As those of you who participated in our call-in campaign will recall, the DOC has been adamant about the fact that Wayland would “never have been put [in solitary] merely for hoarding water.”
Wayland has been issued two disciplinary tickets as a result of the action. The first ticket, issued by Sgt. Antonio Servello, was written and signed on March 21st, 2018 at around 10:43 in the morning. This ticket was the only document provided to Wayland for the majority of his confinement to solitary. It was signed at 3:15pm on the same day by the shift commander, and at around 10pm, was approved by disciplinary officer Eric Cortes. The timestamp on the bottom of the page denotes that it was accessed and printed one minute after being signed.
As you will see below, the initial ticket explicitly names Wayland’s transgression as having fourteen cases of water, which were seized by Inner Perimeter Security (IPS) officers.
Six days later, amidst a massive call-in campaign that reached the Commissioner, Deputy Superintendent, the Governor, state senators and US congress members, the DOC issued a second ticket which was retroactively dated to the day Wayland was put in solitary. The timestamp at the bottom of the page reveals that contrary to the timestamps on both signature lines, the final document was not completed until 5:24 pm on the evening of March 27th, six days later.
There are a couple of important takeaways from this document, which is why we have chosen to share the original ticket here. The first, is that Wayland really was disciplined for “too much water.” While it is true that there is no rule in the DOC handbook that defines the maximum amount of canteen items a prisoner can have, nor is there a limit on the quantity of water, the fact is that the state put a man in solitary confinement for having clean drinking water inside a prison where the water runs black.
The second point is the name of the brand of water. As we have released before, the DOC spends over $90,000 USD on bottled water alone in their annual budget. As you can see, this is purchased either through Nestle or their subsidiary Poland Springs. The brand of water impounded was from Niagara, one of the few bottled water distributors outside of the Nestle Waters empire. This means that the entire ninety-plus thousand dollars spent a year on bottled water goes exclusively to guards, corroborating years of prisoner contentions. Just during the time Wayland was in solitary, over two thousand dollars of bottled water was distributed through the Massachusetts DOC to guards.
The third point is a matter of due process. As an abolitionist coalition, #DeeperThanWater is committed to the belief that there has never been and cannot be true due process afforded to prisoners in a system that was never intended to do so. We believe that the toxicity of incarceration lays in its deep ties to social control and racial violence. Relying on the belief that the DOC would not have to answer to anyone outside of Wayland and his counsel, Sgt. Servello’s ticket gives an honest account of why Wayland was initially put in segregation. Under public scrutiny, the system did what the system always does: it re-wrote the narrative to justify the repressive actions it had already taken. The original documents serve to highlight prison official’s prevailing belief that their actions never be scrutinized and that they would never have to answer to anyone. This is false. They have to answer to us.
As we enter into the next phase of continuing to support our incarcerated friends and family in the endless pursuit of basic human necessities, we need you to join us in making sure that the state is never again under the belief that it can act with impunity, away from a public that will hold them accountable each and every time.