As recently seen on television and the local New York City newspapers, MDC Brooklyn sits in a scarcely-populated row of buildings close to the water (East River). From the cadre recreation deck you can see the Freedom Tower being built. But not anymore, all views of outdoor civilization has been blocked off from cadre view.
MDC Brooklyn has a new Warden who arrived here a few months ago. His name is located on BOP.gov since I refuse to name names in hopes of staying below the internal radar.
Anyway, readers of my blog know MDC Brooklyn cadre status is very different from a normal camp environment. If you were searching online and found this blog, let me help you to know what to expect as a cadre. I must tell you MDC Brooklyn cadre is not a "camp."
Since the arrival of the new warden many changes have been made and I'm told we will now receive the bare-minimum of camp treatment.
Cadre prisoners remain indoors except for a small contingent of 10% who have an outside work detail. There isn't direct or indirect sunlight, nor Vitamin B-complex on commissary to purchase.
Cadres sleep in a large dorm area with 60 bunk-beds less than 3-feet away form each other. See (mdc-change) for more conditions as of November 2012.
Items not listed on the change.org site include:
1. Closure of the outside recreation program which allowed 25 select prisoners to go outside into the adjoining alley to walk up and down the enclosed secured city block. This was reactivated for Saturday's online on May 4th, 2013.
2. Recently, the warden suspended Sunday visitation, five-days before that Sunday for cadre prisoners, due to budget constraints, although Congress appropriated funds to the BOP making augmentation unnecessary. What about Jews who need Sunday visits? Subsequently this plan was cancelled and only endured for one Sunday.
3. Cadre prisoners must turn and face the rear of the elevators when on them. Literally, face the rear-unopening wall of the elevators. We're told this is for security reason. Mh?
4. Beginning May 2, 2013, the unit microwaves (2 for 120 men) can only be used for one-hour during breakfast, lunch and dinner. How do cadre's use the microwave, if more than 20 men, need 5-minutes? This was cancelled due to poor planning since this writing.
5. A 10-minute move has been activated. No longer can cadre's visit other cadres between the 2nd and 3rd floor without staying for an hour or more due to the doors being locked.
6. Prisoners with more than a 60-month sentence are not being given RRC/halfway house, but instead home detention. This is a faulty and I believe, flawed step-down process for needy long term prisoners. Why skip halfway house, when those sentenced and serving more than 60-months need it the most?
7. Cadres no longer have social furloughs or any type of furlough event. Although national BOP policy allows minimum-security and community-custody prisoners to have escorted and unescorted furloughs, MDC Brooklyn has not.. although staff has told our captive audience that 5-people have had furloughs. But 5 of 300 is just like not giving a furlough to anyone.
8. Visitation is more stringent than medium-security: cadre prisoners cannot turn to face their visitor (head and neck turns only), and cadre prisoner cannot visit the vending machine to pick out what they want. I was able to visit the vending machine at my sisters' Maximum-security prison, with her. I was able to visit the vending machine when house in a medium-security prison, low-security prison and now here, I'm to stay in my seat.
9. Most recently, cadre prisoners were issued lanyard string with clasps to fit our Inmate I.D. cards. We are to have these neck strings around our necks with our I.D. cards prominently displayed between 7am-4pm, Monday through Friday. This bothers some prisoner and I'm told they feel like it's a dog collar. Being a former Marine, it's like a huge dog tag to me.
These are some of my experiences at MDC Brooklyn as a cadre prisoner. You deal with the issues because you just want to go home. I hope this information soothes your quest for answers. Support transparency by liking NLAF on facebook and twitter. Links are available here.