Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility - Ohio

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? 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.

[Hunger Strike] [Control Units] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 53]
expand

Update on Lucasville Hunger Strike

We sent you a Certified letter stating that the Lucasville hunger strike began 5 July 2016. Here's an update on the Lucasville hunger strike. I was the last comrade to terminate the strike, out of 20 comrades. There were 7 who were successful. These comrades have been sent back to general population. The issue of the practice of excessive solitary confinement is still an issue at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

Brothers who spend lots of time in solitary confinement are subjected to the worst form of psychological abuse which can affect a person long after he or she has been released into society. The Warden claims that changes in Lucasville are in progress. My strike ended on 25 August 2016. If the Warden doesn't work to end the torture and abuse at Lucasville, we will start the hunger strike again. Thanks for printing this. We need your support.

Comrade, SOCF hunger strike 7-5-16 to 8-25-16


MIM(Prisons) responds: We thank this comrade for keeping us informed on the status of the hunger strike and the immediate results. It will take a long concerted effort to end abuses in prisons, and we believe it will also take changing the economic system we live under. We commend these comrades for their resolve to go on strike again if needed. We also encourage them to educate others on the history of this struggle and how it fits into the struggle against injustices worldwide, and try to get them involved. Only through long-term organizing, building and fighting, will we be able to take down the system of imperialism and replace it with a system that serves the majority of the world's people. At that point we will have the power to eliminate oppressive structures that reinforce capitalism, like the criminal injustice system and its many tools of social control.

chain
[Control Units] [Hunger Strike] [Medical Care] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio]
expand

SOCF Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Dear Under Lock & Key (Newspaper):

I am contacting you to make you aware of my "Hunger Strike," and my demands and to ring the alarm about the oppressive administration here and to make sure my strike is "Documented."

Being falsely incarcerated since the age of sixteen years old for a crime I didn’t commit, sentenced to 100 plus years, and fighting for my liberation has been no easy task against this racist regime here at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lukkkasville, Ohio.

At this time due to the continuous oppressive and outright abusive behavior of the administration, and harsh penalties for basic rule infractions, they have forced me to protest for change. This is my only means to protest nonviolently and peacefully to change the conditions and practices of this administration by laying my life on the line and going on a "Hunger Strike." I am only one voice and my sacrifice will be in vain without your support and the Power of the People. I'm nothing so I enlist your support and assistance to bring attention to this struggle and compel the power that be, to change and meet the hunger strike demands.

I will need for you and the people to make calls to Central Office 614-387-0588, so that my Hunger Strike is documented and changes are made.

To the world you are just one person, but to one person you may be the world. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter and pray all is favorable to all concerned. I exit in revolutionary spirit. Shields up!

Hunger Strike Demands

1) A complete end of denying prisoners the right to basic hygiene necessities or property (soap, toothpaste & deodorant) which is required while in the hole [solitary confinement].

2) A complete end of denying prisoners the legal right to have access to their pending legal work to litigate the case while in the hole, and the immediate end with tampering with prisoners' incoming and outgoing mail.

3) A complete and immediate end to the recent arbitrary practice of handing down excessive and severe penalties for drug violations, and termination of visiting privileges when the Rule Infraction Board (RIB) have already handed down a penalty for Rule 39 and Rule 40. A 3-year non-contact visit from family and the outside world is unheard of for violation of Rule 39 & Rule 40, and extremely inappropriate and not healthy and destroys any possible chance to be rehabilitated to re-enter society. For this reason, favorable consideration shall be given and the penalty for violations for Rule 39 and Rule 40 shall be reduced to a reasonable amount of time that will not undermine the violation of the offense.

4) An immediate stop of violence against prisoners when cuffed, and stop the excessive use of force and spraying of prisoners with O.C. spray which causes severe health problems. Also, stop the embellishment of violation of Rule 4, to justify the physical assault of prisoners while cuffed. This prison has a very ugly history of "Excessive Use of Force" and this abuse must stop.

These are the more important things that we expect to accomplish as a result of this "Hunger Strike." There are other issues, some more important, others less.

As of 10 July 2016, there's a total of 3 that's on hunger strike.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In another article reporting on this hunger strike, there were 20 people participating as of July 18. This comrade rightly frames the hunger strike as the last possible nonviolent option. When officials do not respond to a hunger strike, they are saying that they'd rather have a violent uprising than meet the demand to stop torturing prisoners.

A public campaign such as a hunger strike is good to build organizing around a need: in this case, an end to solitary confinement, and adequate care for prisoners. In order to fight for an end to all conditions of torture and unnecessary suffering, our education needs to connect the hunger strike to a larger battle for justice worldwide, in other words, an end to imperialism.

chain
[Campaigns] [Hunger Strike] [Control Units] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 52]
expand

Lucasville Hunger Strike to End Solitary Confinement

fists

Revolutionary greetings!

We write to further enlighten you on the progress of our hunger strike at the Southern Ohio Corrections Facility in the state of Ohio. Since you were last informed, other comrades have joined our cause to end solitary confinement and psychological torture in prisons all across america.

We now have a total of about 30 prisoners who are currently refusing meals. Some of us are being denied medical assistance. Correctional officers have already sabotaged some hunger strikers, by planting food in their cells.

The strike began on 5 July 2016, and staff are refusing to document the strike. Prison officials claim they don't care about our strike. If this is true, then why does the prison administration resort to such extreme tactics to discourage us?

A hunger strike is more than just refusing food. But the spiritual power generated by our unified thoughts will manifest change. We enclose a list of demands, along with a notification to the public to please contact the Governor of Ohio and the media to inform that hunger strikers are being denied medical assistance. We greatly appreciate your integrity and will keep you updated.

List of Hunger Strike Demands

  1. We of the inmates of Ohio ask for an end to solitary confinement and torture of inmates.
  2. We ask for the end of the practice of systematic racism.
  3. We demand for the end of unfair Rules Infraction Board hearings, which results in a denial of due process.
  4. We demand an end to officer brutality, including the assault with chemical agents.

We ask for your support by contacting the Governor of Ohio:
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
or ohio.governor.gov

Inform them that hunger strikers are being denied medical assistance.

Salute!

Comrades

Lucasville Hunger Strike


MIM(Prisons) responds: We applaud the organization and commitment of these comrades in Ohio who are risking their lives to fight torture at SOCF. We have received a couple reports on this hunger strike.

We agree that a hunger strike is more than just refusing food, and as another comrade puts it, it becomes the only nonviolent option left to protest how you're being treated.

Rather than generating "spiritual power," though, hunger strikes can develop real world education and organizing. As more people see the struggle and are educated about it they learn from the strike and we gain supporters. How well we build this education and organizing depends a lot on a careful evaluation of local conditions so our time and energy and health is well spent. For instance, undertaking a hunger strike with only a few people without outside support or a way of publicizing it will most likely lead to not only a failed action but also will show others that this battle can't be won. It's always important to build for our actions so that we have the support and systems in place to make victory possible. Lucasville has a long history of prisoners going on hunger strike for basic necessities, and a broad outside support system has been shown to be one of the factors that make these protests successful.

So we call on outside supporters to take the actions listed above and publicize this hunger strike through their networks. Through organizing together we can abolish the SHU!

We also want to comment on the demand for an end to "systematic racism" which we would call systematic national oppression. This is a function of the criminal injustice system, by design. As a tool of social control, the Amerikan prisons are set up to target the oppressed nations. And so we cannot expect to eliminate this feature of the system without overthrowing the entire system. Demands like this one are just and righteous, but not winnable until capitalism is defeated.

chain
[Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio] [ULK Issue 50]
expand

Update on Ohio Hunger Strike for Medical Attention

I write to deliver an update as promised concerning the recent hunger strike which took place the 23 March 2016.

Currently as of today the final two hunger strikers are relieved of their duties with a victory in hand!! As I was told, "it was a rough fight," and "a long long 16 days!" Not all, but the majority claimed victory along the fight. A lot fell off before the battle began. But a victory for one is a victory for all! We will continue to stay unified and fight each unjust act with every and all remedies we can muster up.

As far as my knowledge, Dr. Fiscal, who was working for the administration and refusing to send anyone out to receive outside medical treatment, was walked off and fired. A hunger striker demand! Religious accommodations are now being reviewed. But the food is still short. The discrimination has slowed down but I'm sure it will be back once the heat dies down.

In the beginning I would conduct a phone call to each brother's families (the ones provided) and provide them with all the phone #s they would need to call and apply pressure, including the Deputy Warden, Warden, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) Director, Ohio State Patrol, and any news station willing to listen and investigate. The prison would lie to the family and Ohio State Patrol until we started recording all conversations. Then things changed! For the most part everybody was persistent and in the end it all paid off.

Thank you for your support. I depart as I came.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We are not as optimistic as this comrade that this struggle has ended in a victory. It's unclear from this report, but we hope that the strikers who were seeking medical attention received more than just a firing of the facility's doctor. Adequate medical care would certainly be a victory. But the other loose demands of religious accommodations, adequate food, and national oppression (discrimination of "minority groups") are far from resolved. The oppressors have been showing us for centuries that expecting them to act in good faith is a losing strategy. There are no rights, only power struggles, and unless the oppressed are making clear demands and enforcing their rights, we expect no improvements.

On the up side, this is a good exercise in how to conduct a campaign. It was advantageous to designate a point-persyn to keep the public informed of the progress of the strike. It sounds like the unity of the participants in the strike remains intact, and they can draw on this unity for future campaigns. So there were certainly victories in this battle, but more related to prisoners organizing, and getting their outside supporters involved, rather than getting the administration to concede to the demands of the captives.

chain
[Hunger Strike] [Medical Care] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio]
expand

Hunger Strike for Medical Attention

SOCF hunger strike

I have enclosed copies of letters a comrade wrote to secure his position, ensure his safety, among many who are undergoing a mass hunger strike thie 23rd day of March 2016, to fight perpetually against the injustice we are receiving here at Lucasville. I will pass out your address to the rest of the brothers who will be fighting as well. I will remain on the compound to be the legs and voice to services and family on the streets of the brothers undergoing this battle.

Our basic human rights are being denied here! A shortage in food from Aramark. Our religious accommodations are being refused. Medical attention is being refused to those in dire need. And the majority of the minority population is being discriminated against and abused. Together we take a stand and organize against the administration today.

I'll write to keep you updated and give awareness. Expect much more letters.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We have not yet received an update on this hunger strike, but these comrades are taking a correct tactical approach. Engaging in such a protest as a unified group, and engaging outside media and supporters, have been shown to be important aspects for the success of hunger strikes in the past.(1) We are eagerly awaiting more information on the progress of this protest.

As the comrade states in eir letter, attached to this article, ey do not want to go on a hunger strike. Ey is being compelled to put eir life on the line because ey has tried all other avenues available, to no avail. The attached letter contains the demands of one prisoner. In negotiations with the state, it will be important to develop a clear list of demands that represent the entire population at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF). The comrade who wrote to us, the "legs and voice" on the unit, outlined some clear complaints which could be made into specific demands of the administration and prison staff. Without this clarity, the unity of the strikers may be compromised, as it leaves the group vulnerable to divide-and-conquer tactics.

We do hope this strike brings needed remedies for prisoners held at SOCF. The state has shown time and time again that agreements it makes with prisoners (or even its compliance with established laws) is unreliable, so the strikers should be prepared to defend any victories tooth and nail. In the end, whether the administration cooperates or not, using this struggle to build long-term unity amongst prisoners at SOCF is the real prize. Strengthening unity amongst prisoners will bring much more long-term remedy than a few token individuals who are permitted to receive medical treatment. Clarify your goals, unite around them, and prepare to defend them!

Note:
1. Keith Lamar, Condemned, Youngstown, OH: 2014.
chain
[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio]
expand

Chemical Warfare

These concentration camps are using chemicals that are carried on the pigs' hips along with their billy clubs and handcuffs. They call these chemicals mace, but I've been pondering on something for years now: what are the ingredients inside these cans that are being used on us? Do these chemicals have a long-term effect on a person's health? Riot cans are being used on us while we are locked down, and how does this make sense? We are lab rats being experimented on by these oppressors. The new trend is chemical warfare, and these oppressors are using different "toys" to instill fear to control us. They have mace ball guns where, instead of paint balls, the balls are filled with dry mace powder so that when a person is hit the powder gets all over their body causing a painful burning sensation. They have large fire extinguishers filled with foam mace and it's attached to battling rams. At least three to four days a week we are woken up choking from the aroma of these chemicals because the pigs have sprayed a prisoner.

The pigs walk around with riot cans prepared to spray prisoners at any time, and in most cases for no good reason at all, just because they can. I've witnessed numerous times these riot cans being put into a prisoner's mouth, prisoners being sprayed in their faces at point-blank range, or in their private regions while handcuffed. Personally I have been sprayed so many times that I have received chemical burns. I recall one night while resisting an injustice that was being done by these oppressors, they didn't want to assemble an extraction team so instead the pigs got about 10 riot cans and sat them on a table in front of the pod. These pigs' intentions were to spray from 1 a.m. all the way to 6 a.m. when another shift arrived.

Right now I am at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, aka Looneyville, and these pigs spray these chemicals on a daily basis. I've witnessed them spray prisoners numerous times under false pretense. I call this the "jump back." This is when the pigs walk around intimidating prisoners with their chemicals and if we don't comply with the pigs' demands then the pigs walk down the range to stand in front of a prisoner's bars and yells some gibberish and then "jumps back" pulling out their mace and spraying.

The Captain or Lieutenant comes and takes this prisoner to the hole, putting him in a slammer cell. The administrator accuses him of spitting or throwing something on a pig, which is is clearly a setup. When placed on the slammer side, the prisoner is put around the same pig that set them up and us further harassed. The pigs play with our food, cut off our water, and give us the bare minimum of our property.

If you write an informal complaint, eventually you'll get sprayed in retaliation, receiving a ticket and getting placed on phone and commissary restriction to try to limit your communication with society. If you present the issues to the Warden and administration, they'll pass it along to the pigs and they'll spray and jump you when they get the right opportunity.

These prisons remind me so much of Nazi concentration camps where hoards of humans were experimented on with different kinds of chemicals until they found the perfect ingredients to eliminate them. We don't know what long-lasting effects these chemicals have. These chemicals enter our bodies and we are being released back to society, making babies and don't even know what we are passing along. Got to watch these oppressors' every move because genocide is their long-term objective.

I just received a recent update that these oppressors are about to bring stun guns in! I sit here with fire in my eyes immune to their tactics because I know their true motives. I resist by any means necessary, organizing, networking, and educating until we become one mind, one body for one cause. All power to the people.

chain
[Control Units] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio]
expand

New Ohio Harassment Policy

Here at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, our tormentors have started a new policy where prisoners in control units have to be handcuffed and shackled just to walk back and forth to the shower. When we complained the administration responds by claiming that this is for our own safety and the safety of the officers. But the officers are the number one threat to prisoners' safety. Handcuffing and shackling us puts us in a more precarious position. Plus, it seems, that if they were truly worried about the officers' safety, the would have left the old policy in place where the officers could simply open our cell doors from the safety control booth then lock us in the shower from the same position. But instead they now have to escort... And in an attempt to cut back on spending (at least on the prisoners), those of us who are in control units are not longer being issued clothing. So no matter what you have, irregardless of how raggedy, you best be luck that you got it. And this same thing goes for all supplies. Sometimes it is the little things that mean so much. And in the control units here you better value something as little as toilet paper like its gold, because you'll only get one a week if that. It's not like the prison officials don't realize that we have to use this toilet paper as paper towels, napkins kleenex and toilet paper. They would just rather see us go without then give us an 'extra' roll.

chain
Go to Page 1