by Julian Heicklen

George Ricketts BN­5049 is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Greene County. On November 10, 1997, Correctional Officer (CO) George slammed the food tray door on Mr. Ricketts' arm. On November 11, 1998, Mr. Ricketts requested x-rays of his hand, because he could not move it. He thought it might be broken.

There is a statement of November 11, 1997, by Mr. Ricketts saying that he told Sgt. Guyton his hand was hurting really bad. Sgt. Guyton said that Ricketts was acting like a knuckle head and walked away. Guyton refused to give Ricketts a grievance form to file a complaint against the medical nurse Brenda. In a letter postmarked May 4, 1998, Mr. Ricketts says that he still has scars from that incident and will carry them for life.

There is a Misconduct Report 63819 by CO George against Ricketts. Witnesses listed were COs Howells, Donaldson, and Wright. On November 10, 1997, CO George was securing pieholes on HD pod top tier. He approached Ricketts in cell 21, who had his arm out of the piehole. He gave the inmate several orders to withdraw his arm, which were refused. He then attempted to close the piehole. Inmate forced the piehole open and threw his food on the CO. CO George attempted again to close the piehole. The inmate kicked it open and threw more food and an unknown liquid substance on this officer. Then George was able to secure the piehole.

According to the Disciplinary Hearing Report of November 13, 1997, with Ben Ansell as the hearing examiner, Mr. Ricketts pleaded not guilty. Mr. Ricketts said it was: "Dinner time, and that the CO poured juice on Ricketts' arm and started to laugh. Then he kicked the piehole slot door. Like he was transformed—he just kept kicking the door." Mr. Ricketts claimed that he did not throw food. Witness Ondesko BT­5780 stated that Ricketts asked for juice, and the CO kicked the pie slot on Ricketts' arm. Ricketts did not throw anything. Witness Gordon BC­7789 said that he heard the CO say that you don't get juice and then kicked the pie hole door. Witness Birdsong BC­5466 said that CO came back to Ricketts' cell after feeding him and kicked the pie slot door onto Ricketts' arm. He did not see Ricketts throw anything on the CO and did not have juice in his hand at this time. COs Howells, Donaldson, and Wright, who were witnesses, did not testify. Mr. Ricketts was found guilty and sentenced to an additional 90 days in the Restricted Housing Unit.