Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Arizona Prisons

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. help out 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.

[U.S. Imperialism] [Control Units] [National Oppression] [Saguaro Correctional Center - Corrections Corporation of America] [Saguaro Correctional Center] [Arizona] [Hawaii] [ULK Issue 85]

Hawai'ins Shipped to AZ and Targetted for Isolation

hawaii prisoners dance
Prisoners in Wai’awa Correctional Facility performing a traditional dance

Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona as a private prison is being run illegally by these authorities: WARDEN - Sean Wead, Assistant WARDEN - Jody Bradley, HAWAII CONTRACT MONITOR - Jennifer Bechler and others.

Here, disciplinary segregation is run against CoreCivic policy and by law from the above, because they are segregating only the Hawai’i prisoners for over one (1) year in a segregated unit. And no matter how you look at it, there is no way out, not even if you take them to court, because the courts here in Arizona for SCC all work together to just get free money off the Hawai’ian prisoners when we file a lawsuit.

Help Our Hawai’ian Population

They have this thing that they call SHIP. No policies pursuant to any law authorizes SHIP. SHIP is identified as Special Housing Incentive Program.

CoreCivic does not provide “intensive program” within SHIP:

  • Does not provide substance abuse treatment
  • Does not provide education
  • Does not provide comprehensive programs
  • Does not provide vocational opportunities to prepare prisoners for a successful re-entry into society or the general population

SHIP does not support academic development through Adult Basic Education (ABE) or General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Therefore SHIP lacks any penological goal or correctional interest.

Why does Hawai’i support SHIP when it does not help our Hawai’ian population? Our people deserve better. SHIP is fraud. CoreCivic is degrading our Hawai’ian people.

Halawa Correctional Facility (the state prison in Honolulu, Hawaii) does not recognize SHIP, so how does CoreCivic get away with it here?

The First Amendment authorizes anyone to grieve the government. Due Process requires at the minimum some type of hearing to be held. The Eighth Amendment, which is “cruel and unusual punishment” as well as “retaliation” is heavy in this private prison of Saguaro Correctional Center. And these authorities just get away with it. It is wrong for the law to do that to innocent prisoners that are only trying to go home to their family and learn from the mistakes that led them to prison.

MIM(Prisons) adds:In 1995, 300 Hawai’ian prisoners were shipped from occupied Hawai’i to the occupied Sonoran Desert, where CoreCivic (at the time the Corrections Corporation of America) runs the Saguaro Correctional Center. This was billed as a “temporary measure” to deal with extreme overcrowding in prisons on the Hawaiian islands. But it was not temporary. Today there are about 1000 Hawaiians there, and at the peak there were about 1,500.

Just over a year ago, Hawaii News Now got rare video access to Saguaro CC for an apparent fluff piece to appease growing concerns among Hawai’ians for the people being shipped there. The story praises the program for giving access to cleaner, less crowded prisons where there are more programs for rehabilitation preparing people for their release back to Hawai’i.(1) According to the author above, it seems everything took a sharp change after Hawaii News Now left, or someone was lying.

While only 10% of the population of the state of Hawai’i today, Native Hawai’ians and Pacific Islanders make up 44% of the prison population.(2) In 2010, Pacific Islanders were 1.5% of the prison population in Arizona, despite being 0.2% of the state population. This is due primarily to the shipping of Hawaii’s prisoners to Saguaro CC.

Hawai’i is one of the internal semi-colonies of the United $tates. We report regularly on the disproportionate targeting of the internal semi-colonies for imprisonment, and once in prison, for isolation. So it is no surprise that Hawai’ians are facing similar repression by Amerikans. We support this comrade’s call, and hope we can play a role in the campaign to bring Hawaiian prisoners home.

1. Lynn Kawano, 15 December 2022, These prisoners have access to better facilities. The price? They’re 3,000 miles from home, Hawaii News Now.
2. Prison Policy Initiative profile on Hawaii, using data from 2021.

[Economics] [Prison Food] [Saguaro Correctional Center - Corrections Corporation of America] [Arizona]

Commissary Prices Rising in Saguaro Correctional Center

This prison of Saguaro Correctional Center has been doing prisoners dirty with the prices. For example, Ramen in the year of 2021 was for a 2-8 oz pack $0.45 and then year of 2022 is $0.56 and now the year of 2023 is $0.63. Ramen in the real world is $0.23 cents, so this is wrong. Coffee keefe 100% colomb reseal 3oz in the year of 2021 was $4.29, and then it went up $1.82 to $6.11 and now year of 2023 it went up again $0.98 to $7.09; and that is so crazy to me. Japanese wash cloth in the year of 2021 was $3.00 and it went up $1.89 in 2022 and 2023 to $4.89, and all other commissary goes up as well and that doesn’t include tax. All that prison does to people that are poor and weak is not doing good out in the real world and families of prisoners are trying their best too, but when a prisoner is stuck in the hole in prison it’s hard to get out and make money.

[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Florida State Prison] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Florida] [Indiana] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 80]

Woke Prison Officials See Racism Everywhere

The imperialists are crying “racism” to repress prisoner organizing, censoring mail
and punishing those who boycott their patriotic holidays.

Lately there has been a rash of woke mail room staff and prison officials who seem to be able to find “racism” everywhere they look. Under Lock & Key has been censored by a number of these activist employees of the state in Arizona, Indiana and Florida. This is very odd, as most of our readers know we rarely even mention the concept of race as we maintain that it is not a biologically valid concept, so clearly we do not believe or promote ideas of racism or racial superiority. But these snowflakes are just looking for reasons to be offended and use the state to crush free speech and association of the oppressed.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry - Office of Publication Review gave as one of their reasons for censoring Under Lock & Key 78 as:

“7.2.8 Content that is oriented toward and/or promotes racism and/or religious oppression and the superiority of one race/religion/political group over another, and/or the degradation of one race/religion/political group by another.”

“…The pages identified containing such content are throughout, including, but not limited to, pages 1, 2, 4, 9, 16.”

Page 2 is the same in every issue of Under Lock & Key and is an explanation of what MIM(Prisons) is and how our programs work. We do not promote racism or even discuss race on that page. Page 1, 4 and 9 contain reports on the struggle of Texas prisoners against oppression, and page 16 lists ongoing campaigns, including the one in Texas. It is confusing why Arizona is so worried about this campaign in Texas, and why they would call it “racist.” However, it did advocate boycotting the Juneteenth holiday, which triggered prison staff in Texas to get very repressive.

On 21 November 2022, staff member Chambers of the Indiana Department of Corrections censored Under Lock & Key 79 at Pendleton Correctional Facility. Pendleton has been censoring all mail from MIM Distributors for the last year for spurious reasons. Snowflake Chambers was offended by the spelling of Amerikkka with 3 K’s and decided to label it Security Threat Group material.

Security Threat Group (STG) can be used to prevent materials from entering the prison that facilitate illegal activities by a criminal group (STG). STG cannot be used as an excuse to censor people for their political beliefs. It is our belief that Amerikkka is a white supremacist nation and therefore we spell it with 3 K’s to criticize it as such. This is political speech, and it is legal in the U.S.A.

Florida State Prison (FSP) also deemed Under Lock & Key 79 to be “racist” among other things, on 2 December 2022. We really must go through their reasoning point-by-point for censoring this newspaper as it is quite revealing.

They objected to “Obtaining Copy of Lawsuit on TX Mail Policy BP-03.91” because “our inmates might try this”! The article is literally just telling people where to write and how much to pay to get a copy of a pending lawsuit around Texas mail policies. At this point it seems they’re just rubbing it in our faces to use the most illegal reasons they can to censor us.

FSP employee J.M. Clillen (sp?) goes on to cite “Alabama Prisoners Demand Freedom” because “talking about living conditions”. So that’s illegal now? If we talk about conditions in prisons all of a sudden we’re “racists”?

The one article Clillen cites that does not have a reason with it is “Free Palestine - Join the BDS Movement.” This couldn’t possibly be a threat to security at FSP, and is clearly just demonstrating their support for the Zionist (racist?) state of I$rael.

Finally we get to the “racist” claim, which was made against the article “Conquering My Demons” on page 13. This article is a self-criticism by a USW comrade regarding eir past substance use and misogyny, and a call for all of us to become new, better people. It discusses the resistance of oppressed nations against the imperialists – which is our best guess as to why they labelled it “racist.” Oh, and it also spells Amerikkka with 3 K’s. That’s not racism idiot, that’s a critique of racism.

There are no rights, only power struggles. And it is the oppressed and powerless who are denied rights by the powerful in this racist woke imperialist country.

[Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [La Palma Correctional Center - Corrections Corporation of Americ] [California] [Arizona]

AZ Confiscates New Afrikan Materials From CA Prisoner

Lastly I recently experienced an illegal confiscation of my property. In November of 2017 I was sent to an out-of-state facility, La Palma Correctional Center in Arizona. California has been using contract beds for a while. Anyways my property was inspected without me being present. I set as a new arrival without my property for 3 weeks. When I did receive my property a bulk of my property was missing (which included pictures, writings, self-help paperwork, religious material, phone books, and books including a dictionary and college textbooks). This was done under the guise of “gang material” upon me arriving off of the bus STG. Lt. Freeman was documenting my tattoos with pictures (I have several Afro-Centric tattoos that represent my culture and heritage).

Upon further inspection of my property I noticed anything that was Afro-Centric or point blank had black people on it was confiscated along with greeting cards and my medallion which is an Ank. Things that you can’t interpret any other way but for what it is was taken. Since then I received some things back but majority of it is still being withheld and as you see I’m back in California. I’m currently on the 3rd level 602 process.

I just want to let brothers aware of what’s going on at LPCC in Arizona. Anyone who is scheduled to be transferred there or is there needs to be aware. Out there we are still governed by CDC’s title 15 yet Arizona is not abiding by it with their policies.

PEACE your brother on the struggle.

[Censorship] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 70]

HRDC Forces Arizona DOC to Define Censorship Rules

Freedom is Never Free

In November 2019, the U.S. District Court ruled that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) must “establish bright-line rules that narrowly define prohibited content in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.” These rules must be defined by mid-February. This ruling comes after years of censorship of a variety of publications by the ADC, often as a result of arbitrary decisions from mailroom staff.

In this case Prison Legal News (PLN) (a project of the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC)) filed a lawsuit in 2015 challenging the censorship of its newsletter for “sexually explicit” content. Ironically, the content that inspired this censorship was describing non-consensual sexual contact between guards and prisoners. And as most readers know, PLN is primarily a legal resource for prisoners fighting injustices like this prison rape.

Arizona bans a variety of publications, including issues of National Geographic, Men’s Health, and GQ.

Issues of Under Lock & Key are also on this banned list, though not for sexually explicit material. In the case of ULK, the most recent ban (that we know about) is ULK 63 from July/August 2018, which was banned for “Incite, Aide, Abet Riots, Work Stoppages, Means of Resistance.” Many other issues of ULK sent to subscribers in Arizona are returned or rejected without reasons given. Our attempt to appeal this ban of ULK 63, requesting the ADC provide more evidence than these vague claims resulted in the following response: “The pages identified containing such content are throughout, including, but not limited to, pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 17.”

In an example of their arbitrary decisions around censorship, a MIM(Prisons) six-page guide to forming a prisoner-led study group was censored in 2016 because it supposedly “Promotes superiority of one group over another/promotes racism/degradation.” This is exactly what MIM(Prisons) fights against: the superiority of one group of people over another. And this is exactly what the criminal injustice system promotes.

This court ruling requires the Arizona Department of Corrections to change the mail policy from allowing DOC staff to use their discretion when determining what’s banned and to establish consistency in excluding sexually explicit material. This won’t help MIM(Prisons) as it is rare that a prison claims ULK should be censored for sexually explicit material. But any progress towards less censorship and more narrowly-defined policies is a good thing.

On 22 October, in a different case, Prison Legal News was awarded $1.2 million in attorney fees by a Federal district court in Florida after a nine-year lawsuit over censorship of PLN publication because of ads for phone services, pen-pals and stamps. This victory came after the Supreme Court refused to take up the final appeal of this PLN ban.(1) This resulted in the case remanding back to the district court for a ruling on the attorneys’ fees. Basically this means PLN won on their Due Process claims but lost on their First Amendment claims. So the censorship is still legal, but the DOC failed to follow proper censorship policy.

“Free speech isn’t free,” said Human Rights Defense Center executive director Paul Wright. “In this case, censorship by the Florida Department of Corrections cost state taxpayers almost $1.2 million – because of the vicious efforts by the prison system to censor HRDC’s publications. The Attorney General’s office spent over 3,000 hours in attorney time fighting this case. The real tragedy is that Florida prisoners remain unable to read PLN and other HRDC publications that will educate and inform them of their rights.”(2)

PLN and the HRDC have done a lot to fight censorship in prisons over the years. And their hard work on this front benefits everyone seeking to help educate and organize prisoners. This censorship, and failures in the courts prove a point we often make: there are no rights, only power struggles.

Censorship is one of the biggest barriers to our work with prisoners. And it’s an area where we always need more help, both from jailhouse lawyers and from lawyers on the streets. If your mail is censored, APPEAL IT, and get in touch with us and let us know. We will send you a guide to fighting censorship and sometimes we can assist on our end with an appeal to the prison. And lawyers on the streets get in touch and help us with these battles!

[Campaigns] [Arizona]

Arizona Grievance Battle Sample Letters

Dear Administrators,

This is an official legal notice to inform you all about certain violations and misconduct transpiring here at this facility, by your prison employees. This memorandum is being sent so that you all cannot deny knowledge of situations occurring beneath your supervision. And so that petitioner/prisoners can show a judicial court of law that we did all that we could to resolve issues internally.

Jesus, his disciples, journalists and various others were murdered or severely persecuted/oppressed for exposing injustices, for speaking the truth. Therefore, it should not be difficult to believe that similar punishments are occurring here today at this facility, prisoners are suffering various punishments for exposing injustices, for filing grievances. Suffering punishments that are illegal and require correction!

Require correction in order to prevent/deter continued misconduct by prison employees who think it is okay to harass and retaliate against prisoners for their filing grievances or for whatever unwarranted reason prison employees are engaging in such vile behaviors. Correction and intervention is required in order to protect prisoners from the destruction of their personal/legal properties like written testimony from other prisoners who bore witness to certain incidents. And other evidences/exhibits being compiled to help support claims of various sorts.

Failure to adhere to this plea for help will likely result in continued abuses of authority, abuses of process, continue degrading, humiliating conditions of confinement which violate state/federal laws and constitutions. And will likely result in permanent injury, whether mentally or physically.

Prisoners’ primary problem revolves around #1 Prison officials utter disregard for their own rules and regulations that governs their duties to receive, process, investigate and respond to prisoners grievances. And #2, gravitates around prisoners suffering reprisals for their utilizing the grievance process in an attempt to resolve complaints. Some of these conspiratorial practices to violate grievance policy, and prisoners First Amendment rights, including manifold reprisals like intimidation, intimidation through the destruction of personal properties. These reprisals only compound upon the existing problems that myself and others are experiencing. The ignoring of prisoner complaints not only allows for whatever issues to continue to occur, but also encourages unruly employees who engage in out of control misbehaviors. No need to mention that this also allows illegal conduct to go on unchecked.

The grievance process is established to resolve grievances/conflicts to ease tensions at the lowest levels possible, and is/should be available to prisoners for the opportunity at informal resolution and formal review of all issues which are not informally rectified. The grievance policy also provides for timely administrative responses to submitted complaints, so that prisoners wouldn’t have to bother an already busy justice system.

Administrative personnel, the grievance officer, are responsible for promoting meaningful dialogue and timely written responses. All appropriated personnel are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the grievance process for all the obvious reasons. And that appeals are presented to the appropriate personnel for a meaningful review. Wardens, administration etc are responsible for the wellbeing of their prison population. And not just form risks posed form other prisoner, but also against those risks and dangers being inflicted by out of control prison employees. The grievance process is really the only way us prisoners have to present and alert prison officials of any risk or harm. Really the only way to safeguard prisoners from whatever they might be experiencing. The grievance policy should not be ignored, and neither should this memorandum.

Please adjust the following to your own states constitutions.

Under article 11 section 5 of the Arizona constitution, the right to petition and the right of people to peacefully protest/assemble for the common good, shall never be abridged. The universal declaration of human rights, guaranteed under article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by a competent tribunal for any acts that violate fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution or by law.

And although prison officials can ban certain protests like mass groupings to protest conditions of confinement so long as prisoners have other ways to voice their grievance complaints i.e. the grievance process. See Duamutef v. O’Keefe, 98 F.3d 22 (2nd Cir 1996). BUT – prison officials CANNOT retaliate neither harass prisoners for utilizing the grievance process to complain about wrongs being committed.

However, when myself and others attempt to or actually exercise our rights to make use of the grievance process prison officials join together to deter, harass, and retaliate against prisoners using a combination of ways that also include #1. refusal to acknowledge/investigate, or respond to submitted grievances. #2. Make false claims that they never received complaints. #3. They also hinder, obstruct justice, lose supporting documents/evidences. #4 Prevent prisoners from filing or being heard on appeal. #5. Illegally destroy, intercept incoming/outgoing legal mail, to prevent filing with the courts. And a slew of other unethical reactions like false misconduct reports adverse/unjustified misclassification etc.

These are but a few of their dirty tricks, and these practices violate conspiracy laws like Title 42 U.S.C 1995(3) & 1986. And are underhanded attempts to assail our efforts to be heard, and to exhaust our internal administrative remedies, which we believe is in an attempt to circumvent the judicial process as 42 U.S.C – 1997e states no action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of the same title, until such internal administrative remedies are exhausted. Prison officials are deliberately ignoring prisoner complaints, in an attempt to lie/allege failure to exhaust as one of their affirmative defenses a practice that should never be tolerated!

Prisoners obligation to exhaust under the prison litigation reform act or other provisions, only applies, as long as some remedy remains available or a prisoner has been reliably informed that administrative remedies are not available (Brown v. Valoff 422, F.3d 935 (9th Cir 2005). The supreme court requires prisoners to exhaust administrative remedies only to the extent that a remedy remains available, before petitioning for judicial intervention/review. However, this process has become unfair and difficult as prison employees are violating the grievance process and tampering with legal documents/evidence.

Prison employees need to be informed and made to understand the reality of law, that grievances filed through the official grievance procedure, are constitutionally protected. And prison employees deliberate interference with the procedure and retaliations thereafter could/will result in civil and prosecutorial penalties. In conclusion, these problems permeate through to the whole prison population and adversely affect the vast majority. Some prisoners even decline to utilize the grievance process for fear of reprisals, many have been witnesses to these problems going on unchecked and see their fellow prisoners to continue to experience these aforementioned misconducts that are going on with impunity, this creating a whole other set of problems that affects prisoners mental and physical wellbeing. And an internal investigation should ensue.

We persist amidst the onslaught of reprisals so the truth can be told, and to seek justice/correction for all the violations occurring here at your facility.

Thank you for your time and attention. Please acknowledge and respond.

Respectfully submitted
CC: ____________________
State of (fill in name)
County of (fill in name)
In the (insert name of superior court or judicial district court)
Case # (initially leave blank, court will assign a #)

(Your name here) Petitioner
(Their name here) Respondents

Petition for a protective/injunctive relief order

Comes now petitioner, respectfully petitioning this court for a protective injunctive relief order, to protect petitioner, his or her rights, personal properties like legal documents and evidences against destruction, harassments or other misconducts by respondents while petitioner seeks to rectify grievances via the grievance process, and then judicially.

Because abuse of authority and internal corruption exists and violations of and conspiracy to violate petitioners First Amendment rights petitioner requires a protective injunctive relief order.

Respondents are infamous for issuing threats to unlawfully segregate prisoners without due process on trumped up charges, or famous for utilizing their authority position to intimidate prisoners for using the grievance process or for pursuing judicial intervention.

Respondents prison officials have already implied their intention to issue reprisals [be sure you include relevant information surrounding your situation to help justify the courts needing to grant your petition. You can even express your not being secure in your persons and effects.]

It would be useful if you did a little bit of legal reading to help you orient yourself. It is not complicated give yourself a chance you might be surprised besides you are going to have to insert your own states statutes or refer to certain court rules if need be. But it sure beats just letting them win and simply do whatever to us, the struggle is real.

Keep in mind this is only an example make adjustments as you see fit.

You can also petition the court for an injunctive relief order in a similar manner, under their duty to investigate and respond to grievance complaints, attach the grievance policy as an exhibit indicate the petition is required to protect and prevent serious harm or other risks that prison personnel are recklessly disregarding.

Afterward you ask for a specific relief like for an order ordering prison officials to begin responding to grievances etc,

Wherefore petitioner respectfully asks this court to
#1 order respondents to

All prisons have notaries: be sure to get a notary seal or declare under penalty of perjury that the facts contained in the complaint/petition are true and correct

Signature ________________
[Abuse] [Hunger Strike] [Arizona State Prison Complex Central Unit] [Arizona]

Hunger strike to stop abuse in Arizona

I'm writing to request assistance with my imminent hunger strike, commencing 12/8/2017. You can help by calling the prison, repetitively and constantly, urging them to resolve the inhumane and unconstitutional conditions of confinement and mistreatment prison officials are subjecting me to here in Kasson Unit, which are enumerated below.

I've submitted dozens of Releases of Information to Kasson's Mental Health Lead, Dr. Tracy Rogers, my therapist/advocate. The R.O.I.s allow her to discuss with you all matters concerning me. They allow ADC to do the same. Rogers and my mother (who is also the legal agent of my powers of attorney) are well-informed of these strike issues and can help you help me. I strongly urge you contact both to coordinate the best possible plan of advocacy for resolution. However, please do not hesitate to call in now. Ask for resolution. Demand it.

I went through a similar strike in Sep., 2017. It lasted 13 days. I lost 26 lbs., or 14% of my body mass. Prison officials, during the strike, seemed willing, eager, to resolve the issues, but, as soon as I ended the strike (because they promised concessions and resolutions), they reneged and let the issues go unresolved. In fact, more issues have risen since, and they continue to perpetrate and ignore them.

Please know that prison officials here, including mental health staff, can force me to be placed in the Mental Health Suicide Watch Pod. There, I will be stripped of all clothing, property, hygiene - everything. I will not be able to write, send personal or legal mail, work on my civil rights cases and appeals. Placement in Watch is purely retaliation and serves no purpose other than to act as a deterrent. Watch cells are filthy, never cleaned, cold. I'll receive no recreation or out-of-cell time. They'll be treating me worse than a dog at the pound on the eve of being euthanized. That is the ethos of Kasson Unit.

Kasson Unit is rife with staff misconduct, psychological torture, psychological and sexual abuse by staff, illegal destruction of personal property (a violation of A.R.S. §31-228(A)), and other unconstitutional and illegal acts and procedures of prison officials. Kasson is the most corrupt, broken unit I've been in in my entire 12.5 years in ADC. The misconduct is systemic, and very few staff have managed to avoid the pool of corruption.

This hunger strike is my last resort, my only recourse, so please help me urge them, these government officials who are paid with your tax dollars, to grant resolutions before things worsen. This strike is about finding justice, equality, fair and humane treatment, and human decency. The issues I'm trying to resolve are described below. Thank you very much for your concern and solidarity.

1. Kasson Unit must eliminate the extreme cockroach infestation. Each 4-man pod has thousands of roaches, each cell hundreds. They crawl everywhere: walls, floors, ceiling, property, clothing, bed, even my body, while sleeping. Staff have even delivered my food with roaches in it. They refuse to properly address the problem, will not pay their contracted exterminators the required amount to actually exterminate them. In my 15 months here they've sprayed a minimal amount of pesticide in the cells only twice. It is extremely unsanitary.

2. Since Jan, 2017, mail room, at Sgt. J. Ramos' direction, has been returning to sender all incoming books and magazines I subscribe to, in violation of my First Amendment rights. They falsely claim I have in my possession more than the allowed limit of books (10) and magazines (5). They do this because I challenge their illegal exclusions and censorship of certain magazines, such as Esquire, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, etc. They figure that if they return to sender all publications, I won't be able to appeal censorship. They allow, seldomly, only secular publications, another First Amendment violation.

3. Staff, including C.O.3 Oswald, C.O.4 Castorena, and Dep. Warden Montano, refuse to allow me reasonable - or any - telephonic access to call my attorneys of record. This is causing irreparable damage to my legal cases and is highly unconstitutional. Pima Co. Judge Godoy has ordered an inquiry into this matter, but staff continue to refuse any legal calls, since Feb, 2017.

4. Staff must provide me with unfettered access to grievance forms, per policy (D.O. B02.01.1.7) and the Redress of Grievances clause of the First Amendment, but they consistently deny them. Additionally, Oswald refused to respond to most of my informal grievances, though his job, and policy (D.O. 802.02.13), mandates Responses. Their justification for this is that I "file too many grievances." There is no limit for filing grievances. Also, Grievance Coordinator Castorena refuses to process valid grievances, instead returning them "processed" under false pretexts, in violation of the grievance policy. 4(A) This issue is compounded by staff's refusal to properly address the problem. All staff, including Central Office, Admin., Programs and Security, routinely refuse to respond to my Inmate Letters, in violation of D.O. 916. They claim they never received them, though I retain proof of receipt by staff. They are attempting to effectively silence me. They must respond to all Inmate Letter forms. 4(B) This matter also relates to issue #2, as Florence Complex Publication Review staff commonly refuse to acknowledge receipt of my Exclusion Appeals, a Due Process violation.

5. Staff will not respect my Right to Education. They allowed me to begin earning my paralegal degree from Blackstone Career Inst. in May, 2017, but have returned to sender all course materials since June, relying on unconstitutional prison policies as a justification. This is a self-pay course, which will improve my life and reduce chances of recidivism upon release. This prison must allow me to resume this course.

6. I have a Special Needs Order (S.N.O.) for sunglasses, to help me treat my photosensitivity. I've had approved sunglasses sent in but Property Officer C.O.2 M. Del Valle refuses to give them to me, without any justification. Exposure to bright light causes migraines. My sunglasses have been sent in previously, but staff stole them. Now this pair is in jeopardy of being stolen, or "lost."

7. Property Officer Del Valle is violating prison policies and AZ (ARS §31-228(A)) by destroying my property. She refuses to allow me to return to sender non-allowable items (e.g. photos, etc.) received via mail, in violation of D.O. 909. & She instead decides to illegally destroy it.

8. Staff are withholding my TV because I'm serving Loss of Privilege (LOP) disciplinary sanctions, though they permit everybody else on LOP to retain/possess their TV. They single me out because I file so many grievances and lawsuits, which other prisoners are afraid to do for fear of retaliation - like having appliances seized.

9. In July, 2017, staff inappropriately placed me under protective custody (P.C.) without providing me any notice (Due Process). Placing me under PC was retaliation, an attack on my pride and integrity, and is totally unwarranted. They claim it was due to a single written threat on my safety. 9(A) Further, Dep. Warden Mortano refuses to process my requests to be removed from P.C., a violation of D.O. 805. (See also:4(A))

10. Mail Room staff are enforcing unfair, unconstitutional and illegal mail policies, which must cease. D.O. 914.02.1.5, 1.5.1,, 1.5.2, 05.1.3, 1.3.2, 1.5, 1.5.4 and 1.8 allow staff to read, seize and withhold incoming and outgoing mail if staff, regardless of rank, don't like or find offensive the content of the personal correspondence. I've personally been aggrieved of this issue. The policies & procedures are totally unconstitutional, too vague, and illegal. 10(A) Additionally, staff refuse to allow self-addressed stamped envelopes (SASEs) to be received unless they are sent from a secular (Christian) group. They routinely seize SASEs sent from non-secular groups, a violation of D.O. 914. and the First Amendment. (I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.)

[Medical Care] [Drugs] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 59]

Corizon Running Drugs to Control AZ Prisoners

Drugs in prison is a sensitive topic in the convict world. Being that I live in it and that I am STG'd out here in Arizona, I will refrain from speaking/writing about the illegal kind as here in solitary they are not as prevalent as they are out there on the yards. I will not lie though, and say that they are non-existent here, as all convicts know "where there is a will, there is a way." But what I mean is that there is no one all strung out or in debt and so forth.

The number one drug here is the pills that the contract medical provider, Corizon Health, Inc., is giving to everyone, i.e. the legal kind. These prescription drugs that come in the guise of treatment are what reigns supreme here in SMU. You don't even have to wait for visit on the weekends like on the yard. No way not here, here they are passed out on the daily, twice a day, even three times a day to some. These drugs are prescribed by so called "clinicians who use an evidence based approach to treat conditions such as yours which includes maximizing formulary medication use while providing safe and effective treatment," to quote Corizon staff verbatim. This is actually impossible as you cannot eyeball someone and use that as your evidence. That is just a guess, and not an educated one.

Now that they have taken actual pain medication, which is only gabapentin, a pill to treat nerve damage, Corizon staff have been directed to prescribe psych drugs in replacement. So instead of further treatment that include MRIs, EMG treatment, physical therapy, or a range of other options, they are taking away a drug that works, to prescribe you an anti-depressant for pain management as if the depression from you being here was causing you pain and not the stenosis in your neck, AC joint separation, nerve damage, etc. This psych med is like the commercials that you see on TV where the side effect is diarrhea, headache, etc.

The system gives you these legal drugs instead of approving further treatment because MRIs cost money, and outside care visits cost money. So they want you on psych meds to have you walking around like a zombie or not so depressed from being STG'd and housed in solitary. Even the law firms and organizations representing us in Parsons v. Ryan are aware, yet choose to do nothing. Corizon staff and Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) staff actually tell you to seek outside legal representation, like a dare! But while all we want is to be treated for our injuries and not drugs, ADC will not step in nor will our so-called legal team. Instead, our drugs at this unit are more habit-forming and more highly accessible than the illegal kind, and will continue to be supplied by our very own med provider Corizon, and all legally.

ADC will just allow this to continue to take place and protect their mule, Corizon, just like the drug cartels in the motherland. This is ADC's "plaza" and Corizon will continue to funnel drugs all over the state of Arizona, not through tunnels, planes, boats, or on foot but right through the front gate with a badge and a greeting, service with a smile!

MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer brings up an important point about drugs in prison. The problem isn't just illegal drugs numbing minds and harming bodies, it's also legal drugs being prescribed by the prison medical teams to keep the population pacified. This pacification happens through the action of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, which can dull all emotions, and also through addictive drugs like pain meds. Instead of treating the real problems, both physical and emotional, that are caused by years of living in the harmful conditions of Amerikan prisons, prison medical staff just treat the symptoms, if they offer any treatment at all.

From the capitalist perspective, in the short term providing inadequate health care and getting people addicted to pacifying drugs is an effective way to control costs and control the prison population. But in the long term this makes no sense, even for the capitalists. Health problems left untreated will only get worse as people age, and become more expensive to deal with. Further, releasing prisoners addicted to pain killers or other drugs does not lead to productive life on the streets.

This only makes sense in the context of a criminal injustice system that wants to maintain a revolving door of an expanding prison population. One that doesn't care if prisoners live or die, as long as they stay passive. While it may be true that cost is part of the reason good treatment isn't provided, Amerikans are happy to spend lots of money on prisons in general. Spending all that money is justified because the prisons provide an effective tool of social control, targeting oppressed nations and all who resist the capitalist system. The drugs given to prisoners behind bars are just one part of that control.

[Abuse] [Hunger Strike] [Arizona]

Persynal Hunger Strike in Arizona Against Retaliation and Abuse

I am writing to inform you that I am commencing a hunger strike on 2017 September 9, to continue until the below issues are resolved. These issues are regarding equal treatment, retaliation, legal rights, First Amendment rights, staff misconduct and conditions of confinement. The Warden is Kevin Curran. The Deputy Warden is Ruben Montano. The Chief of Security is Rodrick Williams, a captain. I am in Kasson Unit. Mental Health Dr. Tracy Rogers is advocating for me. She is well informed. She's trying to help my situation, but is up against security and administration.

List of Hunger Strike Resolutions:

  1. Allow me to resume taking my paralegal correspondence course
  2. Rescind the ban on all my incoming magazines and books
  3. Give me my TV from property office
  4. Give me my prescription eyeglasses from property
  5. Allow me to receive sunglasses in accordance with my Special Needs Order
  6. Remove me from Protective Custody (PC) status
  7. Provide me unfettered access to grievance forms
  8. Provide me with regularly scheduled legal calls to my attorneys
  9. Conduct legal box exchanges in accordance with policy
  10. Allow me to do book exchanges with my personal books in property

1. Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) allowed me to begin the course, via Blackstone Career Institution. I aced the first exam. My tuition sponsor (my mom) and I entered into a $800 enrollment agreement, only to be told by ADC I could not continue the course because maximum custody prisoners cannot take correspondence courses. I am no longer a max custody inmate; I've lowered my score. I am now close custody, but ADC still won't allow me to resume the course. This course will help me. It will improve my life, and my chances at staying out of prison upon release. I guess the prison doesn't want that.

2. In Jan 2017 the mail room began enforcing an illegal ban on all my incoming books and magazines because I would regularly appeal their censorship of publications. Presently, I subscribe to more than 20 magazines and newsletters. ADC returns all to sender without giving me a chance to appeal. The same is done with books.

3. I am serving over 3 years of disciplinary Loss of Privilege (LOP) sanctions, including loss of appliances. ADC is withholding my TV in property. But I am the only one in Kasson Unit Wing One being subject to loss of appliances. Everyone else on LOP is allowed to retain their TV and appliances. They single me out because I file so many grievances and some civil rights lawsuits, which other prisoners are scared to do.

4. ADC said my mom could send in prescription eyeglasses, then withheld them upon arrival. They've been held in property since May 2017 and are medically necessary. They comply with all ADC policies.

5. In retaliation for my grievances on mail room, mail room staff keep returning to sender my medical sunglasses under false pretexts. I have a medical Special Needs Order for them. And I've previously had sunglasses here at Browning Unit, both max custody units.

6. ADC placed me under protective custody without notifying me, violating due process. They put me in PC without cause, as an insult to my integrity and pride. There is no need or justification to put/keep me under PC status.

7. Prison staff refuse to provide me with the grievance forms I require to proceed in the grievance process, in violation of their own policy (D.O.802) and my First amendment right to redress of grievances. My COIII (counselor), Mr. A. Oswald, refuses to provide me with the forms, as do all staff, who tell me they've been ordered not to give them to me.

8. My C.O.III, who's backed by ADC administration on this, refuses to provide me with any legal calls to my two criminal attorneys and my civil rights counsel, all of whom are attorneys-of-regard. This violates my constitutional rights to speak with and consult with my lawyers, and is causing irreparable damage to my cases.

9. Kasson property officer Ms. T. Williams repeatedly violates policy (D.O. 909) by not allowing me to do legal box exchanges. Property is to conduct exchanges within 3 days of the request. I submited weekly, for the past 4 months and she allowed only 1 exchange. Because I'm only permitted to possess 4 of my 16 legal boxes in my cell, this violation prohibits me from accessing vital legal documents and thus hinders my ability to adequately litigate my cases. I've filed many grievances on Williams, and this is her retaliation.

10. I have several personal books in property. Williams's superiors at Central Office have ordered her to allow me to do book exchanges, but she refuses to let me. This has been going on for one year, since my 7 September 2016 arrival to Kasson. I simply wish to read my books.

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