Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII - Arizona

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

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[Campaigns] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 57]
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Medical Care in Arizona's Solitary

I'm writing from Arizona solitary confinement, aka SMU2, to let others know what is going on with the corrupt medical grievance process. Recently a memo was passed out that all medical grievances are now to be treated differently and go through Corizon staff, which is the contracted company that provides health treatment to Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). This process consists of only 2 steps, which are an "informal resolution complaint" and then the "grievance." Both are to go through the Facility Health Administrator (FHA), which allows for no transparency nor checks and balances. Since this change in the grievance procedure, not one "informal resolution complaint" form has been replied to in accordance to ADC's Department Order #802 "Inmate Grievance System", that is set up to oversee this process.

So after the FHA does not respond, one has to move on to the grievance per this policy. The grievances are not delivered back for 1 to 2 months, and this only due to me writing to a CCO3 (counselor) to inquire about replies. The replies are pretty generic and consist of responses like "your complaint has been forwarded to..." "your complaint is substantiated..." etc. and that the grievance is resolved. Yet nothing is done and there is no type of appeal to this, so no other remedy can be sought as the process is exhausted here.

Before, the process wasn't much better but it would go through 4 steps as a way to oversee this process. I have sought remedy through this process on many occasions, so many as a matter of fact that I have actually had 2 meetings with the FHA. At the latest one, she personally resolved a grievance by renewing one of my prescriptions. Yet these prescriptions were not renewed and instead were allowed to expire without any type of tapering or alternative treatment in place. So I am at a loss as to what my next step is, as even when a grievance is granted it is not followed through on.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a couple of other law firms actually have a lawsuit on behalf of ADC prisoners named Parsons v. Ryan which is not even being adhered to, as the ACLU recently filed a motion showing that ADC was not in compliance with this lawsuit. Being that the suit is not for monetary compensation to the actual plaintiffs, being us, the ACLU gets their so-called expenses paid as well as the fine, which in this last case was a cool $2 million.

ADC would rather pay the fine than provide adequate health care as it is much cheaper to do so, and they will continue to do so because it will save them a ton of money! I have written the ACLU in Washington and the Arizona ACLU, as well as the Prison Law Office out of San Quentin who are the attorneys in charge of the lawsuit and all that they do is forward my informal grievances and HNRs to each other as well as shoot me one another's addresses for me to contact them. The replies are to grieve it, which I have, and the grievances were substantiated and granted yet I am here in my little cell without treatment as I write these very words.

Any ideas of what to do next would be greatly appreciated! I let the FHA know that this type of deliberate indifference and derelict of duty would not be allowed in any other type of medical treatment setting. Therefore why is it allowed here in SMU2? If anyone has suggestions on how to proceed please contact MIM(Prisons) for me, thank you.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer provides yet another good example of the failure of prison grievance systems as well as the courts. In this case Arizona has set up a system that just wastes prisoners' time while offering no accountability, even when grievances and Court Orders are granted.

It is for situations like this that the campaign to demand our grievances be addressed was initiated. We have a petition pertaining to Arizona State Prison that could be modified for this battle in solitary confinement. While these petitions don't often win the battles for us immediately, they help us build support by spreading the campaign to others and giving them specific actions they can take. At the same time we're all too well aware that prisons don't have an interest in addressing grievances. Anything that costs more money or requires more services, or that forces COs to treat prisoners with respect and dignity, is going to be a hard battle. The criminal injustice system is set up to do the opposite, and so we will have to fight for each right. Write to us to get a copy of the Arizona petition to modify for this battle.

While grievances and courts fail, we learn the same lesson over and over again — that legal battles will not get us where we need to be, to a world without oppression. Court cases and grievance campaigns sometimes win some victories, that is true. But for long-lasting change we really need to organize with each other, build unity, educate and struggle together to force change. We hope this correspondent will take this failure of the courts as inspiration to try a different method of resolution.

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[Control Units] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII] [Arizona]
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21 years in Super Max with no way out

Receiving your newspapers let me read what you're about and I am very impressed. As I see that MIM stands firmly against the criminal injustices and engages in reformist battles to improve the lives of prisoners.

I am particularly drawn to the section Under Lock & Key: News from Prisons & Prisoners, as I myself am a prisoner housed in SMU-2, the Super Maximum Security Lockdown unit here in Arizona State Prison.

I have been slammed down in super maximum security lockdown units since 9/14/87, to this very day. On 9/14/87, I was slammed down in CB#6, the first super max lockdown unit. On 8/1/89, I was transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-1 and remained until 2/1/96, and then transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-2, special management unit.

This particular unit was built to house all alleged prison gang members and street gang members. Once validated by a special committee, prisoners are sent to this unit to remain until one renounces his alleged gang membership and agrees to cooperate with DOC officials and give information about himself and fellow prisoners; or, until he paroles; or, until his sentence is served. If he is serving a life sentence will just die in this unit.

Last year the Department of Corrections implemented a release program (Step Down) for all STG members housed in SMU-2. Many prisoners, including myself, had filed civil complaints against DOC for illegally locking up prisoners in SMU-2 and for subjection to cruel and unusual punishment and for indefinitely keeping prisoners in lockdown.

The Step Down program was implemented in 2006 and activated May 21,2006. The first ten prisoners (hand selected) where chosen to participate, and a few months later another ten were chosen to participate. As of yet, no other prisoners have been chose to participate in the program, and as of yet, none of the first 20 prisoners have been released or transferred to other units.

Since the DOC implemented a release program from SMU-2 for STG members, all the active and pending civil complaints filed by SMU-2 prisoners have been dismissed.

So what has actually happened is DOC can now show the courts they do in fact have a release program for SMU-2 prisoners. So now prisoners cannot file complaints of being indefinitely locked up in SMU-2and DOC now can say this prisoner or that prisoner poses an indefinite threat to the prison population and security and orderly operations of the prison.

In truth, prisoners do not benefit from the implementation of the Step Down program.

In truth, it is DOC that benefits from the implementation of the Step Down program. They now have absolute power to play God with the SMU-2 prisoners.

I was validated as an alleged prison gang member back in the 1980s and slammed down. Since being in lockdown, I had completed the criteria for release back into general population many times over and over. But every time I went before the reclassification committees I was denied release and told by the committees that I pose an indefinite threat to the prison's rival gang members.

I was transferred to this unit SMU-2 the very first day it opened on 2/1/1996, from SMU-1, and still remain (against my will).

I'm in my 21st year straight of being locked away in super maximum security lockdown units and in my eleventh year straight here in SMU-2. I will remain here in SMU-2, indefinitely, or until I renounce alleged gang membership, or, until I am hand selected to participate in the said Step Down program.

SMU-2 is a mirror reflection of many of the other Special Management Units across the united states. We sit in windowless cells measuring approximately 10' x 8'. We are locked in our individual cells 24 hours per day except for three days out of the week for 2 hours we are allowed to go to an empty room with a 20 foot wall and a mesh grate ceiling situated in the back of the pod one man at a time. Our only human contact is when a guard is handcuffing a prisoner up to leave his cell.

We cannot purchase any food from the prison commissary nor receive food packages from the outside. Once a year during the month of December we are allowed to purchase what is called "Christmas store" food beverages and candy.

The meals served daily combined cannot fill a man's stomach. So the mass majority of the prisoners in this unit have lost and continue to lose weight.

We are deprived of immediate medical attention and must submit a health unit request form to be processed and put on the nurse's line. Then she determines whether or not a prisoner needs to see the doctor.

There have been many attempted and successful suicides in this unit that are never released to the media or public.

Prison officials and medical staff are fully aware that the results of long-term isolated confinement causes psychological problems and in some cases irreversible damage to prisoners. And yet, they ignore it.

Our president of the united states gets on the world news and claims prisoners in the united states are not subjected to barbaric living conditions!!

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