‘Diesel therapy’: the BOP’s unique form of psychological torture

More Than Our Crimes
6 min readAug 30, 2020

Frequent, forced travel is a Machiavellian indoctrination into the ‘system’

By Pam Bailey, Rob Barton’s editor and writing collaborator

The first clue Rob was about to be forcibly removed from the D.C. jail came the previous night. A C.O. (commanding officer) ordered him to the medical clinic, saying — when asked — that he didn’t know why: Just orders.

In the clinic, an assistant measured his vital signs: temperature, blood pressure, pulse. On the phone that night, he told me, “I think they’re gonna come take me. And if that’s the case, it’ll happen fast.”

Sure enough, the next morning, Rob was woken up at 3:30 a.m. — told to eat and shower, then….wait.

“I sat downstairs from 5:30 until about 8:30,” he recounts from the destination he didn’t know until they arrived: Northern Neck Regional Jail in Virginia. “Then they chained me up and put me on a van and brought me down here.”

The chain was a “black box:” a belly chain wrapped around the waist, with the ends anchored in a rectangular, black, metal box. Rob’s hands were cuffed as well — also…



More Than Our Crimes

Rob Barton has been incarcerated for 26 years. Pam Bailey is his collaborator/editor. Learn more at MoreThanOurCrimes.org