[Pnews] Missouri prisoners in solitary confinement follow California’s lead, begin hunger strike
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 18 12:33:37 EST 2013
Missouri prisoners in solitary confinement follow California’s lead,
begin hunger strike
November 17, 2013
/*by Shyheim El-Mumin*/
I am a prisoner being held captive here in the state of Missouri at the
Potosi Correctional Center’s Ad-Seg (Administrative Segregation, a form
of solitary confinement) unit. Since my arrival here on Aug. 9, 2012,
I’ve been a target for harassment. This is my fourth time here.
This is a maximum security prison, Level 5. This is the prison where
they house Missouri’s death row prisoners. If I’m not mistaken, it is
the only place where death row prisoners are allowed in general
population. That alone says a lot about this prison.
The prisoners here are very passive, docile and self-patrolled. Even in
the face of harsh racism, abuse and mistreatment, there are literally
only a handful of us who dare to challenge the conditions of our
Every time I’ve been to this prison, I always catch an assault on one of
these racist pigs. They are very in-your-face abusive. I try to address
my issues through the proper channels, i.e., letters to the warden,
grievances etc. to no avail! So I’ve often had to defend myself physically.
Well, on Sept. 23, 2013, Col. Ross and a new officer – first day on the
job – tore my cell apart while I was in a shower. Ross has used “cell
searches” as a means to taunt and harass prisoners by confiscating
allowed items, tearing family photos and destroying legal materials.
He’s very confident in his corrupt behavior due to the fact that his
immediate supervisor, Correctional Officer II Wilfong, supports such
Well, to make a long story short, I asked to see a supervisor and was
denied. I refused to give back the handcuffs. Once a supervisor, COII
Wilfong, arrived, I complied with the orders to be cuffed to the bench.
While I was on the bench, Col. Ross started using foul, derogatory
language towards me.
This provoked me into a physical altercation where I had to fight six
officers. I held my own. Shit, I’m only 150 pounds, 5 feet 9 inches, but
they didn’t want to see me head on. Once I was taken down and cuffed – I
slipped my cuffs – and leg irons placed on me, I was beaten for like
three minutes. I ended up with a busted lip, nose, a bruise under my eye
and a fractured rib, and I was denied medical care from a nurse,
Samantha Turntine, whose boyfriend was one of the officers I fought.
I was then stripped out and placed in an air-conditioned cell naked for
a week without any mattress, blankets etc. I had to lie on concrete,
enduring severe pain.
The conditions, transgressions and violations experienced on PCC
Ad-Seg offenders are continually worsening and becoming more
As a result of this, about 15 prisoners decided to go on a hunger strike
to protest too much abuse, neglect, sanitation issues etc. We’ve been on
hunger strike since Oct. 13, going on a week as of this writing. We got
prisoners to sign a petition in support of our cause. The following
prisoners are the hunger strikers of Potosi.
We strike in support of brothers out there in California and across the
nation held captive in these SHU units and Ad-Seg units: Shyheim D.
El-Mumin (509071), J.C. Bryant (1161135), Dorrian Perry (1077683), Barry
Baker (1094541), Hashim Mohammad (1105506), James Poe (349575), Kyle
Roberts (1173831), Anthony Hughs (115096) and Garry Mays (1130204).
We are asking that you all who are reading this contact Missouri Gov.
Jay Nixon and Director George A. Lumbardi at (573) 526-6607, P.O. Box
236, Jefferson City, MO 65102, www.doc.mo.gov <http://www.doc.mo.gov>;
Warden Troy Steele, (573) 438-6000, 11593 State Hwy O, Mineral Point, MO
63660; as well as the ACLU in St. Louis, Missouri, and ask for John
Chasenoff, Civil Rights Division, ACLU Eastern Missouri, 454 Whittier,
St. Louis, MO 63108, (314) 652-3111.
PCC prisoners are in desperate need of assistance from any and all
outside organizations, politicians, agencies, state
representatives, officials, media, investigative agencies etc.
Please assist us to make prison officials cease their
transgressions and malicious violations of our federally and
state-protected rights and cease continuing restrictions of
We sent a copy of the petition to these people as well as others. We’re
hoping to get their attention through the media as well. We have little
to no grassroots movements advocating for prisoners’ rights. We’re
hoping with a little push from the outside that something can be done soon.
Prisoners have died in the past here at PCC attempting a hunger strike.
These corrupt officers will try to do everything they can to undermine
our strike. This is a peaceful demonstration. Several of us have chronic
care issues. I’m diabetic and I have not taken my medication in over a
week. I can’t take it due to the fact I’m not eating. J.C. Bryant has
high blood pressure.
Their hunger strike policy doesn’t have a set mandate that outlines the
procedure when a patient who needs chronic care needs goes on hunger
strike. We’re supposed to be placed in the infirmary after 21 missed
meals. We’ve missed that many or more, but staff are neglecting to mark
down meds missed.
We appreciate your help. Please read our petition.
We prisoners being held at Potosi Correctional Center in the custody of
MDOC, being housed in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Units HV 2
and 3B, sign this petition voluntarily under our own free wills, without
any coercion, threats, harm nor promises to obtain our signatures.
The following issues outlined within this petition are continuing and
ongoing, significantly adverse issues and transgressions experienced by
us collectively and individually. We have repeatedly attempted to
address these issues via the prison grievance process. Our attempts have
been unsuccessful and perfunctorily denied.
Our issues are protected rights under the U.S. Constitution, Missouri
Constitution, Penal Code Chapter 217 RSMO. Additionally, these rights
are recognized and protected under the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
1. Due process rights regarding deprivation of property and deprivation
of liberty in relation to normal daily routine – including placement in
restrictive Ad-Seg units for significant and extensive time periods for
virtually nothing, i.e., severely minor petty infractions, disciplinary
hearings, release from Ad-Seg units and assignment to general population
status, protective custody committee etc.
Due process rights regarding deprivation of property and
deprivation of liberty.
2. Right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, i.e., PCC guards
regularly abuse their authority and position with the use of excessive
force, deliberate and callous indifference toward prisoners suffering at
the hand of their fellow staff members, physical and verbal abuse by
guards, retaliation on prisoners for speaking out against
transgressions, injurious and malicious conduct inflicted by staff,
retaliation for utilizing the grievance process, taunting and truculent
harassment by guards, psychological torture through the use of “strip
cells,” which cause extreme and severe intentional emotional distress
which results in mental illness for many prisoners, as well as physical
injury caused by the “strip cells.”
Right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
3. Right to be free from inhumane and/or excessively restrictive
conditions of confinement. This includes, but is not limited to,
sanitation regarding clothing, showers, squalor of living quarters,
inadequate food portions, ill-prepared or under-cooked food, sanitation
regarding food preparation by protective custody inmates – protective
custody inmates are responsible for preparing the Ad-Seg units’ food,
e.g., making juice, putting the food portions on Ad-Seg offenders’ food
trays before the trays are sent to the Ad-Seg units. It is a known fact
amongst Ad-Seg prisoners that protective custody offenders (PC)
regularly tamper with the Ad-Seg prisoners’ food!
On Oct. 4, 2013, a P.C. prisoner was caught urinating in the Ad-Seg
prisoners’ juice! This type of behavior is known by all non-P.C.
prisoners to regularly occur. There is no telling how long these types
of acts have been occurring! Officials are indifferent to this type of
behavior from P.C. prisoners.
P.C. prisoners tampering with Ad-Seg prisoners’ food constitutes
subjecting Ad-Seg prisoners to the possibility of contagious diseases,
e.g., AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis A, B, C etc. Officials are aware of this risk
of exposure to disease yet fail to remedy it and thus are guilty of
deliberate indifference and failure to protect!
There was a time, fairly recently, when HU3 GP offenders prepared Ad-Seg
trays. This was an efficient practice and prevented Ad-Seg prisoners
from being exposed to risk of disease. P.C. prisoners are vindictive
towards G.P. and Ad-Seg prisoners and resent G.P. prisoners for making
P.C. offenders feel like they require administrative protection! G.P.
offenders should be allowed to prepare Ad-Seg trays once again to
minimize risk to Ad-Seg prisoners.
Right to be free from inhumane and/or excessively restrictive
conditions of confinement.
4. The right to be free from denial of medical services and to receive
adequate and appropriate medical care from prison medical health care
providers. Corizen is a private FOR PROFIT corporation. Corizen’s only
motivation and goal is to make profit! As a private corporation
motivated by financial gain, Corizen often employs inexperienced and
undertrained staff at a significantly lower pay rate. This results in
the negligence, denial of treatment and malpractice by medical staff!
Also Corizen has a standard custom to deny prisoners medical treatment
that is necessary because they simply do not want to spend any
“unnecessary finances” on treatment that is not “life threatening.” This
is precisely why Corizen, formally “CMS” has been the subject of much
litigation in prisons across the nation.
Additionally, prisoners who suffer from mental illness are denied access
to treatment or medical care. Mentally ill prisoners are routinely put
in Ad-Seg and left there. Potosi Correctional Center has an extensive
“special needs” unit (SNU) that is designed to care for mentally ill
However, due to unlimited staff and space in the SHU unit, mentally ill
prisoners are routinely warehoused in Ad-Seg, where officers do not have
to “deal with” these prisoners. This is deliberately denying necessary
treatment to these prisoners and causing them to experience grossly
excessive stints in Ad-Seg based solely on their mental illness.
Moreover, non-mentally ill Ad-Seg offenders are exposed to the rants and
disturbing “outbursts” of these mentally ill prisoners. This is a
systematic design to “punish” non-mentally ill Ad-Seg offenders and
deprive them of sleep by constant exposure to loud noise. This
constitutes “psychological warfare” by constant stress!
Right to be free from denial of medical services and to receive
adequate and appropriate medical care from prison medical health
5. PCC officials violate prisoners’ right to receive adequate outside
exercise a minimum of three times a week. DOC policy (IPS 11-48)
“medical exercise” and the Missouri Court of Appeals in Hosna v. Groose
specifically mandate that all prisoners will be given outside recreation
and exercise no less than three times a week for an hour each period.
However, Ad-Seg prisoners are denied this right! Moreover, when Ad-Seg
prisoners receive a conduct violation for ANY reason, they receive
living area restriction (LAR) for disciplinary sanctions. This precludes
Ad-Seg offenders from receiving recreation, thus violating Ad-Seg
prisoners’ rights with respect to adequate out-of-cell exercise.
Right to receive adequate outside exercise a minimum of three
times a week.
6. Right to receive access to the courts and access to self-help reading
materials. DOC Policy IS/SOP 21-1.2 specifically states that Ad-Seg
offenders are allowed to possess and retain a total of six books at one
time. Three books are allowed from the prison library and three
prisoners’ personal books are allowed.
Despite the clear language within the above-cited policy, Ad-Seg
prisoners are DENIED any personal books! Numerous prisoners are pro se
litigants and own various soft-cover legal self-help books and
educational books, which they are denied. This is done to impede or
frustrate prisoners’ attempts to litigate court actions and to deny
prisoners access to the court system.
Law clerks or “jailhouse lawyers” are prohibited by prison policy from
assisting prisoners with any form of legal assistance. Pro se prisoners
who are “laymen” and/or lack necessary skills, knowledge and experience
in the legal field are forced to complete a special unit legal request
form in order to receive the needed legal information.
If Ad-Seg prisoners do not know exactly what legal information to
request, they are forced to describe briefly and concisely their legal
situation and then are left to the mercy of the unskilled and inadequate
“law clerks.” More often than not the law clerks lack the skills to do
thorough legal research on the computer to obtain needed legal
information. This is another systematic design to satisfy public policy
on paper while simultaneously realistically severely restricting Ad-Seg
prisoners access to courts, providing us with “law clerks” with
Furthermore, in order for ANY Ad-Seg prisoner to receive ANY legal
materials from the library – case laws, statutes, court rules etc. – the
prisoner MUST prove that he has a legal deadline imposed by law in
relation to an active, pending case. If an Ad-Seg prisoner fails to show
a pending case with a timeline, he is DENIED ALL LEGAL MATERIALS!
Right to receive access to the courts and access to self-help
7. The Ad-Seg committee is exposing Ad-Seg offenders to a “Catch 22”
which imposes an “atypical and significant hardship” in relation to the
normal daily routine associated with prison conditions. This also
violates Ad-Seg prisoners’ equal protection rights in relation to
“similarly situated” prisoners.
The Ad-Seg committee forces Ad-Seg prisoners to double cell for up to 90
days in order to be released from Ad-Seg confinement. If the Ad-Seg
prisoner receives a CDV (conduct violation), he is given a longer stay
in Ad-Seg no matter how trivial the CDV.
If an Ad-Seg offender has zero CDVs in a 12-month period, yet receives
one CDV for a trivial incident – e.g., violating an institutional rule –
he gets more Ad-Seg time. However, if a GP offender receives the same
CDV and already has three or four CDVs on his record, he would receive
activity restriction as a sanction, as opposed to Ad-Seg assignment,
like the Ad-Seg prisoner with the better behavior record!
Additionally, if an Ad-Seg offender is released to GP (General
Population), he must sign a “contract,” aka a “program plan.” Once he
signs the forced contract in exchange for release from Ad-Seg
confinement, he is released to GP.
The forced terms of the “contract” state that if an offender released
from Ad-Seg receives a CDV, no matter how minor or trivial, he is
automatically guilty of violating the forced terms of the contract. As a
result of “violating” his contract by receiving a minor CDV, he is
automatically placed back into Ad-Seg to repeat the process.
Whereas, if the Ad-Seg prisoner wasn’t on the contract, he would not be
subject to being placed back into Ad-Seg automatically for the same
minor CDV. Additionally, any prisoner in GP who receives the same CDV
isn’t exposed to automatic placement in Ad-Seg.
This violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution and subjects the Ad-Seg prisoner to re-assignment for
incidents that would otherwise not warrant or justify Ad-Seg assignment.
This vicious cycle isn’t related to any “legitimate penological security
interest or goal.” It only serves as an unconstitutional mechanism to
impose grossly disproportionate and excessively lengthy Ad-Seg
assignment upon offenders by prison officials in an attempt to control
or remedy the PCC bed space issue, as well as discriminate against a
certain “class” of prisoners by nefarious and injurious Ad-Seg assignment.
Further, PCC Ad-Seg unit provides no “incentive” to Ad-Seg prisoners, as
the other Missouri DOC facilities do. Double cell status is considered
“progressive” toward GP status. However, Ad-Seg prisoners are placed in
a double cell with zero privileges or incentives or means to motivate
continued good behavior and progression! It is a very stressful proposition!
Other Missouri DOC so-called “progressive” Ad-Seg units such as JCCC
offer double cell status incentives via certain privileges. Ad-Seg
prisoners at JCCC receive food items through canteen purchase, retain
property such as T.V.s, Walkmans, clothes (personal), typewriters, fans,
The above incentive procedure encourages continued good conduct,
relieves stress, provides motivation for correction of issues, reduces
tension and hostility, reduces violence between cellmates, reduces
tension and strain on staff-prisoner relations and is overall generally
positive and encouraging to Ad-Seg prisoners. PCC officials should
institute a similar incentive program to facilitate successful
rehabilitation for Ad-Seg prisoners.
There are electrical outlets in place in double cells at PCC Ad-Seg
Units 2A and 3B. Furthermore, double celling is essential for the
efficient operations of the prison. If offenders didn’t voluntarily
double cell, there would be no place to house the excess prisoners. Why
not reward prisoners for their cooperation?
Equal protection rights in relation to “similarly situated” prisoners.
8. Officials are sanctioning Ad-Seg offenders with living area
restriction (LAR). This is not supported by Chapter 217.RSM, the
governing penal code. Ad-Seg offenders are already confined and
restricted to their cells and living areas. Therefore, this sanction is
“arbitrary and capricious” and excessive! It serves no legitimate
penological security interest or goal.
9. Potosi Correctional Center refuses to transfer prisoners to
appropriate facilities based on the prisoners’ custody level. Several
prisoners meet the guidelines under the newly instituted “external
re-classification system,” effective May 1, 2013, to be housed at
minimum security facilities.
PCC officials are therefore denying to those minimum security prisoners
housed at PCC, which is maximum security, access to rehabilitative
pre-release programs that prepare pre-release prisoners for successful
transition and re-entry into society! They’re also denied vocational and
job training that only minimum security facilities provide!
The above issues and transgressions violate Ad-Seg offenders’ First,
Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and 14th Amendment constitutional rights, violate
relevant sections and amendments to the Missouri Constitution, Chapter
217 RSMO, and violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The conditions,
transgressions and violations experienced on PCC Ad-Seg offenders are
continually worsening and becoming more restrictive.
PCC prisoners are in desperate need of assistance from any and all
outside organizations, politicians, agencies, state representatives,
officials, media, investigative agencies etc. Please assist us to make
prison officials cease their transgressions and malicious violations of
our federally and state-protected rights and cease continuing
restrictions of confinement.
Missouri Potosi prisoners' petition signatures 101513
/Send our brother some love and light: James Lenoir (Shyheim D.
El-Mumin), 509071, PCC, 11593 State Hwy O, Mineral Point, MO 63660./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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