After two months of call-in and letter-writing campaigns to his office, Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Godinez has reduced Mark Neiweem’s punishment for possessing anarchist symbols and literature to ONE MONTH revoked good time. Mark will now be released on December 12, 2013.
As a reminder, Mark was moved to solitary confinement in July and later charged with two serious disciplinary violations:
- Gang or Unauthorized Organization Activity, for his possession of “unauthorized” Anarchist symbols and friendship with another Anarchist in the prison
- Dangerous Written Material, for his possession of “unauthorized” Anarchist literature
After a hearing with an internal adjustment committee, the disciplinary action taken against Mark for these offenses included 6 months in solitary confinement and 3 months good time revoked, pushing his release date into 2014. Although this was significantly better than initially expected, we continued to pressure IDOC to release Mark on time.
Now this vindictive punishment for Mark’s political beliefs has once again been reduced, thanks in large part to public support and pressure to hold state officials accountable for his treatment while in their custody. He will serve only ONE additional month and be freed on December 12, 2013.
This victory would not have been possible without Mark’s legal team, who did so much more than simply represent him; everyone who called or wrote to Director Godinez and Governor Quinn to demand accountability; and countless people worldwide who sent letters and photos to Mark to keep his spirit strong.
Mark’s ordeal is not over, although it is a relief to have an end in sight. We have resumed preparations to welcome him back after his release and, more importantly, he is once again making concrete plans for his future after prison.
However, he is still in solitary confinement for another 10 weeks. He is still isolated even further behind a solid steel door with a feeding box, so he does not even have contact with the guards who feed him. He does not get enough to eat. His laundry recently went “missing” and he has struggled to have it replaced – meanwhile, the nights are getting very cold.
We cannot allow our support to diminish in wake of this victory – we must persist in our efforts to keep him strong and connected through this final phase of his incarceration. Please continue sending him letters and postcards. He has also requested photos, zines, essays, and news articles (preferably positive ones). All of the above should be printed on regular computer paper with no staples, stickers, or tape.
Mark Neiweem M36200
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764
Thank you again for your support. It means the world.