contact | about | archive | Official Record of Trial (Manning) | usvmanning.org | charges (Manning) | verdict (Manning) | usvwikileaks.org |

Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton, Commander Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth

|

US v. Pfc. Manning is being conducted in de facto secrecy. For more information on the lack of public and press access to United States v. Pfc. Manning, visit the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed a petition requesting the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA) "to order the Judge to grant the public and press access to the government's motion papers, the court's own orders, and transcripts of proceedings, none of which have been made public to date."

See Transcript of US v Pfc. Manning, Article 39(a), 11/29/12

Judge Lind

Please be seated.  This Article 39(a) Session is called to order.  Let the record reflect all parties present when the Court last recessed, are again present in Court.  Are the parties ready to proceed?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Yes, your Honor.  Defense would call [telephonic] Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Ma'am can you hear me?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I can.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Alright Ma'am you are now before the court-martial.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Alright.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Where are you Ma'am?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I am at Building 428 McPherson Avenue, located on the Fort Leavenworth campus.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And are you able to testify freely?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I am.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, are you alone?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I am.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you have any notes with you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I have two documents in front of me.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you have any notes other than the two documents defense provided you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.  I do not.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Ma'am.  Should anything occur that will interfere with your testimony, would you please inform the Court?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  Of course.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Alright Ma'am.  Do you swear and affirm that the statements you are about to make are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I do.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, Ma'am for the record you are Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Thank you, Ma'am.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Lt. Col. Hilton, this is David Coombs.  I'm gonna ask you a few questions, okay?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Okay.

 

Defense (Coombs)

First of all let's get some information about your background.  How long have you been in the Army?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I've been in the Army since March 27, 1987.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, I understand you have been in corrections since 2003?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And you have a Masters degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in corrections?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When did you receive your degree?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I'm sorry, when did I receive my degree?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Yes.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I received my degree from Charleston State University in 2002.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And you're--

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I'm sorry.  I correct-- 2001.  Sorry.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Okay.  You are also certified through the American Corrections Association?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I am a certified corrections manager.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, when were you certified?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

My initial certification was in 2003.  My recertification was in 2009.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what's involved in being certified by the ACA?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Basically, it's a study of the correctional practices within the United States.  It's a review and a study of four different books periodicals printed by the American Correctional Association, and then its a 200 question multiple choice question test over the span of four hours to validate the knowledge that you received from the study of those materials.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When did you become the commander at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I assumed command on August 28 2010 at the JRCF, but the JRCF did not open until the 4th of October 2010.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And are you still in that position?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No, I am not.  I changed command from that position on July 6 of 2012.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what is your current position?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Currently, I am the Inspector [missed word] General for the command for the Combined Arms Center at Kansas Fort Leavenworth.

 

Defense (Coombs)

On 19 April 2011 you participated in a press conference concerning the move of Pfc. Manning from the Quantico Brig to the JRCF.  Do you recall that?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I do.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, where was that press conference conducted?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It was located in the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When were you notified of your needed attendance of that press briefing?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Approximately two days prior.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, why were you told that Pfc. Manning was being moved from Quantico to the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Why or when?  I'm sorry.  I can't hear you.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Why were you told?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Oh my goodness. This was almost two years ago. Give me a minute if you don't mind.

 

Defense (Coombs)

It's not a problem.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Because of the--the-- because of the capabilities of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility-- the building itself-- the facilities itself-- and the staff that we had-- located at the JRCF, would better meet his confinement requirement.

 

Defense (Coombs)

As part of this press conference, did the JRCF release a two page fact sheet concerning the Joint Regional Correctional Facility?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, they did.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you have a copy of that fact sheet  in front of you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Can you put a copy of that in front of you now?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I can.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Provided a copy of what is marked appellate exhibit 424 alpha to the Court.  Can you please describe what is on the top page of the fact sheet that you are looking at?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It says, 'Photographs of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility and Area Photographs.'

 

Defense (Coombs)

And the first words on the top-- is it, 'For pictures and video go to www.army.mil/jrcf'?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It is.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Can you tell us why this fact sheet was put out to the press?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The facility was so new to mostly if not all of the general public-- you know within the United States-- even within the military were even unaware of our facility that we just opened, and didn't quite understand the capabilities that we had inside the Joint Correctional Facility. 

 

So this document was developed by myself in order to educate the appropriate audiences of what the Joint Regional Correction Facility was-- and what it looked like-- and the capabilities that [missed word] with that.  The facility did that.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was the JRCF designed to handle prolonged pretrial confinement issues?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, it was.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how so?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

We had not only the facility.  We had the spatial, you know, area to segregate pretrial inmates as well as the staff to provide the services necessary for long term and pretrial incarcerations-- specifically mental health staff, medical staff-- all of the personnel supporting the Joint Regional Correctional Facility were-- are organic to the organization and worked on a daily basis inside the facility. 

 

So, not only were we able to segregate the pretrial inmates from post trial-- as required in Army Regulation 190-47-- most importantly we have the staff there to provide the support necessary  for long term pretrial incarcerations.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now I wanted to talk a little bit about Pfc. Manning's move to the JRCF, and when he arrived there.  But, before I do-- prior to him arriving at the JRCF did anyone direct you as to how he should be held-- the custody status for Pfc. Manning?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Have you ever been ordered during your time in corrections by anyone above you to hold somebody in particular custody status?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

As the commander of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, no.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Have you ever been required to gain approval from someone above you, as the commander of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, prior to changing the custody status of a detainee?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Why do you believe that you never had anyone above you-- either order you to hold somebody in a particular custody status or obtain approval from that person prior to you changing custody status?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

There are a couple reasons.  The first and most important reason is in accordance with the Army Regulation 190-41-- the facility commander has the authority and the right to make independent decisions based upon the totality of each circumstances. 

 

The second reason is because the Army-- Department of the Army selection board-- selected me as the commander-- the battalion commander at the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, and as such inherent rights come with that command authority.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now, let's talk about Pfc. Manning when he arrived at your facility.  Do you recall when that was?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

April time frame in 2010?  April May of 2010.

 

Defense (Coombs)

I know it's been a little while, just think for one moment.  Does 20 April of 2011 sound correct to you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  It was at the very end of the month.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, when he arrived at your facility, can you describe in general, what initial-- what initially happens once he arrives at the facility?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  So, once any inmate -- it's identical to every inmate-- it was no different for inmate Manning. 

 

Once they arrive into the back gate of our facility, we conduct a strip search.  We do a scars and marks. 

 

And we give them an intensive interview with every inmate to identify any potential medical, mental health, or behavioral problems that the-- that the inmate currently or is historically experienced. 

 

After that is done-- in the main area-- in a-- in a main areas within the reception area-- then the inmate is showered and given their property-- the inventory with the property they come with is completed.  They are given all the necessary health and comfort items-- personal hygiene items and their clothing that will be issue to them. And, then they are moved into the special housing unit where they can get their reception process.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, this reception processes called like the indoctrination process?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It is.  We referred to it as reception, but that is exactly what it is.  It's-- it's a period of time that the staff can indoctrinate inmates as to the culture, lifestyle, and interchange of the confinement center.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And how long does the reception process normally last?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It depends on a case by case basis on-- on the behavior of every-- of the individual inmate-- typically it went from five to fourteen days.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, can you tell the Court what happens during the-- I guess the intake portion of the reception process?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The intake-- I'm not quite sure what you mean-- the reception process is very extensive.  So, do you mean-- I'm not quite what you mean?

 

Defense (Coombs)

The testing and assessment phase.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Okay.  We have-- the assessment phase, we have most of the medical-- the physical health of an inmate and the mental health assessment of the inmate.  That helps to determine both the internal and external risk so we can classify each inmate based upon their risk. 

 

During those medical and physical health assessments, we do labs.  We do blood work.  And, we do an extensive screening of the inmate to make sure there is no contagious or physical health issues that could hurt not only the inmate himself, but the other inmates and staff within the facility. 

 

The mental health assessment is conducted by mental health providers within the-- with on-- within the staff.  And, thy go through the historical mental health of an inmate, the current mental health, and then any potential future mental health issues that may arise. 

 

Once the assessment is done, at that point, the staff determines a program-- you know, that's required or necessary for each individual inmate.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What mental health staff do you have, or did you have when you were the commander at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Very, very extensive.  I had-- we had-- in military correctional complexes-- what supports the United States disciplinary Brig and the Joint Regional Correctional Facility has one psychiatrist.  He is an O-6. 

 

And, then there are two psychologists, one of those one worked at the Joint Regional Correctional Facility-- a licensed psychologist.  And then we have anywhere from three to four licensed social workers. 

 

And, then anywhere from four to six MTA X-rays-- those are mental health technicians through the Army and the Air Force.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Are you familiar with DD form 2711?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Very. Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what is that form?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That is the initial form that we used to assess an inmate internal and external risk.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, after the DD 2711 is completed, what happens?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That form goes before a board.  It's called the initial classification board.  On this board we have representatives from each of the specialty areas within-- inside the facility. 

 

You have your vocational work staff.  You have your chaplain.  The staff judge advocate.  There is a representative from each of the directorate.

 

And they sit at a table and then the assessment is presented in front of the board by the mental health providers, which gives an overarching review of the inmate-- both internal and external risk. 

 

And, at that point, the discussion ensues about the inmate-- the risks and any opinions based upon those that have had the intake with the inmate. 

 

And then the vote-- the board votes on a classification based upon the risk of where that inmate should be placed. 

 

The board votes, and then the decision goes to the deputy commander or the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, and he approves the vote.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright. And did you have access to the ACIS system?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I do not now, but I did. Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what is the ACIS system?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It's the Army Correctional Information System, and that's the database that Army correctional facilities use within the Army that holds all of an inmate's history-- and-- which includes mental and -- which includes their work assignment-- which includes their disciplinary infractions. 

 

It includes their housing unit assignment-- their [abatement?] days.  It's basically their personnel files within inside the-- the Army correctional facility.

 

Defense (Coombs)

As the commander-- do you know if the initial classification board considered what happened during Pfc. Manning's confinement in Kuwait?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.  A lot of the data they use on the 2711 comes from the inmate themselves. 

 

And, they explain on the assessment form what happened.  We do take into consideration prior confinement history when-- when making our assessments on the risk.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, would you place a lot of significance upon for Pfc. Manning upon what happened in Kuwait?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Not specifically for Manning, because Manning-- because of his being such a long time since he was incarcerated in Kuwait. 

 

We do look at the time lapse between the event-- you know, the incident, and when the packet goes before the board.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you know if the initial classification board considered how Pfc. Manning was held while he was at Quantico?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

We-- we looked at where he was confined, how he was confined-- but, most importantly why he was in confinement in a certain status-- because that is important to do the overall risk assessment.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, you indicated that mental health professionals make a recommendation to the initial classification board, is that correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  There are actually-- there is a mental-- there is a-- the director of the treatment program deputy is actually over, and then the licensed social worker will sit there and present the risk assessment to the board.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, you actually have a voting member of the board as a mental health professional?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

At this time, no.  He was the deputy director.  He's not a mental health professional.  He just runs the directorate.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Okay.  Do you know what the mental health professionals' recommendation was concerning whether Pfc. Manning was a risk of self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Without pulling out the 2711, no I do not recall.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you have access to that in front of you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I do.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Would that help to refresh your memory?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It would help me give details about-- I was not at the board, and so all i had access to was the 2711 itself. 

 

I can insinuate why they made decisions or what specifically was presented-- all I can do is reiterate what is on this 2711 itself.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Before you--

 

Judge Lind

Let me just stop you for a moment, do we have a copy as an appellate exhibit?

 

Defense (Coombs)

We don't Ma'am, and I-- and I will avoid that issue. 

 

Without going to that document, though, were you ever informed that mental health professionals considered Pfc. Manning a risk of self-harm at this time-- from your memory?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I know when he came into the facility-- I directed my psychologist specifically to do an assessment-- if he was going to harm himself or others. 

 

Within 24 to 48 hours, he was not on suicide risk or suicide watch.  So, at that point, no he was not a-- he was not considered a harm to himself.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What was--

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

--based upon her assessment of his mental health.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Okay.  Thank you.  What was the initial classification board recommendation concerning how Pfc. Manning should be held at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That he be put in medium custody.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did your deputy approve the boards recommendation?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, my understanding, correct me if I am wrong, but the way it is set up is the-- the deputy actually approves or disapproves of the board's recommendation, and then you as the commander are the appellate authority, should a detainee want to appeal Mr. Callahan (sp.) decision.  Correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct, yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, Mr. Callahan [sp.]-- just for the record--  was your deputy?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So at this point how was Pfc. Manning being held after Mr. Callahan's [sp.] decision?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

He was held in a special housing unit with the other pretrial inmates at that time-- at that time all pretrial-- because we had a limited number-- were in a special housing unit, but he was given medium custody privileges.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What are the possible custody levels that a detainee can be held at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Pretrial only?

 

Defense (Coombs)

No.  Let's go ahead and just-- all detainees.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

So, we will start with maximum custody for all the pretrial/post trial. 

 

Inmates are placed on maximum custody and assigned special housing unit if they-- if the risk assessment warrants it-- that they have behavioral problems-- if their external or internal risk is so high that they can't go into the general population-- or if their internal risk is so high that they are going to harm-- you know, not harm themselves, but they are going to cause problems within inside the facility.  Medium custody is the next level. 

 

That custody level that most-- most inmates start out at-- unless they have a risk that's higher than-- than typical in medium custody. 

 

And, then the final custody level is minimum custody-- which is only available for post trial inmates.  And as a custody level that an inmate can achieve after anywhere from three to six months of low internal/external risk assessment as well as excellent exemplary behavior within the facility.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What are the possible administrative levels a detainee can be held at, at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

There is administrative segregation which has no [missed word] level, but in MAX.  You have suicide watch, which is an inmate that-- that has shown tendency or is-- having a-- actively trying to harm himself. 

 

You have administrative segregation pending investigation-- that is when an inmate-- typically violates a facility rule or infraction or is a-- a  threat to others within the facility.  Then you have administrative segregation awaiting final disposition. 

 

That's an inmate that has is most time violated-- grossly violated the facility rules, and is pending a disposition, i.e. he's waiting to go to a disciplinary judge-- before he is waiting to go to a classification board. 

 

We also have protective custody, which is an administrative segregation.  Those are for inmates that need protection from other inmates within the facility and they also part of AS [administrative segregation].

 

Defense (Coombs)

And--

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

--and then you have [tractual?] status.  A [tractual?] status are for inmates that are actively trying to harm themselves or others, and are put in a certain status to prevent-- to keep them inflicting harm.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you have a prevention of injury status at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No, we do not.  From my understanding and my research it is-- it is very similar though to suicide watch, is what we have at the JRCF?

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, you don't have a status of something less that suicide watch?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.  We do not.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, someone is either on suicide watch or they are not at the JRCF, is that correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.  There is no modified suicide watch.

 

Defense (Coombs)

As a commander of the JRCF, have you ever overruled a doctor's recommendation that a detainee was not a suicide risk?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Never.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you normally try to get an inmate off of suicide risk status?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.  There are second and third order effects in place on suicide watch, and explained to me by my mental health providers. 

 

So, the goal for both suicide and in [tractual?] status is to get the inmate to a space where they are not longer trying to harm themselves, because it is-- it has an impact on their mental status. 

 

So, my goal when I was a facility commander was anywhere from seven-- I'm sorry from 24 to 48 hours to get them off of suicide watch.  We had MAX inmates on suicide watch longer than that, but normally it's a medication issue or it's a transfer issue-- we try to transfer them to a mental health hospital.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What was the longest that you have seen somebody that you've seen somebody from your role as a commander be held on suicide watch status?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I had an inmate on suicide watch for seven days, and the reason he was on there was because he was-- he had severe-- severe mental health issues and I was trying to get him into a state hospital.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So other than-- I guess did you get that person transferred to a state hospital?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  I did.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Other than that person, what's the longest that you've ever had a detainee held on suicide watch?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

it would be a guess, but I would say four days.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now, you testified that Pfc. Manning was placed in medium custody.  Is there-- and if I understand this correctly-- there is not a lower status for a pretrial confinee at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, Pfc. Manning was being held in the lowest possible status that he could be?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now, as a medium custody status detainee, what type of mattress was Pfc. Manning provided?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The mattress that all the other inmates in the JRCF have--

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did he have the [missed word]--

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

--[missed word].

 

Defense (Coombs)

I'm sorry go ahead.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The same mattress that ever other inmate is provided at JRCF-- is given.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did he have a normal pillow?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Normal sheets?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Normal blankets?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

In general what items would Pfc. Manning be permitted to have in his cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Books.  For [missed two words] hygiene items, uniforms, shoes, clothing items, his legal material, writing material, and then personal photographs and letters.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Were detainees permitted to have radios?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

If they purchased them, yes. Receivers.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Right. So, just to hear music.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

And, then televisions, yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright.  Was he entitled to have toilet paper in his cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was he entitled to keep his prescription glasses?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

During this time-- well as a medium detainee was he ever required to surrender any of his clothing at night?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Or to wear a suicide prevention smock?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was he required to wear handcuffs and shackles when he was outside of his cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, why not?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Because of the written assessment when you are in medium custody-- unless you're  on a different-- unless you are like an administrative segregation pending investigation or some type of other status, the risk allows you to go within inside the facility only with no restraints.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was he required to have multiple guards whenever he was outside the facility?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

He would have to have a correctional force because he was pretrial inmate and we have to keep them separate from post trial inmates that-- not necessary because of security reasons-- not because of the risk that he presented.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright.  Was he required to eat his meals inside of his cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, why not?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Because that is part of medium custody-- is you get to eat with your housing unit.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was he able to buy snacks while he was at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

If they have money, yes.  They can buy-- we call them gratuitous rations.  If they have the money, and they put in in their account, he can buy snacks, yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what sort of snacks are available?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They have chips on the ration sheet.  Potato chips, peanuts, candy, just very small snack items that you can buy at-- at the grocery store.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Is he able to buy health and comfort items?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  Basic items are provided.  Shampoo, soap, razors, [missed word] lotion. 

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what other health and comfort items could he buy then?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I don't have the-- I don't have the sheet in front of me, so I-- I know that there was like lotion-- I just honestly don't remember what's on the sheet.  I'm sorry.

 

Defense (Coombs)

No.  That's fine.  let's talk a little bit about the cell unit that Pfc. Manning was in.  What type of housing unit was he initially held in when he got to the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

A special housing unit.  That is where we hold all of the administrative segregation inmates, and all the inmates that come into reception go in the special housing unit.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, can you describe for the Court the special housing unit?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  The special housing unit is on the fact sheet that we talked about earlier during my testimony. 

 

There are two sides of special housing unit with a total of 48 individual cells.  One side of the special housing unit was-- was identified specifically for maximum custody inmates. 

 

On the other side, you're image, which is 24 cells.  These cells were held for receptee inmates-- inmates coming into-- new into the facility and for the pretrial inmates. 

 

Within the-- within these different sides of the housing unit in the back of the housing unit, where it is two stories-- in the back of the housing unit on both the top and the bottom tier were four cells isolated from the rest of the cells. 

 

So, you had eight cells within what we call  a glass enclosure, and then the other eighteen cells were-- I'm sorry. 

 

The fifteen cells were within in the general area.  And, then Manning was in one of those enclosed glass areas, because he was pretrial and I had to keep him separate from the post trial receptees that came in on that side. 

 

Each cell has an individual bed, toilet, sink; and  meet the requirement of the American Correctional Association accreditation requirement, which is 80 square feet, 35 square feet-- unencumbered.  And each cell had natural light going into it.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how did the cells have natural light going into it?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They have windows.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And you said each cell had 80 square feet, you said?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  At least.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright, so that would be at least eight by ten?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And then you said, unencumbered space.  What is that?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That's the space that is not taken by the bed, sink, or the toilet.  There is nothing else in it.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, you said that was at least 35 square feet?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Were there any other pretrial confinees in the housing unit that Pfc. Manning was in when he first got to the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how many?  Do you recall?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No, I don't.  I'm sorry.  A few-- no more-- no more than eight.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, was Pfc. Manning permitted to associate with these individuals?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how so?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They would.  Inside the enclosed area there was a common area with a table, treadmill, and a television. 

 

He was allowed to sit out there with the other pretrials and watch television or play games-- cards-- whatnot, and interact.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, the-- and you just answered that, I guess.  The amenities that the cell would offer-- or the glass enclosed area-- if I am understanding you correctly-- there are multiple cells within that, and then there was a common area as well. 

 

Is that correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, then what amenities were available in the common area?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

There was a treadmill-- sometimes a bicycle.  We had to move that back and forth.  There was a television and a table. 

 

And, then there were-- are games available that the inmates can request to check out and play the games-- card, board games-- in the common area. 

 

And then the shower were also in the common area.  Two showers.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Are pretrial confinees required to stay in their individual cells-- the 80 square feet during the day?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.  Again of course with the Army Correctional Association accreditation standards, they have to be given so much time out of their cell.

 

For pretrial inmates, they were given typically-- they were not sleeping or locked down for count-- they were allowed outside of their cell.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, in general, how many hours would they be given for sleep?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They were locked down at 22 hundred at night, and they were let out of their cell, anywhere from zero five to zero six in the morning.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, I know you can't tell me the times for count for security reasons, but taking out the limited times for the count-- am I correct in saying that other than the zero six or excuse me the 22 hundred to zero five or zero five thirty, the detainee was allowed to be outside of his cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, you indicated there they were in no restraints once they were outside of their cell?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct. Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

How large is this common area that is outside of the cells in general?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I would say 35, 40 feet.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright.  Now would you-- would you-- did you ever move Pfc. Manning from the special housing unit?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  We got so many inmates-- pretrial inmates that they could no-- we were taking up the entire special housing unit-- because I had to keep them separate, eventually I moved all pretrial inmates from the special housing unit to a general population housing unit-- kilo housing unit.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Okay. So, that was just the pretrial confinees in the kilo housing unit?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct, yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And how much-- I guess, what-- what was the difference between the kilo housing unit as opposed to the special housing unit?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The common area.  The cells were almost identical, and the common area was much, much bigger, and there were more showers. 

 

The common area-- I don't-- let me see if I have the dimensions here on my fact sheet-- the common area in the general population housing unites was very large compared to the special housing unit.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, do you recall releasing also a PowerPoint presentation on the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I do.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, could you pull that PowerPoint presentation out?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I have it ready.

 

Judge Lind

Is that marked as an appellate exhibit?

 

Defense (Coombs)

It is Ma'am, but it's been marked as appellate exhibit 424 bravo.  Now this PowerPoint presentation that you have in front of you, is it 14 pages in length?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, it is.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And what is on the very front of the PowerPoint presentation?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

'Joint Regional Correctional Facility' and it shows the front door and the bottom right hand corner it says 'Fort Leavenworth Campus'.

 

Defense (Coombs)

What was generally covered within this PowerPoint presentation?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The capabilities.  The site layout of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility.  Capabilities to include the infrastructure, the structural capabilities, as well the staff support availabilities.

 

Defense (Coombs)

If you would, turn to page-- or slide six, which is also, I guess, page six?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I'm there.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you see the assessment division section?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what is the assessment division?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That's what I explained earlier in the intake process.  Those are the licensed clinical social workers and the mental health providers-- to include the psychologist and the psychiatrist-- this is the division that does the internal and external risk upon entry into the confinement facility, and then every follow up and subsequent assessment.

 

Defense (Coombs)

It also states in there, quote 'develops inmate management action plan links classification to risk assessment.'  What does that mean?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That ties to the 2711 that we discussed earlier. 

 

On that 2711 there are points associated with confined offenses and behavior. 

 

So they take that allow with all of their interviews and intake-- testing tools that they have with inmates, and then they present that at the inmate-- the initial classification board and then any subsequent classification board the facility may hold.

 

Defense (Coombs)

How many pages typically is an inmate management action plan?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It depends.  It can be anywhere from two to four pages.  Sometimes longer. 

 

It really depends on the inmate and all the information relevant to that inmate that they bring with them when they are incarcerated.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So I guess you could have a long or a short inmate action plan?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.  You had-- you can have an inmate that has been incarcerated for a very long time, and at the annual classification board-- of the inmates been in trouble for you know numerous instances-- it could be-- because that's included in the risk assessment-- it could be numerous pages.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And was Pfc. Manning's action plan a long or a short one?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

it was a short one.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Let's look at slide 13. 

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

[Missed affirmative that she was on that page]

 

Defense (Coombs)

Okay.  This slide lays out basically the daily schedule of calls for pretrial detainees.  Is that correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

How many hours of recreation does a pretrial detainee receive each day at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It depends.  There are different types of recreation. 

 

Outdoor recreation was always one hour.  Indoor recreation which can include the gymnasium, the library, the religious media room-- can be anywhere from one to four hours.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright. So, if I'm understanding correctly, if you have a detainee receiving at least one hour of outdoor recreation, and then one to four hours, say, of indoor recreation that could include indoor gym and the library  or something along that lines?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now what is library call?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

We have a library at the Joint Regional Correctional Facility that has a leisure library, a recreational library, and a legal library. 

 

During that time, the inmates are allowed to go to the library, read material, work on their legal material, access a word processor to type their legal material.  Or they can sit and read the newspaper. 

 

And they can also check out books?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Can a detainee use a computer during the law library time?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It is a closed network only, but yes.  They can use a computer to type documents-- legal documents to support their-- you know their case.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Is it possible for a detainee to request additional hours for library-- law library call, say?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  If it's very difficult-- if an inmate preparing for, you know, a legal appointment or an appeal-- we often would give them additional time inside the legal library to prepare their correspondence-- or to do their research.

 

Defense (Coombs)

How many hours of visitation can a pretrial detainee receive each day?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They can get two hours a day or if approved by the deputy commander-- it can be even more.  It's really the situational dependent. 

 

Specifically if they have a family member coming from a very long distance-- typically [missed a few words] and they will be in the local area for two to three days-- we have in the past given the inmate exception to policy to do perhaps both the morning and afternoon visitation during the week. 

 

On the weekend, four the morning-- typically two to four hours in the evening.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So visitation available on every day of the week at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Why do you have so many opportunities for visitation?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I-- I feel-- I felt as the facility commander that it is paramount to make sure that the bonds established before incarceration are continued, and to help the inmate through incarceration, and additionally pending release it's very, very important for inmates to re-establish and connect those relationships so when they do get released, they have a support system.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When an inmate or detainee has a visitor, is that visitation done in a no-contact booth?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It depends.  it could be sometimes, based upon-- it goes back to their status.  For medium custody inmates, specifically,  no. 

 

And if they are in good status they go into general population visitation room, and they can have visitation.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, that's an open area?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, it is.  It's an open area conference room type setting with tables and chairs-- with four chairs at each table that and inmate can sit with their visitors.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When a detainee is in a open area with their visitors, are they in any sort of restraints?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Is visitation monitored by any sort of audio equipment?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, why is that?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Because in visitation has to be the time between the inmates [missed a few words] interaction between the outside and the inside-- and that is when contraband is often times passed. 

 

It's a very high risk time during the operation of the facility. 

 

So, we need to monitor that-- what's going on between the inmate and the visitor to make sure there's no contraband-- make sure there's no issues with security of the facility.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did you ever receive any special requests to-- to record that Pfc. Manning was having with his visitors?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how was that request passed through to you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It came from the Program Martial General.  And, the system was in place to record the audio-- visitations of Inmate Manning.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did you normal record audio of visitations?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Normally, no. In the past, have we?  Yes, but not-- it wasn't typical, no.

 

Defense (Coombs)

During Pfc. Manning's time in confinement did he ever try to harm himself once he-- I guess was on medium custody?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did he ever try to escape?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did he ever try to harm any of the guards?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

To your knowledge was he ever disrespectful to any of the guards?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

During this time did he ever have any disciplinary issues?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

He had one disciplinary adjustment board.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Alright.  And, did he have any other disciplinary issues regarding-- other than that disciplinary board?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Let's talk about the disciplinary board.  What-- what happened?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Inmate Manning was in the kilo housing unit and there was a conversation between Manning and another pretrial inmate, and Inmate Manning struck the other inmate.

 

Defense (Coombs)

When did this occur in general?  I won't pin you down on a specific date.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It was right before Christmas of December 2010?

 

Defense (Coombs)

2011, you mean?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  I'm sorry.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, what was-- well, actually before we talk about what happened-- how did you deal with that issue?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Just like when you deal with all inmate on inmate assaults-- both the inmates are taken to the special housing unit and put in administrative segregation, pending investigations. 

 

An investigation is conducted, and then the inmates-- if there is enough evidence the inmate sent to a disciplinary adjustment board, and then adjudication is complete, and the punishment is administered in unit.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was Pfc. Manning eventually returned to medium custody?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, how long after the incident?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No more than thirty days.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So you said he had-- well, you would go to potentially a disciplinary board.  Did Pfc. Manning have one of those?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, he did.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, do you recall just from your memory what the results from the board-- of the board was?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  He was found guilty and was given extra duty and disciplinary segregation time. 

 

DS is what we call that time, where he served inside the cell, inside the cell, limited privileges for the amount time that he was adjudicated by the board.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, based upon what he received-- did Pfc. Manning successfully complete his punishment?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, was he reviewed again by any classification board?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, he was-- by an unscheduled classification board?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Yes.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes he was.  As is typical after an inmate is involved in an altercation like that, then we send the risk assessment pack-- the packet and all of the incidence to the board to make sure that the classification that the inmate currently is in-- is still suitable.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, do you recall what the determination was of the unscheduled classification board?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, that he remain in medium custody.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now, were you ever briefed as the commander what happened to cause the assault on-- in that December timeframe?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, I was.  I was told that another inmate and him were having a discussion.  The other inmate was talking in a negative manner about Inmate Manning.  He got upset and then hit the other inmate a couple times.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall what  the conversation was about?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Something to the effect that Inmate Manning were to get a sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks that he would not do well in that environment.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now after this incident-- you said that Pfc. Manning was eventually returned back to medium custody?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was the other detainee still at the facility at that point?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, were they housed in the same area?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Did you have any other problems between Pfc. Manning and the other detainee?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Was the other detainee a disciplinary problem at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

So, you had issues with that other detainee?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

As an overall detainee how would you describe Pfc. Manning?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Typical.  He followed the rules.  He did what he was told, and cause no correctional issues-- confinement issues or security issues within that facility.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Since the December incident, up until the time that you relinquished command, did Pfc. Manning have any other problems at the JRCF?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Lt. Col. Hilton, that is all the questions that I have for you.  The Government will be asking a few questions now.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Hello, Ma'am.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Hello.  Good morning.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Good morning.  The JRCF is a new facility?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And it has capabilities not available at most other DoD facilities?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

So, commanders make decisions based off the resources available to them?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, part of those are custody determinations?  Custody determinations are effected partly by resources available?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  Absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, custody determinations are risk assessments?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

A portion of it, yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, does risk assessments also include considerations of behavior?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, behavior would include, behavior resulting from mental health issues?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, behavior resulting from mental health issues can create a basis for maximum custody?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, for board decisions mental health is important?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Very, yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, confining history is most important?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I wouldn't say most, but equally.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Guard observations are considered?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, commanders must use their judgment to balance all of them as they see fit?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, when Pfc. Manning was in processes, the JRCF followed its normal procedures?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And those procedures are governed by AR [Army Regulation] 190-47?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Not Secretary of the Navy Instructions 1640.9 Charlie?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, they use a point total?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, the initial classification determination is determined by the board?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The classification is, yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, the JRCF deputy commander signs off on it?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, the deputy commander can override that decision?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And the deputy commander follows it most of the time, but sometime overrides it?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.  He has overridden it in my experience.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, those decisions are based on independent judgment?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, the independent judgment is part of the inherent command authority?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And the inherent command authority includes things to chose the weight given to the various factor considered?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, Ma'am, you wouldn't second guess other commanders confinee decisions?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Why not?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Because, there is no way to know that the entire spectrum not only the inmates, but the behavior of the facility, capabilities-- in the background of the commander-- there is no way.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, prisoner safety is critically important?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

I'm sorry I didn't hear that, can you say again?

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

I said, prisoner safety is critically important?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

The most important-- as well as staff.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And including-- and then part of that is protecting prisoners from self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

I'm sorry, Ma'am, I couldn't hear you.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, different commanders might take different actions to protect different prisoners from self-- from self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Potentially, yes.  Absolutely.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

So, a commander might restrict access to gear?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

A commander might also restrict recreation?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

A commander might do both of those and other options?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

In light of what?

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

In light of a prisoner's circumstances and determinations the commander has made?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, Ma'am-- prisoners can use sheets and pillows for self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

And, they have in the past, yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

And, Ma'am-- prisoners can use toilet paper for self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Finally Ma'am, does the JRCF have prisoners from other branches?  Like the Marines, maybe?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

When I left there was one inmate from the Air Force in post trial confinement.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

Thank you, Ma'am.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

You're welcome.

 

Judge Lind

Redirect?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Yes, Ma'am.  One of the trial counsel's questions said that the observations were the most important-- you said not necessarily most important. 

 

What other things would you factor in when determining whether or not a detainee was a risk of self-harm?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It's-- it's self-admission.  So it's a lot of it-- a lot about what is the inmate is saying at this time when the mental health provider is interviewing them. 

 

So, the state of mind-- the current state of mind from what I've been told by mental health-- my mental health providers is very very critical. 

 

So, just because there is a tendency or past documentation that this inmate has-- has inflicted self harm-- it doesn't mean necessarily that they need to be on suicide watch.  It is my-- it is my experiences, numerous inmates will come into the Joint Regional Correctional Facility having tried to commit suicide or inflict self-harm.  It does necessarily mean that I am gonna put him on self-harm-- on suicide watch.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Now I would imagine as a commander of a facility, your concerned with the potential of suicide of a detainee, correct?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Do you receive any sort of training on suicide prevention?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Do I or do my staff?

 

Defense (Coombs)

Either.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes.  It's in our annual training we have.  It's in our initial training that every soldier, civilian must go through before they assume duties within inside the facility-- and then an annual training requirement.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, who on your staff do you trust the most in order to identify potential suicide risks?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

It's two fold.  It's my mental health staff as well as the special housing unit staff-- and all the staff to identify key indicators-- or behaviors that could lead to self harm.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, if a staff member identifies any sort of behavior or indicator-- are they suppose to report that to the mental health professionals?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, to operations staff or mental health providers-- and then the mental health providers will go do their stuff.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, then after that I imagine that you would weigh in whatever your mental health provider advises you?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Absolutely.

 

Defense (Coombs)

And, you had indicated before that you had never ignored your mental health providers recommendations?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Correct.

 

Defense (Coombs)

Thank you.

 

Judge Lind

Lt. Col. Hilton this is Col. Lind.  I'm the military judge.  I have a few questions for you.  Can you hear me?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, Ma'am.

 

Judge Lind

I am looking at the fact sheet that you have on 424(a)-- and you're called a Joint Regional Correctional Facility.  Are all correctional facilities now regional?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

No.  They are not.  United States Disciplinary Barracks is a level three facility-- is not regional-- and, sister services facilities. 

 

There is only two right now within the Army-- the Joint Regional Correctional Facility is one-- it's at [missed word] at Fort Lewis, which is regional. 

 

They take the west coast up to the central area-- and then you have the Joint Regional Correctional Facility, which takes everything from the Midwest to the east.

 

Judge Lind

What is Quantico?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Quantico is a Marine Navy Facility, Ma'am.

 

Judge Lind

For Navy Marines facilities are the regulations that they are required to follow strictly through the Navy chain or there's some Department of Defense regulations or standards applicable to all confinement facilities?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Yes, Ma'am.  There are specific DODD-- that's what I-- as I refer to them as.  And, there are two primary ones that we look at. 

 

The first one is DODD 1325.4-- and that talks about the facilities and the programs and the actual kind of confinement. 

 

And then you have DODD Instruction 1325.7 which also talks a little about the administration-- but really focuses on the clemency of role authorities.  And then of course you have Title 10 USC [United States Code].

 

Judge Lind

You testified earlier that you have a maximum security custody classification for pretrial detainees.  if someone is in maximum custody at your facility-- what does that entail?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That means they are in their cell for 23 hours a day--  they have very little privileges and they have very little-- I guess exposure outside of their cell-- because they are an internal risk to the facility-- specifically when they go outside their cell they are always in hands ironed-- in hands-- in legs-- if they go outside the special housing unit-- within the special housing unit they are always hand ironed. 

 

They are an increased risk within the facility and are treated as such.

 

Judge Lind

What type of recreation if any do they have?

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

They get one hour a day and that's normally inside of a weight room or recreational area that we have inside the special housing unit.

 

Judge Lind

Where does that one hour come from-- is that a Brig policy?  Is that a standard?  Is that--

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

That's an American Correctional Association standard.  It is also outlined in Army Regulation 190-47.

 

Judge Lind

That's all the questions that I have.  Any follow up based on that?

 

Defense (Coombs)

No, your  Honor.

 

Prosecution (VonElton)

No, your Honor.

 

Judge Lind

Lt. Col. Hilton, thank you for your testimony.

 

Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton

Okay, Ma'am.

Categories