Utah Maximum Security Prisoners Demand Basic Privileges
Revolutionary greetings to all who stand in opposition to the oppression being inflicted upon the people! I'm writing to you from within the depths of the Utah state prison where it's business as usual for these oppressive devils. Here in the housing unit known as Uinta One, the vents are pumping out cold air and there's nothing much that can be done, because if we go off and buck on the cops we will only gain a 48 hour strip cell. The situation is sickening, but only one of many!
I was placed in Uinta One at the beginning of December with no explanation other than that I was "under investigation." I was already housed in maximum security gang housing under "Severe Threat Group" (STG) classification. I've been put under numerous investigations before this one and it usually involves my cell being tossed and all property being searched or seized, along with mail and phone calls being monitored. But now they choose to start the investigation by taking all my stuff and shipping me to the hole where it took over 35 days before I could even order a bar of soap or deodorant from commissary.
This has been done to many other prisoners who are housed in the so-called STG program. Most of the prisoners whose scheduled release from STG maximum security is close, or past due, do not get moved to less restrictive housing, and the ones who are at the forefront of fighting this injustice are often subject to more harassment, or in certain cases moved to "deeper" parts of the hole, aka Uinta One.
Most recently the prisoners of Uinta Two, both STG and non-STG, have been petitioning to change the privilege level system to one that treats all maximum security prisoners equally. They are demanding that we all be allowed to get 3 visits a month, unlimited phone calls while on recreation (out of cell time, which is one hour and 15 minutes every other day) and to be allowed the same spending limit on commissary. These privileges are provided to prisoners who are in maximum security but not classified as STG. What is the difference between a maximum security prisoner who is STG and one who's not? Nothing other than how the oppressors have decided to classify us. Some members of LOs are considered STG and others are not, yet we live together in the STG unit regardless of a prisoner's STG status, as long as our LOs are believed to get along with each other.
Prisoners' first amendment rights are clearly violated by the STG policy and program here. They punish us by locking us in maximum security where we only recreate one cell at a time for an hour and 15 minutes every other day. We are given STG classification for tattoos or suspected gang affiliation without ever even having any write ups (disciplinary convictions) in this prison.
The oppression is real and thick here at the Utah State Prison, but we are fighting back.
I hope that all of the prisoners who are showing unity can continue to enlighten each other and others to the need for a united struggle! I know we have our differences, but we all are similarly oppressed. Stand tall, stand strong.
MIM(Prisons) adds: "Threat Group" classification is used by prisons across the country to target oppressed nation prisoners, specifically those who are politically active and organizing others to stand up for their rights. The classification system is arbitrary and allows use of things like holiday cards, or legal help, as evidence of association. Further, in many states the evidence is kept secret so prisoners can't fight false classification. This status often gets prisoners locked in isolation units, where conditions like those described above eat away at physical and mental health. This is part of the systematic oppression of the criminal injustice system, serving imperialism by keeping the lumpen in check. As this prisoner wrote, unity is key to our fight against this system.
Shut Down the Control Units