Saturday, April 11, 2020

Phone Zap: Protect Covid-19 Prisoner Whistleblower

Staff at Waupun Correctional Institution are persecuting and attempting to silence incarcerated whistleblower Elijah Prioleau! Elijah now needs massive advocacy and you can help by making phone calls to Warden Brian Foster on Monday.

Call Warden Brian Foster- 920-324-5571 press 0, ask operator for the Warden's office. Give your name if you'd like, then read this script:

"Last week you moved Leon Elijah Prioleau (#420053) into a cell with someone who has a history of battery and assaulting others, both staff and past cellmates. This move came after staff confronted Elijah for giving outside advocates information about Waupun's inadequate COVID-19 prevention practices. We believe Elijah was moved in retaliation against his whistle-blowing by placing him in an inhospitable cell with a violent cellmate and thus, creating additional risks to his personal safety. I am calling to demand that you move Elijah to another cell and ensure that he continues to receive tablet and phone access in order to communicate his well-being."

Elijah has been a source of information about the COVID-19 outbreak at Waupun Correctional since day 1. Here is some of the information he has given us:

Report on Waupun after exposure:

March 30 update:

April 7 update:

Call about the present situation:

Additionally, on Friday April 10, Elijah learned that all of his health appointments were cancelled due to coronavirus. These appointments had been scheduled at the start of march: "My GI [gastro-intestinal] consult @ UW Madison hospital, my Hematology clinic appointment @ UW Madison hospital, my Telemedicine appointment for the Immunology clinic @ UW Madison hospital, and my off site appointment for Diagnostic Radiology for Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)."

We do not yet know how widespread the practice of cancelling medical appointments for DOC captives is, whether this is something they just did to Elijah, or if they're neglecting the medical care for all incarcerated people to free up hospital space as COVID-19 spreads.

Incarcerated people are at the greatest risk for covid-19 exposure because of crowding and the DOC's long history of medical neglect. COVID-19 is spreading in the prisons as well as in society. It is under-reported due to inadequate testing practices, but likely to spread much faster and be more deadly due to crowding and medical negligence. Further reducing incarcerated people's immunity by cancelling their necessary treatments at this time is reprehensible.

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