Control Units: Department of Corrections targets politically conscious prisoners with technology that tortures

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[Control Units] [Massachusetts]

Control Units: Department of Corrections targets politically conscious prisoners with technology that tortures

According to the US Constitution, citizens get due process and are not punished merely for whom they associate with. In the reality like at Walpole prison — Latino prisoners are being systematically denied these "rights" as they are categorized as being in "security threat groups" (politically organized, what pigs call "gangs") with scant evidence of membership and no evidence of wrongdoing.

The Department of Corruption's crusade against socially and politically organized prisoners is all about increasing repression. Selectively targeting Latinos for special lockdown units — between 90-95% of those in the units are Latinos — it is a particularly clear case of prisons as an instrument of national oppression.

The "gangs" targeted are the Latin Kings, la Familia, and la Nieta. La Nieta is considered by many not to be a "gang" in the traditional sense at all, but more of a prisoner rights group. Regardless, all three groups have potential as base areas of support for Latino liberation.

There are no hearings to determine who is a "gang" member. There is simply a questionnaire-type form that is filled out by the pigs. It has a point system, with each "criterion" having a set amount of points. If a prisoner gets ten or more points, he is considered a "gang" member. A "known group tattoo," for example, is 8 points. Obviously the pigs don't have a good grasp of the subtleties of tattoos, and one on any Latino can be perceived as a "known marking." Never mind if the prisoner got it ten years ago, it's supposed evidence of current association. That plus something small like possession of some "gang" documents, a "secret handshake" or association with pig-identified members, and the prisoner is doomed to never go below minimum security for the duration of his sentence. Those labeled gang members receive extreme sensory deprivation which has been shown to cause mental problems and is internationally recognized as a method of torture. They are only out of their cells for one hour for four out of every five day cycle, and if they work out they cannot shower the same day.

Such treatment is a violation not only of the U.$. constitution, but also of international law. This is more evidence that the so-called Justice System has little to do with justice and everything with protecting the imperialist system.

RAIL has been campaigning for an end to the current Mass control units and to prevent more from being built as planned. We want to stop this weapon of political torture as well as expose the whole corrupt system. So far, we have gathered hundreds of signatures on petitions, which have been sent to friendly media as well as the DOC and government officials. As long as there is injustice, the people will not be silent!