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Posts Tagged ‘prison protests’

“PHILADELPHIA – On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) continued its near-total lockdown of state prisons, confining most people in the department’s facilities to their cells 24 hours per day and prohibiting mail and visitation. According to the DOC, some facilities had some restrictions lifted over the weekend, and more facilities will lift restrictions throughout this week.

As the lockdown entered its seventh day, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania responded to the ongoing situation. The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania:

“The continuing lockdown at the Department of Corrections is gravely serious. We share the department’s concern about the health of the staff. The health of the people who are incarcerated is also of utmost priority.

“Unfortunately, the DOC has failed to provide meaningful transparency in this situation, leaving loved ones of people who are incarcerated uninformed and anxious about what is happening. And the public statements on the DOC’s own website talk only about the health of staff, with no mention of how many prisoners have become ill. If staff have been ill, it’s reasonable to conclude that prisoners have been sick, too, although the lack of information makes that impossible to confirm. Either way, the department has left prisoners’ families and the public in the dark on the health of the people who are incarcerated.

“The DOC should immediately provide public information about how many prisoners, if any, have become ill and how families can check on the status of their loved ones.

“The department must also reinstate mail and visitation privileges as soon as possible, as mail and visitation are constitutionally protected rights for people who are incarcerated.

“In a radio interview today, Secretary Wetzel stated that facilities will be back to normal operations by next week if there are no more illnesses. If there are more illnesses, he simply stated that the department will ‘revisit’ the situation. That response is inadequate. We do not accept the notion that the DOC can hold prisoners in their cells 24 hours per day, stop mail, and end visitations and phone calls in every state facility every time a staff person becomes ill. The health of the DOC staff is certainly critical, as is the health and well-being of prisoners. A statewide lockdown is a heavy-handed response that is detrimental to the long-term health of people who are incarcerated.”

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ACLU-PA Statement on Continuing Lockdown of Pennsylvania Prisons, September 4, 2018.

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“Two blockades shut down the Bristol County Jail & House of Corrections in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, which operates as a detention facility for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

At the main entrance, two climbers have attached themselves to structures blocking the road, to disrupt vehicles from entering or exiting the facility.

Approximately 250 feet away, people have locked down to a second entrance for vehicles.

Together, these blockades have effectively shut down this facility.

Bristol County has a 287(g) agreement with ICE, which allows state officers and employees to perform the duties of immigration officers.

We are calling for Bristol County to end this 287(g) agreement with ICE, which affects our undocumented and at-risk community in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Incarceration, detention, and deportation are all forms of family separation and we call for people to join us and #ShutDownICE within all of your communities.”

– Monday update by the FANG collective

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