Illinois Prison Talk
News: wc75-1  ILLINOIS PRISON LOCKDOWN STATUS:

MENARD ON LOCKDOWN. CALL BEFORE VISITING.
VANDALIA ON LOCKDOWN. CALL BEFORE VISITING.
STATEVILLE ON LOCKDOWN. CALL BEFORE VISITING. 
 

 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register. October 01, 2014, 11:19:54 AM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: When to Call the IDOC  (Read 10842 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Jims
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 268
Offline Offline

Posts: 5534

Throw Away the Key


« on: May 24, 2006, 02:10:51 AM »

Okay, so your loved one is in prison and you have some concerns. He’s only been given one blanket and he’s cold. Her mattress is only 2 inches thick and she’s having trouble sleeping. He’s a vegetarian and would like all his meals to be vegan. He’s Muslim and his prayer rug has been lost. They’re on their 3rd lockdown in 5 weeks and he hasn’t been to the commissary all month and he’s out of tobacco.

Should you call the prison on his behalf? The short answer is, no. But there are exceptions, which I’ll cover shortly. One of the most difficult things to get used to about prison life is that it doesn’t work like it does on the street. The inmate has very little control over his life, and you have even less control of it.

However, there are procedures in place to assist the inmate when his/her rights are being violated. (Grieving disciplinary actions require a different procedure). And even though they are incarcerated, they do have rights. Under normal circumstances, they have up to 60 days from the incident to file a grievance. If it is an ongoing procedure, then the time limit may not apply.

Before filing the grievance, they need to first try to resolve the issue with their counselor. If it cannot be resolved at that level, then there is an official grievance form and procedure they can initiate. This complaint is sent to a grievance officer who reviews it and sends his recommendations to the Chief Administrative Officer of the prison, usually the warden. If it is denied at that level, the warden signs it and has up to 2 months to return the grievance form to the inmate. The inmate then has 30 days to appeal to the Director of IDOC in Springfield who reviews the case and determines whether or not it has merit and should be heard by the Administrative Review Board (ARB). The ARB may conduct a hearing at which the inmate could be asked to be present and at which time he may call witnesses to support his grievance.

The ARB has up to 6 months to return their findings in writing to the inmate. However, if the grievance involves personal harm or injury to the inmate, emergency grievance procedures could be expedited.

What kinds of incidents can be grieved? Rights violations, property violations, procedural violations. There are certain times when the inmate can and should file a grievance directly with the ARB, such as issues regarding protective custody, being in immediate physical harm, being forced to take psychotropic medications against their will, etc.. These procedures are outlined in the Inmate’s Handbook that all inmates are given upon their arrival in a prison facility. This handbook will also provide more details about the overall grievance procedure.

It is also within an inmate’s right to file a lawsuit if s/he feels his Constitutional rights are being violated, or anytime there is a legitimate case that can be handled in a court of law. It should be noted that an inmate can be given a ticket and possibly sent to Administration Segregation anywhere from 30-90 days for filing a “frivolous lawsuit” which is defined as “a pleading, motion, or other paper filed by the offender for which the court, in accordance with 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3, has found to be frivolous.”

There are times when you should get involved with the prison. If you and/or your loved one’s Constitutional rights are being violated and the grievances filed by the inmate have been denied, then go ahead and step in. My recommendation is to start with his/her counselor because my personal experience has been a very good one with my inmate’s counselor. He has always been very pleasant and extremely helpful. Unfortunately, not all counselors are created equal in IDOC. If your counselor is unduly rude or dismissive or otherwise uncooperative, move on to the Warden. Depending on the Warden and depending on the issue, you may or may not get to speak with him. You may get passed on to one of the Assistant Wardens. Writing a letter is a good idea, but keep dated copies. And in your letter, request a reply in writing and/or a telephone call reply. If you don’t hear from the Warden in a reasonable amount of time, follow up with a phone call to his/her office.

If there is a legitimate medical concern regarding medications or procedures that need to be done, you need to call someone on his/her behalf. Again, start with his/her counselor and go up the chain of command from there. The counselor should be able to help in this situation. When talking to him/her, ask for a timeframe when you can expect the situation to be resolved, or when you should call back for an answer. If you feel it is an emergency situation and your loved one is in immediate danger or at risk, you may need to call the warden’s office directly.

If dealing directly with the prison does not yield satisfactory results, in Springfield, there is an Inmate Issues office. You can call the main contact number listed on the IDOC website, 217-522-2666, and ask for that office. It can be frustrating. They may refer you back to the warden at the prison. I have been put on hold while talking to a person at Inmate Issues, and the next person who answered the phone was the warden at Menard, much to my surprise!

Tempting as it may be to pick up the phone and call the prison every time you get a complaint from your inmate, resist the temptation. Prison isn’t a school and the warden isn’t the principal! Most of the time, the inmate will be able to resolve the issue himself or herself at the prison level. Occasionally, situations come up that affect you directly. For instance, the mail delivery that can be agonizingly slow. Most of the time, there isn’t much you can do about it other than to complain. You can call the counselor, the warden, the assistant warden of operations, even the mailroom directly. About the only time you get results is if you have sent in something specific that has not been delivered after several weeks. Yes, several weeks. It is not unusual for mail, particularly magazines, newspapers, and packages, at some facilities to be delayed by weeks and/or months. I called and let the office know that the books I had ordered had not yet been delivered, and the timeframe in which they could be returned, or, that I could file a claim for non-delivery, was rapidly closing in. A very nice administrative assistant put me on hold and hunted down the items. If anything goes missing – items sent in by mail or left at the front desk during a visit, money sent in via money order or Western Union – it needs to be reported it to the warden.

Officially, an inmate is not supposed to be harassed or retaliated against for filing a grievance, or for a family member calling in on his/her behalf. If any staff member does retaliate against an inmate, that inmate can then file a grievance and/or lawsuit about that treatment. But, even though s/he may eventually win the case, it could take considerable time. And retaliation comes in many forms, some devious.

If you have any questions, please ask. Scout may have additional things to add to this, and one of us will try to answer your questions.
Logged

What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger
Scout
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 273
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5610


« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2006, 05:29:15 AM »

Information on how to proceed with a lawsuit against the DOC:

Under 42 U.S.C. §1997e (a), part of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the Court is directed to dismiss a suit brought with respect to prison conditions if the Court determines that a plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit.

42 U.S.C. §1997 e (a) provides:

No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under Section 1979 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. §1983), or any other Federal Law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.

If a prison has an internal administrative grievance system through which a prisoner can seek to correct a problem, then the prisoner must utilize that administrative system before filing a claim. The potential effectiveness of an administrative response bears no relationship to the statutory requirement that prisoners first attempt to obtain relief through administrative procedures.

In plain English, You must first ATTEMPT to resolve your problem by following the grievance procedure as outlined in 20 IL Admin.Code §504.810-850.  BUT, you are only required to make one complete Journey through the grievance procedure!  Unfortunately the IDOC will attempt to delay or flat out ignore your grievance long past the time set for them to respond. The chances of this happening increase directly in proportion to the actual merit of your grieved issues.

If you find that your grievances are not being answered, and if you intend to pursue your issue all the way to Court, you are only required to wait a reasonable time after their time expires before you send it to the next level. This holds true all the way from the Counselor to the Administrative Review Board. Whether they like it or not, the IDOC is bound by the 20 II. Admin. Code.

In Taylor v. Franzen, 93 Ill.App.3d 758, 48 Ill. Dec. 840, _17-N_E.2d 242 (Ill.App 1981) The Court set a controlling precedent which still stands valid today.

   [“The IDOC has established rules pursuant to it's Statutory Authority; The IDOC Must follow it's own rules."]

This means that they have to answer in the time frame allotted for it, or shortly after. Further the PLRA (42  U.S.C. 1997e) is not silent on this issue either.

   Authority: U.S.C. 1997e., Subpart A (Minimum Standards for Inmate Grievance Procedures., Sec. 40.7 (Operation and Decision) (d):

Reasoned, written responses: Each grievance SHALL be answered in writing at each level of decision and review. The response SHALL include a statement that an inmate is entitled to further review if such is available.

   (e) Fixed Time Limits:
Responses SHALL be made within fixed time limits at each level of decision. Time limits may vary between institutions, but expeditious processing at each level of decision is essential to prevent grievances from becoming moot. UNLESS the grievant has been notified of an extension of time for a response, expiration of a time limit at any stage of the process SHALL entitle the grievant to move to the next stage of the process.

   ** In all instances grievances must be processed from initiation to final disposition within 180 days, inclusive of any extensions.

   One of the most important things to keep in mind is documentation.  Sooner or later, the Court will require proof that you attempted to use every level of the grievance procedure to resolve your issue before filing. Photocopies are the key here.

   With these Helpful hints, delay by the IDOC either through incompetence or actual intent will not deny you access to the Courts. In fact, the trail has been blazed and I will  leave you with this Court ruling from Goodman v. Carter, 2001 WL 755137(N.D. Ill.):

[" The Court will not read 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a) so narrowly as to require an inmate to do more than is required of him by the administrative process, or to permit IDOC to exploit the exhaustion requirement through indefinite delay in responding to grievances. The Court accordingly deems Goodman's administrative remedies exhausted because IDOC officials did not respond to his grievance within the timeframe set forth in 20 IL.Admin.Code S04.80S(d)."]
Logged

Together, we CAN make a difference


It's difficult to have a battle of wits with unarmed individuals.
tink
Jr. member
**

Karma: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2006, 12:30:29 AM »

My nephew is being held in Joliet reception and the last I heard from him he has not been receiving his anti depressant medication.   Do they not give the medication while in reception?  I am debating on if a call should be made.   

Any input would be appreciated.

Terri
Logged
Jims
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 268
Offline Offline

Posts: 5534

Throw Away the Key


« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2006, 02:42:02 AM »

Joliet? You mean Stateville?
Logged

What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger
Dazzler
Administrator
Hero Member
******

Karma: 353
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Location: Illinois
Posts: 22810

Retired News Reporter ~ Prison Reform Advocate


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2006, 09:06:08 AM »

Tink, my inmate was also at Stateville for three months and he wasn't given his Paxil while there either....I called a wonderful woman doctor at Stateville who said she'd personally deliver it to him...she didn't understand why he wasn't getting it but she was angry about it.  She even gave me her private phone number to call her if it happened again.    It did!  The medical unit said they 'ran out' and didn't know when it was coming in.....it's ridiculous the way the meds are managed...especially depression meds which CANNOT be stopped suddenly...patients must be weaned off of depression medications.  I'd call the doctor at the Ville....it's been two years since I spoke with this woman doctor...she's probably gone already...but I'd call the prison and ask for the DOCTOR...no one else.
Logged

~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Jims
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 268
Offline Offline

Posts: 5534

Throw Away the Key


« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2006, 09:51:34 AM »

Unbelievable. There can be serious consequences to employing a stop-start-stop-start technique when taking psychotropic meds for depression or other serious mental illnesses. All those meds come with huge warnings not to stop taking them cold turkey, and to take a missed dosage as soon as possible. I think that's actually criminal if the prisons aren't passing out the meds on time.
Logged

What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger
tink
Jr. member
**

Karma: 3
Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2006, 11:07:12 AM »

Not sure if my last message went through to you.  Thanks for the info.  I am going to try to call Joliet today. 
Logged
Aren
Jr. member
**

Karma: 6
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Location: Sandoval, Illinois
Posts: 14


Aren


WWW
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2006, 07:28:07 PM »

My man was in taylorville, and his best friend was killed. They were so close that they were like brothers. They grew up together and knew everything about each other. My man has a self injury problem. I called Taylorville, and asked them if he could be put on suicide watch because of a death of someone close, and they said that they can't do it unless he tries something, or makes a comment. His own MOTHER even called, and they told her the same thing.
Logged
dancer
Account Retired
Newbie
*

Karma: 2
Offline Offline

Posts: 0


« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006, 10:43:43 PM »

Is he getting help for self injuring?  is it under control now?
Logged
Aren
Jr. member
**

Karma: 6
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Location: Sandoval, Illinois
Posts: 14


Aren


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2006, 11:22:08 PM »

Ya, it's under control now, and he didnt' attempt anything, but we were worried about it because he had a prob with it. Everything's groovy now.
Logged
leahmbra
Jr. member
**

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 11:45:08 AM »

Just want to know if anyone knows after your child goes to stateville and then goes to Vienna,by the way he is going to bootcamp. When he goes to bootcamp will he have to do the entire 120 days, or is it like if you have good behavior you can leave earlier.
Logged
Forevermah
Administrator
Hero Member
******

Karma: 476
Online Online

Gender: Female
Location: Illinois
Posts: 16865



WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2008, 12:27:13 PM »

Welcome to IPT leahmbra.  Your son will be in Vienna until her goes to the bootcamp, which he will have to do a  minimum of 120 days and No, they will not let him out for good behavior early. He will need to keep his good behavior in order to finish the program and not have to stay to do his whole sentence.

I have sent you a pm with additional information.

Again, welcome to IPT.

Mah
Logged

Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”
leahmbra
Jr. member
**

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2008, 09:50:40 PM »

Thanks a lot for replying to my question. Now I know what to look for. Thanks.
Logged
Jane
Full member
***

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 62


« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2009, 11:38:47 AM »

HI Jims,
 I don't want to be a "whiner" and bother these people at Menard REception but my son is there and he is on a VERY large amount of methadone  & xanax. We were concerned about how they would detox him. We heard they do Detox with methadone at Menard so he went ahead and took his time. I just wonder if I would be out of line to call and check on him or if I did who I would ask for. He has epilepst on top of this and so of course I am concerned. I don't beleve they would sit there and let him go into convulsions and choke on his on vomit but then again- I really don't know and maybe a nice phonecall to the right person could help. What do you think?
Logged
Jims
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 268
Offline Offline

Posts: 5534

Throw Away the Key


« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2009, 10:45:14 PM »

Start with his counselor. If you're lucky, he'll have a good one who doesn't hate his job! He should be able to tell you everything you want to know, but if he can't or won't, ask him who you should contact. He may suggest you call the clinic, though the clinic won't tell you anything if you aren't listed as his medical liaison which is different than his emergency contact. If all else fails, call the warden's office and talk nice to the secretary and she may feel bad enough for you that she'll find out what you want to know.
Logged

What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger
Jane
Full member
***

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 62


« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2009, 06:42:09 AM »

Thanks Jims,
 He always puts me down as his emergency contact because he has no one else! I think I will have to call his counselor thought because I talked to a guy there yesterday who said that the medical director won't be able to identify that I am who I say I am and that make sense, i find that true out here as well. I'll let ya'll know what what happens.
Jane
Logged
Jane
Full member
***

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Posts: 62


« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 12:41:40 PM »

HI Jims,
  I did what you said and I did get through to medical. They had him sign a release and they called me. He went Cold Turkey off of 180 mgs of Methadone and 4 mgs of xanax. I almost fainted when I found out. BOth of these are drugs that can cause death from that kind of withdrawal and he has Epilepsy on top of all that. He was in the infirmary for 5 days and they said he was stable and they moved him to a cell. The methadone clinic told the withdrawals don't even start getting bad until the 5th day. Some lady called him into her office and then called me. She said he couldn't open his eyes because the light was blinding him. I had his neurologist fax a letter to them friday though he doesn't see the Dr. until Monday. I want him off of drugs more than anything but I am reading on the internet that cold  turkey withdrawals from Methadone is Barbaric and inhumane. They normally give you klonodine and valium or something to help with the symptoms but he is not even getting that. I am reading about numerous deaths in jail and prisons from this. Though medical has been very nice, do you think I should call the Warden's office as well? I had the neurologist fax his paper work to the Health administrator ( who has been very nice) AND the Wardens office. HIs lawyer was worried about sentencing because the DR. at the jail said if he went cold turkey that he could die. The only reason he took the time is the inmates in the jail told him that they were giving methadone there.

HELP wc35


Jane
Logged
shorty24
Full member
***

Karma: 0
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Location: CHICAGO/CAL CITY
Posts: 331


« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2009, 04:33:46 AM »

HI Jims,
  I did what you said and I did get through to medical. They had him sign a release and they called me. He went Cold Turkey off of 180 mgs of Methadone and 4 mgs of xanax. I almost fainted when I found out. BOth of these are drugs that can cause death from that kind of withdrawal and he has Epilepsy on top of all that. He was in the infirmary for 5 days and they said he was stable and they moved him to a cell. The methadone clinic told the withdrawals don't even start getting bad until the 5th day. Some lady called him into her office and then called me. She said he couldn't open his eyes because the light was blinding him. I had his neurologist fax a letter to them friday though he doesn't see the Dr. until Monday. I want him off of drugs more than anything but I am reading on the internet that cold  turkey withdrawals from Methadone is Barbaric and inhumane. They normally give you klonodine and valium or something to help with the symptoms but he is not even getting that. I am reading about numerous deaths in jail and prisons from this. Though medical has been very nice, do you think I should call the Warden's office as well? I had the neurologist fax his paper work to the Health administrator ( who has been very nice) AND the Wardens office. HIs lawyer was worried about sentencing because the DR. at the jail said if he went cold turkey that he could die. The only reason he took the time is the inmates in the jail told him that they were giving methadone there.

HELP wc35


Jane

I'm not a doctor or no where near one but I pray for you and you son an I hope things will get better for you and your son, sorry you're going threw this.
Logged

When he's hurting I'm hurting, When I'm hurting he's hurting. (I'm him, he is me!)
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines

© 2006-2014 Illinois Prison Talk, All Rights Reserved
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM