February 6, 2014
Dear Member of Congress:
Earlier this week I mailed you a detailed request to investigate the use of “management variables” by the Bureau of Prisons in order to justify the transfer of 5 camp status women housed in the Danbury Federal Prison Camp to the Federal Detention Center. This letter is to following up with additional information regarding this questionable transfer.
As we were apparently scheduled to depart for FDC Philadelphia on Tuesday February 4, 2014, we did not due to the weather. I am hoping that this delay afforded you an opportunity to review my issues. I noted in my letter that I had requested a transfer on January 27, 2014 to the CAMP in Lexington KY, and was told by Mr. Marske that I would be submitted for a transfer. On January 30 I was told by a correctional officer that I needed to pack all of my belongings and have them at Receiving & Delivery on January 31, 2014. I asked my case manager, Ms. Bshara, if I was going to Kentucky and she said no, but that my kids would be 7 hours away instead of 9 hours from where they recently moved- Columbus OH. I must point out that I am in the process of an administrative remedy for the lack of individual assessment from Ms. Bshara in respect to my reentry paperwork.
On January 31, 2014 I approached Mr. Marske and asked him why I was being sent to medium security detention center instead of a camp closer to my family. He told me that “every effort” was made to place me in a camp closer to Ohio, but that there was an institutional need for camp status inmates in the FDC in order to leave the perimeter to perform work duties in Philadelphia.
After asking the Warden for documentation of “every effort” that was made to place me close to my family, I was told by her to contact my Unit Team. On February 6 I did just that and was provided with the Request for Transfer to Philadelphia dated January 23, 2014. This shows that no effort was made to place me close to my anticipated release residence and that my transfer is not related to my request, which was made 4 days after. Mr. Marske said nothing to me on Jan 27 about a transfer request already being submitted. Because my relocation has yet to be approved (the paperwork was mailed from this institution on January 27th, ironically), Connecticut is still my release residence. Either way it is clear that I was hand-picked for this transfer with no regard for my family or the commitment this institution made to keeping me close to my family.
I have been very vocal and provided those outside of this institution with information when the BOP gave inaccurate statements justifying the change of mission to a men’s facility. Even though media attention was highest in the summer months, my activism is ongoing. Unfortunately Congress was pacified by the responses and solutions to the transfers offered by Director Charles Samuels. I have also written to him for clarification on statements made and what I actually see happening in this very institution. I strongly believe it is my commitment to showing the reality of what is occurring here is why I am being transferred. Because of this retaliation, I am happy to be leaving this facility, but I should be close to my children and husband.
Sadly there are 4 other women who are camp status who are being transferred as well, and not for retaliation. This is why we are urging you to investigate this practice of manipulating security levels. Inmates from the FCI have had management variables added which allow them, despite their custody classification, to transfer to the Camp in Danbury. Now myself and 4 others are having the opposite done, a manipulation to get us into a higher security facility to fill a need for a work force. Either way this is an unsafe practice that does not support the mission or purposes of incarceration. It only supports a financial agenda, which should not be tolerated.
The women involved in this questionable transfer appreciate any assistance you can provide. Letters have been sent to Tri-State Senators. We also ask that you join with other concerned Members of Congress to work on these issues of reform.
Stacey Petro Reg # 17986-014
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION CAMP (as of 2/6/14* and Philadelphia FDC once transferred)
DANBURY, CT 06811
United States of America