SOURCE: A Just Cause

A Just Cause

September 30, 2015 10:14 ET

Another Unexplained Suicide in Solitary Confinement Raises Serious Questions About the Impact of Abuse in Prisons Across America, States Advocacy Group, A Just Cause

The Mother of the Inmate Who Allegedly Committed Suicide While in Solitary Confinement at Florence Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Reached Out to A Just Cause After Hearing About Suicides Among the Incarcerated on AJC Radio

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - September 30, 2015) - Billie Andersen, the mother of Michael A. Andersen is demanding an investigation into the death, (by supposed suicide), of her son while he was held in solitary confinement in the FCI facility in Florence, Colorado. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has still not announced or released any public details around the September 7, 2015 (Labor Day) death of Andersen, 44. A September 18, 2015 Press Release by A Just Cause broke the news.

According to Billie Andersen, she spoke with her son on the phone the day before he died. "He said that the guards told him they were going to have somebody in the yard 'shank' him. He said they were going to keep him in solitary for 6 months or longer! He only had two years left on his sentence," explains Mrs. Andersen.

A reliable source familiar with the incident and speaking on condition of anonymity informed A Just Cause that Inmate Andersen, who was originally at the nearby Federal Prison Camp, refused to be a snitch and that is why he was sent to the 'hole.'

The source further indicated that Andersen's family had recently moved from Wyoming to Cañon City, Colorado to be closer to the institution for visits. He was so happy that they could visit him every weekend. "It did not stand to reason that someone with only two years left on his sentence would take his life," adds Lamont Banks, Executive Director A Just Cause.

"When I saw my son, his face was bruised black and blue. It looked like he had been assaulted. I know my son was not suicidal. I know he did not take his life. I will not stop until I find out what happened to him," declares Mrs. Andersen.

The location and alleged circumstances of Michael Andersen's death is in direct conflict with the August 4th statements during the Senate Subcommittee testimony made by Director Samuels where he stated, 'We (BOP) do not practice solitary confinement...nor have we ever, had the practice of placing individuals in a cell alone.'

According to an article written in the National Journal, "It's pat­ently un­true. The Bur­eau of Pris­ons does use sol­it­ary con­fine­ment...It is simply a word game to try to cov­er up a prac­tice that harms people" (http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/70586/problem-with-defining-solitary-confinement).

"Of course, if you change the name from 'solitary confinement' to 'special housing unit,' you can claim there is no solitary confinement. They are playing with words but the horror of solitary confinement is the same. This comes from inmates, guards, and former inmates who have lived through the horror and torture of solitary confinement, which totally contradicts the statements made by Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels," says Banks.

"This is not a prison camp. There are too many strange things going on for this to be a camp," states Mrs. Andersen.

Inmates that have been in prison camps state that other prison camps are nothing like Florence. It is far from being a camp. The Florence facility is listed as America's number one worst prison according to the article on the Mother Jones site (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/10-worst-prisons-america-part-1-adx).

"A Just Cause vows to continue investigating the untimely death of Michael Andersen and expose inhumane conditions and solitary confinement practices in the prison system in spite of disingenuous accounts by Director Samuels and other BOP officials who would rather see such news go away," affirms Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause.

A Just Cause made several calls to the Florence FCI requesting comment; however, no calls have been returned.

A special program will air on AJC Radio on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 8 pm EST dealing with Suicide of the Incarcerated (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ajcradio2).

For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org.

Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!2015-press-releases/cl69

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