Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Kern Valley State Prison - 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.

[Campaigns] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Hunger Strike Report from Kern Valley

I am currently at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) and I was involved in the recent hunger strike. We stayed on strike until July 5th, not just the 24 hour strike that your article stated we did at KVSP. It would have gone on longer until ISU and IGI started pulling out certain individuals and demanded we get off the hunger strike! As you know, validations are very easy to come by nowadays. So the hunger strike ended.

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[Political Repression] [Security] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 20]
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Forced into SNY for Political Organizing

MIM skull
[MIM(Prisons) has long defended a line that combats the divisions that the California Department of "Corrections" has tried to institutionalize by separating large numbers of people from the General Population (GP) into Sensitive Needs Yards (SNY). In a previous letter this comrade joined us in calling for SNY and GP alike to contribute to the struggle, while not hiding h lack of regard for SNY prisoners. Today h story serves to demonstrate why allowing the pigs to tell us who is our friend and who is our enemy is a backwards way of discovering the truth.]

I'm in the hole (Administrative Segregation Unit) once again, the material you sent found me when I needed it the most. This time around I'm found under an ISU/IGI investigation which will most likely result in me being sent to the other side (SNY). Surprising? Not really, I saw it coming since the day I committed myself to the United Struggle from Within (USW), in the form of either validation as a guerrilla revolutionary or the assassination of my character behind these walls through the SNY program that leaves a lot of brothers and sisters credibility out and in the cold away from the warmth of prisoner society's acceptance.

It's crazy how it happened all so fast. I blinked and at the drop of a dime my whole life turned upside down. It started October 16, officially with an unjustified unclothed cavity/cell search that I refused to submit to because the officer first claimed that they were hitting my cell randomly, then later said because me and my cellmate were exhibiting suspicious behavior when I was on the toilet taking a shit and my cellmate was on the assigned bunk asleep. I understood the nature of the situation that the corruption officers were creating. Someone dropped a dime on me, so I looked to get a paper trail.

By searching my cell they were committing a constitutional violation against search-and-seizure safeguards granted to prisoners such as notification of cell searching party (corruption officers involved), confiscation of personal property, and the right to appeal without retaliatory actions being taken against one. I made the choice to get the incident documented to bring to the attention of the administration here at Killer Kern, and I paid for it in the worst way possible. But still I stand revolutionary minded putting USW theory into practice outside of the study group's environment. Refusing to let the dragon win, I fight them with my pen and continue to force them to show their brutality on paper and physically.

After refusing to submit to their commands I was placed in wrist restraints and escorted to the facility program office cage where I spent the next few hours resisting the Sergeant and Lieutenant's request for me to submit to an unclothed body search. At this time the corruptions officers searching party (the Kern Valley A yard jump out boys) were back at the cell, searching, confiscating, and disposing of my property and attempting to pay me back for my resistance. They came across a kite [prison letter] that I had hidden inside a medicine bottle waiting to be delivered to it's destination. I will say that I slipped up! Cause I did.

The kite was in regards to a business arrangement that I had going on and gave details about involved individuals who were to participate. The kite was supposed to be delivered that same morning, but due to the unexpected visitors it wasn't and I thus forgot about it in the commotion of three COs at my door with their cans out ready to spray me while on the toilet for nothing.

I knew what was up, but didn't act quick enough and therefore allowed intel into the hands of law enforcement. And they had a ball with it immediately reading the kite loud enough for my neighbors, who were members of my LO, hoping to create the confusion that they did.

I spent three days in a small holding cell, cold, cuffed and shackled, taped in a dirty jumpsuit, with no linen, and a mattress that I was allowed only to lay on from 10 p.m. - 6 a.m. with no covering on it. Sleep-deprived with lights on all night attempting to sleep with restraints, I was deprived medical care, and denied high blood pressure medication. I was smelling like shit without a shower, and forced to eat cold meals without any eating utensils or a cup to drink from. I felt the firsthand experience of torture at the hands of the department of correction (corruption) until I had three bowel movements to prove that I didn't have anything concealed in my ass.

Once my bowel movements showed negative results for contraband (not an explosive device or a gun, or a knife, but simple contraband) they released me back to the yard, and to the cell I went.

Not even three hours after my arrival I received a kite about the matter of the disclosure of intel in the confiscated kite. It wasn't "Cuz how you holding up? Can we assist you any way?" or none of that. But with everything falling the way it did, I understand. Because a week prior to the incident, individuals of various groups were getting popped with phones. And all were cats who were making the dead presidents, but removed from the front lines. There was a leak and Investigative Services Unit (ISU) was getting more fat than a fat guy in an all you could eat buffet.

I was brought up on charges of being that leak. And if the shoe was on another person's foot, I would've really pushed for an old school lynching. Treason is a no no, but here it is in the accused, getting kites now from OGs on the bricks, and weeks later I find myself up against the wall with those who I've actually shed blood for, explaining that I ain't no fucking rat and did not intentionally drop intel into the hands of law enforcement. Time drew on with me and those that be, doing just as the pigs planned us to, as we were on lockdown due to a war with the Blacks and the "southern Mexicans," over a drug debt, a phone, and miscommunication that caused an eight-on-twelve melee between Blacks and Browns, and one Black to be stabbed eleven times.

The option came around to me after the verdict came in that I was guilty of loose lips. I could either clean up some green (guards), get cleaned up, or handle the individual who would clean me up. For those who can't read between the lines clean up in this situation means to stab something up good enough that the message (whatever it may be) be sent clearly.

Now it may seem like nothing, but I'm not new to this shit, I'm true to it. I ain't no crash dummy, I've got a close release date, and a lot of life to live. I ain't stabbin' no pig without no chance of getting away, and I damn sho' ain't about to be a pin cushion. So I got the hell out of dodge, and didn't blink doing it. I'm an SNY, I recognize that some will understand, but most won't and I am no longer who they seen me as. But my time was limited as any real active revolutionary is on the line abroad the people who are and love the same exact thing that they claim to hate. Straight up!

Politicizing amongst the LOs is a difficult task when the same ones you advocate for are advocating against your existence for individualist purposes. I bump heads with the big dawgz about policy even when certain radz advised against it because of my youth and their popularity, and I got exactly what they said it would get me. An early death in the prison game.

I sit in ASU now on my third month for investigation into my security concerns that I raised truthfully on a 602 appeal form. The ISU/IGI agents attempt to sell protection like they are some type of "Green Wall" protection agency. I'm told the more you cooperate and inform us into the details of drugs, cellphones, crooked cops, and criminal activity, the more we can help you. Since when does the lion help the lamb?

I attempted radio silence with MIM(Prisons) until I could get my §1983 lawsuit put in, because my mail is being highly monitored, censored, withheld and returned.

But it seems that faith will have us together married until death do us part. So I'm back like Jesus from the dead, not really back at all, reborn into the characteristic of a USW on the other side of the fence.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter is one more example of our point that not everyone on SNY yards is a snitch or rat as the pigs would like us to think. A bourgeois approach to security allows the bourgeoisie to win out. By bourgeois, we mean an individualist, rather than a group approach. We oppose studying "persynalities" instead of politics. And we oppose thinking that violence against individuals builds a strong movement.

There are plenty of enemies on mainline and there are friends to be found in SNY. How we associate and how we build allows us to determine which are which, not rumors or labels given out by the enemy.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 16]
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United We Stand: COs split Bs and Cs

The Department of Corruptions, under the guise of safety and security is slowly but surely succeeding in their divide and conquer strategy. They have already been successful at convincing individuals to snitch by offering those who choose to take that road a safe haven. While at the same time they're inciting conflicts in General Population. Here recently the captain of D-yard told a crip inmate that a blood inmate informed on him. Instead of them seeing this for what it was, these two guys ran around the yard telling anybody who would listen that the person was a snitch. The result was that the blood stabbed the crip in the law library. This resulted in the whole Black population being placed on lockdown for 60 days. The excuse for the lockdown was that they had to investigate the situation.

They released a program status report the day after the incident and passed out copies to everyone. They wanted everyone to know it was a blood and crip that was involved. Under any other circumstances it takes the pigs 30 days to release a program status report. At the same time the pigs were walking around like school kids making comments intended to incite the blood and crip conflict. Normally when something like this occurs they only lockdown the groups involved. But this time they locked down all Blacks, which was strange because this was a one-on-one issue that was provoked by the pigs. But this is the norm here in Kern Valley.

This is a maximum security prison. Guys around here claim to be militant revolutionaries, hardcore gangsters and solid convicts. But all I see is a bunch of fools looking for some type of recognition and popularity, until we all wake up and realize that we have to unite in order to overcome the oppressors then we must accept what we get. United we stand, divided we fall, together we can stand tall. Until that happens the pigs will continue to divide and conquer.

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[Campaigns] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Seeing Through the Bureaucratic Runaround Tactic

04/22/2010

The above memorandum is a response to a petition for the correct handling of grievances signed by dozens of prisoners held in the Kern Valley State Prison KVSP) Administrative Segregation Unit. In it the Appeals Coordinator does the job s/he was hired to do: ignores the complaints of the prisoners, baselessly denies any accusations of illegal activity, and employs the bureaucratic runaround tactic (in this case advising the prisoners to seek redress within the same system they are complaining about).

Shortly after receiving this memo, the USW leader of this campaign in KVSP did follow the advice given and filed a group appeal on a 602 form. To our knowledge, he has not yet received a response for this group appeal.

Regarding a complaint about the failed grievance system, we do not expect the Appeals Coordinator to admit guilt. But it can be valuable to go through their steps to seek remedy to create a clear example that their system does not work. The CDCR Office of Internal Affairs "concluded the issues can more likely be managed at the institution" rather than the state level. What? Obviously it can't; that's what the whole petition is about. And the Appeals Coordinator says to file a 602 regarding the corrupt 602 system.

For those trying to find a strategy to combat the injustices of the prison industrial complex, we recommend working in the Maoist framework toward a world without oppression. You can do this by contributing to MIM(Prisons), spreading the grievance campaign, or starting/joining a Maoist cell in your own area.

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[Abuse] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Rotten Food in CA = Hunger Strike

Revolutionary Greetings to all those who struggle to remove the infestation of capitalism-imperialism from it existence on our mother Earth. From one humyn to all humyns, power to humynity...

Kern Valley State Prison has been forcing prisoners in ASUII (and who knows where else) to consume spoiled milk, rotten meat, rotten fruit, moldy bread and small rations. I've filed multiple 602 appeals (class action), but have only had them screed out by the Appeals Coordinator.

The staff say the conditions are due to [Governor] Arnold's budget crisis. But I ask, what is the price that you put on humyn life? Because after this is all said and done my family might need one.

I have begun on the day of 2/27/2010 (Saturday) not accepting any of the food that they claim to offer - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't eat or drink anything!!! Because the food they are serving is bad.

I will continue this until we receive humyn justice and are fed like humyn beings.

MIM(Prisons) adds: As Under Lock & Key 13 goes to print we have not heard from this comrade since they began their hunger strike. We hope they are well, and hope to hear from them, or anyone else at Killer Kern soon with an update. As we expected, among the privileged citizens of the united $tates, it is the oppressed nations and the lumpen who increasingly feel the crunch of economic crisis in terms of real life necessities.

Hunger strikes are a tactical approach to protest that can get attention with only a few participants, but it relies on the party being protested actually being concerned about your life. They don't need to subjectively care about you, but they must feel some pressure to prevent you from dying for their own interest.

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[National Oppression] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Update from Killer Kern Valley State Prison

As expected brothas are still struggling against the oppressive administrators here, and when I say brothas I'm talking Black-Africans. We're now coming up from a race based lockdown where all Blacks were locked down for being Black.

K. Harrington (the Warden) said it was because members of the "Black population" had assaulted C/Os on two different occasions. As if the Black population was a gang or organization where one or two individual's actions are a reflection of the mass, and is to be responded to as such.

Almost any other prison you go to in California, individuals are held accountable for their own actions, or those in which they are affiliated. For instance, if a Crip does something out of the administrators regulation, they hold the CRIPs or the individual Crip gang at fault. Not the whole Black population.

But you know this Department of Corruption, they have tactics for everything they do. My theory on our situation here is the inciting of violence. Whether it be against them (pigs) or us (prisoners).

At this time, the California Correctional and Police Officer Agency can use a little publicity on reasons why California tax payers and makers shouldn't start firing their asses left and right, starting from the top. All they need is a few riots to crack off, they'll then call up the local news and have them come out and throw it on the news basically painting to the general public: "see, this is why you all need us." California is in a bad position again, and they can't just build new prisons to put themselves in a better one.

The pigs aren't giving us canteen, the food portions have been reduced and it's the pigs do more taunting towards the Blacks for us to make a move. And a lot of the brothas here don't even see what it is that is taking place, they fall right into the plans of these capitalist pigz.

The water is still contaminated with arsenic lead and they've said nothing about it although when I appealed it they responded to me saying that it'll be fixed by the second quarter of 2009. Well it's now the 5th, making this the third quarter. I'm going to the courts about the issue but I have plenty more so I have to move slow.

Brothers here seem to do a lot of mumbling about the problems, but they refuse to unite and address the issues for fear of being sent to the SHU or ASU for standing up for their rights. Although they (the administrators) already have us all labeled as united "Black Population".

Only the strong survive.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This letter illustrates the type of racial profiling and pitting of oppressed nations against each other that goes on in the criminal injustice system and on the streets. However we would go further than this author and argue that singling out lumpen organizations (LO) is another aspect of the same problem. The prisons decide who to validate as gang members, often putting people in groups with which they have no affiliation. And the prison administrators pit LOs against each other and selectively punish one or the other to increase the violence and repression in prisons.

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[Spanish] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 11]
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El Agua Contaminada es Buena por CDCR

Hoy recibí la respuesta a mi Apelación de la Administración (602) del Director de las Correcionales de California en relación al agua contaminada de aquí, y ellos sin duda alguna la negaron, diciendo que los niveles de arsénico en el agua no son lo suficientemente altos como para poner en peligro y en riesgo nuestra (los prisioneros) salud y como para proveernos (prisioneros) de agua limpia para consumo humano. Yo digo que eso es una tontería!

La primera vez que me di cuenta de los altos niveles de arsénico en el agua de la prisión de Kern Valley fué a travِés de la Red Institucional de Televisión. Ellos habían publicado un memorándum de CDC diciendo que el agua de las prisiones estaba contaminada con arsénico por sobre los niveles límites y legales del EPA's, y que las personas que beben agua de este tipo podrían ponerse en riesgo de contraer cáncer. [Los prisioneros en Kern Valley han estado peleando ésta batalla más de un año.]

[En otras noticias]...Al principio de ésta semana los cerdos se enojaron conmigo porque estoy ayudando a un amigo para que pueda recibir su pago. Los cerdos se equivocaron y pusieron a un prisionero de nivel cuatro dentro de una celda de nivel tres, el prisionero de nivel cuatro terminó atacando al del nivel tres, entonces yo decidí ponerlo al tanto de como obtener dinero de estos cerdos.

Ellos intentaron jugar conmigo y con mi compañero de celda tratando de ponernos en contra de nosotros mismos. Dañaron sus artículos personales, dejando mis cosas intactas tal como estaban. Pero nosotros sólo gozamos de esa mierda. Nosotros sólo miramos lo que ellos hacen desde lejos, y la lucha continúa. Ellos no pueden detener nuestra moción de avance ni nuestro desarrollo.

MIM(Prisiónes) añade: Una vez más, empleados estatales están tratando de promover la violencia en las prisiones del estado y los camaradas de MIM(Prisiones) están evitando conflictos, mientras luchan por justicia. La CDCR dice que censurará a MIM(Prisiones) porque somos una amenaza a la seguridad. Si los prisioneros ya no pueden ser manipulados por el Cuerpo de la Administración para que peleen en contra de ellos mismos la seguridad de la Institución está en peligro según la lógica de la CDCR.

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[Political Repression] [Campaigns] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 9]
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Contaminated Water OK by CDCR

Today I received a response to my Administrator's Appeal (602) on the contaminated water here, from the director of California Corrections and they denied it of course, stating that the levels of arsenic in the water here are not high enough to pose a threat that'll put our (the prisoners') health at risk enough to grant the prisoners clean drinking water. But I say it's bullshit!

I first found out about the high levels of arsenic in the water here at Kern Valley State Prison from the Institution TV Network. They had released a CDC memo stating that the prison's water was contaminated with arsenic and lead levels that are over the EPA's legal limit, and some people who drink such water may be put at risk of having cancer. [Prisoners at Kern Valley have been fighting this battle for over a year.]

[In other news]...Early this week the pigs got mad at me because I'm aiding and assisting this brother to get paid off. The pigs fucked up and put a level 4 prisoner in the cell with a level three, and the level 4 attacked the level three, so I put him up on the game of getting free money from these pigs.

They tried to play me and my cellie against each other by tearing up his personal property and belongings, then leaving my things as they were. We just laughed at the shit though! We see what they were doing from a mile away, and the struggle goes on. They can't stop our forward motion or development.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Once again, state employees are trying to promote violence in state prisons and comrades of MIM(Prisons) are avoiding conflict, while struggling for justice. The CDCR claims to censor MIM(Prisons) because we are a threat to security. If prisoners can no longer be manipulated by staff into fighting each other then the security of the institution is at risk according to the CDCR logic.

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[Legal] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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No law library acces at Kern Valley

The one most important problem we have here at Kern Valley State Prison is being allowed access to the law library.

We have a law library with a fire hazard safety code of 25 people max at a time. So there is never more than 20 people allowed in the library. There are only 4 law books total, and 4 CD Rom computers which 20 inmates have to share in a time frame of 3 hour sessions.

You have to take into account that there are 8 buildings on each facility with 160 prisoners in each building, and due to prison over crowding we now have 80 level III gym sleepers illegally sharing a lever IV yard. They can not come out with us due to the fact that they will be sued if one is attacked. But they share our library and visiting room.

So you have 1200 plus prisoners, some of whom are true litigators, sharing a law library that only 20 people can get into at a time. As you can imagine, the waiting list is 2 to 3 months every time. I turned in a request to do some legal research on September 22nd. Here it is 62 days later and I'm still waiting. There are several grievances being circulated on this issue. Administration has proposed to adopt a paging system where we can fill out forms for supplies and have them brought to our cells, but that dose not solve the problem for people who need physical access to seek what they are looking for.

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