Because prisons receive more funding if every bed has a person in it, people are put in segregation when a bed comes open, not necessarily because they have actually committed an infraction. People are constantly rotated in and out of segregation for "investigation" which can last up to 6 months. Around 35 prisoners in Housing Unit 2, the administrative segregation unit at Missouri's South Central Correctional Center, have been staging a sit in by requesting protective custody. Due to overcrowding, they are not placed in cells when they ask to be taken into protective custody, but instead are handcuffed and shackled to benches where they sit for 8 to 48 hours or more without food and some are saying also without water. This is known as "riding the bench" and it effectively shuts down the hole, which also shuts down the yard, because the prison has nowhere to put prisoners as long as they keep everything gridlock. One person was sprayed at point blank range with a small can of mace and then a large can of MK9 was emptied onto them for sneaking a sandwich out of their cell on the way to the bench and refusing to stop eating it. They were not allowed to shower after this incident. At this point, all the benches are full and the unit is in complete gridlock. They are storing people in the showers and in cages.
There is a wide range of demands from the prisoners. Please call in and read the scripts on the days below. Call Missouri Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe at 573-526-6607 and Warden Michael Bowersox at 573-674-4470 or 573-526-6504.
Mondays: I am calling about SCCC prison in Missouri. I demand that prisoners in 2 house at SCCC be allowed to have showers and hygiene products. I am hearing that prisoners are not allowed to take showers or use hygiene products for days on end. prisoners also need clean, sanitary living and work environments. There are maggots and mice in the kitchen. Mice in the hole, Prisoners in the hole cannot buy or have soap, and there is nothing to adequately clean their cells. I suggest you improve conditions in ad seg by allowing people to buy food items and hygiene products from the canteen and allowing at least 3 phone calls per week and contact visits at least twice per month.
Tuesdays: I am calling about SCCC prison in Missouri. I am also understanding that the administrative segregation unit at SCCC has a a rodent infestation due to trash not being cleaned and food and juice covering the floor. The mice live in the walls and in the utility closets between cells. Can you also tell me about people being denied due process by classification and being given poor medical treatment? I also suggest you improve conditions and alleviate overcrowding in ad seg by ending long-term ad-seg confinement and allowing personal property.
Wednesdays: I am calling about SCCC prison in Missouri. Please explain to me the directives you rely on to assure a fair and just Grievance Process, so prisoners complaints will be properly addressed, and the issues will be corrected. I would also like to request an end to racial mail discrimination, and oppressive mail censorship. All "white" mags "Playboy", "Buns + Ammo", etc. are allowed, but any mens magazine with women of color is rejected -- and they are non-nude. "Playboy" is nude. Our wives, girlfriends, etc. cannot send their partners bikini or lingerie pictures of themselves, or even send sexual letters.
Thursdays: I am calling about SCCC prison in Missouri. People in ad-seg are supposedto have thier personal property - food, appliances, legal documents, family photos, etc. I demand an end to long term ad seg (hole time). Minor violations are illegally seen as Major violations, and all Major violations' punishment is a year in the hole. Prisoners are punished 2 or 3 times over for one violation. Prisons use "Safety + Security" as the reason to lock prisons down, put prisoners in the hole, deny mail, etc. -- even when nothing but an allegation has taken place. People are being denied showers, canteen, and recreation. I suggest that you relieve overcrowding in administrative segregation units by limiting investigations to 45 days and letting individuals out of ad-seg after their disciplinary segregation terms are over.
Fridays call Speaker of the House Todd Richardson at 573-751-4039: I am calling about SCCC prison in Missouri. I want to find out what has to happen to remove the 85% law and harsh mandatory minimums. I would also like the state to give prisoners sentenced to Life without Parole as juveniles, a resentencing hearing as stated in Superior Court CASES "Miller v. Alabama" and "Adams v. Alabama". Missouri enacted an illegal bill (H.B. 590) that says those prisoners can "petition for a parole hearing after serving 25 years on a sentence of Life Without Parole". A petition doesn't ensure a release, and that is not legal. Those prisoners still have a "Sentence of Life Without Parole", so there's no reason to grant parole on a petition. I would also like to inquire about the job and career training for prisoners in the hole, or at maximum level prisons, so people are better prepared for release and re-entry. Can you please direct me on how these goals can be accomplished?
Additional thoughts from a prisoner who has been riding the bench...
"I'm currently a prisoner in the South Central Correctional Center in Missouri. I'm also currently in administrative segregation and stripped of my privileges (contact visits, phone calls, canteen, personal property, etc.) for the reason of investigation. there are other prisoners under investigation and stripped of their privileges as well. Investigation can last up to 6 months or more. The investigator most usually takes as long as they want to speak with inmates. The conditions I've witnessed since being placed in 2 House are extremely hostile and cruel.
The inmates, including myself have been forced to sit on an iron bench with our hands cuffed behind our backs, attached to the bench, as well as our legs shackled to the bench with no alternative. The handcuffs and shackles are so tight that our hands and ankles result in bloody incisions and bruises here lately medical have refused to check on the inmates' health and well-being. By policy medical is supposed to check handcuffs and shackles to make sure inmates are not in pain. We are refused all meals and water, as well while on the bench."