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Illinois prisoners in Menard High Security Unit plan to begin hunger strike Jan. 15

January 14, 2014

by Alice and Staughton Lynd

The following information is based on numerous letters from prisoners in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois written in December 2013. These prisoners expect to go on hunger strike on Jan. 15, 2014, due to their placement and retention in severe isolation, under inhumane living conditions, without notice, reasons or hearing. This will be a peaceful protest.

Retaliation can be expected. These men ask for our support and action. And they ask us to spread the word.

Menard Correctional Center
The IDOC website says, “Menard Correctional Center was established on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1878. ... Menard is the state’s largest maximum security adult male facility.”
After the Tamms Correctional Center was closed in January 2013, several High Security Units have been opened in other prisons throughout Illinois. The High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center is one of several such units housing prisoners in Administrative Detention who were in Tamms or who have filed grievances or complaints and others who would not have met the criteria for transfer to Tamms.

The men were transferred to Menard and continue to be kept in the High Security Unit without any notice, reasons or hearing. Prisoners who were transferred without so much as a ticket are being forced to complete a nine month three phase program – originally Tamms’ stepdown program – to earn back privileges they did nothing to lose.

The Illinois Department of Corrections has been unable to locate any records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request for any administrative directives that deal with the “phase program.” The Menard rule book says that Administrative Detention is a non-disciplinary form of segregation from the general population that is reviewed every 90 days by the warden. However, the phase program is nine months. Therefore, no one is being considered for release until at least nine months after entering the system.

The 90-day review is supposed to be a review where release is considered. Instead, it is only a hearing where the prisoner is not present, and its only purpose is to determine if he should move from one phase to the next. To date, nobody has been released after the nine months. No notices are being given after any of these alleged hearings, and no basis for decision of continued placement is given either.

These prisoners expect to go on hunger strike on Jan. 15, 2014, due to their placement and retention in severe isolation, under inhumane living conditions, without notice, reasons or hearing. This will be a peaceful protest.

Prisoners have been filing grievances asking for uniform written policies that provide for constitutionally adequate notice of why an inmate is being placed in Administrative Detention and periodic review in the form of informal hearings that allow the prisoner to refute the alleged reasons for placement and retention in Administrative Detention.

Prisoners say that their conditions of confinement are deplorable. According to prisoners, conditions in the High Security Unit include

  • severe isolation without any mental health evaluation or treatment;
  • uncleanliness, rodent infestation and lack of any cleaning supplies to clean cells – no disinfectants, no toilet brushes;
  • no written policies requiring the daily sweeping and mopping of the wings;
  • lack of heat in the cells and only one small, thin blanket;
  • showers are moldy and often cold;
  • no hot water in the cells to wash up or clean eating utensils;
  • unauthorized deviation from the statewide menu, low calorie intake has prisoners losing weight;
  • not issued individual coats, have to share smelly coats with numerous men;
  • access to their legal materials limited to approximately once a month, delays in receiving legal mail;
  • no educational opportunities even though non-disciplinary prisoners should have the same access to education as the general population.

Many prisoners in the Menard High Security Unit are planning to turn in emergency grievances as well as begin a hunger strike on the morning of Jan. 15, 2014. They expect retaliation, possibly including beatings of inmates who are regarded as troublemakers.

Retaliation can be expected. These men ask for our support and action. And they ask us to spread the word.

How you can help

Prisoners in the High Security Unit at Menard Correctional Center ask you to make phone calls to the warden, the director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the governor on Jan. 15, 16 and 17, 2014, to check on their conditions, demands, and welfare. Please call:

The information in this article was provided by attorneys Alice and Staughton Lynd, based on a number of letters from prisoners at Menard Correctional Center in Illinois. As volunteer attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Lynds were two of the lawyers representing prisoners at the Ohio State Penitentiary in a class action that established due process rights for prisoners in supermaximum security confinement: Austin v. Wilkinson, 189 F.2d 719 (N.D. Ohio 2002), affirmed in substantial part by the U.S. Supreme Court, Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209 (2005). The Lynds can be reached at salynd@aol.com.

 

64 thoughts on “Illinois prisoners in Menard High Security Unit plan to begin hunger strike Jan. 15

  1. Rebecca Hensley

    I remember when I came in (by court order) to speak to the prisoners in Menard back in the early 1970's as a representative of the Church of the New Song. There were guards with shotguns trained on the prisoners who wanted to hear what we had to say. There were administrators taking down the name and number of every prisoner as he entered the auditorium. Yet hundreds of prisoners showed up until the auditorium was full. I gave 'em what they came for and it was one of the most moving moments in my life. I'm glad to see they're holding on. And I'll be calling. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
    1. alew

      the reason they were taking down name and numbers is because if something jumps off they know exactly what inMateswere there that standard procedure all over the country. Do you think they just let inmates runaround and not keep track of where they are? And as for the shotguns those were for not only your safety the safety of fellow inmates Who could possibly have been attacked by rivals.these are dangerous men and women depending on what prison you’re in

      Reply
    2. Wow

      You are an absolute idiot! Those guns are for the protection of not only you but other inmates! People like you fail to understand these people aren't there because their Boy Scouts! You need to research before you speak and find out what type of people your calling for! I seriously wonder if your feelings would be the same if let's say…. They raped your son or daughter, beat your spouse within an inch of his life, or took you as a hostage and beat and raped you multiple times. I can appreciate your enthusiasm preaching the word… But in all honesty Ms. Hensley you are oblivious to what these criminals are capable of!

      Reply
      1. Rebecca Hensley

        You obviously don't know what the Church of the New Song was about. We weren't trying to "save their souls." We were helping them to learn how to change their lives inside prison. That's why we were only allowed in by court order. The shotguns and the name/number list was to intimidate them so they wouldn't come to hear me and so that they could be marked for retribution later. There are lots of criminals in our society that are never held responsible for doing worse than what many prisoners have done. Three-fourths of the prisoners in this country are incarcerated for non-violent crimes or even no crime at all (like missing a probation appointment or not having the funds to pay their monthly probation costs). The knee-jerk aggression on this thread is the kind of attitude that forces incarcerated people to go on a hunger strike out of sheer desperation. They are still human beings.

        Reply
        1. alew

          The guns and the name list are standard procedure and if you knew anything about corrections you would know that. Their names and numbers go on a list anytime they enter or exit a building or area as I said before this is because of accountability stop thinking that corrections and all of its employees are horrible people who just want to p*** everyone off and treat inmates like crap. You’ve never worked in corrections so you don’t know what the heck you are talking about. And as for thinking the guns we’re for intimidation hell yes they are the few officers that are in assignment positions that allow the carrying a weaponkeep everyone safe do you think hundreds of violent criminals don’t need sometimes of incentive to not attack anyone when most of them are serving life? How about next time you put yourself as a woman in a facility with hundreds to thousands of violent murderers rapist and thieves you are Master manipulators without cos there to protect you with those guns and see what happens. As a religious person maybe you think you’re safe but guess what half of those guys only attended your little meeting to get out of their cells or housing units. Until you work as security for the Department of Corrections you cannot speak as to why things are the way they are or why they are done the way they are done.

          Reply
          1. Rebecca Hensley

            I don't know why you assume I haven't worked in the field. I spent more than a decade working in various aspects of corrections, including in maximum security men's and women's prisons. And you keep missing the fact that I never claimed to be religious. I'm not a church lady. I'm an organizer. And I was safe because respect gets respect.

    3. Christine

      This is a Maximum Security Prison. They are not in there for slap's on the risk or white collar crimes etc. These are people that are the worst of the worst. Murder, Rape, etc. Please understand that there is more than meets the eye. Standing procedure is having gun's on these men at all times. Rather it's from the Men in the tower's or in an Auditorium setting. I can't believe they would even allow that many people together which is very risky. You were lucky! We cage animals for a reason.

      Reply
  2. TRACEY L. SMITH

    This is so unfortunate. My finance was transferred there because of the closing on TAMMS last year. I know mail takes more than 4-6 weeks for these men to receive mail. All I must say is staff and inmates know it’s wrong, then OUR GOD knows too. I’m a business owner I have state and federal guidelines that I must follow. Please tell me what guidelines does IDOC/MENARD must follow. Where is the outside governing body to sure a humans lifes are physically and mentally affected. Where? As Americans society has instilled in us to get involved, report crimes and cruelty to others. Get this, even animals are federally protected. I’m simply want all of the inmates to serve their sentences with the quality given as people. Please feel free to contact me. My finance has been on administrative watch since TAMMS. It’s saddening to know cruelty to humans exists and nothing is done about it. Please everyone lets ask GOD. The Bible says,”Have faith in God.” Amen

    Reply
    1. Michael Wyman

      If your “fiance” was in Tams, then he was a violent, trouble making, or disruptive inmate. If he wants to receive his mail faster and be treated like a population inmate, then he should follow the rules. And do not say that he has been and has not done anything wrong, because he was not transferred to Tams for following all of the rules. As for the men in Menards high security unit, the same goes for them. They are either there for discipline for a rule infraction or they are deemed a threat to the saftey and or security of the facility. If they wanted to be treated fairly, maybe they should not have committed a crime to get incarcerated.

      Reply
    2. Wife of an Officer

      Tracey, Let me guess… you have recently gotten engaged to this man, while he was incarcerated? VERY TYPICAL!!!!!! Did he make you feel sorry for him? Did he tell you how it made him feel when he killed, raped, or whatever it was he did to be in a SUPER MAX prison to begin with? Of course he didn't because he is innocent, right? What do you expect the state of Illinois to do with these criminals that have been in a SUPER MAX prison? Do you think they should be sent to a medium security prison? Among the population of inmates that have gotten DUI's or drug possession charges. Or maybe a Holiday Inn would be better? What's unfortunate is that there are bleeding hearts like you that feed into their bullshit! Guess what, this is REAL life!! they want to cry because they are getting taken care of by the state. What about the men and women in uniform? What about these people telling their prison stories how they get urine, feces, or sperm thrown on them; stabbed; beaten half to death. What about the families of the victims of all these prisoners. I am actually a very compassionate person, however you are lucky that I am not in charge. If I was and you wanted to keep your loved one alive YOU would be paying for it NOT ME!!!!!!!! That's if they are lucky! Call me old fashioned but I believe an eye for an eye. You preaching your sermen about GOD. Where was his GOD when he was doing these horrible crimes? I do believe in the lord Jesus Christ and I do have faith in God, but I am smarter than the average Joe. Don't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you commit crimes you will go to jail or prison. These men are desperate, they want attention, that's why they are writing these "poor me" letters. It's probably why you are engaged to a inmate. You need to seriously take a look at your situation! I hope and pray that you will realize what this mans worth is.

      Reply
    3. rosario

      I’ve been following this story about these inmates and on thursday at12 noon there is going to be a press conference. To help support theses inmates. At the tompson center.

      Reply
  3. guest

    are you serious?????they got in there doing something wrong… i say TOUGH SHIT!! Maybe you shoul dof thought twice before killing, raping, burglary, what ever it is you did to get yourself in there……

    Reply
    1. Guest

      You said it. There are children in the same town that this prison is in, that do not have the things that these prisoners have. They get 3 square meals, medical treatment, cable TV. they get all this because they committed crimes to get there.

      Reply
  4. Worked there

    The people that complain about Menard have NEVER worked there. All inmate family members are complaining without any idea of IF what their inmate family member tells them is true or not. Those that work there shouldn’t be put down and Tamms shouldn’t have been closed.

    Reply
    1. guest

      Putting a person in "Solitary Confinement" or your new fancy name "Seg." does NOTHING for the person in fact it only makes the problem worse. It needs to be outlawed!! This only cause more mental problems and it is mental problems that have put most people in the prison to start with. They need counseling and treatment, not put in a box. If I did this to a dog I would be arrested. I do not know how anybody who works there can sleep at night knowing what is going on. So many of these guys are NOT violent people, they are put in "Seg." for dumb reasons, like a turn of a head in the visiting room!! Lets get real. The prison Add. does not answer to ANYBODY and does just what they want without and justice!!!

      Reply
      1. al

        seg is not solitary confinement. It means segregation. 9 times out of 10 that means they have a cell mate and are on a gallery with any where from 20 To 50 something other inmates. They are able to talk toinmates in the cells next to them about them and below them. Most of them still get yard law library legal review and all the same stuff the differences they have shown they cannot be trusted to have free movement. Prison is not like what you see in the movies. Get your head out of your ass and do some research before you watch a f****** movie and decide that’s how it is.

        Reply
        1. guest

          Well Al, I guess you just showed how smart you are with your way of talk!! You are just do not even deserve a reply. But, since the prisoners have NO VOICE of their own in all I this, I have the right to say what I think and feel. It is my feeling that Seg. should be outlawed. WHAT GOOD does it do. You are only causing a person to hurt and want to have revenge by locking them away and not letting them see family, shower only once a week, they can not even see what the weather is like. Then they are to return to society and not be angry and hurt. I KNOW there are men in there who should NOT have really been put in there to start with. YOU JUDGE and you are not our judge. Everybody need compassion and you use show only HATE in your response to ME!!

          Reply
          1. al

            well pardon my grammar and the last text autocorrect has a mind of its own. And just so you know inmates have to do something that violates policy to get put in Seg. they’re getting a manual as soon as they get put in for themto read with the rules and regulations they must follow. in corrections our hands are tied as far as the punishments go. As an officer it is not my job to judge and I don’t I don’t go home and look up inmates to see their crimes. If you think segregation should be outlawed then tell me what we do with the inmates who assault officers other inmates counselors Chaplinsand other people like nurses..tell me what we do with the inmates who hide weapons and contra band that they know they are not allowed 2 have. And what about the inmates who think its funny to jack off to both male and female staff and assault sexually other inmates. Where should we put them?

          2. WT Fugarwe

            It used to be when a lifer took his feces out of the toilet bowl and threw it at an officer he could be sent to Tamms. Now the only consequence is Segregation. Got a problem with that?

          3. guest

            If what is stated in the news article here is correct. Yes I have a problem…. The article says:

            "The men were transferred to Menard and continue to be kept in the High Security Unit without any notice, reasons or hearing. Prisoners who were transferred without so much as a ticket are being forced to complete a nine month three phase program – originally Tamms’ stepdown program – to earn back privileges they did nothing to lose.

            The Illinois Department of Corrections has been unable to locate any records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request for any administrative directives that deal with the “phase program.” The Menard rule book says that administrative detention is a non-disciplinary form of segregation from the general population that is reviewed every 90 days by the warden. However, the phase program is nine months. Therefore, no one is being considered for release until at least nine months after entering the system.

            The 90-day review is supposed to be a review where release is considered. Instead, it is only a hearing where the prisoner is not present, and its only purpose is to determine if he should move from one phase to the next. To date, nobody has been released after the nine months. No notices are being given after any of these alleged hearings, and no basis for decision of continued placement is given either."

            IF This is the TRUE reason for the hunger strike, how can they even be held with NO RECORDS of tickets and etc. Then they are not even being given a change have hearings!!?? It sounds like a BIG abuse of POWER to ME!

          4. Michael Wyman

            You must not be paying attention, the inmates were transferred from Tamms, that means they were already on segregation status. The offender had to have already committed the infraction that placed him in segregation and the transfer to a segregated unit at Menards is a unilateral transfer.

  5. Guest

    As a correctional officer who works in the seg unit, I find these accusations of the inmates complaints to be misleading and replusive. The north 2 seg heats by a boiler system which keeps the cell house in the high 70s to mid. 80s during the winter. The food that is served it out of our control because of budget cuts. If you ask many of the former tamms inmates which facility that they rather have, most would say tamms because of having bigger rooms and nicer facilities. As far as the isolation, there are 70 plus inmates on a gallery and they yell back and forth constantly. The isolation is no different that any other cellhouse in the institution. Also, th fear of retaliation is non existent because no one cares if take a tray or not. Also the blankets are standard issue throughout the system. Check your facts San Fran bay view before you run this kind of propaganda.

    Reply
    1. Guest

      Worked there for seven years in the 90s. Had feces and urine thrown on me four times. Had heated bleach thrown on me. Had an inmate attempt to jab me with a homemade spear made from a broken broom handle that splintered to a point….

      …I never did anything to bring these things on to me except once. I knew the inmate was notorious for keeping bottles with urine in his cell. When he went to the shower I looked in his cell and sure enough I found a bottle and confiscated it. A week later he doused me with urine and he stated that it was for taking his last bottle. Yeah, anyone that feels sorry for incarcerated inmates need walk a mile in those wore out Altamas I wore for 6 years.

      Reply
  6. Guest

    The inmates at Tamms knew they had the best kept secret for doing time. They will tell you they would rather be there if they have to be anywhere. The only ones that wont, want to gang bang and have access to drugs and sex. None of that existed at Tamms

    Reply
  7. Guest

    OMG! This article is so ridiculous! People are speaking out on a subject they know absolutely nothing about! These inmates that are complaining about living conditions and too little food need to contact our Gov. Pat Quinn! Menard is over crowded due to the institutions being shut down just like many others. Let's not forget these "poor inmates" have more rights than IDOC employees! You need to be reminded these folks are rapists, murderers, child molesters, bank robbers and …….. which are repeat offenders! These people receive free health care, cable TV, three squares and a place to rest their heads! They have yard, commissary, law library and many other privileges. If you are a family member and have not been able to visit… THINK about why????? These are dangerous individuals that the IDOC staff deal with every day to keep our community safe! One last thought for all you do gooders…. Our military personel only receive 2 meals a day due to budget cuts….. Why don't you complain about that!!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. alew

    to the people complaining about it taking a Long time for their loved ones in prison to get mail the reason is in order to ensure safety and that nothing is being sent in that shouldn’t Be,all mail must be read or at least gone through when there are only a few hundred security staff to a few thousand inmates that takes a while. As for them not getting to review their legal papers on a regular basis again there are only so many staff to inmates. Where I work it is an officers responsibility to try and get everyone scheduled for legal review in a cell house in and Out on one day you try getting three or four hundred inmates who want to see their legal stuff done in one day much less couple weeks. As for the food, the state is only required to provide a certain nutritional and caloric intake. Portion size is not a requirement.

    A lot if inmates take everyone elses word for it and dont check the facts themselves. And thats why they cant get anything done.

    And these guys end up in this progran for an extended period of time because they catch tickets. Ie. Disobeying a direct order. People dont realize officers are not armed. Atleast very few are. All we can do is write a ticket and hope they chill out.

    And honestly we could care less if they hunger strike. All they are doing is wasting the states money that could be going towards oh i dont know updating some prisons. They have to have a tray made for them whether they are going to turn it down or not

    Reply
  9. alew

    Oh and to the sfbayview. Research before you post this crap. First of all you didnt go to Tamms until you became too much of a danger. Multiple staff and inmates assualts and personal injuries got you sent down. These guys had it great there so yea going back to a regular maximum security prison is going to be a major change. We dont have time to cater. There arent enough of us. I dont work at menard but i do work at a max facility in illinois. And the tamms guys we got tried the same thing. They didnt last long before they cracked. They should be blaming johns hopkins for getting tamms closed.

    Reply
  10. guest

    if anyone calls the warden,you are stupid. these inmates were placed in tamms because they are very dangerous and have caused harm to other inmates or staff. so they should have thought about their luving conditions before they acted like idiots. guess what….they are placed exactly where they need to be. if they are “gang chiefs” then they to are placed where they need to be. they need to stop their crying. they we not crying when they werr tough killers on the street. wake up people,they are the most dangerous criminals in illinois. they are not placed there because they are great citizens. and as far as beatungs,if you believe that then yoy are an idiot.

    Reply
  11. guest

    and anyone who defends these people or this article,you are obviously not very intelligent. oh my poor family memeber in menard. guess what,your poor family member was a piece of crap ob the street or he would not ve in a maximum security institution serving time. so to say he should be treated like this great citizen is ridiculous and i am tired of hearing it. because you can bet your trailer park ass he isnt acting like a gentleman inside those walls

    Reply
  12. Corrections Officer

    I work in these prisons, and I can say that most of the accusations are COMPLETELY bogus and out right lies. There may be one or two days these cry babies go without a coat. They never go without cleaning supplies. EVER They are given cleaning supplies weekly. Things break (hot water for example) and can only be fixed as fast as maintenance can get parts and or material. these people feel they are entitled to EVERYTHING and pitch a fit like a child when (no joke) when it isn't fixed as fast as they demand it. They don't have rodents abound in the cell houses, and if they do have anything it's because they feed the dang things. No clean eating utensils is just ludicrous. They get a new plastic spork with every single meal they eat. All the galleries are sweep and mopped on a daily basis unless the place is on lock down for whatever reason. And they aren't given toilet brushes cause they'll destroy them and make shanks. These convicts lie and play "poor me" cause they want people to feel sorry for them. They put themselves in that situation and STILL can't accept responsibility for their actions. Sorry, it's the truth. I'm sure the families of these people will still cry foul. These people are men and women. And will be treated as such by 99.999999% of staff that works these facilities.

    Reply
  13. Janet

    Makes me want to vomit!! I also work in IDOC. I am a nurse. I actually have some compassion and guess what? I was walking thru doing my med pass and you know what an inmate said to me?? "Hey nurse! I'm gonna f*ck you up the a** and shoot a load of c*m in your face!!" This is an inmate I had NO contact with. Couple nights later an inmate told me he was going to "cut my head off and stitch it on backwards." This is just a few of the things we hear. Or to the "loved ones" of the incarcerated,maybe you could suggest to your boyfriends,sons,husbands, etc. that they not come to the door with their cocks in their hand, jacking off!!! Maybe you could suggest a bit of respect?? you forget the type of people we are working with!

    Reply
  14. Guest

    Everyone here does realize the types of things these men had to do to get sent to Tamms, right? When Tamms was open, it was the only super-maximum security prison in Illinois. For example, I have personal knowledge of a convicted murderer who was sent to Menard. While there, the man, who also was a white supremacist, murdered his Hispanic cellmate; he was then sent to the supermax facility at Tamms.

    While some of the complaints of these Menard prisoners seem justified, please forgive me if I don't feel sorry for them for being in solitary confinement or not having hot water.

    Reply
  15. Bob

    Worked there for seven years in the 90s. Had feces and urine thrown on me four times. Had heated bleach thrown on me. Had an inmate attempt to jab me with a homemade spear made from a broken broom handle that splintered to a point….

    …I never did anything to bring these things on to me except once. I knew the inmate was notorious for keeping bottles with urine in his cell. When he went to the shower I looked in his cell and sure enough I found a bottle and confiscated it. A week later he doused me with urine and he stated that it was for taking his last bottle. Yeah, anyone that feels sorry for incarcerated inmates need walk a mile in those wore out Altamas I wore for 6 years.

    Reply
  16. Tim

    If these inmates are in the high security unit at menard they are pieces of shit and deserve to be there. Some of these inmates have probably assaulted staff or maybe worse. I say who cares if they don't want to eat let them die they will never be anything but a burden on society anyway!

    Reply
  17. guest

    Aww poor babies. They may not have received tickets buy these scum bags are calling shots that are getting people hurt and theres a damn good reason theyre whete theyre at but if you are dumb enough to feel sorry for these assholes knowing that they did the wosrt and most deplorable things not only in prison but also as domestic terrorists on the street, let me tell you that these guys are on bullshit. Theyrr treated very well in AD and babied beyond what should be right for their crimes. Theyre cattered to by the administration and they were let into poplulation you would see more assaults, murder and organizings of the gangs resulting in alot more dangers for all. One of the DOCs primary goals is the safety of not onlu the public and staff but also the inmates. Tamms was the right place for these guys and they need to go back. To the sarcastic idiot, maybe if we treated them like the terrorists they are and killed them the same as the terrorists overseas, we wouldnt have all the bullshit to deal with…

    Reply
  18. AtinVerd

    I can't believe the comments on this article-do the people here not know what these inmates did to get incarcerated? These are violent criminals who are the worst of the worst-not some 3 time dope smoker and while I don't think we should be beating inmates I feel that we have forgotten what prison should be instead we have given these people more privileges and rights while they are in prison. Taxpayers pay for Cable TV, educational services and other recreational activities when these prisoners should be breaking rocks or stamping license plates on a daily basis. It is a sad state of affairs when we actually treat criminals better than the elderly, the young and our nations veterans and yet they and many who have written into this article believe that they have legitimate complaints. These criminals are basically the scum of the Earth and they can go on a hunger strike, when we cut money to schools and clinics all the time no one in America gives a damn and yet there are people who would shed a tear for these criminals if they died while starving themselves-for what? Better living conditions-here's a hint you want better living conditions do commit crimes.

    Reply
  19. Guest

    (415) 671-0789 ……paper's number in case anyone wants to call them and tell them to learn how to investigate their stories :)

    Reply
  20. guest

    Know that Illinois has a CCL Law all these pro inmate lovers wont have to worry about there love ones being locked up because of all the street justice that there love ones will get. Then they will have something else to cry about.

    Reply
  21. guest

    i say bring back capitol punishment then these facilities would not be over crowded.i say an eye for an eye.the punishment should fit the crime these people want to sit in prison and get treated like they are on a vacation .i say no .we out here in the real world struggle to get by while they lay in there on their butts .they want to be privileged when that is not why they are there.you want to speak out lets get the people working in there a raise i could not do their job. i say take care of the people that have to put up with these monsters….anonymous guest

    Reply
  22. guest

    THIS IS WHAT IT IS REALLY ALL ABOUT:
    The men were transferred to Menard [from Tamms] and continue to be kept in the High Security Unit without any notice, reasons or hearing. Prisoners who were transferred without so much as a ticket are being forced to complete a nine month three phase program – originally Tamms’ stepdown program – to earn back privileges they did nothing to lose.

    "The Illinois Department of Corrections has been unable to locate any records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request for any administrative directives that deal with the “phase program.” The Menard rule book says that administrative detention is a non-disciplinary form of segregation from the general population that is reviewed every 90 days by the warden. However, the phase program is nine months. Therefore, no one is being considered for release until at least nine months after entering the system.

    "The 90-day review is supposed to be a review where release is considered. Instead, it is only a hearing where the prisoner is not present, and its only purpose is to determine if he should move from one phase to the next. To date, nobody has been released after the nine months. No notices are being given after any of these alleged hearings, and no basis for decision of continued placement is given either."
    THEY SHOULD HAVE THEIR 90 DAY REVIEWS AND WHY DO THEY HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THEM, AND WHY ARE THEY IN THE SPECAIL UNITS TO START WITH SINCE THERE ARE NO RECORDS OF ANY WRONG DOINGS (TICKETS OR SUCH)!!!

    Reply
    1. Michael Wyman

      You stated the reason at the start of your rant. These inmates were transferred from Tamms, so they had already committed an act to be segregated from the general population of inmates. Tamms entire facility was a segregation unit, designed to house the worst and most dangerous offenders. They did not need a ticket or hearing to go from Tamms to Menards segregation unit because it was a unilateral transfer. That is why there is no record of discipline, and the inmates that are complaining about this, know that is the policy, however they also know that citizens who know nothing about prison policy, except what they see in the movies, would be confused by these circumstances and so help them to disrupt the routine, and THAT is an inmates main form of entertainment, especially when segregated. Believe me these men are where they belong and

      Reply
  23. Anne Goodwin

    Many of the previous comments illustrate the toxic, hostile attitudes of prison staff toward inmates. Is it surprising then that the conditions prisoners describe at Menard would exist? In Illinois we have 10,000 awaiting trial in Cook County Jail. The IDOC population is fast approaching 50, 000. Since Jan. 2012, we have lost 1,000 people, mostly young people, to murder. We are losing an entire generation to death or physical and mental destruction at places such as Menard. Within the general population at Menard, large numbers of prisoners have reported being housed in deplorable, unsanitary conditions with inadequate or no heat, a poor quality diet consisting mainly of soy and starchy foods: noodles, potatoes or rice. Two men must share a cell with floor space of about 22 inches by seven feet 23.5 hours per day, when not on lock-down. This is a recipe for creating violence. It is time to investigate the lawlessness of the IDOC, find alternatives to mass incarceration, and get people released through sentence reduction programs. The prison system is set up to keep itself in business forever, rather than rehabilitate people.

    Reply
  24. WT Fugarwe

    Wanna end the cycle? By the time a man gets to Menard it's too late— he's already lost. Build the family structure so there is a man not in a gang who is a role model.

    The C/O's and their union have been at the forefront of fighting prison overcrowding. They opposed double celling max inmates. They fought against cuts in the food budget. The union actually submitted the budget amendment to establish a gang intel unit–over the objection of IDOC-to collect information on gang activity and prevent planned gang violence.

    Pity you can't turn your attention to the prison industry you have in California. Perhaps we'll send a team of crack reporters out from Carbondale to expose y'all.

    I know the view is comfortable from the Mission District cheap seats, but–while you are entitled to your own opinions, you are NOT entitled to your own facts

    Reply
  25. Ashley

    I wonder how much money the prison gets from their contract with Securus phone company and the vending machines in the visiting room. A boycott of those services might perk up some ears. The prison guards do have a dangerous and difficult job, so hats off to them.

    Reply
  26. TShaer

    PART ONE OF THREE (Please read) The article about Menard CC has damaged the cause of honest and truthful inmates and prisoner advocates everywhere. Why? Because it contains an overwhelming number of absolutely false statements, untrue claims and a blatantly inflammatory prediction which is not based on any reasonable likelihood. It is the height of irresponsibility and cannot go unanswered by those who care about safe and secure prisons where inmate rights are respected. __SF Bay View's original article predicted hunger-striking inmates should expect “…retaliation, possibly including beatings…” That was irresponsible, inflammatory and thus disturbingly reprehensible. That claim has since been deleted after I protested, but it had been up for days. Such a wild claim was based on no prior occurrences because “beatings” do not occur at Menard or anywhere else in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). If they did, our staff would be disciplined and prosecuted.

    Reply
  27. TShaer

    PART ONE OF THREE (Please read) The article about Menard CC has damaged the cause of honest and truthful inmates and prisoner advocates everywhere. Why? Because it contains an overwhelming number of absolutely false statements, untrue claims and a blatantly inflammatory prediction which is not based on any reasonable likelihood. It is the height of irresponsibility and cannot go unanswered by those who care about safe and secure prisons where inmate rights are respected. __SF Bay View's original article predicted hunger-striking inmates should expect “…retaliation, possibly including beatings…” That was irresponsible, inflammatory and thus disturbingly reprehensible. That claim has since been deleted after I protested, but it had been up for days. Such a wild claim was based on no prior occurrences because “beatings” do not occur at Menard or anywhere else in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). If they did, our staff would be disciplined and prosecuted. The nonprofit prison watchdog group, John Howard Association, though often critical of IDOC, has never suggested anything of the sort. __

    Reply
  28. HOPEFUL

    THESE PRISONERS ARE PEOLPE ALSO.SOME ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE INJUSTLY BEEN CONVICTED AND ALL DESERVE TO BE TREATED HUMANLY.GOD IS A GOD OF SECOND CHANCES EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN FAIRLY CONVICTED. I PRAY THAT GOD GOES INTO THIS PRISON AND MAKES CROOKED PLACES STRAIGHT FOR THESE PRISONERS.

    Reply

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