Friday, September 30, 2016

Press Release 9 16: Assaults and Staff Cover-Ups Escalate at Waupun Prison


                    Assaults and Staff Cover-Ups Escalate at
Waupun Correctional Institution
Waupun, WI – According to recent letters from prisoner contacts, employees of Waupun Correctional Institution are coordinating attacks including extortion and sexual assaults against targeted prisoners.

“I been told by three different inmates the last couple of days that staves [staff] are recruiting inmates to give me a good beating before I leave Waupun; if so I will most likely die... since [my] heart is in real bad shape so I thought I had better tell you so if something dire happens to me” prisoner Jim T Smith wrote to outside supporters last Sunday. (
http://bit.ly/2dAQYsw)

According to Peggy Swan of the non-profit organization Forum For Understanding Prisons (FFUP) Jim has been the target of repeated sexual assaults, extortions and violence at the hands of prisoners and staff. “Officer Moungey has been orchestrating assaults by inmates, he opens Smith’s door and lets them in.” Swan says.

In an effort to help Jim Smith and other victims, Swan has written a report on the dysfunction of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in Wisconsin (see
https://ffupstuff.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/prea-report-final-all.pdf), contacted many and has tried to get Smith transferred to the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF) in Boscobel, but no actions have been successful thus far. Officer Andrew Moungey has been cited along with Waupun guard Joseph Beahm in multiple complaints and lawsuits, as exposed by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in January of 2014. (http://wisconsinwatch.org/2014/07/waupun-guard-named-repeatedly-in-abuse-complaints/)

Moungey and Beahm are not the only guards indicated in reports by prisoners. Another prisoner named Bobby Coil wrote Peg Swan a description of an attack naming five other staff members either involved in the attack or the subsequent cover up. “I've wrote complaints, talked to Lt [Lieutenant] and Captain to no avail, everything keeps disappearing.” Coil wrote. (read letter here:
http://bit.ly/2digcYz

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) has not disciplined Beahm or Moungey. The lack of accountability for staff and other conditions in Waupun inspired the Dying to Live hunger strike against long term solitary confinement which started on June 7th and continues to this day.

WI DOC routinely force feeds prisoners on hunger strike. Only one prisoner, Cesar DeLeon has been able to endure the dehydration and force feeding regimen for the entire 112 days of the hunger strike, but dozens of other prisoners have refused food for shorter periods.

FFUP has been working with other prisoner advocacy organizations, including The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), The WISDOM Network and Ex-Prisoners Organizing to expose abuse at Waupun Correctional and support the hunger strike. Despite multiple protests, call-in campaigns, and lobbying efforts they have been unable to alter either WI DOC policy or to move state law makers to address these issues.

The Incarcerated Worker's Organizing Committee (IWOC) of the Milwaukee IWW branch will begin regular informational pickets outside the Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility (MSDF) starting at noon on Thursdays. They intend to connect with prisoner's visitors. "Many of the DOC's captives come through these buildings. We hope to get enough volunteers to make an almost constant presence here, to help family members advocate for their endangered loved ones," said Ben Turk of Milwaukee IWOC. Turk and others will start the picket outside MSDF at noon on Thursday September 29.

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