[Pnews] Missouri prisoners in solitary confinement follow California’s lead, begin hunger strike

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 18 12:33:37 EST 2013


    Missouri prisoners in solitary confinement follow California’s lead,
    begin hunger strike
    <http://sfbayview.com/2013/missouri-prisoners-in-solitary-confinement-follow-californias-lead-begin-hunger-strike/>

November 17, 2013
*http://sfbayview.com/2013/missouri-prisoners-in-solitary-confinement-follow-californias-lead-begin-hunger-strike/*

/*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 
confinement.

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 
reckless behavior.

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
      restrictive.

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
      confinement.

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.


      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.


      Issues

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 
prisoners.

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
      care providers.

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 
inadequate skills.

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
      reading materials.

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, 
etc.

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!


      Relief

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 
<http://sfbayview.com/2013/missouri-prisoners-in-solitary-confinement-follow-californias-lead-begin-hunger-strike/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 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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