This blog post sets forth some of the reasons that I hunger strike. It also sets forth and explains certain reasons that I present as justifying substantial effort on the part of the public, to fundamentally change the way the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operates.

The public could and should save literally billions of dollars, on corrections under the auspices of the BOP alone. I’m asking for public support – that is, for your support, and the support of your friends and acquaintances. At the proper time, phone calls, emails, internet petitions, and other forms of peaceful petition for the redress of grievances, can all have a positive impact on the way the government operates.

Yes, it will make life more tolerable for prison inmates. But it will also dramatically improve public safety, even while it reduces taxpayer expense. I hope you’ll read the blog post, along with whatever linked documents you find interesting. Then, I hope you’ll join me in helping to bring the government back under the control of the people.

Read the blog post…


I’ve posted a copy of my documentation, with respect to a request for INFORMAL RESOLUTION Informal Resolution of my claims arising out of my recent 65 day hunger strike.  Several of my friends have asked me why I hunger strike.  That’s a fair question and I will answer it.

The short answer is that the de facto policies of the Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Prisons (DOJ-BOP) are designed to either kill the hunger striker or break the hunger strike.  There seems not to be a great concern which outcome is obtained, as long as blame is sufficiently diffuse that no one is seriously faulted or substantially punished for the death.

From the outset, the DOJ-BOP attacks the hydration of the hunger striker.  When I started the hunger strike, I was told that taking the salt off of the food tray would be treated as accepting the tray, and that I would be sent back to the compound for taking the salt.  I left the salt on the trays until the expiration of three days, at which point the hunger strike is deemed “official” and then started taking the salt packets.  The personnel got excited about that but apparently were told that consuming a salt packet does not amount to accepting a food tray.

Salt is critical to a hunger striker.  Salt helps the body regulate water retention.  When salt levels get too low, the body will simply excrete so much water that the body becomes dehydrated.  Dehydration is a serious threat to the life and health of a hunger striker.

A properly managed hunger strike is highly unlikely to result in death or long term injury.  The keys to the prevention of serious injury are 1) maintaining adequate hydration, 2) maintaining a suitable body temperature, and 3) preventing blood sugar levels from falling to dangerous levels.  Maintaining proper hydration and a suitable body temperature goes a long way toward preventing dangerously low blood sugar levels.  The body needs fluids to efficiently turn fat into energy.  Low temperatures force the body to choose between using energy to warm the body, or keeping blood sugar at safe levels.

Mental state is also important, since a hunger striker is almost by definition quite upset about something.  This DOJ-BOP attacks the mental state of hunger strikers, keeping hunger strikers under lights 24/7, denying educational material and limiting or denying suitable reading material.

The DOJ-BOP attacked my hydration from the start, and maintained the attack throughout the hunger strike.  Even though my blood tests showed clinically low levels of sodium (salt) long before the end of the hunger strike, Regional and National offices of the BOP refused to allow me access to salt.

Some will suggest that all the abuse I’ve suffered is my entire fault because I chose to hunger strike – and I did indeed choose to hunger strike.  My response to such a suggestion is as follows.  If hunger striking prison inmates must die or suffer long term coma due to the recklessness of the DOJ-BOP, let it be me.

I’m going to put the monkey on your back.  I’m happy to give you the key to stop the DOJ-BOP from trying to kill me or drive me insane.  Call this prison, Regional, National, and their Trust Fund offices, as appropriate with respect to the issues laid out hereinafter.  I assume you’re my friend; otherwise you would not take the time to read this message.  I’m asking you – my friend – to make the DOJ-BOP aware that the political cost of killing Oscar Stilley is more than they can afford.

The contact information is as follows:

FCI Forrest City

PO 7000

Forrest City, AR 72336-7000


Use this phone number and address to contact any personnel at the Low Security Prison at Forrest City.  Persistence is often required when attempting to reach personnel by phone.  Ask for Mr. Harding, an Associate Warden, and also the Administrative Remedy Coordinator.  In this capacity Mr. Harding is duty bound to assign investigators, monitor trends of inmate complaints, prepare reports on the administrative remedy program, etc.  See Institution Supplement FOR 1330.13-04, July 11, 2001, (Administrative Remedy Program).  Be advised that Mr. Harding prefers to avoid his responsibilities.  I’ve written a LETTER Letter to Mr. Harding Requesting Investigation to him asking him to do his job, which I hope you’ll read.  You can also ask for the Warden or for the attorney who represents the prison.  I don’t yet know the name of the attorney.

South Central Regional Office

4211 Cedar Springs Road

Suite 300

Dallas, TX 75219



National Headquarters

320 First Street N.W.

Washington, DC 20534



Michael Atwood, Chief (or W. H. Harrell)

Trust Fund Branch


According to a memo dated 8-21-09, the option of editing already sent material was eliminated.

I started the hunger strike for a ridiculously small demand.  I demanded that I be treated in a manner consistent with the Program Statements and well established case law, with respect to hunger strikers.  I didn’t get what I was after.  In fairly short order, the management of my hunger strike clearly came from Regional and National offices.  The local doctors and psychological personnel were little more than errand runners.

The DOJ-BOP periodically added some new insult, injury, or humiliation in the attempt to break the hunger strike.  I told them flat out that I would like to settle the hunger strike, but that I didn’t intend to give the impression that the latest cruelty did the trick.   This message never seemed to penetrate their minds.

I didn’t quit the hunger strike because of fear of death.  I quit the hunger strike because of the kindness of Dr. Piekar.  On 9-13-2012, I was told that no more Ensure would be offered.  I would get no juice at all, and Ensure would be given only under “use of force” protocols.  This decision was made by Regional and National.  I asked to be heard, but was told that there really was no need for me to speak, because the BOP wasn’t interested in hearing my position.

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Dr. Piekar ordered an IV of saline solution.  During this process, Dr. Piekar gave me two cans of Ensure.  Assistant Medical Director Ms. Hoy scolded him as he went out the door.  I could hear her tell Dr. Piekar that the IV wasn’t a “use of force” and that he should not have given me Ensure under those circumstances.

Later that evening my blood pressure was 80/47.  I’d had a clinically low blood sodium test result some two weeks earlier.  My hydration was deteriorating and Dr. Piekar knew it.  My blood sugar at the time was in the 60s, in and of itself no cause for alarm.  Dr. Piekar stayed on after 10:00 PM to do a use of force; to give me two Ensures.  He knew I wanted them.  Because of this kindness on his part, I chose to break the hunger strike the following morning.

ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION Informal Resolution of my claims will go nowhere without pressure from the outside.  We pride ourselves on a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  This implies that the people will be at least moderately involved in ensuring that the government is responsive to public demands.

Here’s what I ask of you, my friend.  Pick up the phone, call this prison, Regional, and National, and tell them to settle these claims fairly and honestly, consistent with the law and BOP Program Statements, AT NO COST TO THE TAXPAYERS.  Make sure you emphasize the importance of not spending public money, in pursuit of objects that can be obtained for free.

This is what you currently you get for your money spent with the DOJ-BOP:

1)  Approximately 70% recidivism;

2)  Wretched educational outcomes, at enormous cost, covered up by fraudulent records;

3)  Much chronic disease, which will inevitably cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars unless the health habits of inmates are fundamentally changed;

4)  Heavy dependence on food stamps and governmental assistance, mainly because the DOJ-BOP mercilessly persecutes and suppresses any attempt to learn the characteristics that made this country great; thrift, industry, hard work, and a continuous drive for excellence and improved productivity.

Here’s what you should get for NO MORE THAN HALF the per-inmate costs currently borne by the taxpayers.

1)  Single digit recidivism percentage rates;

2)  Excellent educational outcomes

3)  Virtually all inmates should be within the range of ideal body weight; be in good physical condition; and have healthy blood pressure and blood lipid levels WITHOUT the use of pharmaceutical aids;

4)  Be discharged from prison with enough money to survive for 6 months with no income; have demonstrated habits of thrift and industry; and be demonstrably able to live on no more than 70% of their earnings, the remainder to be invested to ensure that they do not become a public charge or obligation later in life.

I’m not claiming that our profligate habit of incarcerating at 5 times the world average, on a per capita basis, is sustainable or sensible.  It’s not.  However, that’s where we’re at.  Unless we WANT a disorganized “crash” of our society, with death, destruction, and ruin to follow, we need to bring our own conspicuous consumption into line with our productive capacity.

Let’s do a quick cash analysis of this prison.  We have about 2,000 inmates in a prison with a maximum capacity just a bit over 1,500.  Based on total BOP spending and total prison populations, this prison is costing the taxpayers between $60 million and $80 million a year.

If correction of bad behavior is the goal, this prison cannot hold more than 1,200 inmates at any given time.  Such a population would allow for the sorting of inmates, space for libraries, computer labs, etc.  All those things are INDISPENSABLE if correction of bad behavior is part of the goal.  Twelve hundred inmates times $15,000 per annum equals $18 million per year – less than a third of the taxpayer cash that this facility currently soaks up.

Some may think that the BOP – a branch of the Department of Justice – can’t control overcrowding.  That’s totally false.  If recidivism was kept to reasonable levels, they would have little if any overcrowding.  Furthermore, the BOP simply cheats inmates out of lower level incarceration, sometimes to the point of contempt of the orders of the very court that committed the inmate!  The Department of Justice makes a choice to overcrowd prisons, abuse inmates, and cheat the taxpayers out of honest services.

This prison is absolutely paranoid about inmates who ask for the opportunity to do things for themselves.  It is likewise paranoid about anyone shining the light of public awareness on their operations.  I’ve asked for an opportunity for inmates to do things for themselves – for example, buying their own bedding, and repairing damaged or deteriorated bedding.  This is no threat to honest prison administration, but it strikes terror into the hearts of the thieves and bandits in charge of the BOP.

These are strong words, but consider the thrust of 4 “shots” (formal disciplinary actions) lodged against me since commencing the hunger strike.  Keep in mind that all 4 “shots” are 200 series shots, which could result in loss of significant good time, imposition of substantial time in SHU, disciplinary transfer (to a prison more distant from family and friends, for example) and loss of privileges.

1)  Allegation of kicking Lt. Sieja, damaging property (allegedly cutting up a mattress to strain V-8 juice) and possession of contraband, which was never identified; (I address these issues in the Informal Resolution request)

2)  Stilley collected soap from other willing inmates, and stocked the bathroom the bathroom sinks with it in order to improve inmate hygiene;  See my RESPONSE TO SOAP SHOT Statemet Regarding Charge of Giving Away Soap.

3)  Stilley responded to a direct question from Lt. Sieja, orally informing him of certain of his administrative remedy claims; See my RESPONSE TO 203 SHOT Statement Regarding 203 Shot.

4)  Stilley’s locker was searched, and certain oranges and a small amount of bran flakes were found.  Stilley was accused of “stealing” this food.   See my RESPONSE TO ACCUSATION OF STEALING FOOD SHOT Statement Regarding D. Smith Shot for Stealing.

This is a shocking list of disciplinary charges, laid against a single inmate in a short period of time.  The first three were all written by Lt. Sieja.  The fourth one was by Mr. Smith, who claimed it was part of a random search.  This claim is utterly specious.  I personally saw the two agitators, Mr. L. Thomas and  Mr. Ramsey, come to my housing unit just after a dispute they had with me at Food Service.  They put Smith up to writing this shot.  The fact that he targeted my locker is beyond reasonable dispute.

Why the hatred and vitriol against Stilley?  Because I advocate that inmates take responsibility for themselves.  The greatest anger with respect to the soap had to do with my comment that the BOP had already had a fair chance to provide soap, and chose not to do it.  I therefore asked my fellow inmates to help me by contributing soap, of any kind, which I would organize and manage to the greatest benefit of the inmates and the taxpayers.  I hid nothing from this prison.

I don’t have the original version but a slightly modified version of my NOTICE, “The Marianna-D Soap Man” was removed from my draft folder without explanation but I will try to get a copy so that this blog post can be updated.  I continued to invite the input of paid prison staff, and offered to do this work in a better way, if requested.  I only volunteered to do this for the 4th quarter of this year.  Already, another inmate has volunteered for this duty for the 1st quarter of 2013.

This prison squanders hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on spending for the treatment of drug resistant staph.  Why then are they so hateful against inmates who try to prevent this disease?

Count on it, when people persistently do apparently irrational things, there is a reason for it.  The people who deliberately cause inmates to get sick don’t do it SOLELY because they’re sadistic fiends.  They have a financial interest in making inmates sick.

Someone is making money off drug resistant staph.  Can I count on you to help me get the information necessary to prove who is doing it, and how they’re siphoning off your tax dollars?  The federal Freedom of Information Act is sufficient to get this information, if it is honestly enforced.  Your federal legislator should be willing to get the necessary information, and make it public.  I hope you’ll insist that your elected leaders do their job, exposing the people who cynically sicken inmates for their own dishonest gain.

The BOP has rules that REQUIRE two prison guards for each inmate at the hospital, 24/7, as long as the inmate is absent from the prison.  Never mind the fact that the inmate probably has “camp” points, which means that the inmate is eligible to be in a facility without fences, and thus is adjudged even by the paranoid BOP not to pose any significant threat to society.  Never mind that the same function could be accomplished with a leg bracelet, which would constantly monitor the location of the inmate for virtually no money.

There is only one rational explanation for this cruel behavior.  Somebody makes money – A LOT OF MONEY – off of policies that deliberately sicken inmates.  They either 1) get to contract to supply unnecessary guards for the people made ill by the perverse policies of this prison, or 2) they get control over the overtime and benefits passed out to existing employees.  Count on it, corruption and theft of public funds is the driving force behind the attack on inmate personal hygiene.

Congress appropriates plenty of money for this prison – actually far too much.  Yet we can’t even get dental work.  The prison claims to be about 3 years behind on fixing teeth.  I talked to another inmate about this, and looked at his paperwork.  Yet this prison will not allow a wealthy inmate to leave on furlough to get dental work.

This prison will wait until a perfectly repairable tooth is no longer salvageable, and then pull the tooth.  The object of the game is to squander the most money, while providing the least benefit possible to the inmates, and to the public which expects an honest correctional environment.

Some people do get dental work.  It all revolves around the “squeaky wheel” concept.  If the inmate’s “people” on the outside will “burn up the lines” to the BOP Central and National Offices, and to their Congressional representatives, then that inmate will get dental care.  Yes, that’s an insane waste of the time of public officials – but it’s the way the government works now.

Inmates who don’t have advocates on the outside are just screwed.  They can scream and cry all they want to, but they won’t get meaningful dental care.  They’ll just lose the tooth.   They MIGHT get dental care if they hunger strike for an extended period of time – but then again they might not, if they don’t have advocates on the outside.  This prison is happy to squander money dealing with a hunger striker – if it doesn’t embarrass them or bring wrath down upon them from outside these prison walls.

I was subjected to “use of force” protocols on 7 separate occasions.  All these happened on or after September 10, 2012, which was day 58 of the hunger strike.  Previously, I had been threatened with force on numerous occasions.  I always accepted a beverage – mostly Ensure – in order to avoid the use of force – partly because I was attempting to maintain a degree of rapport with the prison administration, hoping that they would come to their senses.

I’ve been told that a “use of force” incident costs about $1,000.  Thus this prison squandered perhaps $7,000 on “use of force” incidents between 9-10-2012 and 9-18-2012 alone.  That doesn’t count the trip to the hospital, or the repetitive intravenous administrations (IV) of just barely enough saline solution to satisfy the BOP that I would survive for another day or two.

At the time I was looking for a good excuse to end the hunger strike.  The hunger strike was an example of a well recognized form of speech and petition, protected by the 1st Amendment.  I wanted to stop, in order to ask my friends on the outside to advocate for a modicum of honesty and decency in the treatment of prison inmates.  I stated this intention to prison personnel, in no uncertain terms, on a number of occasions.

How did the BOP respond?  With a new indignity or insult every few days!  I waited until the 65th day simply because I didn’t want to give the appearance of rewarding cruelty.  I don’t want the BOP to think that the jack boot of oppression on my neck caused me to stop the hunger strike.

We claim as a people that we have a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  If that’s true, then you – the private citizen reader of this message – are in fact in charge of the government, and by logical extension responsible for its actions and inactions.

“The people” of the United States hold Oscar Stilley and all other federal prisoners captive.  Decent people would not conceive in their mind the idea of denying their neighbor access to any honest employment, so as to prevent the neighbor from obtaining the resources needed to fix a painful tooth.  The very idea of such cruelty strikes at the core of our humanity.  Anyone who pays federal tax, of any kind, subsidizes the operations of this prison.  How then can you maintain your silence in the face of such cruelty?

When I quit the hunger strike, I cast about for some productive pursuit to occupy my time.  I proposed several ideas, including keeping a first aid kit in the housing unit, or promoting a “Pledge of Civility.”  Everything that I suggested – even something as innocuous as cleaning the second floor windows on the inside and out, has been shot down.

I was told not to attempt to promote the “Pledge of Civility,” which is posted for the public to read, along with the cover letter to Ms. Dube-Gilley, the Marianna Housing Unit Manager. [].  Most certainly this prison needs to promote civility among the prisoners.  Prison officials wanted to convert this voluntary initiative into a “class” that the prison could use to gouge the taxpayers wallets for yet another warped, utterly ineffective “program.”  I will not be complicit in such a theft of taxpayer funds.

The BOP deliberately throws incompatible and antagonistic groups in the same overcrowded living quarters, without adequate facilities, and then sits by to wait for the inevitable tensions and violence to arise.  Then they sanctimoniously tell the American public how essential their services are.  See!!!  What bad people these inmates are!  Look at their violent behavior!!!

The BOP provokes violent behavior as a means of terrorizing the people and demanding more of their tax dollars.   Their goal is the highest possible recidivism rate, because they have figured out how to convert recidivism to cash.  If you doubt this, I challenge you to make the following inquiry of the BOP.  Ask the BOP to show you any major correctional authority, anywhere in the world, that has materially worse recidivism than the BOP.  I doubt they can cite you any case whatsoever.  If they try, ask for full statistics and a complete analysis of the inmate population characteristics.  Make them give you an “apples to apples” comparison of recidivism, and then let independent experts analyze and review their claims.

Unicor is a socialist enterprise that uses inmate labor to produce goods.  The goods are generally junk – often so bad that even the BOP – which likes to foist junk off on inmates – won’t use the goods.  They pay the inmates any price they feel like paying, and mostly sell to other government agencies at arbitrarily fixed, exorbitant prices.

If inmates were allowed to use these facilities for honest labor, making things to sell at market rates, we could earn everything we need to pay for our dental and medical care.  Most of us would jump at the chance, simply to have modern dental and medical care available.  “Free” care that isn’t available has no value whatsoever.  It’s like the mirage in the desert, the illusion of water that is not real and never becomes real.

Let’s kill two birds with one stone.  Let inmates have access to Unicor facilities in exchange for behaving in a polite and civil manner.  We can quell the violence and hostility by cutting off the root cause.

It is unwise to allow the government to conscript the labor of prison inmates, either to sell directly, or to produce goods for sale.  The government has virtually unlimited money, and can coerce inmates to work at any price.  Thus the government can crush the competition.

This is not true when inmates sell their own goods or labor.  Every inmate has the same motivation as every other person.  They want to sell their time and their property at the highest possible price.  They cannot force anyone to buy shoddy goods, and they don’t have a deep pocket allowing them to behave irrationally for extended periods of time.  Thus their participation in the market place will have little impact on prices, and will not be the ruin of private businesses.  Quite the opposite, prisoners will become a significant market for private businesses, because the inmates will have their own businesses that require their own inputs.

On September 30, 2012, we had an example of what happens when incivility is ignored for a long period of time, as is the case in this prison.  One of the inmates took an iron, an ordinary clothes iron used to press clothes, and beat three inmates in the head or face while they were sleeping.  Apparently two of them had been taunting him, or at least he thought so.  The assailant apologized to the other one when he realized who he had hit.  Can you imagine awaking after getting your face smashed in with a clothes iron, and hearing an apology, because you weren’t the intended target?  This happened in Marianna-D, the housing unit that I live in.

Why were the clothes left in the housing unit in the first place?  This prison, desirous of yet another lucrative monopoly, took the washing machines out of the housing units, forcing the inmates to bring their clothes to the prison laundry for “free” service.  But the prison lacks the competence to remove these dangerous and potentially deadly instrumentalities at night.

What’s the solution?  Let the inmates put in washing machines and dryers in the units.  Let inmates do their ironing in the central laundry facility, for money, (in stamps or otherwise) using commercial ironing equipment.

Why doesn’t this happen?  Because it would COST THE TAXPAYERS NOTHING!!!; because the BOP loves its orgy of graft and corruption more than the very lives of inmates in its custody.  The BOP has a rule against “running a business” which is generally interpreted to prevent any gainful activity that the BOP can’t use to chisel taxpayer funds.  Yes, I’m asking you to call National, protest against this rule, and ask that it be stricken.  Gainful employment by inmates should be ENCOURAGED, not punished.

The BOP maintains a prison system in which meaningful work, saving, and personal responsibility are suppressed and trampled upon.   Simmering tension, feuds, and violence is the inevitable result – and the BOP likes it that way.  But if we had the opportunity to engage in productive labor, contingent on good behavior and economic responsibility the costs associated with any violence or misconduct, those stresses would be greatly reduced.

I’ve given you the contact information for this prison, Regional, and National Offices of the BOP.  Be advised that you probably can’t get anything done at a level lower than National.  Honestly, you should assume that you’ll have to put the pressure on at National, and furthermore bring pressure to bear from both above and below that level.  Let me give you a couple of examples that will help you to understand why that’s the case.

After the hunger strike, I didn’t have a satisfactory bacterial balance in my digestive system.  I needed a probiotic.  On the outside I typically just ate some live culture yoghurt as one of the first items of food.  But I could not get that here.

I was prescribed Saccharomyces Boulardi 250 milligrams, (trade name Florastor) a freeze dried yeast probiotic.  This request was reviewed and approved at least twice at this prison, and also at Regional.  It was rejected at National.  The approval process probably cost more than the fair market value of the capsules, $37.99 for 50 on Amazon.  It’s absurd to require every single level of the BOP bureaucracy to approve this medicinal item, but that’s the way they operate.

I asked Brandy Rushing, of the local Trust Fund, about getting Russian language MP3 files.  We already have the files on audio cassette tapes, and I could convert those to MP3 if permission was granted.  She told me that such a request would have to be addressed to National.  She was very polite, even apologetic, in telling me that it was effectively impossible to get an answer here.  She just told me the truth about what I needed to do, and I respected that.

Here’s another example: BOP Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr., just created a new rule forbidding inmates from receiving eyeglasses from the outside.  You can be a millionaire in prison, you can have a fine pair of glasses at home, but the BOP will still be the SOLE SOURCE of eyeglasses.

Why?  Because the BOP has its angle, another scheme to expropriate funds from taxpayers.  “Free” glasses from home get in the way of their fraud and theft.  They want to sell their junk to the taxpayers, at whatever price they choose to exact.

You might think that their wretched glasses couldn’t possibly cost the taxpayers more than $500 – they’re heavy, awkward, ugly, technological throwbacks to the 1950s that aren’t fit to wear.  Don’t delude yourself.  Take a look at paragraph 15 of the “Informal Resolution” document.  I’ve shown how the BOP “sells” a single shoddy sleeping mat to the taxpayers for many thousands of dollars.  That’s why they won’t let prison inmates buy a nice mattress and pillow, such as one might find at the BOP’s Oklahoma City Transfer Center.  Quality goods get in the way of “selling” shoddy goods to the taxpayers for exorbitant prices.

I’ve got a $500 pair of glasses at home.  I need glasses – THOSE glasses.   If my prescription changes I need new lenses, not new frames.  But there is zero chance that I will ever get those glasses, unless you speak up on my behalf.

Can I count on you for that phone call?  That call has to start at National, (202.307.3198) since National is the source of the rule.  If National Offices of the BOP won’t change the rules, go up the chain, to Attorney General Eric Holder, the President, (or his wife if you have a channel of communication) and your Congressman.

Until the election, calls to campaign offices can be effective.  Ask Romney’s campaign to promise to stop this nonsense.  Call Obama’s campaign straightway thereafter, and demand IMMEDIATE ACTION.  Tell them that since Obama has his fingers on the levers of power, today, you expect PERFORMANCE, TODAY!!!  One phone call from the least of Obama’s staffers would change this thieving policy today.

Make notes and post them as comments to the blog.  As more information comes in, we’ll organize it and make it useful.