MAKE THE LINES RING ALL DAY! FRIDAY, AUG 31, sunrise to sunset!
Several inmates in the Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility went on hunger strike in protest of their already starvation-level meal portions, their lack of access to basic necessities like adequate clothing, and access to commissary items . Food portions are extremely small, imagine a high school lunch tray where the section for your main course isn't even half full. The food they receive is already lacking in nutrition and comes in boxes labelled "not for human consumption." Food services in the IDOC are managed by the private corporation Aramark, and food served to inmates lacks basic nutritional value and is often served rotten. To make matters worse, Corrections Officers are known to contaminate food with saliva and feces.
The SHU is kept extremely cold in order to limit inmates activity and keep them in their beds. Their bodies burn calories to keep warm that can't even be replaced by the meager meals they are given.
Wabash's Valley's Secure Housing Unit is the end of the line for prisoners facing abuse by the IDOC. It is the most extreme form of isolation, sensory deprivation, mental and physical torture that the prison system can offer. Some inmates are kept under 24/7 video and audio surveillance. They are unable to order items from commissary and must subsist on the crumbs they are given. The SHU has a notorious history of unspeakable abuse against inmates. In the 1990's its commander James Basinger oversaw a cabal of sadisitc guards that engaged in daily torture and even murder of the inmates in their custody. Today, James Basinger is the Deputy Commissioner of the IDOC, extending his techniques throughout the whole system.
Being Punished for Refusing Food
Wabash Valley from day one moved swiftly to repress the strike. On the morning of August 27th, Internal Affairs ordered a lieutenant on the SHU to file disciplinary reports against the hunger strikers. IA is charging these inmates with a class B violation "Inmate Demonstration/Work Stoppage" and claims that social media posts led them to this determination. What this amounts to is a flagrant violation of policy by IA and Wabash Valley. It is within the stated rights of inmates to refuse meals and further they cannot be charged with disciplinary action for the work of supporters on the outside.
Administration has however agreed to finally give the promised medical treatment to Kwame Shakur, currently housed on the SHU. The struggle to unfreeze his JPAY account is however ongoing, as is the case with any other inmates who face similar censorship.
Administration has also taken the concerning measure of removing cameras from the pod where the strikers are located. There is reason to believe that guards are attempting to provoke Kwame Shakur in order to do serious bodily harm to him without being filmed. The situation is worrisome on many levels.
We now ask that when people make their calls they make known their awareness that Wabash Valley has violated policy to suppress the strike by writing up inmates for something which is within their rights to do. At this point the inmates will be suspending the hunger strike and move towards pushing back on these policy violations.
Sample Phone Script
Wabash Valley Warden Richard Brown | (812) 398-5050, Dial 2 then dial 8
Commissioner Robert Carter | (317) 232-5711
Governor Eric Holcomb | (317) 232-4567
"I'm calling on behalf of Kwame Shakur and everyone else who went on hunger strike and is being written up as a result.
Also, by sharing that you made the call on social media encourages others to do the same and shine a light on their situation.