“HOUSED WITH A VIOLENT OFFENDER”

by Beth Haycraft, ©2018

(Jun. 22, 2018) — [Editor’s Note:  The following email was received on Friday evening as a follow-up to our article published Tuesday containing a video of Mrs. Haycraft interviewing her husband, who is incarcerated at the Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX) and suffers from mental illness.  Mrs. Haycraft lives in Virginia, six hours from the prison; Michael’s previous place of incarceration, MCCX, was 2½ hours away.]

To briefly recap, Michael was told on June 15, 2018, that he was being moved to another protective custody unit at the Turney Center Industrial Complex (TCIX).  He did comply with the move but relayed his concern for his safety due to gang members also being in unit 4B (all this is detailed in the ministry video).  He was sent back to his original housing unit by Cpl. Walters who said she didn’t have anywhere to place him in 4B.  He received a Class C write up for refusining cell assignment even though he did not refuse the assignment.  His property was withheld from him including basic hygiene and religious materials by authorities at (TCIX) who stated he would get his property back when he moved to 4B.

Michael was again moved to 4B Tuesday, June 19, 2018, and placed in a cell with Kong Chung Bounnam who is serving a sentence of life plus 25 years for robbery.  Michael is in prison for being with people who shoplifted from a Sullivan Co., TN, Walmart and for breaking into a house in daylight in Dyer Co., TN.  He is a non-violent offender who is housed with a violent offender.  Why?  Because somehow in the minds of the corrections industry in Tennessee this makes sense.

Michael asked Cpl. Walters why she wrote him up for refusing a cell assignment; she stated that she didn’t write him up and stated she had sent him back to the original unit because she didn’t have anywhere to place him.  He showed her the write up which had her name on it; she told Michael she didn’t fill out the write up and just shook her head that someone else had signed her name.  Isn’t that forgery, fraud and identity theft?  Was her authority overridden at TCIX because she is female?

Cpl. Walters allegedly told Michael that she would ‘look into it’ and that Class C write ups aren’t counted against inmates.  This is incorrect as evidenced by a Class C write up Michael received at MCCX for taking two food trays when another inmate gave Michael a tray while they were standing in the food line being brought up in his parole hearing April 10, 2018.

When Michael received his property, he discovered that over a hundred dollars worth of property was missing.  Due to the negligence of TCIX staff, Michael had property stolen from him.  Michael is now having to try to fill out documentation showing which items were stolen.  During this process, TCIX staff gave Michael a print out from MCCX showing ‘lost items’ which included many of the items that were recently stolen.  Noted on the list was Michael’s wedding ring.  Michael told the officer the list was bogus and showed him his wedding ring.  So even though he is no longer at MCCX, their harassment and incompetence continues to haunt our family.

Thanks to the decision of the Tennessee Board of Parole, a mentally ill man continues to be abused by those employed by the corrections industry.  Our family continues to endure the stress caused by the incarceration of a loved one.

Our family was sentenced right along with my husband.  Where is my right to face my accuser?  When do I get to speak face to face with Gov. Haslam, TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker, Board of Parole Chairman Richard Montgomery and the wardens of MCCX and TCIX?  I deserve the right to look these men in the eye and tell them the harm that they have caused me and my family.  I deserve answers as to why a mentally ill man was sentenced to more abuse which will cause more psychological harm was okay in Tennessee.  I deserve to know why he was not placed in a treatment facility so his mental health issues could have been addressed in an adequate manner.  I deserve to know why the Board of Parole mandated Therapeutic Community (TCom) even though they know inmates on protective custody can’t take TCom.  I deserve to know how those in positions of power continue to turn a blind eye to the human rights violations taking place on a daily basis in Tennessee prisons.  I deserve to know how these people can sleep at night knowing the harm they are doing to individuals and families.

The news lately has been filled with stories of immigrant children being taken away from parents.  Where are those to protest the courts doing the same thing daily to those sentenced to incarceration?

Oh, that’s right…incarcerated persons are not considered quite human by many in America, so that makes it okay.  It makes it ‘okay’ until it’s their family, not just someone else’s.

Shalom aleichem

Beth Haycraft

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