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.
I just read an article in ULK (Jul./Aug. 2016). On page #14 Overcome Censorship on TIER Program. I am currently housed at one of the prisons that has this so-called "program." We have nearly 800 inmates locked away there now. Some have been there for years. I myself transferred to court recently, & upon coming back here, they placed me in “TIER I” for 2 weeks before I went back to general Pop. For "security purposes"... It's torture!
The toilets are flushed by the C.O.s outside, & often times the stagnant waste sits in the bowl for hours. The food portions are never what they're supposed to be. The C.O.s are often nowhere to be found, & don't do their rounds consistently. If I had suffered a real life-threatening emergency, I wouldn't be here now & I was only in there for 2 weeks! I shudder to think of all the inmates struggling to survive in those conditions
With that written, I'd like to get pro-active & do all I can. Even in general pop., we're having issues with not receiving our mail in its entirety. Books must be approved by the institution in order to be received by prisoners (according to S.O.P.). However, completed forms never get returned, & so we're denied the opportunity for new books. We hardly get the chance to visit the prison "library" due to "lack of staff" or "security purposes".
Our grievance system is a joke. They must be handed personally to a counselor within a 10 day span of writing it, but the counselors do not visit the dorms regularly. When the grievances do get filed, it takes months for a response & the responses are ridiculous. So, I'm interested in the Censorship Pack, if you could possible send it. But what I REALLY need from you is the petition for the unanswered grievances (for the State of Georgia). I'd appreciate as many copies a you can offer, as this facility does not make personal copies for inmates. I will most definitely update the campaign of any progress I can make.
Today I'm writing in hopes of somebody in you all's organization to be of some kind of assistance concerning a few issues. As we both know I'm in a rather oppressed state and very racial as well, so therefore please understand that the majority of prisoners locked up are "locked up" mental wise. Now my issues are concerning, 1st the grievance procedure: Once I file a very important grievance with one or two witness statements by other inmates that live around me, it either gets lost or comes back late every time stating "insufficient evidence" ten times out of ten. There has to be a next step to take.
Here is the last major grievance I filed. I'm in Highmax/Tier 3 program on 23 hour lockdown and two COs were serving dinner trays. These COs are two cells away from me when an inmate throws feces out on both officers. They yell at him and call him a nigger, yes the COs both are white and even give him a DR for his actions. The worst part was they continued to serve trays. Me and the man next door to me didn't know what was going on until we got our trays, and then ol' boy said hey don't eat the trays I shit those bitches down! So I get on the door make noise to get the officers attention because I get served last, I was in the last cell and haven't ate none of my tray. My next door neighbor say what! So anyways we did not eat that night and we both filed a grievance and statement for each other. Nothing happened!
40 something days later a counselor came to my door and said "insufficient evidence"! There's cams everywhere in this prison so ol' boy got a DR plus common sense he lived in the cell before me, I get fed last. Now I have not filed many grievances since I've been incarcerated and the ones I have filed always get overlooked, lost, or I don't have enough evidence for it to be investigated. There has to be some next step to force these people to stop hiding what prisoners do complain about. We are in a double whammy here at this prison, one minute it's you're in the program, the next its you're on Highmax, right now there is prisoners who don't get yard call "fresh air" 1 hour a day.
I've been arbitrarily placed on the Tier II program without any justification other than it being a retaliatory action by GA dept of kkkorections. It seems now that my former cellmate was/is working for this prison administration and framed me by placing a pillow filled with contraband on my bed while the kkkorections emergency response team was escorting me to the showers for shakedown. His loose lips were overheard telling a prisoner that it was a good thing that I was out the way.
Anyway I appealed the write up and the warden/superintendent response stated "Ownership of the pillow and contraband was irrelevant." Even after my former cellmate admitted that said pillow and cell phones belonged to him and wrote three "sworn statements" to prove his point. I don't know where in Amerikkka such an action could take place other than Georgia, so now I'm on the tier program for a slime-retaliatory action by these prisoncrats and their slaves.
All I've done since I been at this kkkamp is to educate and give these slaves some positive for their minds and souls. Every ULK I got I passed it along, every Bayview I get I pass it along and wherever I can be of help in building a movement I'm there. Anyway I've filed 2 grievances. One for retaliation and one for false imprisonment which I've received no response from as to date (one was filed 3/28/2016 and the other 4/8/2016). My attorney is working on this situation but these actions stem from the prison strike of 2010, as they were doing the Tier II placement hearing. Lt Bivens stated or cited my participation in a disturbance Dec 31st 2010 which I never received a write up for and which free world charges were sought by the DOC and dismissed 2013. So it's clear what this is all about. Anyway I've enclosed 10 stamps as a small donation to MIM and will contribute more when I can.
I've read some of your older newsletters. I'm currently stuck in the Tier II program. Upon me first entering the prison system I didn't think they would even consider letting something such as the Tier program exist. I know for a fact that people on the outside treat animals better than we are being treated. I currently live in a one man cell that's infested with spiders, molded vents and rusted sinks that we have to use for drinking water. My living conditions are the reason my attitude has become so angry at everything that moves. It's a mind changing theory.
I've accomplished one of my short-term goals with the help of MIM(Prisons). I received your censorship pack on the situation that these pigs was holding my mail, from y'all and some of my family. Once I read the censorship pack I immediately put it in effect with grievances stating S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedures) and case laws. Once the administration received my paperwork with the "example of proof and service," that next day I received a bulk of mail from October and also Under Lock & Key issues.
Once that was successful, I gave my fellow comrades the game. Now I'm willing to see what else we can accomplish on this Tier II in order to make our time a little better. As I tell my fellow comrades, we need to educate ourselves to overcome our situation. With the structure of the United Front; principles of peace, UNITY, growth, internationalism, and independence. I'm still trying to learn so I will be able to lead correctly.
With this letter is a donation of 10 stamps. If I had more I'd give more, because I salute what MIM(Prisons) stands for. With that said our strive will continue. And the oppressor will not be able to mentally destroy any more.
P.S. Salute to the Black Panther Party 50 year commemoration. They paved the way!!
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is providing an excellent example and leadership organizing against abuse and censorship in the Georgia Tier program. The state is trying to alienate people from each other, cause extreme psychological damage, and use it as a tool to repress any upliftment and organizing. But we do not have to lie down and just take it. As this comrade demonstrates, we can still come together to fight specific injustices, and use that work to build with others. We look forward to seeing this comrade's work grow and contribute to the United Front for Peace in Prisons.
I am incarcerated at a prison in all ways like what is talked about in Under Lock & Key. I was given the Sept/Oct 2015 No 46 issue and the same things about the lack of medical attention, guards beating, tasing, and killing prisoners are taking place at my prison. This is genocide in a very obvious form. There are little to know classes to enroll and very hard to get into a class that helps you to parole so guys can get out of prison faster. Censorship is getting worse also. There is a control unit that keeps guys locked down for 9 months to 2 years called Tier 2 which is causing mental anguish and deterioration and mental health counselors are not helping at all. I am in this unit. They take all our hygiene items that are needed, depriving us of maintaining ourselves. We need help and your mag is a light in our eyes. I want to subscribe and get info on things that can help us and teach us how to stop these things.
[In December 2014 MIM(Prisons) received this petition against the Tier II program from two different comrades, with almost thirty signatures. Considering these prisoners are organizing in extreme conditions of isolation and sensory deprivation, that number of signatures is impressive. We publicize this petition as part of our overall struggle to shut down Control Units in prisons across the country.
The conditions outlined below are common to Control Units in the United $tates. An end to the Tier II program in Georgia would certainly be a step in the right direction. But we know it is only a tiny piece of a much larger problem: capitalism, imperialism, and national oppression. While prisons in general are a tool of social control for the imperialists, control units are used by the imperialists to further control prisoners targeting activists in prison who are fighting for their rights and the rights of others. We organize to tackle these broader problems with our society, and shutting down Control Units is a battle in that process.]
We the People petition
We the people (jointly and severally) come together to petition the government for a redress of grievance, pursuant to the Bill of Rights, "Amendment I" of the Constitution for the United States of America. Furthermore, we the people assert the rights set forth in "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. More specifically, we assert the rights set forth at Article 1-8, 18-22, 26 and 28 of the UDHR.
We the people now move to set forth the factual basis for this petition. Fact, on December 7, 2014, at approximately 10:45pm, a man [inmate] "died" inside of the J-1 dormitory (cell #124) at Smith State Prison. It is stated that the man/individual committed suicide. The examiner and/or coroner pronounced the man officially dead between 11:30pm and 1am.
We the people believe (with strong conviction) that the Tier II Program (behavior modification program) is the root and cause of the death. During our examination it has been determined that there are numerous "factors" that must be evaluated, and has been evaluated in reaching our conclusion that the tier II program is the "root and cause" of the "death."
Factor #1: The Tier II program is a mind and behavior control program for prisoners, via long term deprivational isolation and segregation, which is a form of psychological, mental and emotional torture/suffering.
Factor #2: The Tier II program is intellectually, mentally and creatively stagnating. People/human-beings [prisoners] are prohibited from receiving any and all books, magazines, newspapers, novels, articles, etc. We are forbidden to read any and all books, magazines, newspapers, novels, articles, and all other forms of reading material [the only exception being a bible or Qur'an; either or, but not both; we may choose one or the other]. This prohibition on reading causes "stagnation" of the mind, which in turn, turns man back into what men were before civilization [barbarians, cavemen, and savages]. To not want people/human beings to read and or have access to divers reading materials is self evident that the goal of this program is not progressive and rehabilitating, but instead, by design it is regressive and debilitating. Reading is fundamental [fundamental to growth, improvement, learning, success and life itself, etc.] No one can put forth a logical explanation for prohibiting reading and forbidding reading. No one can provide evidence that prohibiting reading serves some good cause or rehabilitation. All evidence is contrary to that thesis/theory.
Factor #3: The Tier II program isolates and separates us from our families and loved ones. Most individuals/people placed on the program cannot receive visitation because of the way the program is designed. Most people cannot use the telephone because of how the program operates. For a vast majority of us, the "only way" to contact and or connect with our families or loved ones is the letters. We must write letters; we correspond through the mail back and forth. Mail correspondence is the only form of communication for the majority of us.
Factor #4: The Tier II program is a health hazard. The conditions of confinement are a violation of the 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment clause) of the Constitution for the United States of America. The food that is served is nutritionally inadequate. Everyone (all of us/all the people) that are on the Tier II program has and/or is losing weight. Some of us have lost a lot of weight, while other have only lost 10-15 pounds (since being on/in the Tier II program). But all of us are losing weight, and have lost weight. Also, the food that is served is often unclean and thus unhealthy. The milks are often spoiled. The "meat" is often raw or old (spoiled). The food in general is old (half of the time). The trays that the food is on are always filthy/nasty, as if they have not been washed. The filthy ways contaminate the food that is placed on them. We have no choice but to eat it or starve. (On phase 1 and 2 of the program we cannot purchase any food items from the commissary/store.) No clean water is passed out or given to us. We are forced to drink out of old, nasty sinks, with rusty spicket/faucet.
Sanitation: The showers are always filthy and disgusting. When I/we enter into the showers, often there is hair (shavings), urine, semen, (sometimes) blood, feces and other bodily filth. Cells have bugs, rats, roaches, ants, spiders, and other unknown species of insects or bugs. In the summer time the flies and gnats are overwhelming. We are only allowed to clean out the cells 1 time a week and sometimes 1 time a month. (But according to GDOC standard operating procedure cells are supposed to be clean at all times.)
Exercise (yard call/outdoor recreation): We are denied and or deprived the opportunity to go to outdoor recreation and exercise (which is a judicial-constitutional guarantee - for prisoners; see Spain v. Procunier, 600 F. 2d 1490 (9th Cir. 1984) and a plethora of other federal cases). Yet and still they deprive us of outside recreation/exercise for months and months at a time (case to case basis). Some of us are deprived for days, and some for months and/or years. The bottom line is, they deprive us of exercise. On phase 1 (of the Tier II program) we are not allowed to buy any hygiene from the commissary. We are prohibited form buying hygiene for months at a time. Yet, they take all our hygiene items. The list on conditions of confinement goes on and on, so for time sake we must proceed.
Factor #5: Many of us are put on the Tier II program without due process of law (procedural due process of law, as set forth by the Supreme Court on Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 563-655 (1974)). We were put on the Tier program without receiving written notice; we were not given a constitutional hearing; we were not allowed to call witnesses; we were not provided an opportunity to present documentary evidence or any other form of evidence; we were not provided an opportunity to be heard/to speak; we were not provided an "advocate" to assist us, or to put up a defense (of any kind) or to investigate (into the alleged matter); thus, no due process of law.
Factor #6: When we were put on the Tier II program, all of our property was confiscated illegally (confiscated without due process). Property that was taken include: all our CDs, CD players, headphones, earphones, all pictures and/or photos, all books, magazines, novels, articles, newspapers, and all other reading materials (except a bible or Qur’an), lotion, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, grease, toothbrush, hairbrush, nail clippers, comb, dental floss, soap dish, photo album, free world clothes (tshirts, socks), pajamas, wave cups, thermals, etc. All food items purchased from commissary, be it soups, honeybuns, buddy bars, chips, drinks, etc. The property/items they took/confiscated include the above mentioned things, but are not limited to those things/items. Other personal property was taken that is not on this list.
Factor #7: Some people are on the Tier II program for an indefinite period of time which could last many years. Others will remain on the Tier II program within the time line specified in the SOP (ITB09-0003), which is 9 months - 2 years.
Factor #8: Whenever we are taken out of the cells, we are mechanically restrained (handcuffed and/or shackled and/or waist chained) and escorted by two or more guards.
Factor #9: If there is an emergency, such as death in the family (or something of that nature), we are not allowed to attend the funeral or memorial services, because of the Tier II program.
Factor #10: Because of the Tier II program, we can not look at TV or listen to the radio. For some of us it has been over 22 months since we last seen TV, seen a movie, or even seen a commercial, or heard the radio.
Factor #11: Some of us, they will not let out the hole (segregation/isolation) even when we may have earned and received a certificate (and or receipt) stating "successfully completed the Tier II program.
Factor #12: We are deprived of almost any environmental or sensory stimuli and of almost all human contact.
Factor #13: The conditions of confinement are an "atypical and significant hardship" upon us.
Factor #14: The above mentioned deaths, is not the 1st death this year, that was caused by the Tier II program. Earlier this year (on or around February 12, 2014) in J-2 dormitory, cell #240. On 2/12/14, another man dead on the Tier II program. This man was killed by his roommate. Currently his real name is unknown but he was known as Sa-Brown. Sa-Brown was murdered, stabbed to death by his cell mate. We believe and/or it is believed that the Tier II program drove the man crazy/insane, then he murdered Sa-Brown.
According to the Georgia Department of Corrections Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) II B09-0003, Section I, Policy (page 1) states: "This program is an offender management process and [supposedly] is not a punishment measure... The Tier II program is a behavior modification program." The truth is - this offender management process/behavior modification program induces death (whether directly or indirectly). And we believe those that are responsible for the deaths are the creators, maintainer(s), operator(s), and manager(s) of the Tier II program; that would be: Brian Owens (GDOC commissioner) and Randy Tillman - the authors/creators; and Stanley Williams (Warden of Smith State Prison) and Eric Smokes (the unit manager of the Tier II program). These individuals (Owens, Tillman, Williams and Smokes) are responsible for the Tier II program and are responsible for the deaths (whether directly or indirectly).
The above mentioned factors are not the only relevant factors to be examined and evaluated in determining our conclusion. The above mentioned factors are included (in the examination and evaluation process), but are not limited to those factors (mentioned above). But for time sake, we will cease to elaborate on the numerous factors.
The Declaration of Independence (in relevant part)
We the people inhabiting the North American continent, freemen, "...hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." having been granted by our creator dominion over all the earth, reserve our right to restore the blessing of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, under necessity, that I/we declare, "that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." and as declared in many states constitutions; "we declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people" ... and "that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
Therein, the greatest rights of the people is the right to abolish 'destructive' government, those administrating as trustee, or those institutions that have become destructive and/or corrupted.
We the people call for an end to the Tier II program!
In December 2015 i forwarded you guys a letter in which i informed you all that i was battling my protracted Tier II segregation through litigation. My civil action cite is Nolley v. Nelson, et al, 5:15-CV-75-CAR. The case was filed in Macon division of the United States District Court for Middle District of Georgia circa March 2015. It can be accessed electronically at ecf.gamd.uscourts.gov.
The defendant prison officials, after the initial screening process, moved for dismissal on several grounds (see docket entry no. 22 in above referenced case). The court, however, in declining to dismiss my complaint, just recently issued an order condemning the Tier II practices as an overt violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution (see docket entry no. 50, p. 29). And, judging from the court's order, my case appears to be somewhat the "vanguard" case of cases attacking the Tier II program. I say this, chiefly, because the court did not cite circuit precedent in its assessment of my claims.
Of equal interest to the favorable court ruling is the court's detailed layout of the general confinement conditions characteristic of the Tier II program. In any case, now that the court has explicitly held such conditions to be "unconstitutional." I am seriously contemplating adding Governor Nathan Deal as a defendant party to my suit. I'm thinking i can base his liability on "endorsement of state-sponsored torture" theory. What was the basis of liability for California's Governor in the Ashker v. Brown case?
It would seem as though the court's condemnation of Tier II practices amounts to headway in our efforts to expose — and hopefully abolish — the unchecked, torturous treatment of Georgia prisoners. As always, i will be diligent to keep you updated.
Greetings my friend. I just received y'all letter and I want to get involved. I'm currently on the administration segregation mental health Tier II program, on phase two. I been on this program since last October 13th, 2015. We be getting done so wrong. They treat us like a dog.
They put officers in the dorm that don't want to work in the dorm. We eat cold food, so the officer might let our tray sit in the open. One time I got a tray with hair and a roach was in my food.
I'm currently serving a life sentence but I'm trying to get my case overturned. It be hard to get the proper access to the law library. I have filed grievance but I truly believe my grievance never get turned in. It's sad because a lot of inmates don't try to stand up for what's right. I have been jumped on, got my teeth kicked out by two officers.
I am a prisoner in the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) who is requesting your petition to remedy problems with the grievance procedure. I have blood markers of cancer that prison facilities never informed me about. They tried to prevent me from finding out about this by transferring me to a different prison whenever I would file a grievance demanding to be informed of the results to lab. At Calhoun State Prison on June 29, 2015 the grievance coordinator, who is also the deputy warden of care and treatment, Ms. Christine Cross, informed me my grievance was rejected because I'd forgot to sign it. The counselor I'd turned it in to has an obligation, according to prison operating procedure, to check the grievance for this type of technical compliance when I turned it in to him. I told Christine Cross he could have asked me to sign when I turned it in to him. It wasn't like I'd did it on purpose. I told Ms. Cross I would appeal the rejection to Department headquarters in Atlanta. Later this same day I was transferred to Dooly State Prison (DSP).
I turned in the appeal to grievance staff at DSP. Several months later I was being interviewed by the grievance coordinator, Ms. McClairen, when I thought to ask about this appeal. McClairen replied it seems there is no record that one was ever forwarded to GDC main office.
McClairen said this in a passing sort of fashion. The procedure requires appeals be submitted to our present facility's staff, and those staff will forward it to the main office in Atlanta. Apparently this doesn't work out in many cases. I am wanting to join your campaign. I will attempt to organize some of the others having this problem. Please send me the petition, with any other information I must know.