Dear Ms. Washington and Warden Napel:
The ACLU of Michigan has received reports that Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is currently housed in the Marquette Branch Prison, has been subjected to ongoing harassment and conditions of confinement that are hazardous to his physical and mental health. Specifically, it is alleged that he was housed for some period of time in a small area that was contaminated by extensive black mold which caused him to become ill. There are complaints that: his phone privileges have been arbitrarily suspended; his mail has been handled inappropriately; he has been denied adequate clothing; guards have engaged in conduct intended to isolate him; and various other actions that have created unacceptable conditions.
With this letter we are apprising you of the reports we have received and we urge you to investigate and determine the extent and nature of Rev. Pinkney's conditions of confinement. Further, we ask that you remedy forthwith any conditions that fail to meet constitutional and legal standards. Deliberate indifference to such conditions can result in liability. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991); and Hadix v. Johnson, 367 F.3d 513, 525 (6th Cir. 2004).
We respectfully request that you take whatever actions necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of Rev. Pinkney, and that you provide us with your assurance that conditions that concern us have been fully addressed. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Mark P. Fancher
Staff Attorney - Racial Justice Project