BACKGROUND: Joseph “Shine White” Stewart is a long-time incarcerated writer and organizer who is known, among other things, for promoting interracial unity among black and white prisoners in North Carolina as a way to forward their shared resistance against the prison industrial complex and for encouraging abolitionists on the outside to center prisoners’ demands and resistance in their work. He has most recently been central to prisoners’ organizing efforts to combat racist CO brutality at Alexander Correctional Institution and the extended lockdown at Bertie Correctional Institution. As one might imagine, he is no stranger to political repression, and he has been repeatedly transferred, held in solitary confinement for years at a time, and physically brutalized as the system has attempted to silence him. On November 3, in response to his most recent organizing, Shine White was transferred to Granville Correctional Institution in Butner, NC, where he was placed in restrictive housing. When he arrived, he was placed in a filthy, unsanitary cell which staff refused to allow him to clean and denied access to his property, including legal paperwork related to pending motions in a lawsuit his is pursuing which he was therefore unable to put in the mail on time. Staff have even restricted his access to paper. As of his last contact with Solidarity Beyond the Walls, Shine White is still being housed in unsanitary conditions and still does not have his property. He has requested that SBW support him by organizing a phone zap on his behalf.
WHO TO CALL: On Monday, November 21, please call the following people during normal business hours (9:00am to 5:00pm):
- NCDPS Division of Prisons Central Region Director Loris Sutton 919-582-6125 (direct office line) OR 919-803-0713 (cell phone) OR 919-838-4053 (Central Region main office line); and
- Standards and Performance Director Cynthia Thornton 919-838-4000 (Division of prisons main office line)
Remember that repeat calls are welcome, as the more calls come in, the more likely it is that our demands on Shine White’s behalf will be met.
WHAT TO SAY: Here is a script you can use if you aren’t sure what to say when you call:
“Hello. I am calling on behalf of Joseph Stewart, OPUS number 0802041. When he was transferred to Granville CI on November 3, Mr. Stewart was placed in restrictive housing in unsanitary conditions and denied his property, including legal paperwork that needed to be put in the mail no later than November 4. Both of these are violations of NCDPS policy and procedure. I am calling to demand that Mr. Stewart be released from restrictive housing, be placed in a clean cell with access to supplies to keep it that way, and that all of his property be returned immediately.”