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Old 02-09-2017, 06:48 AM   #31
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

Why wouldn't they just medically discharge her?
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:53 AM   #32
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

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Why wouldn't they just medically discharge her?
I'm sure they did. Maybe not right after the incident, when there were still people who wanted everything exposed in open court to placate, but after those involved had gone on to other duties and it seemed less likely that anyone would question an act that amounted to giving up jurisdiction over someone involved in a felony on a military base that resulted in three deaths, 2-3 attempted murders and a few assaults.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:29 AM   #33
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

Not a doctor or a lawyer, nor do I play one in real life. I do have a cousin however who is a doctor (phd) and does testify in trials from time to time. So he can't get me drugs but can get me committed. :)

Asking him about these things, he told me that 1) a person not fit to stand trial is probably in a very very bad way and 2) "not guilty by reason of insanity" will pretty much guarantee you being in a mental institution for double the amount of time a conviction would have landed you.

Nuff said.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:17 AM   #34
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

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Asking him about these things, he told me that 1) a person not fit to stand trial is probably in a very very bad way
Back in 2000, when the events that form the important backstory of the campaign took place, an apparent total catatonic state that had lasted months was probably a reasonable reason to find Sherilyn Bell unfit to stand trial until she was responsive in some way.

The shady part is that she is responsive now and apparently has been for years. She may be delusional, schizophrenic, manic-depressive and even suffering from antisocial personality disorder or a range of other possible diagnoses, but she almost certainly meets the typically low bar that sanity boards usually impose on individuals accused of crimes to be tried at general court martial.

Either someone applied pressure or bureaucratic trickery to prevent regular re-assessments of her case or someone was falsifying records by certifying her as unfit to stand trial even after she became responsive to stimuli.

Granted, it may not be the biggest crime that our characters encounter in the campaign, but it's still something that bothers Taylor, my character, a lot. She's not locked up and deprived of all rights because she committed crimes or even because someone found her not guilty by reason of insanity and committed her to an asylum instead. That he could possibly deal with. But the fact that she's illegally detained and has been for almost two decades makes him furious. She may or may not be guilty, but absent a trial, she ought to be presumed innocent.

This may have something to do with his feelings for her and/or that while he made many attempts to see her after the initial incident, he eventually accepted explanations from various Army, DoD, HHS and VA officials that she was unresponsive and unavailable to visitors outside the family. He now feels extremely guilty over this and wonders if he could have changed anything by being more persistent, not allowing his commanding officer to talk him out of anything that risked violating various Espionage Act and UCMJ provisos, maybe even hiring a lawyer or bringing the situation to the attention of some human rights organisation.

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and 2) "not guilty by reason of insanity" will pretty much guarantee you being in a mental institution for double the amount of time a conviction would have landed you.

Nuff said.
Well, Sherilyn Bell has been in a mental institution for 17 years without being convicted of anything, with her outside communications totally restricted and enduring solitary confinement during long periods, with the exception of contact with supervising physician and other medical staff. Nor does she have any prospect of getting out without, perhaps, help from the PCs or the NPCs that employ them.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:12 AM   #35
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Default USDB Fort Leavenworth recreation facilities, rules, procedures, etc.

Because I got useful answers in this thread from people with actual experience in the military detention field, I thought I'd try to get some 'slice-of-life' flavour for a character who spent his time from 4th of July 2011 to the end of January 2017 as a guest of the federal government, most of it at USDB Fort Leavenworth, as he was a serving member of the US Army when arrested and charged with murder.

I'm wondering about stuff like what the character would have done all day. I've already got the fascinating tidbit that smoking is forbidden, which makes USDB life very different from most prison movies, TV series and even documentaries set in state or federal prisons for civilian felons. But what else is different in the daily routine of military prisoners?

Would the character have spent most of his time in his cell or in some form of common area?

Do the prisoners in the USDB have jobs like inmates in many civilian prisons?

What are the exercise and recreational facilities like and are there rules on how long they can be used?

What popular culture would the character have been exposed to during his incarceration and what would he have missed entirely?

There's probably a library, but what are the rules on Internet use?

If there are TVs in common areas, do they have basic cable? Are there movies or TV series that prisoners can't watch due to 'disturbing' or 'immoral' content?

Who selects the programming for the TVs, if there are any?

Are the prisoners able to to watch live sports events, like college football (SEC by the character's preference), the NFL (especially during the post-season) or other sports?

If not live, do they get access to older games somehow?

And does anyone know what TV shows or other popular culture would have been most commonly consumed, influential or preferred in USDB Fort Leavenworth between 2011-2017?
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:44 PM   #36
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

Military prison is not something that anyone would want to experience because of the dishonorable discharge after finishing your sentence. I have known a few unfortunates that ran afoul of the system (some of them were old salts that were allowed back into service when they completed their time, others were given dishonorable discharges after they served their sentence). In the USA, companies that do business with the US government (most of them) are forbidden from hiring people with dishonorable discharges, and they cannot qualify for financial aid for school and a number of other government benefits.

When it comes to someone who is mentally unfit for trial, things become much more complicated though. Unless they are considered a threat to others, they will likely be held in a mental ward at a military hospital until they have been stabilized. If they are considered completely unfit for trial after being stabilized, I would think that most military prosecutors will not even attempt prosecution because they have better use of their time than losing a trial due to an insanity plea, so the service person would be medically separated and transferred to a civilian institution for the rest of their life. Alternatively, they will declare the issue a Personality Disorder and avoid giving them a medical discharge if they can get away with it (the US military is notorious about doing that, even though anyone with a Personality Disorder is supposed to be weeded out during Basic Training, as the service person is rarely in the state of mind to allow them to do anything about it).
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #37
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

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Military prison is not something that anyone would want to experience because of the dishonorable discharge after finishing your sentence. I have known a few unfortunates that ran afoul of the system (some of them were old salts that were allowed back into service when they completed their time, others were given dishonorable discharges after they served their sentence).
Did you hear enough from the to take a stab at answering some of the questions about daily life and routine at USDB Fort Leavenworth in the post above yours?

What is different and what is similar in the day-to-day life between military prison and the prisons familiar from typical US media?

Do military prisoners socialise in common areas or stay in their cells most of the day?

What about exercise and workouts? Prison yards? Weight rooms? Handball courts? Running tracks?

Or entertainment? Are there TV rooms? If there are, what channels can they or do they watch? Can they watch live sports, like SEC or NFL football? Or the Army-Navy game? Are certain TV shows forbidden or do they get all popular shows? Basic cable? Probably not HBO...
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:31 PM   #38
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

It is pretty bleak from what I understand. They have gyms and common areas, but there are few luxuries, and abuse from other prisoners and guards is common. If you toe the line, you get privileges. If you do not, you spend 23 hours a day in your cell.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:35 PM   #39
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

One tidbit that I recall is that prisoners are not allowed to sleep (or even lay down) except during designated hours- 2100 to 0600 or whatever. They must stand or sit. Military regulation specifies that they have to be engaged in productive labor 40 hours a week (if possible). As far as socializing and mixing I think it's vaguely similar to other prisons in that it varies. What I read implies that as in other prisons there are custody grades that run from trusty all the way up to maximum. I.e. for most prisoners there is a common area, but I recall a (possibly apocryphal) story of a Leavenworth prisoner so mean he was sentenced to "no human contact" for the remainder of his sentence after he killed someone or something.

For more details, I just googled "daily life at leavenworth disciplinary barrracks" and had a whole page full of appropriate-sounding hits, including this one about Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning.

A side note-- I read the earlier discussion, and US military criminal prisoners are very much still in the military with rank E-1. That they are not allowed to salute is immaterial- that's part of their punishment. But sentences read like this: "reduction in grade to E1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and incarceration for X years." And at the end of their sentence they are dishonorably discharged. But they are grade E1 in the disciplinary barracks, to keep them susceptible to military discipline, meaning the usual things are aren't normally considered crimes (or at least violations) in civilian life do still apply to them. For instance, uniform standards like being clean shaven every day, and keeping a neat room, etc.

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Old 01-11-2018, 01:06 AM   #40
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Default Re: Custody of federal prisoners convicted at court martial or unfit for trial

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One tidbit that I recall is that prisoners are not allowed to sleep (or even lay down) except during designated hours- 2100 to 0600 or whatever. They must stand or sit. Military regulation specifies that they have to be engaged in productive labor 40 hours a week (if possible). As far as socializing and mixing I think it's vaguely similar to other prisons in that it varies. What I read implies that as in other prisons there are custody grades that run from trusty all the way up to maximum. I.e. for most prisoners there is a common area, but I recall a (possibly apocryphal) story of a Leavenworth prisoner so mean he was sentenced to "no human contact" for the remainder of his sentence after he killed someone or something.
Okay, Chase Taylor would have been an examplary prisoner, of course. Except that displays of Bully, bigotry or meanness against the weak and defenceless will trigger his Intolerance against bullies and bigots, and can sometimes provoke him to Bad Temper.

Enter storyline of movies like Cool Hand Luke or The Last Castle.

So, in a perfectly run prison with respectful, professional and omniscient guards maintaining order at all times, never allowing prisoners to abuse each other, Taylor would have come through as a model inmate, favourite of all the guards.*

If bullying, threats, ethnic or religious prejudice or other form of bigotry are common, however, Taylor is nearly certain to have clashed with whomever is engaging in it. The severity of such clashes depends on whether the bullies or bigots are guards, an embroynic prison gang (officially not present at USDB, but hard to prevent tribalism from forming), just a lone tough guy prisoner or maybe a frightened, lone prisoner presenting a tough front.

Worst case, Taylor gets into a fight with the guards after intervening when a bad apple among the guard force was indulging his Bully (and/or racism or other bigotry). Second to worst case, he earns the enmity of influential prisoners at the head of the closest thing to a prison gang, which probably means that he gets into several fights, but the guards may be inclined to listen to claims of self-defence for some of it.

Best case, it never gets above the use of Intimidate on both sides.

*Handsome, Charisma 2, Silver Star, talents that affect soldiers (especially recon specialists, stalkers and rangers) and are good for an extra +8 in the best case (such as with a professional soldier in a special operation MOS), and at least +4 for any guards who view themselves as career military. Goes a long way toward getting a positive reaction even with a Criminal Record and a -3 Reputation for having been convicted of a murder of some poor truck driver.

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For more details, I just googled "daily life at leavenworth disciplinary barrracks" and had a whole page full of appropriate-sounding hits, including this one about Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning.
Ooh, thanks. This is all great info. Touch football, I note. I'm sure that never leads to fights...

Now I just need to figure out what movies and TV shows they allow. Civilian prisons generally don't show R-rated films or the TV show equivalent, but I wonder if PG-13 is allowed.

Edit: I discover that they have satellite cable and are allowed to watch the NFL. Correctional officers can block certain channels due to concerns over objectionable content, which led to them blocking Fox for the entire time that Prison Break aired. This caused much sadness, as it was blocked even while other programming was on, including the all-important NFL games that Fox was showing.

Could Taylor have seen the recent spate of superhero movies or would he have missed them entirely? What TV shows can he have seen and which are unfamiliar to him?

What pop culture references from 2011-2017 will he recognise and which will just fly over his head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
A side note-- I read the earlier discussion, and US military criminal prisoners are very much still in the military with rank E-1. That they are not allowed to salute is immaterial- that's part of their punishment. But sentences read like this: "reduction in grade to E1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and incarceration for X years." And at the end of their sentence they are dishonorably discharged. But they are grade E1 in the disciplinary barracks, to keep them susceptible to military discipline, meaning the usual things are aren't normally considered crimes (or at least violations) in civilian life do still apply to them. For instance, uniform standards like being clean shaven every day, and keeping a neat room, etc.
Well, thrash and you have exactly the opposite take on this. Kind of makes it hard for me to decide. Maybe, though, the philosophical distinction gives enough latitude for different NPCs (and the PC who was incarcerated there) to each have their own interpretation of his current status. He hasn't yet been dishonourably discharge and legally, should still be serving out his sentence, but is temporarily in the custody of a task force comprising Army MI, DIA and various Homeland Security elements.

As far as it is likely to come up in play, I understand that the correct form of address is 'Prisoner [Lastname]', he does not salute (and is not allowed to). Instead of a uniform, he probably has some form of prison wear, but is not wearing it anymore.

Edit: I've now read interviews with a correctional officer at USDB Ft. Leavenworth, two former prisoners there and a series of forum threads for ex-cons, family members and suchlike. Apparently, at USDB Ft. Leavenworth, the incarcerated are addressed as 'Inmate [Last Name'. In other military prisons, including in a RCF in Germany, JRCF at Leavenworth and a naval brig where one inmate spent time during the court martial, they were addressed as 'Prisoner [Last Name].

Also, around 2011-2014, NCIS, Fargo and The Real Housewives of Atlanta were the most popular TV shows. Three TVs to a housing unit, one for 'Whites', one for 'Brothers' and one for 'Latino' (also includes most Other). The 'Brothers' one is usually turned to BET or ESPN, the 'Latino' one to Univision. 'Whites' watch Fox (except when it was blocked because of Prison Break), various reality TV, NCIS, Fargo and some science fiction TV (whatever that means to an aggressively straight-laced, jockish, anti-geek former military officer).

Fridays are movie nights and the Avengers and other MCU movies were shown, within a few months of release. Chess, Monopoly, card games, a few board games I didn't recognise and, amusingly, D&D, are the most common recreations outside of workouts and reading. Softball was banned after 2010. Touch football does indeed lead to fights. Basketball court and job track. USDB Ft. Leavenworth is the only federal facility still allowing free weights in the weight room. And there is no Internet, at all, ever.

No commisary either, but you are allowed to write in monthly orders for $25 worth of Health and Comfort items, from some limited list. Kool-Aid knockoff, ramen, peanut butter, shampoo. I'm still checking if I can find a comprehensive list, including whether you could buy candy (and which kinds) or soda (Coke or Pepsi?).
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