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              MENARD
              Correctional Institute
                                      (Includes Death Row)

                    
                    Menard Correctional Facility, housing one of Illinois death row
       Read How The Illinois Department of Corrections Describes Menard Prison
                      Click above for the sanitized DOC version of what goes on at Menard

   Now read the truth from those who live there!

The Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty has recieved the following reports from death row inmates housed at Menard Correctional Institution in Menard Illinois, which houses Illinois' death row inmates as well as others sentenced to this maximum security prison:

                                           VISITS AND TREATMENT OF VISITORS: 
Family members show up here at Menard Correctional Centre and are instantly faced with harrassment on many levels.  Some of the methods used can be searching of their cars and then of their person.  This is all done with no consideration given that these are loyal tax paying citizens.  After this form of harrassment takes place, they are then subjected to verbal abuse.  They are asked why they are wearing certain kinds and colours of clothes, and what is their purpose of wasting these gaurds time by visiting some stinking inmate.  Then maybe they're asked, "that a wedding ring you're wearing? Well you have to remove it. Who cares if you haven't taken it off in the last 30-40 years, you want to see that stinking inmate? Then you best get it off now or leave and don't plan on coming back."  Then after all this, they're told to sit down and wait though there is no one even informed the inmate his visitor has even arrived.  As the clock ticks away the family member waits and waits and finally after what has sometimes become three or four hours under more verbal harrassment they are finally escorted up to see who they came to see.  These aren't family coming to see a guy who will be out tomorrow, next week, or even next year.  In fact, they're coming to see guys who are sentenced to be executed.  These aren't isolated instances, but the way each visitor is subjected to these various forms of harrasment each time they show up.

                                       COLD FOOD ON A DAILY BASIS
Condemned unit inmates have food trays brought to their cells.  These are styrofoam trays which food service personnel make up well in advance of delivery.  Each meal the food is just throwed on the tray.  Then when its delivered every meal is ice cold.  There is a food warmer used but it apparantely isn't being used properly because we haven't had a hot meal in well over two years.

                                       VERBAL AND MENTAL TORTURE
Officers, working unit whether in just simple gaurd capacity or supervisory positions continually on a daily basis submit inmates to verbal and mental tortures.  These officers are allowed to say and do anything they feel like.  There is no standard of professionalism set for them to follow.  Inmates are forced to put up with verbal abuses.  If they reply in kind they are wrote up for insolence and disciplined.  Yet when you read the rule of insolence it states, "talking, touching, gesturing or other behaviour which harrasses, annoys or shows disrespect."  but this standard is forced upon the inmates to follow - the officers can and will say anything to you.  Some have even began to make homosexual innuendos.  This form, along with statements laced with all sorts of disrespectful words such as 'Bitch,'  'Son Of A Bitch,'  'Punk,' and 'Whore,' all these are directed towards inmates daily on three different shifts.

                                                       MEDICAL CARE
In order to recieve medical care one has to be a prophet.  You have to turn in a sick call slip stating what your illness is.  Then maybe after 4-5 of these slips maybe just maybe a med tech will show up at your door.  With this type of procedure you have to forsee an illness coming so you can maybe get some medication at least.  Then med techs will tell you, hell, you only have a headache, why, you don't need any aspirin they are going to kill you anyway.  If and only if you ever get to see a doctor  then you have to get an interpretor because he barely speaks english, seems the only english known to him is, 'Don't play basketball, don't lift weights, just lay down and don't do anything, you'll be allright,"

                                                 SANITARY CONDITIONS
Inmates are forced to live in a disenfectant free environment.  They are told that it isn't allowed upon the unit.  Yet there is a variety of showers and each cell contains a sink / cell toilet combination.  The showers are filthy and have mold and mildew growing upon the walls.  These showers are used by approximately 60 inmates yet are never ever disenfected or cleaned anywhere close to proper.  Trash is lying in the corners, and cockroaches and water bugs run rampant.  Cleaning supplies are more times than not out of stock whenever an inmate asks for them to clean his cell. Again no disenfectant.  Only a brillo pad and soap are available and these on very rare occasions.  Flus and colds run through the unit with no way allowed to kill the germs associated with such illnesses.

                                    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE NON EXISTENT
Inmates are told to file a grievance for anything they feel is being done to them.  Yet there to place these in the institutional mail which never seems to deliver the grievance.  So after repeated attempts to get a grievance filed it is finally delivered but it is dismissed right away because it didn't reach its destination in the time allotted to complain about a certain problem.  They claim you have thirty days from the infraction to file grievance with a counsellor that no one knows when or if he'll show up on the unit.

***ADMINISTRATION THREATENING INMATES NOT TO TELL THE TRUTH IN ORDER TO ASSIST THE STATE IN MURDERING A MAN WITH AN IQ  IN THE LOW 50s, AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LAW...

 from an inmates letter dated NOVEMBER 5/1998      (with his permission)

"Do you remember Anthony Porter?  As you read he's not a very smart guy, almost childlike, but these damn gaurds are giving affidavits to the court saying he plays chess and helps other guys with math, and he's one of the smartest guys on death row which is total bullshit.    So his attorney came to take affidavits from guys on the row, and after they left the administration came down and threatened guys that if they didn't retract their statements that they would be sent to super max and a bunch of guys did retract.  "

AFTER ALL THIS . . .  ANTHONY PORTER HAS BEEN RELEASED
FROM DEATH ROW AFTER ANOTHER MAN CONFESSED TO THE CRIME
 
  Click HERE to read more about what happened !

IN A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 13th, 1998
 a correspondant on behalf of himself and the other death row inmates there asks for our collective help.  quote from a small part of letter:

"...was hoping I could ask a favor.  See, conditions here are so bad and we need to change them...we decided against violence because when the violence is done its still the same anyway...so we decided the best way to attack is with paperwork and a lawsuit."

He has asked us to send him any information / reports regarding prison living conditions, cruel and unusual punishment, standards for prisons  or cases that would help them.  He mentions one by the AMA and one by the ACA...if anyone knows of either of these or other documents that can help them, or is an attorney interested in helping in Illinois, please contact us at

                                                        info@ccadp.org

He has asked us to post on the internet for the help of anyone who can
assist them with these types of prison issues.
          PRISONER ABUSED BECAUSE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS !
       LATINO PRISONER WRITES ON RACISM AND KKK GUARDS !
Click here to read segments from a complaint a group of Death Row Inmates
sent out to various government officials, media and human rights groups in March of 1997.  
The inmates who sent it to us here at the CCADP want it known that no one responded, 
and after that they gave up trying to get ouside help.  Please read this, it details many
of the abuses going on,  in the words of Menard's death row inmates.

THIS PAGE  WILL BE UPDATED AS WE RECEIVE FURTHER REPORTS ON ABUSES.   IF YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY IN THE ILLINOIS AREA OR SOMEONE WHO CAN OTHERWISE ASSIST IN THE INMATES ATTEMPTS FOR LEGAL ACTION AND/ OR INVESTIGATION OF CONDITIONS AT MENARD, PLEASE CONTACT US AT:
                            info@ccadp.org



                                                       LINKS

 Penpal Requests From Illinois Death Row Inmates
 Aaron Patterson - Innocent On Death Row at Pontiac, Illinois
 Martin Wooley - Menard Death Row Inmate Writes On The Death Penalty
 Darrin Shatner - Inmate Persecuted Due To Religion
 Robert Castillas, Death Row Prisoner, Writes On Racism And Abuse At Menard
 Dennis Emerson - Purchase Art From Illinois Death Row
 Brad Kirchner - Purchase Art From Illinois Death Row
 Demetrius Henderson - Writings From Illinois Death Row
 Aldwin McNeal - Illinois Death Row
 Patrick Page - Artist on Illinois Death Row
Anthony Ehlers - Writings From Former Death Row Prisoner - Now Doing Life
 


                  The CCADP offers free webpages to over 500 Death Row Prisoners
                                                Contact us for more information.
                                                  info@ccadp.org
            The Eyes Of The World Are Watching Now
                                                       "The Eyes Of The World Are Watching Now"


This page was last updated April 23, 2005                  Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty
This page is maintained and updated by Dave Parkinson and Tracy Lamourie in Toronto, Canada



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