Frustration With IRR and Policy at MTC
We received some messages from more than one individual at Maryville Treatment Center regarding an incident where an envelope containing an "unknown substance" was found in an area that was destroyed during a riot on 12/31/20 and several of these incarcerated men were helping to clean recently. These men were put in the hole while the incident was investigated. Here are two messages from one of these men. We hear from many of these facilities how frustrating it is to only have the IRR/Grievance policy to be able to defend themselves, only to find this policy not followed by staff.
*This man's name was posted with his permission.
"So! I was released from the hole on 4-21-21 and returned to population. I was given no paperwork or directives to inform custody/staff of the C.D.V. I was written 'creating a disturbance' or the 30 day living area restriction I was sanctioned to do for that. However! I was aware and signed the paperwork while in the hole, but I never received the paperwork which is supposed to be taken to the housing unit officer. Its a slip that is given at the time of the sanction that we are to take to our wing officer, at which time they log it and issue us our blue restriction uniform. Since I had just done 30 days in the hole for an investigation of drug involvement, which mind you was conducted entirely on an inmates word, only to be written up for some fabricated story which led to the creating a disturbance, I certainly wasn't going to do Custody job of making sure sanctions were imposed on me. Anyway! 2 days later on 4-23 staff/custody ran into me going to work and realized I wasn't wearing a blue restriction uniform and I was written up yet again for disobeying a direct order. The only way they would have even known is because I filed an Informal Resolution Request/grievance about the previous write up and sanction requesting it be dismissed and expunged and the 30 day L.A.R. be lifted, in other words I kind of shot myself in the foot, but that's not the point. The point is that I was railroaded on the investigation, I'm innocent and I'm seeking relief. Get this 2 other guys who were released from the hole had the same circumstances and weren't wearing their suits either on the same day I was written up for it and all they had to do is start rearing theirs. What's the deal man! I'll only have 31 days left before I parole home by the time you receive this and you may wonder why I even sorry about it at this point, especially after serving 9 years flat. Its the point, I'm not guilty,I'm tired of not having a voice in here and I'm tired of letting these mother fuckers get away with whatever they choose. They say we have a system to voice ourselves and our grievances , but that's a crock of shit. I've filed over a hundred I.R.R.s throughout the past 30 some years in here and I can't remember one that was overturned. Just like this one will be unless I can find a way to make them accountable for covering for a lie. Which now I'll lay it out for you and let you be the judge.
Here's the C.D.V. that was written.
'ON the above date and approximate time this reporting Captain completed an investigation for possible drug movement on 2 C 2. Upon review of the video footage system on this floor offender Ridinger, John #506752 was observed hiding an envelope containing an unknown substance under the heat register by bunk 3 on 2C 2 when his assigned housing unit of 2C1 was being searched by staff for drugs. Offender Ridinger then was strip searched by staff and allowed to return to 2C2. Offender Ridinger then went back to the register and removed the envelope and took it off the housing unit. By this offender evasive actions he is in violation of rule 19.1 Creating a Disturbance.'
This thing in a court of law wouldn't even had made it past application for a warrant, a complete waste of time, but in here as I'm trying to explain innocent or not your guilty.
my I.R.R. addressing this C.D.V.
grievance is: The C.D.V. I received for 19.1 on 4-18-21 MTC 21-00248
states I was observed hiding an envelope containing an unknown
substance under a heat register on 2C2. That I was strip searched and
allowed to return to 2C2 at which time I returned to the register,
removed the envelope and left the unit with it. I was 'in fact' strip
searched during witch time I remained within staffs sights at all
times and not allowed to move about. After being strip searched I as
immediately escorted off of 2c2 and have not returned. That being the
case, how then did I return to the register or retrieve anything?, or
for that matter remove anything from that floor?. Does it even make
sense that your custody/staff would allow me to run freely in the
wing after being forested to strip search us and secure that area
2c2. Furthermore where is this mysterious envelope and how does
anyone know that there's an unknown substance inside or a substance
at all?. Review camera footage approx 10:30 am on 3-23-21 and see for
yourself. Once you do you will know and it will prove I didn't do
these things, I am innocent and that this C.D.V. is unfounded. When
an idea springs forth and it is believe true true without evidence,
one is blinded to any other possibilities. This is all a fabricated
story without merit or substancial evidence to prove anything against
me. This is what someone has imagined or assumed I've done, designed
to close a case and wash their hands of it. I've been falsely and
loosely found guilty of something I have not done. If I've done
anything wrong its been working hard in and around the area of
concern and I've become the victim of circumstances vs the
perpetrator of Creating a Disturbance.
I asked that witnesses be added at the hearing of this violation and was denied. These witnesses would be staff, custody and video footage who were present and conducting the strip search on approx 10:30 am 3-23-21 location 2c2.'
There you have it! I am so frustrated because I know that if they would only review the footage as I have asked, my claim cannot be denied and I know that they as always will do nothing. How can I make them review the footage? mind you we are never present or shown any evidence against us. They suppress it all and that's how they keep getting away with it. Who will help my voice be heard? Who will help me win this victory not only for myself but for all those who share the strain of a faulty system. I don't know how far you will or can go to assist me, but I ask of you, please contact the warden here at MTC and ask if he will review the footage.
Once again thank you for all your support. Jon M. Ridinger (written on 4/24/21)
please post my previous e-mail all of it if you wish. I read over it
and there are some errors, but that's okay. I'll write a supplemental
e-mail which you can also post.
For anyone to fully understand my outrage you must first know the history and circumstances surrounding my current dilemma.
Before the riot here on 1-1-21 I had been the service crew coordinator. I went above and beyond any duties required of me and took pride in having the cleanest most organized wing of this institution. Staff and custody where aware of my dedication, hard work and integrity. Mind you I took it upon myself to do these things at a time when this institution was in chaos. The inmates didn't do treatment nor did they care about structure or system which used to be in place before Covid hit. Staff and custody were obviously overwhelmed and ill equipped to deal with the influx of inmates who've done a lot of time and or were still facing a lot of time, convicts if you will. That and the Covid threw this institution into shambles with little direction from anyone, basically we did as we pleased.
After the housing unit was destroyed and left uninhabitable, we were all relocated to one of the only 2 other housing units 3-C-3. Once there I again took it upon myself and cleaned the hole unit by myself for weeks, anyone here will attest to this fact. Once again I went up and beyond showing responsibility and integrity in my work. At this time there was no treatment whatsoever and the men really did what they wanted. I immediately started volunteering to help clean and rebuild our extremely damaged housing unit and did so from around the middle of January up until getting locked up under investigation on 3-23-21. I worked hard every chance I could helping clean and put back together housing unit 2 and as for Mrs *********'s helpers she and whoever else you may ask will tell you I had done and was doing an outstanding job and was her most relied upon worker.
So to be put under investigation, taken to the hole where I spent 28 days, written up for a B.S. violation and then receive the strictest sanction of 30 days living area restriction to boot, for something I haven't done is more than I can tolerate.
The supposed drug movement as far as I can tell came from some inmate who probably got himself in trouble for smoking K-2 and was desperate to save his ass. I'll never know why they chose to throw me under the bus because I don't touch that shit and everyone knows it. Anyway! no drugs were ever found. The fabricated write up I did receive for 19.1 creating a disturbance I can't get them to allow my witnesses nor can I get them to review the camera's footage which would clearly expose the investigators lie. I even talked to a custody C.O. 1 and an outside maintenance worker Mr. Stephens and they both said I never left the area or left their sight during and after the strip search. That I was indeed escorted from the 2C2 unit directly after the strip search. The sad thing is I most likely won't even get an answer to my I.R.R. request before I make parole in 30 days 5-29-21 because they have 40 days to respond and even so they almost always dismiss that and make us follow up with the official grievance which they have 2 or 3 months to answer . Then to exhaust the process there's a grievance appeal which they have another 3 months or so to answer. Only after that can we file a legal civil suit or otherwise. So I'm left to walk around here in a blue restriction uniform until I leave. This is humiliating and degrading! At a time I should be celebrating my success and felling good about myself and what I've accomplished, I'm left resentfull and angry at a faulty system designed so that we can't win or they make it next to impossible for us to win. In an ideal world someone would simply show the video and dismiss this fraudulent Conduct violation immediately, but that's not how it works .
They usually expect a person to simply give up on these things because it is so difficult to win, but I won't let this go. Even though I go home in 30 days I will pursue this to the limits and hire an attorney. Someone has to held accountable for this and I won't give up until they are judged as I have been. They should've done their research on me and they would know that I've already made case law once before Ridinger VS. Parole and Probation 2005 WL 2977802 189 S.W. 3rd 658. I'm far from some simpleton or rube and they've awakened a beast. Sincerely. Jon M. Ridinger" (written on 4/27/21)