Press Release 11/28/18: Columbia Correctional Institution

Milwaukee Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)

+1 414 630 7507


Milwaukee Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) to lead campaign for ending human rights abuse in Wisconsin prisons. Individuals and organizations are invited to support IWOC’s efforts by taking part in phone and email zap campaign on Nov. 28, 2018.


MILWAUKEE, WIS. – November 28, 2018 – Escalating abuses at Columbia Correctional Institution, the prison in Portage, WI, led to an inmate’s suicide on September 1, 2018 and to the November 14, 2018 arrest of one correctional officer on suspicion of felony. Milwaukee IWOC and allies are launching a phone and email zap campaign against the conditions that produce abuse, neglect, brutality, and death in this facility and across the Wisconsin prison system.


Members of Milwaukee IWOC and allies across the nation are horrified by the attacks on inmates, guards ignoring prisoners’ self-harm, use of destructive solitary confinement, inadequate medical care, and conditions that recently lead a prisoner at Columbia to commit suicide. Cries for help and letters from the public are being ignored. When correctional officers see an inmate with open wounds and do nothing to prevent them from cutting themselves, we need to demand mental health resources instead of solitary confinement for inmates.

On November 28, 2018 Milwaukee IWOC and allies are launching a phone and email zap against Columbia’s security director Lucas Weber. 

All are invited to join, demanding an end to abusive solitary confinement at CCI and full accountability for recent correctional officer brutality. For more information, phone numbers, email addresses, and scripts, visit


For first-hand accounts documenting these abuses, go to and

Wisconsin currently spends about $1.5 billion dollars on its prisons, incarcerating people at around double the rate of nearby states. Despite this high cost, inmates in Wisconsin prisons often lack sufficient medical care and food, much of which is purchased with money sent from friends and family on the outside or with the inmate’s own meager wages ($0.20 – $0.80).

Statistics do not adequately capture the circumstances many prisoners face. In an attempt to give those most affected by abuse and mistreatment in Wisconsin prisons a chance to explain the day-to-day reality of inmates behind Wisconsin prison gates, IWOC has a lunched this website, where you can read inmates talk about the issues they face. If you would like to get involved in fighting prison abuse in Wisconsin, please help the work along by completing this form.