Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Florida Prisons

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out 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] [Martin Correctional Institution] [Florida]

Brutality Against Prisoners in Handcuffs at Martin CI

FDOC Secretary
Mark Inch
501 S. Calhoun St
Tallahassee, FL 32399

February 15, 2019, Between 1 pm and 3 pm, during lunch feeding. On walkway in front of medical building, Sgt. Logo and Overseer, St. Croix were roughly escorting handcuffed prisoner, [X] to confinement. Sgt. Lobo literally took out his side arm canister of pepper spray and emptied it in the handcuffed prisoner's eyes and face area. Sgt. Lobo then slammed prisoner X to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the back and side. Many other prisoners also witnessed this brutality.

Captain Bensi came running, and rather than stopping the brutality, she literally joined in and participated. Thereby continuing, condoning and encouraging the brutality of prisoner X. Overseer Hampford and all other overseers on the walkway started ordering prisoners to their dormitories so there would be no witnesses. Per Martin CI Policy and Practice, any prisoner caught looking gets the same treatment. This is an ongoing issue here at Martin CI, especially with Sgt. Lobo.

2/6/19: Approx. 1:02 P.M. C-dormitory fixed porch video surveillance will show and prove that prisoners coming from lunch were stuck on the porch outside due to the overseer in the overseer station not opening the two main entrances to the dorm. Sgt. Lobo approached with his large side arm canister of chemical agents in hand (another unknown overseer with him whipped out his handcuffs and fitted it over his fist in brass knuckle fashion), the broken seal in his mouth as he sprayed chemical agents toward the crowded porch causing prisoners (myself included) to start coughing as the overseer in the overstation finally opens the main doors. Sgt. Lobo did this for no other reason other than the fact that he is above the law. There was no disturbance or emergency as is required by SOP to justify breaking the seal of chemical agents canister. And this is Sgt. Lobo's second time doing this in recent weeks that I've witnessed.

1/1/10: between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM. On walkway in front of medical. During dinner feeding and pill call, Sgt. Lobo gassed a prisoner who was already in handcuffs, in the face and eyes. The victim, as always, was a black prisoner.

This policy and practice clearly amounts to summary brutality, battery, excessive force. See Danley v. Allen, 540 [email protected]: "Once a prisoner has stopped resisting, there is no longer a need for force. So the use of force thereafter is disproportionate to the need." The issue here is the fact that these prisoners are not resisting, they are being gassed and beaten, only after they have peacefully submitted to handcuffs. Other prisoners are looking on, but there is no telling how long prisoners can remain tolerant being caught in such bias and no-win-situations. Our backs are being forced against the walls here. Please do something before the worst comes to pass.

2/13/19: Submitted informal grievance RE: 2/6/19 and prior issues in Sgt. Lobo gassings. Grievance still pending. Legal mail being intentionally delayed, haven't had legal mail in 2 days. Can't get out of the dormitory, no reason other than abuse of authority and collective punishment.

[Censorship] [Legal] [Florida] [ULK Issue 67]

Supreme Court Denies PLN Florida Censorship Appeal

On 7 January 2019 the Supreme Court refused to take up a First Amendment case challenging the statewide ban of Prison Legal News (PLN) in the Florida Department of Corrections. The ban has been in place since 2009. This appeal was the final attempt to challenge the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which sided with the Florida DOC.(1) Each year thousands of cert petitions are filed with the Supreme Court and most are not heard. As is typical, no reasons were given for the PLN case denial.

The Florida DOC maintains that they are censoring PLN for safety and security reasons. The appellate court found this censorship justified related to certain advertisements in PLN including ads for pen pal services, businesses that purchase postage stamps, and third-party phone services.

We know there is no real safety and security justification for censoring PLN. It's an educational publication that helps many prisoners gain legal knowledge and fight back against injustices. PLN is, however, a threat to the institution of prisons in the United $tates. Prison Legal News fights for prisoners' rights and exposes injustices around the country. This is counter to the interests of a system that is focused on social control.

A number of groups stepped up to file or sign briefs in support of PLN. Of particular interest is one from a group of former Correctional Officers, including some from Florida. They argue, very rationally, that the complete censorship of PLN is an exaggerated response to security concerns and a constitutional violation.(2) Of course these former C.O.s, and many others who support allowing PLN into the Florida DOC, made very narrow arguments that still protected the DOC's "right" to censor anything they deem dangerous. These supporters are just opposing censorship for something so obviously not dangerous as it exposes the falsehood that prisons are censoring mail in the interests of safety and security.

This PLN lawsuit sets a very bad precedent for others fighting censorship as the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision stands. Fortunately it should not directly impact ULK as we don't run these third-party ads. Though Florida did censor ULK 62 for "stamp program advertisement." While we do accept stamps as donations, we run no stamp programs. This goes to show that when there is no justification for censorship, the prisons will just make up things not even in the publication.

Any ruling upholding censorship in prisons is a bad one. This ruling further exposes the reality that there are no rights, only power struggles. The First Amendment only protects speech for those privileged enough to buy that protection.

[Abuse] [Santa Rosa Correctional Institution] [Florida]

Beaten and violated in Florida, fighting back

I am at Santa Rosa, C.I. Today, I write you about a potential civil lawsuit on the basis of an eighth amendment violation of my constitutional rights. In short, I was brutally beaten, sprayed in my face with chemical agents, and sexually abused at Union C.I. on March 26th, 2018 by eight prison guards while I remained in handcuffs and leg irons.

The eight (8) prison guards at Union C.I. retaliated on my for filing grievances and discriminating against me. They beat me, gassed me in my nose, face, mouth, eyes, etc., and forced the handcuff leg iron shackle up my RECTUM into my buttock. I was screaming "PREA" while the cell extraction team held me down. In the shower, they covered my mouth, beating me with their fists and the handcuffs. Cruel punishment!

At this time, they lift me to my feet, bleeding from my rectum, and bleeding from my head, face, mouth, etc., pain in my neck, back, eyes burning, etc. They placed me in a cold cell, butt naked, a/c blowing, no mattress, no clothes, no toothbrush, no toothpaste, no toilet paper, no clothes, no drinking cups, no nothing. Nothing to keep warm and bean bags blocking my cell door to prevent me from receiving any of the above items. At present, great efforts are undertaken by medical personnel to cover up my abuse by falsifying medical records stating "no injuries identified". Trying to cover up for security, I then remained in my cell untreated, which is cruel and unusual punishment.

I am in chronic pain throughout the day and night. It is extremely difficult for me to get any sleep at night due to the excruciating pains in my rectum, my neck, back and body. I hear voices waking up in cold sweat like I'm being gassed and attacked all over again.

May it be noted that handcuffs and leg irons were on me during the entire merciless beating and sexual abuse.

I have begun the institutional grievance process by laying forth the foundation and facts of my case regarding this potential suit. At this point, I have done a lot of research on my own and try to contact people more familiar with the law and trying to get help to no avail. I am still being retaliated against and threatened that if I don't stop writing grievances and filing on this, I'm going to get fucked up. These ofc. are playing games with my mail, food, and threatening to strip me and gas me or set me up or have other ways to harm me.

I still can't find any help I need. I am not going to stop filing grievances. They violated my right and my body. I need legal help. This is not getting covered up.

[Drugs] [Abuse] [Florida]

Florida prisoners dealing drugs are doing the work of the pigs

I recently became involved with MIM (prisons) and wanted to write a report on some of the issues we are facing in prison. My state is Florida. There are some serious issues that are quite daunting but are able to be dealt with by true dialectical materialists.

The main issue is complacency among prisoners. Too many have become addicted to K-2 (synthetic marijuana) brought in by the pigs because they know it will make prisoners focus on getting these drugs rather than becoming united. The prisoners that work with the pigs by paying them for the K-2 then, in turn selling it to their fellow prisoners, are just as guilty and I also consider them pigs. It is to the point that twice a year for the past 3 years they have raised canteen prices and the prisoners have not said or done shit. A ramen soup costs $0.81 for one soup! While the food continues to be served in small portions or inedible (i.e. spoiled, uncooked).

I have already begun trying to reach individuals hooked on the K-2 and explaining what is really happening and how they are being fooled by chemical dependency to pay their oppressors giving them the means to further oppress them. While this works with maybe 1 out of 5 (I am not including people who relapse), I feel if I could truly reveal the truth they would shun the drugs. The pigs are smart. They make it seem like they don't want them smoking K-2 and the hard-asses that are "cracking down" are doing so just to sell it back to their inmate boot lickers.

They recently took all re-entry out of the budget for Florida prisons. So now all the people such as myself, who have been locked up for a considerable amount of time, do not have any means to a successful re-entry into society. For example, I have been locked up since 2009, from the age of 18 to 2022 (that's my early date), shortly before I turn 31. As you can imagine, there are many things I should be informed on. Some simple, some difficult. I have been doing my own research of my very limited resources trying to help myself and others like me and understand we (ex-cons) can get money from the government for different things. Obviously, I would love to exploit the exploiters and lead others to do the same. I am open to any and all suggestions.

[Abuse] [Santa Rosa Correctional Institution] [Florida]

Denied food for being Muslim

I am writing you this letter to inform you of some important issues that I am dealing with at this institution. I filed a grievance on 5/24/18 because my breakfast meal for Muslims observing the fast for the month of Ramadan was late. So I requested to speak to the Sgt on duty. That's when Officer White and Officer Harvey both came to my cell door in G-Dorm. And once again I requested to speak to the Sgt because my food was late. Both officres made a statement that they didn't care if I didn't eat, because they didn't like Muslims because of 9/11. And that they were going to make sure that I pay the price for the lives lost at 9/11. As long as I am at Santa Rosa.

On 5/25/18 I filed another grievance because the next day after the prior incident my bag was not served to me so that I can have a meal to eat after breaking my fast. So, once the Lt. Was called to my cell he told me that the kitchen was closed. And, being that it was late, he didn’t have a key to the ktichen. So he could not get me something to eat. So, the results of this incident led to me not eating, after fasting the whole day. They violate my rights as a prisoner. The institution is responsible for feeding me my due meals. And, this is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Along with religious discrimination. Both grievances are under investigation, by the inspector general.

[Abuse] [Lowell Reception Center] [Florida]

Retaliation and isolation for filing grievances to expose abuse at Lowell Reception Center

Thank you for your publication. I share it with others inside to report the horrific abuse I have suffered recently as retaliation for my federal complaint filed in the local court 4/3/18. On 4/10/18 the harassment started. I was denied my dinner tray and put on camera to be threatened with chemical agents by several staff, none of whom managed to feed me the food brought and prepared for me to consume. Then on April 14th I received 3 false disciplinary reports from different security staff, after none all year. This weekend I was not given the library books sent from the general library. The same officer, Ms Baez was eager to break the law to falsify state documents as leverage ordered by the mobsters in the management but could not feed me or hand me a library book while I am locked in a room. This same officer arranged for more than one inmate to get attacked with pepper spray while doing nothing wrong. The sadistic and malicious use of pepper spray has been reported at FDOC since at least 2007. This is all done on camera with audio evidence with none of the personnel worried that there will be any consequences for their criminal acts.

On April 19, while in the shower, the sergeant Ms Taylor went into my cell and threw out my hygiene supplies just given to me days prior, donated by the community. When I told her I was allowed to have those items and needed a property receipt, she ignored me and went to get the captain Harvey. While I was bathing and unclothed he came into the shower area and began to argue with me. This had all been done to provoke me just as the denial of my food had been done to provoke me. After I was placed in my cell, I was put on camera again to be threatened with chemical weapons warfare by Lt. Desmond, who had never come to my door before. After 10 pm I was taken from my cell again and strip searched in the shower, my room was ransacked and more of my property stolen including my new clothes given to me the day before by laundry. When I asked for my property receipt the officer Ms. Jorgensen rallied to report I was "on the door". Then a crew of several state workers paid to take care of me tortured me with chemical weapons warfare while I was in my cell not making a sound. My property was all taken away and most of it stolen or confiscated.

To deprive me of basic necessities, shampoo, dental floss, q-tips, vitamins and my legal notebook were taken. I was put in a cell with no bed roll, any of my hygiene or even extra clothes. I would not even brush my hair for days. My legal papers had all been handed off on March 22, 2018 to sabotage my post-conviction relief, crippling me of my ability to handle my legal work. The management had stolen my legal papers sent in to the law library to be copied and typed, then denied me law library access for months which was the subject of the complaint filed in April on Lowell Correctional Institute, the world's second largest prison for women.

On April 24th the same officer who refused to feed me earlier that month, Ms Baez, threw my tray on the floor, glared at me and headed off to report that I had thrown the tray at her. She had me served with a fake DR for battery. Again I was not fed. Between 4/14-4/28 I was served 12 disciplinary reports falsified by the state workers paid to take care of me and given months of "discipline" so I cannot use the phone, have a razor to shave, earn gain time, go to the dog room, have a visit or check out a book from the general library. My mother, 74 years old, was planning to drive 4 hours to visit me for 2 hours on 4/29 but could not because of the false reports issued by the sadistic sociopaths that gravitate to those jobs because they enjoy hurting people.

I received 2 more DRs in May while locked in a room from the state carrying out reprisal and pretending it is discipline. My grievances are mostly denied and when approved nothing really changes. The officer who threw my food on the floor was promoted to sergeant, her reward for following the orders to persecute me as punishment for exercising my right to access the courts to document the corruption at LCI.

Last year I was assigned several violent roommates at FWRC in Ocala to batter me for my grievances reporting the misconduct of officers at the WFRC. I was given 30 DRs December 2010 to November 2017, and all but 15 were overturned or dismissed through the government probes. The last roommate put me in the ER. She was sent to general population after putting more than one inmate at FWRC in the hospital and I was sent to closed management for more behavior "mediation" (for the 3rd time in 2012) on the pretense I am endangering the inmate population. This is just long-term solitary confinement torture that is expensive, does not improve anyone's behavior and causes irreparable psychological damage.

I am 41 years old and have hurt no one in or out of prison and did not all of the sudden become violent. I will have permanent scars on my face from the attack on me, all orchestrated by the management at FWRC intent on stifling my efforts to use the grievance process to report the rampant human rights violations in this penal system. The employees receive no discipline and have free reign to break the law to carry out reprisals at the taxpayer's expense. Many of my grievances are not responded to and what answers I get are full of lies to cover up the criminal acts of the personnel. I have a $65.00 lean on my account for postage, copies and typing fees as a result of seeking relief in the courts, with several courts sanctioning me to prevent me from exposing the corruption in the criminal justice system. No court has intervened as of yet with record numbers of inmate deaths since 2012 even with populations declining along with natural deaths plummeting.

Since 2010 I have received 109 disciplinary reports, hauled off to confinement 22 times, lost years of gain time and been kept locked in a room (at 2-3 times the cost to keep me in GP) about half this period. Blatant retaliation the FDOC pretending it is discipline to justify their wrongdoing. My correspondence to the FPLE, FBI, Florida State Police, Department of Justice, POTUS (2), U.S. Congress, Attorney Generals, U.S. commission on civil rights, Criminal Justice committees, governor, Chief In over Florida, Statewide prosecutor, Florida legislature, local police, local state attorney, etc. is largely ignored. I have spent nearly 13 years in Florida jails/prisons, wrongfully convicted, no attorney I have contacted has ever conducted any real investigation or intervened on my behalf. Each time I am taken to confinement or my property is stolen, gain time revoked, privileges denied and I am kept locked in a room for extended periods of time — days, weeks, months, and even years at a time. The commission on ethics refuse to send me completed forms and the FDOC refuses to notarize them to prevent me from filing complaints on the corrupt officials.

[Economics] [Florida] [ULK Issue 62]

Robbery by the FLDOC Canteen System

While reading a comrade's April 2017 SF Bay View, National Black Newspaper, I cam across an ad regarding the Texas prisoners' boycott of the prison commissary injustice.

This ad helped me realize that the unarmed robbery of the loved-ones of prisoners is not only a Florida atrocity, but a national occurrence. Prisoners in Texas and other states are being used as a means of robbing not only tax payers, but loved-ones of prisoners, who are constantly being punished for supporting prisoners financially and emotionally. The imperialist monopolizers are making hundreds of millions annually through the commissary system. I can't help but confirm and echo the main points of the Texas prisoners' ad:

  1. Sub-par and poor quality food items.
  2. Faulty electronics that regularly break (after short use).
  3. Tennis shoes which tear up after a week of use.
  4. Inflated prices and price gouging tactics.
  5. Abuse and disrespect from employees of commissaries.

All of the above mentioned is nothing but the truth to which I would love to add more. In Florida, specifically Charlotte Correctional Institution, there exists a staff canteen menu and a prisoner canteen menu. The double standard and financial discrimination can't help but be realized once both menus are compared. Prisoners are paying twice as much as staff for the same food items. Some of the most popular food items are listed below for your own concluding.

Charlotte CI staff canteen menu prices and Prisoner Canteen menu prices:

ItemStaff pricePrisoner price
honey buns .70 1.35
chips .5 .99-1.49
candy bars .75 1.39
water .5 .99
oatmeal .23 .53
poptarts .56 1.18
soups .56 .70
ice cream .93 2.19
danishes .7 1.28
nutty bars .47 1.00
saltines .7 .88 per sleeve
trail mix .47 1.00-1.28
BBQ sandwich 1.64 3.49
Pizzas 1.64 2.98
Tuna 1.87 2.47

The above list does not mention hygiene items. However, prisoners are paying exorbitantly for hygiene items that are clearly not worth their price. For example, the $4 deodorant from prescription care and Oraline-Seccure (meant for indigent prisoners) leaves prisoners musty in just a matter of hours. The $2.85 prescription care lotion is so generic it dries the skin quick as it moistens it. And it's definitely not meant for Black people. The $1.12 prescription care shampoo does not lather up and causes more dried scalp and itching than the state soap. There is 99-cent soap claiming to be anti-bacterial and 50-cent soap, both made by Silk. Neither of these soaps are worth even being given away for free.

Prisoners do not want these canteen items. They complain amongst each other but are too cowardly to write grievances or stop buying from canteen. We all know that it is our loved ones who are being attacked by the state. We all know our families who support us are being extorted, but the needle is just too deep in our veins. Florida only has one canteen vendor (Trinity) leaving us without options or other places to shop. We are simply victims of a monopoly and we are contributing to our own victimization.

It is quite clear that the canteen profits only benefit Trinity and high-ranking members of the state prison system. It is clear that the profits are being used against prisoners rather than for their welfare and genuine rehabilitation programs.

Even in the visiting park, freeworld citizens visiting their loved-ones are forced to pay prisoner canteen prices. This price-gouging is a war against the innocent citizens who support prisoners. It also results in the isolation of prisoners from the outside world and leaves prisoners dependent and vulnerable against the state.

One is left with no choice but the question: where is all the profit from the unarmed robbery of prisoners' loved ones? What is being done with these millions of dollars in profit? This matter must be investigated and objectively challenged. We prisoners surely need to stop perpetuating our own victimization by the state of Florida DOC.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer exposes one of the many ways that companies and individuals are making money from the prison system in this country. While overall the prisons are run at a financial loss, subsidized for most of their costs by state and federal funds (i.e. taxpayer money), lots of people are still making money off the operation of prisons.

Obviously the prisons' employees (COs, administrators, etc.) are earning a good salary and have an interest in keeping the system going. In some prisons medical is contracted out, and then there are the many companies that sell prisons all the stuff they need to run: from clothing to food to furniture to security equipment. Most of this is funded by a subsidy from the government.

But canteen is a case of the costs falling on prisoners' families. And this is just one of many costs borne by families of prisoners. As we exposed in an article in ULK 60 "MIM(Prisons) on U.$. Prison Economy - 2018 Update," mass incarceration costs families and the community $400 billion per year.

[Abuse] [Florida]

Polk County Jail starving prisoners

I read an article that was published in your paper Feb, 2018 about how sheriffs profit by starving Prisoners. Well, I got you one to look into. The only problem is any time the Fed’s have gone to check into him, somehow he gets tipped off. His name is Grady Judd and I was a inmate at his Jail for 8 months in 2007 and if I would not have had money, I would have starved to death like most of them do here. The inmates will hurry to sign a plea agreement so they can either go on probation or to prison so they will get a decent meal, you can get fed better at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. I have met another inmate that just left the Polk County Jail and has informed me that it has gotten worse in 2017-2018.

What does he do with the tax payer’s dollars? He does not feed their families that are locked up in his Jail. We would like to know why his website says he feeds one thing but that does not show up on the trays. Put a plant inside and he or she would be able to do a great article on it.

Monday Breakfast:
Piece of bolone
Piece of bread
Powder milk

Monday lunch:
Bologna sandwich

Monday Supper:
Chicken gravy with no chicken

Tuesday Breakfast:
Meat flavored gravy with biscuit
Powder milk

Tuesday Lunch:
Chicken salad
Cold Bean

Tuesday Supper:
Mashed potato with Emoro pattie or? Spaghetti

Wednesday Breakfast:
Piece of Bolone
Piece of Bread
Powder milk

Wednesday lunch:
Bologna sandwich

Wednesday Supper:
Macaroni and hot dog
Corn, green beans
1 piece of Bread

Thursday Breakfast:
Grits/Apple Sauce
Egg patti/Bologna
1 Piece bread
Powder milk

Thursday lunch:
Ham salad sandwich
Cold beans

Thursday supper:
Burrito and rice
Or Egg roll and rice

Friday Breakfast:
(SOS Tuesday)
Meat flavored gravy with biscuit
Powder milk

Friday lunch:
Bologna Sandwich

Friday supper:
Ham sandwich no cheese

SATURDAY and Sunday on Tray paper

PS Polk County also charges a $39.00 book in fee to pay for your underwear and hygiene kit, but you are not getting the underwear and cannot keep your own. More tax money missing. What is he doing with it?

[Censorship] [Charlotte Correctional Institution] [Clallam Bay Correctional Facility] [Washington] [Florida] [ULK Issue 60]

Censors in Their Own Words - January 2018

U.$. imperialist leaders and their labor aristocracy supporters like to criticize other countries for their tight control of the media and other avenues of speech. For instance, many have heard the myths about communist China forcing everyone to think and speak alike. In reality, these stories are a form of censorship of the truth in the United $tates. In China under Mao the government encouraged people to put up posters debating every aspect of political life, to criticize their leaders, and to engage in debate at work and at home. This was an important part of the Cultural Revolution in China. There are a number of books available that give a truthful account, but far more money is put into anti-communist propaganda. Here, free speech is reserved for those with money and power.

In prisons in particular we see so much censorship, especially targeting those who are politically conscious and fighting for their rights. Fighting for our First Amendment right to free speech is a battle that MIM(Prisons) and many of our subscribers waste a lot of time and money on. For us this is perhaps the most fundamental of requirements for our organizing work. There are prisoners, and some entire facilities (and sometimes entire states) that are denied all mail from MIM(Prisons). This means we can't send in our newsletter, or study materials, or even a guide to fighting censorship. Many prisons regularly censor ULK claiming that the news and information printed within is a "threat to security." For them, printing the truth about what goes on behind bars is dangerous. But if we had the resources to take these cases to court we believe we could win in many cases.

Denying prisoners mail is condemning some people to no contact with the outside world. To highlight this, and the ridiculous and illegal reasons that prisons use to justify this censorship, we will periodically print a summary of some recent censorship incidents in ULK.

We hope that lawyers, paralegals, and those with some legal knowledge will be inspired to get involved and help with these censorship battles, both behind bars and on the streets. For the full list of censorship incidents, along with copies of appeals and letters from the prison, check out our censorship reporting webpage.


Following up on our protest letters over the censorship of ULK 58, Dean Peterson, Library Services Administrator for the Florida DOC responded:

"The issue in question was impounded and the impoundment was subsequently reviewed by the Literature Review Committee on 11/15/2017, at which time the issue was rejected. This means it will not be allowed into any of our institutions. The stated reason was Florida Administrative Code (FAC) Ch. 33-501.401(3)(m), which states: 'It otherwise presents a threat to the security, order or rehabilitative objectives of the correctional system or the safety of any person.'"

Peterson went on to quote the mail rules on how publishers can obtain an independent review. But did not bother to respond to any of our arguments in our previous request for a review of this decision.

Florida - Charlotte Correctional Institution

In response to a grievance filed by a prisoner regarding lack of notification of censorship of eir Under Lock & Key, P. Vartiainen of the mail room wrote:
"If a publication is impounded or rejected, a notice will be given to you. Every issue of Lock & Key has been rejected by the State since January 2014. Notices have been given to all subscribers. There is no record of you subscribing to this publication. Your informal grievance is DENIED."

Washington - Clallam Bay Correctional Facility

CBCC also rejected ULK 59 "pending review" because it

"Contains articles and information on drugs in prisons and the cost comparison of inside and outside of prison as well as movement of drugs."
Not sure how that at all relates to the penological interests of the institution.

Washington - Stafford Creek Correction Center

A subscriber was given an official rejection notice, stating "Incoming newsletter containing indepth information on the drug problems and values of drugs within the correctional setting which is a security issue."(Vol. 59 pg1,4-7, 16 — File No. 18346) What is the security issue...?

Michigan - Marquette Branch Prison

"Under Lock & Key #59 will be rejected because the articles contain information about criminal activity that could promote uprisings, unrest and disruption within this facility. The entire publication has a 'revolutionary, protest, uprising' theme. There is also red ink on the back page that will be rejected because it cannot be searched thoroughly."

ULK readers know we do not print anything in colored ink, so red ink (if it really was there) is either from the post office or the mail room. Additionally, political or revolutionary content is illegal as grounds for censorship going all the way back to Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401.

Mississippi - South Mississippi Correctional Institution

A prisoner reports:

"The South Mississippi Correctional Institution has implemented practices by which ANY book sent to a prisoner for 'free' is censored, rejected, and returned to the sender. The rejection notices say only that 'free books are not allowed' and/or that 'inmates must pay for books.' There are 33 facilities housing MDOC prisoners and SMCI is the only prison doing this! This means that prisoners cannot benefit from any free books to prisoners programs. Some prisoners, including this writer, are challenging this practice via legal venues (i.e. grievances, potential lawsuit). Anyone wishing to protest this practice may do so by writing Superintendent Jacqueline Banks, PO Box 1419, Leakesville, MS 39451 or [email protected] If possible cc all letters to MDOC Commissioner Pelicia Hall, 633 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39202 ([email protected])."

Read More Censorship Reports
[Abuse] [Florida]

Lonely and suffering in Florida

I am very grateful to be receiving "Under Lock & Key." I've just finished reading the Nov./Dec. 2017, No. 59. I agree with 90% of what I read. I noticed that Florida isn't listed in the data for any drugs.

We here are suffering the same oppression as every other state. We have another one they call molly. I myself am not using drugs. I sit back and watch how it affects the men around me. I attempt to talk to the men and some of them get in their feelings. It's a lost cause.

Majority of the men who use it is to escape the reality of their situation. Life is not easy at all on this side of the gates. In Florida we are offered nothing.

We do not have jobs. We have no opportunities. They offer us nothing. Especially if you are serving over ten years. We are sent to institution hours away from our families. If we attempt to voice our opinions or try to reach out to express ourselves about the oppression we face daily, by doing so we are putting our lives in danger.

A free world can't begin to imagine the pain we suffer in here. The loneliness of these prison cells. I have currently served 12.5 years behind these prison walls and gates. I have a 35 year sentence to serve.

I did something so stupid as a kid. Now here I am today as a man suffering for the actions of an immature kid. I'm 30 years old now. I cry out for help, pleading, and begging for one more chance only to be unheard.

I sit in this dorm all day all night praying that those I love are ok. Wishing I was there to hold them, love them, etc. My pain and suffering is unimaginable. Florida inmates do not have it easy at all. The reality is men are being released the same way they come in or worse. We are offered nothing.

My visions are so big. My desires to see D.O.C. change for the better is so great. I know I can't change everybody, but I don't want to go a day without at least trying. Men in here need education. They need opportunity.

Society looks down upon us and could care less about us but the reality is these men will be coming home. A few from every prison every day. We're locked in dorms all day and the only time we get to go outside is when we go out for chow time. We're lucky to get recreation 2 or 3 times a week for an hour at a time.

Go to Page [1] 2 [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]