C C E S S T O J
U S T I C E
w w w . a c c e s s - t o
- j u s t i c e . o r g
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
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
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
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
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.