Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Northern Correctional Institution - Connecticut

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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.

[Abuse] [Northern Correctional Institution] [Connecticut]
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Handcuffing in the Exercise Yard

I want to tell my story about what's happening to me and others like me. I'm labeled a Security Risk Group Threat Member (SRGTM) because I fight against oppression. Me and other members of groups are being targeted. We are being punished, and the form of punishment being use is violating the United States Constitution 8th Amendment. During our legally mandated meaningful hour recreation in outside air, I and other SRGTM prisoners are being handcuffed behind the back, and we can't properly get exercise while handcuffed in this painful way. After a half hour with my hands cuffed behind my back my wrists and shoulders are in pain, and this pain continues even after the cuffs are removed. And all SRGTM have been going through this for 5 to 6 months, maybe more. I believe this is cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's what I wrote to the unit manager captain Marinelly. I also wrote to Deputy Warden Faucher, Warden Angel Quiros, and Commissioner Leo Arnone. These people, these pigs of oppression, don't have morals or principles.


Mr. Marinelly,

I am hereby addressing this policy that the administration has put into effect. This is my second complaint, since early this year about this condition where security risk group threat members have to be handcuffed behind the back. This in fact is a violation of my 8th amendment, the right to be free "cruel and unusual punishment", as guaranteed by the eighth amendment of the United States constitution...

I am an A.S./Phase 2 prisoner, I am also labeled as a Security Risk Group Threat Member and due to that label I am forced to be handcuffed with my hands behind my back if I want to go outside to exercise for my entitled one hour recreation. I already have pain in my wrist and shoulders being cuffed from the back for an hour. How can I exercise like that?

Sir, if you take a look at the "Connecticut prisoners right handbook" and look at chapter 8 page 66, "Exercise and Recreation," you'll in fact see how serious and severe this violation is.

Paragraph 2 explains this: Prison officials cannot take a prisoners' "exercise privileges for a substantial amount of time without a good reason. Restrictions on exercise must be limited to 'unusual circumstances in which exercise is impossible because of disciplinary needs.'"

Indeed, the fact that a prisoner is violent may justify segregating him or her from general prison population, but does not necessarily justify prison failure to make other exercise arrangements. In addition, prison may not invoke cost consideration in denying prisoners the opportunity to exercise.

Prisoners' right to exercise does not require prisons to provide games or weight equipment for indoor or outdoor exercise areas since reliance on running, calisthenics, and isometric and aerobic exercise satisfies the exercise requirements of the 8th amendment. Prison need only provide time and space.

Sir, how can one do any of the above mentioned exercises that satisfies the requirements of the 8th amendment with his hands cuffed behind his back. This situation isn't for a week or two weeks, but for however long it takes for those who are "SRGTM" to get to 2 East, those of us have to do 4 months as phase 1 with our hands cuffed behind our back. So a month in AS/phase 2 and 4 months in phase 1 of the SRGTM equals 5 months or more. I believe that is a substantial amount of time, wouldn't you agree?

This violation not only deprives me of my adequate exercise. May I remind you that's protected by our 8th amendment of the United States constitution. It also puts me in danger, how can one defend himself if someone slips his cuffs off and attacks me while my hands are cuffed behind my back. I am asking, Sir. Marinelly that this violation be investigated and corrected immediately.


MIM(Prisons) adds:
This is yet another example of the brutality of the Amerikan criminal injustice system which barely pays lip service to even following their own rules and regulations. Because these are not just individual cases, MIM(Prisons) focuses on fighting the entire system. We know that we can't win until imperialism is defeated. But exposing the injustice system and organizing prisoners in a United Front are important for developing the anti-imperialist struggle here in the belly of the beast.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Northern Correctional Institution] [Connecticut]
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Revolutionary POWs fight to abolish control units

Northern Correctional Institution in Connecticut is a control unit that houses security risk group safety threat members (SRGSTM), chronic discipline prisoners, administrative segregation (A/S), and death row prisoners. Both authors of this are labeled SRGSTM and because of a peaceful protest are now A/S prisoners. One author has been in this control unit for almost 4 years and the other for 1 year.

We are locked down 23 hours a day and 24 hours a day on the weekends. We are only allowed 3 showers a week with leg irons on our feet. Visits: behind a window, SRGSTM gets 1 hour visit, A/S and chronic discipline 30 mins, only immediate family members. There is no school, except for prisoners under 21 years of age with disabilities who qualify. No job training to anyone. No law library except to death row prisoners. No real medical assistance. Telephones: the state of CT has a control contract with a phone company that forces us prisoners to pay far more for our calls than people in the world. We are only allowed a list of ten phone numbers that has to be approved. SRGSTM are allowed three 15 minute calls a week and A/S and chronic discipline one 15 minute call a week and all telephone conversations are monitored and recorded. We are all also cuffed with leg irons and handcuffs while on the phone. We are cuffed this way for all out of cell movements.

Recreation yard is 1 hour on weekdays. SRGSTM are cuffed behind our backs while in the yard for our 1 hour of out of the cell rec. A/S are taken off of cuffs once we are placed in a rec yard cell about the same size as our cells. Sometimes they make prisoners pick between hot food or their rec. If you go to rec, your food will be given to you cold. You are not allowed real footwear in A/S or hats and gloves in the jail, same for SRGSTM, CD, and death row. Meaning no matter how cold it is outside we are never allowed inside dayroom rec. We are only giving things to clean our cells once a week.

A lot of the time they force prisoners to go in the cells with other prisoners who have life sentences and have already told the administration they do not want cell mates and they will kill the person they put in their cells. Most of the time these prisoners they put in the cells with these lifers are short timers and parole violators. Northern has already had 5 killings because of this about two this year. They will not give prisoners personal hygiene items, writing paper, envelopes, copies of legal work, or cloths if your account says you have had money in the last 90 days, meaning you have to not have money for 90 days in order to receive any of those things.

The grievance procedures are set up to prolong your rights to the courts. They only have 30 business days to answer your grievances. If that time is up they can file for an extension. The problem with that is there is no limit to how many extensions of time they can give for one grievance.

I know you are well informed about in-cell restraints and 4-point restraints (both authors have gone through this a number of times). In cell restraints are for 72 hours, you can't use the bathroom and if you somehow find a way to, you can not clean yourself. Food comes in cups and no utensils are given to eat with forcing you to eat with your fingers at the same time you are not allowed soap or any kind of hygiene items (but if you were how would you use them on restraints?). The in-cells are never cleaned after another prisoner comes out and one goes in, you can't flush your bathroom, nor are you allowed a role of bathroom paper. These are some of the things that take place in this control unit.

They also have dogs next to you every time you leave your cells. You are strip searched for all out of cell movement even when you have not come in contact with no one. You have officers who retaliate against prisoners who file grievances on them or their fellow officers. Prisoners are beat, maced in the mouth, face, eyes, even after the situation is under control.

We stand ready and willing to assist any way we can to abolish these control units.

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