From the July 2009 Idaho Observer:

Thief! Theif!

The loud cry goes out, "I have been robbed!" Suddenly the villain becomes the victim. The bank-robber held by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has just been robbed by the BOP.

The public is mislead to believe that federal inmates live quite well off the publicís tax-dollars. It is a fact that state prisoners are treated better than federal inmates due to federal oversight. States are forced by the federal government to observe laws the BOP is allowed to ignore with a wink and a nod. There is nobody to oversee or challenge BOP actions and their absolute power has absolutely corrupted them. The federal prison system is now a for-profit "prison industry" and the BOP and its UNICOR partners are profitable corporations. The emphasis on corporate profits over "rehabilitation" is where the real corruption and theft begins.

The BOP now deprives its inmates of essential medical care, medications, dental care, psychological care, a proper diet with sufficient quantities of healthy foods, needed hygiene products and many other basic necessities. This is not just another inmate "pity party." These are the foundational facts of an elaborate scheme that the BOP has contrived to extract the maximum funds from unsuspecting inmates, their families and even the public. This deprivation is used by the BOP to not only save the funds required to provide these necessities but also creates a "captive-market." The BOP essentially compels inmates to work for prisonsí UNICOR industries at pennies an hour then recoups those pennies by forcing them to pay for poor quality and/or defective essentials at inflated prices. The BOP also capitalizes on the money inmatesí friends and families send to help them pay for necessities that are traditionally provided as a "benefit" of incarceration.

The truth is that it is the BOP and its employees and UNICOR and its investors that are living quite well off the publicís dollars through taxes and deprivation for profit.

For example, inmates at FCC Forrest City (Low), Arkansas, are given six (6) rolls of "cotton-candy-thin" toilet-paper per month and when staff is asked for more, the inmate is told, "If you want more, get it from the store." That will cost you $2.35 for four (4) rolls.

Then, if you need to see medical [the doctor], you usually see a nurse or a PA and are charged $2 for being told, "Go buy an over-the-counter medication from the store."

Again, this serves a dual purpose: (1) it discourages inmates from coming to medical at all, and (2) $2 is charged for a non-service, upon which an inmate may or may not choose to buy the ineffective, over-priced, over-the-counter medication for yet more profits to the BOP. Deprivation for profit is clear.

Another scheme to extract funds from inmates and their families would make a mob-boss proud. Inmates ordered at sentencing to pay fines invokes the "Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (IFRP)." As published under Program Statement #5280.07, staff will "aid" the inmate to "formulate" a payment plan. In truth, staff comes up with a demanded amount and states to the inmate, "You will sign this contract at this amount or you will be put on IFRP REFUSAL STATUS." Inmates who do not comply are put on refusal and are only allowed to spend $25 per month (when $290 is normally allowed) on necessities and are commonly moved to the lowest quarters (all of which should be equal to start with) and pay is limited to $5.25 per month. It should also be noted that these sanctions are more severe than those imposed for disciplinary infractions, proof that money is more important to the BOP than the peace and security of federal prisons.

I have personally experienced all of the above and more. In fact, after exhausting my administrative remedies on this matter and putting it before the court in FCI Talladega, Alabama, I was transferred to FCC Forrest City (Low), Arkansas, in retaliation and to sabotage any possibility of appeal. Additionally, much to my surprise, the FCC Forrest City staff is willing to steal my money without a contract; $133 in funds were taken during the June, 2009 pay/ deduction period. This act was no mistake. An IFRP contract is needed to set the amount and to legally withdraw the funds. Nonetheless, BOP staff at this facility set the amount to $3.30 less than the total amount which was on his account. This employee intentionally set the amount as high as possible, knowing that there was no such contract with which to set the amount or take it legally and, certainly, this person had to know that this was theft, larceny and/or wire fraud, all of which are Federal crimes for which persons held in this very facility were convicted. This lowly bank-robber cries out, "Thief - thief - my money has been stolen!"

This crime has been reported to all possible Federal agencies. To date there has been no reply from any of them. This is no surprise. However, now this crime is being brought to the publicís attention as an example of the institutionalized nature of the organized theft endemic in the federal prison system.

Is this what you pay your public officials to do? Please be warned, what they do to the criminal today, they will do to the public one day and, if you do not consent, you will be branded a "criminal," or a "terrorist."

"Our" government is out of control and if we do not stand up to this tyranny now, it will certainly get worse.

I plead and agreed to serve a "legal" sentence to pay my debt to society for my past wrongs. For my past crimes, I do have remorse and shame. However, I would be much more ashamed if I did not stand up against this type of lawlessness.

If the government and the public does not want to rehabilitate us, that is one thing. However, the BOP should not be allowed to victimize us and create "monsters" that have ill will toward the government. But that is exactly what the BOP is doing. They are already tagging us as possible future "terrorists"óa label that will follow us after our release (after we have "paid our debts to society"). Perhaps that is their plan, or perhaps they just have a guilty conscience. As for me, I choose to fight them with their own laws and to hold them 100 percent accountable to the Constitution of the United States in faith that, one day, justice will return to the land of the free.

John Earl Jordan, Jr.

Forrest City, Arkansas