Editor’s note: Wednesday night, DeChristopher was released back into regular old prison.
Peaceful Uprising put out the word Tuesday that Tim DeChristopher, still serving his sentence for disrupting a government auction of oil leases, has been transferred to isolated confinement. He’s been there since March 9.
It’s a strange story: Peaceful Uprising says that “Tim was informed by Lieutenant Weirich that he was being moved to the SHU [the prison's Special Housing Unit] because an unidentified congressman had called from Washington, D.C., complaining of an email that Tim had sent to a friend.”
The email, according to the group, was about the business practices of a contributor to DeChristopher’s legal fund, and DeChristopher was considering returning the money if this contributor’s “values no longer aligned with his own,” Peaceful Uprising says.
Isolated confinement means that DeChristopher has limited access to reading materials, can only make 15 minutes of phone calls per month, and is allowed only rarely out of a 8 by 10 cell holding him and another inmate, according to Peaceful Uprising. He’ll be there pending an investigation, and the group has “no idea what they’re investigating nor how long it will take,” a representative said.
The prison doesn’t give much information out about individual inmates, and a public information officer said that there are many reasons the prison would undertake an investigation. Generally, inmates are allowed to send mail or email to anyone they want, but the prison does monitor communications. A piece of mail could spark an investigation if it contained information that broke the rules of the prison or threatened another person.
Peaceful Uprising is asking sympathetic parties to call the prison and representatives in Washington and ask that DeChristopher be removed from isolated confinement.