David J. Annarelli 1853637 A-137
PO Box 518
Pocahontas VA 24635
December 9, 2022
If you follow the news, you are well aware of a Virginian name Officer Edwards, who recently used police training to attempt to groom a teenage girl for his pedophile needs.
When it didn’t pay off he drove to California, murdered her family, burned down their
house and kidnapped the girl. He eventually died in a fire fight with California police.
Around the same time, back at a Virginia president, a VA DOC guard named Owens at
Keen Mountain Correction Center beat a prison nurse to death in the prison. She was
pregnant with the guard’s child and was threatening to tell his wife about their affair…
These are Virginians, and they are the type of people who flock to jobs and corrections
in law-enforcement in Virginia. Virginia officials will tell you they don’t know how people
who are so dangerous slipped through background checks. Virginia officials are lying to
you because these are the people they look to recruit.
There are more subtle forms of this sociopathic behavior, and the guards and other staff
at the notorious Pocahontas State Corruption Center exercise these forms of open
torture daily. One of the most common is the deliberate tampering with mail. Two of the
most often seen names are Hagerty and McCall. Aside from delaying outgoing mail,
sometimes for weeks (if they send it at all), incoming mail is often denied outright for
any number of nonsensical and often false reasons. An example of this is the denial of a
book review/catalog. The reason cited was “no nude or semi nude images”. Upon
investigation it was determined that “nude/semi nude” was a tank top shirt. Absolutely
nothing “nude or semi nude“ by any known standards of decency. Of course the target
of this mail denial was a known political writer and the review catalog was from a
publisher – Fifth Estate – that focuses on political themes, many of them anti-prison.
What these two VA DOC employees did – mail tampering – is a federal crime.
This is just one example of a massive assault on the guarantees of the First
Amendment. It is a common event that is meant to not only prevent communications
from exposing the other criminal acts by PSCC staff, but it’s also is a means of isolating
the captives. It’s a vicious form of psychological torture and harm. They want the
captives to believe they are alone, that they are forgotten by their friends and family.
This is solely to make them – the captives – not only more susceptible to further and
more cruel abuses, but also to force a level of acceptance of the abuse.
To further this endeavor it is important to prevent grievances and complaints from being
seen by those at regional or Central (Richmond) administration. Though in all reality,
since the VA DOC only recruits and promote from within its own insular institutions, the
administrators at every meaningful level were hand-picked for their silence and loyalty
to the VA DOC. Without their allowance of endless cruelty and torture, it could be
stopped. Still, “grievance coordinators” such as C. Smalling at PSCC, whose unwritten
job description is “grievance disappear-er”. She answers the grievances herself –
instead of routing them to the proper areas for re-dress – and she makes sure they are
not properly logged so that they disappear as needed. This is especially important in
preventing lawsuits from being filed, some thing PSCC is prone to due to its white
nationalist majority staff and their daily human rights abuses. Without an exhausted
grievance process any lawsuit brought by a prisoner is immediately dismissed by the
courts. In Virginia, even the Federal court judges are Virginians.
Other more harmful – yet just a subtle – forms of torture and harm are the 24 hour
lights, a gift from 15 years of Assistant Wardens who should be in prison themselves.
Currently the PSCC Assistant Warden, Mr. Collins, is facing at least six sexualharassment suits at three different prisons including PSCC. They just move the guy
from one prison to the next and fire the people who lodged the complaints.
Yet another way the staff abuse the captives is through an especially vicious misuse of
the PA system. There are several ways to do this but the two most common are as
Three very dangerous guards, Barry, Sargent and Shelton are particularly fond of
turning the PA system up to full volume and screaming into the microphone. Since they
work on the night shift you might imagine the problems this might cause for the
captives. 9 PM, 10 PM, 12 AM, 3 AM, 5 AM, anytime they feel like scaring the living hell
out of the 250 people and also disturbing their sleep. This sort of abuse is completely
illegal yet all complaints are ignored or disappeared. These acts are a sign of
sociopathic behavior and given that 40% of Virginia’s captives are warehoused mental
health cases, it is so very devastating. The flipside to this is turning the PA system
volume down so low that no one can hear announcements. This causes not only missed
classes, programs or medical appointments, but it also allows guards to justify all
manner of false charges against captives, most often “disobeying a direct order” or
“unauthorized area”. Both are low level charges but they cause sanctions and fines.
They also make your record appear as if you are a problem all of the time, and if you
get too many you will be transferred to a higher security prison.
Another regular problem comes from guards such as Craig, Bogle, Kimble and others
like them – most of the guards. They are openly racist and antisemitic, go out of their
way to verbally – and sometimes physically – abuse anyone they are able to. On the
boulevard, in the education and library buildings, in the chow hall, any place they are
able to, and they get away with it repeatedly. This has gone on for years and years
without any change or even the least rubber bands. To give you a better idea of just how
far it can go on PSCC’s compound here is a scenario that happened recently:
A guard named Horton and his wife, also a guard, both work on the compound. This is a
violation of policy for a lot of good sense reasons, but PSCC itself is a major violation of
DOC policy and too many lost count. Mrs. Horton, while married to one guard, is
sleeping with several others on the compound during working hours. It is common
knowledge to everyone. As you might expect, Mr. Horton gets fed up with his wife’s
extramarital affairs and decides to solve the problem. This guy brings a loaded weapon
THROUGH the gates – apparently staff were not checking guards as they came in– with
the intent of making some examples. Those examples were going to be PRISONERS!
Not the other guards who were involved with the wife, but PRISONERS! Fortunately a
few guards stuck in and put a stop to this before anyone is hurt, but still, Mr. Horton is
only fired and walked off the compound. Not a single criminal charge was brought even
though he broke half a dozen laws… His wife was recently promoted to “counselor”, and
he was just rehired to work at the same prison and on the same shift as his wife.
Virginians and the VA DOC…
PSCC staff feed captives food that says “not for human consumption“ on the box. Its
medical staff is entirely unqualified in every way. It’s psychologist do not have the
experience to handle severe mental health issues and are even falsifying records to
avoid even dealing with mental health because the facility — and the VA DOC — are
simply not capable or design to handle such issues. Add to this all the well-known and
common place issues with corrupt prison staff – and put the prison in a well hidden
county at the end of some “wrong turn“ Road; in a state that seems to be growing it’s
right wing neo-Nazi extremist population, and you have a real time disaster unfolding
daily… The other 40 prisons in Virginia – a long time slave economy – are no better. On
top of all of that, add a 20% rate of innocence/wrongful conviction (approximately 5000
people as of this writing)… Harsh action must be taken to stop this madness.
David Annarelli is a father, musician, activist and political prisoner. He is wrongfully
convicted and unlawfully incarcerated and occupied Virginia. He is a contributing writer
at Prison Journalism Project.