From an email by HRC/Fed-Up:
Multiple prisoners in solitary confinement in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) at SCI Houtzdale report that on July 2, thirty-three year old jailhouse lawyer Caine Pelzer began a hunger strike after being told by the prison that he would continue to remain in solitary confinement indefinitely, despite a model conduct record.
In a letter dated July 1, Caine reports that he had recently been made a worker in the Restricted Housing Unit and had received a recommendation from prison staff to be removed from the Restricted Release List, which is used by DOC officials to hold people in virtually permanent solitary confinement. The same day, he received a misconduct from the prison’s security office, who told him that it was because he had been sent a letter from someone outside the prison seeking his “ok” regarding an assault of another prisoner. He was charged with “engaging in unauthorized group activities” and told that he would remain in solitary confinement indefinitely.
Other prisoners on the unit confirm Caine’s exemplary record, saying that he was quiet and polite and only concerned with helping others with their legal work. They add that the prison’s notice of continued isolation for Caine came after he filed a lawsuit against staff at Houtzdale.
The Department of Corrections’ use of solitary confinement to break the spirits of those who challenge them in the courtroom is barbaric and must be stopped! Caine began his hunger strike in protest of this inhumane practice on July 1, and as of July 11 was still refusing food.
The following numbers are for DOC staff who need to hear your voice!
SCI Houtzdale Superintendent Steve Glunt
Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel