"He who fights with monsters, might take care, lest he becomes a monster, and
if you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
-------Beyond Good And Evil Aphorism 146
"It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system to protect a citizen from himself."
Justice Corey Powell
Historically, the State of Alabama has been notorious for its atrocities within its prisons. My fellow Americans and human beings, nothing has changed. I humbly convey to you an ancient scripture: "Let he who hath eyes - see and he who hath ears - hear."
I hear corrupt politicians promise you to lock them up and throw away the keys. I also hear your cheers! They - our only defender - knowingly overcrowd the prisons dangerously. The Federal Courts say nothing! I also hear your cries to pack them in like sardines - for who cares? News leaks out about the atrocities: the physical, mental, emotional - all types of Human Rights abuses. The courts turn their heads. Again, I hear your cheers, as though to say: Crucify them! Crucify them!
I've read these words all my life.
To put things into perspective, I'm a 53-year-old man in very poor health, a former police officer of 13 years. I have been held in this septic tank (Holman Prison in Alabama) for 10 years on a wrongful conviction. The major point I submit to you is that I can see both sides of the coin. Actually, I can see all sides of that coin, for much more than two sides exist.
Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama ~~~ is known as the "Boddom" which is
Southern for bottom. Either way ~ it's as low as you can possibly go ~ in this country. In response to your cheers, may I say that you have been successful. We are packed in like sardines: the Innocent - The Guilty - the Sick - the Lame - the Lazy - the Cripple - the Crazy - but all God's children. "If you have done it to the least of these..."
At times, I absolutely hate 90% of these people which I mostly refer to as sick-sorry-slime. But when I hear the masses cheering the deceptive lies of corrupt politicians, then these people in here start to look much better, for even the sick-sorry-slime extend to an old man far more compassion ~~~~~ than the corrupt politicians of Alabama and their cheering section. The result? ----The blinded masses stubbornly follow the pied piper closer and closer to total destruction. So be it.
We have become a nation of individuals - "Self," with the general view that if adversity does not effect me, then I don't care. We have become a people completely self-centered, self-righteous, and isolated within "Self," ------- even to the exclusion of children and grandchildren. This is in direct conflict with our natural instincts. --- Americans have lost their "natural" instincts. They have mutated.
I think the Apostle Paul describes our nation of today perfectly. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful-unholy, without natural affections, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good. Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. But they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was." ( 2Tim3)
Holman Prison is made of open-filthy dorms - very crowded to say the least. The showers, commodes and lavatory are included within the open dorms. None are vented. The humidity from the showers pours throughout these dorms. Any gases from the toilets pour out in these dorms. Humidity is always extremely high. Mold and mildew grows on the walls and ceiling. The floors are always damp. The heat index remains ungodly high in summer - cold and damp in winter. The place is crawling with cockroaches the size of your hand.
We can only send out bed linens to the laundry once a week. That, after
perspiring on them all week long - a daily wetting of these linens. 96 men
live in a dorm approximately 35 feet by 108 feet. That's an average of 39
square feet for each man - less if you deduct corridor spaces for walking
from one place to another. Less still, if you deduct shower, commode and lavatory spaces within the dorms. Here is where each man spends his entire life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year after year...the Innocent - The Guilty - the Sick - the Lame - the Lazy - the Cripple - theCrazy - but all God's children.
Can you possibly think of any other condition that could breed diseases any better? It appears to be "the perfect" environment for breeding a culture for many deadly diseases that we know. Possibly many that are unknown to modern science. A perfect place for these deadly diseases to mutate and a wonderful place to share our joys with the rest of the world - transporting to "Your" world.
Here at Holman Prison, we have had a large breakout of TB. Some have died, others transferred never to be heard of again. Respiratory ailments are our "normal" or our most common. Medical care is almost a joke.
Our Deputy Warden (Jerry Farrell) is charged with the responsibility of seeing we get proper medical care. Only thing is his wife is an Administrator with Correctional Medical Services (CMS). This is the company holding the contract for medical services (much like the company holding the contract for telephone services). Mrs. Farrell has a vested interest in saving costs for her company. Every dollar she does not spend on our medical care, is profit in her company's pocket. Thus, you have a direct conflict with medical care and the Deputy Warden. Does this project overtones of corruption?
Not only that, but Deputy Warden Jerry Farrell forces all inmates outside at 7 AM under the guise of cleaning the dorms. However, every single dorm cleaner will tell you that it was much easier cleaning when the people were NOT outside. In the past 15 days, they have been transmitting health alerts in our area due to 2,000 out-of-control fires in Mexico. The entire Southeast has been covered with insecticide-laced smoke.
All TV stations have transmitted this health alert, warning people to stay indoors - especially the sick and older people. All this week, South Alabama has been under a heat alert! The heat index has been into the 120 degree F. range. Again, warning people to stay inside. And again, specifically warning the sick and elderly to stay indoors.
Yet, every day Warden Farrell has forced inmates outside for two hours. Many are older and sick. They have no place to sit, except on the concrete-covered ground. They have no shade to seek. They must stand or squat for those 2 hours in the blistering sun and extraordinary humidity, which is contaminated with smoke and pesticide.
I myself have suffered 3 heart attacks, developed inflammatory spinal arthritis and have also developed emphysema. Yet Warden Farrell forces this old man outside with all the young punks and maladjusted people, posting no guards whatsoever.
And, yes, the State Capital in Montgomery, Alabama, backs Jerry Farrell com-pletely. The Alabama Good Ol' Boy's Club is a alive and well. ---- Welcome to Alabama the Beautiful, and the Alabama Department of Corrections. Yes! I still can hear your cheers!
If myself and the rest survive all the airborne insecticide, the heat, the humidity, the filth, the abuses, it for certain weakens the immune system. And that welcomes diseases, many of which may be fatal. Fatal not only to me, but to you, the cheering masses.
They cannot isolate these possibly deadly germs to this hell hole. The guards come and go. Nurses, doctors, administrators, postal workers, and visitors carry these germs-bugs-viruses with them when they leave. Guess where they go? To you via schools, churches, mail, grocery stores, workplaces, and many other ways.
Since you are creating your very own nightmare, it's tempting to refer to this as "poetic justice," but in all truth I do not feel this way. ------ I'm actually greatly concerned for all of you. "Forgive them Father for they now not what they do."
No! More tax dollars are not the answer. You'd just make officials of Alabama even richer. Then they'd cheer you - in silence of course.
I do not have the answers, but I felt I "must" let you know the truth. Yes! The sky is falling. Don't look up. Just take cover.
I am far from being eloquent with my words, my communicating skills are ex- tremely limited. If I have offended anyone with my words, then Good! That's my intent. ----- In closing, I shall add that I speak of the cheering I have heard. But where is the so-called silent majority? I so wonder if God is more disgusted with the ones who cheer the Human Rights Abuses - or more disgusted with the ones who sit and do absolutely nothing!
Although it means pain and suffering, I shall choose the cheering, torturous, sounds of the followers of their corrupt pied piper than to hear the silence of the spineless nothings. For it's better to light one candle, than to curse the darkness.
Respectfully, I am,
Patrick Swiney 154406
G79, 100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023
E-mail: (my wife)
See what Chief Federal District Judge Charles R.. Butler, in Mobile, Alabama, did to Patrick after he read Patrick's article.
Patrick was freed from lockup after all of you called, faxed, and wrote demanding his torture end. This month July-August 1998, he writes a new article that's already received worldwide recognition.
His stated belief that he will be killed for writing this is what led me to create this page: New article below is the letter I published under "The Director's View."
I wanted to be assure most of you seen and had a chance to read the letter. Some of you may have missed the letter so therefore I am publishing the letter again. Please if there are any of you out there that can help him, either you have the money, connections or maybe you are an Attorney-At-Law and would be willing to help him. He is innocent and I'm sure he is not the only one, but God has made me aware of him.
People this really is happening in our prisons. Don't any of you care?
I know alot of my friends are wondering why I am continuously writing on prison treatment instead of medically assisted treatment for drug addiction. I'm glad you asked me that question. I am writing on it because if you continue to use and don't seek help --- you are going to end up in prison.
I want you to know the reality of where you are headed and what your accomodations are like before you get there. You can't separate the two -- drugs and prison -- they are more people in there for drugs than any other offense.
It is no fun to go through withdrawal even in the very best accomodations, much less, while you are being detained behind bars. We fight a never-ending battle to guarantee patients who are maintained on methadone to see they are ----successfully dosed while they are being detained in jail. We are not always successful--- it is a constant battle with those in control. Those of you who have been through withdrawal know the worst place to deal with the symptoms which are very real is during incarceration. Consider yourself blessed if you receive any of your medications. The majority don't care about you ------- all they care about is "themselves and the almighty dollar." ------ They see a " junkie" not a person with a disease.. I rest my case.
Contacts: Patrick Swiney
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023 Wife: Sherry Swiney
Director of the PATRICK Crusade P.A.T.R.I.C.K web site:
Patrick Swiney was a police officer in Alabama who tried to expose corruption in his department. The result? He was set up for on murder charge. He was invited to a bar by another cop, drank a beer loaded with a 'mickey' and woke up sitting in a vehicle with a shotgun across his lap. ---- Inside the house, two people were dead. He was railroaded into the system and all efforts to prove his innocence has been blocked by the system. His wife has spent years getting all the new forensic tests done that prove Patrick is no murderer, but all efforts to get the case reheard has gone nowhere. Instead the prison has tried to kill him with isolation knowing Patrick now has a bad heart. ----- The behavior in the following account is not legal in Iraq and it certainly isn't legal in America, although it is rampant all over the country. (PS. If there is a lawyer out there who can help Patrick get his case reheard please contact him or his wife.)
By Patrick Swiney
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023
22 January 2005
Dear Friends & Family Around The World,
On behalf of humanity, I come to you with a plea for help. You are all aware of the prisoner abuse in Iraq by the U.S. Military. The entire world was outraged. Most all of you are also aware of the massive prisoner abuses in U.S. prisons. The major difference: the abuses here in the U.S. are far, far greater (even murder) as compared to what the world witnessed in Iraq. I ask all the world, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
Yesterday (21 January 2005) at this U.S./Alabama prison, a prisoner (Charles Agee, 47) was brutally murdered – beaten to death by prison guards. This prisoner was a mental patient, handcuffed, hands behind his back, plus tied with bed sheets then continually beaten until he fell to the floor – all life completely gone.
A completely helpless man: beaten to Death. I welcome you to: America the Beautiful. We simply export our Terrorism!
According to a witness, the deputy warden here (Nunley) immediately tried to cover this up: Murder! But according to the same witness, when the warden himself arrived: Mr. Stephen Bullard, he demanded absolute Truth. This is most rare for an Alabama State Official.
My concern is that a cover up shall indeed take place, maybe from the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. I ask that you not allow this to happen. Your efforts could actually be the beginning of the end for these thugs they call officers.
I have “personally” witnessed several beatings here myself. Every single one: Unprovoked! One guard even bragged to me after breaking his unbreakable stick on a guy who was lying on the floor, submissive and harmless. He stated to me: “I’m not bragging. Yeah – he broke my stick, but I broke his leg.” THAT is the mentality in Alabama Prisons – so sad, but so, so True!
But where the hell is the Worldwide Outrage? Does anyone out there care? Murders are not all that unusual in Alabama Prisons. Of course they cover up their evil deeds calling it over-dose, suicide, and a few other things like: Falling. But should Truth be exposed it would be simple and clear Murder! “Business as usual”
It is my opinion that the time has come for all these atrocities to stop. That shall be impossible without the help and support of the World Community. The Attorney General of this state is a major part of the Problem! Not a solution. He supports crime committed by state agents. The Governor of Alabama is either a party to these crimes, or just ignores them when we complain to Federal Officials, FBI, U.S. Attorney or any part of the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s as if your pleas for help enters a black hole and goes into another universe, never to be seen or heard of again. Our “only” hope is for the rest of the World to cry out in: Rage!!!
A few months ago, I was called to the shift commander’s office of this prison. Upon arrival, Lt. Bartley started waving two envelopes in my face stating: “The deputy warden (Nunley) told me to tell you that he had better not find these (waving the envelopes) in the possession of any other Inmate, or you had better not – ever attempt to get anything like this in here again!” It turns out that the envelopes contained copies of my article: Too Late To Debate??? http://www.patrickcrusade.org/debate.htm After reading my article you can clearly see that my life could be in great peril just for speaking out, exposing: Truth!
Things are done in Alabama Prisons, they make bogus charges, then lock you up in an isolation cell, that’s where they do their “real dirty” work – away from all witnesses – so should I get locked up, you all shall know! And in the event that I’m found dead in one of their isolation cells, in no way could it be called suicide. It will be: Murder! Assassination! Make no mistake about that – secret chambers of torture and death.
One of the guards that took part in the murder of this helpless mental patient yesterday is notorious for his violence and beating prisoners. He even brags about it telling us all, “You had better check my record” meaning: record of beating prisoners. I was a witness to that, plus to his fits of violent rage. One inmate wrote a letter of complaint on this violent guard recently. Neither he nor anyone else ever heard a word from his letter. It should have been a wake up call for anyone who actually cared. A digitized copy of his letter shall follow via email.
We are most blessed to have one of the leading pathologists this nation has to offer as a member of the Patrick Crusade.org, Dr. Glenn Larkin, I feel certain that Dr. Larkin will secure a copy of the autopsy report of this murder victim and examine the report carefully. Hopefully, Dr. Larkin will post his findings and evaluation to our website. If so – if what I hear is correct – this finding shall be heart-breaking: an awful-painful death. Some of you may not wish to know the torture involved – shocking!
I would like to ask all of you to spread this Truth far and wide, especially to all the International Broadcasters, including Al-Jazeera T.V.; also to French T.V. and the most prestigious BBC.
The telephones have been turned off in here – which confirms guilt! Plus, I suppose they think they can suppress the truth that way. I never said they were bright – just down bright Evil!
Many thousands of souls would greatly appreciate any and all kinds of help you could give in spreading the Truth. You shall also be receiving even more information from people who have actually been here. I look to my friends and family all across the world for help. Without help, we are doomed in this Alabama Pit of Hell.
Most respectfully, I am
Patrick Swiney Submitted by Kay Lee
2683 Rockcliff Rd. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
The United States has about 2.1 million people behind bars - a larger proportion of its population than any other nation in the world. The correctional system's price tag is more than $60 billion - up from just $9 billion two decades ago - and states are understandably eager to shave costs. Some are attempting to do it by cutting back on already dismal prison medical care.
Prison inmates are literally the sickest people in our society. States and municipalities frequently try to dodge the bill for treating them by ordering up bids from private providers and signing up with the cheapest, most bare-bones plan. Paul von Zielbauer of The Times recently opened a window onto this aspect of the problem with a harrowing series of articles about Prison Health Services, the nation's largest private provider of jail and prison medical care, handling about one in every 10 people who live behind bars in this country.
Among the horrific deaths described in the series is that of Brian Tetrault, a 44-year-old man with Parkinson's disease who died after an upstate New York jail's medical director drastically cut his medicine. Officials then falsified records to make it appear that Mr. Tetrault had been released before he died.
Another upstate inmate, 35-year-old Victoria Williams Smith, died of a heart attack after being mocked by a prison nurse and denied treatment for days.
Equally as troubling were accounts of how Prison Health Services failed to keep a close eye on inmates who later committed suicide, and its habit of sometimes employing doctors with criminal records and doctors who lacked state certification.
Shoddy care and the denial of care are unfortunately not unique to private companies, which do not provide the majority of the health care that is supplied to inmates. Many publicly run systems, which provide most of the care for the nation's inmates, are equally bad. The root problem is that the country has tacitly decided to starve the prison system of medical care, even though AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis are rampant behind bars, and roughly one in six inmates suffers from a serious mental illness.
The corrections system is largely cut off from the public health system, in part because of federal rules that deny Medicaid assistance to inmates. The denial of benefits is based on the notion that people who break the law don't deserve public help, a theory that has helped spread tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis from prisons to the world outside. Privatization of services is no magic cure for this growing threat to public health. The common-sense response would be a coherent, publicly subsidized program of testing, counseling and treatment that would slow the spread of disease, both behind bars and after inmates were released.
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company March 10, 2005