Drug War Prisoners


PHONE FUN IN THE BOP

Dear Website,

I was finally able to get a copy of the sanctions that they are imposing for what they call "Telephone Abuse." Well, let me rephrase that. The way they write it up is "Unauthorized Use of the Telephone." As you can see, they are quite severe. First offense - 6 months restriction, second offense - 18 months restriction, and so forth.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
 
FEBRUARY, 2001
MEMORANDUM OF INMATE POPULATION
FROM (deleted)
 
SUBJECT: LIMITATIONS ON ITS-II MONITORED INMATE TELEPHONE CALLS

 

 

 

Effective April 2, 2001, inmates are limited to 300 minutes per calendar month for ITS-II
monitored telephone calls. This limitation applies to all inmates with an ITS-II account in
Bureau of Prisons institutions, and may be used for any combination of collect or direct-
dial calls at the inmate's discretion.

By this notification, inmates are given at least 30 days notice of the limitation, and are
encouraged to make the appropriate notifications to family and community members.

Inmates who exhaust their 300 minutes limitation may, at the Warden's discretion, be provided a telephone call for good cause shown. Inmates should request such calls through the unit team. It is intended this exception be used sparingly and only for bona fide emergencies. The inmate is responsible for the cost of such calls at the Warden's discretion.

This limitation [---] is needed to maintain the security and good order of Bureau institutions and to protect the public by increasing the Bureau's ability to minimize inmate abuses of the telephone for illegal or disruptive purposes. The Bureau believes a 300 minute limitation provides adequate opportunity for inmates to maintain community ties in conjunction with visiting and written correspondence.

NOVEMBER 7, 2000

MEMORANDUM FOR ALL CONCERNED

FROM: (name deleted)

SUBJECT: INMATE TELEPHONE ABUSE

As we are all aware, new inmate Telephone Abuse prohibited acts have been developed in different severity categories.

To ensure consistency and fairness in response to inmate telephone abuse behavior, U.D.C.'s are expect to apply or recommend the following loss of privilege sanction regardless of severity level:

1st Offense ---- 6 months Telephone Restriction

2nd Offense ---- 18 months Telephone Restriction

3rd Offense ---- 3 years Telephone Restriction (not involving criminal behavior)

3rd Offense ---- 5 years Telephone Restriction (involving criminal behavior)

I did some research yesterday on it, looking in our CFR statutes and Federal Registers (books the BOP rules are in). There is nothing in them that requires these kinds of sanctions. Also the 300 minutes per calendar month limitation is not in there. As you can see, the sanctions of 6 months, 18 months, 3 years and 5 years when we will be prohibited from using a telephone took effect in November of 2000. On April 2, 2001, the 300 minutes take effect.

No one is happy about it. Everyone is quite concerned about it, especially those with children. Also, let me run down an instance of how easy it is to get a two year restriction put on you. I just helped a couple of women file an appeal on their incident reports where they were given 24 months phone restriction and also 14 good days taken from them. Here is how one girl got hers.

Before she was transferred here, she was in MDC Miami. While she was there she was calling her boyfriend. While dialing the phone number, someone hollered at her to get her food out of the microwave. (She had put something in the microwave, then went to use the phone, they are located close to each other. I've done the same thing a thousand times.) As she had just dialed the number, she handed the phone to a girl friend of hers that was standing there too and told her if someone answers ask for so-and-so while I get my food out of the microwave. Someone answered, the girl asked for the boyfriend, and about that time the first girl came back to get on the phone. Her friend handed her the phone. An officer saw her hand over the phone, so they wrote the girl up under two code violations. One for "Taking something of value from another inmate," and the other for "Unauthorized Use of the Phone." As a sanction, they gave the girl 6 months phone restriction. By the time she came here, the girl had served 3 months without being able to call her family in Miami. After she was transferred here and went thru A & O,
The counselor gave her a pin number (a pin number is required before an inmate can make a call out). The girl asked if she could make a call. The counselor said yes. (Of course, I don't think the girl told the counselor that she was on phone restriction, but would you if you were in her place?) So the girl called her family. About a week later, it was learned that she still had two months to go on the 6 month phone restriction. So they wrote her another incident report. At the disciplinary hearing, the girl told them that yes, she had called, that she didn't know that a sanction imposed at another institution followed her here, as the counselor did say she could make a call and had issued her a pin number. They gave her 18 months more on top of the 6 she already had. In effect she wound up with 24 months (2 years) phone restriction , plus they took away 14 good days from her.

It's that easy to have your phone taken away from you for two years.

I could maybe understand if you were using the telephone calls for making drug transactions or something else illegal. That is why these phone restrictions were supposedly implemented. As it is, the BOP are playing games with people's minds. Officers must think it's fun.

The writer is a prisoner of the War on Drugs serving a 15 year sentence for conspiracy.



 

 

 

 

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