EDITOR’S NOTE: In February of 2021, the Wisconsin prison system (DOC) decided to reduce companies providing commissary to incarcerated people from three to one. As we previously reported, the company they chose is Union Supply. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about this upcoming change. Malik, who is incarcerated at Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), sent us the following response to what MJS has published. We have added a couple notes and hyperlinks to sources, to expand on what Malik discusses.
As usual, rather than be forthright & truthful, the Wisconsin prison system (DOC), via their mouthpiece John Beard, is spewing lies, half truths & omitting significant information about this vendor situation. One key thing in the Journal Sentinel article is Beard’s statement about there being a “security” issue with having Marcus as a vendor because our people can go to the store & purchase items. In essence, he’s suggesting that our people & Marcus staff will conspire to put contraband in the products.
Prisoners are isolated to ordering solely from union supply as a contracted vendor… I’m under the impression it violates the consumers protection act where we are to have price competitiveness and is at contrast with the reasons the doc initially cited as their reasons to start the four original vendors contracts in 2007 or so, which included wider selection and “price competitiveness”. Please advise … and stop this unjust overtaxing of loved ones and prisoners hard earnings especially where union charges way more than others, takes three times the wait to deliver and puts families on hold hours to place orders. Also, where prisoners earn 5¢ per hour and doc takes 50% of hat 5¢ for restitution even hough courts imposed 25% and hen turn around and take another 10% for release accounts. Who is criminal in his situation?!!
—Jose Soto #307830, prisoner at Waupun Correctional Institution
The Wisconsin DOC is working towards only allowing one vendor to provide essentials to their captives: Union Supply. There’s a whole host of issues that come along with this, not least of which being that monopolies are historically price-gougers and unreliable, because there is no competition, so they can proceed however they want and do whatever maximizes profits, disregarding the needs and rights of the people they’re doing business with. Continue reading “Union Supply Monopoly”
We need to talk about the Wisconsin Republican Party’s fascination with killing Black people.
On a national level, the way Republicans lined up behind Trump led to even conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin describing the party as a cult. When the pandemic spread and Trump led his people onto a path of denial and conspiracy theory, Rubin got more specific: calling the party a death cult.
Republicans in Wisconsin epitomize that death cult zeal–with a particular racial focus. From their reactions to the last year of pandemic and protest, to the upcoming budget process, the policy aims of the Republican Party consistently pursue the deaths of Black people. Their obsession most recently manifested in the state senate’s passage of Senate Bill 8, which explicitly denies covid19 vaccines to Wisconsin’s highest risk population: prison captives. Continue reading “Wisconsin’s Republican Death Cult”
Two weeks ago AbolishMKE broke a story about cell searches at the Racine prison (RCI) preceding new COVID cases and a quarantine. We sent the story to reporters (only Wisconsin Examiner seems to have picked it up) and asked readers to contact DOC officials demanding an end to cell searches, or “shakedowns.”
Sarah Cooper, head of the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) responded instead with more and worse shakedowns. According to a message from someone held at RCI, staff pulled everyone out of their cells at 9:30pm on March 5 for a surprise shakedown. Captives were brought to the gym and forced to sit together on the bleachers “thigh to thigh” for two hours while guards went through the cell block touching everyone’s property. Continue reading “Sarah Cooper’s COVID Spreader Shakedowns”
Staff at the prison in Racine (RCI) are forcing captives to congregate in the gym, and then going cell to cell spreading covid19 by tossing everyone’s property. They do not change gloves between cells, and at least one of the tossed units has gone on isolation quarantine.
Coronavirus is still present in Racine, and at RCI. The pandemic hasn’t magically stopped spreading via surfaces, so guards rifling through everything in an infected but asymptomatic person’s cell will carry virus particles to every cell they shake down subsequently. Read the details about the shakedowns in the message we got from someone held at RCI at the end of this post. Continue reading “COVID Spreader Shakedown at Racine CI”