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.

[National Oppression] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 22]
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Gang Validation for Doing Aztec Art

I am doing an indeterminate SHU program for being validated in the last place I was at. And the reason they validated me is because I was doing a lot of Aztec art as well as Aztec tats, which they didn't agree with because they considered it to be associated with the “big boys.” So they locked me down. But what they fail to realize is it's all part of our culture. Yet to them it's based on association, so they see a direct link to prison politics. So here I sit on the shelf locked down in this crazy and very sad place where it's all about no movement whatsoever.

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[Abuse] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Conditions in California are Problems in Prisons Everywhere in Amerika

I am new to the cause, but not new to the system. I am currently in reception here in California waiting to go to mainline. I am writing to let you know I have received the newsletter and the letter from the comrades in Pelican Bay and their serious issues [concerning their hunger strike], but I am also writing to let you know about some issues we are having with health violations and degrading of prisoners by the pigs.

First, we are being housed in gyms and they are in real nasty condition, black mold in the restrooms, no air to keep us cool, with temperatures that reach over 100 degrees this next month. We have no fire sprinklers and there is an infestation of birds and bird lice that is giving prisoners rashes and bite marks. People are passing staph infection around, and they make us go without soap and other supplies for weeks at a time.


MIM(Prisons) adds: It is conditions like these in prisons across the country that led to prisoners all over California acting in solidarity with the hunger strike initiated in Pelican Bay this July. And these common interests compelled the organization of the United Front for Peace in Prisons as a vehicle to unite the lumpen so that we can organize effectively against the criminal injustice system.

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[Censorship] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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Grievance Petition Copies Refused in Library

I am an American Indian here in California Correctional Institution who has had all the problems with the 602 grievance procedure here. The so-called Appeal Coordinator, K. Sampson, has repeatedly (16 times!!!) sent my appeal back to me because of complete bullshit reasons. So I wrote to your legal clinic, and you provided me with an awesome petition to send to the director about my, and all of our, appeal issues. Thank you!

But again I, and all of us on my side, have run up against a potential problem. I took the petition to the law library and the CO refused to copy it. Even when I signed a trust withdraw slip to pay for it myself! She told me that the petition was all crap and that I should be written up for simply having it. She tried to take it from me. I had to "cause a scream" and get at a sergeant finally who gave it back to me. He told me he knew that our 602 process was crap and good luck! You believe that?!?

Is there any way that your office can please send me enough for at least the 10 very good people on my tier? Every single one of them was very impressed and wanted one of the petitions for unjust grievance procedures appeals process. Everyone wanted to loan it from me to get it copied, but our law librarian refuses to allow us to copy the petition. She told me if I didn't like her decisions to "appeal it" and then laughed in my face!

Thank you so much for everything you have done to help me further the struggle and get out of this U.$. gulag.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Write us to get a copy of the grievance petition for your state if you reside in California, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas, or a generic petition that you can customize for your state if you are anywhere else.

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[Campaigns] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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Tehachapi SHU Prisoner Supports PBSP Hunger Strike

This letter is in response to the Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) hunger strike. First I'd like to say thank you for not only your ongoing support for us prisoners but also your truthfulness of viewing the facts of the matter. I have passed on the info you mailed me. I have spread the word of actions being taken by prisoners at PBSP-SHU. I can not say for sure how many will join this protest. However I can speak for myself and I find one must be willing to lead and/or follow with common sense to ensure change. For only by us prisoners making a stand - not allowing this injustice to pass - can we stop it.

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[Campaigns] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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Self-help Advocacy Group Supports Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

Below is an excerpt of a letter that was sent along with a resource packet to the Pelican Bay Warden and Pelican Bay Institutional Gang Investigations.

Greetings from The Yard. I am a prisoner that is providing a service to my incarcerated peers. I provide resources for self-help programs, rehab, housing and career info. It is my understanding that inmates in the SHU corridor are going to strike due to certain demands that they are asking for.

One demand that interested me was the opportunity to receive self-help and religious materials. I feel that The Yard can meet that demand. I have put together a self-help and religious resource packet that can be given to an inmate requesting self-help, religious or parole resources. All of these programs can be utilized by an inmate through the mail without any type of facilitator or supervision... The resource packet includes an application for parole resources. SHU inmates most likely do not have access to these resources. They can send these applications to The Yard and dedicated peers involved themselves in self-help programs will fill them out and send them back. The Yard has an ever-growing data bank of up to date resources for all of California...

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[Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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Validation Update for CA SHU

I'm writing you this brief missive to update you on things here at 4B SHU - CCI. The pigs are using any and all of the smallest things to validate a person as a member/associate of a prison gang. Speaking to someone in passing, roll calls, working out on yard together, drawings, etc. This includes literature (MIM, Prison Focus) and any stuff dealing with Afrikan or Latino culture, and especially having the name and CDC number of your homeboys/friends in your phone book. Once they validate you it's for a minimum of six years plus you have to do 100% of your sentence.

All of the bullshit that you can expect a repressive/imperialist power hungry regime to do takes place here. That stuff is expected. One can't expect anything else from a pig. So our focus should be on elevating our minds to find ways to get out, stay out and bring light to all this by connecting the free world to those held captive, so that we all realize that we are all sinking on the same boat.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As we hit the streets building support for the food strike in California we are stressing to people that this is about the First Amendment rights of the oppressed nations to associate with (and read about) themselves. California Prison Focus recently released their Prisoner Self-Help Manual to Challenge Gang Validation (SHGV), 5th edition. They can be contacted at 1904 FRANKLIN STREET, SUITE 507, OAKLAND, CA 94612. We need to keep challenging these repressive tactics at the group level, to defend the rights of all oppressed people to self-determination.

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[Security] [Censorship] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 18]
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Watching Me

The pigs at CCI Tehachapi SHU are monitoring revolutionary correspondence and materials coming through the mail; not censoring but delaying them by as much as three to four weeks. This specific instance was a personal experience, but it can be concluded that if one individual's revolutionary activity is being monitored, then all revolutionaries may be monitored.

Due to a medical condition, I must be taken out of my cell and to medical for a weekly injection which I use as an opportunity to butter up loose-mouth pigs and gather intelligence, catching a general idea of the internal condition of the pigs' camp. Never at any time have I mentioned or alluded to my revolutionary standpoint or activities in any way.

While going to medical this past week a pig made a very revealing statement inadvertently, immediately tipping me off that my mail was being monitored, specifically what I'd mailed to MIM(Prisons) the previous week. The pig's statement could not have been reaching because it contained the word "revolution" and related content of a letter to MIM(Prisons).

Let this be a warning to revolutionary activists and comrades across the U.$. injustice system, and California concentration camps in particular, that even if there is no censorship at your facility, if you participate in any serious revolutionary activities, then it's sure to be monitored.

Practical steps may be taken to combat this issue, such as working with and notifying MIM(Prisons) of censorship issues while going through the grievance and court system, if able to do so. Keeping eyes and ears open to detect if you are being monitored is not difficult to do.

If it feels like you are being watched, then you are. Remember, paranoia can be the better part of prudence in the control unit.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Organizing] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Half a Bar of Soap

Approximately 30-45 days ago all 46 SHU prisoners at CCI (California Correctional Institution) Tehachapi received an institution wide memo from the Associate Warden, in response to a complaint from a prisoner in regards to soap allotment. The main contention being that we had not received soap for an entire week. Now this would seem a legitimate endeavor on the surface - with one problem. This comrade apparently fired off some half-cocked letter with no proactive action to support it. The end result, of course, being very ineffective and worsening the situation.

The typical administration response we got was that we are only allotted 1/2 a bar of soap per week. Until that point we were receiving an entire bar of soap. The justification for the cut was the current excuse of 'budget cuts'. Of course this was a punitive response.

There's one very important thing that I would like to stress to all comrades: the major difference between bitching and complaining legitimately. To simply bitch is to make an issue out of current circumstances/conditions with no intention of following through to the court system or gathering outside pressure with support. A complaint is supported by affirmative action with planning, forethought, and distinct political goals. In our case, causing a blow to the imperialist system of incarceration.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Mail and Other Policy Violations by Prison Staff

The current problem that we prisoners here in CCI Tehachapi are facing at the moment is that our captors are ignoring and deliberately going against the same Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual that they expect us, the prison population to abide by.

Our captors are in violation of these Rules and Regulations by not delivering or issuing out our property, packages, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and books as stated in Title 15 rules and Regulations section 3134 General Mail Regulations. "Inspection of ingoing mail and outgoing packages will occur as follows: (4) Delivery by staff of packages, special purchase, and all publications shall be completed as soon as possible but not later than 15 calendar days, except during holiday seasons such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, and during lockdown of affected inmates."

In consequence to our captors unwillingness to abide by their own Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual, they've now created an oppressive environment for new arrivals to this institution by placing them in a cell for long periods of time (sometimes nearly up to three months) without their property, which includes their appliances and reading materials.

Other ways our captors violate our rights is by not honoring the following:

Title 15:
Section 3060: "Institution will provide the means for all inmates to keep themselves and their living quarters clean and practice good health habits."

Section 3061: "Inmates must keep themselves clean, and practice those health habits essential to the maintenance of physical and mental well being." Note, we can't because we only get one small bar or soap per week for both our body and laundry.

Section 3095: "A newly arrived inmate may within 30 days of arrival submit CDC form 184, canteen draw order for any scheduled draw."

Section 3031: "Each inmate shall maintain issued clothing and linen as neat and clean as conditions permit. Weekly laundry exchange shall be provided on a one-per-one basis."

I as well as other prisoners here with me, find ourselves under these oppressive circumstances. We have sent in numerous request slips for our property, packages, and books, but to this date they have all gone unanswered.

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[Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Control units - living like dogs

I am a youngster serving time in one of California's control units - Tehachapi - and although I haven't been here long and don't have much longer to be here, I already have much to say about it and prison in general. But then again, wh owouldn't in a place where you could compare your lifestyle and living to that of a caged animal?

Twice a day you have contact with someone other than your cellie (that is if you have a cellie). They approach your door opening that small tray slot of your steel door, throwing a meal at you for breakfast in the early hours of the morning. Then you receive a meal for dinner at the late hours of mid-evening.

I understand that it may seem that this is a lot better than it could be, seeing how there are people around the world who are starving. But I ask you, how much worse can things get in this land of the so-called free? When you are served half cooked, spoiled meat in a pot of grease. Then given a mixer of maltodextrin, ascorbic acid, aspartame, and acesulfame K as your beverage to wash it all down. How much worse can it get, when you're given concrete and slabs of steel for beds to lay on, and told to sit like a trained dog, for sometimes 24 hours a day with no movement.

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