The following is a statement received by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) by prisoners in Missouri. It includes a call for support from within the facility that this past Saturday saw an uprising in response to drastic cuts in rehabilitation programs and recreation time.
From local coverage, which of course focuses only on the administration’s version of events:
The riot began as what inmates call a sit-down, where they ignore officer commands and do not get up.
We are going to start peaceful and we are going to let you guys know something is wrong,” the officer said [paraphrasing] a conversation he had with an inmate. “And he said, ‘well, from there we don’t know where it is going to turn.'”
Among other areas, the inmates destroyed the food area, kitchen, and a manufacturing facility after hot-wiring forklifts to break down the gates to get in…
….A spokeswoman for the Dept. of Corrections told FOX4 that last week they had finalized a plan to transfer some offenders elsewhere because of the staffing shortage, but had not had a chance to move on that plan before the riot took place.
That critical shortage has caused inmate recreation time to be slashed and programs to be cut, which is what inmates were upset about when they decided to take a stand.
Employees who were inside the prison during the riot said one of the most alarming things is that four gangs inside the prison – who usually hate and fight each other – actually banded together to organize and pull it off.
Now here is the real story and voice of the prisoners inside that very institution:
My homies call me Tiny G. from Crossroads C. Missouri. A place known in here as the ‘only destination for hell.’ We send G love to all the homies standing up. We had no demands here at Crossroads. Inmates of every race and non-Gs participated.
We only wanted them to allow rehabilitation programs and back recreation time. Anne L. Precythe has not heard our words to be treated right in years. Staff acted like we were kids to be punished. The admin want all the Gs to kill each other like in South Carolina. [Referring to prison facilitated inmate slaughter at the Lee Correctional Facility. Read an interview with prisoners about that here.]
This allows staff to justify locking inmates down for money raises. Inmates did not hurt the staff intentionally. Staff know how badly inmates here are being treated. All the Gs here will be joining, with other inmates, the strike August 21 throughout the state. Staff already know. August 21 was wrote on walls.
We are calling on all Gs to join us as one around the Nation on August 21. Stage more sit ins. Make peace for this. The Gs here are contacting our lines in others states.
Gs are being transferred in state and placed on stg lockdown. Here at Crossroads inmates are being denied medical attention, showers, law library, visitation, and feeding on time. Our meals is bags of green baloney and hard biscuits. Can you call to ask why we are not getting hot meals, showers, medical, and access to the law library for court deadlines. Staff say we may be like this for 2 months.
Anne L. Precythe, Director of Corrections
2729 Plaza Drive P.O. Box 236 Jefferson City, MO 65102
Matt Sturm, Deputy Director of Corrections
Office of the Director: 573-526-6607