On Tuesday, July 21st, one day after people around the country participated in a historic #StrikeForBlackLives, a group of nine predominantly Black men held in the Special Housing Unit (or SHU) at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin are entering the fifth day of a new hunger strike to protest intolerable conditions. One of them, Carlington Cruickshank, urgently needs medical attention. Carlington has been experiencing worsening chest pain, stomach pain, and blurred vision for over a month and a half, and he has been told that he won’t be able to see a doctor until the end of August. He is afraid for his life.
The men in the SHU are also demanding adequate food (after months of nothing but rice and beans every day), an end to vindictive incident reports from staff, more regular access to clean laundry and hygiene supplies, and a transfer out of this restricted unit. This is their fourth hunger strike since March, and the fifth strike to our knowledge in the facility. Please join us and take a few minutes on Tuesday to make sure prison staff know we’re watching and to demand that Carlington receive medical care immediately.
North Lake Correctional Facility: 231-745-9711
Federal Bureau of Prisons, North Central Region Office: 913-621-3939
“I’m calling in support of the men who have been on hunger strike since Friday in the Special Housing Unit at the North Lake Correctional Facility, and to demand medical care for Carlington Cruickshank, inmate number 70473-004. By law prisoners must receive adequate nutrition and healthcare. This strike is sending a clear message that after months in the SHU, these men’s basic needs are still not being met and their basic rights are being violated. You have an obligation to cooperate with their demands, and Carlington needs medical attention right away.”
Try to get someone—anyone—on the other end. But even if you can’t, leaving a voicemail is helpful. Add your own thoughts to the script if you want. Try not to be flustered if the person on the other end attempts to derail your message by arguing small points. Remember the big point: People are putting their bodies on the line and we’re here to voice our support for their demands.
Please feel free to leave a comment letting us know how your call went or reach out with any questions.