The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Prisoner writes to us

Aug 26, 2002

... Every time I get to my release date I get a "false" misconduct charge on me in retaliation for my assisting other prisoners by being witness to beatings by guards on prisoners here, which is my reason for the letter now.

Here at Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility there is a pattern of guards in Unit 2 Detention beating up black prisoners while they are in full restraints and some on top-of-bed restraint position. The guards are white and extremely racist.

Prisoner Donald Turner #144118 was assaulted on December 14, 2001 by two guards, Fred Bandt (Clock #060944) and Bradley Baublitz (Clock #061116). They broke his nose. He was in full restraints and [his hands] cuffed behind his back.

Prisoner Fred Reeves #241575 was aaulted on July 7, 2002 by four guards, Basil Wolever (Clock #060811), K. Datema (Clock #060737), Officer Jolly (Clock #060775) and Officer Wolhfert (# unknown). Prisoner Kenneth Moore #201552 was assaulted on July 11, 2002 by guards, some of whose clock numbers are not known, but they work second shift in the Unit 2 Detention: Officer Pettit, Officer Jensen, Officer Bandt (Clock #060944), Officer Hall (Clock #060767), Officer Jamison, and Officer Huizing (Clock #070791).

Prisoner Moore went on an attorney phone call on July 12, 2002. When he returned to the unit, Guards Basil Wolever (#060811) and Daniel Stino (# unknown) plus Officers Wolhfert and Jolly and some other guards whom he did not know assaulted him again for telling the attorney about being assaulted.

All the guards are white; all the prisoners assaulted are black. This has been a systematic pattern of racially motivated prisoner beatings by white racist guards. There are no black guards working Unit 2 at Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility. Some of these guards claim to be members of the racist group, Aryan Nation.

We file grievances against guards and then we're put on grievance modification and issued a misconduct charge, which alleges we lied about the guards. Medical records exhibit the beatings occurred, but the guards say the prisoners assaulted them and had to be restrained.

How can a person assault someone when they are in leg irons, hands cuffed behind the back with two guards on either side and one who is behind holding the cuffs?

We need some assistance to cease these unprovoked, unjustified, retaliatory and racist prisoner beatings by white guards at Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility.

Anyone concerned should contact the person below to complain:

William Overton, Director

Michigan Department of Corrections

PO Box 30003

Lansing, MI 48909

Phone (517) 338-1426

Governor of Michigan John Engler

PO Box 30013

Lansing MI 48909

Phone: (517) 373-6800

Attorney General Jennifer Granholm

PO Box 30212

Lansing MI 48909

Phone (517) 373-1110

U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr.

2426 Rayburn House

Washington DC 20515

Phone (212) 225-5126

State Senator Jackie Vaughn III

PO Box 30036

Lansing MI 48909

Phone: (517) 373-7918