Call-In: Drop the Charges Against James Phillips!

Updates below

James Phillips #106333, a long-time IDOC Watch comrade, is being charged over $300 in restitution fees for a broken sprinkler in his cell, after the sprinkler fell down when he tried to use it to tie a clothesline up in order to dry his laundry, which was returned to him still wet. The sprinkler came apart and flooded his cell, and he gave all of his property to staff to keep it from getting wet, but when guards returned his TV it had a big crack on it that had not been there before he gave it to staff for safe-keeping. He filed a grievance about the destruction of his property, and in retaliation he was written up and charged the restitution fee for breaking the sprinkler (guards had previously made no mention of writing him up for the broken sprinkler). He was found guilty on the write-up without any trial, and sanctioned with a 30-day phone restriction that has just been lifted. James cannot receive any money for commissary until the $300 in restitution is paid off or the charges are dropped.

Please call Westville Warden Mark Sevier and demand that the restitution charges for the sprinkler be dropped, as it didn't even break (the pieces just came apart), it hasn't been fixed (so how could they know how much to charge?), and it only happened in the first place because James' laundry was returned to him still wet so he had to make a clothesline, which is the facility staff's fault.

Westville Warden Mark Sevier
(219) 785-2511

Sample Script:
"James Phillips #106333 is being charged restitution fees for a sprinkler that came apart and flooded his cell as a result of negligence on the part of facility staff. The sprinkler is not even broken, the pieces just came apart, and it has not been fixed. Please drop the restitution charges and the retaliatory disciplinary charges, which were assigned without a hearing which a violation of Phillips' Constitutional right to due process."

Update 11/19

We have just received word from James that he has contracted a staph infection due to the mold and accumulated filth in his cell that is a result of not being able to buy any soap or hygiene products because of the $300 restitution he is being charged, which allows the facility to take any money that is sent to him. Please mention this when you call in.

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