Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Dixon Correctional Center - Illinois

Got HTML/CSS skills? We need a volunteer to make our website friendlier for small screens. help out

www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Dixon Correctional Center] [Illinois]
expand

Dixon's Disabled done wrong

Dixon STC (Special Treatment Center) Correctional Center is a facility that abuses, verbally and physically, Illinois' fathers, nephews, cousins, uncles, brothers and sons, while failing them on a regular basis. It doesn't fail them in a rehabilitation manner because this isn't a regular facility. This facility is for the physically and mentally challenged.

How does it fail them? It fails them by constantly breaking these men's civil liberties. An abused man can stand up for himself, but many of these men, like lost sheep, are left to the wolves, the guards, and fall right over. These men, Illinois' family, are slaughtered by a system that protects the abusers, the guards, and slowly destroys the abused. Some of the abused even try to kill themselves because of the situation.

It starts with the guards, which are composed of, in rising order, correctional officers, sergeants, lieutenants, and majors. They all come from around the Dixon area and are a tightly wound group. Most, not all, of the guards treat the STC prisoners with constant badgering or demeaning names and comments. In groups, the guards will make fun of or belittle an individual's disability; especially if the individual has no other witnesses. However, that is just the beginning.

The abused men here have three options: take the pain, retaliate, or do paperwork. Sadly, the choice taken is usually one of the first two.

If they are quiet, then the verbal abuse continues until they get out or, like some choose, they exit by suicide.

The other route, retaliating, is what the guards love and the system is made for. If the abused counter with words then two things can happen. The first is disciplinary action can and will be taken. The second, which some guards do, too often, is they take it farther. A guard might strike or even gang assault a prisoner. However, it doesn't end there. They then write reports claiming a whole different story occurred and a whole new case will be given to the individual.

How can this happen? Because three or more officers versus a man that is deemed low in society, forgotten, and disabled isn't hard to crush in the courts.

What courts? Lee county, whose main area, Dixon city, is built around Dixon CC and it's precious guards.

Anyone would say " Why at Dixon STC and not other joints?" The answer is simple. It happens at other joints, even the General Population side of Dixon CC, but rarely as often because it's a Special Treatment Center, on the other side. The prisoners here don't either know how to use, don't believe in, or don't trust the system. Being disabled they don't know better.

These family members of ours need our help. They need the help provided at this facility, but not treatment like this. Even if they choose to fight back through paperwork the system's a joke. You first need to fill out the paperwork, which most of them can't do or don't realize what rights have been broken. Then, you send it through the mail, which the guards sometimes have access to at different points, to the counselor. Then, a week or two later you get it back. You send that to the grievance officer who gets it done in a month and then gives it to the chief administrative officer to agree or disagree with. Then, you can finally send it to Springfield. That wait is a long time and after that you can finally sue for your rights being broken. Like that, if you can prove it, can make up for pain, humiliation, and for the fact you have to go back. With such a long process, where most are done with their sentence or punishment by then, it's a joke.

They have an Internal Affairs here, but today in May I've been asking for over a month to report a beating where I only retaliated with words, yet I still haven't seen them. I even sent them a slip 10 times already, but no response.

They even have guards who are crisis Correctional Officers for men who are feeling really depressed, but these are the same guards who most don't trust because of what they do. When counselors are available, a guard, who isn't trained or trusted by the individual to discuss the issue, may not give consent and call the counselor for the patient when asked.

Notice not once did I refer to these men in any kind of criminal or demeaning term. They, like myself, made a mistake, but we are the people of Illinois family and we should be treated like people with rights. When they ridicule us without reason it isn't fair to punish us if we do it back, just because they are officers. Provoking fights and laying your hands on the disabled, when not attacked first, is wrong and illegal. No one has the right, no matter how much power they may have, to lay their hands on someone and then lie about it, especially the disabled.

Just ask yourself - why aren't the guards being arrested?

This is what's occurring to your fathers, nephews, cousins, uncles, brothers, and sons at Dixon Special Treatment Center. The fact is, what is occurring at Dixon STC is wrong.

MIM(Prisons) responds: As we've reported in ULK 15 on Mental Health in prisons, "In imperialist prisons, the ambiguity of diagnosing people as mentally ill becomes very pronounced. Part of the problem is that imprisonment causes mental health problems, so people who may not have had symptoms that would lead to a diagnosis often develop them." Prisons cause health problems, but revolutionary study and organizing is the best option to fight this oppression. Don't give in to the system, work with MIM(Prisons) to organize against the criminal injustice system and fight for the rights of all people.

chain
[Abuse] [Dixon Correctional Center] [Illinois] [ULK Issue 13]
expand

Prisoner driven to suicide

DSU hell

February 1, 2K10 I will start my suicide hunger strike. I am tired of being transferred, regardless of my psych/schizophrenic suicidal bipolar background. I figure at 1-2 months they should consider moving me to a hospital here at Dixon. I figure I will lose my voice at anywhere from 3-4 months. At 5 months I will be completely weak, the only muscles I figure will be able to move are my eyes. I have NO family or relatives, NO one. Besides, I am sure I am ready to go. The Assistant Warden Dirk Deuce and Warden Mrs. Nedra Chandler were informed of my suicide strike on January 4, 2K10. I also notified the court of claims of my plight/demise here. In fact, the courts might be in shock because I told them I am planning to kill myself.

I have nothing to lose or gain. My death is for my own dignity, respect, and love. My sacrifice is in my best interest. The reason for my suicide strike is because it is not likely I will ever have a cellie here or anywhere else. Moving me from one place to another will stop as of this letter. From here until I die, I will control my last months of 2K10. I see death as a good thing for me. People will try to talk me out of it, but this is stupid.

Trying to talk me out of this is futile or useless. I am taking my own life because it is in my best interest. Not only have I had many dreams where I take my own life happily, I feel as though I am going out/leaving with a degree of power and respect. Also I know for a fact that I will leave this year. The only way to keep me alive is to force food and water into my body. I do not want anything or miss anything.

I am sorry I will no longer be around to help MIM(Prisons). I love MIM(Prisons). MIM, I love your newsletters. I do not want to go off talking about the newsletter but I believe this is the best newsletter I ever got. I have received many educational books and theory from MIM(Prisons). I loved the poetry. I never liked poetry before. I love your Spanish network news. I am self-educated, through MIM's help. I am sorry I must leave you and everyone. It is in my best interest.

If these people do not transfer me to building 38 before February 1, 2K10 then it is too late. I will not go back on my word. Feb. 2K10 is me all the way. I hope they do not try to force food and water down my throat; I will resist. They have until the end of January to make a move or else. Please forget me if this is my last letter because I will not be in my right mind.

I love and respect all of my MIM brothers and sisters. But most of all I love myself, even though I will take my own life.

MIM(Prisons) Responds: We received your letter from earlier this month about your planned suicide hunger strike. We hope you are still with it enough to read this letter, and are willing to hear us out. We are not blind or numb to the horrible, tortuous effects of the imperialist injustice system, and we understand that there are endless reasons why someone could be driven to suicide. This is especially true if you are trapped inside the belly of the beast, in one of the cruelest manifestation of capitalism, inside of a u.$. prison.

We are not writing to tell you that you're exaggerating your despair, or that you shouldn't kill yourself because of some mystical reason like "sin." We are writing to remind you that your life is very valuable to the struggle to stop the same exact cruelties that have led you to this decision. We encourage you to become more involved in revolutionary struggle instead of suicide.

With this letter we have sent you an article from MIM Theory 9: Psychology and Imperialism entitled "Disavowing Suicide: Testimonial of a Woman Revolutionary." Her life experience may be somewhat different from yours, but her ability to turn her life into something useful for liberation and revolution is the same.

On page 41 of the article the author writes, "I remembered the Sartre quote in which he says that if you are not working on behalf of the oppressed, you are accomplice to their oppression." I think this quote is significant because it shows the political character of suicide. You wrote that you need to kill yourself to maintain some dignity and respect, but we would argue that you are just holding your life to bourgeois standards that aren't useful to stopping oppression. By proletarian standards, to truly have a life (or death) that maintains dignity and respect, one would have to devote their life to revolutionary struggle and the liberation of the oppressed. For someone like yourself, who supports the struggle against all forms of oppression, to remove your life as a resource from this world is to work in favor of the oppressors. You are helping the same oppressors you are trying to get away from with this hunger strike!

In your letter you wrote that you enjoyed the poetry on the pages of Under Lock & Key. This experience might be a good subject to write poetry about. Maybe you would like to write poetry for us? I sent you a poetry guide with this letter which will get you more of an idea of what we look for in poems.

note: Also see "Losing Battles," MIM Theory 5: Diet for a Small Red Planet, p.51. As Huey Newton said, there is Revolutionary Suicide and Reactionary Suicide. Most revolutionaries in the First World are suicidal to some degree in that they reject safety and security in favor of fighting for justice.

This article referenced in:
chain
Go to Page 1