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Feb 3, 22

Sean Swain’s Finger Chopped Off While in ODRC Custody

An update on long-time anarchist prisoner, Sean Sean from his partner. For more information on Sean, go here and here.

Sean’s partner writes:

Sean Swain is an infamous anarchist prisoner currently held in the state of Ohio. Before I get into writing about this three-ring circus I wanted to give some background on Sean to provide folks some familiarity with his case. Sean Swain is a long-term prisoner who has served over thirty years for a non-crime, yes you heard me right folks a non-crime, let me explain. Sean has been held without legal conviction or sentence since 1991 for the self-defense killing of a court official’s relative who broke into Sean’s home and threatened his life. In fall of 2012, prisoners calling themselves the Army of the 12 Monkeys (A12M) got rowdy at Mansfield Correctional, and the prison authorities assumed “that anarchist” Sean Swain must have been behind it and threw him in super-max isolation. Sean denies any involvement or affiliation with the A12M and is in the process of suing the ODRC for targeting him based exclusively on his ideology and political speech. During Sean’s stay in the prison industrial complex he has faced repression from the state including sexual assault from former ODRC staff Trevor Clarke. When Sean attempted to speak out about the sexual assault he faced PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) retaliation from the state in the form of domestic torture, illegal renditioning, and denial of parole four consecutive times. This PREA retaliation continues today.

After being transferred back to Ohio AFTER ODRC illegally renditioned him to Virginia they attempted to again move Sean out of state, again. As a tidbit to this story I have confirmed audio recording from ODRC staffing stating, “there is no reason listed on Sean’s file for him to be moved.” This is clearly a retaliatory move from ODRC staff. Sean has been a model inmate. While incarcerated he has gotten a paralegal degree from BlackStone, he has received a peace prize from Rosa Parks herself for his peace work done in prison, and has helped fellow inmates with their legal work for years. Sean has not been in ONE fight in THIRTY years and yet, he gets treated like a terrorist from the state because they are trying to cover up all of the illegal doings they have done to Sean.

On February 2nd, 2022 ODRC attempted to rendition Sean out of Ohio, again, illegally. When ODRC staff attempted to remove Sean from his cell part of his right pinky was chopped off because of the carelessness of ODRC prison staff. Sean was rushed to the hospital. Typically, to let me know he is still at OSP Sean will call at 6:30 am and let the phone right once. When I wake up I will see one missed called indicating to me that Sean is okay, however, I did not see a call so I knew something was wrong. At about noon I received a call from a comrade at ODRC letting me know something that happened when OSP staff had tried to remove Sean from his cell. The comrade told me there was “a lot of blood.” I called the hospital to check if Sean was there but, due to confidentiality reasons they could not tell me, fine. I called the prison medical staff and they did indeed confirm part of Sean’s pinky had been lost when OSP staff carelessly attempted to remove Sean from his cell. I asked medical if I could speak to my husband to which they told me it was “the shift commander’s decision” so I get transferred to the shift commander who tells me, “Sean doesn’t have access to a phone right now.” Fine, I figure he might be heavily medicated considering his finger was chopped off under OSP watch.

On February 3rd, I called medical to check-on Sean’s status. They indicate to me, “Sean has been released medically and that it is not their decision on whether or not he goes to his cell it’s custody’s” So, I get transferred to a shift captain who basically couldn’t tell me anything like when I would be able to hear from Sean, when he will get his property or, have access to a communications device. I hang up and call back because I have more questions. I get transferred to Officer Gordon (?) who makes a mockery of my feelings. He laughs when I ask him when I will be able to talk to Sean again and continues to repeat, “he doesn’t know anything,” seems like no one seems to know anything at OSP…I then call the warden’s office and report officer Gordon for mocking me. The warden’s secretary, who was very nice tells me she’s checking into it and that she would have the warden call me back. The warden calls me back and FINALLY tells me that Sean tested positive for COVID and that they “would not risk their staff’s health to let him make a call,” but, how are you giving him food and medicine? Anyway, the warden tells me Sean “has to quarantine for 5 days,” so I will be calling back in 5 days to talk to my husband. OSP is an absolute circus. I don’t know when I will be able to talk to my husband again on the phone. OSP has made my life a living nightmare. My husband is in pain and they will not let me talk to him.

Note: This statement has been slightly edited.


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Sean Swain is an anarchist prisoner, radio commentator, and author.

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