A Dispatch from the Front (Oregon State Prison)

When I was last — for some 100 days; they said they needed the time to determine if I understood the charges against me — in Multnomah County Jail, I met Shane Greene, cocaine addict. Well, meth too; lots of folks I met there had gone from coke to meth.

I think the account which follows is persuasive and significant in casting light on how tenacious are the tentacles of the Prison/Drug industrial complex.  For that reason Shane Greene is the guest blogger today.

What I told Shane was, should he ever consider running as a candidate on the Pacific Green Party ticket, no one in the Party would hold his past against him. I let him here speak for himself, as he addresses the sentencing authority in the state system of locking people up for just about ever.

To: Intake counselor
From: Shane Vondel Michael Greene, ID # 14840834

Re: Criminal behavior and risk factors responsible for this current period of incarceration

On or about 23 May 2014, I relapsed into old behaviors: alcohol/crack cocaine abuse. The single most important lapse was in not relying on my Alcoholics Anonymous/ Home for Good Oregon-Prison Fellowship Support members. By not remaining “open, honest, and willing” with my A.A. sponsor and failing simply to say these four words — “I Need Your Help!” — these behaviors led me back to chronic homelessness and to self-medication through illicit street drugs instead of maintaining my contact with Cascadia Mental Health and taking my psychotropic medications for PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Once caught again in the grip of addictive behaviors and the “phenomenon of craving,” as described in the A.A. Big Book on pages 21-24, I continue (sic –MM) using and began to possess, use, and at times sell/barter small amounts of controlled substances to support my increased habit. I became more and more frustrated with my perception and belief that Gina Clayton/ Matt Scott did not have my interests in mind — believe I was set up to fail. I then became more unreliable which led to non-compliance with my treatment and supervision directives.

After numerous violations (eleven between 23 June 2014 through 23 June 2015), I was arrested for misdemeanor stalking of Multnomah County Gang [Enforcement Team] District Attorney — Nicole Jergovic. The following is the truth, although by claiming and by maintaining the “fact” of my innocence, I’m aware that you and the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision may very well determine that I’m not prepared to admit and accept full responsibility for my criminal thinking errors and that I lack personal accountability and remorse for my subsequent actions. — So be it!

As far as Nicole Jergovic is concerned: please take note of an email she sent to a co-worker on Monday or Tuesday 22 or 23 June 2015 (You should have this record in the discovery involving this case); this email was sent to a co-worker in the Multnomah [County]’s D.A.’s office prior to my arrest (I paraphrase the account of this email with a dialectical analysis to point out the obvious and “subjective fear” Ms Jergovic had of me — a black male homeless transient [not in itself “illegal”] who just happened to reside in a “public park” near her home which was in a ten-block radius of the “Southwest Park Blocks” in downtown Portland bordering the Portland State University, Southwest — “West Hills” Neiborhood [sic] — neighborhood).

Ms Jergovic says in the email:

“There’s this black male, 50-55 years old, says he’s from New York — but he doesn’t have a N.Y. accent.” (It is again worth noting here — Ms Jergovic is acknowledging she knows I’m from New York City — How? — obviously acquired this information from Mr Greene himself, after an “unpleasant” encounter on Thursday, 18 June 2015. On Saturday morning, 20 June 2015 @ 5:30 a.m. Mr Greene apologized to Ms Jergovic for his disapproval of prosecutors, calling her “persecutor” — and remember this: Mr Greene did not somehow “know” that Ms Jergovic was law enforcement; rather, she voluntarily revealed that she was a “prosecutor”! — note that she does not hear an accent so, in turn, she doubts the veracity of my revelation to her about being from NYC: I gave her no reason to believe otherwise. Again, continuing with the email: “I’ve seen him (Mr Greene) at the church where they feed the homeless, but he doesn’t seem ‘drugged-out’ like the rest of these local homeless” (Ms Jergovic is clearly uncomfortable with local transients who appear to her to be “drugged-out” and cannot place Mr Greene in this “urban mosaic”!). She continues: “I mean, he hasn’t threatened me in any way; I’m wondering what to do?”

This entire paraphrased narrative shows, one, Nicole Jergovic as a woman [is] clearly not comfortable with poor, homeless people in “her neighborhood”.  This is her own, subjective fear, one not supported objectively — although Ms Jergovic seems to reach the conclusion that I, Shane Greene, “somehow knew or divined” that she was of law enforcement when she was, again, the one who revealed herself as a “prosecutor”.

Ms Jergovic simply decided, for whatever reason (fear and uncertainty being most likely) to use her power as deputy district attorney, backed by Officer Doran of the Portland Police Bureau, to ascertain “who Mr Greene was and what he was doing” living in and around a “public park” near her home.

UpDate 20 February 2016: Shane telephoned me yesterday, and reported that the board decided on 17 February to keep him until December of 2016 in prison.  His final written statement, interestingly, quoted Henry Kissinger [from 1957, too]:

In closing, I am fully responsible for the choices which returned me to prison.  I’d only please ask that when considering all the facts and in balancing the difficult choice between my future liberty and public safety; that you keep in mind the following quote from Henry Kissinger on having to make choices between evils.

“There is not only right or wrong but many shades in between; the real tragedies in life are not in choices between rightr and wrong . . . real dilemmas are difficulties of the soul, provoking agonies.”

In 1957, in Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, Kissinger argued that maintaining equilibrium of power in the Cold War would require such difficult choices:

“We are certain to be confronted with situations of extraordinary ambiguity, such as civil wars or domestic coups. . . .  There can be no doubt that we should seek to forestall such occurrences.  But once they have occurred, we must find the will to act and to run risks in a situation which permits only a choice among evils.”

I thank this honorable Board for any and all considerations you may extend to me in making your final decision.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Cameron Whitten, Dan Handelman, Education, Fascism, Free Speech, Friendship, Healthcare, Inequality, John Schweibert, Local government, Oakland, Pacific Green Party, Police, Ronald Reagan, Spiritual life, U.S. Constitution, Woody Broadnax. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Dispatch from the Front (Oregon State Prison)

  1. Hello- do you have contact information for Shane? I am attempting to get in touch with him and would be forever grateful.

    • M. Meo says:

      Shane V. M. Greene, SID #14840834 Oregon State Penitentiary 2605 State Street Salem OR 97310. I owe him a letter, so if yours gets there before mine, say hi.

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