Inhumane Conditions at Missouri’s SECC Prison

Below is a description of the conditions at SECC prison in Missouri. Please call Warden Ian Wallace at (573) 683-4409 and ask that these conditions below be remedied as soon as possible.

Here is a “How-To” video for calling prisons

How to participate internationally: You can make an international voice call to the US very cheaply using google voice / hangouts. You can also email and ask for your message to be forwarded to SECC Prison Warden Ian Wallace.

At the end of the letter below, you will find a list of prisoners names and numbers. If you have a PO Box, please write to them and send notes of solidarity. They can all be reached at:

Prisoner Name #XXXXXXXX
Pedro Simmons Drive
Charleston, MO 63834

This is the collective letter we received from an IWW member in prison…


Unconstitutional prison conditions of Southeast Correctional Center, AKA “Charleston”, located at, 300 Pedro Simmons Drive/Charleston, MO 63834.

Officials at SECC have an established custom of abuse when it comes to the utilization of their “Administrative” discretion. While “Disciplinary Segregation” is a form of confinement imposed upon an inmate for punishment, “Administrative Segregation” is not punitive in nature (or it is not supposed to be), it is merely for “safety and security” concerns, meaning, even though those on “Ad”-“Seg” status and “Dis”-Seg” status are confined in the same Housing Units/Living Areas/Cells with one another, there is a great distinction to the nature of the two status, however, the only difference in the way they are imposed: if you are on Dis’Seg’. you can’t use the phone and you can’t go to recreation. Now here’s the kicker! Whether on “Ad-Seg” or “Dis’Seg”, neither can use the phone except for once every 30 days, if you’ve gone 30 days without receiving a “misconduct report”, so it doesn’t matter which status, both are subjected to 30 day “phone restrictions.”

The so called “recreational” priviledges are also a joke. Keep in mind, some (most) inmates are on “Ad-Seg” status, not because they violated any institutional rules (like myself), but for reasons such as: the inmate needing protective custody, or being placed under investigation, or because of a bed not being available in “general population” due to the always existing problem with over-crowding, or for another reason which I’ll try to explain later. What they consider “rec” is a 3 hours a week inside a 41/2 x 11 feet cage (resembling a “dog kennel”), two persons to a cage that is smaller than the cells we sleep in, and we are given no exercising equipment, all one can do, is jog in place. This is not rec! This is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Regardless of which status you’re on, you’re only allowed 2 showers a week that’s one 10-minute shower every 3 days, if that ! From 12/18/14 to 1`/16/14, twice we were made to go 4 to 8 days without a shower! During that 30 days, (H.U.2-B-Wing) we were only allowed 8 showers! And we are only given a hotel sized bar of soap once a week and one roll of toilet paper a week, which often run out of before we’re issued more.
On either status, we’re restricted to one “canteen” purchase every 30 days, where we can only buy writing material, deo, t-paste, t-brush, phone-time and a tiny bottle of shampoo, and ONLY 20 stamps! What else? In Housing Unit #1 they have a cell called the “rubber-room”, a cell with nothing in it but a hole in the floor, yeap, the old “Chinese-Toilet”, highly unconstitutional!

Most of the time we don’t get to clean our cells because, the one time a week that they come around with the cleaning supplies (which is re-used from cell to cell/toilet to toilet, same rags re-dipped in the same solution), it be around 1 or 2 in the a.m. so we’re mostly asleep, or we don’t want it because it’s too contaminated by the time they reach our cells with it.

Getting medical care is also a major issue here at SECC, in the 10 prisons I’ve been in, I’ve never seen poorer medical services, if you are having an issue, you have to submit a “Health Service Request” form. It takes two weeks for a nurse to see you for the problem, and months to see a doctor, same as with the dentist.

This and other problems can be attributed to the problem with “Overcrowding”, which lead to many cases of “false imprisonment”, inmates are completing the terms of their sanctions and are being kept in the hole for weeks afterwards on a status called “bed space”, which means they have to go locking inmates up or wait for transfers for a bed in “general population” to become available, while some people (like me) are held (confined to a cell) without any process.

Since I arrived at this institution, I’ve been experiencing the same hardships that inmates here resolve to accept as “the norm” : Months on “Ad-Seg” status because the Administration says they need to “monitor our behavior” (in other words; You haven’t done anything wrong, but we’re going to confine you to a cell for a month or months to see if you are going to do something wrong in the future. By the way, during this time, all privileges, rec, phone, canteen, visiting, showers and religious programs will be extremely restricted), What!?! They even locked me up for a violation I received over 9 months ago at another prison, after that prison punished me and let me out of the hole! This is what they do! This is why I am currently in the hole on “Ad-Seg” status. I haven’t had a violation in 90 days prior to arriving at this camp from a less secured prison, so why does my behavior need to be “monitored”?

They have “metal-slides” on our cell doors that slide over our windows so that we can’t see out into the wings (living areas) during major shake-downs. This is to keep us from reporting the abuse of other inmates, something we have a right to do if we witness it.

These people are opening and reading our “Legal Mail” before they bring it to us and they hinder us from the courts by not bringing us notaries when we request them, I’ve been requesting a Notary for 21/2 weeks. They don’t respond to the “Emergency/Distress buttons”, if you are having a medical emergency or being attacked by your cellmate, you have to hope the guards come in your unit soon, then kick on your door and holler for help ( and they sometimes mace us for that.)

They got these timers set-up on the toilets that causes the toilets to lock-up (not flush) for 30 minutes if you flush more than twice in 5 minutes, so if my cell-mate takes a “number-two”, he can’t flush as he drops and I’m forced to inhale his odors.

If all of this isn’t enough, we have mice running in-and-out of our cells every night and an “Offender Grievance” system that is designed to take 6 months before exhaustion, to discourage us from going to court and so that the damage is already done before they have to come to a final decision in regards to the complaint.

And the complaints go on-and-on, but as long as they intend to keep up the inhumane/unconstitutional injustices (throughout the entire M.D.O.C.), I intend to keep exposing them and suing them too, God-Willing, but we could really use some more outside support, so contact us if you will!! Thank you for caring.

This list is a minimum of us who are being subjected to the ill going-ons of SECC. You have our full permission to publish…

Deandre Cothran #1111360
Justin Werneburg #1188247
Craig Coward #1030723
Matthew Whittenburg #1124824
Bobby Bysor #1106202
Mr. Anthony Howell #1031041
Larry Hart #1044353
Mike Smith #185837
Theron Hendricks #1143106
Donald Hutson #528720
Shiekh Alphonso Adams EL #159571
Thaddeus Dumas #1159270