Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Eastern Correctional Institution - Maryland

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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] [Eastern Correctional Institution] [Maryland]
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We need to publicize abuse in Maryland prisons

I call out all the brothers and sisters on the East Coast especially to Maryland to let your voice be heard. Over the years I been reading a lot of progressive literature including but not limited to Prison Legal News, BayView, Lawyers Guild, Under Lock & Key, News and Letters, and MIM(Prison), just to name a few. However I have never run across an article from our comrades in Maryland prisons.

Why are these brothers and sisters in the Maryland prison system so silent while there is so much to expose in regards to the daily oppressions that we face daily at the hands of Mr. Charlie?

Why is there no mentioning that the Western Correctional Institution – ECI housing unit 4 – Segregation unit continuously steals the inmates foods, stamps, cosmetics and even foot wear when they are housed in HU4? We are talking about the officers stealing the residents properties with impunity.

Why there is no mentioning of said ECI staff refusing to issue ARP and appeal forms to residents and when you complain they retaliate with lock-up, butt naked cells and if you are fortunate transfer. I know as I am in federal court with them right now.

Why are there no mentions of the continuous increase in commissary items, but no increase in the inmate wages for more than a decade. Imagine going to school for a meager wage of $18-19 monthly? Yet, 10 stamps = $5, toothpaste = $3, two next one soap = $1, a deodorant = $3 and $5 to phone. That’s $17 and you had not even gotten a noodle.

How about these fallacious infractions being written against the brothers. They are then offered 30-60 days seg. And if they fight, albeit innocent they will be found guilty then given 180 days on the regular. Why should a former officer at an institution become that institution's regular hearing officer. That's a conflict of interest. That is the case at WCI in Cumberland and their hearing officer, Sipes, he was a former Correctional Officer and is familiar with all the staffs who write these bogus tickets to deprive brothers of their good days and early release.

What about all the doors on lockup now being chained shut with leg irons, i.e. cell 2&3 bath have a pair of leg irons connecting each doors together. If a fire starts inmates are going to perish as they will not be able to open all these doors in time. I noticed on numerous occasions it took them minutes to open up a normal handcuff. Sometimes, they have to call another officer to assist, or to borrow another key in order to open handcuffs. In reality, there is a fire hazard waiting to happen, also a violation of the fire marshall code.

Why is there no mention of ECI administration banning the serving of coffee on lockup because I complained about it being served cold?

There is so much stuff for brothers within the Maryland system to enlighten the public about, yet we are all silent. Are we all complacent or scared of what Mr. Charlie might take from us why are we resigned to this oppression?

Wake up my brothers and sisters in Maryland, there are work to be done. Banging is not all, we need to get work, to get outside and often brothers and sisters to know about our plight. We need to unite to let others know about us.

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[Abuse] [Eastern Correctional Institution] [Maryland]
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Fighting Destruction of Grievances in Maryland

Just as it is in all of the places that are discussed in Under Lock & Key, the system here in Maryland is a joke. Prisoners in this system who wish to air their grievances have no outlet because the same pigs who were writing them up are the same pigs that handle the administrative remedy process.

In 2008, a memo was put out to prisoners, written by the Prisoners' Rights Information System of Maryland (PRISM). It indicated that a Federal lawsuit had been filed by a prisoner represented by PRISM and that that lawsuit resulted in the division of corrections, revising directives governing the administrative remedy process. One of the changes included the adoption of a two-piece carbon copy complaint form so prisoners can retain a copy of the ARP, thus reducing risk of loss and destruction and providing proof of exhaustion of remedies.

For a while this two-piece carbon copy complaint form was beneficial to prisoners, however, like everything else that has been put into effect to ensure that "justice" for prison inmates is upheld, officers have found a way to undermine the system. At first many officers began to refuse to sign the ARPs, but after prisoners began to complain about this injustice the cowards gave in because they did not want to be written up. Then they created a new system stating that no officers could sign an inmate's ARP, only a Lieutenant (Lt) or a "designated officer" could do so. These Lts and designated officers pick and choose which ARPs they want to sign and which ARPs they want to scrap. We have to give our ARPs to a tier officer to take to the Lt because a Lt will never come get it himself. If the Lt is okay with what you've written it will be signed and the carbon copy will be returned to you. If not, you'll never see it again.

The whole point of the carbon copy is to prevent loss or destruction. It is supposed to be signed and dated in front of you so that the carbon copy can be handed back to you right then and there so that you will have proof that you wrote the ARP if something happens to it.

In the segregation unit of Eastern Correctional Institution, Lt Galligher is one of the leaders of the good ol' boy network. It is he and he alone who is in charge of signing ARPs and he must have worked as a magician before working for the division of corruption because he sure does know how to make a grievance disappear. Not many people write this up because this Lt and the other pigs who put this system into place will not hesitate to retaliate on anyone that attempts to expose them. I, however, am not afraid and plan to attack this joke that they call a grievance procedure from every angle possible.

I agree with the brother from Washington who stated that in ULK 19, "[t]he only way that we as prisoners will be treated fairly and with justice is if a neutral outside company or corporation dealing solely with grievances and our claims is constructed." Otherwise we're just complaining to the same people who are administering the many forms of injustice that we are fighting against. It's a new era, it's time for change, it's time for solidarity. I'm especially speaking to those of you who are in an organization, this is what our energy should be focused on, instead of trying to destroy the many forms of injustice that we are shadowed with on an everyday basis. It's time for change. The time is now. Power to the people!


MIM(Prisons) adds: In response to this sort of injustice around prisoner's grievances, some United Struggle from Within (USW) comrades initiated a grievance campaign. Write us to get a copy of the grievance petition for your state if you reside in California, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas, or a generic petition that you can customize for your state if you are anywhere else.

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