US prison struggles: latest calls for support

As the wave of revolt in the US prison system continues, more and more people are finding themselves targeted for reprisals by the prison authorities. These people are taking incredible risks to challenge an unjust system, and knowing that there’s people on the outside paying attention can have a real impact on the confidence of both the rebels and the authorities. Here’s a list of the most recent calls for support:

UPDATE: New York – Medical campaign for Robert Seth Hayes

Robert Seth Hayes, a long-standing prisoner from the original Black Panther days, has been suffering medical neglect for a while now, and suffered a diabetic coma just last week, so there’s an urgent call for him to be provided with an insulin pump/sugar monitor that could save his life. Please contact Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D. to demand that Robert Seth Hayes 74A2280 be provided with an insulin pump/sugar monitor:

Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D.
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Medical Officer
NYS DOCCS Division of Health Services
Harriman State Campus, Building #2
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050

Phone: 518-457-7073

Fax: 518-445-7553

I’m not entirely certain of this, but I think you should also be able to pass this message on by emailing Carl.Koenigsmann@doccs.ny.gov, and Nancy.Lyng@doccs.ny.gov – at least, those addresses didn’t seem to bounce for me, so they’re worth a try.

To contact Seth himself, write to

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116, USA

Ohio – inmate subjected to sexualised targeting by guards

Anarchist prisoner Sean Swain reports on how prison staff publically humiliated another inmate in a way designed to mark him out as a target for sexual assualt. To send some solidarity to Michael Rhodus, write to him at:

Michael Rhodus #714-293
Warren Correctional Inst.
P.O. Box 120
Lebanon, OH 45036
USA

Missouri – Ferguson prisoner Josh Williams:

Over in Missouri, Josh Williams, who was jailed for his role in the Ferguson uprising, has been housed with violent offenders, which threatens his safety, and is asking for help in first getting moved to a different level, and and also to be moved to another prison closer to home.

Phone numbers: (573)-751-2389 and (573)-751-3222

Emails: constituentservices@doc.mo.gov, InspectorGeneral@doc.mo.gov, comofc@oa.mo.gov, doc.media@doc.mo.gov

Message: “Hello, I am a concerned citizen contacting you on behalf of Joshua Williams #1292002, who is currently housed at the ERDCC in Bonne Terre, MO. Joshua Williams has been unjustly housed with violent offenders in level 5 at this facility, when he should be in level 2. Joshua Williams is a non-violent, wrongly convicted young man with no priors. Because the prison has jeopardized the safety of Joshua Williams and housed him haphazardly, we are also demanding that Joshua Williams be transferred to a facility closer to his home in St Louis, MO.

We need Joshua Williams transferred from level 5 to level 2, and his transfer papers should be approved and in process immediately.

I need this message to be passed on to the director, deputy director, and any other parties who can expedite this process. This is an emergency and of the utmost importance.”

You can also drop Josh a line with a few words of support at

Josh Williams #1292002
E.R.D.C.C.
2727 Highway K
Bonne Terre, MO 63628
USA

Oregon – IWOC comrades Josh and Scott:

Up in Oregon, Portland Anarchist Black Cross are reporting that local Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee members have been victimised for organising their fellow inmates at Deer Ridge Correctional Institute, with two organisers now having been moved to a different prison.

You can ring Deer Ridge Superintendent Tim Causey at 541-325-5999 Ext. 5226

or email DOC.Info@doc.state.or.us, michele.l.simmelink-rask@state.or.us, and betty.a.bernt@doc.state.or.us

to pass on the following message:

“I am contacting you in solidarity with prisoners incarcerated at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras, Oregon.

Many prisoners at DRCI have reported being served inadequate portions of food, under cooked food, rotten/moldy food, food that is marked expired and therefore, unfit for human consumption. Prisoners and their supporters at DRCI have requested that staff comply with Oregon State law 169.076 that details food served to inmates must be “procured, stored, prepared, distributed and served under sanitary conditions, as defined by the authority under ORS 624.041 (Rules) and that inmates “will be fed nutritionally adequate meals in accordance with a plan reviewed by a registered dietitian or the Oregon Health Authority.”

However, Superintendent Tim Causey has responded by putting prisoners who have raised concerns in “disciplinary housing”. I am contacting you to ask that you tell Superintendent Tim Causey to end the campaign of repression against these two individuals. Targeting inmates because of their advocacy for prisoner and human rights is unethical, illegal and therefore subject to further legal action against the DOC. We ask that you restore their privileges, communications and return them to general population.”

Since Joshua and Scott have now been transferred, you could also contact their new institution at by ringing Superintendent Jeri Taylor at 541-278-3602 or by emailing the following addresses:

 Jeri.L.Taylor@doc.state.or.us, Laura.R.Harsin@doc.state.or.us, Tom.J.Lemens@doc.state.or.us, Richard.I.McGraw@doc.state.or.us, Mike.K.Cleveland@doc.state.or.us, Greg.L.Clark@doc.state.or.us, Dawn.M.Wagner@doc.state.or.us

and tell them:

“I understand that Joshua Cartrette #12225965 and Scott Elam #16883095 have both been moved to the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute as punishment for raising concerns about unsanitary and unsafe food at Deer Ridge Correctional Institute. I am contacting you to ask that you end the campaign of repression against these two individuals. Targeting inmates because of their advocacy for prisoner and human rights is unethical, illegal and therefore subject to further legal action against the DOC. We ask that you restore their privileges, communications and return them to general population, and allow them to be transferred back to Deer Ridge if they wish.”

You can read more about the situation in a letter from Joshua here, and you contact the two IWOC comrades by writing to them at

Joshua Cartrette 12225965
EOCI
2500 Westgate
Pendleton, Oregon 97801-9699
USA

and

Scott Elam 16883095
EOCI
2500 Westgate
Pendleton, Oregon 97801-9699
USA

Indiana – torture at Wabash Valley:

There’s a request to contact Richard Brown: (812) 398-5050 and Bruce Lemmon: (317) 232-5711.

Email addresses for the Indiana Department of Corrections are rlarsen@idoc.in.gov, SLightfoot@idoc.in.gov, jbasinger@idoc.in.gov, and lsalinas@idoc.in.gov

The message to pass on is

“I am calling to protest the ongoing torture of prisoners in disciplinary segregation at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. The prisoners are being tortured by slow starvation and exceedingly cold temperatures in the cells.  The food rations these prisoners are receiving are dangerously insufficient, and the staff keeps the AC on so high that prisoners are constantly cold. Please examine the practices of the staff at WVCF in regard to the provision of food to inmates in and their operation of the heating and cooling system in disciplinary segregation. Also, please repair the sink in the cell of James Phillips (DOC #106333), because it is currently broken to the point that he can’t get water to drink unless he puts his mouth on the faucet. Thank you.”

To support the prisoner in question directly, write to him at
James Phillips, #106333
PO Box 1111
Carlisle, IN, 47838
USA

California – Santa Clara hunger strike:

Ring Sheriff Laurie Smith at (408)808-4611 or (408)299-8770

Email so.website@sheriff.sccgov.org, pio@sheriff.sccgov.org

Tell them:

“Hello, I am contacting you in support of the ongoing hunger strike being staged by Santa Clara prisoners, and to request that you engage in negotiations to bring the strike to a conclusion as swiftly as possible.

Here are their demands:

  1. End: Meaningless classification reviews and biased appeal process.

Solution:

  1. Incorporate classification practices of other jurisdictions (CDCR, Alameda County, etc.)
  2. Establish independent oversight and review of inmate appeal process, jail conditions, practices and policies.
  3. Safeguard all due process protections.
  1. End: Placement in solitary confinement when there exists no serious rule violation to merit such placement.
  2. Prohibit the use of long-term/indefinite solitary confinement.
  3. Prohibit the use of solitary confinement based solely on gang allegations, affiliation, validation, etc.

Solution:

  1. Follow the classification and housing practice of other jurisdictions (CDCR, Alameda County, etc.)
  2. Allow all inmates a genuine opportunity to be downclassed and properly integrated into the general population.
  3. Determine classification/housing of all inmates based on individual behavior.
  1. End: Policy/practice of denying inmates adequate clothing.

Solution:

  1. Establish policy that promotes proper hygiene.
  2. Provide two sets of tops. and bottoms, three sets of underclothes, and sufficient clothing exchange.
  1. End: Jail profiteering and exploitation of prisoners and their families through contract bidding of commissary vendors based on kick-backs and political incentives for campaign contributions.

Solution:

  1. Set commissary prices equal to or cheaper than those set in CDCR.
  2. Approve more packaging vendors to create a competitive and fair market.
  1. End: Recidivism and misappropriation of Inmate Welfare Funds.

Solution:

  1. Expand and provide constructive programming and privileges for all inmates regardless of classification status.
  2. Create opportunity to engage in meaningful self-help treatment, work, education, and other activities related to having a sense of being a part of a community in preparation for re-entering society for all inmates.
  3. Reallocate Inmate Welfare Funds toward education and rehabilitation programs.”

Michigan – Kinross prison uprising

You can read an account of the Kinross prison uprising here, and contact the author at

Gilbert Morales #186641
Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility
13924 Wadaga Rd.
Baraga, MI 49908-9204
USA

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About nothingiseverlost

"The impulse to fight against work and management is immediately collective. As we fight against the conditions of our own lives, we see that other people are doing the same. To get anywhere we have to fight side by side. We begin to break down the divisions between us and prejudices, hierarchies, and nationalisms begin to be undermined. As we build trust and solidarity, we grow more daring and combative. More becomes possible. We get more organized, more confident, more disruptive and more powerful."
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