Ohio prison activists issued the statement below.
People incarcerated at the Ohio State Penitentiary began a protest in mid-March and need our support to be successful in getting their demands met. Recently, guards at OSP have been forcing prisoners to stand in the showers for hours on end as a form of retaliation for speaking out. The protest seeks to end this form of punishment, as well as several other injustices inside the prison.
Without outside support and attention, protests like this one are much easier for the prison administration to sweep under the rug. It’s imperative that the administration hear from as many people as possible, so that they know we are paying attention to how they respond to this action.
The protesters are asking that as many people as possible call the prison and ask the administration to meet their demands! Call (330) 743–0700, ext 2600, between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT, and read the script as follows:
Hello, I am calling on behalf of the incarcerated people of OSP. I believe their demands are just and should be met as soon as possible. Those demands are as follows:
- An immediate end to the practice of retaliating against inmates by making them stand in showers for extended periods of time;
- For independent representatives from Columbus to be present for security reviews in order to ensure purposeful review of staff;
- An increase in the size of food portions;
- For commissary spending limits to be raised to $80 or for commissary prices to be lowered;
- To allow inmates full access to their tablets, as is standard in other Ohio institutions;
- Reinstatement of the arts and crafts classes from the Dick Blick catalog;
- For inmates to be provided with boxes for long term; and
- For hot pots to be made available in the commissary as they are in other Ohio institutions.
Will these demands be met in a timely manner?