Here's what we know now:
A new warden and captain took over earlier this year, making unpopular changes in the prison. On May 18th, only 20 inmates went to the dining hall for their noon meal. The prison went on lockdown immediately. On May 23rd, a few hours after the prison came off lockdown status, a group of inmates sat on the basketball court outside and refused to go in. Following negotiations, 2-4 inmates were released from the Security Housing Unit (isolation). The protesting inmates cheered and returned to their units. A few hours later, the facility was put on lockdown again.
It's not clear what the protestor's demands (if any) were, but we do know of a list of recent changes and complaints in the facility, including the onset of 24 hour lighting in the housing units, early curfew in some common rooms, being forced to lie face down on the dirty "spit-riddled" floor whenever alarms go off, reduction of library hours, and overcrowding (over 25 inmates per toilet).
You can support these inmates easily, right now, by writing a letter or email to the following people:
Or his apparent boss Joe Norwood (regional director, Northeast Region)
Northeast Regional Office
Federal Bureau of Prisons
2nd & Chesnut St., 7th Flr
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Write letters demanding that inmate demands be met, that a public review of the personnel changes at FCI Elkton be made, or that the prison be emptied of inmates and burned to the ground. Please keep the tone of the letters polite and recognize that people none of us know may be punished for things we say or do.
We hope that with further research we're able to come up with more concrete information and actions. We'll keep you posted.