Voices from Solitary: Suffering at the Hands of Other Human Beings

by | February 4, 2013

The following comes from Bryan Crawley, a prisoner at Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada. Incarcerated since 2006 and convicted in 2008 for murder, he has been held in solitary confinement for his own protection since 2009 at the maximum security facility, after three years in a debriefing program. His involvement in the debriefing program, in which he was to provide information against the Aryan Warriors prison gang, became public news in 2009, leading to his transfer to ESP. ESP houses the state’s death row as well as the state of Nevada’s most violent and disruptive inmates, and reportedly a large number of prisoners with severe mental health problems.  Crawley has written elsewhere that he lives in “constant fear and anxiety” and that he must do his “best to never leave my cell” out of fear of assault by fellow prisoners. He writes here about the experience of solitary confinement and challenges the reader to imagine what its like to be in his situation. –Sal Rodriguez

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

My name is Bryan Crawley and I am a life inmate within Nevada and I’m about to scare you, then have you contemplate on my words and on my years of experience here in the state of Nevada justice system, oh I mean the Nevada’s corruption system, the jails and NDOC prison systems.

Now let me first say in all my years within these systems I have seen, heard and experienced some very tragic, horrific, malicious, detestable acts by Nevada authority’s, I must also add this so you get a even clearer picture of who I am as a human being, in all my years within the Nevada’s jails and now prison system, I do not even have one single act of violence on my record while in custody, absolutely zero, no fights – no anything remotely violent but yet the authority’s still place me in isolation, maximum security, lockdown 23½ hours per day, 7 days a week, inside a 6 x 10 little concrete box.

I must listen to all the other HUMAN BEINGS around me who have gone INSANE with delusions, even though I sit here and find myself sentenced to the largest amount of time ever handed down by one of Nevada’s corrupt judges, I am one of the fortunate ones and you may ask why? It is because I come from a world of abuse, neglect and abandonment, you see I was built to take all this torture and torment because throughout my entire life I have enhanced my ability to resist, oppose and withstand all the oppression from these barbaric authority’s who have placed upon me many days of suffering for years and please do not take my words lightly, when I tell you torture that is what I really mean torture!

I must tell you that I have been violated many times by the Nevada authority’s – officers, it has become almost normal for a person known as an inmate to be completely DEGRADED while they are in custody here in Administration Segregation, Isolation in Ely maximum security prison.

I am surrounded by men, inmates, people who have in some form or the other thoroughly lost sight of reality, they are made to suffer day and night in their own torment, screaming, yelling, banging, hallucinating – THEY ARE GONE! COMPLETLY MAD! suffering in a little 6 x 10 cage, all by themselves, 24/7, year after year. It is very sad!  But this is the reality of a human being in custody in isolation in Americas so called Justice System. I must tell you that I see no purpose for this type of treatment of a human being, as inmates are treated worse than any animal I know of, except maybe test lab animals, now I ask you to please contemplate and ask yourself what true purpose could ever come from placing a human being inside a very small walled cage 24/7? Please think about my words because this is my reality today and every other day.

Do you remember what I told you that I was one of the fortunate people, well allow me to explain and clarify my reasons. I am a man, a person, full of tons and tons of love inside of me; this has allowed me to FORGIVE all these barbaric acts done on to me, now I have not forgotten all the pain, suffering and torture I have only forgiven! Now the few beautiful loving people within my life also help to keep me grounded in HOPE & LOVE. I believe that I am able to strive harder for my loved ones so they will not be made to suffer from my life of torment, do you make the connotation between their loving input and my grasp to remain focused on the good qualities in my life even though I am stuck inside this little 6 X 10 box. I continue to stay focused on the humanity always loving and hoping that an even higher authority will someday see the TRUE tragic mistake all this has done to us human beings locked away here in isolation, solitary confinement, a true waste of human life! With no real purpose but to lock us away and forget us!! ?? How easy this has become to our fellow human beings, I am sorry they are called authority’s – law enforcement.

I now ask you please really think and consider my words and the magnitude that they carry as this is your reality of our American Justice System.

My name is Bryan Crawley just another human being in our world suffering at the hands of other human beings. WHY??


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  • James

    The jury convicted Crawley of 24 charges, including murder, armed robbery, attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder. He wa trying to get hits put out on witnesses. Our system isn’t perfect, but sometimes it works. He killed John Herda, a World War II combat veteran. He shouldn’t have been given life; he should have had his life taken from him, as he did John.

  • Justin

    Oh how sad for you to be tortured or degraded. Possibly life in prison is meant to be hard, tormenting, and degrading. If these are things you would like to avoid don’t be a criminal. To sit here and complain that life’s not fair to you is total BS. What about the victims of your crimes how about the torment they received the degrading a scumbag made them feel. Quit crying, do your time. and be glad that the people you called friends then switched on them cant get you.

  • Brenda

    I feel horrible for this man. I wish I could write to him but I’m sure my husband would have a problem with that. Poor guy


    Can you imagine what a friendly letter would mean to this man?

    • @John I do know what it means to these people I write 11 prisoners and its still not enough.
      theres 25 % of the world’s population in U.S.prisons and I am only 1 person. I wish more people would put pen to paper. For the price of a stamp someone lonely can find out that they are not forgotten.I create greeting cards for them and then I offer them on line with the hope free shipping will encourage others to write.
      We are on facebook too Prisoner of Love greeting cards… good luck hope you write someone anyone my penpals range in age from the forgotten 71 yr old to the abandoned 26 yr old many in isolation. I consider them my friends. They bless my heart and keep me humble.

  • @Anne – I’m sorry to hear about your son, my prayers will include you. This happens in America because we are brainwashed by ‘authorities”, Hollywood fame & fortunes. After all crime movies and documentaries are best sellers because they’re seen as “so cool”, they always get the bad guys right? But in reality there are real human beings used to further careers, gain financially and often celebrity status. Real people are made to suffer at the hands of other and ultimately pay the price. Make any case known and the media makes millions followed by Hollywood who makes billions and don’t forget the ‘authorities climb the success ladder and get rich too! Mass incarcerate people and give them lengthy sentences as they do and the system and service providers make whopping profits. Even the judge that convicted Bryan Crawley, Judge Jackie Glass made it to Hollywood! How did she get there one may ask? The answer is by promoting herself in court as a judge that upholds the law! After the OJ Simpson trial she had it pretty much made! She sold out to Hollywood! It’s a good thing that her show failed otherwise we would have had yet another Judge in Hollywood trying to brainwash us further into believing that the Justice system is so correct & so cool and everyone in prison deserves to be there and to be tortured. Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe that murderers and rapists etc. must get away with their crimes but not everyone in prison is guilty or as guilty as the justice sytem would like you to believe. I’d like to see the crime programs include investigating cops, attorneys, prosecutors, judges and bought juries & witnesses and let’s not forget the media because these so called “law abiding citizens or authorities” are mostly the ones committing the crimes! People get placed in solitary confinement to break them, make them lose their minds & will to fight back so that they are not able or capable of fighting the system that placed them there! It’s all called the American “In” justice system! Lets also not be fooled into believing or trusting the Department of corrections either after all they are a part of the American Justice system! The DOC should make the names of inmates in solitary confinement public and provide reasons why they have been placed there! I think we will all be shocked to learn just how many inmates are really in isolation for a no valid reason. And many in isolation have been or will be released back in society and we expect them to be normal functional law abiding citizens? Not going to happen American is breeding mental illness in prisons! http://www.lawlessamerica.com you have my Hollywood support!

  • Fiona Barry (@RedDiceEvents)

    @Alan CYA # 65085 – YES that is the article with the false media statement made by the attorney who is a friend of the Herda family. This case stinks with conspiracy and corruption from the beginning. The Media portrayed Bryan Crawley as a monster and the Henda family as angels but the Herda’s PAID witnesses to testify against Bryan. There was no physical evidence, his DNA was NOT found at the crime scene despite the fact that the state claimed that he was shot in the stomach. Not one drop of his blood found in the home, surroundings or the supposed getaway car! He was convicted on “paid” witness testimony. The Herda’s make their money from strip clubs (Foxy girls) and YES drugs but the media did not print that at the time. The state tried to give him the DP but when that failed the judge sentenced him to 22 x LWOP sentences for bogus and unrelated charges under the Large Habitual Criminal Statute. A few months after sentencing that article was published putting his life at instant risk! Bryan is trying to get a new fair trail and I suspect that they are trying to silence him before this happens. After doing my own research on this case I refuse to believe anything that the media prints nor do I trust the corrupt justice system. In Nevada money talks. Nothing happened to the attorney either, he should be charged for conspiracy to commit a crime/murder

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    I thought this article below was interesting.

    Neighbors lead police to $150K in pot plants

    Aug 14, 2012

    Homeowner Michael Herda is a relative of John Herda, a Las Vegas businessman who was murdered in a robbery/home invasion in 2006.

    And I found the case that the attorney Fumo represented Crawley on.

    Arrest Made in John Herda Murder Case

    38-year-old Bryan Wayne Crawley was charged more than four months after Herda was found dead in his home.

    Crawley was already in custody for an “armed robbery” in November.

    • @Anne you might seek out the author Pete Earley he is dealing w/ this very issue as it has touched his family as well He is on Facebook and has a blog by the same name

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    Is this the article Fiona?

    Aryan Warriors criticize plea deals

    Posted: Jun. 15, 2009


    I quote:

    “Osvaldo Fumo (attorney for Charles Gensemer then 45,) said one of the government’s more notable witnesses will be Bryan Crawley, who is serving life without parole after being convicted last year in the slaying of Las Vegas businessman John Herda.

    Fumo said Crawley, like other witnesses who have testified against the Aryan Warriors, could receive a reduced sentence if he helps the government secure a conviction.”

    I also read that Fumo was once Bryan Crawley’s attorney before the state charged him with the murder of John Herda during that home invasion robbery.

    What did he represent him for?

    Your time line for his debriefing does not jive with the author of this article. Maybe you meant 2006 not 2009.

    This is another good example of the danger of relying on information gathered from desperate cons.

  • Anne

    This is happening now with my son in a city jail in upstate NY. He did not commit a violent crime. It was petit larcency. He is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. How can this happen in America?

  • Fiona Barry (@RedDiceEvents)

    The point is that it’s inhumane to put any human being in a box! Allow him a shower once every 3 days, a phone call once a week and that’s if the guards feel up to it. These inmates lose their minds! Some of the inmates in isolation go in normal and come out totally insane within months. Many commit suicide because they can’t handle the mentally insane screaming and banging their heads against the walls. The place stinks because the insane rub their faeces on walls. The scary part is that some inmates who have been in isolation are released back into society and we expect them to be normal? Too late for that, come on let’s face it the DOC is causing mental illness by placing inmates in cages! Depriving them of human contact, degrading them further and treating them worse than animals is not going to help society at all. We as society should stop making the inmate’s crime blind us to the crime that the state is committing. Isolation is torture, it’s sickening and it is a crime against humanity! The mentally ill should be placed in appropriate care and receive the help that they need and those who are still sane should not be their neighbours in prison. .

  • Fiona Barry (@RedDiceEvents)

    I’m familiar with the Bryan Crawley case so let me try clear up some confusion. Bryan is NOT a snitch, in fact he had nothing to do with the gang and nor was he ever going to testify against them. He was placed in a debrief program for his “protection” after a corrupt attorney made a false statement to the media that he was a going to be a notable witness testifying against the gang. YES attorneys do lie and break the law. This was done to set Bryan up to be a gang hit. It was then that the NDOC placed him in a debrief program but placing him among gang debriefs made him the outcast as he clearly did not belong in this program in the 1st place. So instead for finding a suitable solution they sent him to Ely State Prison and placed him in isolation. IN ELY STATE PRISON NO-ONE IS SAFE! In 2012 there were many deaths, including a stabbing of an inmate. One has to question how were they able to get to that inmate and why he was “found” at the bottom of the stairs? Where were the guards? ESP it a lockdown prison even in GP. So much for thinking that they are safe anywhere! Bryan was charged in 2006 but only went to trial and convicted in 2008, the false media report was printed in 2009 and that’s when Bryan was placed in the debrief program, then taken out of it and moved to ESP isolation. Bear in mind that he is known as a model prisoner and did not once since prison have a write up for behaviour problems. The NDOC placed him in a debrief program because it was the easiest way to “get rid of the problem” then when it backfired on them they stuck him in isolation because that became the alternative “easiest way to get rid of the problem”.

  • Hate yer state

    The law enforcement and correctional staff are the ones who deserve to be in prison. The desperately poor and mentally Ill deserve a proper correction and reintroduction into society. Americans act like there no solution because of the severity of these crimes while ignoring the fact that Sweden’s found a solution, Finland’s found a solution, in fact most 1st world countries have. America is ruled by money and that’s why this happens. Prisons have stocks. Just mull that around the ol noggin.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    The article reads:

    “Incarcerated since 2006 and convicted in 2008 for murder, he has been held in solitary confinement for his own protection since 2009 at the maximum security facility, after three years in a debriefing program. ”

    So sometime in 2006 right after he was busted he went into the debriefing program.

    (3 years + 2006 = 2009).

    It reads like he murdered someone in prison during his debriefing or just held until his trial for one he committed as a free man.

    If he killed while debriefing it is not a good sign of the programs effectiveness.

    I agree with Marilyn it doesn’t sound like he wants to be in the General Population and I doubt that he’ll be released anytime soon so what can be done?

    Maybe a witness protection placement in another state’s prison?

    Marilyn’s also right about others having to pay a price for his debriefing.

    I just read that:

    “On July 10, 2007, 14 Aryan Warrior gang members were indicted and charged with murder, attempted murder, extortion, operating an illegal gambling business, identity theft and fraud, and drug trafficking. Michael Kennedy, an admitted leader of the Aryan Warriors pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy in a related case.

    Seven of the 14 pleaded guilty to various charges and on July 9, 2009, five were found guilty.”

    There are many such articles on here where the solution seems difficult to resolve.

  • Caroline Ramsay Merriam

    This is disgusting, People who treat others like this are savage,

    • 8forever

      @hateyurstate old news baby prison is an industry bigger than gm/walmart and ford put together the new slavery making money by keeping people in chains still not a solution any ideas?

  • Marilyn Turner

    The stories are all the same arent they(the horror of isolation)? in this case what does the writer have in mind? to solve his delima? he is being protected. I just dont know. For the people in isolation w/o due process this is a completely different issue. And his actions as a snitch no doubt have caused men that are doing their time to be put into isolation Sometimes SolWat you do not do too well with your articles

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