Below are two letters from State Representative Charles Quincy Troupe to the Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, Dora Schriro. They are about two inmates: Jerome White-Bey, educator and organizer for the Missouri Prison Labor Union and Shackrein Thomas, Drug War POW, murdered by the authorities who put him in a cell with a known rapist and murderer and refused to let him out. Until he was dead.


October 12, 1999

Dear Dora:

It has come to my attention that Jerome White-Bey, #37479, who was housed at the Crossroads Correctional Center, and because of the brutality and mistreatment by your guards in administrative segregation, he was transferred to Jefferson City Correctional Center on September 8, 1999. Upon arrival at JCCC, he was placed back in administrative segregation, and then was moved again on September 28, 1999 to Potosi Correctional Center, where he is still in administrative segregation, and now you have upped the ante by saying that all of his possessions and legal documents have to be out of the prison by December 7, 1999. Let me say that this is the worst kind of oppression, suppression, dehumanization, and racism that I have ever witnessed or heard since slavery.

As the chief jailer in charge, I want you to know that I am holding you responsible for the mistreatment of this inmate and I want you to personally understand that it is not your crazy guards, it is not your untrained, ignorant, incompetent staff that is the problem, you are the problem because you write slick letters by never answering any questions, trying to cover up their insanity like a cat in a litter box.

If my information is correct, and all of Mr. White-Bey's possessions must be out of the prison by December 7, 1999, I find this deplorable and disgusting because this young man has no family or living relatives at all, if the information I am receiving is correct. As a result of that, then I must assume that you also know that he has no family or living relatives to send his possessions to. I am requesting that you have that order rescinded and that you further do all in your power to make sure that a friendly environment begins in your jail.

In August 1999, a reporter from Pacific Radio spoke with Tim Kniest, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, who was quoted as saying that he had never heard of the Missouri Prison Labor Union that this younq man was organizing in your jails, and that he had no knowledge of an inmate lab or union, but it is my understanding that the reason Mr. Jerome White-Bey has been in isolation/solitary confinement/administrative segregation for almost a year is because he started educating and organizing the inmates with the hope of turning the prisons into a positive experience, a learning experience, and a wholesome experience for the inmates rather than a disastrous, murdering, infectious environment riddled with poor, uneducated, untrained, and mentally ill and physically ill people.

I know it is difficult for you at this time to attend law school three days a week at St. Louis University in St. Louis, which leaves a tremendous gap of time taken away from your duties as the Director of Corrections, and your in absence, the Department is like a freight train, heading down hill, backwards, with no engine. I hope in the near future you are able to put more time into the Department of Corrections to provide the leadership that the Department obviously lacks.



State Representative District 62


October 13, 1999

Dear Dora:

As Chairman of the Appropriations-Social Services and Corrections Committee, I am concerned about you being out of the Department of Corrections three days a week. Would you please inform me what three days a week you attend school and are you paid by the Department of Corrections while you are in school? Number two, it is reported that you use the state car while attending school. If you are using state transportation and being paid while attending school, what other state subsidies do you receive while traveling back and forth to St. Louis?

I know you are aware that in the governors veto message, he said that he was vetoing the $100,000 transportation project, because of your opposition, that would have allowed babies and children to come and see their mothers, fathers, and significant others while they were in jail. Yet you spent more than $100,000 to hire two doctors. I want to reiterate my opposition to your hiring these two FTE's, and I think you need to try to get the governor to restore the Pell Grant appropriations for inmates and appropriate some GR for some obvious training that is needed by your inept staff.

I know you and many of the legislators get upset when people call your staff ignorant and brainless, because these people are, in most cases, constituents, but with the case in Potosi last week where you put a medium security inmate in a cell with an known murderer and rapist and refused to move Shackrein when he requested to be moved because he feared for his life and limbs was tantamount to murder. The information I received indicates that Shackrein Thomas was a drug user, which was his number one sin, and number two, like all drug users, he forged a check for $107.14, and he stole a cellular phone, and because he was a drug user, he was put in jail for three concurrent sentences of 5-8 years as a medium security, nonviolent inmate, and you and your staff sentenced him to death because of the obvious racist and insensitive attitude on the part of your staff.

Enclosed is a previous letter that I wrote to you concerning Jerome White-Bey who is in administrative segregation/isolation/solitary confinement to keep him from organizing the inmates and Developing a prison's union. For almost a year he has been in solitary confinement at Crossroads, Jefferson City Correctional Center, and now he's in solitary confinement at Potosi, another nonviolent inmate, so my question is, are you using hindsight and logic? Wouldn't it have been better to put the rapist, the psychotic killer and murderer in solitary confinement rather than a religious man who is trying organize a union in the prisons with a grievance procedure to eliminate the kinds of killings like that of Shackrein Thomas #342296.

I know the impression is that you have to be a cold, insensitive, uncaring, "I don't give a damn what happens to inmates" kind of person to work for the Department of Corrections, and I believe that is the only qualification or a litmus test. There is clearly no test for logic, concern for the well-being of the inmates, love, compassion, Christianity or Christian morals, and the reason I say this is because there is not one guard in Potosi who would have put his brother in the cell with this insane man who was in jail for rape and murder. It was reported to us that he murdered young children and then raped their dead bodies. If this is not the case, please inform me as to what is the case.

So the questions are why would you put inmate Shackrein Thomas in this cell, and why on the other hand, would you put Jerome White-Bey in isolation or solitary confinement rather than this schizophrenic murdering rapist?

I am sure you can rationalize this, but I want you to know that you will never rationalize this to me and the rest of the thinking legislators in this House and Senate and the general public. I believe in my heart that you are a major part of the problem now. In the past, I have been soft and supported you because I thought it was your staff that was the problem but clearly you are the problem because you are the head, and until the head is removed, the body will continue to do all of the inhuman, sinful, wicked, and unconscionable things that it is doing to the inmates.



State Representative District 62


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