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Oct 19, 16

Call-In to Stop Torture at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility

From Riffi Bloomington 

Please call Wabash Valley Correctional Facility Superintendent Richard Brown and Indiana Department of Corrections Commissioner Bruce Lemmon to protest the ongoing torture of inmates in disciplinary segregation at WVCF!
More information below.*

Richard Brown: (812) 398-5050
Bruce Lemmon: (317) 232-5711

“I am calling to protest the ongoing torture of prisoners in disciplinary segregation at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. The prisoners are being tortured by slow starvation and exceedingly cold temperatures in the cells.  The food rations these prisoners are receiving are dangerously insufficient, and the staff keeps the AC on so high that prisoners are constantly cold. Please examine the practices of the staff at WVCF in regard to the provision of food to inmates in and their operation of the heating and cooling system in disciplinary segregation. Also, please repair the sink in the cell of James Phillips (DOC #106333), because it is currently broken to the point that he can’t get water to drink unless he puts his mouth on the faucet. Thank you.”

FB event here.


From James Phillips #106333, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility

To Whom it May Concern,

My name is James Phillips (DOC #106333) and I’m a mentally-ill offender at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Since I’ve been at this facility I’ve endured and been subjected to abuse and harsh conditions on all levels.

Last Fall and Winter I was housed in K-Housing Unit, which is the Special Needs Program for inmates with mental illness and after a month into attending the program my mental illness symptoms increased dramatically due to abuse, stress, and ineffective treatment. The cells have no heat in the wintertime, and we receive lukewarm air at best, and most of the time we have to sleep in all of our clothes (even our coats) just to stay warm. The areas where the officers are and patrol have fairly good heating and the temperature difference outside of the cell is considerably warmer than inside the cells. I’ve filed numerous complaints and nothing has been changed or done about this matter.

Also, while attending this program I’ve been racially targeted by officers and harassed daily, verbally and mentally, and received bogus conduct reports that are not true. I’ve also found that inmates in regular population have been subjected to the same abuse and conditions.

In February I was assaulted by two inmates and in return I defended myself and was discharged out of the Special Needs Program and sent to a lock-up unit, which violates my mental health code because it worsens my mental health condition. The two inmates who assaulted me were not sent to a lock-up unit and got to stay in the program, which is unfair and biased. I believe I was singled out because I’ve filed numerous complaints exposing the wrong-doing of officers and staff involved in the program.

While in CCU lock-up unit my mental health symptoms have gotten worse. I started hallucinating and was seeing worms in my food so I quit eating and was brutally sprayed with Mace and OC Gas because I couldn’t get to my feet quick enough to be handcuffed. I didn’t eat for eleven days. I was then placed in a cell designed for holding inmates temporarily passing through which had no toilet, sink, or running water, for three days. I had to use the restroom on the floor and had no water to drink, nor did I have proper bedding because the cell wasn’t designed for overnight stays so I slept on the floor. I was then removed from the that holding cell and placed back in the contaminated cell where I had been sprayed. They never cleaned the cell like they were supposed to.

I still struggle with paranoid thoughts of incidents I’ve been subjected to and that I’ve seen others be subjected to. Since I’ve been in the CCU lock-up unit I’ve lost thirty-five pounds due to lack of food being placed on trays, or small portions, which is done as a deterrent so offenders will not want to come back to a lock-up unit. I’ve filed complaints about this also and nothing has happened.

Also, officers are leaving us in the showers for over an hour after we’ve finished showering as a deterrent to prevent us from coming out of our cells to take showers, which makes their jobs easier. Every day it is a constant struggle and a different form of abuse. They are also tearing up our cells during shakedowns, when we come out to go to rec or shower to prevent us from coming out. It’s crazy here at this facility because staff rarely follow IDOC policy.

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It turns out South-Central Indiana isn’t such a placid spot after all. Cop racism provokes clashes in Evansville. Repression on the Secure Housing Unit leads to prisoner protests in Wabash Valley. When farmers and eco-anarchists organize against I-69, they are hounded and crushed. Close to home, the belt is being tightened with more and more restrictions on public benefits and the always-rising tuitions at IU and Ivy Tech, alongside enhanced police budgets to keep in line those who object. These tensions are our starting point: not for an abstract politics, but a will to expose these violent contradictions, and to struggle within them. Rififi Bloomington will aggregate news and events from a variety of sources and tendencies, with the understanding that locally, we have a choice: to watch passively as the world’s rulers impose austerity and repression globally and at home, or to coordinate our struggles and take control of our lives.

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