For Immediate Release Press contacts: Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. Unheardvoices78@gmail.com Attorney Richard Rice 256-529-0462 firstname.lastname@example.org Nikki Davenport FAM Queen Team 256-221-7658
Recently, Ella Fassler, writing for Truthout, released an article in relation to a piece published here shedding light on the torture practices used by ADOC officials at Limestone Correctional Center in Harvest, Alabama (find that post here). The piece was instantly retweeted and attracted significant outrage among its readers (you can read it here). We now want to update you on the situation at Limestone C.C. following the release of that story and the actions taken by Kenneth Shaun Traywick, AIS 177252. Traywick, as well as Robert Earl Council, AIS 181418, not only led Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. to the initial knowledge of the existence of the “Bucket Detail,” but Traywick also went on a 14-day hunger strike demanding Limestone C.C. administration stop the bucket detail and the larger practice to which it belongs, called Post Transfer Investigation (P.T.I.). We have learned that all of their and our efforts have, in fact, led to changes despite the iron curtain of secrecy at Limestone and within ADOC.
In a phone conversation with Traywick he told us that “Officers are coming to find me and tell me thank you for exposing the use of the bucket,” adding that “a few have even shook my hand.” Since the release of the Truthout article, officers have told him that Hunstville news station WAAF 31 and/or WAAY 31 visited Limestone the week of May 6-10, requesting access to the facility. At that time, access was denied by Warden Estes. Traywick could not confirm whether they were interested in issues like the bucket detail or the extortions taking place involving ADOC officials at Limestone. He explained, “As you know there are many hot topics in relation to ADOC, with the DOJ report and the Federal lawsuit.”
Traywick also discussed the news we recently reported about the bucket detail practice coming to a halt: “I will say this… since the release of the article and my hunger strike last month I’ve been told by multiple officers that they were ordered to no longer practice the bucket detail, and could no longer hold newly arriving confined citizens in segregation longer than 72 hours for PTI.” He also has heard from officers that “wardens at Limestone are being removed from Limestone, and new wardens will be assigned.” Following this he stated, “I can not confirm that the cause of any of this is because of what has been exposed as going on. I can only say I was told by ADOC personnel the things I am sharing.” Since we have spoken with Traywick, we have also heard from other sources that Warden Estes has indeed stepped down as warden of Limestone. There are many swirling explanations regarding the reason for his departure. We have also learned that the wardens at Elmore Correctional Facility and Staton Correctional Facility have taken each other’s positions. From where we stand now, it looks like things are shaking up inside the ADOC.
Because we know the ADOC has long protected itself from public scrutiny, and that ADOC officials have no shame when it comes to retaliating against our confined citizens who speak out, we asked Traywick what sorts of repercussions he has endured while working to expose these practices. He replied, “Besides the trumped up disciplinaries for allegedly conspiring to orchestrate a labor strike and allegedly planning to attack other inmates – I’ve surprisingly been left alone except for a threat I received from Lt. Cody when he told me I am a “shit stirrer” and that Limestone has ways to deal with individuals like me. I am taking that as a threat on my safety. I reported it to I&I (Investigation & Intelligence Division), but have not heard anything from them, and probably won’t. Other than that, I am still in lockup for simply exercising my 1st Amendment rights.”
We also asked Traywick if he was planning any more hunger strikes. He responded, laughing, “I never planned on doing the first one!” He continued, “As of right now, I’ve not been released from lock-up, my institutional file still has the false trumped up disciplinary and incident reports in it, and I am still at Limestone—so anything is possible as far as the hunger strike goes. Unfortunately, as you seen last time, ADOC don’t care about hunger strikes, they still ignored my grievance—even if they quietly and without acknowledging the strike decided to stop certain acts here.”
With no change in Traywick’s own circumstances, and with our eye to the ongoing developments in Alabama surrounding the DOJ report and federal lawsuit, we wanted to know if Traywick would seek legal recourse. We asked, “Are you planning on filing a civil complaint for being placed on the ‘bucket detail’ for three days?”
His response? “Certainly. Right now, we are in the beginning stages of attempting to understand the best avenue to take. Hopefully we can get a class action suit together. But yeah… these folks handcuffed, shackled, belly chained me and taped me up for days. I literally urinated and defecated on myself and was not allowed to shower. Do you realize how degrading that is? Lt. Bright had me done this way simply because I had issues with him about taking my legal work and religious necklace.”
We at Unheard Voices OTCJ are outraged by the cruel and unusual acts committed against our brothers inside, and will continue to expose ADOC’s corruption by releasing any and all information we come across. We also are working with the Free Alabama Movement network to organize a demonstration and outreach during visitation at Limestone Correctional Center on June 22, followed by an open meeting to share current news and plan for future actions. Please join us, spread the word, and/or contribute to the GoFundMe soon to be linked in order to assist travelers and associated expenses. You can write to UnheardVoices78@gmail.com or call 256-221-7658 to get involved.
Traywick and Council welcome any correspondence from media. You can contact them by mail at:
Robert Earl Council #181418 Kenneth S. Traywick #177252
Limestone Correctional Center Limestone Correctional Center
28779 Nick Davis Road 28779 Nick Davis Road
Harvest, AL 35749 Harvest, AL 35749
However, we recommend that any media persons refrain from using formal envelopes that make it obvious these confined citizens are receiving mail from media correspondents. This may prevent any intentional interference by ADOC.