Fighting Back Works
I would like to comment on the story written by a Pennsylvania prisoner titled "Stand Up For Real Causes," printed in ULK 16. First let me say the situation you describe is all too common. Unfortunately, I'm currently a ward of the North Carolina department of corruptions and housed at Hoke Correctional Institution (aka Toke Correctional). My point is this, these cats here are the most passive dudes I ever jailed with. I'm from Jersey and unfortunately I spent 9 years and 9 months in prison in NJDOC and the shit I see go on here in NCDOC would not go down there. Like you, I've tried to get these so-called convicts to stand up for change and correct some of the unjust B.S. here at Hope Correctional.
On Feb 2, 2010 this unit changed custody levels from medium to minimum custody and to a medical institution with little modification. Unfortunately, I was one of the few prisoners who were allowed to witness the transition from medium to minimum custody, and I believed all the lies the administration told us. The first thing they told us was that we would be given transfers to other facilities which would grant us custody level promotions with the privileges of work release and home passes if we stayed and trained the new incoming prisoners on how to run the kitchen and occupied certain jobs until they could be filled. Well, lo and behold, we were tricked and suffer daily. Prior to the custody level change this facility held 260 prisoners and now they have us packed in like animals. Single cells were made to house two men in quarters designed for one. 24-men units are now 48-men units with only four shower heads and we are only allowed to shower from 3 pm to 9 pm.
I tried to get a few dudes to come together to file grievances on this issue but only three of us actually filed. The admin simply used an old memo by a former governor about a water drought which ended two years ago. We lost on that issue.
Since we changed over, the food service can't seem to order or cook enough food to feed the whole population. Every day the kitchen runs out of food. Every single day! Everyone complains and cries to each other but no one is willing to stand up for change. I went to the operation office and asked for 200 grievance forms and they gave me 300 without a question. I put myself out there once again and went to each block to hand out grievance forms about the food. When it was all said and done, only 8 grievances were filed and once again they counted on us not to unify.
There are many other examples I could express, but like I said, these prisoners are so passive, all they care about is being able to watch lame ass weekly TV shows. If they took the TVs in every day room these clowns would write the Governor.
What really gets me is I witnessed what unity can do in NJ state prison. I've seen tyrant Sergeants get reassigned. I've seen change come when we stand up and unite without violence.
Just a few months ago I wrote ULK about the pigs here waking us up every 30 minutes to assure we were alive, and not only did I write to MIM(Prisons), I also filed a grievance on this issue. My story was published in ULK July/Aug story titled "Sleep Deprivation to Control Oppressed. My efforts were not fruitless. As a result of my grievance and persistence this policy was changed and they no longer deprive us of sleep in GP or the lock up unit (H-Block). When this injustice occurred I advised everyone on the lockup block to join me to change this policy, but once again I was the only one who raised hell and even then the result was change, so I know it works.