Monday, October 31, 2005

Support Needed for Political Prisoner Russell "Maroon" Shoats

I received the following email from the Jericho Movement today, which i am forwarding here – i encourage you all to take a moment and contact the concerned officials, demanding that they stop harassing this political prisoner. -k

Please call and write a letter on behalf of political prisoner Russell “Maroon” Shoats (background info below).

Russell “Maroon” Shoats (#AF-3855) is planning to file a grievance today, Monday Oct. 31st, 2005. From October 13th through October 27th, all his mail was withheld, apparently COI Peters marked his incoming mail as “undeliverable.” Maroon just received mail from Oct 13,05 on Oct 27, 05, only because COI Peters took off Oct 27th. Under the prison’s own regulations, this is a violation of DC-ADM 803-3 (“Inmate Mail and Incoming Publications”). “It is the policy of the Department [of Corrections] to provide an inmate access to communication with members of society through the established public mail system.” See, DC-ADM 803, 4-4492. (

In addition, Maroon also says COI Peters threw urine onto prisoners in the surrounding cells of his unit last week. It's unclear at this point as to whether urine was thrown on Maroon. A recent commissary request slip submitted by Maroon, was pulled, leaving Maroon with no access to the commissary for that week.

When you call please be aware that you may be forwarded to some official whose job is to fill out complaint forms. That official may ask for your name, address, and telephone number. You should be ready for such questions. That official may also ask for your “relationship” to Maroon. You could just say that you are a “friend.” That official may ask for specific details. Just tell the prison official what we know, and nothing more. It’s not our job to provide details, it's the job of the prison to look into these issues and discipline their employees. Be firm, but polite. Not being polite could make things harder on the prisoner we're trying to support.

As you know, our comrades in prison rely on letters to communicate with their families and supporters and we can not allow this type to harassment against them. Maroon has been experiencing health problems recently and it is important that he be able to depend on receiving his mail. It is crucial that we support our comrades who are in prison. We can not leave it to their families and immediate supporters to do this work alone.

Please call or write the following officials and demand that all harassment of Maroon by Officer Peters cease:

Jeffrey Beard
Secretary PA DOC
2520 Lisburn Road
P.0 Box 598
Camp Hill, Pa 17001-0598

Superintendent Folino
SCI Greene
169 Progress Dr.
Waynesburg, Pa 15370

Captain Grainey
RHU Manager-SCI Greene
(contact info same as above)

Clifford O'Hara c/o
Office of Professional Responsibility
1110 Fernwood Ave.
Camp Hill, Pa 17001

Governor Edward G. Rendell
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 787-2500

More info:

Russell “Maroon” Shoats (#AF-3855) is being held in the control unit of SCI Greene, a supermax prison in western Pennsylvania. Maroon is aging in prison, like many of our freedom fighters, and has some serious health problems. Maroon is a 61-year-old man who has been in prison for over 33 years. He is a father, grandfather and “model prisoner,” who has only had one minor rule infraction in over 15 years.

Maroon was a founding member of Philadelphia's Black Unity Council which eventually merged with the Black Panther Party. While a member of the Philly Panther chapter Russell was arrested and tried for the murder of a police officer. He received an unfair trial, and without adequate legal representation he received two life sentences. Maroon has spent decades in a lock-down sensory deprivation unit.

It is crucial that we support our comrades who are in prison. We can not leave it to their families and immediate supporters to do this work alone.


For more info visit:

Write to Maroon and let him know he has our support:

Russell Shoats #AF-3855,
SCI Greene,
175 Progress Drive,
Waynesburg, PA 15320


1 comment:

  1. hey all, i received a letter today from Maroon, just want to clarify
    the mail problem. He said all the mail that was withheld was marked "ATA" which stands for authorized temporary absence, which is used when a
    prisoner is in the hospital, at court, funeral etc. Maroon hasnt been out to the hospital since July 8th when he had the biopsy. He also said
    that the ATA markings were not done by the security dept. or other
    higher ups but by Officer Peters, his pod officer. He said several
    letters had this marking on them but other letters were delivered to
    him, so Peters , it appears is being selective as to which mail he's holding up.......hope this clarifies things with the mail....

    Solidarity and Struggle!
    Philly ABCF