You Are Going to Prison: The Importance of an Arrest Plan
By: Shane Radliff
October 7th, 2015
This so-called bastion of “freedom”, otherwise known as America, is home to the highest incarceration rate in the world. Some of those being violent offenders, but the majority are locked up for violating mala prohibita, otherwise known as victimless crimes. This devolving political climate has never been as dangerous as it is now, especially when it comes to activists and those who speak out against the government, whether they advocate for the abolition of the State, or not.
Too many times, activists and Patriots have been caught up in legal predicaments and have lost their freedom because of it. In some cases, the State has enough evidence on its side, but other times, the lack of preparation for potential circumstances hinders the defense and can become a stonewall, of sorts, leading to a much easier “guilty” verdict.
Although, there are crucial preparations that can be taken to minimize confusion, enhance coordination, and maximize the overall chance of getting someone out of the government dungeons.
The overall, encompassing preparation is something known as an “arrest plan”.
1. Role-Playing Police Interrogations
One of the key components in any arrest plan, is the prior role-playing of police interrogations. If someone has not undergone this training, it could also lead to an easy conviction; in other words, “Anything you say, can, and will be used against you in a court of law.” The less you say, the less they can use against you.
There are two ways to role-play police interrogations. First off, and probably most beneficial, is to do it in person, with one or a few people participating. In person, you can physically act out the motions and provide a more realistic feel to the “encounter”. The only caveat being that you cannot physically touch any of the participants (you’re role-playing police interrogations, not police brutality).
The second way is to do it over a VoIP (i.e. Skype) call. Granted, role-playing over the internet is not as helpful as in person, but it is better than nothing, and can still be beneficial. Over VoIP, actions may need be typed. For example, **officer walks up to car and knocks on window**.
In both of these methods, the participants will take turns playing the cop and Joe/Jane Civilian. The officer is “in charge”, so to speak, and determines the start and finish of the hypothetical encounter. Scenarios that could be role-played, include but are not limited to: a basic traffic stop, border checkpoints, DUI checkpoints, entry-to-venue, a noise complaint, or a post-arrest interrogation.
After the hypothetical encounter is over, the participants will critique the job of Joe/Jane Civilian. Things that will be pointed out are mistakes they may have made, things they should have kept to themselves, and what they could have done better. This is the most important part, as correcting these mistakes during role-playing is a lot better than them leading to your demise in a real-life situation.
Role-playing police interrogations is something that should be done by everyone if they care about retaining their possessions and their freedom, although for activists and adherents to civil disobedience, it is crucial.
2. Roles and Preparation
The time immediately following the arrest of a dissident is typically chaotic, unorganized, and counter-productive. The friends and family typically scramble to figure out how they can help the person who has been imprisoned. No one knows what they are supposed to do, they aren’t sure about where to get the bail money, and they aren’t aware of the wishes of the person imprisoned ahead of time. This can lead to stress, wasted time, and ultimately the freedom of the person imprisoned.
These are all things that can be avoided ahead of time.
When you are setting up an arrest plan, it is best to only use those who you trust and are close with. The last thing you want is to be imprisoned and have someone not hold up their end of the plan. This would typically be family, close friends, or a significant other, but ultimately, this is up for you to decide. After you follow the steps below and figure out who will assist you in your time of emergency, make sure to let them know what their tasks are and any other information they may need to know (i.e. combination to a safe); and also, if they would be willing to assist you, at all.
The first step would be to set-up a “rainy day” fund. This would be for bail, commissary, lawyer’s costs, and any other expenses that may arise. You should assign someone to be in charge of bailing you out, preferably someone that lives with you or that lives close by. You will need to provide them with the location of the funds and a way to access them.
The second step would be to assign someone the legal side of your case (will be referred to as legal assignee). They would access the court documents, be your communication from the inside, hire your lawyer (or contact the public defender), help plan your defense, and would be in contact with your media outlet. Also, make sure to get them the contact information for the public defender ahead of time.
The person you assign to the legal side of your case would also be in contact with your media outlet. They would provide the court documents, updates on the case, any cruel or unusual punishment, or violations of your rights in general, to the media contact. It is important to emphasize, that your legal assignee must not give away the defense’s strategy, as that could be detrimental to the case.
As was mentioned previously, you will also need a media contact. This can be anyone of your choosing, but make sure you trust them, since they will be the ones reporting on your case. Also, make sure the person you choose has the contact information for your legal assignee ahead of time, preferably using encrypted communications.
3. Additional Information
If you have completed (or pondered) the aforementioned steps, you are off to a good start, but there are some other things you may need to consider.
First and foremost, I would recommend putting together a master Word document with all of the necessary information (make sure to have multiple copies, and provide them to anyone in your arrest plan). You should put the contact information for anyone that may be able to assist, phone numbers to the public defender, as well as any other pertinent information.
When the State comes for you, I would highly recommend keeping a timeline of all of the events and communications that take place. Do this when you are hauled off to jail, and also assign someone this task on the outside.
Your timeline may look like this:
- Two police officers, James Woods and John Franklin (Badge Numbers 471, 982), came to the house today to serve an arrest warrant for Joe. They arrested him for felon in possession of firearm.
- They also came with a search warrant and removed three firearms from the house.
- Joe was taken to Cook County jail and has his first hearing is on October 11th.
- Two agents (Williams and Stafford) from the FBI came and questioned me and Shirley on October 6th. They said that he was under investigation by the Feds as well, but wouldn’t provide us with any more information.
- The first hearing went fine. Joe plead not guilty and was released on bail.
- Next scheduling hearing is for November 11th.
This timeline will help with organization and will also serve as a refresher when the details start piling up. Within this timeline, your person on the outside should list the legal citations/punishments for the accused crime, any potential litigation strategies, any inconsistencies put forth by the State, and any information that may have led up to the arrest (snitching, undercovers, etc.).
That timeline will serve as a powerful resource if it is done correctly and everything is properly notated.
Continuing forward, there is often another avenue that is rarely planned for. When you are locked up, you won’t be earning an income and you probably have expenses to pay, as well as a number of other commitments that may need your attention.
You might need someone to pay your bills for you, mow your lawn, take care of your children, or feed your pets when you’re locked up. It would be wise to plan for these things as well, and however you want to go about handling that is essentially up to you.
It’s also crucial that you obtain any copies of documents pertinent to your case for your personal records. It is also highly advised that you do not sign anything, if you can at all avoid it. If you are forced to sign something, make sure to at least read it so you know what you’re agreeing to.
Additionally, it’s important to always exercise your rights. That can be in the form of not letting an agent of the State into your house without a warrant, remaining silent, or exercising your right to a jury trial. (Author’s note: There are probably some details that I left out; if that is the case, I will update the article.)
Living in 21st century America, it’s almost guaranteed that you will have some sort of interaction with government agents at some point. If you’re extremely unlucky, you may be entrapped, set-up, or inhumanely caged for violating mala prohibita. You may have done “nothing wrong”, but with the average American committing three felonies a day, it’s not unrealistic to plan ahead for whatever situation may arise.
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and especially so, when it’s your freedom and livelihood on the line. Keeping people out of prison is essential in this fight to restore Liberty and preparing an arrest plan is a necessary step for anyone who espouses freedom.