Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Kentucky Prisons

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. 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.


No Way As The Way

My way might not be your way
But it’s okay
It’s alright, your way might not be my way
But it’s okay
It’s alright

Yea, I used to go to church
But the church didn’t quench my thirst
Mama taught me to put god first
But she never tried to block my search
I was curious, young but serious
Why's religion so mysterious
Why is black life so hard?
They say you’re not supposed to question God
Well is it okay to question the pastor?
Was it passed down from the slave-master?
It was only the truth I was after
But I never could get a straight answer
So I couldn’t relate to the sermon
Put down the bible, then I start learning
About life, didn’t know where the path would lead
But I had to get off my knees


I build with the Five Percenters
On the God within us, it’s no limits
Study the Metu Neter from Kemet
All saw, I remembered
Smoke herb with the Rastafarians
Grew my locks became a vegetarian
Following the Tao, building with the Baba Laos
Jewels being handed to a innocent child
My mind is a Buddhist temple, the truth is simple
I try to be principled
Walking with a warrior spirit
Ain’t nothing like learning from first hand life experience
I’m a realist, that’s all I deal with
Respect the truth, that’s all I build with
A child of the universe
My religion is life and it’s just as valid
I strive for balance


I gotta admit, I don’t know
In the end which way it’s gonna go
Why we sit by the project window,
Instead of living off the land with my kin folk?
Is there even a master plan?
An unseen hand? Is God a man?
Some say that’s sacrilegious
Same folks selling us lies about Christmas
Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny
Just so the capitalists can make money
They say God will take care of it
But you a terrorist if you say the same thing in Arabic
It’s so hypocritical
It’s a miracle, listen to the message in the spirituals
Wade in the water, I’m following Ms. Tubman and Nat Turner
I'm praying for my freedom
and heading for the border

[Hook: x3]
This article referenced in:
[Release] [Civil Liberties] [Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex] [Kentucky]

Profit Driven Kentucky Transition Unit Program Fails to Meet Rehabilitation of Lumpen

In 2016 I remember the transition unit program starting out as a voluntary program as I briefly mentioned before in previous letters. It began as prisoners in seg who have a lot of seg time and what it does is it’s a program (24 weeks) broken down into 4 phases (6 weeks) a piece of classes for 1 hour a day of which you’re brought out of your cell (you and 5 other prisoners in your class of 6) and you’re chained and handcuffed to a desk for 1 hour a day for 4 times a week. You’re instructed by a facilitator and do journaling in class, then do homework (where it’s mandatory that you fill in every single line in every book of you’ll be considered “unexcused,” and won’t graduate for missing one “single” line!). This is a little “draconian” when you see the books; because most of which are long and some prisoners are illiterate (or won’t speak English) or simply just have mental deficiencies and are being kicked out unjustly and discriminated against. There was only a few prisoners starting out in the transition program as they asked me if I wanted to participate in the program while I was serving A.C. (Administrative-Control Status time!) in seg.

I told them “no,” why would I want to do a 24 work program when all I had to do was a 90 day A.C. cycle (term-period!) and get out of seg?! Being that it started out as a “voluntary program,” they accepted my answer and I was released from seg after 90 days! As the years went by and violence in KY D.O.C. rose, I noticed that “The Supply and Demand” concept went into effect within the prison industry of Kentucky. When the administration started making it “mandatory” for all acts of violence to have to do the transition unit program, I learned from my unit administrator at the old prison I was at K.S.P. that “Frankfort, KY” (the capital of Kentucky) told the D.O.C. that they “must” start showing that they have filled all their bed space in their transition unit program or the program is to be discontinued. With the program being voluntary they couldn’t achieve this so they went ruthless style and made it mandatory. Pretty soon it wasn’t just only violence that made the cut for the program, but also drug offenses. Too many disciplinary reports in a year, etc. etc. To where now, at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, they have an entire dorm of people who are waiting to do the program! The need for bed space was made. Mandatory programming produced “The Demand” and the violence, drug offenses, too many disciplinaries etc., produced “The Supply.”

I later viewed a document from a fellow comrade showing all the contracts (a public records printout from internet) that the KY D.O.C. rereceives over $500,000 a year to fund the program at our specific prison! Now I’ve graduated the program twice at 2 different prisons and at no point does anything in the program or altogether (staff and all) cost that much! The only thing they pay for is old (MP3 players or radios) and they give you T.V.’s (which is most of the time, if you’re not using your personal one, they’ll give you one out of the program. But really, it’s not from the program it’s borrowed from the property room. Everyone in the program pays for and buys their own canteen (commissary) every week so there is nothing being paid for by this large sum of grant money. So who’s pockets is this money going to? Or where is it going to?! Because it’s definitely not being spent on the program! Okay so there is a “long waiting list”

[Gender] [Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex] [Kentucky] [ULK Issue 82]

Promotion of Homosexuality within the Kentucky Department of Corrections

First allow me to say that I am in no way homophobic and hold no bias nor any prejudice toward gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, or queer people. However, I find it inhumane that, while men can flaunt themselves around in thongs, booty shorts, leggings, mascara, eyeliner, makeup, and sports bras, I am being denied pictures of my fiance because she is wearing those exact same things. The woman who has dedicated her life to me, stands by my side through the trials and tribulations, who has weathered the storm, someone who I am going to wed.

I have been denied pictures of my fiance on vacation in a bathing suit because they were “sexually explicit” but in turn a gay man can receive pictures of another man in boxers? I am restricted from receiving pictures of my fiance in boy shorts or leggings while men walk freely past the guards and Warden wearing those and everything is fine.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections Penitentiary System encourages homosexuality while banning intimacy with your loved one. Your visitor is not permitted to wear a dress, shorts, leggings, or tight jeans on a visit, meanwhile transgender people are encouraged to receive hormone shots to grow breasts, walking hand-in-hand around the loop with another man. In the Kentucky Department of Corrections Penitentiary System homosexuality is forced upon the heterosexual inmates where men can lay in a cell with another man in their arms, but magazines such as “Idore”, “Spicy”, “Straight Stuntin”, “King”, “Phat Puffs”, or “Sultry” are not available or restricted to purchase. Magazines with women in clothes like two piece swim suits are restricted. But why? Because they are women, or because they are what, real women?

How do you combat a whole state, let alone a prison, where the Warden is promoting homosexuality? (Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex, Warden J. David Green).

I am not concerned as to what other inmates choose to indulge in, I just want to be able to receive pictures of my future wife in her boyshorts, leggings, in her intimate state, to help with my sexual release and soothe my mind, to escape, but instead I am subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and the promotion of homosexuality within the Kentucky Department of Corrections Penitentiary System.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree that the Kentucky DOC is being intentionally cruel in its biased enforcement of rules around sexually explicit materials. This is happening in a number of states, including Texas where at the same time some prisoners are being forced to watch porn. And as we know corrections officials communicate with each other, it is likely no coincidence.

It’s a tactic the police have used forever; treat certain people differently from others in an arbitrary way and watch them turn on each other. They’ve used this against political prisoners, granting one prisoner more freedoms than eir comrades to promote suspicions that the privileged comrade snitched when in reality ey had not.

Administrators know how important pictures of loved ones, including “sexy” pictures of partners, are to prisoners. Just as the comrade we addressed in a longer piece on the nature of sex and sexuality, this Kentucky prisoner says ey has no issues with LBGTQ people. Yet, we sense the resentment here in what ey wrote. We call on our readers not to let that resentment cause you to turn on others who are not your enemy.

There is a right-wing talking point these days that the woke government is trying to turn people, especially children, transgender or gay. These identity politics are being used to manipulate people, and to get votes. If comrades are serious about fighting the “enforcement” of homosexuality in prisons, we suggest allying with gay prisoners who will likely be strong allies in a campaign to allow all prisoners to have equal rights to express their sexuality. Meanwhile, the fight against censorship of photos should connect to the fight against political censorship of mail. It should be illegal for the state to stop any mail that is not a direct threat to safety. If you are organizing around these issues we want to hear from you.

[Abuse] [Legal] [Kentucky] [ULK Issue 56]

Access to Courts Denied in Kentucky

I’ma start this letter out by sending all my respects to all involved in educating and enlightening those who is fighting such as myself. These past couple of weeks have been very hectic. Here at Kentucky State Reformatory, we have difficulties with the administration denying legal help from legal aids on cases and with research and filing.

In Kentucky, prisoners in administration and punitive segregation are being denied legal representation by legal aides on filing motions, briefs, etc. and on research. Most of us have active cases and are filing new cases, but the administration have told us “prisoners” that the legal aides can’t assist us on any cases and they have notified the legal aides not to assist us on our cases. The legal aides have been told that they can only assist us and represent us at adjustment committee hearings.

Everyone knows that you have to and need to do research before an active case can even begin and finish, so this bureaucratic red tape is just another arbitrary denial of access to courts, and a violation of the Kentucky Constitution and the U.$. Constitution. Right now I am seeking out accurate factual materials to write out a petition to send to the warden, and accurate factual civil and human rights and constitutional Kentucky and federal laws to fight this injustice.

An injustice to one is an injustice to all.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This is not an issue unique to Kentucky. Prisoners in Texas are also being denied access to courts because of a “cite only” rule. And in Georgia our comrades are denied access to the courts because they are on Tier II restrictive housing. In North Carolina there are no law libraries, and the agency that is designated to satisfy the requirement of access to courts is almost entirely useless.

For all our comrades who advocate working through the courts for remedies, we have as many comrades who write in saying it is impossible for them to access legal material or assistance. This is one of many reasons why we don’t believe the oppressors will ever set up a system that grants real power or dignity to oppressed people, including U.$. prisoners. We work within the system when we can, but we also need to build our own independent institutions, outside the current criminal injustice system, in order to meet and maintain our goals.

[Abuse] [Kentucky State Reformatory] [Kentucky]

False Disciplinary Reports and Other Abuse in Kentucky

On 10 February 2017, I was accused of by unit administrator (UA) John L. Grevious and internal affairs captain Michael Williams of stabbing another inmate, which I never did at all. The disciplinary report that UA Grievous wrote up said “on February 8th, 2017 at approximately 5:15p.m. inmate [me] attacked inmate [X] around the Dorm 12, DAL and yard area out of camera view. After a interview conducted by Capt. Michael Williams, inmate [me] claimed sole responsibility.” I never attacked [X] and I never admitted to nothing.

Another thing is I have been letting the medical staff and other medical personnel know about my right knee and leg hurting, locking up and giving out when I lay in bed and get up to walk to the bathroom or just walk around. They never did nothing about it until December 2016, when they put me in physical therapy and then stopped it in February 2017 because my knee and leg ain’t getting better. Then on March 16, 2017 at 12:00am my knee and leg gave out in the shower and I fell and busted my head, and CO Bick Ford Badge #397, never did anything when he was the walk officer. It took other walk officers to get me medical attention. Medical only put ointment on it and sent me back to my cell with an open gash.

Right now all my complaints is been ignored and my letters is been unanswered by warden Aaron Smith, deputy warden Anna Valatine, deputy warden James Coyne and the unit administrators and caseworker. Grievance coordinator Casey Dowden is refusing to answer my letter and refusing to fulfill my legal request forms for civil rights complaint forms, acts, standards, motions, forms, addressed, etc. I turned in on February 20, 2017; February 27, 2017; March 6, 2017; and March 13, 2017. Then fire and safety super Brian Hilabrandt have the ACA standards on religion for me, but on March 1, 2017, he told me they said I couldn’t have them and he couldn’t get them to me until I’m out of segregation.

This is a little on what’s going on with me and what I’m having trouble with. They are talking about transferring me, so I want to be able to file all paperwork I need to challenge these injustices. I’ve been denied my full medical-physical therapy-psychiatric files, adjustment committee & grievance files and my full institutional files so I can properly prepare my cases and file on them. This is why I am needing legal, political, religious, material, financial, etc. help & support and support groups/networks through letters, Jpay email & videograms and Jpay money transfer to buy books, stationary, hygiene, fund my Jpay media fund, pay court fees and to be financial stable.

I don’t rely on lawsuits alone but on connecting my struggle with the outside struggle. I am trying to build bridges instead of burn bridges. I am organizing from the inside out, at least trying to. If I got 10 or 20 people or so helping me and organizing with me I’m happy.

I will appreciate your and others’ help, support and response soon and future organizing soon. Please forward this letter to others who can help & willing to support me and organize with me.

[Abuse] [Kentucky State Reformatory] [Kentucky] [ULK Issue 22]

Beating as Retaliation for Filing Grievances

I was brutally beaten by seven correctional officers (COs) in December and was transported to the hospital as a result. They almost killed me. My hands were restrained the whole time while they maced and punched me in the face continually. I was kicked in the stomach and elsewhere.

This is the second time that I have been sent to the hospital for officer brutality. The first time was when CO Goins cut my hand wide open and I had to get stitches. I have been forced to endure constant harassment, degradation, malicious behavior, discrimination, etc. All of this has happened to me as a result of “retaliation” for the many grievances that I’ve submitted for CO Goins stealing my jewelry out of my property bag. When I started grieving this and other matters, other officers joined him in retaliation against me.

There’s a lot more to this matter but this letter is just to reveal some of what I’ve gone through and am experiencing. This beating took place six months ago, but the campaign of harassment has been going on longer.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Unfortunately brutality is not an uncommon response by prison guards against prisoners who try to fight injustice and illegal guard abuse through the grievance system. This is why United Struggle from Within initiated a campaign to demand our grievances be addressed. There are currently petitions for California, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and we need help to create petitions for other states. Write to us to get involved.

Go to Page 1