Greetings of love, peace and humanity!
On April 28, politicized prisoner Demetrius Grant went on a hunger strike here at State Correctional Institution Albion. He is presently housed in the medical infirmary, being force-fed by correctional officers through a court order.
Grant is on a hunger strike attempting to expose civil rights violations by rogue administrators known in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections as “The gang ain’t shoot straight.” Having lost 70 pounds, Grant’s health has deteriorated. Grant demands the following practices be ended:
Racist staffing: SCI Albion has over 545 correctional employees but only 51 are African-American, 10 Hispanic, two Asian, two Indigenous. There are no African Americans on the administrative or psychologist staff for over 1,000 African-American inmates.
Correctional mistreatment of the mentally ill: Ever since Central Office authorized that correctional officers could use chemical agents to suppress disturbances, they’ve been misusing them, especially on mentally ill prisoners.
In addition, there is incompetent medical service by staff. Solitary confinement is a fire hazard due to padlocks on doors. Food is unsatisfactory. Administrators allow subordinates to place false entries in prisoners’ institutional records.
On Aug. 23, prisoner Nick Hornet committed suicide in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is the Level Five housing unit. It’s the most secure housing unit in the prisons and is micromanaged. So how does a prisoner kill himself? In comparison, billionaire Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while incarcerated, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr started an investigation.
Grant has a history of exposing injustice for a quarter of a century. Before correctional officer Charles A. Graner Jr. was exposed to the world over mistreating prisoners in Iraq, Grant exposed him at SCI Greene in the Pennsylvania case Grant v. Blaine filed in 2003. [In 2005 Army reservist Graner was found guilty of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and sentenced to 10 years in military prison. (tinyurl.com/yxr8qn7a)]
Grant’s family lives in the state of Georgia and is concerned about him. They repeatedly call local prison officials and the Central Office voicing their concerns, only to be literally disrespected despite Grant signing a DC-108 release of information form. These rogue administrators pretend they never received it.
This writer has repeatedly written SCI Albion Superintendent Michael Clark for approval to visit Grant in the infirmary to alleviate concern. The superintendent has denied the requests. SCI Albion rogue administrators have no compassion or humanity in their bone marrows and contradict criminal justice reform. The majority of these correctional officers are there to get money, not to help rehabilitate prisoners.
My experience in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is like Grant’s. Albion is racist and the correctional officers are incompetent and disrespectful (though not all). You don’t have accountability there.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel knows what’s going on at Albion but refuses to do something. He’s very like state legislators — Republicans and Democrats — who run a good game and know how to make money through the misery of prisoners.
I am calling upon prison opponents around the world to bring attention to Demetrius Grant’s hunger strike! These dangerous rogue administrators don’t care about Grant’s health, and will let him die.
Voice your concern! Contact Gov. Tom Wolf, 508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120 or at [email protected] or 717-787-2500.