Illinois: Down with Menard's seg quota
Menard Correctional Centers Segregation Unit consists of one abnormally large cell house, which has the capacity of 490 inmates. Menard had only one major incident this year and there's hardly anyone getting into trouble. So in order to justify using so much space for segregation, the staff issued quotas for each population cell house on how many inmates they need to send to segregation. So the staff sets out to find reasons to place inmates in segregation.
During quota filling time, correctional officers exaggerate disciplinary reports, by writing tickets for "intimidation and threat" because an inmate stared at them too long. Or they charge people with "gang activity" when six or seven people are standing in a small group on the yard. Oftentimes, they can't exaggerate tickets so they talk loudly and curse at inmates to provoke a verbal or physical response. If all else fails, they will utilize the Internal Affairs Confidential Sources procedure, which uses inmate trustees to lie on gang members. Law advocates say that the inmates are planning some outrageous security threat, so that they can lock them in segregation anywhere from 30 to 60 days under "investigative status." I encourage any and all inmates to remain dormant to force the staff here to open at least half the segregation unit's building to the general population, and at the same time neutralize Menard's Segregation quota procedures.
RAIL and MIM respond: The prisoner is correct to expose the everyday injustice as prisoncrats use their power to fix their stupid mistakes. Like this prisoner, we also do not encourage prisoners to fight the pigs since they are currently armed and dangerous. The demand to reduce the size of Menard's segregation unit is a correct one. Segregation brings with it such increased suffering for prisoners as sensory deprivation, reduced yard time, highly restricted contact with other prisoners if any, denial of the ability to work, and tighter controls on visitation. All this is in addition to the loss of good time from tickets, forcing prisoners to serve longer sentences before getting the opportunity to parole.
As we point out in every issue of MIM Notes, the size of the U.$. prison population is too big and growing, with more prisoners per capita than any government since Stalin's during World War II and more Black prisoners than Apartheid South Africa. While we work to bring down this system in its entirety, for the short term we look to fight winnable battles that we can win by legal means. Bettering prisoners' conditions now is a good thing. Any honest persyn can see that getting the Menard Correctional Center to stop manufacturing charges against prisoners is a positive reform that deserves support. To express your views to the Warden, write or call (please send MIM a copy of any correspondence):
Warden George Welborn
Menard Correctional Center
711 Kaskaskia Street
Menard, Illinois 62259
Phone: (618) 826-5071
Shut Down the Control Units