The following information is drawn from letters received from prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois, and compiled by attorney Alice Lynd.

'Force Feeding' by Michael Russell 081113, webJan. 21, 2014 – On Jan. 15, 2014, approximately 25 prisoners in Administrative Detention at Menard Correctional Center went on hunger strike. Officers shook down their cells and took any food they found. The hunger strikers were sent to see medical staff and charged $5 for medical treatment.

On the way back from seeing medical staff, one prisoner (said to be Armando Valazquez) was pushed onto the stairs while in handcuffs by two officers. Those officers then kicked and stomped on his back, picked him up and then slammed his face into the plexiglass window on a door. One officer was sent home early that day. Prisoner Velazquez was moved to the Health Care Unit and the prisoners have not seen him since.

The hunger strikers have been told the prison administration is working on obtaining a preliminary injunction to force feed them. They expect to continue the hunger strike even if they are force fed.

“We need as much outside support as possible,” the prisoners say.

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Attorney Alice Lynd can be reached at

Menard prisoners’ demands

In a letter to Illinois Department of Corrections Director Salvador A. Godinez, Alan Mills of Uptown People’s Law Center in Chicago writes that prisoners formerly housed at Tamms and now in Administrative Detention at Menard in the High Security Unit, or HSU, “have contacted our office regarding both the process by which they were placed in this unit and the conditions of their confinement in the unit.

“They have advised us that due to the lack of response from anyone within the Department regarding their informal complaints and formal grievances they will begin an indefinite hunger strike today, Jan. 15.

“The men have forwarded the following demands to us in the hopes that we can facilitate resolution of the issues:

  1. A hearing upon arrival and rationale for placement, as well as the written rules and regulations regarding their classification;
  2. Quarterly meaningful reviews of continued placement;
  3. Timely written responses to grievances in compliance with the departmental directives;
  4. The ability to have reasonable access to cleaning supplies for their personal cells;
  5. The common areas to be cleaned and sanitized (i.e., showers) and the vermin and rodent infestation eliminated;
  6. Adequate heat and hot water in cells and common areas;
  7. The ability to purchase basic commissary items (i.e., thermal clothing, shoes etc.), pursuant to departmental regulations;
  8. Access to individual razors and nail clippers held by departmental staff;
  9. Timely addressed medical treatment (i.e., physical, mental and dental ailments); and
  10. Adequate access to legal property boxes and the law library.”

Alan Mills can be reached at Uptown People’s Law Center, 4415 North Sheridan, Chicago IL 60640, (775) 769-1411,



  1. I don't care what color a person is or what religion they have, but this procedure is totally inhumane treatment. Why wasn't an intervenious port injection for this so called "regulation" and for 2 hours? Give me a break! America is better than this, but I think this was for retribution for the inmates to want to have a hunger strike. Why was the nose being used in this procedure and not with a needle & port? Did they just want to cause paid & suffereing to this person and any others that went thru this ordeal?

  2. Why is it that my Son is one of the Hunger Striker frm Menard and transferred a week ago to Stateville supposibly Temporaily and still a Hunger Striker at Stateville. ..and My Visit was denied because he is on a Hunger strike.Although i went to visit him at menard and my visit was well Accepted. Smh…something isn’t Right. A DRIVE TO MENARD IS APPROXIMATE 6 TO 7hrs and Stateville is merrily an Hour…Why should my visit be Unwelcomed? But the Real thing is that The New Warden Magana doesn’t receive calls he puts his Aasistant to the Warden to give me a Big NO to See my Loved One!! I Forgive him for His Ignorance!! but not is inhumanity Thoughts!!! Someone plz let me know Whats this Mother should do? PHONECALLS just give me Prompts and hang up on me.ty.♥

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