Monday, July 25, 2016

Hunger strikes protesting solitary confinement proliferate within Wisconsin's prisons

Hunger strikes by some state prisoners protesting abuses of solitary confinement at the Waupun Correctional Institute are reportedly spreading to two other state prisons, according to prisoners' rights advocates.


The Coalition of Prisoner Supporters has also received reports of dozens of hunger strikers at Columbia Correctional Institution, according to a letter from prisoner Robert Ward.  The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has refused to release the number of prisoners involved in the hunger strikes at any of the state prisons.

The so-called "Dying to Live" hunger strikes are an attempt by prisoners to abolish long term solitary confinement in Wisconsin, according to Coalition member Ben Turk of the Milwaukee Industrial Workers of the World. LaRon McKinley-Bey and Ras Uhuru Mutawakkil (state name Norman Green) have drafted a proposal of new rules for DOC's use of solitary confinement. These rules were delivered to the DOC along with a rally and protest by 20 members of the Coalition of Prisoner Supporters on July 5  at WI DOC central office, according to Turk.


Turk stated that four prisoners at Green Bay Correctional Institute (GBCI) publicly began refusing food on July 13. According to letters from one of the participating prisoners at Columbia, Howard Brown, says staff there has retaliated violently to repress the protest.  Brown's letter states that on July 14, correctional officer Captain Schultz threatened the hunger strikers, saying “if y'all don't want me messing with y'all, all y'all got to do is eat, if not, I can make y'all hunger strike a lot harder” (link to letter below).

The next day extraction teams came to force the prisoners out of their cells for refusing medical treatment and not wanting to be split up, according to Brown. Two of the hunger strikers, Kyle Young and Leonte Porter were taken from their cells, beaten, put in restraint chairs and moved to a different section of the prison, their complaint forms are linked below. Two days later, Howard Brown sent another letter stating that both Young and Porter had ended the hunger strike “due to harassment from staff and fear of further harassment.”

The GBCI hunger strikers released a list of 10 grievances, ranging from mail and food tampering by staff, to poor and unsanitary housing conditions, and mental health neglect. In his letters Brown asserts that the guards ignore mental health crises and have stood idly by while prisoners in solitary confinement harm or kill themselves. He says the guards sometimes refuse to transfer people to suicide watch when they request it, and other times send them there against their will as punishment.

Meanwhile, the Dying to Live hunger strike that started on June 5th at Waupun Correctional Institution continues. Earlier this month the Dodge County Circuit Court held hearings to review the temporary force feeding orders granted in mid-June. For at least three of the hunger strikers, Cesar DeLeon, LaRon McKinley-Bey and Ronald Lane, the court authorized the force feeding to continue for six months.

At his July 7 hearing Cesar DeLeon, requested Judge Steven Bauer review video evidence of a June 20 force feeding in which Waupun officer Joseph Beahm, who has over a dozen harassment and abuse complaints filed against him, assisted in the procedure and assaulted him. On July 14 Bauer viewed the video and still approved extending the medical examination and treatment orders.


DeLeon claims that the video was edited by DOC staff to conceal the moment when Officer Beahm attempted to withdraw a water cup that prevents him from choking on the feeding tube as it is being inserted down his nose. The Coalition of Prisoner Supporters state that the video does appear to skip, indicating an edit at that moment.




Attachments and sources:

Letter from Howard Brown describing GBCI hunger strike:
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/h-brown-seg-report-word.pdf


Grievances of GBCI hunger strikers:
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/hbrowngbcidemandsallword.pdf

Letter from LaRon McKinley-Bey describing tampering with video evidence:
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/l-aron-mckinley-tampering-word-pdf.pdf


Letter from Robert Ward about hunger strikes at Columbia CI
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/r-ward-seg-word-7-15.pdf


Leonte Porter complaint:
http://insurgenttheatre.org/sprdocs/Porter-complaint-7-15-16.pdf

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Other States are Doing-2014 article but still good

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2014/12/23/shifting-away-from-solitary

Shifting Away from Solitary


More states have passed solitary confinement reforms this year than in the past 16 years.



 
In 2014 one of the most controversial practices in criminal justice, solitary confinement, faced unprecedented challenges. As a result of legislation or lawsuits, ten states adopted 14 measures aimed at curtailing the use of solitary, abolishing solitary for juveniles or the mentally ill, improving conditions in segregated units, or gradually easing isolated inmates back into the general population. In January, the correctional officers’ union in Texas even called for doing away with solitary confinement on death row, stating in a letter to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that if inmates are stripped of all privileges they become harder to manage and more dangerous to corrections officers.

A number of events pushed solitary confinement onto the agenda, said Jean Casella of the advocacy group Solitary Watch, including a seminal New Yorker article describing solitary as a form of torture, the ACLU taking up the issue in 2011 and a 2013 anti-solitary hunger strike in the Pelican Bay State Prison in California.

Below, a closer look at every solitary reform measure implemented in the United States. The list does not include pending legislation, such as the three solitary reform bills that were introduced in Congress in the span of five months this year, and New Jersey’s much-discussed solitary reform legislation, which was introduced this month.

Solitary Confinement Reforms by State, 1998-2014
2014 - The biggest year for reform includes the response to a highly publicized hunger strike, two corrections commissioners sleeping in solitary, and a New York Times exposé.

ARIZONA

Oct. 14: The ACLU files a settlement agreement with the Arizona Department of Corrections, resolving a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 33,000 prisoners. Among other reforms, the settlement provides mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement with more access to mental health treatment and time outside their cells.

CALIFORNIA

After a nationally publicized hunger strike by prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison's Security Housing Unit, the Department of Corrections makes permanent a 2012 pilot program for releasing prisoners previously held in solitary confinement into general population. Over four hundred prisoners have qualified for release, of which over 150 have been moved so far. In addition, new regulations are introduced regarding who may be placed in isolation.

COLORADO

Under the leadership of Tom Clements (who was murdered in March 2013 by a man who'd been released directly from solitary confinement) and then Rick Raemisch (who this January famously spent a night in solitary confinement himself), the Department of Corrections has reduced the number of prisoners in solitary confinement by two-thirds, from 1,500 in 2011. Raemisch has testified that he wants to see that number reduced by another 100 prisoners by next summer. Colorado now has a limited number of permissible reasons for placing inmates in solitary confinement, though some advocates believe the state has reduced its numbers simply by no longer calling solitary confinement "solitary confinement." On June 6, Gov. John Hickenlooper codifies many of Colorado's already-implemented reforms, signing legislation banning the solitary confinement of the seriously mentally ill.

INDIANA

February: Mike Dempsey, head of the Indiana Department of Corrections Division of Youth Services, reports to a group of corrections professionals that Indiana has reduced the number of juveniles in solitary confinement from 48 beds to five to 10, with a maximum stay of 24 hours.

MICHIGAN

Since 2011, the Department of Corrections has cut the number of "dedicated solitary" beds from 1,400 to 1,100. In addition, MDOC is expanding its “Incentives in Segregation” program — which expands social programming for prisoners in solitary confinement as a way of encouraging positive behavior — from one facility to five.

NEBRASKA

Dec.15: After hearing testimony from experts from around the country, a bipartisan legislative commission makes 16 recommendations to the state's Corrections Department, including the firing of three prison officials and "significant reduction in the use of segregated confinement, beginning with removing the mentally ill and the cognitively impaired."

NEW MEXICO

The New Mexico Corrections Department, responding to the recommendations of a Vera Institute-led "working group" convened in 2011 by the state legislature, commits on Feb. 12 to reducing its reliance on solitary confinement. The department plans to emphasize alternative disciplinary measures, build new general population units, and develop social programming for the prisoners who remain in solitary. On May 2, after spending two days in solitary confinement himself, state Secretary of Corrections Gregg Marcantel challenges judges who hear disciplinary cases to consider alternatives before isolation; several inmates are released from solitary confinement into the general population. The corrections department has pledged to reduce the percentage of state prisoners in solitary confinement from 9.6 percent to 5 percent by next year.

NEW YORK

As a result of a settlement agreement with the NYCLU in Peoples v. Fischer, on Feb. 19, New York's becomes the largest prison system to ban the solitary confinement of juveniles for disciplinary reasons. (Pregnant women and prisoners with developmental disabilities are also largely protected from the punishment.) The agreement imposes unprecedented sentencing guidelines, specifying the maximum terms of solitary confinement that may be handed down for various disciplinary infractions. In a Sept. 28 memo to Mayor Bill De Blasio, Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte (who previously spearheaded solitary confinement reform in Maine) says solitary confinement of 16- and 17-year-olds at Riker's Island will be eliminated by the end of the year. New York City has been under pressure to do so from a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, as well as the investigative reporting of The New York Times. On Oct. 17, the Department of Corrections resolves Cookhorne v. Fischer, updating its policies to prohibit juveniles from being held in solitary confinement. Correctional officers will be trained in dealing with juveniles, and more social workers will be hired.

OHIO

May 21: The U.S. Department of Justice reaches an agreement with the state, under which the Department of Youth Services must reduce the frequency and duration of (and ultimately eliminate) solitary confinement for juveniles. Many commentators have suggested that the deal is a warning sign from the Justice Department, indicating to states who haven't acted that solitary confinement reform for juveniles is a federal priority.

WISCONSIN

March-April: Corrections Secretary Ed Wall releases a memo to DOC employees articulating his vision for reforming the use of solitary confinement. New rules are proposed and quickly approved by the Legislature, and are set to go into effect in January.

- Collapse

2013

2013 - Several states limit the amount of time inmates spend in isolation.

FEDERAL

Sept. 4: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issues a directive limiting the solitary confinement of detainees to extreme circumstances.

ILLINOIS

Jan. 4: Following years of legislative debate surrounding solitary housing practices at the notorious supermax facility, Tamms Correctional Center, Gov. Pat Quinn closes the facility.

NEVADA

June 1: After a legislative review of the issue, Gov. Brian Sandoval approves a bill restricting solitary confinement in juvenile facilities, including a ban on isolation over 72 hours. The law also mandates the keeping of comprehensive monthly records of when and where solitary confinement is used. Meanwhile, Ely State Prison continues to have some of the worst solitary confinement practices in the country.

NEW YORK

September-December: Under pressure from the Jails Action Coalition, the New York City Board of Corrections initiates rule-making on the issue of solitary confinement, and begins reassigning mentally ill prisoners to facilities with therapeutic resources.

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma establishes an apparent statutory ban on the solitary confinement of juveniles, though the code remains vague about emergency conditions in which such isolation may be allowed.

VIRGINIA

Virginia reduced the number of prisoners in segregation by 62 percent since 2011, and is implementing a “step-down” program allowing inmates to earn their way out of solitary confinement.

- Collapse

2012

2012 - The movement takes hold. Six states implement reforms.

ALASKA

Oct. 15: Alaska's delinquency rules are changed to include a regulation banning the solitary confinement of juveniles for punitive reasons. However, the state's definition of "secure confinement" is vague, and it's not clear how (or whether) the regulation is being implemented.

COLORADO

Jan. 1: Partly as a result of a 2011 legislative review, the Department of Corrections begins reclassifying hundreds of prisoners from solitary confinement into the general population. The bar is raised for putting prisoners into isolation, and new procedures for re-entry and mental health care are developed. On March 19, after a unanimous vote in the General Assembly, the state closes State Penitentiary II, a facility of entirely single-inmate solitary confinement cells. Excessive costs and reduced demand for "administrative segregation" are the reasons cited.

CONNECTICUT

April 25: Connecticut establishes a statutory ban on the solitary confinement of juveniles. However, the new statute's language doesn't define "solitary confinement," and a subsequent 2014 statute seems to allow the "seclusion" of post-adjudicated juveniles if it's officially authorized. Reports of juveniles being placed in isolation have continued.

MASSACHUSETTS

April 12: As a result of a settlement with the Disability Law Center, the Department of Corrections begins rewriting its policies to exclude severely mentally ill prisoners from solitary confinement. Additionally, two new maximum-security mental health treatment facilities are designed.

MISSISSIPPI

Feb. 27: As a result of a federal class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, juveniles are prohibited from being housed in solitary confinement.

WEST VIRGINIA

April 26: As a result of a lawsuit in which two inmates claimed their treatment violated a 1998 law, Division of Juvenile Services Director Dale Humphreys announces he has ordered an end to the practice of punishing juveniles with solitary confinement.

 

2010

2010 - Maine and Mississippi: Two very different models for change.

MAINE

Under the leadership of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte, Maine’s Department of Corrections revamps its Special Management Unit, cutting the population of prisoners in solitary confinement in half. Now, placing a prisoner in the SMU for longer than 72 hours requires the personal approval of the commissioner of Corrections. Placement in “the hole” has been replaced with informal punishments, and social programming has been expanded.

MISSISSIPPI

June 4: After the ACLU files a lawsuit, Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps shuts down Parchman Farm’s notorious Unit 32, a solitary confinement unit. A “Step-Down” system is introduced, returning inmates to Parchman’s general population. Under Epps, the number of prisoners in solitary confinement drops from 1,300 to 300. (However, some of the prisoners are moved from solitary confinement at Parchman into private facilities operated by companies from which Epps would later be indicted for taking bribes.)

- Collapse

2008 - New York follows up by enacting legislation.

 

2007 NEW YORK

Jan. 16: New York passes the first solitary confinement reform bill of its kind, the SHU Exclusion Law. The law, which took effect in 2011, requires the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to review and report its solitary confinement policies, remove mentally ill prisoners from isolation, ensure that those prisoners' standard of care is higher than that of other inmates, and build a new therapeutic, non-disciplinary prison unit.

- Collapse

2007 - Court orders New York to curb solitary for the mentally ill.

NEW YORK

April 17: As part of the settlement in Disability Advocates Inc. v. New York State Office of Mental Health, seriously mentally ill prisoners are required to receive opportunities for out-of-cell time, as well as improved mental health screening and programming.

 

 1998

1998 - West Virginia is the first state to pass a law banning solitary for juveniles. (In 2012 two juveniles sued saying the state was not following its own law.)

WEST VIRGINIA

April 1: Gov. Cecil Underwood approves legislation prohibiting the solitary confinement of juveniles, though the prohibition only applies to solitary confinement lasting longer than 10 days. It is not clear that the law is enforced in practice until 2012, when a lawsuit from two juvenile prisoners forces the Division of Juvenile Services to comply.




 
 
 
 

 

Friday, July 1, 2016

FOOD REFUSAL UPDATES AND ACTIONS

for Contacts, general actions: How you can help

 PRESS RELEASE 7 23 16

For Immediate Release: Hunger strikes proliferate within the WI DOC

Four prisoners at Green by Correctional Institute GBCI publicly began refusing food on July 13. The WI DOC has not yet acquired court orders to force feed any of these prisoners, but outside supporters anticipate they will soon. On July 14, Captain Schultz threatened the hunger strikers, saying “if y'all don't want me messing with y'all, all y'all got to do is it, if not, I can make y'all hunger strike a lot harder” according to a letter from hunger striker Howard Brown.

The next day extraction teams came to force the prisoners out of their cells for refusing medical treatment and not wanting to be split up. Two of the hunger strikers were extracted, beaten, put in restraint chairs and moved to a different section of the prison. Two days later Brown wrote that both had come off the hunger strike “due to harassment from staff and fear of further harassment.”

The GBCI hunger strikers released a list of ten grievances, ranging from mail and food tampering by staff, to poor and unsanitary housing conditions, and mental health neglect. Prisoners assert that the guards ignore mental health crises and have stood idly by while prisoners in solitary confinement harm or kill themselves. According to prisoners, the guards sometimes refuse to transfer people to suicide watch when they request it, and other times send them there against their will as punishment.

Meanwhile, the Dying to Live hunger strike that started on June 5th at Waupun Correctional Institution continues. Eariler this month the Dodge County Circuit court held hearings to review the temporary force feeding orders granted in mid-June. In the case of strikers Cesar DeLeon, Ronald Lane, LaRon McKinley-Bey judges granted permanent orders to continue force feeding the prisoners for six months. Cesar DeLeon requested that the judge view video evidence of a June 20 force feeding in which officer Joseph Beahm, who has over a dozen harassment and abuse complaints filed against him, assisted in the proceedure and assaulted him.

The judge viewed the video and released it to the public record, WisconsinWatch.org published the full video online at: Cesar DeLeon claims that the video was edited by DOC staff to conceal the moment when Officer Beahm attempted to withdraw the water cup that prevents him from choking on the feeding tube as it is being instered in his nose. The video does seem to skip indicating an edit at that moment (5:05 timestamp)

The Dying to Live hunger strike aims to abolish long term solitary confinement, referred to as 'administrative confinement' by the Wisconsin DOC. The DOC holds prisoners in solitary confinement under this designation for years and even decades.

Hunger strikers LaRon McKinley-Bey and Ras Uhuru Mutawakkil (state name Norman Green) have drafted a thorough proposal of new rules and recommendations restricting the use of solitary confinement, providing more effective ways of dealing with difficult prisoners and creating mandates to ensure treatment for prisoners experiencing mental health crises.

The Coalition of Prisoner Supporters have also received unconfirmed reports of dozens of hunger strikers at Columbia Correctional Institution. The only people able to confirm or accurately count the number of prisoners refusing food, being force fed, or otherwise protesting the DOC's use of solitary confinement is the WI DOC itself. They have steadfastly refused to release this information to journalists, lawmakers or prisoner's families.


Contact: Jason Geils IWOC, 414-350-9585, argentum111@me.com

Interview contact: Chance Zombor, 262-844-3703, chance.zombor@gmail.com

 

--

 


 We are now in a new stage in the food refusal campaign with too much coming
 in for  me to do an adequate update here. I am going to start posting prisoners letters online so you can see the depth of the problem/corruption in our justice system, the unending solitary confinement issue being only the most obvious obscenity. Please feel free to email me during this time of transition as we devise an effective way to keep interested public informed. There are other organizations involved in getting action and I will link them here soon.
Also here is the latest excellent article from the center for Investigative Journalism. Thanks you Dee Hall!



To get more involved: Striking prisoners have developed a couple of specific demands/proposals for sweeping changes to solitary confinement and treatment of the mentally ill. We will be attempting to enlist the legislature in helping us move these forward. If you would like to help with this effort, Again, email me: pgswan3@aol.com


July-august 2016 Bridge of Voices Newsletter




link to download July 5th flier:
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/dying-to-live-flier-for-july-5th.pdf

 June 29,2016:Phone banking and protest for July 5th

Solidarity Action Against Wisconsin Torture Practices

On Tuesday July 5, employees of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) will return from a long holiday weekend of cooking out and summertime patriotism to a day of protest at their workplace. Starting before the office opens and continuing until the DOC steps down from the use of long term solitary confinement, we will protest in fierce solidarity with the prisoners who have been refusing food since early June.

Cesar DeLeon, LaRon McKinley Bey, Uhuru Mutawakkil kicked off a hunger strike on June 5, they called it the “Dying to Live Humanitarian Food Refusal Campaign Against Torture.” Dozens of prisoners were ready to join them initially, but DOC retaliation, harassment, transfers and threats divided and repressed many of them. Ten or so prisoners were on board on June 10 and 11, when supporters held the first rallies in Milwaukee and Madison.

On June 17, the DOC made good on their threats by force feeding the prisoners. Seven days without food is not long enough to seriously endanger the human body, and the risks of force feeding certainly exceed the benefit, so this action was clearly about torturing the prisoners and break their protest. Our most recent correspondence confirmed six prisoners are still refusing food, DeLeon and McKinley Bey, as well as Joshua Scolman, Parish Golden, Lamar Larry and Shirell Watkins. At least two of these people have been subjected to regular force feedings for the last ten days. Mutawakkil, who was transferred to Columbia CI to isolate him from the others, recently began accepting food again because his body and mind were not accepting the starvation and force feeding and he wanted to focus on drafting a specific proposal of new rules for the DOC to follow as well as lawsuits against the DOC for the force feeding.

We support all of these prisoners and recognize that, whether they refused food for only one day or have endured swallowing a tube shoved up their nose by unfriendly DOC staff multiple times a day, they are resisting the practice of solitary confinement, and we will continue to resist alongside them.

There are many things in the works for July 5th, diverse tactics and actions are being considered and planned. We will have a picket line that DOC employees will have to cross, there will be speeches and re-enactments of solitary confinement and torture endured by prisoners, mass call-ins and campaigns. Civil disobedience, banner drops and other more confrontational activities are on the table, but the organizers will maintain a lawful protest space as well, to protect the safety of formerly incarcerated and potentially undocumented participants to the best of our ability.

The demonstration is being called for by a coalition of prisoner supporters including the Incarcerated Worker's Organizing Committee of the IWW, Forum for Understanding Prisons, Ex-Prisoners Organizing, members of the WISDOM Network, and others.

Calling lawmakers: there are legislative committees that are supposed to exercise oversight on the DOC, but the politicians on these committees are cautious because they are afraid of seeming soft on criminals. If you call them and express concerns about torture you can help them realize that their constituency does recognize the humanity of prisoners and is opposed to torture.

Senator Van Wanggaard is the chair of the Senate Justice and Public Safety Committee, 

you can reach him here: (608) 266-1832, Sen.Wanggaard@legis.wisconsin.gov

Lena Taylor is also a member of that committee, and we're thinking she'll be more likely to take action, please reach out to her at: (608) 266-5810, Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov

Representative Rob Hutton is the chair of the Assembly Committee on Corrections, you can reach him here: (608) 267-9836, Rep.Hutton@legis.wisconsin.gov

Representative David Bowen is also on that committee and we're thinking he'll be more likely to take action, please reach out to him at: (608) 266-7671, Rep.Bowen@legis.wisconsin.gov

_______________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
 23rd June   WI DOC FORCE FEEDING PRISONERS







Waupun, WI - At least two of the hunger striking prisoners in Wisconsin are being force fed by DOC officials. Force feeding unwilling patients has been condemned by the American Medical Association (AMA) the Red Cross and other medical organizations as a form of torture which is “never ethically acceptable.”

On Tuesday, Cesar DeLeon confirmed during his weekly video visit with his sister that the force feeding is occurring. He said the procedure causes bleeding, that they leave the tube in much longer than necessary and that staff mock him while performing it. According to the AMA inserting a feeding tube in an unwilling patient requires much care and risks tearing the esophagus, or accidentally filling the lungs with fluid, rather than the stomach, both potentially fatal injuries. Tristan Cook, the DOC's Communications Director has assured the public that the DOC is monitoring the hunger strike and approves of these procedures.

Two days prior to the force feeding, DeLeon also began refusing water, claiming that the high lead and copper levels in Waupun Correctional's water was irritating his stomach. A person cannot live more than 3 days without water. The DOC allowed DeLeon bottled water for one day, and then began the force feeding. Force feeding dehydrated people without first replenishing fluids intravenously causes “refeeding syndrome” in which the body reacts to sudden intake of food with insulin imbalances, further dehydration, and risk of respiratory failure. Prisoners accused of terrorism in Guantnamo Bay were given IVs before force feeding, a practice WI DOC has refused for these prisoners.

The prisoners have been on hunger strike for 13-18 days, most initiated the strike on June 10th but some, including DeLeon started on the 5th. It is impossible to know how many prisoners are participating in the strike, DeLeon says over two dozen committed to it before they began, but the DOC has separated the protesters from each other and interfered with their access to mail. The prisoners have been able to confirm five current participants, of which two, DeLeon and LaRon McKinley have confirmed they are being force fed. In a letter written on June 19th McKinley stated that the other two participants at Waupun, Joshua Scolman and Parish Golden expected to be force fed as well, but the DOC refuses to release information about how many people they are force feeding today.

McKinley and DeLeon have sent out copies of the force-feeding court orders dated June 17th and signed by Dodge County Circuit Judge Brian Pfitzinger. State attorney Gloria Thomas filed the requests. Pfitzinger's office has not returned calls and Gloria Thomas refuses to answer any questions, referring callers to DOC Communications Director Tristan Cook and Legal Director Wynn Collins, who have not answered or returned calls.

Wisconsin's response to this hunger strike stands in stark contrast to other states' corrections practices, where force feeding, if used at all, comes only as a last resort after negotiations with prisoners fail. Outside supporters from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the WISDOM Network and other organizations held rallies in Milwaukee and Madison, as well as call-in days, where concerned citizens called the DOC to request that they meet and negotiate with the hunger strikers. On Tuesday June 21st, the supporters took the action to the next level, marching on the DOC's central office and delivering a letter suggesting remedies to the situation. They have called for another state wide support action on July 2nd and will continue to publicly pressure the DOC to meet and negotiate with the prisoners in the interim.




RALLY and PRAYER VIGIL Held 6 21 at MADISON DOC

30-40 people delivered Letter and prisoner's demands to DOC and then rallied on bridge overpass.
More details coming.





Letter from Cesar 6 21 16: We have received a letter from Cesar Deleon he is getting bottled water now and that the DOC has acquired a permit to force feed him.




   
Milwaukee IWW
June 19 at 8:48am


Please email and call Waupun Correctional Institute on Sunday and Monday. As of today, people have been on hunger strike in Waupun for 13 days. One of the hunger strikers, Cesar De Leon, announced 6/15/16 that he is now also refusing water because Waupun's water supply is contaminated by lead, he vomits up their water and experiences stomach pain and heart-burn when he drinks it.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1900430210184456/?notif_t=plan_user_invited¬if_id=1466299789805667

RALLY and PRAYER VIGIL TUESDAY AT MADISON DOC

WHAT:Rally/Prayer vigil in support of hunger striking long term solitary prisoners

WHEN:Tuesday, June 21st, at 2 PM

WHERE: Gather in the parking lot of the Taco Bell across from the Department of Corrections (DOC) building. (Taco Bell parking lot is located at 3002 East Washington ave. Madison, WI.)

WHY:Then, we will walk over to the DOC building across the street to read a brief press statement. A delegation of supporters will deliver a letter to the DOC inside, while others hold a prayer vigil outside. Everyone is encouraged to join us.

We need lots of people there to show solidarity as the fast has reach a critical point.
As of this writing June 18the, Cesar DeLeon has requested bottled water as his sensitive stomach is not abiding the lead contaminated water in Waupun Prison- Because he is not eating, the effect of the water is magnified.The DOC refuses the water> For Uhuru, norman Green , it has been 18 days on fast.(since the fifth) We will ask the prison to negotiate with the prisoners.
Please help

Friday June 17


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Prisoner Hunger Strike Enters Second Week, Spreads to Multiple Facilities. 

Prisoners who called for the "Dying to Live" June 10th food refusal campaign have not given up their protest, despite retaliation from the Wisconsin Department of Correctiongns (DOC) and increasing health concerns. Last week seven prisoners vowed to refuse to eat until the DOC moves toward eliminating their practice of long term solitary confinement. Some prisoners began refusing food early so that their hunger strike would be officially recognized by the 10th. At least one prisoner, named Ras Atum-ra Uhuru Mutawakkil (s/n Norman Green) has been refusing food since June 5th.   

The DOC has responded by separating the prisoners to make a negotiated resolution of the protest impossible. Mutawakkil was transferred from Waupun to Columbia CI before the strike officially began, he has not yet received his property and Columbia officials deny that anyone is refusing food at their institution. Of the declared hunger strikers, two remain at Waupun CI, where the protest originated. Two others have been moved to Columbia CI, and one to Green Bay CI. LaRon McKinley, who has been in Administrative Confinement for more than 27 years and remains determined to participate in this protest, despite health concerns. Cesar DeLeon, one of the first hunger strikers who has been on AC in Waupun for years, has complained of stomach problems, which the hunger strike has exacerbated. The water at Waupun is known to contain high levels of copper and lead, and DeLeon is demanding uncontaminated water. 

Calls from both concerned citizens and state representatives to the DOC have been either ignored or sent to DOC public relations officer Tristan Cook, who says the DOC is monitoring the situation, but will not admit how many prisoners are refusing food, or what the official DOC policy is for dealing with hunger strikes. In April, another prisoner at Waupun CI named Robert Tatum went on a hunger strike lasting fourteen days, after which he was force fed by staff, even though he had given up the strike and eaten a meal when threatened. The American Medical Association and United Nations have unequivocally condemned force feeding a conscious and resisting "patient" as very dangerous and medically unethical.

Outside supporters have been monitoring the situation calling the DOC and demanding that they negotiate with the hunger strikers and organizing support rallies. Next Tuesday, they plan to hold a vigil outside of the DOC offices in Madison. If the DOC remains intransigent, they will deliver a public letter to DOC central office in Madison and demand a response.





2)Sign our petition at: https://www.change.org/p/wi-doc-secretary-jon-litscher-waupun-prisoners-begin-food-refusal-to-protest-solitary-torture


4) Also, Consider sending a card or letter to one of these prisoners -it would lift their spirits. FFUP offers forwarding service too, if you do not w ant to use your own address. Call 608-536-3993 for more information. Addresses and info on prisoners needing cards below.

5)ACTION Alert for 6 14 16: PRISONERS HAVE BEEN MOVED-NOW THREE PRISONS  House Strikers
Please help us keep pressure on the DOC and Madison officials
People to call often
1)Waupun Correctional Institution Warden: Brian Foster, Warden WCI; PO Box 351, Waupun, WI 53963; Phone: 920-324-5571, Fax: 920-324-7250;email: brian.foster@wisconsin.gov
inmates on food refusal" in WCI  as of 6 13-
Address for all three: WCI; PO Box 351, Waupun, WI 53963

LaRon McKinley 42642 link to web post :http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/05/laron-mckinley.html
Cesar De Leon 322800, link to web post: http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/05/cesar-deleon-his-mother-speaks.html

Joshua Scolman 422508 (now in seg-going to AC)link to post: http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/06/joshua-scolman-watches-his-mind.html

2) Columbia Correctional Institution Warden : Michael Dittman; Warden CCI; P.O. Box 950, Portage, WI 53901-0950; Phone: 608-742-9100, Fax: 608-742-9111;  does not give out his email but the email assigned by the DOC is: michael.dittman@wisconsin.gov.
Inmates at CCI  on food refusal-
Address for all: CCI; P.O. Box 900, Portage, WI 53901
Norman Green, 228971 CCI ,(moved from WCI late May) link to web post: http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/05/ras-uhuruprofile-and-writings.html


3) Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI); Warden Scott Eckstein, Phone: (920) 432-4877
inmates at GBCI on "food refusal" 
:Lamar Larry#239906 ;GBCI,PO Box 19033;Green Bay, WI 54307 (no profile yet)
Shirell Watkins: 359661 CCI (moved from WCI late May) web: http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/05/shirell-watkins-profile.html

Secretary of Corrections
4) WI Doc Central Office/ Secretary of DOC Jon E Litscher at (608)- 240- 5000; PO Box 7925, Madison, WI 53707; email: jon.litscher@wi.gov

5)Governor                                                   
            Governor Scott Walker at (608)-266-1212, PO Box 7863, Madison, WI 53707;
             email: governor@wisconsin.gov

If they do not accept the calls, call your legislators and complain- the  prison powers need to log the complaints: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/about/contact/
Updates are here: http://solitarytorture.blogspot.com/2016/06/food-refusal-updates-and-actions.html


latest Monday 6 13 evening
This just in via letter from LaRon McKinley: much movement of prisoners form AC Waupun Correctional to other prisons and statuses> LaRon thinks it is because his lawsuit pending-

May 26:Quentin Thompson and Dutch(nickname) and Cita( ninkname) and Gypsy ( nickname) moved- believes to GBCI
May 27th :Norman Green,Shirell Watkins transfered to CCI
June 6 (About)Rashun Woods was sent to transition-(not AC but not General). He is a diabetic and LaRon believes he was about to participate in the strike-HSU and Warden were concerned.
June 9, 2016 prisoner Lamar Larry, Sonniel Gidarisingh and Bugs ( nickname) were taken to transition and to GBCI.

prisoners remaining on AC in WCI as of June 9,2016-LaRon McKinley, Danimar Larryel McBride, Ceasar DeLeon, Dimone Black, jake Ramone, Batala, Wolf WOP, unknown prisoner in cell C129.

5 still participating in the food refusal:
WCI: LaRon McKinley, Cesar DeLeon,
CCI:Shirrell Watkins,Norman Green
GBCI: Lamar Larry,
in seg in WCI about to go on AC)Joshua Scolman
Sunday June 12 th through Monday June 13th

1)Media on rallies.





 



Representative Brostoff Stands with Inmates Protesting for Humane Treatment
"There is endless evidence for the harmful psychological effects that solitary confinement has on an individual."
By Jonathan Brostoff - Jun 10th, 2016 03:46 pm
MILWAUKEE— Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D- Milwaukee) supports the inmates protesting inhumane living conditions in administrative confinement and segregation.
“It saddens me to report that today in Waupun numerous inmates will start a Humanitarian Food Refusal Campaign to demand more humane treatment. They will not eat for days to come in hopes of raising awareness to their unfair and torturous treatment while in jail. Many of these inmates have been in solitary confinement for extended periods of time, some lasting years.
Solitary confinement requires that the inmate is alone in a cell that is six feet by 12 feet for 23-24 hours per day. They may be provided an opportunity for one hour of recreational time, alone, in a cage, a few times per week. Food is passed through a locked slot in the door.
Currently, there are more than 80,000 men, women, and children in solitary confinement across the United States. There is endless evidence for the harmful psychological effects that solitary confinement has on an individual.
These effects are magnified in those most vulnerable, such as people with mental health issues. It exacerbates the illness and hurts the individual instead of offering them the medical attention they need. For this reason, I have drafted legislation that would ban its use in this population and I plan to create more legislation to take on this practice next Session. Today, and every day, I stand in solidarity with these inmates.
I hope that someday soon, there will be no use of solitary confinement and all inmates will receive the constructive and rehabilitative help they need.”

 


 Monday 6 13 evening
This just in via letter from LaRon McKinley: much movement of prisoners form AC Waupun Correctional to other prisons and statuses> LaRon thinks it is because his lawsuit pending-

May 26:Quentin Thompson and Dutch(nickname) and Cita( ninkname) and Gypsy ( nickname) moved- believes to GBCI
May 27th :Norman Green,Shirell Watkins transfered to CCI
June 6 (About)Rashun Woods was sent to transition-(not AC but not General). He is a diabetic and LaRon believes he was about to participate in the strike-HSU and Warden were concerned.
June 9, 2016 prisoner Lamar Larry, Sonniel Gidarisingh and Bugs ( nickname) were taken to transition and to GBCI.

prisoners remaining on AC in WCI as of June 9,2016-LaRon McKinley, Danimar Larryel McBride, Ceasar DeLeon, Dimone Black, jake Ramone, Batala, Wolf WOP, unknown prisoner in cell C129.

5 still participating in the food refusal:
WCI: LaRon McKinley, Cesar DeLeon,
CCI:Shirrell Watkins,Norman Green
GBCI: Lamar Larry,
in seg in WCI about to go on AC)Joshua Scolman