John’s update 9 2023 2

September 2023

How KY DOC keeps people like me in the Hole for years when the law says we can’t stay in here longer than 30 days at a time

Hello to all my friends and supporters!

It’s your favorite Prisoner of War here at KSP! Yet another report from the front lines of hell. I am currently sitting in a 153 year old cell, doing 19 months (minimum) Solitary in the most inhumane conditions imaginable. Many of you have heard me describe the blatantly ILLEGALLY conditions of my confinement in “the Hole” in prior updates. I explained how KY DOC keeps people like me in the Hole for years when the law says we can’t stay in here longer than 30 days at a time. As I mentioned in my previous update, my friend Eric Chapman has been in this hole since 2013!! Today I plan to break down how I am spending 19 months in the hole for blatantly illegal write-ups. I did not throw a punch, I didn’t touch a drug or a weapon, and I didn’t assault a staff member. I did nothing but breathe and not stay silent about the injustice and abuse here.. Recently, I filed an injunction with the court, handwritten from my cell that calls out the KSP Administration and the KY DOC (Dept. of Corrections) at large for promulgating write-ups that do not have the color of law. That lawsuit in its entirety can be seen HERE. It explains everything much more thoroughly than I can do here.

Many of you know that I was transferred to a lower security prison—which was closer to two of my girls—for 2 months last year–Southeastern State Correctional Complex (SSCC). This transfer occurred 3 months after I had placed a full page Open Letter in the Louisville Courier Journal that blew the whistle on many of the horrid conditions, abusive treatment and illegal activities occurring at KSP (KY State Penitentiary). The KSP Administration—including the Warden, the two Deputy Wardens, and Internal Affairs officers Bare, Larue and Harper were NOT happy about that article. Prisoners at KSP call all of the people I just listed the “Luckett Mafia” which refers to another prison—Luther Luckett (LL)—where they all worked together . When I was transferred away from KSP (what I thought was an attempt to get my away from that prison for exposing the corruption) I thought I had finally escaped the stench of that place. What I did not know was that a member of the “Luckett Mafia” was the head of Internal Affairs down at the Southeastern State Correctional Center (SSCC) where I’d been transferred. Captain Lana Taylor had worked for Warden Scott Jordan and with everyone else at listed at LL. I did not know I’d been set up. I had no clue I was on my way back to KSP Hell. I thought if I stayed out of the way and kept my head down that I could avoid coming back to this nightmare…. When will I learn?

When I first came to Prison, I hung around with a non-racist group of guys, out of necessity for somewhere to set my stuff on the yard where it wouldn’t get stolen more than anything else. The politics soon bothered me and I broke away off on my own. Because of this short association I was placed into a “gang file” (which I have been trying for years to be unlisted from). Five years later, I was written up for having a Purple Heart painted on the back of my guitar along with a 3 rd Battallion Scroll. I then received a “gang paraphernalia” write up for this… Even though the officer that “investigated” this “gang” symbol write-up wrote in his report that this was clearly NOT a gang symbol and was indeed Ranger oriented, the Warden over-rode his assessment and bumped it back up to a Gang Charge (a very serious charge)..

Fast forward to my experience at SSCC. I received 3 write ups: 1) walking around the exercise track with 5 other guys. This is literally the ONLY thing to do in prison, and it was alleged to be a “meeting”- Ridiculous. I soundly defeated this logic in the arguments included in the lawsuit. 2) I broke up a fight. A 1-on-1 fight turned into a bigger fight when some younger guys jumped in. This was in an open dorm, military style barracks. I stood up off my bed and told them to stop. I wasn’t near them, I didn’t touch them. I didn’t want to see them get into serious trouble. So I was accused of orchestrating the entire fight.

For those 2 write-ups I was transferred back to KSP. Upon arriving here a kite (note) was found on another prisoner. The kite was not to me or from me. The kite didn’t mention me and was not in my handwriting. I was charged with a brand new “gang” write-up for all 3 other these incidents and was given 6 months in the Hole. 12 years of non-restorable Good time was taken (that’s 12 EXTRA years in prison). I want you to know that I fought all these charges and with hard evidence, witness testimonies including officers. I was still convicted. I’m also being forced to do that “Transition Unit Program” which has a 6 month waiting list and takes 6 months to complete. Stiff consequences for not doing anything. I’d never even heard of the “gang” write-ups, so I began to study them. Turns out, just like most of my experiences in KY DOC—especially KSP—the write-ups weren’t even legal.

In order for KY DOC to take non-restorable Good Time from a prisoner, the Disciplinary Report Category has to go thru a legislative Revue process by the KY State Legislature to test the Disciplinary Report (DR) Category for Constitutional issues. Once this is done, a process is enacted to amend Correctional Policies and Procedures to add DR Categories—like these “gang’ write-ups. Turns out that process was never gone through. Instead KY DOC Commissioner Crews decide to issue a “memorandum” to “cut through the red tap” of state bureaucracy. This memorandum, issued on March 1 st , 2022, in effect ILLEGALLY gave authority to prison Administrators to do what they did to me: Falsely allege “gang” affiliations without confirmation or proper procedures. Take YEARS of Good time loss without the color of law. And single out and retaliate against “gang” members– like myself who is NOT a “gang” member!- burying them in Solitary confinement with impunity as they have done to me.

In my research, I found a law citation, KRS 18A.130(2) which states: “any administrative body memorandum, internal policy or other form of action violative of this section or the spirit thereof is null, void, and unenforceable.” Seems pretty damning, right? Like getting your hand caught in the cookie jar? These non-conforming write-ups are very SERIOUS. And so many of the guys in “the Hole” with me right now are convicted of the same thing! As I researched more I found that KY DOC had amended more than half their policies via memorandum. Each policy carries the effect of law to those of us unlucky u to be subject to them. The language of these policies had been altered to be so vague that the Administration could manipulate each policy whatever way it chose. Little by little, “memorandums” had been issued to make it harder and harder for prisoners like me to “enjoy” what the State Legislature had legislatively determined was the “Constitutional minimums”

Dear reader, when I say that I’ve been in isolation for 7 months now with at least 12 more to go, ILLEGALLY, I don’t exaggerate. When I tell you about a state-led conspiracy to deprive me of my right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I am not elaborating. If you’ve the time and patience, read the handwritten injunction I filed from inside this dingy 153 year old Isolation cell. ( ) You may not be able to stomach the injustice, the hubris of a system that plays God. Prisoners languish for years, sometimes decades, under conditions that would make you feel physically sick. There’s money to be made off of these “programs’ which is the incentive for many. And in my case, the incentive is pure retaliation.

Tonight, a man I knew well who had spent 2 years in the Hole being “programmed” was finally released to the yard and killed by another prisoner. He was excited to be released after being in Hell for so long. This horrible act just happens to fall organically into this area of the update. I find myself reflecting on this insane world I’m forced to occupy and navigate. As an innocent man, an Army Ranger who abides by a sense of honor, it’s hard to watch others suffer and not speak up myself. I’m a tough ole bird and I can handle more than most in stoic silence—and I think that’s due to my Ranger training. When I see others being picked on, the solider instinct in me kicks in. Here in prison that paints a target on your back, one I’ve knowingly taken on and defended time and again. I do pray that the evil here gets exposed, that there is justice for those who have so blatantly done harm to others, and my nightmare ends soon. I also pray that I can say I never ran from a conflict out of fear and that I did some good with the gifts God gave me.

Just by reading this you are helping me, just by making yourself aware of what actually does go on, far worse than the outside can imagine. If you want to do more, you can always donate to my legal fund.

You can also ask my Aunt Carol for guidance by contacting her here.

The money we have been using is not infinite and is quickly dwindling. We would all so appreciate your help! And please join us in praying for freedom and holding onto Hope!

Ranger Buckley from The Front Lines Out!

RLTW! (Rangers Lead the Way!)

By |2023-09-22T13:48:16-06:00September 12th, 2023|Categories: Letters from John, News & Updates|0 Comments

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