Monday, March 30, 2015

OSP Hunger Strike Enters Third Week

The range at OSP
Ten prisoners at OSP have been on hunger strike since Monday March 16th. Supporters have been calling the prison and the legal services department at ODRC central office with no discernable effect.
The Warden and OSP staff refuse to take the hunger striking prisoners seriously. Unit manager Charmaine Bracy and Major Hurst have both said that range rec will not be returned at all and that 5B prisoners will have access to religious programming through their cell doors. See below for what that means and why it is unacceptable.

Trevor Clark in legal services either ignores calls or re-directs callers in meaningless circles. It seems there is no one in legal services at the ODRC is taking responsiblity for making sure OSP does not abuse its captives' basic constitutional rights.

So, we're going to their boss, and then to his bosses.

Gary Mohr is the director of the ODRC. Please call him and tell him that the Warden at OSP is refusing to take the ten hunger strikers seriously. Demand that Mohr reverse this Warden's illegal policy changes. Tell him that it is not okay for him to turn a blind eye when his employees pursue collective punishment by putting through illegal and unconstitutional policies because of a few incidents with one or two prisoners.

Gary Mohr- 614-752-1150.
Write letters:
Gary Mohr, ODRC Director, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43222

Email:
drc.publicinfo@odrc.state.oh.us


Gary Mohr is the top of the ODRC hierachy, but the ODRC is supposed to be accountable to the people of Ohio. The mechanism for that accoutnability is the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC). Please join other supporters in filing complaints on their website http://www.ciic.state.oh.us/complaint-form
You can also contact these elected officials (especially if you live in their district) and ask them to investigate the recent policy failures at OSP.

Sandra Williams (D) Senate District 21 (614) 466-4857
Cliff Hite, Vice Chair (R) Senate District 1 (614) 466-8150
Edna Brown (D) Senate District 11 (614) 466-5204
John Eklund (R) Senate District 18 (614) 644-7718
Click the names to send emails.
Mailing address:
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor
Columbus, Ohio43215
Paul Zeltwanger (R) House District 54 (614) 644-6027
Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D) House District 15 (614) 466-3485
Bob D. Hackett (R) House District 74 (614) 466-1470
Michelle Lepore-Hagan (D) House District 58 (614) 466-9435
Click the names to send emails.
Mailing Address:
Vern Riffe Center
77 South High Street 13th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111

Religious programming through a cell door means that a clergy person or spiritual leader will speak with the prisoner through the closed cell door on the range for less than 5 minutes. The doors at OSP are solid steel. They are thick, and the range is a loud echoing concrete room with a dozen of these doors looking out on it. Prisoners behind each door attempt to converse with each other by shouting to be heard. It is a very loud place with no privacy.

Imagine being a catholic giving confession at the top of your lungs through a steel door while other prisoners carry on shouted conversations around you. Imagine trying to receive any kind of religious instruction in that environment. It is absurd for OSP staff to pretend that is a suitable replacement for the one hour long sessions in a seperate space that they are depriving these prisoners of.

2 comments:

  1. These inmates are offered to be removed from their cell to a private place for a one on one meeting with their spiritual advisors. Please let this be known. Because the whole truth should be heard by all

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll ask my contact about that next time he calls to verify it. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete