seriousness while guards downplayed it, and that it was impossible to now for sure which members of the riot team were the perpetr tors. He blamed the brutality on inadequate training, supervision of the members of the riot team. ning and 96 Dr. Conte had noticed such insufficiencies man years earlier, and the main emphasis of his early reforms as on changing the attitude of the guards. 95 In describing· is motivation for attempting these changes, he wrote, [W]hen I heard the uncomplimentary adjectives used staff in describing residents of the prisons, I again won red if an attitude even of tolerance could be created, let lone one · o f acceptance and compass10n." 97 Judging by the br that existed in 1979, it appears that Dr. Conte's f justified. * * * IT LOOKED LIKE DEMOCRACY Another of Dr. Conte's aims was similar to Hya second rehabilitative concern, to teach responsibil ty. His approach was to create the Resident Governmental Co at WSP, which was meant to be a tool to teach responsi Ie citizenship to the prisoners by giving them a voice in how the prison would be run. As previously mentioned, similar 37 approach was used in the successful Cornerstone Prog am in Oregon. Unfortunately for the RGC, the WSP experime twas met with great hostility by staff, and the prisoners misinterpreted it as a program of power sharing with the .. . 98 a d m1.nl.strat1.on. The result was fear and resentment on the part f staff and resentment and frustration on the part of prison rs. One RGC member complained, "It's not really possible to influence the administration of this prison--this is just for show. The RGC is supposed to share the power fifty- ifty. 9 The administration would never let it be that way." Once it became clear that the RGC had no real power, pris stopped taking it seriously, and its members became in the effort to organize for better conditions. utsiders Re, ants of the council lived on after Conte's resignation in 19 I, but it never became the rehabilitative tool it was meant to be. Perhaps the RGC was doomed from the start, in v ew of the extensive problems still being encountered in th attitude of the guards. On the other hand, the idea itself may have been inherently flawed, given the reality prison system. 0 Considering that even after release the risoners did not enjoy the same rights of citizenship as ever else, it would have been difficult to teach them responsibility, no matter how well thought-out the p might have been. Rights and responsibility go hand' without one, you can't have the other. gram handj udd / 38 * * * CONCLUSI:ON That the problems discussed in reference to WS nationally indicates that these conditions were inh the American prison setting in the 1970's. existed ent to Most of problems still exist today, however, making it seem ikely that it is the ideas behind prisons that create the phenomena. A common feature among American prisons last few decades has been that one of their main tions, and the one that gets the highest priority, prisoners away from the public. Another such n is to punish, which is at once thought to be vengeful and rehabilitative. It is in fact the functions of pun' hment and isolation, however I that form the conditions th, make true rehabilitation difficult. As mandated by state law, efforts to initiate rehabilitative programs for WSP prisoners were made n the late 1960's and early 1970's. de, By the end however, the State of washington had little to show or it. Although the literature of the period suggested sev al courses of action, ranging from vocational training o self- esteem building, few programs were ever actually i emented and those that were proved to be inadequate. At this moment the state legislature is against what it perceives to be undeserved prisoner ampage 39 privileges. It proposes to eliminate teachers, cha e prisoners for medical treatment, virtually eliminat visitation with family, and it wants prisoners to w time. k full When faced with the likelihood that creating additional employment for prisoners would be too e nsive, Representative Padden came up with the brilliant tion of having prisoners break rocks. people like Representative Padden say that rehabilitation has been proven ineffective and that 't is time to return to the punishment philosophy. In re however, rehabilitation was never given a realistic and the reason for this was our unwillingness to gi punishment. Until that happens, we can look forwar ity, hance, up to continued recidivism, even more overcrowded prisons, and a corrections budget that we cannot afford. !'..ldd / 40 .., Proapectua, p.20-'. M~nnLn;er. p.2S. 196~ Extraordl~3ry S~aalon. Chapte, 9, S~ltlcn 3, 0'.1676. Lowa of Waohir.gton, 19,,9. C",.ptcr 72.48. p 308. CMr"Clicr.a, ":",nuory-febrc.lary 5.'...• . 1"'~9, 0'.21. <:n;e1. 1'1.0., WOlt""du Th'di'Y in fuaen ar.d 0" :nterr.at;cr."l Jou:"al o~ O;:'~c.Qer Tn.,rapy, t~,e vol.ll, 1'.';6 198:'. p.l?~ t 9. :lon.. ",...-." Pa ad'! ... (S"p'-~mber Ie 31, 1978, Wa,h,ngton t~e Ch",nnon S~atP ~pn~-t jubcommit~ee on Ad~lo o~e ". -.~'" of . ;:~ Corrertlona, ;;",',al" Corr::nittee cr. Sc=u: ~r~ .~<i to He.,] c" 1'.5. I udd 14 41 H.L. Keith, ~A Report on the Washington State adult correct onal institutions," 1964. stracts, As summarized in Crime and Delin uenc vol.3, abstract #5. 15 Keith A. Coombs, ~An analysis of the academic educational p ogram in in Washington State adult correctional institutions." Crime and Delinquency Abstracts, vol.3 #8, abstract 16 Thomas M. Sykes, Ph.D., et. al., An Anal s of Prison Inmates in Washington State, Washington State Department of S and Health Services, 1980, p.67. 17 Sykes, p.70. 16 Sykes, p.81- 19 Sykes, p.93. 20 sykes, p.102. 21 Joan K. Jackson, et. al., ~The Seattle Project for Chronic Alcoholics," Federal Probation, June abilitation p.40. Gary Field, Ph.D., "The Effects of Intensive Treatment on ducing the Criminal Recidivism of Addicted Offenders," Federal Probation December 22 1989, p.51. 23 Field, p.55. 24 Field, p. 51. ~5 26 ~7 Sykes, p.54. ~Inrnates Sue State," Northwest Passage, August 25-Septembe 8, 1975. Sykes, p.60. 28 Sykes, p.1l9. 29 Finestone study. As cited in Richard Dembo, ~Recidivism: e 'Criminal's' Reaction to 'Treatment'," Criminology, February 1971, p.349. 30 B.J. Rhay, ~Observations on European Correctional Systems,! Planning Prospectus, p.82. -0·1 Rhay, p.88. udd / 32 42 William R. Conte, M.D., nModern Day Reforms in Washington St te Penal Programs," American Journal of Corrections, May-June 1971, p.2 33 Conte, nModern Day Reforms," p.30. 34 William R. Conte, Is Prison Reform Possible? 35 nln the Hole at Walla Walla," Northwest Passage, August 9-29 36 Voice of Prison, October 1972. Tacoma WA, 199 , p.89. 37 Hoptowit v. Ray, p.1258-9. 38 Inez Cardozo-Freeman, The Joint: Lan ua e and Culture in a 1976. ximum Security Prison (Springfield, Ill, 1984), p.329. 39 ACA Report, p .11. 40 Planning Prospectus, p.2. 41 Sim Van Der Ryn, nCan Architecture Aid a Therapeutic Process." American Journal of Correction, January-February 1969, p.42. 42 E. John Lease, Ph.D., nA Review of Prison Dietary Practices, , American Journal of Correction, May-June 1968, p.16-7. 43 Danny Atteberry, interview, (November 25, 1994). 44 Most of the information in this paragraph provided p.1256. 45 Conte, nModern Day Reforms," p.30. 46 Walla Walla Brothers, "Letters from (November 8-21, 1976). 47 nln the Hole at Walla Wa 11 a, "N or th wes t Passage. 48 Walla Walla Brothers, "Partial Walla Walla Strike Still On,' Northwest August 9- , 1976. Passage (June 21-July 12, 1977). 49 nprisoners Get the Squeeze," Northwest Passage, May 22- Jun 50 Bill Patz,nSaturday Afternoon at the Pen," Northwest Passa 12, 1978. , July 11- 31, 1978. 51 nMedical Headaches, Transfer Woes," Northwest Passage 21, 1978). I-August .;Judd! ·;3 ,. " '. HOpto~-1t v. Ray. < , p.120",-3, Ilopto,ut -•. Ray, p.1253. fj"ptow~t ".12~2. v. Ray. . Syke;. p.4S. :.l,,~',.,:ly~ L. Eho>:n, "W~~l~ "Prioon P"ychol0'li~t R~li"v"d of duti,,".'" 7h" "<lic" '.I'all0 ""oth"". 51aM b"hov'OUL me,i." Cp.. " 1977. :11 ... ealt~. ,eteu~d '-0 as "B"h8Viou: M~i Road. SpL''',!, "I .. F,ychol 0'1' ~:.• " ;"'w~ ., L~'~. " :.""'" " ;'a "'~ " ,. ~Id~h'l\q\<.>r" 1 ~O7, ;;~Jp~"L '0. Senio~ \1". hI r.<H 0", • !. :'7, ;;~lap·.", ·1 0 , S,,~l"O" , W"'h,ngt.on, j ~S". :h"p:."r n. S"c~iol1 n.Ca.,10. W~~h~c.qton, _%5 Sy<"s, p.oo. txtr4otd~l1aty S~"HOI1, Chapt~t O. S~"ti<ln , Judd / 14 This conclusion was based in part on: ~Reality 44 Melitta Schmideberg, ,1M. D., Therapy with Offenders," International Journal of Of~~ Therapy, vol.14, p.19-30. :1 75 Sykes, p.108. 76 Isadore Hyatt, Ed.D., ~Stone Walls Do not a Citizen Make," ~~deral I Probation, March 1960, p.53. 77 Judy Briscoe, ~The Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect," Correct ons Toda , December 1994, p,28. 78 :: Briscoe, p.28. ::::~~:~::~~Ph primarily based on "Exploring murky history tests," Seattle Times (January 12, 1994). 01 radiation (Hereafter referred as 'i ~Exploring.") 82 Atteberry, 83 ~Arnerica's Nuclear Secrets," Newsweek 84 ~Exploring" 85 ~o 'i\ (November 25, 1994). :i (December 27, 1993). Human Experimentation: An Overview on Cold War Era Problems, !\ ~.s. Government Accounting Office, 1994, p.4. 86 ~Exploring" 87 Hoptowit v. Ray, p.1250. 86 This paragraph is based on the Subcommittee Report, p.1. 99 ACA Report, p. 6-7. 90 Bill Patz, ~Walla Walla: Lockdown Drag-out," Northwest Passag~ (July 31-September 7, 1979). 91 Christopher Bogan, ~The unholy 44 days in the Big Yard," The stokesman- Review (Spokane, November 24, 1979). 92 ~Letters from Inside," Northwest Passage (July 31-September :! 7,~1979). .", Judd / 93 Brooks P. Russell, Investigation into Alleged Brutality at ~ , Washington State Penitentiary (August 2, 1979), p.6-14. (Herea*ter 'I referred to as Russell Investigation.) 94 Russell I nves t'19a t'lon, p. 16 . 95 Russell Investigation, p.19. 96 Russell I nves t'19a t'lon, p.21. 91 Conte, Is Prison Reform Possible? p.64. 98 Ibid, p.96-7. 99 Prisoner ~J.C.n as quoted in Erika Schmid Fairchild, Crime Politics: A Study in Three Prisons (University of Washington, p.286. '[ d 974), 45