NATO 5 protester in solitary in maximum security prison

August 23, 2013

(WBEZ/Robert Wildeboer)
Prisoners held in segregation are housed in the East House at Pontiac maximum security prison

One of the so-called NATO 5 protesters has been put in segregation in prison for having “dangerous written material” in his cell.

Mark Neiweem is serving a three-year sentence for asking someone to buy him components to make a pipe bomb in the run up to the NATO summit held in Chicago. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections,  Neiweem was put into segregation in mid-July at the maximum security Pontiac prison. Inmates held in segregation get one shower and five hours outside their cell per week.

A disciplinary report on Neiweem states he “was found in possession of copious amounts of Anarchist publications, handwritten Anarchist related essays, and signs and symbolisms indicative of Anarachists.” That violates departmental rule 209: “Possessing written material that presents a serious threat to the safety and security of persons or the facility.”

The disciplinary report also cites a confidential informant in the prison who told guards that Neiweem was recruiting other inmates to be part of a collective.

The Department of Corrections says Neiweem will remain in segregation until January of next year. In a Cook County Adult Probation Department report Neiweem told an investigator that he has a history of drug abuse and mental illness and has attempted suicide on two occasions.