location: publications / books / Justice Behind the Walls / Sector 4 / Chapter 5 A Deadly July: Prison Politics, Staff Realities and the Law / September 16: The 60 Day Reviews

Mr. Rosenthal came to his sixty-day review with a copy of the gist of information he had received. The gist concluded:

Numerous source information has been received stating that ROSENTHAL would be harmed if released to the open GP units with the most recent being this past weekend. We have not received any information to date to state that ROSENTHAL could be released to the open GP population. Due to the above information the writer recommends that ROSENTHAL remain in segregation. (Gist of Information, Kent Institution, September 8, 1997)

At the beginning of his review, Mr. Rosenthal stated, "I get the impression from everybody else whoís been here today that you have already decided before we get here what you intend to do with us." Mr. Csoka responded, "Thatís not true." Mr. Rosenthal then presented Mr. Csoka with a copy of a letter he had written to Warden Marshall and asked that Mr. Csoka read it as the basis for discussion about his case. Mr. Csoka said he would pass the letter on to the warden but he did not have time to read it at the review. I later obtained a copy of Mr. Rosenthalís letter:

Dear Warden,

I am writing this letter in regards to my present situation, i.e. that I am being held in segregation because my life is allegedly in danger were I to be released to the general population. This is simply not true. I am well aware that your administration has received certain confidential information in this respect. My only answer to that is that there is a world of difference between someoneís speculation based on idle chatter and a real conspiracy to commit murder. Given that I have spent some 17 years in max.ís and SHUs across the country I know very well how prisoners will respond to an incident such as the death of inmate Grenier. Things are said in the heat of the moment. People rush to conclusions before they know the facts often with little thought and much emotion. And then, there are always those who will manipulate any situation to their own advantage. Unfortunately, it is this latter group that are most willing to provide information to the authorities, and to distort the reality of the situation accordingly.

I was not involved in the death of inmate Grenier in any capacity. There was no conspiracy or premeditation in Grenierís death. The incident itself was recorded on videotape and at no time am I anywhere near it. I am told that even the RCMP and the CSC National Investigative Team make this same determination. Any other construction of events is nothing but a house of smoke and mirrors.

By this point in this writing I would hope that you have gathered that I am not foolhardy enough to want to run headlong to my death. I am not. I have my own sources of information amongst the population in whom I have every reason to have every confidence. I have communicated directly with all the parties in this incident, all of whom have made it very clear that they have no problem with me. I donít hold everyone here in high regard nor they me. Everyone here is not my friend. I donít expect that everyone here would take an active role in getting me released from segregation and neither should your administration. If that were the standard no one would ever get released from segregation.

It has recently been suggested to me that my security level is going to be raised to maximum and that an involuntary transfer to another max. is being considered. In making this determination, Iím asking that you also consider that my whole life is now in the B.C. region. My family and my wife live here. My release plans are all for this region. In all my 17 years of imprisonment I have never had nearly the good things in and good prospects for my life that I have now. In my short time here, I completed the GED with the highest marks possible. Iíve been a medium for over a year and at the time of this incident was waiting for a transfer to Matsqui which was already approved. I am also awaiting acceptance at RHC. I worked in the library, studied in my cell and jogged for exercise every day. I wasnít involved in anything in any capacity. An out of region transfer would be devastating to me, my wife and my family. It would also be unfair, unjust and completely unnecessary.

What happened to Christian Grenier was a tragedy by anyoneís account, mine included. I understand that an incident of that magnitude will have deep repercussions throughout the prison and that sorting out the resultant turmoil is no easy task. Still, the fact remains that I am not responsible for this. Any allusion to the contrary is simply wrong and so is any extension that suggest my life might be in danger. Itís not. Before you take any decision in my case, I ask that you meet me to present your concerns and hear my response first hand. (Letter from Glen Rosenthal to Warden Brenda Marshall, undated)

Faced with Mr. Csokaís refusal to read the letter at the segregation review, Mr. Rosenthal attempted to highlight his central point: the gist of information stated that he was "one of the key players in the murder of Grenier and a contract was out on him." Mr. Rosenthal said this information was false, and the idea of any preplanned conspiracy had been rejected by the national investigation. This gave rise to the following exchange between Mr. Csoka and Mr. Rosenthal:

MC: Weíre not saying that there was a conspiracy. However, the perception of prisoners in the population is that there was a conspiracy and that you were involved in it.

GR: Well, that was not the way it was, and that perception is wrong.

MC: So what do you expect? That I should go out there and tell the prisoners that their perception is wrong so that they shouldnít kill you? I donít think so.

GR: Well, if there are some prisoners saying that I was involved in the conspiracy and that is why they want to kill me and you know that there was no conspiracy, that should lead you to challenge the credibility of the prisoners who are saying that and give you a clue that they have their own agenda to keep me in segregation and get me out of this institution.

Mr. Csoka advised Mr. Rosenthal that he would be staying segregated.

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Glen Rosenthal