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MS Prison Rights Litigator Threatened

Julio Wicks is a pro se litigator who has been struggling for years to improve conditions at Mississippis Parchman Penitentiary, which he characterizes as a "Plantation." As he puts it, "There are 8,000 Black slaves [of a total prison population of 10,000] on this plantation! 6,500 Black slaves are functionally illiterate. They work in the field approximately 12 hours a day with a white man on a horse, a shotgun cradled in his arms."  

Julio has tried to expose the racism, oppression and corruption at Parchman. "The corruption here starts at the top. Marijuana, crack cocaine, etc. could not get in this prison in the volume it does without approval from the top. Once in a while they will think its time to sacrifice an employee and they will. Right... they sacrifice a Black officer. Something to appease the public... There is something very sinister about this prison. Ive come to that conclusion by observing activities here. I cant put my finger on it... everything associated with this joint stinks real bad."  

Julios perception is substantiated by the Jackson Advocate newspaper which stated that eleven prison officials have been charged with perpetrating and or covering up the 1991 beating of prisoner Larry Floyd Jr. Five of the prison employees pled guilty. [See: PLN Vol.5 No. 10] According to the same Advocate article, the corruption extends to every level of the MDOC.  

Julio has been severely punished for his refusal to cow under to the Plantation Massers. He has been indefinitely confined to a maximum security control unit 23 hours and 45 minutes a day. His overseers interfere with his mail and mess with his food. Last year a fellow prisoner informed him that a "contract" was out on him, and the contract was issued by a senior prison official. The best way to fight corruption and oppression is to shine the light on it. Oppression thrives in darkness and secrecy. As long as Mississippi prison officials know that the world at large is watching, Julios safety may be secured.

For more information and regular updates on Julios struggle, write to: Raze the Walls, PO Box 22774, Seattle WA 98122-0774. Letters of support can be written to Julio at: Julio Wicks #79367, Unit 32 B. Parchman, MS 38738.

Raze the Walls

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