Prisoners Report on Conditions in

California Correctional Institution - California

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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.

[Education] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Level Three Marginalization

After spending the last seven years on level four yards, which should have never occurred being that I came to prison with 45 points in the first place, which is level three in custody points for the readers that have no knowledge of California's penal point system or its levels of custody.

At last I find myself on a level three yard here at Tehachapi, which instead of having more programs, more jobs, more vocational training, more freedoms, more technology, more respect, more education, more opportunity, more yard activities, more PIA [work opportunities], and more counseling. This Charley Yard at Tehachapi A.K.A. California Correctional Institution has less programs than even the level four, One Eighty yard at Kern Valley State Prison. This yard of close to one thousand prisoners isn't equipped with enough of any of the above mentioned to ensure service to not even half this prison yard population. Programs like SRT, Hands of Peace, KAIRD's, Bakerfield Community College simply aren't here and the correctional staff body suggest a culture of laziness when it comes to being progressive about creating the opportunities that would make this yard a true level three or at least resemble such conditions.

Even the cells were much larger at KVSP's D-yard which is a 180 level 4, have twice the room as this supposed level 3 cell which after being small for two prisoners, it is also ill equipped having only one cable and two electrical outlets. One has to buy additional items just to be able to share the single cable outlet plus extension cords to use the electricity source on more than one device at a time. For example we use a splitter so we can both watch our own TV's, which by the way is the only way a prisoner can get reception because in this prison there is no air signals even in this digital age. With that being true we only get 13 channels and they go out all of the time or the quality is very poor, meaning white noise, unstable picture, and even half screen shots with no vocals not to mention no world news or educational channels such as KPBS, KCEPT or even BBC. The movie channel and college course channels have more snow and white noise to overcome than the student can tolerate, but is expected to succeed with at least a C average.

Currently I am A1A unassigned, arriving 18 August 2016 to Tehachapi and being classified 21 August 2016 by then acting CC2 Hernandez who denied having knowledge of my GED and failure to look into this matter before representing me to classification which has marginalized me this entire time from gaining employment, enrollment into education program such as Coastline College and much more. Just to find out my records were received here at Tehachapi's Charley Yard on 16 August 2016, making it even more obvious the culture of the staff and there intentions towards me, a general prisoner, and their job as a whole. They aren't the involved Correctional staff I've been around on those level 4's, that work with prisoners who show they want to program, want to change, want to rehabilitate. No the staff members here only want to pass the buck, sit around in offices for eight hours and clock out unless they get involved in some sort of brutality, mental intimidation or power high at the expense of a prisoner.

This is no level three prison environment for the reasons aforementioned. Prisoners are of the nonviolent sort, with no stabbings, no gang activities, no racial politics and no real provocateurs. What they truly need is level 3 opportunities. This has to become the focus of change, saying all I can with no cameras on this Charley Yard. Knowing who's word carries more weight, though we know well my word is my bond.

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[Special Needs Yard] [United Front] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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NOGE Comrade Responds to ULK 52, Building and Reflecting on UFPP

Having studied for almost 3 years with Maoists such as your organization and others more militant behind enemy lines from every racial group, and in three different hell holes, I have changed my position from Naturalist/Nationalist to Socialist/African Socialism. As a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths I was always unconsciously leaning that direction. What helped me come to my senses was the article, "Approaching Conflict More Scientifically", and the diagram entitled "Strategies to Address Conflict; Don't Bargain Over Positions." (ULK Sept/Oct 2016, No. 52, p.10) As the facilitator of the Gods and Earths weekly civilization classes on this yard I was able to Born many other Gods with the light you sent to me (ULK Jan/Feb 2016, No. 48), now we all are building on socialism in its many forms.

I also have some comments on the article "Divisions and Struggle in California Prisons" from ULK 52:

As a soulja who's been on both sides of the prison lines (both mainline & SNY yards) I can see the AEH becoming a reality on any yard where the captive population challenges the 'role playing and behavioral norm' assigned to them under labels and stereotypes as their identity by their oppressors, i.e. the prison institutional workforce. Dr. Phillip Zimbardo explains and defines the psychological forces that create both prisoners' and guards' personas, mentalities and overt behaviors. In his book The Lucifer Effect and his case study entitled the "Stanford Prison Experiment."

Men on the SNY lines can easily see the roles they were forced to breath life into on the main line, prison politrics created and reinforced by the guards. One stark example being 'racially segregated cells.' This is the divide and conquer way of rule and abuse. Created Problem Resolution (CPR) is one of their oldest control tactics. It works by choosing one lumpen group to allow to operate an illegal enterprise, which they themselves later become the supplier and major beneficiary of, while being biased against the other lumpen groups to lesser or greater degree depending on economical incentives or the old racial motivations. SNY lines are more integrated and afford captive populations the opportunity to be united on so many levels unrealized so far. This is a place where the AEH can be realized if only the image of prisoner changes in the minds of those in captivity. Universal cultural education programming is needed. UFPP and AEH principles are being practiced by me and other comrades across racial lines on this yard. Though small now, we are struggling to grow.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Class consciousness is something that Marxists often talk about. For the imprisoned lumpen, understanding how the injustice system works to oppress groups of people, and understanding one's own role in that system is the class consciousness that is necessary to develop for a meaningful prison movement.

Building the Agreement to End Hostilities and the United Front for Peace in Prisons must be a daily activity for comrades in California prisons. This comrade speaks to the many openings that are being created, and to eir own ideological transformation through struggle and study. This is the stage of struggle that we are in, and we hold up as examples comrades like this who are leading the regular educational programs and dialogues on the yard that are necessary to reach higher stages of struggle.

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[Abuse] [Organizing] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 53]
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CCI Protests Win New Warden, But Can't End National Oppression

This is Saif-Ullah, from USW, checking in from California Correctional Institution. In the last 15 months I've witnessed comrades being beat, slapped, set up, and pepper sprayed, without any justification, until about forty of the inmates of all races joined together with a campaign to have our families and friends call and complain about these abuses, until finally last month a new warden was hired and the old one sent away from here.

Since her arrival she has walked off three correctional overseers, and a teacher, who had some real racist acts under her belt as well. The overseer Stewart, and his side kick Miller are the ones here known to plant razors and assault and beat inmates and really act out, but they charge the inmates with attacking staff.

I myself and about thirty other comrades have came to the point that if we are attacked we will meet them with the same amount of force. As Huey stated, the party was born in a particular time and place. It came into being with a call for self-defense against the police who patrolled our communities and brutalized us. They are just an oppressive army occupying our community.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Amerikkka has been oppressing the internal semi-colonies of North America since the earliest settlers came to these shores. This comrade demonstrates how to put forth the correct analysis of conditions, while mobilizing the masses for short-term reforms like the firing of the worst abusers. There is a reason why we find so many "abusive people" in the departments of "corrections" of the imperialist United $tates. There is a reason why despite massive outcry, unarmed New Afrikan people continue to be murdered by the police. It is a system that aims to control other nations that demands this kind of brutality. That system of national oppression, imperialism, must be destroyed.

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[Abuse] [Campaigns] [Rhymes/Poetry] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 49]
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Welcome to Ad-Seg/SHU (aka Fuck Your Sleep!)

Title: "Welcome to Ad-Seg/SHU" or "Fuck Your Sleep!"
Artist: CDCR staff
Producer: Jeffrey Beard - Secretary of CDCR

Lyrics:
"Whack!" *Beep* (12am) 
"Whack!" *Beep* (12:30am)   
"Whack!" *Beep* (1am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (1:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (2am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (2:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (3am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (3:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (4am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (4:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (5am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (5:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (6am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (6:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (7am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (7:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (8am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (8:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (9am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (9:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (10am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (10:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (11am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (11:30am)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (12pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (12:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (1pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (1:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (2pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (2:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (3pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (3:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (4pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (4:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (5pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (5:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (6pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (6:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (7pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (7:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (8pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (8:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (9pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (9:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (10pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (10:30pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (11pm)    
"Whack!" *Beep* (11:30pm)    

Repeat... Repeat... Repeat

The new hit single across California.
Available now @ Pelican Bay State Prison,
California Correctional Institution,
San Quentin State Prison,
Corcoran State Prison,
& Old/New Folsom State Prison.
Stand up for your rights now to get your free tickets!
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[United Front] [Organizing] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Hours of Discussion to Comemmorate September 9

Well, I didn't receive a pack on Attica history, however, what I did for September 9 was I attempted to raise the level of consciousness here amongst the inmates here on a few issues:

1) I spoke on comrade George L. Jackson's untimely death at San Quentin. And his particular struggle at that time and what he went through. His transforming the colonial and criminal mind into a revolutionary mentality.

And how he vied to unify the blacks and other groups. But, the reactionary system wasn't having it one bit. So as a result of his struggles in prison he was assassinated.

2) I also spoke on Pinell, whom too was slain unfortunately during Black August. And what he stood for in terms of solidarity amongst progressive people. And that he spent 46 years in the SHU. And that he and comrade George were comrades in arms for prisoner's liberation.

And i spoke on Attica's uprising. Mao said, "one spark can light a prairie fire." And it definitely did.

3) I spoke on how it is vitally important to end all hostilities amongst all groups of prisoners and beyond. In spite of the fact that hostilities will be fomented by the reactionary state. We must continue to vie for peace, harmony and love amongst each other no matter what. The enemy will stop at nothing to foil our efforts.

However, it's part of the struggle to continue moving forward until our goals can be realized, and at that we can set more.

Also, I spoke to them about the importance of maintaining a study group here even after my departure from prison. And that each and everyone of them have an inherent obligation to conduct and maintain a study group amongst themselves. So, that they can continue on raising the social, and political consciousness of the prison class. It's essential to do so.

At any rate, I did what I could to commemorate September 9th. The discussion was for 2 hours. It turned out pretty well. Most of the participants didn't have a clue about these historical events and about the prison movement in general. And of course, some had questions. It was about 12 people who attended the group. Also, I did a thousand burpees myself to commemorate September 9th. It was exhilarating and refreshing at age 53 years of age. To continue to push forward in my 34th year incarcerated. Pamoja tutashinda uhuru sasa!

Comrade Real

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[Campaigns] [Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 36]
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Democracy Denied to Abused Prisoners by CCI Warden

The wardens in the California prisons that have SHUs are to meet with the prisoners to address the human rights violations that go on here and make the necessary changes to put a stop to these abuses. But here in Tehachapi they are so corrupt and unethical that they will not meet with us. Instead they took it upon themselves to intentionally not process our 602s [grievance forms]. Every 602 we file to address the ongoing neglect and abuse of authority by California Correctional Institution (CCI) officials either gets lost or rejected under made-up policies. Their reasons for rejecting them are nowhere in the Title 15 or Department Operations Manual. When we prove them wrong is when our 602s go missing.

I have brought this abuse of authority to the warden, captain, and lieutenant's attention with no results. To my surprise I was informed that it was these high ranking officials who instructed the appeals coordinators to not process our 602s. These officials here would rather cover up and falsify state documentation instead of addressing and following their own policies. We have the documents to prove this, but if we can't get our 602s processed then it's pointless. These officials behave like they are above the law. They lie and openly admit that they don't have to follow their own policies regardless of who is negatively affected.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is a good illustration of what we mean when we call a system a bourgeois democracy. In such a system, certain freedoms are very important, especially those related to trade and exploitation. But for the oppressed peoples there is no democracy in this system. These state officials, who are bound by the laws of the state, regularly break those laws with impunity when it comes to the oppressed. That is why we say the rule of the bourgeoisie must be replaced by a rule by the proletarian class, whose interests would respect the rights of all to be free of the abuses prisoners face in the United $tates.

We believe this requirement that wardens meet with prisoners is an outcome of the recent prisoner strike in California that targeted the inhumyn conditions of isolation specifically. But it is no surprise that at CCI the high-ranking officials are denying prisoners' access to the legal appeals system through which they are required to file. In fact, this is not specific to CCI; we hear regularly about grievances being "lost" in many prisons. And this is why the campaign to demand grievances be addressed was initiated in California in 2010. This campaign won't solve the larger problem of torture in the SHU, or overall corruption in the criminal injustice system, but it gives prisoners a systematic way to fight for their limited legal rights to appeal wrongdoing by the prison staff. Write to us today for a copy of the grievance petition for your state. Organizing around this campaign is one way to organize the oppressed nations and classes to eventually replace those in power now.

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[Organizing] [Hunger Strike] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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CCI Prisoners Hunger Striking for Long Haul

29 July 2013 - On July 8th the hunger strike went as planned and continued until Friday. On Saturday 7/13 prisoners ate and also on Sunday. However, again on 7/15/13 some resumed the hunger strike [at California Correctional Instiution].

Medical personnel are coming by to check on us here hunger striking. We are not getting our weight taken nor blood pressure. Medical staff are just asking us if we're ok. A memo was given out before the strike saying we are able to get 2 appliances, a typewriter and other various items: shorts, bowl, tumbler, unlimited soups in canteen. But this stuff cannot be realized or verified as I haven't seen anybody get a lot of soups, radio/typewriter or cup and bowl.

No prison official has come by to ask of what's going on or what, although a C/O came by and asked if we are hunger striking and if so what for. I haven't heard of anyone going to medical so far. Mail is going slow and only about a couple pieces a section are getting passed out.

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[Campaigns] [Legal] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Petition Gets Response

A while back I had sent the petition MIM(prisons) circulates to the director of CDCR, Internal Affairs, the Department of (In)justice, and the ombudsmen.

First I got a response from the third level (Sacramento), J.D. Lozano (chief), saying they received my complaint. I had checked 3 boxes in the petition for: 1) screening out appeals to delay, 2) detaching documents and refusing to process 602 due to missing documents, and 3) using dishonesty to screen out 602s. In fact one 602 filed kept getting sent back for 3 months until I had to water it down!

A while later I was interviewed by a Lt. E. Noyce. Word is he was a former IGI (Institutional Gang Investigation). Well at first he asked me about the grievance petition: where did I get this "form" and did I make it. He had never seen it before so it astounded him that a prisoner could get something like this. After this he went on a tirade saying the people who sent me this are making money and I should have sent this petition to the institution appeal coordinator instead of Internal Affairs, and how I should just ask staff to "solve" the problem. That is the problem, but he's too deep in oppression to care. Finally he told me I am not a lawyer.

When I was returned to my cell I wrote to internal affairs again but this time I put it on an Inmate 22 Request Form. This way I can have a copy of what was said and if they didn't act I could move forward with 'legal' action. Always leave a paper trail!

I wrote internal affairs and told them that Lt E. Noyce had intimidated me, chilled my right to redress or file a grievance and I'd like to talk to someone from internal affairs. Days passed by and I was approached by a Sgt. and asked if I'd like to add anything to my "citizen complaint." I told him that everything's on the paper.

So to wrap this up the petition seems to rattle some piggy nerves. I recommend it to be used when applicable. And at least here in Tehachapi we're getting responses now.


MIM(Prisons) responds: It is interesting that the interview of the prisoner included a criticism of him for not being a lawyer. That's the point of the grievance petition: it makes these battles accessible to prisoners who don't need to know the details of the law. This is a key contribution that jailhouse lawyers participating in the Prisoners Legal Clinic can make to United Struggle from Within organizing work. If there is no petition for your state, write to us to get a sample that you can customize for use there.

We know these individual battles to address grievances will only gain small victories, at best. But the fight to improve conditions for prisoners, especially conditions that impede prisoner's ability to organize and educate themselves and others, is a critical part of building the anti-imperialist movement. Through campaigns like this one we plug new comrades into broader education and ultimately build communist leaders.

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[Medical Care] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Medical Neglect in California Correctional Institution

There is an ongoing issue here at Tehachapi SHU over treatment - or mistreatment - for medical and dental services. These medical/dental staff want to get paid and not uphold a minimum level of care. I am (and have been since March 1, 2011) fighting this injustice. I feel since the K-9 caused my issue, the prison medical/dental staff need to treat my medical/dental issue.

It's like this: I was unwilling to allow another man to place his hands on my person and body. So I put up a fight. Of course, being a "convict" I'm out numbered. Now, I'm not saying we should be using force on "the man" but I feel you should protect yourself when need be. In the course of this fight I was slammed by officers, then they did their thang, breaking my jaw. Of course, I got charged, being a convict.

Now herein lies the issue: Tehachapi SHU medical/dental staff have engaged in a pattern and practice of routine deliberate indifference. Care/treatment is routinely refused. Even when deemed medically necessary.

I've all but ran out of gas. The tank is on E, but the fight for justice shall go on. I've reached out to the Prison Law Office seeking assistance. These people make their rules only to change them again. All the money spent, and it seems to be ensuring the inmate appeals process becomes harder. Services and care are not given.

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[Campaigns] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Two Weeks on Food Strike: Seeking Update

I got your letter about the food strike. I did my best to hang in there, I gave it 2 weeks and I had to eat. Sorry, I could not last any longer. So what is the outcome of the food strike? Did they accomplish their goal? Can you please let me know what's going on right now? I am validated and I got 6 years clean and they won't let me out of the SHU either.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We are doing our best to keep our comrades behind bars updated on the food strike, which ended at Pelican Bay on July 21, at least temporarily. The latest issue of Under Lock & Key just went out with this update. The original goals of the strike were not won, but the administrators promised a major review of policies and the latest report from others in touch with strike leaders say that the CDCR has a few weeks to complete their review before the strike begins again.

One thing is for sure, if we don't keep up the pressure and hold them to not only review but actual policy change, the conditions of abuse and torture in prisons across California will remain the same. In addition, hunger strikers are likely to face reprisals as punishment for their protest if we don't continue to increase support inside and outside California prisons.

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