Letter Describing Abuse by Guards & Violation of Inmates' Constitutional Right to Petition the Courts at Westville Correctional Facility
Below is a letter we received from a comrade, James Phillips #106333, who is being held in the Westville Control Unit, about the conditions there. In the letter, James details how guards are causing divisions among inmates by manipulating their access to recreation and showers. He also discusses how he and all the other inmates are being denied access to LexisNexis, an online legal database, which is a violation of their right to petition the courts under the US Constitution.
To support James, find him on connectnetwork.com or write to him at:
James Phillips #106333
Indiana Dept. of Correction
Westville Correctional Facility
5501 S 1100 W
Westville, IN 46391
How are you? Hope all is well with you, your family, and all of our comrades. As for me, I’m doing the best I can considering the circumstances. I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I got those reading materials you sent and I’ve made copies and shared them with others. Thanks for all the love, support, efforts, time, or concern you’ve sent me and I’m truly appreciative for everything.
I’ve been going through even more lately and it’s been a little overwhelming. For starters administrative officers are still denying me a bottom range pass due to the injuries to my legs. I have bullets in my legs from being shot and I’ve had surgeries on both legs. I also take pain medication for these injuries twice a day and I’m still being denied access. I’ve also been having problems with officers trying to deny or persuade me not to go to Rec or shower. It’s been happening more often than expected and it’s starting to really get to me because now they’re telling other guys that they’re supposed to go at a certain time or that they’re next and then they’ll put someone else in and that causes problems among us and against each other. Because of this, inmates are throwing shit on officers and on the other inmates because the think either the officers or the inmate got in their way. It’s crazy. Technically, the officers are not denying our Recs and showers they’re just manipulating the situation.
I’m dealing with the same thing concerning my leg injury but I’m still waiting on the policy for medical attention. I do know that the IDOC is supposed to facilitate proper medical accommodations to inmates with documented medical issues. I know administration at this facility are not acknowledging policy nor request for policy procedures, so it’s hard to get anything done. I also sent numerous requests to the law library for these items and policies to no avail!! Also, the search engine in the law library has been broken for at least 7 months and it’s still broke. I don’t have access to LexisNexis nor anyone at this facility and it’s policy that I’m or we’re entitled to. I’m still requesting and waiting for these policies to no avail.
Also, officers are telling inmates on some accusations that inmates are snitching on each other which is a good thing if it’s the truth. But most of the time it’s not, it’s just a play or plot to keep us divided and they’ve been using it with remarkable results. Most of the time it’s just bullshit because these dudes back here don’t care about snitching they just do it out in the open whether it’s pig snitching or flat-on snitching!!! This crazy ass place is unreal!!! I’ve never seen anything like this!!!
I talked to the Lieutenant and he said that 98.5% of the offenders at this facility/WCU have mental health issues and take medication for these issues. It’s complete dysfunction!!! It’s scary and overwhelming at the same time.
Please call down here and speak with Capt. Smiley or the Warden or both and send those letters off to whomever can help. But please send help as soon as possible. I would also like to receive some more reading materials as soon as you can. As always, I truly appreciate all you do and words can’t explain my gratitude. Thanks for your time, efforts, concern, and for giving us a voice and presence on the outside. If there’s anything I can do to help or to help anyone in our movement let me know and it’s done. Please give my regards to all of our comrades and stay in touch. Take care— much love— and be easy.