Call Monday 1/7 to End Retaliation Against Michigan Prisoner Whistleblower

Call in to demand an end to the harassment and abuse of MDOC whistle-blower, Todd Wentworth. Todd is asking that folks call into Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, as well as the office of Heidi Washington, Director of MDOC, to show that people are on the outside paying attention to his treatment in the wake of speaking out about guard misconduct and neglect at Alger Correctional facility, in Munising, Michigan.

Background:

Last summer at Alger County Correctional Facility, a queer black prisoner named Rodriguez Montez Burks was being harassed and threatened by a homophobic cellmate. Burks repeatedly asked to be moved to a different cell but the guards refused Burks’ request for safety. Burks’ cellmate finally snapped and killed Burks explicitly because of Burks’ sexuality.

We know the details of the guards role in this murder because of a prisoner who witnessed the incident and was willing to speak to the media. That man is named Todd Wentworth, and he has faced brutal and persistent retaliation because of his brave decision to speak up against the corruption and violence in the MDOC. Todd’s testimony has also enabled a lawsuit against the MDOC related to the guards’ role in this murder.

The harassment against Todd has been ongoing since he first spoke up over a year ago. After facing repression from both corrections officers and administrators at Michigan Department of Corrections in the form of harassment and threats, they also interfered with his parole process for not “minding his own business”.

MAPS recently received a letter from him (in mid October) detailing some of the retaliation he has faced over the past few months and also the extreme toll that this ordeal has taken on his mental health. He was transferred multiple times and was each time immediately was harassed by the guards. He was threatened, given bogus tickets, and even thrown in the hole for calling a C/O racist. Things got bad enough that he made a suicide attempt by overdose. In the ensuing ambulance ride a guard broke Todd’s pinky finger to threaten him, and just recently Todd had to undergo surgery to repair it.
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Note: We should also clarify a detail about Todd. When he was a kid he, according to him, was hanging around with the wrong crowd. He got a few white power tattoos, some of which he has since covered up. We believe that his subsequent actions absolutely speak louder than any tattoo he got in his past and we think he should be supported because of this, but we also want to be transparent in case any one decides to look up the details about Todd online._

The Demands:

– That MDOC addresses and ceases all harassment by Corrections Officers and prison administrators against Todd.
– End threats by MDOC administration to deny Todd parole in retaliation for his whistle-blowing
– Transfer Todd back to a U.P. Facility by the second week of January, as promised by Deputy Warden Macauley, so he can have regular visits with his son.

Call:

Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility Warden Tony Trierweiler
call (616) 527-2510, press 5 for departments, then press 9 for warden’s office

MDOC Director, Heidi Washington
517-335-1426


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