Red Granite: “If you put in a complaint form, often that leads to them searching your cell a lot more…” [3/12/18]

On 3/12/18, someone previously incarcerated at Red Granite Correctional Institution was interviewed by an IWOC member. The following information comes from this interview:

“PRC, that determines movement between different prisons, allows for substance abuse courses, transfer from medium to minimum/work release prison. PRC doesn’t do their job, you have to know your rights when you meet with these people, they’ll lie to you, say you have to do AODA class to be trained. Saw people who couldn’t get into class for 4 months, a year, they’re backed up. Know a lot of guys who went to PRC, were denied work release. Knew a couple of Spanish people who didn’t speak English, kept being denied, until someone who knew some English was able to help them with appeal process. All I learned from the drug treatment programs was how to duck the supervisors, the classes were a joke, a lot of the facilitators acted like COs, gave people tickets.

If you put in a complaint form, often that leads to them searching your cell a lot more, throw stuff all over the place.

Red Granite is a warehouse, there’s no vocationals. The only time I got peace was the summer, you could go to courtyard, which was decent. They make up the rules as they go along. There was nothing to do. When it was count they’d play games with people. That prison had all public bathrooms, only wet cells in intake unit. People would need to use bathroom, they’d lock the door, extend time. 4-5 times a week they had emergency counts. There was no routine, they kept people locked in a lot. I woke up 3 AM in the morning it’s count time, I’d come out, ordered to get back in room for 45 minutes hour at a time waiting for count.

A lot of people went to the hole because they left to go to the bathroom. A lot of people were using the bathroom in cups in their room. At Racine it was quick and more regular.

There’s no clear windows, you can’t open them. That played a big role in mental health.

It’s like county jail setup.

When I first got to Red Granite in 2015, they put a rule in if you don’t go to school you stay locked in until 5:30. They had a lot of people in their 70s, forcing people to go to school. That rule did change, not sure why, allowed people to go into the dayroom. New rule was you couldn’t go to rec until 5:30 at night.

When they had chiller CO come in, let it stay cool, no one acted up.

They don’t give you deodorant, have to pay for it. They were seizing 50% or more of people’s money. You have to choose between eating and having deodorant.  Heard all the politicians have stake in the canteens, the phones.

There were a few decent social workers, others weren’t, others make judgement on people.

For canteen, they made it a 2-3 hour think you were locked in. Canteen would be done and they’d keep people locked in for another hour. Laziness. They didn’t want to have do their job. They’d lock us in for anything. There could be a fight in another unit and they’d lock us in. People who had to get their meds had to come out to get them.

Food was horrible.

Lot of inmates with jobs had enormous tensions, weren’t treated right.

You can’t survive on their wages. That screws you up mentally. People don’t have money to buy sweatshirt or anything for when it’s cold.

A lot people there with drug charges. They put you in a program that doesn’t work.

COs are handing out medication.

When I got my injuries from being shot, I had auto-immune disease in legs, they didn’t give me proper medical care. Had year and a half with holes in my legs. Family was calling to try to get them to help. They didn’t take me seriously, blamed me for making it up. I didn’t know my rights, other people were telling me to have my family call Madison. Took 9 months. The nurses were giving me shit. I had to go up there every two days, had to go through embarrassment, stress. I went to Madison finally, they gave me a potassium drink and it stopped.

Weight room and the gym was always canceled, had different excuses, COs just sitting on their ass.

They won’t let you cell up with people that you get along with. People would fight each other, people would refuse to lock in and go to the whole automatically to refuse to be with your cellmate. People were getting hurt.

There were a lot of mentally ill people at Red Granite.

You can’t call out, to get phone call to lawyer you have to get family to do three way call and put money on the phone.

Legal library, they don’t have people who know what they’re doing, can’t get info on what there is.

They didn’t know where my pills were. I asked for white shirt, they said no. Laughed at me.

Mr. Brown, unit manager, would ask him for things, would never do it.

I reviewed my psychological file. In prisons you have to get it on paper, if you don’t, they’ll lie. I was barely surviving through the day, trying to do things that would make me feel normal. My mental status was deteriorating fast. They denied by substance abuse program initially because I was contesting my case. If you want to do the program you have to stop the appeal.

COs have told me I’m trying to get people riled up to beat my ass so I can get 6 months off and hazard pay.”


Conditions in the Wisconsin prison  system need to change.