Supporters, please call OSP and ask Warden Forshey to honor the prisoners requests to not be handled by these COs- Kish, Titus and Burns. These COs have been problems long before the current hunger striking situation, and they stand out compared to the reputation for professionalism of most of the staff at OSP. Also ask Forshey to take the hunger strike seriously, and work with the prisoners to negotiate a resolution. Call Warden Jay Forshey at 330-743-0700 ext 2006.
These COs seem to like causing problems and making things difficult for prisoners in general, and at least CO James Burns has been up to this kind of thing for years at OSP. In 2010 he was declared the Ohio DRC employee of the year after an incident where he was stabbed by a prisoner named Cornelius Harris. Harris was charged with attempted murder, even though the stabbing implement wasn't much larger than a stick pin. Harris defended himself in court, showing videos of CO Burns taunting and threatening him for hours, before his cell door inexplicably opened, which is when the fight occurred. A jury determined that Harris was acting in self defense and found him not-guilty of the attempted murder charge.
Harris is the same prisoner who attacked a CO in the group programming booth recently, which led to the current policy changes. So what we have here is a few problem COs taunting and threatening prisoners, then being embraced as heroes when the prisoners respond in self-defense, which raises tensions in the institution and generalizes the prisoner's animosity toward all COs, leading to more violent conflict. Then the administration responds with collective punishment against other prisoners, leading to non-violent protest in the form of a group hunger strike. Now they have put the very CO who started this chain of escalating conflict and generalized violence- who was determined by a court to have provoked a violent self-defense response from Harris- in charge of these non-violent protesting prisoners is either incredibly stupid, or intentionally asking for more conflict and trouble.
The least Warden Forshey can do is honor the prisoners' request that Burns and his friends not be in charge of their movement to and from rec.