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by Theodora Statoff

In April 1999, one Phillip "Otis" Brown was arrested by the federal authorities in Vermont. The charges were subsequently dropped.
In the meantime,however, Brown got transported across the USA, and submitted to what prisoners commonly refer to as "diesel therapy".
TransCor, Inc. , a subsidiary of CCA, contracts the "cost effective" transportation of federal inmates.
They get picked up from different "depots" - body warehouses - en route to this state or that, cuffed, shackled and chained from the waist - and then to each other - and driven in the back of special vehicles for periods of several hours without proper ventilation or bathroom breaks.

Prison is not supposed to be recreational, you would argue.
Nor is it meant to be degrading, cruel and torturous, say the Human Rights Act. 

In his claim against TransCor , P. "Otis" Brown alleges hair raising horrors, which I will describe forthwith.
He would, wouldn't he, you might say...
His account of uncommon cruelty is corroborated by countless others - totally unrelated - offered by inmates through their attorneys.

Phillip Brown provides a graphic and illustrated description of the conditions in a TransCor van. 
A number of male and female prisoners are "secured" in the van which has a punishment cage - a steel mesh enclosure - for those who insist on having regular bathroom breaks and water. 
Driven in irons for days, the prisoners develop bleeding limbs and dehydration problems , as they are forced to sleep, eat, urinate and generally exist in the same confined area for days. 
When voicing a complaint about dehydration, for example, they get sprayed with water. The guards' mantra is : "The more you complain, the less you get".
In some cases, they are threatened with remaining in transportation for 180 days. 
No safety belts in the vans have allegedly led to accidents where prisoners have suffered injuries. Attempts to report those have met with threats also.
Refusal to sign a release form has led to threatening prisoners with transporting them back to the place of picking up and again to the place of confinement. Medical problems were totally ignored and exacerbated during the transportation process. 
"Tough luck" appeared to be the guards' attitude. 
On the subject of food and water, TransCor employees cited the company's "cost efficiency" drive and fed prisoners on child size burgers twice a day, with an Egg Mc for breakfast. 
Phillip Brown remained in a TransCor van , chained and immobilized for the most part, deprived of medical attention and suffering horrific injuries as a result of the treatment, from the 28th April until the 11th May.
When his charges were dismissed, he sought to fight the mighty corporation with his limited resources. 
His outrage is shared by many.

You might think that a business partner of CCA or newly pardoned Mr. Rich, say, would heed this and contribute to his legal costs....
After all, we all have to put something back into society....
But the rich are busy subsidizing political campaigns, reinvesting their profits, and endowing trendy charities.
The Phillip "Otis" Browns of this world cannot afford a DC lobbyist , nor an Alan Dershowitz to stand up for them in the courtroom as well as in the TV studio.


 TransCor were invited to , but have not commented on the practice of "diesel therapy".

A copy of "Prisons on Wheels" - Phillip Brown's graphic account of his ordeal - can be obtained directly from this website.