[In solidarity with Robert Earl Council AKA Kinetik Justice, the Free Alabama Movement, F.A.M. Queen Team, Unheard Voices OTCJ, T.O.P.S., and Fight Toxic Prisons, I answered the Call for Action by issuing this email to the warden at Holman "Correctional" Facility this afternoon. If I have not heard from Warden Cynthia Stewart by noon Monday, I will re-send the email every day until Kinetik Justice is released from solitary confinement. Needless to say, I signed the actual email with my real name.]
Dear Warden Stewart:
It is my understanding that Robert Earl Council #181418 was brought to your institution on February 28th and was subsequently placed in solitary confinement without cause, apparently in retaliation for his role in leading a peaceful work strike in 2014. As a result of this indefensible action on your part, I have now understood that Mr. Council has been forced to initiate an official hunger strike (refusing all food and liquids) in protest, and will remain on such until justice is met and he is placed back in a population where he can participate in all programs afforded to his peers and others of his class.
From what I can gather, every day that goes by seems to prove that what Alabama needs is not more, bigger, and more expensive prisons, but rather administrators who are professionally capable of meeting the constitutionally-mandated and regulated responsibilities of their positions while preparing incarcerated citizens for their eventual release. Overcrowding, grossly inadequate staffing, and the overuse of random and brutal force against prisoners appear to run rampant in the Alabama DOC. Worse, any attempts to draw attention to such routine and unconstitutional practices result in the kind of retaliatory action such as you have now taken against Mr. Council since his arrival in your custody.
In any case, last week’s publicly reported descent of 300 “officers” on St Clair Correctional Facility (at what I can only imagine to be an incredible level of expenditure to the taxpayers of Alabama), followed so closely by your placing Mr. Council in solitary confinement without cause concerns me for his physical and emotional well-being. I am expecting you to release him into the general population immediately. I will continue to check on Mr. Council until this action is taken.
I feel it only fair to inform you that my blog on race relations and the criminal justice system has had more than 1,067,000 hits in nearly 200 countries. And I fully intend to publish a full accounting of this matter before nightfall.