South Central Correctional Center, Licking, Missouri
August 17 – 21, 2018 (exact end date uncertain)

Prisoners in the administrative segregation (ad-seg) unit engage in a collective protest in order to raise grievances regarding conditions in the unit. Prisoners use a tactic of refusing their cellmates on the basis of protective custody, forcing the prison to remove them from the double bunked ad-seg cells.

According to a statement from prisoner Jared Cole, because the prison lacked additional ad-seg cells in which to place the prisoners, they were instead “placed on iron benches, shackled with hands behind their backs for hours at a time where they are denied meals and, due to overcrowding, not offered any alternative cell to go to – ultimately forcing prisoners to accept living in a volatile situation just in order to get to eat.”

According to the statement, prisoners engaged in the protest were raising the following grievances:

“The conditions being called out are: indeterminate assignments to ad-seg units; being celled with another prisoner during these assignments; no access to personal property during these assignments; no access to canteen spends in order to purchase food items during these assignments (this is done at only one of six MDOC Level 5 facilities); not being able to communicate with family and friends via phone calls on a weekly basis; and not being able to purchase adequate hygiene items. We’re only allowed one spend a month in which we can only buy one body wash.”

Despite negotiations with the warden, Cole writes, “the administration retaliated by denying the law-required minimum amount of three showers and three hours of recreation a week, as well as cancelling the monthly canteen spend for hygiene items.”

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Citations:

Missouri prisoners protesting ad-seg restrictions in run-up to National Prison Strike shackled to iron bench“, San Francisco Bay View, September 30, 2018.

Background:

Crisis in Missouri prisons ‘downplayed’“, News Tribune, December 30th, 2018.