Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Baraga Max Correctional Facility - Michigan

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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] [Baraga Max Correctional Facility] [Michigan]
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Formal Complaint, State of Michigan, County of Baraga

I, a 61-year old African American, confined in Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), a resident at Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility (AMF), currently housing permanently in a stripped cell in segregation. I am writing this formal complaint on behalf of myself and others similarly situated.

This formal complaint is solely against michigan Criminal Justice System, and MDOC, and their Adminsitration and employees.

After returning to prsion August 30, 1991 with a 2 year to 20 year prison term for possession of powder cocain and crack cocain less than 50 grams. My basic information sheet indicated that my first out date with special good time was October 7, 1992 and my regular good time out date was December 23, 1992. And my special good time maximum out date was October 10, 2009 and regular good time maximum out date was July 13, 2013.

I was denied a parole release all the way up to 2013. Then while a resident at Alger Correctional Facility, on April 8, 2013 about 20 prison guards attacked me and beat up in bad shape. Then I was framed with two of the prison guards accusing me of assault and battery on prison employee. Then I wasn't allowed to have any witness testify on my behalf and I was not allwoed to give a statement on my behalf. No investigation was done on my behalf. The evidence of the video camera that were 15 yards away were withheld. The officers all twenty testified against me. The hearing officers found me guilty on both assault and battery charges. Then the two prison guards filed felony charges against me. The circuit court Judge appointed an attorney who wouldn't investigate the crime or call witnesses. I asked the judge to discontinue his services for lack of assistance. The next attorney refused to investigate also. I asked the Judge to discontinue his services and the Judge denied my request. I went to trial got found guilty and sentenced to 3.5 to 15, and 3.5 to life. The 3.5 to life was an illegal sentence. Then judge changed it to 3.5 years to 50 years. My first out date is July 21, 2017 and the parole board has already sent me an 18 month continuance in the mail without an interview.

I filed for an appeal and the court appointed appeal attorney refused to investigate my case and call witnesses. I have somewhat of the same problem with the court appointed attorney on the narcotic case that got me sent to prison. That attorney didn't investigate the scene of the crime or call witnesses, and he was absent at six of my court appearances, and even absent the day my trial was to start. I took a plea bargain for a 2 to 20 years because the attorney that stood in court for my attorney told me that I will be out on the streets in 90 days if I took the cop. Here it is 27 years later and i am still incarcerated after being framed with some trumped up felony charges.

I was facing a life maximum with the fourth degree habitual charge with the cocaine and crack case, and the assault and battery case also. The state is providing inadequate legal representation to defend felony cases. That's a prime example why about 95% of the felonies are resolved by way of plea bargains. Plus the courts are bullying the defendants with unlawful charges like habitual offender, consecutive sentences, high bonds, and the use of two numbers in the sentence. For instance, a 2 to 20 years is two different and separate sentences in itself. The 2 years is one term and the 20 years is another term.

I have spent approximately twenty years of my incarceratin in control units in level five (maximum security). Out of the 27 years I have been incarcerated twenty four of those years were spent in administrative segregation. At one point I did eleven straight years in segregation from 1998 to 2009 for a fake dangerous contraband infraction.

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[Gang Validation] [Baraga Max Correctional Facility] [Michigan]
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False Gang Validation in Michigan

I've been designated as an STG II "gang leader" since 13 March 2006. The Michigan prison system does not have a real gang problem, 85% of the gang designations are bogus, and there is a complete lack of insight on culture and religion in the minds of these pigs.

At this facility, Baraga Max Correctional, there are a total of seven level 5 units. Three of the seven are Ad-Seg; "the hole." Each unit has eighty eight prisoners. Of the 264 prisoners housed in Ad-Seg, 85% are Black/Brown. Of that 85% nearly 3 out of 5 prisoners are designated Security Threat Group (STG) prisoners. The prison administration does not issue special clothes, or name tags, or special housing units, or recreation yards for STG inmates. Yet, the prison administration penalizes non-STG inmates for "socializing, working out, and generally being around STG inmates"!

More importantly, as I stated above, these pigs are not truly qualified or educated in gang culture to be given the power and authority to destroy and oppress and label anybody STG. In order to do this they must be well in tune with what is a gang sign, who is a gang member, what particular banner, colors, words, and origin of things and they are not! The truth is, the state, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), has a financial incentive to put and keep as many Black/Brown prisoners on STG as possible because by doing so, the MDOC can then claim they need more money for more weapons, shock cuffs, taserz, and convince the state legislators that these so-called level 5 facilities need to stay open. These rural prisons employ thousands of pigs, and have brought great economical wealth to the parts of the state where these pigs had no other means of employment. So by keeping the STG numbers sky high, the state makes it look like they have a real gang problem.

Now, for prisoners like myself who are designated the highest stage of STG, which is Step II, and are labeled a leader or enforcer of a gang, the prison considers school to be a privilege not a mandatory aspect of prison. Not even cell study is allowed. Why? Are not gang leaders in need of education? Are we so dangerous in our small concrete graves that we might spark revolution through the contents of math, history, art and science?

For those fortunate enough to have an out date and who are able to see the parole board, policy states that prisoners must have a GED or be in school to make parole. So, where does that leave thousands of prisoners in the MDOC who are designated STG with a parole date, but without a high school diploma or GED. This is called executive oppression.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Prisons across the country are using gang validation as an excuse to fill and expand prison control units. By manufacturing or exaggerating a "gang problem" they are able to justify requests for expanded funds and facilities. At the same time, this "gang problem" can be used to keep prisoners who are considered troublemakers, often the most politically advanced and active behind bars, from access to education and away from others who they might educate and organize. These are all reasons why we must fight to shut down prison control units, while explaining clearly why gang validation is a tool of social control in Amerikan prisons.

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