I would like the opportunity to expose the hazardous and unhealthful conditions of confinement in the prisons in the state of Wisconsin and all of its subdivisions; which has created a substantial risk of harm to all mentally ill prisoners, medically ill prisoners, and prisoners who are showing signs of illnesses.
Leading up to Milwaukee’s Shut Em Down 2021 mobilization, it’s important to remember that there are rebels and fighters in Wisconsin prisons. We don’t often hear about the kinds of massive strikes, uprisings, and escapes that are tracked at Perilous Chronicle, but that doesn’t mean people are safe or passive within Wisconsin prisons. Part of the Shut’Em Down mobilization in Milwaukee will include holding up the sacrifices and struggles of Wisconsin prison rebels in greater depth, but here is a start.
The way staff at Columbia CI (CCI) treat us with such disrespect is out of control. One will never actually know how we get treated without being here in real life to see for yourself. I’ve been in CCI for over 2 years now out of the 9 years I’ve been incarcerated. This is the worst I’ve ever seen. The staff will lie to you or to the higher-ups when brought to their attention. They will yell at you as if you are some animal and not a person, even if you’re not in the wrong and they are. It’s their way or nothing, like it or not, right or wrong. They do not care. They have the worst communication skills I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, not only in prison but EVER.
Guards go out of their way to make it hard for us. They abuse their power in so many ways. The things they do are so confusing to us, but who are we to try to ask a question?? All we get is total disrespect and told in an aggressive tone “GO LOCK IN NOW”.
[update: confirmation from a staff person at GBCI and the Brown County Sheriff’s office that someone did die. The sheriff’s office is doing the routine investigation. Oftentimes, they just talk to staff, so we encouraged them to also talk to people held on the unit, about the medical neglect they witnessed.]
On Thursday May 13th, 2021, guards at Green Bay CI killed an incarcerated man, who’s name we’ve been told was Antonio. At this time, we don’t know much about this person, but have heard the story from friends held there. Our understanding is that he and others on his tier were calling out for him to receive medical attention, but the guards ignored their pleas for help. Antonio died in need of medication.
For the second winter in a row, people held at Columbia CI have defended themselves against the daily violence of incarceration in that facility. We do not know many details yet, but we’re hearing that on Dec 30 and 31, three staff were severely beaten. The preceding incidents for these specific assaults remain unreported at this time, but we do know that prison is a site of daily violence and dehumanization, and in the face of these events, we affirm our belief that any act of resistance by any incarcerated person against staff is always an act of defense. Our message to DOC guards is simple: if you do not want to get hurt at your job, do not take a job based on routinely hurting people. Eventually, someone will fight back.