LGBT Fallen Angels - Please help us end the abuse!
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LGBT inmates are victimized through violence, rape, humiliation and abuse at severely higher rates than the general population by both inmates and prison staff. We must legally challenge and stop this injustice. Please help NAPR, a nonprofit org, today.

Thank you for stopping by our nonprofit campaign page and for considering helping us through your kind donation!   - National Alliance for Prisoners Rights Abused man with makeup - LGBT Fallen Angels

The Campaign

Did you know that:

  • the incarceration rate of LGBTs is THREE TIMES the rate of the general population?
  • abuse including verbal and physical abuse, rape, solitary confinement and other punishments, and denial of support, assistance, or access to mental-health professionals is far higher for the LGBT inmate population than for non-LGBT inmates?
  • 40% of women in prison are LGBTs?
  • statistics for African Amercian LGBTs are even higher
  • minors in jail or confinement are twice as likely as heterosexual youth to face sexual contact with staff?
  • one in five LGB boys - twenty percent - and nearly seven percent of LGB girls in jail or detention facilities report sexual assault by their peers?

These shocking and unacceptable facts have recently come to light in two reports. Dr. Ilan H. Meyer of the Williams Institute published these findings along with six of his peers in the American Journal for Public Health earlier this year. The data on youth was published in a report called Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System as a joint effort by three organizations: Movement Advancement Project (MAP), Youth First, and the Center for American Progress.

The Abuse of LGBT Inmates Has to Stop! Rape is a daily nightmare for thousands of LGBT inmates. Gay inmates report having obscene figures drawn on their mail, having had "fag" written on their foreheads while restrained, water dumped on them and in their cell, being denied adequate clothing and health care, having mail damaged, destroyed, and tampered with, having bogus tickets written up on them and put into segregation, being barked at like dogs, and being deliberately celled with aggressive, homophobic inmates.

LGBT Fallen Angels is a campaign by the National Alliance for Prisoners Rights (NAPR), a nonprofit organization that advocates for prisoners and their rights. NAPR  works toward ensuring that all inmates of any race, religion, culture, age or sexual orientation are treated fairly, are not mistreated, receive equal justice and report abuse. You can keep in touch with through our LGBT Fallen Angels Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/lgbtfallenangels .Crying Woman

“You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky

  "But why should we care about prisoners - aren't they "getting what they deserve?"

This is a reaction that we unfortunately hear often, but it comes from a misconception of who "prisoners" actually are. Believing that "hardened career criminals," "mass-murders," "repeat rapists" and gang members comprise the entire prison population of America is a common but mistaken idea. Regardless of the crime, abuse in never part of anyone's sentence. With over 2.3 million Americans in prison - the highest incarceration rate in the world - it is clear that there is a far wider mix of inmates than the stereotypes. Inmates are made up of brothers, fathers, sons and sisters, mothers and daughters. Many inmates are young, only 17 years old or less, who made one mistake. In addition, current estimates suggest that people who are innocent yet were convicted could be as high as 10 percent. Abuse and rape occur even in jail and detention centers before a case goes to trial - this means that victims are even found among those innocent of any wrong-doing!

"First-timers" or "softies" as they are referred to in prison, are prime targets who are preyed upon not only by inmates but by corrupt prison staff as well. Not only is abuse and rape much higher for "softies," it rises many times higher among LGBTs and African American LGBTs have it even worse. Did you know that two out of every 100 people in America have spent time in jail? You probably know several of these people without realizing it. This gives us all a reason to care and to fight to stop this obscene injustice. Abuse is never part of anyone's sentence!

Where does the money go?

Through our LGBT Fallen Angels campaign, you will help us to continue our work in raising awareness specifically about LGBT prisoner violations and abuse, help us to reach out to prisoners and work to ensure they are treated fairly and not abused, help us to apply pressure on those in power to address the issues that impact thousands of LGBT people, and provide much needed funding to legally challenge the treatment of LGBT prisoners through court intervention in order to attain our goal of ending this abuse and unfair treatment which targets LGBTs.

 

A Case Study: Noted Author and Playwright Abused in Prison for Being Gay

Illinois Dept. of Corrections’ Malice is Shameful!

Abused gay prisoner Rich DychesRarely is someone of Rich Dyches’ stature charged with murder: a 45-year-old professional with a doctorate and distinguished author with a national reputation in his field. A noted gay author, playwright and former psychologist, Rich Dyches was pressured and coerced into accepting a plea for a murder he did not commit in 1996. For that, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The father of two young children, he was a respected professional and a first-time offender. An attorney familiar with the case said, "Dyches was sentenced for the wrong crime." He was overstressed in a demanding job, a gay parent in a very unhappy, dysfunctional, heterosexual marriage, suffering a chronic health problem, and constantly pressured by a business associate for a sexual relationship that he was not interested in pursuing. The stress and pressure pushed him over the edge. He was not even present when his associate was murdered. During his two and a half years awaiting trial, he made several attempts to terminally injure himself. He was over-medicated and sexually abused while awaiting trial. After numerous hearings, the court-assigned psychiatrist continued vacillating on whether he was even "fit to stand trial."

The news media reported his being gay as if that was a crime in itself. He was offered various costly, outrageous, unscrupulous "deals" to walk free, an extortion attempt by Chicago and Cook County, well known for such "deals." He lost everything: family, profession, reputation and will to live. Even Judge Michael Bolen said it was a sad day to sentence Rich to life in prison without parole (Illinois has no parole options for life sentences) because what happened was clearly "over his head" and he had lived an outstanding life touching the lives of millions of people with his work. The state's attorney, overzealous in her attempt to win the prize verdict, tacked on armed robbery and kidnapping with ransom. Neither charge was mentioned until the sentencing. No robbery, kidnapping or ransom was committed in this case. The victim was murdered by a career criminal who admitted to it, yet he implicated Rich saying he was paid to kill him (murder for hire). That was never proven. If anyone ever had ineffective assistance of counsel, Rich certainly did. His attorney was to file an appeal but failed to do so in the time allowed. Rich was so over-medicated and dysfunctional at the time that he could not remember it.

Yet Rich is not alone in his experience. A new study by scholars at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that sexual minorities are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates, and once incarcerated, they are more likely to experience mistreatment, harsh punishment and sexual victimization. That's exactly what happened to Rich and other LGBT inmates in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), and every Department of Corrections (DOC).

The day he was sent to prison, Rich was so over-medicated he could not walk up the steps of the bus unassisted. He was nonfunctional and got bed sores. Incompetent IDOC doctors could not regulate his medications. He was capriciously moved to a maximum-security prison filled with violent offenders where he was sexually assaulted, harassed and intimidated for being gay, even in protective custody. During 21-years of incarceration, Rich has been continually subjected to sexual harassment and physical abuse including being called derogatory, degrading, anti-LGBT names, accused of degrading sexual practices, told statements about sexual organs and body parts (all of this often in the presence of other staff and inmates), and being sexually assaulted. He has had all his property damaged and destroyed. He is denied all jobs despite his stellar resume and behavior record. He has continuously been housed with incompatible, homophobic cell mates. His simplest requests are ignored and formal requests and grievances destroyed, such as requests for medical attention, grievances to the warden, and messages to teachers, the mail room, or chaplains. As LGBT inmates experience repeatedly, he has been pointed out, called out, shunned by Command Staff, and denied protective custody and transfers despite being recommended by even the Federal PREA auditor and mental health counselors. Even the State Investigator said he could not understand the treatment and stated that, "mostly uneducated people work in prisons." When Rich did report offenses to prison administrators, he was told "This is Southern Illinois," a slur implying that officers are uneducated, bigots and racists, as if that excused it.

During 21-years, Rich has done more than many professionals in the free world. He has completed a two-year paralegal program and co-founded a nonprofit organization to advocate for prisoners' children and families. He has written eight books for prisoners' children that are given to children by various nonprofit organizations. He wrote a nationally acclaimed play about the impact that incarceration has on families which was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington and wrote a well-received book for men who have been sexually assaulted as well as innumerable articles for various refereed journals, newsletters and newspapers on the need for reform and parenting from prison; he was interviewed by the media for it. He developed six courses specifically for prisoners on changing anti-social and offending behaviors for juveniles and adults. He has written three pamphlets on mental health issues specifically targeting prisoners in ways they can understand. He has also completed innumerable religious courses, revised an award-winning religious book for young children which he wrote before his incarceration, served as an editor of prison newsletters, and served as inside consultant to political candidates. Unlike many inmates, he does not get write-ups or go to segregation for misbehavior. These are very positive things his sentencing judge told him to do. Yet IDOC is not supportive of it. They (the state) even sued him to take any profits he made on books he wrote, profits intended to support his children and family. The attorney general even wrote, "We don't care if you have young children to support." The state is ruthless in its efforts to demand its version of "justice," without rehabilitation or atonement, at the total degradation of offenders and their families. Unfortunately, a bill to stop the practice of the state suing inmates to reimburse for the cost of their incarceration was vetoed even though the state spends more to try to collect than they actually collect. The cruel and mean-spirited behavior by those in power is shameful! 

Although the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was enacted specifically for prisons, it does not work in prison. It goes beyond rape to include sexual harassment. Yet short of a positive assault kit, staff misconduct cannot be substantiated. Prison staff know this so they are free to harass and abuse, however they choose, entirely unfettered - and they do. However, all a staff member has to do is accuse one of sexual harassment, even if false, and action is taken. Several IDOC employees have been fired for that recently.

Rich was screamed at, intimidated, harassed and threatened by Internal Affairs for reporting the abuse and went through three PREA "investigations" - all in name only. One was conducted in the presence of nine staff in an effort to intimidate him and was clearly not done to Federal guidelines. Requests to speak with mental health professionals were ignored.

A few caring staff have told Rich the abuse is intentionally inflicted and IDOC is not going to do anything to help him. As one compassionate IDOC professional said, "IDOC would rather you rot than to help you. IDOC does not know how to deal with educated inmates." Less than half of Illinois inmates have a GED. "You're not getting a job because your credentials are better than ours," Rich was told. He was even told that IDOC was nothing but a “human warehouse.”

Gay prisoners are afraid to report the abuse out of fear of retaliation. Rightfully so. Transsexual, and in particular, African American inmates have it even worse, even compared to what Rich has had to endure. They are most often refused protective custody. Many dread leaving their cells. Rarely is the abuse by other inmates; usually, it's by the staff. Gay inmates report having obscene figures drawn on their mail, having had "fag" written on their foreheads while restrained, water dumped on them and in their cell, being denied adequate clothing and health care, having mail damaged, destroyed, and tampered with, having bogus tickets written up on them and put into segregation, barked at like dogs, and being deliberately celled with aggressive, homophobic inmates. One rogue sergeant even asked to see the books Rich wrote for prisoners' children's charities and maliciously destroyed them. What decent person would do that? Nothing can be substantiated because staff lie and cover for one another. Employee unions are often no different from street gangs with their unwritten "code of silence." One staff member said, "If inmates lied as much as staff does, they would be put into segregation." Privately, however, staff will admit the abuse happens, but they are scared to report it themselves out of fear of retribution by coworkers. IDOC, like most prison systems, has a deep-rooted history of abuse of all inmates, especially LGBT inmates. The high walls and fences surrounding prisons are designed not only to keep inmates in, but also to hide ugly secrets. If citizens knew what really goes on behind those walls and fences, then they would be livid about the waste of their tax dollars. Yet, the union continues to demand more money. Sadly, the only change is through court intervention.

Stephen Ryals, the lead attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, when notified of Rich’s situation stated, "It's very troubling and rises to the level of unconstitutional confinement." Ryals himself said that it violates the Federal CRIPA Act (Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act). IDOC has already recently settled a federal class-action lawsuit over inadequate mental-health care. Several others are pending. Rich is housed in a cell with another inmate that has nine square feet of unencumbered space (40 square-foot total - literally, dog kennels are larger). IDOC spends tens of millions of dollars annually trying to defend lawsuit abuse and mistreatment. Yet, staff is never held accountable and IDOC won't release the actual figures. Taxpayers would be furious if they knew how their tax dollars are being wasted.

The incarceration rate of LGBTs is three times the rate of the general population. The Williams Institute reports that 238,000 sexual minorities are incarcerated in the US - 9.3% of men in prison and 6.9% of men in jail. This includes 42.1% of women in prison and 35.7% of women in jail who are sexual minorities. This corresponds with an incarceration rate of 1,882 per 100,000 LGBT people, or 2,368 per 100,000 gay and bisexual men and 1,399 per 100,000 lesbian and bisexual women.

By comparison, the general population incarceration rate is 612 per 100,000 U.S. adults over age 18. Compared with straight inmates, sexual minorities are more likely to have been sexually victimized while incarcerated, to have experienced solitary confinement and other sanctions, and to report current psychological distress. Most often help by mental-health professionals is denied by the Command Staff.

"I hope this research raises public awareness of the heightened risk that sexual minority populations face for sexual victimization, isolation, disproportionate punishment and distress," said researcher Dr. Ilan H. Meyer of the Williams Institute. "We need to understand more about the pathways that lead to greater incarceration of LGBT people and whether bias ingrained in the criminal justice system leads to sexual minorities being treated differently than heterosexuals." This new study was published in the American Journal of Public Health. (Ilan H. Meyer, Andrew R. Flores, Lara Stemple, Adam P. Romero, Bianca D. M. Wilson, Jody L. Herman, “Incarceration Rates and Traits of Sexual Minorities in the United States: National Inmate Survey, 2011–2012”, American Journal of Public Health 107, no. 2 (February 1, 2017): pp. 267-273.)

Meyers continued, “The high rate was so shocking, I had to check it three times to make sure we weren't making any mistakes.” He added, “We need to understand whether there are biases ingrained in our court system that lead to sexual minorities being handled in a different way.” Prisoners on the inside have no doubt of this discrimination. “This raises a lot of questions and a call-to-action for policy changes in both jails and prisons,” Meyers concluded. The six study authors speculate that prejudice toward sexual minorities might be the cause of this discriminatory treatment - from initial contact with law enforcement, to over-policing of “sexual offenses,” from family rejection to social pressures and community-level marginalization - ending with the disproportionate imprisonment and abuse of LGBT’s that Rich has experienced first-hand for 21 years.

One would think prison Administration would welcome the contribution inmates like Rich Dyches can make. Yet, in his efforts to help himself, he is denied all transfers and is told "You ain't going nowhere until you stop reporting the abuse. You are appropriately placed." Whatever that means. No one will say how that is determined. It's a catch-all term for punishment and discrimination. Rich continues being housed in a maximum-security prison. Yet others with life sentences and less time served, whose prison resumes and behavior records are not nearly as impressive as Rich's, are held in lower-security prisons. No one will say how they got there and he can't. Is it because of Dyches' sexual orientation and retaliation for reporting the harassment and abuse? The connection cannot be ignored. Openly gay legislators and advocacy groups have turned a deaf ear to this as has the "gay-friendly" Attorney General of Illinois. Even gay staff will not report or acknowledge the abuse for fear of retaliation by coworkers.

What does Illinois have to gain from sexually harassing and abusing a 66-year-old senior with life-threatening health problems who has a great deal to offer, who tirelessly tries to help others, who tries to give back and atone? Few inmates even have the wherewithal to report the abuse or file grievances. IDOC clearly does not reward positive behavior. One staff member reported, "Rich is a very kind, polite, respectful, soft-spoken man."

Abuse is not part of anyone's sentence. It is impossible for prisoners to atone in IDOC. All crimes are not the same and rarely are they as accurate and egregious as reported.

 

Please Help in Any Way You Can!

Help us save Rich Dyches and other LGBT "fallen angels." Write to the governor, legislators, IDOC and media to demand better treatment for Rich and all LGBT prisoners and equal justice in court. And please, donate what you can through this campaign. We need all of your support!

Send Rich your letters of support and encouragement to Rich Dyches, K68728, PO Box 1000, Menard, Illinois 62259. No inmates please.

Please write to the Governor, Attorney General and IDOC Director of Illinois in support of Rich at the following addresses:


Office of the Governor, Illinois
Governor Bruce Rauner
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
Online email form (click here)


Illinois Attorney General
Lisa Madigan
500 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 782-1090
TTY: 1-877-844-5461
Online email form (click here)


Illinois Department of Corrections
Acting Director John R. Baldwin
1301 Concordia Court
P.O. Box 19277
Springfield, IL 62794-9277
(217) 558-2200 x 2008
Online email form (click here)

 PLEASE HELP!

Please show your support by sending donations so we can legally challenge the treatment of LGBT prisoners, end this abuse and unfair treatment, and demand equal justice for all LGBT prisoners. Together we can make a difference! Please, donate here at FundRazr. You can contact us through our website: www.nationalapr.org . Visit our LGBT Fallen Angels website: www.lgbtfallenangels.com .

THANK YOU! Handcuffed silhouettes of hands against rainbow background

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In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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While we understand that some people who donate prefer to do so anonymously, others prefer to donate publicly in support of a cause; both are perfectly fine! For those who want their name "out there" and included as someone who wants to stand up for this cause, we will create a Donor Recognition and Thank You page on our Alliance for Prisoners Rights website. We are proud to post your name there as a supporter and patron who wants the unfair and cruel abuse of any person to stop, and we hope you will feel proud to be included.

In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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While we understand that some people who donate prefer to do so anonymously, others prefer to donate publicly in support of a cause; both are perfectly fine! For those who want their name "out there" and included as someone who wants to stand up for this cause, we will create a Donor Recognition and Thank You page on our Alliance for Prisoners Rights website. We are proud to post your name there as a supporter and patron who wants the unfair and cruel abuse of any person to stop, and we hope you will feel proud to be included.

In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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While we understand that some people who donate prefer to do so anonymously, others prefer to donate publicly in support of a cause; both are perfectly fine! For those who want their name "out there" and included as someone who wants to stand up for this cause, we will create a Donor Recognition and Thank You page on our Alliance for Prisoners Rights website. We are proud to post your name there as a supporter and patron who wants the unfair and cruel abuse of any person to stop, and we hope you will feel proud to be included.

In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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In addition, we will send you a personal letter of thanks and appreciation for your kind donation. We aren't celebrities or stars and no wants our autographs, but we do know the feeling of being personally acknowledged and thanked and we want you to know we mean it - thank you for your help!
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