Inmate at Greene Correctional placed in solitary claims retaliation
Four weeks of uncertainty seem to be coming to an end. For Alaina Givhan and her husband a battle with the Greene Correctional Facility has some closure.
"He did have a hearing [Monday]. They asked him if he’d be okay with completing a hearing without the officer there. He said, yeah at this point he just wants it to be over with, and they said, ‘Okay, the hearing is finished, here’s your disposition paper. Go pack up your stuff you’re going back to general population,’" said Alaina.
Since October 21, Rashad Givhan has been in a solitary cell at Greene. He was placed in what is known as Administrative Segregation immediately after Alaina first spoke with NewsChannel 13 on camera after her husband and others tested positive for COVID-19 but received multiple conflicting test results.
Alaina says Rashad was handcuffed and taken out of his quarantine dorm and was not allowed to take his personal belongings.
NewsChannel 13 contacted the Department of Corrections the next day as Alaina and Rashad believed he was being retaliated against.
DOCCS told NewsChannel 13 a sergeant in another dorm had heard inmates blaming Rashad for loss of visitation at the facility even though NewsChannel 13 reported that the decision to suspend visitation was made at the request of NYSCOPBA, the union that represents corrections officers.
Within hours of our first call with DOCCS, Rashad once again had his own things and access to a tablet to make phone calls. However, weeks later, Rashad was still in solitary waiting on a hearing that Alaina says was pushed back even though there was a deadline to have it completed.
Alaina says Rashad hasn’t been receiving personal email and was confined to his cell 23 hours a day. Rashad was told his hearing was delayed because the sergeant who filed the complaint wasn’t available to participate.
When questioned about the hearing DOCCS told NewsChannel 13 the hearing was postponed because Rashad requested a call with his attorney. DOCCS says Greene says they tried to contact the attorney multiple times but never got a call back. However, Rashad did speak with his attorney on November 5 and says the initial hearing was held on the 11th at which point it was postponed further.
NewsChannel 13 spoke with a representative from the Prisoners Rights Project who says they have no record of Greene attempting to contact the attorney. They confirmed they mailed out a legal packet to Rashad back on October 27 and then sent a second one last week after Rashad alerted them he never received it.
After multiple calls to DOCSS from NewsChannel 13 on Monday, Rashad was given a new hearing that afternoon without prior notification but seemingly with a positive result.
"I’m hopeful that today is the end because administrative segregation can go on forever," said Alaina. "A lot of sleepless nights but I think I’m gonna sleep well tonight."
DOCCS confirmed to NewsChannel 13 that Rashad was returning to general population in an email that read:
"Following the completion of his Administrative Segregation Hearing this afternoon, the Chief Hearing Officer determined that the individual would be released from Administrative Segregation and will be placed back into general population."