Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's really bullshit how many rights can be taken away from a person who has been simply "accused" of something. How is it that my father is denied the right to practice his religion? He has always been very religious and attended church regularly and he's unable to even see a priest while at MDC. Inmates are the people who need spiritual guidance the most. There is a religious leader for the Muslims, the Jews, etc. at MDC... the Muslims are even provided with a special diet... for Passover the Jewish inmates had a special celebration and special food in a secluded section of the prison... rightfully so as this is America and they are entitled to practice their religion. Could the Catholics have a mass for Lent at least? No. They are not convicts, they are simply men accused of something and they should not be denied any rights.

However, there is no priest at MDC... there hasn't been one there for months. Is this the fault of the Catholic community or is it MDC's fault? I don't know. I do know that it's unconstitutional to deny someone the means to fully practice their religion. My father fully practiced his religion outside of prison, and he should be able to do so inside of prison. He is entitled to his constitutional rights.

Here's an excerpt from the Federal Bureau of Prisons Website about religious matters... "Institutions schedule religious services and meeting times for inmates of many faiths. Religious programs are led or supervised by staff chaplains, contract spiritual leaders, and community volunteers. Chaplains oversee inmate self-improvement forums such as scripture study and religious workshops, and provide pastoral care, spiritual guidance, and counseling. Inmates can observe religious holy days and wear and use religious items consistent with their faith as long as this is consistent with policy and with the security, safety, and good order of the institution." http://www.bop.gov/inmate_programs/religious.jsp

An outside preist, who has visited my father many times before, has tried to visit my father twice in the past few months and has been denied on both occasions.

This is a letter from my dad about his religious concerns...

"MDC Brooklyn has reached a new low in their behavior towards the Italian inmate population (religious persecution).

The Catholic inmates have been deprived of a priest or any sacraments since Christmas Mass 2009. Lent and Easter are the most holy time of the year for Catholics. The fellow Catholics and I long to practice our religion.

After numerous conversations with prison staff from religious services, we are told that they are working on it. More lies. The chaplain does nothing. If they needed a Rabbi or an Iman they would fly one in from Mecca or Jerusalem. For Catholics, nothing. Please help us."

I really just don't understand how for simply being accused of something our constitutional rights can be taken away. This is America and it's bullshit. Arrested on hearsay and treated like a guilty convict. Reminds me of the Red Scare when people could just accuse anyone of being a communist and they were instantly blacklisted. Or of the witch trials when basically anyone could accuse anyone else of being a witch and they were guilty before they were really even tried. "I'm a convicted murderer and I don't really know Tommy Gioeli but someone told me this about him and I really want a get out of jail free card"... that's all it takes to arrest someone and hold them in prison for 2 years and take away so many of their rights as an American. Speedy trial for who? It'll be 2 years in June and there's not even a trial date yet. My dad still doesn't have teeth in his mouth.. remember from back in September... and from back in I think January when a judge ordered he have his bridge put in his mouth by the end of the week? He has a glucometer now but he had to have a stroke to get it. I guess he has to be his own doctor because he hasn't seen a doctor since.

Shame on the American justice system.

Can't wait until we have our day in court.

Always stronger than yesterday.

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