Urgent Action Alert for Indiana SHU Prisoners

This is an URGENT ACTION ALERT asking for a solidarity call-in to demand an investigation into abuses in the Secure Housing Unit of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and to protest the recent torture of our comrade Shaka Shakur. We are asking people to make calls, starting at 830am EDT on Monday February 6th through 430pm EDT Tuesday the 7th.

Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC: (317) 232-5711fax (317) 233-1474blemmon@idoc.in.gov
Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility: (812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax (812) 398-5032, rbrown@idoc.in.gov
Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications: (317) 232-2247, fax (317) 232-5728jdhendrix@idoc.in.gov

The SHU is Indiana’s most repressive Super Max Prison, and is modeled after the infamous Pelican Bay SHU. It holds many of Indiana’s most political prisoners in extreme isolation and sensory deprivation, many of them people of color. It is a prison within a prison, in the rural south of the state, and is imbedded with extreme racism and white supremacist organizing.

In August of 2011, prisoners there staged a multi-day protest aimed at ending the state-wide lockdown that happened in response to a white supremacist gang member being murdered. Prisoners in the SHU weren’t allowed access to recreation, showers, hygiene products (including water) for their cells, and eventually had the power and water shut off completely. The protest was successful in regaining the basic necessities of life, but now it seems the administration is out to get those with a history of no-comproise struggle against their conditions.

On Saturday the 21st of January, our comrade Shaka was forcefully removed from his windowless cell, subjected to numerous invasive and humiliating searches and eventually moved to an isolated part of the prison.

His property was thoroughly searched, x-rayed, replaced and then searched again. He was placed in a 2ft x 3ft holding cell with only a toilet, stripped down to his boxers. Guards on duty said this order came directly from the Superintendent, Richard Brown.  He was given water every 4 hours and was only allowed to flush the toilet after a thorough search of its contents.

Shaka immediately began a hunger strike, refusing all food and water from this point on, until his release from this holding cell back to his isolation cell. He maintained this hunger strike, even though the conditions severely aggravated a herniated disk and kidney condition. He remained in excruciating pain, in the 2x3ft holding cell until Wednesday morning (4 days later), with no medical attention.

He was released back to his cell and started to take food and liquids again on Wednesday, but his property remains gone. Political writings, books, magazines, legal resources, family photos, even his glasses. It is all presumed to be destroyed, as the prison officials have not presented him with a confiscated property form.

He has been on the SHU for nearly a decade, with the quasi-official designation of Administrative Segregation. He’s has a clean conduct record while there, but the state has refused to transfer him to population. Now they’re trying to kill him.

We’re asking for solidarity calls and actions aimed at getting the abuses on the SHU stopped, on getting Shaka off the unit before he’s murdered by the State.

This is not the first time such a call has been made. Recently, Indiana based groups such as Decarcerate Monroe CountyThe City of Bloomington Human Rights Commission andThe Progressive Faculty Coalition at Indiana University have called for an investigation into white supremacist organizing amongst guards in the SHU at Wabash Valley. The state has thus far dismissed such claims, and has made no effort towards explaining their complicity in such organizing.

Please call the following IDOC administrators. Please engage in solidarity actions. Please tell Shaka you stand with him!

Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC:
(317) 232-5711fax (317) 233-1474blemmon@idoc.in.gov
Call him to express horror at the actions of the Superintendent and Staff of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility at the treatment of Shaka and to demand adequate medical treatment and review of his continued placement in isolation. Demand an investigation into practices of torture and denial of basic human necessities in the SHU. Express your outrage at the continued complicity of IDOC administrators in the known white supremacist organizing amongst guards at Wabash Valley.

Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility:
(812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax (812) 398-5032, rbrown@idoc.in.gov
Call him to express outrage at his treatment of Shaka, his orders to hold him for days on end without medical care in a holding cell, and demand the return of all of his property undamaged.

Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications:
(317) 232-2247, fax (317) 232-5728jdhendrix@idoc.in.gov
Call him to demand Shaka’s immediate release from Administrative Segregation and housing on the SHU. Shaka has many years of clear conduct and yet the IDOC refuses to release him to general population. His housing on the SHU is leading to extremely dangerous health and safety conditions for him.

Write to Shaka and let him know you’re behind him:
Shaka Shakur #135647
PO Box 1111
Carlisle, IN

For more information or for more background information on recent events in the SHU,  contact indianaprisonersolidarity@gmail.com

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