Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Holman Correctional Facility - Alabama

Graphic design skills? Help us with our new logo! help out

www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Medical Care] [Holman Correctional Facility] [Alabama]
expand

Healthcare in a Nightmare World

Most people are ignorant of the atrocities and tragedies taking place daily in these koncentration kamps. People listen and believe the lies spewed from the deceitful mouths of prison officials who put forth the ridiculous notion that prisoners receive superior medical care to free-world people, FREE! The reality is something far different, sinister and abhorrent.

The rate of prisoner deaths is unreal. Just in a 12 month period from '08 to '09, six prisoners at Holman prison have died. This is not including the deaths on deathrow from natural (i.e. negligent) causes. This is just at one kamp. Word is that it's happening throughout the state.

Alabama is one of a number of states that has implemented "compassionate" release of terminally ill prisoners. There's nothing "compassionate" about this. "Compassion" is not the reasoning of politicians or prison officials. This provision is as compassionate as G.W. Bush's "compassionate" conservatism.

One prisoner had been approved for release under the "compassionate" release for terminally ill provision but died the day before his scheduled release. Imagine what the family went through, thinking and preparing for their loved one to come home "tomorrow" but find out he's dead the morning they were to pick him up. Another prisoner was also approved and released, but died after one day of being released.

What's deceitful, sinister and abhorrent about all these deaths is that with proper preventative healthcare, most, if not all, of these prisoners could still be alive today. Prison officials and the medical providers that are under contract with the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) are allowing these prisoners' medical conditions to deteriorate to save money on medical bills.

People must be made to understand that prison officials and prison medical providers are killing people by their reluctance to send prisoners to free-world hospitals and specialists and provide necessary medicines that prisoners need to survive, just to save money and in return reap huge profits.

In 2006, there was a big scandal at Limestone Correctional Facility in Alabama. Limestone is a medium security prison that also houses the state's HIV/AIDS prisoners. The scandal was about the medical service there. The doctor at the prison was complaining about prison officials interfering and dictating the treatment and medicines to be dispensed to prisoners. The doctor stated to the Birmingham News newspaper that the warden at Limestone had threatened her with locking her out of the prison if she didn't stop complaining about prison officials interfering in medical matters.

Limestone was also the prison that in the 1990s housed dead HIV/AIDS prisoners' bodies in the kitchen's meat freezer next to the food fed to prisoners.

All prisoners in Alabama know that any time there's a new doctor and that doctor shows any kind of humanity towards prisoners, and diligence in providing proper medical care such as sending prisoners to free-world hospitals, specialists, ordering costly tests, prescribing expensive medications, it won't last long before that doctor's gone.

Prisoners in Alabama have scheduled yearly physicals. Out of my 25 years doing time in Alabama prisons, I have had no more than my height, weight, temperature, and blood pressure measured, blood taken (every three years), TB tests and a few rapid-fire questions asked. That's it!

There's much more neglect, incompetence and denial I could list about healthcare in this nightmare world. The above should be enough to shock your conscious and your actions to fight for a world where exploitation, slavery and profit are not the motive for every endeavor. A better world is possible.

MIM(Prisons) responds:Overall, we don't believe that Amerikans are inadequately informed about prison conditions, and that once we tell them how horrible it is their conscience will kick in and drive them to action. In Amerikans: Oppressing for a Living, we explained how the Amerikan constituents demand "tough on crime" legislation and representatives. Their subjective interests in the welfare of prisoners is reflected in the lack of education programming, support to releasees, as well as abhorrent medical care to people locked up. Damn the facts. Amerikans are gonna keep complaining that "criminals are getting better health care for free" than what they pay for. And they'll ignore it if they pay government taxes that go to line the pockets of medical contractors who are letting people die of preventable causes.

Those of us who suffer at the hands of white Amerika, or commit national suicide should get on this comrade's bandwagon to fight for a world where profit is not a motivating factor for any endeavor, because it's true, a better world is possible.

chain
[Organizing] [Holman Correctional Facility] [Alabama] [ULK Issue 15]
expand

Back to the basics

Not too long ago, prisoners at the Holman Max Security prison in Alabama staged a work/hunger strike in protest of the horrendous and deplorable unsanitary living conditions (open sewage around the toilets and sinks, gaping holes in the shower walls, exposed plumbing, leaking roof in the living and sleeping area and in the kitchen, and the constant arbitrary lockdowns).

There had been grumblings about these conditions from most prisoners. Complaints had been filed but no action was ever taken to correct any of the above problems.

A few prisoners got together, chopped it up and came up with a strategy and tactics to correct the conditions. We knew that this was a winnable battle because the conditions were right to galvanize the entire prison population and we had family and friends on the outside.

The conditions in the dorms and kitchen were so deplorable that there was no way for prisoncrats to dance around the issues of willful neglect and the callous disregard for sanitation and prisoners health.

We also knew that they couldn't afford to allow the prison industry (tag plant/metal fab) to be closed down too long. We were hitting them in their pockets. Plus, the pigs are so lazy that we knew there would be friction among them about having to prepare hot, cooked meals for those prisoners who were exempt from the hunger strike, and to wash the trays, pots and pans.

We made a list of all the people and agencies we want to notify about what was going down and why we were staging a peaceful work/hunger strike. We had our people outside to bombard the commissioner's office with faxes and phone calls, call the local media to notify them of the strike and express their concern and outrage about the conditions.

We then sent kites (notes) to prisoners in the other four dorms about what we were getting ready to do and why, and asked that they take the leadership in their dorms. Word came back from the other dorms giving the ok. Then simultaneously, all four dorms placed all TVs and microwaves at the front gate. TVs have always been used as a weapon to pacify prisoners for years. So, we were letting them know that no longer could they control us with them.

Instantly, the pigs who were in the dorms fled. We addressed the entire dorm laying out what we were doing, why and how we planned on proceeding. We asked that everyone join in the strike. Only the elderly and those with medical reasons were allowed to go and eat, and they acted as reconnaissance scouts while out of the dorm. With everyone's input we drew up a list of demands and declared them non-negotiable. The first demand was that we wanted to talk to the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and not the warden of the prison. We knew that eventually the riot team would be called in so we discussed how we were going to handle that. The consensus was that we keep the strike peaceful and there would be nothing they could do. On more than one occasion, the pigs tried to provoke violent confrontations. We refused to play into their hands.

Over 18 hours into the strike, the commissioner made his way from Montgomery, Alabama to Holman prison at Atmore, Alabama. He requested to speak with our spokesmen. We had selected a spokesman from and for each dorm. The spokesmen informed the commissioner that there would be no dealings with the warden since he had years to address our concerns and that there would be no private talks. The commissioner was forced to enter the dorms. We made our complaints and demands. The commissioner tried to dodge and use the same old crap they always use about budgets and allocations of funds for the ADOC. We let him know that we've heard that before and that we were not willing to end the strike until we got some guarantees and changes. The commissioner eventually agreed to all our demands.

The following day inspectors, contractors, etc. visited the prison and prisoners were temporarily moved from each dorm for renovations to begin. Within a year all dorms were renovated and a new roof was put in place.

We read the conditions right. The population was angry and thoroughly dissatisfied with the conditions. The population was just waiting on someone to take the initiative and move out front, to take the leadership role.

Some did just that.

This article referenced in:
chain
Go to Page 1