⚡ THURSDAY MAY 30TH / 8:30AM–12:30PM, 2PM–5PM (EST)⚡
IWOC NYC caught wind of the current conditions at Hazelton U.S. Penitentiary in West Virginia directly from members of the Bronx 120 (more info here) who are held captive there at present, nearly 400 miles away from their families. The facility has been on continuous lockdown for two months, except for two hours of each day. There have been no visitations allowed and programming has been discontinued. Reports of recent lockdowns at Hazelton go at least as far back as last December and this one shows no indication of letting up without a strong outside presence making it known that this is unacceptable.

Hazelton USP is severely understaffed and has become notorious for high levels of violence in recent years. Local outside support is lacking near Hazelton, meaning the Department of Corrections feels more emboldened to carry out heinous abuses unchecked by the community. 

This separation and abuse must end. The pain of listening to our loved ones describe their suffering behind walls is heightened by long distances and long periods without contact. As one family member stated, “We need to see our family members just as you see yours.”

Tearing families apart is a tactic wielded by the state to hinder our resistance and movements. We do not have the resources at present to travel all the way to West Virginia, and even if we did, it would be difficult to sustain a long-term action. At this time, we need all abolitionists to make the call, not only for our folks from NYC, but for all those who have found themselves imprisoned in an unfamiliar, secluded, and dangerous place.


Grassroots pressure works. So we are organizing a call-in on THURSDAY MAY 30TH, from 8:30a–12:30p, and from 2:00p–5:00p. We are trying to reach Warden Bryan Antonelli, but additional calls to other administration, state and federal contacts would be extremely useful to increase pressure and gather more information.

Bryan Antonelli, Complex Warden: 1-304-379-5000


“Hello, my name is [name] and I’m calling from [city] in support of the people incarcerated at USP Hazelton. I am extremely concerned about their health and safety. It’s clear that the ongoing lockdown, taking away visitation rights and separating families, shutting down programs, and the dangerous conditions at this facility are putting human lives at risk. I demand that the administrators of Hazelton immediately reverse these injustices. That means you end lockdown, reinstate visitation rights to family members, resume normal programming, and bring in trained staff who will be responsible toward the rights of the people incarcerated at your facility. I will keep calling until these demands are met, and each time I will ask the same question that I am asking now: what is Hazelton’s plan for ending these human rights abuses, and when will the necessary actions be taken?”

Do not be intimidated by those who answer the phone. Insist to speak to whom you’ve called for. Give no more information than necessary and record your call, if possible. To share information on the results of the call, please email us at iwoc.nyc@riseup.net.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS (as listed online… may not be up-to-date)

USP Hazelton staff (304-379-5000 unless otherwise noted):
Rachel Thompson, Executive Assistant
Randy Keyes, Associate Warden
Dan Jones, Unit Manager
Francis VanKirk, Counselor
Justin McCall, Case Manager
Brett Friend, Health Services Administrator
Scott Spiker, Safety Specialist, USP Hazelton: 304-379-1547
Name unknown, Operator(?): 304-379-5500

State/federal contacts:
Hugh Hurwitz, Acting Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons: 202-307-3198 (general line)
David McKinley, Congressman, West Virginia (why): 304-284-8506 (Morgantown), 304-232-3801 (Wheeling), 304-422-5972 (Parkersburg)
Jim Justice, Governor of West Virginia: 304-558-2000 (office), 304-558-3588 (governor’s mansion)


January 2019: Some details on the ongoing lockdowns.

November 2018: Details on Hazelton’s long history of violence and current understaffing.

October 2018: Request for “formal investigation into the alleged appalling conditions inmates are facing at the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Hazelton facility in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.”

October 2018: “Prison Where Whitey Bulger Died Is Known As One Of The Most Dangerous In America”

. . . . . . 

In Solidarity,

USP Hazelton ZAP UPDATE Shouts to everyone who called during the first round and those still planning to do so. All your reportbacks have helped us get a clearer sense of hazelton's position on the lockdowns---as tends to be the case it is a confusing one. Staff claims that the warden is not and will not be on the plantation today to address our concerns, which we expected. Less expected was the claim, repeated across several calls this morning and afternoon, that there is no lockdown on the facility at present. We of course do not accept as true what our captors claim without proof. The most recent word from those inside and their loved ones have indicated that the lockdown was ongoing. As we followup as best we can, communications being what they are under prison slavery, we will continue to work from the perspective of ending the lockdown. As calls (and e-mails and faxes) continue through this afternoon, we ask that when confronted with this claim that there is 'no lockdown' you ask whoever you are able to get in touch with exactly when the lockdown is said to have ended. If you can get them to provide their name, all the better. A recent update from one of our comrades: "they just locked us down for no reason appearently smh… i manage to get through it sometimes we are on lockdown for weeks with no commissary and no hot food." We are still aiming to zap from 2:00-5:00 this afternoon (@ 1-304-379-5000). If you can’t get through to the Warden, you can try leaving a message with Rachel Thompson, the Executive Assistant, or call the BOP Mid-Atlantic regional office that's responsible for Hazelton at 301-317-3100. We will continue to push for this lockdown to be lifted until we have confirmation from trusted sources that hazelton has actually done so. There is an obvious pattern of off again, on again… so even if they did lift the lockdown, there is no evidence they won’t start right back up. Our calls let them know they are being watched. Respect to those participating in this and all other abolitionist activity. Death to slavery, iwoc-nyc

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