16 Hunger Strikers in an act of comradery for fellow prisoners starting MLK Day


Sixteen folks incarcerated at Central Prison in Raleigh, NC are going on a hunger strike starting Monday January 20, 2020 as an act of comradery to the 200 prisoners being tortured in Unit One (a mental health unit). They need your help to make the calls on Monday, January 20th. And if you have the time thereafter, call any other day you can until their demands are met and those sixteen hunger strikers can eat again.

In Unit One at Central Prison, guards are daily using chemical mace against both (level 2) mental health prisoners who receive psychiatric help and (level 3) mental health prisoners who take psychotropic medications. Guards are trigger happy and deploy an excessive amount into the prisoner’s small cell at the slightest disagreement. Pursuant to Chapter F Section 1504 Procedure (d):

“An officer is prohibited from using force solely as a result of verbal provocation. An officer shall not use force against an offender who has abandoned his/her resistance or who is effectively restrained. The use of force as punishment is strictly prohibited.”

Furthermore, these prisoners attend a group therapy session every Monday but while these prisoners are in group, Unit One’s guards destroy the cells of these prisoners by searching their cells and throwing their personal belonging all around the cell. This is done to deter the prisoners from attending group, discouraging them from receiving treatment.

Medical staff continue to show deliberate indifference to the needs of the prisoners housed on Unit One. Several prisoners are not receiving their self-meds (medications given out monthly that prisoners keep in their cells, these meds are but are not limited to blood pressure meds and high cholesterol meds, etc.). To receive these meds, the prisoner submits a medication refill request. The medical staff has neglected to submit the requests therefore leaving several prisoners without their meds.

It takes months to be even seen by medical staff when a sick call is submitted. Prisoners are not receiving adequate healthcare. Prisoners are compelled to endure illnesses for months before being seen by medical staff.

This medical neglect and excessive use of force towards the most vulnerable population in Central Prison is cruel and unusual torture and a human rights violation.

These sixteen brave and selfless activists imprisoned in Central Prison are taking a stand for those in Unit One who are mentally incapable of making these demands, by way of a hunger strike. This is a humanitarian display of unity for those inside who face injustice by the very same who face injustices enslaved right there with them. This solidarity is inspiring. Please help them to expose these human rights violations and meet their basic, humanitarian demands by joining the phone zap and calling in to amplify their voices!

Suggested script and demands:
I am aware that Central Prison’s guards and medical staff are directly torturing the prisoners and there are 16 hunger strikers exposing these human rights violations that will not eat until the following issues are addressed:

1. The excessive use of chemical mace on prisoners who have not been a threat to staff or others.
2. Stop the targeted searches of mental health prisoners who attend weekly group on Unit One. We know that this is an attempt to discourage from attending group to receive treatment.
3. Address the deliberate indifference shown by medical staff not refilling prisoners’ self-meds and neglecting to answer sick calls within a timely manner

Who to call:
- (919) 733-0800 Central Prison, Request to speak with Deputy Warden Steven Waddell, Unit One Manager Tenbrook, and/or medical personnel.
- (919) 838-4000 DPS Office; Request to speak with Commissioner Todd Ishee and/or Dr. Gary Junker
- (919) 838-3861 Gary Junker
- (919) 743-4101 Stephen Waddell
Who to email:
- Todd Ishee: todd.ishee@ncdps.gov
- Gary Junker: gary.junker@ncdps.gov
- Stephen Waddell: stephen.waddell@ncdps.gov

Hot tips:
You don’t have to give your name or any other information if you don’t want to. In fact put them on the spot and immediately ask them: "who am I speaking to?" And when they ask you who you are, say: "that doesn’t matter, what matters is…(demands)"
Entering *67 before any number may block your caller ID. 
Don’t worry about anyone giving you the runaround, not getting through or having to leave a message. Just pursue it to the point that you can. We are calling to apply pressure and every call counts.

*Please report back on calls made in the comment section below or email atlantaiwoc@protonmail.com

**Please share widely on social media and with sympathetic journalists you know


Here is some more direct contact info if you don't have much luck with the others above: Todd Ishee: https://www.ncdps.gov/employee/5e2428b6a358b0114284e745 todd.ishee@ncdps.gov Gary Junker: https://www.ncdps.gov/employee/5e2428b6a358b0114284d53e 919-838-3861 gary.junker@ncdps.gov Stephen Waddell: https://www.ncdps.gov/employee/5e2428b6a358b0114284b6c3 919-743-4101 stephen.waddell@ncdps.gov
Anonymous (not verified)
I spoke to a Sgt. Tindell (sp?) who just said he wasn't aware of any of this. He tried to focus on the hunger striking and I reminded him that wasn't the issue - the issue was the treatment of prisoners in Unit One. He said he would look into it.
Tamar June (not verified)
I left a message for Waddel and was told that only medical staff was in today. I was also able to speak with a nurse, though I did not catch their name. They said that "all of the requests [1,2 3] were being addressed already." I'm guessing that they'd already heard from one of us and that was their go to response. I told them that I would stop calling when they were no longer concerns.
Thanks y'all! Keep em' coming!
Anonymous (not verified)
First, I called Central Prison. The woman who answered told me that Steven Waddel wasn't in. Then I requested to speak with medical personnel. Once I was redirected there, I began reading off the script, but the woman who I was redirected to cut me off before I could run down the list, asking me if she could help me. I then again requested to speak with Mr. Waddel. She told me that he wasn't in, so I requested to leave a message. I then left my message, reading off the script, after which, I hung up. Second, I called the DPS office. I heard a ring tone for about a minute, after which I got about ten seconds of silence, and then a busy signal. Perhaps I'll call again later. Thanks for this opportunity.
Journalist Jane (not verified)
I attempted to get a press statement from the NC Dept of Public Safety but it would not direct me to a voicemail. I will be calling everyday until I get through to someone who can give me the answers as to why an investigation has not been made into these reoccurring human rights violations and incidences of torture taking place against mentally ill individuals at Central Prison.
Anonymous (not verified)
the (919) 733-0800 answered and said "no one is in today, call the (919) 838-4000 office"
Anonymous (not verified)
yeah the (919) 838-4000 says "no one is here today. call back tomorrow".
Anonymous (not verified)
so now they're saying no one is in bc it's a holiday. i think that's a line
David Pratt (not verified)
From the "switchboard operator" of (919) 733-0800 (~40 year old black woman, likely one of the guards that maces the helpless) switchboard operator: “there is no such thing as an unlawful search here, we can search at anytime” me: “and so this includes destroying their cells and macing them in the face when inmates try to get help for mental health services?” switchboard operator: “yes” me: “can you identify yourself?” switchboard operator: “no" me: "are you refusing to identify yourself as an officer of the law?" switchboard operator: "I don't have to give you my name, I don't know you" and hung up. How professional.
Anonymous (not verified)
Do not be intimidated if a corrections officer tells you they will pursue "harassment charges". This has never happened. Also if someone tells you the office is closed this is not true...because they answered the phone! People are there working!
Anonymous (not verified)
Called (919) 733-0800, could only leave a message and only after receiving a lecture about how they're recording these phone numbers to report to police for harassment and how it's "so hard to get work done." Still got through to the answering machine for Steven Waddel, and glad to hear they're at least a bit disrupted.
MD from Raleigh (not verified)
Here are my notes from the calls I made today. I will keep calling until the concerns have been addressed. 3:54pm: I called Dr. Junker's direct line (919-838-3861) and found it had been disconnected. (Maybe because he had been receiving so many calls?) 3:57pm: I called the DPS Office main line (919-838-4000) and it rang for 2-3 minutes. Finally someone answered and I asked to speak with Dr. Junker. They told me no one was in today due to "the Martin Luther King holiday." I asked if I could be put through to Dr. Junker's voicemail. They paused and sounded reluctant but said okay. (I am a white woman from the south which is easily assumed over the phone. I suspect this may have swayed them to put me through.) I left a message and introduced myself as a concerned North Carolina citizen and then I read the script. I added a few other comments about how horrific this is and said that I will continue to call until these concerns are addressed.
Amber Douthitt (not verified)
I understand calling the prison, but it may be more effective to call the state representatives. These people are in a position to change policy. Prison staff do not care about the incarcerated. This is a large part of the problem. I will be writing a letter to the state representative for the Raleigh area. I think everyone should do the same. Include your phone call notes with the letter. If anyone needs information regarding who to write please contact me through my website shakingprisons.wordpress.com
Thank you everyone for participating in this phone zap! Keep those calls coming in throughout the week! We have received multiple emails describing how Central Prison has threatened callers with claims that they will report us to the police for “harassment”. Requesting a statement on human rights violations is NOT harassment. So please do not let them intimidate you and deter you from calling. These calls let them know that we are watching their every move and that those incarcerated standing up for humanity have a tremendous amount of support! Let’s blow up those phone lines! As to Amber’s comment above: please post the phone numbers and addresses to those representatives you speak of so that all of us can participate in that as well. A multitude of tactics is welcome to reach these 16 hunger striker’s demands immediately!
Anonymous (not verified)
- (919) 838-3861 Gary Junker - when I called it said that this number has been disconnected
Big Dick Rick f... (not verified)
Yo, I called and red the script, they hung up on me. I called again, and they hung on me two more times. screw them
Please keep those phones ringing, the demands have not been met. We are expecting updates from folks inside soon.
They had the audacity to answer as "Central Prison HEALTHCARE"...

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