[Pnews] Update from Menard, Illinois: Prison Hunger strike resumes Sept. 23

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 25 11:43:09 EDT 2015


    Update from Menard: Hunger strike resumes Sept. 23
    <http://sfbayview.com/2015/09/update-from-menard-hunger-strike-resumes-sept-23/>

September 25, 2015
*http://sfbayview.com/2015/09/update-from-menard-hunger-strike-resumes-sept-23/*

*/by Alice Lynd/*

Some of you will remember the hunger strike in January-February 2014 by 
prisoners in Administrative Detention at the Menard Correctional Center 
in Menard, Illinois. During and after the hunger strike, several of the 
strikers were sent to prisons as far away as California, Virginia, West 
Virginia and New Mexico. Others remain in Administrative Detention at 
Menard.

Many of the 2014 hunger strikers wanted to know why they were there, and 
they wanted to know what they had to do to get out of Administrative 
Detention. Although the Illinois Department of Corrections now issues 
some notices, the notices still don’t answer those questions.

A form called Notice of Administrative Detention Placement Review, DOC 
0432 (effective May 2014), says, “This document shall serve as notice of 
your upcoming review for placement in Administrative Detention by the 
Administrative Detention Review Committee.” The notice shows the “Review 
Date for Initial Placement in Administrative Detention” or “Continued 
Placement” or “Transfer from Disciplinary Segregation.”

Next, it says: “Notice of Administration [sic] Detention Placement 
Rationale: In order to prepare you for your Administrative Detention 
placement review, you are advised that the Department’s rationale for 
your prospective or continued placement in Administrative Detention is 
based upon the following reason(s): …”

But the reason may be no more than “Information was received that …” 
without any finding of guilt for a rule violation.

The form then specifies: “Copies of the following identified documents 
relied upon by department administrators that may subject you to 
Administrative Detention placement, or continued placement, are attached 
to the notice; however, portions may have been redacted based upon a 
finding that disclosure would compromise security or safety: …”

But the entry in every case we have seen is “N/A” and no documents are 
mentioned or attached.


      Many of the 2014 hunger strikers wanted to know why they were
      there, and they wanted to know what they had to do to get out of
      Administrative Detention. Although the Illinois Department of
      Corrections now issues some notices, the notices still don’t
      answer those questions.

After the review, the warden sends the prisoner a memo that says: “This 
memo is to inform [name and number] the Menard Administrative Detention 
Committee has reviewed your Administrative Detention placement and has 
voted to continue your placement in Administrative Detention on Phase 1. 
You will be reviewed again in 90 days.”

I’ve compiled the following information drawn from letters received in 
September 2015 from prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard:

“Here in A.D. [Administrative Detention], everything is still the same. 
No one is being released and we are still not getting meaningful 
hearings. We are still not getting any written reasons or any new info 
relied on for the basis of the committee’s decision for our continued 
placement in A.D. We are still getting the same vague memos.

“We now only get one day a week of out-of-cell exercise (yard). We are 
in our cells 24 hours a day, six days a week. We are being excessively 
confined in our cells. We are still not allowed to participate in any 
educational programs. Our mail is not being picked up or passed out five 
days a week, as they are supposed to.

“We don’t see any end to this indefinite isolation/solitary confinement. 
Due to these issues and more, we are going to go on hunger strike once 
again. We will be declaring a hunger strike on Sept. 23, 2015. We will 
feel very thankful for your help in spreading the word.

“Our core demands are:

  * We demand an end to long term solitary confinement.
  * We demand minimum due process at Administrative Detention Review
    hearings by providing inmates with written reasons, including new
    information relied upon for the committee’s decision for our
    continued placement in A.D., and be allowed to grieve all adverse
    decisions. As it stands, the basis of the committee’s votes are kept
    secret.
  * We demand more access to outside recreation for the sake of our
    physical and mental health. As it stands, we are confined
    indefinitely to these cages for six days out of the week, with the
    exception of one five-hour day. This is unbearable.
  * We demand that meaningful educational programs be implemented to
    encourage our mental stability, rehabilitation and social
    development for the sake of ourselves and our communities that we
    will one day return to.
  * We demand access to more visiting privileges. For most of our
    families, traveling to Menard is like traveling to another state.
    Considering the distance, two-hour visits behind plexiglas is
    insufficient. We should be allowed five or six hours. Moreover, our
    family members, including inmates, should be provided the human
    dignity and decency to purchase food items and refreshments from
    vending machines after traveling such great distances. This would
    benefit one’s social development, as well as benefit prison staff
    environment.


      “We don’t see any end to this indefinite isolation/solitary
      confinement. Due to these issues and more, we are going to go on
      hunger strike once again. We will be declaring a hunger strike on
      Sept. 23, 2015. We will feel very thankful for your help in
      spreading the word.”

“We ask the public’s help by calling the warden, the director of the 
Illinois Department of Corrections and the governor to check on our welfare.

  * Warden Kimberly Butler, Menard Correctional Center, 711 Kaskaskia
    St., Menard, IL 62259, 618-826-5071
  * Director John Baldwin, Illinois Department of Corrections, 1301
    Concordia Court, P.O. Box 19277, Springfield, IL 52794-9277,
    217-558-2200
  * Gov. Bruce Rauner, Office of the Governor, 207 State House,
    Springfield, IL 62706, 217-782-0244

“We will stay on [hunger strike] as long as possible in order to 
hopefully bring some change to our conditions. We thank you for any kind 
of support you can give us.”

/Attorney, writer and activist Alice Lynd can be reached at 
//salynd at aol.com/ <mailto:salynd at aol.com>/_. _/

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20150925/53b25386/attachment.html>


More information about the PPnews mailing list