I want to thank you for the hard hitting piece of journalism you did on the piece titled “Warfare at Columbia Correctional Institute”. In this letter I hope to add and correct a few things that officials lied to you about and inmates got wrong.
But before I get to that, note I can’t tell you how much I regret not staying in touch with you when I first came to the state in 2012 from the feds (the super max in Colorado called ADX or “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.) To serve the remainder of my federal sentence. Life W/O!!! It’s a long story about an class action.
* DEATH OF INMATE *
Also I’m sure you will want t know that inmate Muhhamad Bracey died on 12/3/19 in DSII in cell #8 after complaining for weeks of ill health! The LAST dirt bag he tried to get to help him was Sgt. L.P. She lied to the nurses and claim he was fine when she checked in on him, to determine if it was a medical emergency, the only type of medical aid, the Iron Lady (Sue Novak) would allow them to render aid to. She killed this man (Sue). Plain and simple. And he had been on ACC for “years”!!!
I filed a complaint for him already.
* NO STABBINGS *
Sainsbury was NOT stabbed, I repeat he was NOT stabbed. He was beat down, and badly, because there is a security door button he couldn’t reach because he was being pummeled.
* SGT Phibbs *
NOT Fitz, he was assaulted in my unit by an inmate in my old unit name [witheld]. I was out of my cell when the beat down took place. In part because [the person] kept requesting that Phibbs call PSU because he was having a mental break down. I heard them arguing and Phibbs, who I’m 100% is on the autistic spectrum LET OUT A high pitched scream for Cool-Aid to return to his cell. The next thing I know is they were fighting. So I returned to my cell because with so much blood on the floor, I know responding staff would be looking for someone to assault who wasn’t in their cell.
Phibbs is a problem officer, they forcefully transferred him a year ago to a medium and he came back around 6-months ago. No one was pleased. But I knew for a long time that it was just a matter of time before his bullying, abusive, in-your-face style of policing would catch up with him. I seen this nut, pick up a stapler (now mind you I suffer from PTSD) and start banging loud as hell on the window in the control bubble! In the unit trying to get the attention of an inmate passing me some damn magazines. This was recently in unit 5. I thought I was being shot at - and shot again!
* SGT Gander *
Is a loud and proud Donald Trump supporter, as is 85% of the staff at CCI, if not more. But Gander loves debating Trumps policies on race, immigration and guns. He doesn’t realize he is a cult follower. And is being manipulated. He’s only a kid, at 24 y/o. He has never been in a position of power in his life!
The [person] who attacked him lived on my floor. I had been on my tier upstairs when he tried to attack Gander. For what? Requesting a unlicense, NON-docture PSU staff (Mr. Butts) for our unit #5. (Note I am now in the hole for sending out an email to WORT about Sue Novak. I’ve been in the hole since Nov. 6th, 2019.)
My only problem in what the kid did, is he head-butted an 80 y/o nurse who was trying to force medicate him after he tried to deal with Gander. I hate to see anybody force medicated but I hate even more seeing inmate-friendly lil ole ladies being brutalized. Gander can take care of himself. He’s at least 250lbs. And for the record NONE of these cops were blindsided that’s a lie! I spoke to cops and inmates who were there or seen the tapes - these were NOT sneak attacks!!! (the only assault that didn’t happen on my unit was Sainsbury and the nurse.)
* Inmates at war with cops *
A cop told me that recently, after I told him why I sent out my email to the Warden, he told me around 1 or more people, with 5 more left out of the sallyport was squeezed in there with the Warden, and “not a one spoke to her”. He said with the LAST Warden, they pretended to respect him (Warden Dittman). I asked him why they were so pissed off with her and he said: “Those same 20 people are the same ones doing forced over-time - 4-5 times per week!”
He told me at the end of a 18 hour shift (some commute an hour each way) “you don’t have the energy to play with your kids or play around in the sack with your ole lady.” “So there is this tension at home and tension at work with the top brass”, but guess who they take it out on? US! They are too afraid to confront their supervisors so the easy target has been for years is us… ‘cause we have no voice and no power.
* Dirty New Cops Learn Fast *
Most of the pigs being forced to do overtime are rookies and these pigs as young as 18 and old as 70 y/o have never had any power in their entire life and as soon as they realize there are no penalties for abusing, they make a habit of becoming burgeoning sadist; writing fabricated tickets, calling inmates out of their names, exposing inmates who are sex offenders (in front of 40 other inmates. I know if I was a sex offender that cop would go to an ER and not home that night. I seen this more time than I can count.) Destroying (intentionally) personal property during shakedowns (and she has been here less than a year and we have had more mass shakedowns under her than the entire 6 years before she got here!!!)
And it is almost next to impossible to write them up because the new nametags are so small you can’t read their names and this is by design!
* 265 pigs jumping ship since 2016 *
- Since 2016, 265 staff have transferred, quit, or retired early (one cop killed himself. He was in his 20’s, just became a Sgt. and doing a lot of overtime. This was about 2017).
- So many cops are quitting after the State pays them to go through the academy that they started allowing them to come in right from the streets for 30 days to see if they can handle it.
- Every day, I see a new crop of cops come in that I have never seen before because the crop of them before burned out.
- You can repeatedly see other 30-day-trainees training other rookies who may or may NOT have gone to the academy.
- At the end of the day Inmate-Helpful-COs like [witheld and witheld] are leaving in droves (they left this month).
- And I can assure you that 90% of all cops at CCI has 2-years or less on the job experience. This is extremely dangerous.
- And they are quick to promote any one to Sargent after only 6-months on the job.
I have filed over 500 to 600 hundred complaints at CCI on racism and corruption but at least 200 of those were on the racist Mary Leiser and her boss O’Donovan for rejecting my complaints to cover-up the abuse and misconduct.
For example I have received 6 tickets in 2 months, a record for me at CCI due to the climate and there is no hope of receiving a fair and honest shake by IE and having those tickets overturned. There just isn't.
* Conditions in DSII and DSI *
Again, I have been in the hole since Nov 6th, 2019. And the conditions in both holes are horrendous! Here are a few you may have missed:
1. Inmates coming down with ringworms
2. No trash collection
3. Inadequate finger strip toothbrush
4. I had the same sheets for 21 days
5. I went 20 days without a shower
6. No clean clothes
7. No clean underwear
8. No hot water
9. No razors
10. No haircuts
11. No cleaing supplies
12. Receiving food through hole in ground
13. Mentally ill flood with urine and feces in toilet
14. Eating on paper spoons
15. No cups
16. No containers
17. Infrequent disbursement of hygiene packets
18. I had a PBJ for 31 days straight every meal and lost 19 pounds
19. No access to the phone
20. No TV
21. No radio
22. No tablets
23. No canteen
24. No rec
25. No law library
26. No distribution of books
27. No pens
28. Ear splitting alarm system
(Note: what may apply in one hole may not apply in the other hole, like now I have an ink pen insert I couldn’t have in DSI)
* A kept under raps hunger strike *
My friend ODell Miller, Inmate #537774 has been on a hunger strike for 2 months! His force feeding case # is 19-CV-300. He went to court again on the 6th of this month, and the judge gave CCI one year! To continue feeding him... To me, beyond a prison takeover this is the highest and purest form of protest. Also, can you call his brother and let them know what is going on. They are keeping him incommunicado in the hole on control status so he can’t write or call his family. And because I have no access to the phone I can’t call them as he asked me to.
[editor note: we looked up ODell Miller's case. Judge Todd Hepler sealed the record of the hearing where he approved the force feeding. We found other records suggesting the DOC is currently force feeding hunger strikers across the DOC.]
He is doing all this to his body to get rid of the Warden and bring about changes at CCI. And they are forcing him off of it by keeping him in the worst hole at CCI!!! Let the world know about this selfless brother, please? My last one was 21 days (I was about to join Uhuru in 2016 [reference to the Dying to Live hunger strike] before released me off AC!) that was in 2013 and I vowed never again (I’m in poor health) that one nearly killed me.
* [man having breakdown in solitary] *
According to people who know [name witheld] from the streets he's been in the hole for 11 years straight! Eating feces, smearing feces on the walls, window, and in the showers when he gets in. I seen him dunk all his clothes in a feces filled an urine filled toilet and put the clothes on. Instead of throwing the clothes away when they got tired of him stinking up the tier, they put the clothes in a laundry bag and sent the to the laundry. I think this is in part how we got ringworms. The Donald Trump supporting Hillbillies don’t care about any of us, and certainly not about the likes of [name witheld].
* Black Staff At CCI over the Years *
When I got here 7 years ago, there were not a single black staff, medical or otherwise. Now a trickle of about 15-20 over that time has come and gone. Only 2 of the group stayed longer than 2-years! But only 2 years.
- We had 2-black psychologist quit in 2014-15 over the racist drug treatment specialist Ms Pensike. She wasn’t a doctor then. She is a real dirt bag. They gave their supervisor an ultimatum, get rid of this racist or we walk. They resigned on the same day.
- And three black officers: Jones, Anderson, and Jackson left this year, months of each other. All female, all young. Each one told me CCI was too racist for them. Now think about that. Here is one of theirs own and they have some power, like the power to complain about the conditions up the chain of command--or quit if nothing is done about it. But we have no such options, therefore the conditions are soul crushing for us.
- The same thing applies to the nurses...most don’t even last a year. They get it from the racist white guards and racist white nurses. Between around 8-12 of them left in less than one year! And this is important because studies have shown white medical staff don’t treat us medically in the same way people who look like us do, that’s just a fact.
- Finally we had a African sgt. Here Name: Coolibodi. He was a powerfully built young African cop. No nonsense with officers or his supervisors. And he had a somewhat photographic memory and would get in the habit of quoting back policy to captains and Lt’s. They didn’t like him like the white women here who did. And I warned him that soon as he fell out of favor with one, that she would go to his enemies and make some shit up and that’s what one did, accused him of sexual harassment (a female I watched come to his unit, sit in his chair, and wait for him to be done with whatever he was doing, so she could openly flirt with him). Had he just been sleeping with one white women these goons may have looked the other way, but he was sleeping with 6! (None of which works at CCI today). So they gave him a choice, resign or transfer, because he could never work at CCI again. They tried to break this proud African and the four who currently work here now are not worth mentioning. All of them are blatant uncle toms.
*Captain Pitzen Corrupt cop of the year*
Peggy, between March and June of 2019, I went to the hole for disarming a mentally ill inmate who threatened to harm me (kill me) then actually tried to kill me.
Now during that time our investigative captain locked up over 40 inmates on the suspicion of using, selling or hiding drugs. He did this with some mystery chemical spray that could detect if drugs had been stashed in a locker, smoked in a room or his in a hygiene bottle. And no matter the drug, he’d used the same spray and the results, if it was positive, the spray turned blue.
I spoke to nearly all 40 of the inmates at rec. and to a man most had been clean if not for years then months. And they all told me they were being squeezed for info on the real wheeler and dealers. All were found guilty and did between 60 and 240 days in the hole. And here’s the kicker, the spray was miraculously retired. It was a fraud the entire time! He had been itching to do something like this but the other administration kept him on his leash but Sue NOVAK let him run wild! And go crazy!
*Lt. Sonna, the African*
If you want to find a piece of evidence that sums up the lawlessness of this regue, get a copy of the body camera audio and video on 11/13/19 when I told him: “you know to deny us showers for 2-weeks is a constitutional violation, don’t you?” And he responded:
“Take it up with your constitution!”
(see video at 4:40pm)
He seemed not to know, it was his constitution too!
*Longest Lockdown in CCI History*
In 2016 I was on A.C. and there was a clown across the hall from me Name Dutch (it could’ve been late 2015 too) from Milwaukee and he was telling me Ms. Pensike that he needed a red tag for longer than 15 days when he got out of the hole. She told him that was all he was getting. He then told her: “The first person you put in my cell, I’m killing, I promise you that!” And these cold callous hearted racist put him in a cell with someone who is/was deaf and mute. Within days they found him stabbed and choked to death.
And we were locked down for the rest of that day. And off lockdown the next. But, here it is 3-fervent Donald Trump supporting cops get a lil touched up by some black inmates and we’ve been on lockdown for 2-months. Not to mention a cop who couldn’t hack it in 2017 killed himself and we were locked-down 3-days. Clear proof there are different standards for our lives versus theirs.
And what gets my blood boiling is hearing this racist Ed Wall on the ABC Affiliate in Madison telling some clueless reporter who didn’t have the wherewithal to call someone like you to get both points of view--that it is common for a max to be locked down for 2-months! He said this last week! And the pigs need more money.
Well allow me to close for now by asking you that if you use any of this please send me a hard copy. Also feel free to share this piece with anyone.
Damani M.Nantambu #594586
CCI/P.O. Box 900
Portage, Wi 53901