21 years in Super Max with no way out
Receiving your newspapers let me read what you're about and I am very impressed. As I see that MIM stands firmly against the criminal injustices and engages in reformist battles to improve the lives of prisoners.
I am particularly drawn to the section Under Lock & Key: News from Prisons & Prisoners, as I myself am a prisoner housed in SMU-2, the Super Maximum Security Lockdown unit here in Arizona State Prison.
I have been slammed down in super maximum security lockdown units since 9/14/87, to this very day. On 9/14/87, I was slammed down in CB#6, the first super max lockdown unit. On 8/1/89, I was transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-1 and remained until 2/1/96, and then transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-2, special management unit.
This particular unit was built to house all alleged prison gang members and street gang members. Once validated by a special committee, prisoners are sent to this unit to remain until one renounces his alleged gang membership and agrees to cooperate with DOC officials and give information about himself and fellow prisoners; or, until he paroles; or, until his sentence is served. If he is serving a life sentence will just die in this unit.
Last year the Department of Corrections implemented a release program (Step Down) for all STG members housed in SMU-2. Many prisoners, including myself, had filed civil complaints against DOC for illegally locking up prisoners in SMU-2 and for subjection to cruel and unusual punishment and for indefinitely keeping prisoners in lockdown.
The Step Down program was implemented in 2006 and activated May 21,2006. The first ten prisoners (hand selected) where chosen to participate, and a few months later another ten were chosen to participate. As of yet, no other prisoners have been chose to participate in the program, and as of yet, none of the first 20 prisoners have been released or transferred to other units.
Since the DOC implemented a release program from SMU-2 for STG members, all the active and pending civil complaints filed by SMU-2 prisoners have been dismissed.
So what has actually happened is DOC can now show the courts they do in fact have a release program for SMU-2 prisoners. So now prisoners cannot file complaints of being indefinitely locked up in SMU-2and DOC now can say this prisoner or that prisoner poses an indefinite threat to the prison population and security and orderly operations of the prison.
In truth, prisoners do not benefit from the implementation of the Step Down program.
In truth, it is DOC that benefits from the implementation of the Step Down program. They now have absolute power to play God with the SMU-2 prisoners.
I was validated as an alleged prison gang member back in the 1980s and slammed down. Since being in lockdown, I had completed the criteria for release back into general population many times over and over. But every time I went before the reclassification committees I was denied release and told by the committees that I pose an indefinite threat to the prison's rival gang members.
I was transferred to this unit SMU-2 the very first day it opened on 2/1/1996, from SMU-1, and still remain (against my will).
I'm in my 21st year straight of being locked away in super maximum security lockdown units and in my eleventh year straight here in SMU-2. I will remain here in SMU-2, indefinitely, or until I renounce alleged gang membership, or, until I am hand selected to participate in the said Step Down program.
SMU-2 is a mirror reflection of many of the other Special Management Units across the united states. We sit in windowless cells measuring approximately 10' x 8'. We are locked in our individual cells 24 hours per day except for three days out of the week for 2 hours we are allowed to go to an empty room with a 20 foot wall and a mesh grate ceiling situated in the back of the pod one man at a time. Our only human contact is when a guard is handcuffing a prisoner up to leave his cell.
We cannot purchase any food from the prison commissary nor receive food packages from the outside. Once a year during the month of December we are allowed to purchase what is called "Christmas store" food beverages and candy.
The meals served daily combined cannot fill a man's stomach. So the mass majority of the prisoners in this unit have lost and continue to lose weight.
We are deprived of immediate medical attention and must submit a health unit request form to be processed and put on the nurse's line. Then she determines whether or not a prisoner needs to see the doctor.
There have been many attempted and successful suicides in this unit that are never released to the media or public.
Prison officials and medical staff are fully aware that the results of long-term isolated confinement causes psychological problems and in some cases irreversible damage to prisoners. And yet, they ignore it.
Our president of the united states gets on the world news and claims prisoners in the united states are not subjected to barbaric living conditions!!
Shut Down the Control Units