Mark “Migs” Neiweem (of the NATO 5) has been in solitary since July 13th – without being charged with any violation and without a chance to defend himself. Call, e-mail or write the Director of the Department of Corrections to ask that he release Mark from solitary.
For Mark, being in solitary means reduced visitation, no phone calls, limited commissary, and isolation from all human contact. Mark had enrolled in GED classes and was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, invaluable resources that he is denied access to while in solitary confinement. Due to his limited ability to communicate with the outside world, Mark’s transfer to solitary was discovered when supporters paid an unannounced visit on July 18. We have been working with his legal team to try to resolve this situation ever since.
As a reminder, Mark accepted a non-cooperating plea deal in April after serving 11 months at Cook County Jail, where he was beaten and interrogated regularly. He is serving the minimum sentence of 3 years for his charges and, with time off for good behavior, will be paroled in November. He has spent the last several months in the medium security unit at Pontiac Correctional Center planning for his future after release.
You can read the communiqué Mark wrote while at Pontiac here: https://nato5support.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/open-communique-by-migs-mark-neiweem/
We are asking every concerned person around the world to call S. A. Godinez, Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, at (217) 558-2200 and Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, at (217) 782-0244 and ask to speak with them, demanding:
- Why is Mark Neiweem being held in solitary, despite his clean disciplinary record?
- Why is Mark Neiweem being denied due process to defend himself against any allegations of misconduct?
- Why is Mark Neiweem being denied access to resources for his upcoming release, including the GED class he enrolled in and the Narcotics Anonymous meetings he voluntarily attended?
- Remove Mark from solitary now and send him back to medium security!
Additionally, you can email your concerns to their offices at the following links.
Director Godinez: http://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/contactus/Pages/default.aspx
Governor Quinn: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx
A sample letter is provided here:
Dear Director Godinez / Governor Quinn:
I am writing in regards to an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center, Mark Neiweem (M36200). Until recently, Mark was housed in the Medium Security Unit after nearly a year of pretrial detention at Cook County Jail. His friends and family had noticed a positive change in his attitude since resolving his case and being transferred to Pontiac. He resumed his GED studies, began attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and was making detailed plans for his parole in November and his future beyond that.
As of July 13th, Mark has been moved to a maximum security division at Pontiac, where he is being held in solitary confinement. He has no disciplinary record for violence at Cook County Jail, Stateville, or Pontiac and has not been charged with any misconduct now. He and his legal team have been informed that he is “under investigation” with no further information available.
I would like to know:
Why is Mark being held in solitary, despite his clean disciplinary record?
Why is Mark being denied due process to defend himself against any allegations of misconduct?
Why is Mark being denied access to resources for his upcoming release, including the GED class he enrolled in and the Narcotics Anonymous meetings he voluntarily attended?
I am concerned that Mark’s well-being is in jeopardy for no valid reason and request that his case be reviewed. I would also like to request that Mark be moved back to medium security while he is under investigation, as he has not caused harm to any other inmates and is, in fact, focused on preparing for his own upcoming release. Transferring him back to medium security will allow Mark to continue working toward his GED and getting support for substance dependency through Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
We miss Mark and look forward to seeing him again in November. In the meantime, it is important to us that he have every chance to build a strong foundation for a new life after parole.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
By calling on Director Godinez and Governor Quinn to demand answers, we are holding them accountable for the treatment of Mark and all other prisoners in Illinois. Using the force of our network, we will show them that arbitrary punitive measures will not be overlooked nor tolerated.
We won’t sit down.
We won’t shut up.
We won’t forget about our comrade.
We will stand and speak for Mark. We will fight for him.
Call every day until Mark is released from solitary.
Share widely. Repost. Retweet.
For more information on the NATO5 cases, see http://nato5support.wordpress.com
You can write letters of support to Mark here:
Mark Neiweem M36200
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764