March 24, 2009
Warren G. Lilly, Jr.
DOC # 447655
DCI, P. O. Box 700
Waupun, WI 53963-0700
Judge A. P. Bissonnette
Dodge County Courthouse, Br. 3
210 West Center Street
Juneau, WI 53039
Re: Case No. 2007-CV-00392, WI DOC v. Lilly
On February 10, 2009 I put before the court a motion (Motion for an Order
Rescinding Lilly's Court Order Forced Feedings) asking it to rescind the order it issued allowing the DOC to force feed prisoners, in it I cited several reasons for requesting the motion. Today (March 23, 2009) I offer, by example, yet another reason for the Court to accept my motion and rescind its order allowing force feeding by the DOC. Three weeks ago (March 1, 2009) I asked the DCI Infirmary staff and management to provide me, as required, with a comb or pick suitable for my hair type. I was told that the Infirmary offered no such comb. I found this disturbing as, for the past fifteen to twenty years, more than half of the Infirmary's patients have been African-American.
As I've done at other prisons I informed the Unit Manager of WI Admin. Code Section 303.70(2)(b) which requires that prisoners in segregation status be given a [suitable] comb [or pick]. I first notified the Unit Manager, then the Security Director, and finally the Warden.
Today the Nursing Supervisor, Jim Hebel, came to my cage bearing a black plastic
pick. conspicuously marked with yellow paint "Unit 25". He gave me the pick then
informed me that it was intended to serve the entire Infirmary and that as other
African-American prisoners asked for the pick it would be "scheduled" out for use.
I cringe even to glimpse the cynical, hate filled mindset, the contempt for African-American prisoners which conceived the thought, "We'll buy one pick then let them all use it", then actually put that bigoted plan into effect. The Court must further consider that the group which conceived that shameful plan consisted of some combination of the Infirmary Unit Manager, the prison's Securi.ty Director, the Warden, and possibly a DOC OLC lawyer.
This, Sir, is a prime example of the bigoted and blighted nature of health care
services provided to African-Americans by the State's DOC HSUs. One pick to be
shared, scheduled out, among more than fifty African-American prisoners! The
very idea of sharing a comb under any conditions but especially in a hospital'
setting suggests a level of scorn that borders on depravity, a targeted contempt.
It is no wonder that, statistically, African-American prisoners who receive such
prison controlled health care have a higher mortality rate then the segment of the
free population that does not receive any or only emergency room health care.
The prison officials who masterminded this moronic, depraved, and insulting one-pick-for-all policy are the people, the mindset to whom the court's have abandoned their responsibilities for Americans behind the wall. One-pick-for-all is just the prison's latest dehumanizing policy. Yet, the State's lawyer's would plead with the courts for "deference" to such policies as "prison officials have the management experience and skills the courts lack".
What prison officials have is the court's tacit approval to maintain one of the last vestiges of institutionalized racism in America. And they do so with the court's blessings. I'm asking you, as the Court, to withdraw that approval, that blessing, by removing force feeding from the list of medical services the DOC HSUs can provide to prisoners. By their direct actions the DOC HSUs have repeatedly demonstrated their inability to manage the force feedings without degenerating them into either punishment or torture sessions. And indirectly, as typified by the one-pick-for-all policy, they have demonstrated a lack of responsibility, of human caring, or even medical propriety in their dealings with their given charges.
This Court must, I repeat must, begin to reshoulder its responsibilities to Americans behind the wall and do so by first rescinding its order allowing the DOC to force feed prisoners in its HSUs.
I've combed (picked) out my three weeks of matted hair and returned the "Unit 25"
pick to the Infirmary Unit Manager. I'll be damned if I'll participate in yet another planned indignity to prisoners.
How stands the Court?
Warren G. Lilly, Jr.
Gloria Thomas, Atty., WI DOC OLC
Tim Lundquist, DCI Warden
Rick Phillips, DCI Security Director
Fred Goetsch, DCI Infirmary Unit Manager