A Just Cause

Senior BOP Officials Bully Families at Florence Federal Prison Camp, Says Advocacy Group, a Just Cause


Denver, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/25/2016 --Sources tell A Just Cause that on Friday July 15, 2016 that Acting Warden Garrido accompanied by Associate Warden Johns, a captain, lieutenant, Camp Administrator Segovia and two correctional officers allegedly flooded the small visiting room at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, CO and intimidated visiting families into not speaking to anyone except the inmate they were visiting. "The prison camp visiting room is usually overseen by a single officer," say Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "The presence of virtually the entire senior management team seemed to be an attempt to strike fear into the hearts of families and use an iron-hand approach to enforce a misguided, frivolous rule called cross-visiting that was created by Warden Stancil and sanctioned by BOP Director Thomas Kane," adds Banks.

On July 14, 2016, AJC reported in a press release that Associate Warden Johns allegedly threatened to throw inmates into solitary confinement if they simply greeted a loved one or a friend that was not on the inmates visiting list. "When AJC contacted Director Kane's office as well as the Regional office, we were told that putting an inmate into solitary confinement for greeting someone is a violation of BOP policy and stated they would look into it," says Banks. "AJC was told that Johns denied making the threat even though numerous sources confirm he did so in the presence of over 200 people," adds Banks.

According to sources at the prison, who fear retaliation if their names were known, Garrido and his posse were allegedly barking orders that there would be no cross-visiting and began separating families who were seated adjacent to each other to eliminate the possibility of any cross-talk. "I have personally spoken with staff at the prison" says Banks, "and they have intimated that an innocent greeting, saying "hello" or "your child is adorable" is somehow a threat to the security and orderly running of the institution," adds Banks. "I believe that the cross-visiting rule was created solely as a sword of discrimination against the large number of people from Colorado Springs Fellowship Church who come on a weekly basis to visit the wrongly convicted IRP6, who are the topic of a recent Washington Post article (http://wapo.st/29jXqSC)," asserts Banks. "About 30 people in the church group are divided between six inmates, but they have known all of the men for decades and, when they arrive and depart, greet the men with a smile and a hug then take their seats," explains Banks. "But under the cross-visiting rule, which was suddenly implemented on June 10th, 2016, this greeting is now considered a threat to security. I believe prison management is using the security of the prison as a cloak for discrimination," exclaims Banks.

According to BOP Regulations, Program Statement 5267.09, "Institutions of minimum and low security levels may permit visits beyond the security perimeter." "Prison Camps are the lowest security level in the federal prison system and at other camps around the country, outdoor visiting is permitted and there are even barbecue pits, picnic tables, and grass for kids to play soccer with their fathers'," says Banks. "But these prison officials at the Florence Camp have taken a schizophrenic approach to security by even closing the patio because they observed a single inmate getting too friendly with his wife," adds Banks. "The inmates at camps are considered non-violent offenders, which explains why there is no fence, giving the inmate an opportunity to just walk away if he so chooses," says Banks. "To say greeting or conversing in a social environment is a security risk defies common sense," adds Banks. "It also shows that the Warden is treatinggiving the impression that he sees the visiting families as criminals as he suspects all of them to be law breakers," contends Banks.

Sources tell AJC that Acting Warden Garrido was allegedly so enraged after visiting ended that he was flipping tables and chairs throughout the visiting room. "If this is the case, this is a clear indication that Mr. Garrido is unfit to be Acting Warden," says Banks.

"In 2000, multiple prison guards at Florence Corrections Institution, called the "Cowboys", pled guilty to federal crimes conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate citizens and depriving them of their rights and privileges under the Constitution. Warden Garrido, Associate Warden Johns, Segovia and the rest mentioned herein are from the same institution and appear to be using the same type of fear and intimidation on inmates and visitors," asserts Banks.

"AJC is demanding an immediate investigation & disciplinary action on Warden Garrido, Stancil, and others by Director Kane and will be forwarding this matter to the Inspector General and to members of Congress," concludes Banks.