Phone Zap Tomorrow to Support NC Strikers!
Boycott Juneteenth: End Mass Incarceration and Solitary
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.
I began a Juneteenth protest in April on the 23rd. I went on hunger strike on the 28th, but broke it 2 days later to get my strength up after being threatened by Sergeant Couper.
19 May 2022 – I began a second hunger-strike for 8 days. On the 3rd day of the strike, I was taken to a dirty holding cell in receiving – with ants, no bunk, and poop caked up inside a broken toilet. I was only allowed a bible, one sheet, and one blanket. They placed the old raggy mattress on the floor where I was to sleep for the next 5 days.
No incoming or outgoing mail; no human contact; no offer of food; and no vital-signs, weight, or sugar was checked (nurses documented false reports). May 23rd, in medical, when the nurse asked why I wasn’t eating, I told them, “because it’s ‘George Floyd Day’, Get Your Knees Off Our Necks.”
26 May 2022 – I went on S.I.B. [self injury behavior watch] and was given an even worse mattress that smelled of feces. No one checked on me.
27 May 2022 – I was shipped to the Emergency Room at Central Prison. A level-one bone-marrow cancer had intensified the damage to my body. Some negotiations were made and I broke the fast. However, while I was on the IV a nurse came in at shift change and snatched the IV out of my arm and told me and my officers to get out.
April 23rd, I was attacked by Sgt Couper because I had asked for a roll of tissue (I had been asking for 24 hours). Sergeant Couper said he needed to search my room for tissues then pulled out his mace and tried to find an excuse to mace me. When I cuffed up he resorted to violence by snatching my arms all the way out the trap, then opened the door and threw me head-first into the back wall, then applied torture techniques, such as bending my fingers & choke holds, while tightening the restraints.
I was eventually taken to receiving and left on the floor with the restraints for 4 hours. I had lost feeling in my arms, wrists, and shoulders.
Sergeant Couper continues to harass and retaliate against us; intercepting grievance appeals and managing investigations for disciplinary reports that he has officers fabricate against us. But “We Reap What We Sow”. On 9 June 2022, he got served!
“Power to the People”
By the United Front “T.R.U.C.E.” of the People’s Army
T.R.U.C.E. (Teams of Revolutionaries Uniting to Combat the Enemy)
MIM(Prisons) adds: On 30 June 2022 there was a phone/email zap to Granville Correctional Institution to support the strikers and to call for an end to the physical abuse by Sergeant Couper. Staff responded by saying that Warden Roach was not in that day to take calls and that there was no physical abuse going on there. Emails to the Warden and Director of Operations were not responded to.
The North Carolina United Front for Peace in Prisons (NCUFPP) is not a gang – it’s a variety of lumpen organizations united in peace in prisons. No one is over or under anyone in the NCUFPP and we respect and recognize everyone’s credentials/status.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Why do we oppress one another as we are being oppressed by the fox tactics of the divider and conqueror?
They’ve programmed many of our fore-fathers to accommodate in the destruction of our people (the oppressed nations). If we do not band together we will never win. The lone wolf may become timid, but together the pack has courage and we are strong.
Without the United Front the ocean will eventually swallow the land. Give the Man an inch and he’ll take a mile. First our recreation; then our picture-mail; batteries; and now tissues – what next? Everything else like visitation, rations, haircuts, supplies, and property – they take and give back when they feel like it.
When the “Man” (or should we say “children”) don’t get their way, they’ll throw a temper tantrum and turn to violence and criminal behavior. Well according to Huey P. Newton (and the U.$. constitution) we have the right to defend ourselves, don’t we?
We must never encourage their violence among any prisoner because it’ll encourage the man to continue their violent ways among other prisoners (comrades) and citizens of society in the outside world in our homes. If he’ll assault the other prisoner/prisoner group he’ll do it to you too. The man shouldn’t be consulted to; spoken to; nor indirectly lead to assume anything about another prisoner. And we all know that woofing in front of the police is dry-snitching.
We’ve noticed that these children are spraying/gassing comrades for knocking on the window for necessities such as tissues and then attack them and placing them on sanctions (taking their property). While there is no call buttons here for prisoners to use when they need necessities, this shit is out of order. But don’t let it get you down. Take a break; enjoy yourself; set back; and relax. Save your energy for Juneteenth. The last day of our oppression. Listen for the Juneteenth memo on the yard/seg!
There’s been a shortage of staff on super-max. One reason being too many prisoners are in S.I.B. (self injury behavior) watch and must be monitored. Once observation and receiving cells are filled to capacity then guards must (individually) sit outside the housing cells of any other prisoner on S.I.B.
From experience in what may have been S. White’s 1st successful protest in 2019 Oct, outside support via phone zap was effective. All morning this tied up the prison’s phone line until the prison took the phone off the hook. The outside supporters then phone zapped Raleigh. So Raleigh called the prison asking why the phones were off the hook.
There was 9 to 16 comrades in the prison on hunger strike and multiple people on S.I.B. By lunch 5 comrades were called by Captain Henderson to receiving and asked what they wanted. All of us already had grievances being processed about other things. S. White also sent copies of an anonymous missive to the administration with the policies that were being breached.
For the memorial celebration of the Juneteenth we are participating in the traditional fast (meal refusal) for breakfast and lunch; and 10-20 S.I.B.s.
At North Carolina’s HCAU we want phone calls (iPad), TV news (iPad), spider-free outside recreation cages built large enough for more than one person, more food, real hygiene, heater fixed for winter, sally-port swept and mopped at least once a month, lights off in the day time, and case workers and fee recommendations for release from HCON on or after the second 6 month term (infraction free). Feel free to add to the list (every grievance will differ reflecting the demands of each comrade).
We’ll like to have outside support phone zap at this institution. Write MIM to stay updated. We do not expect any assistance from any boot-licking reactionaries satisfied with the man and any conditions of solitary confinement. Shall your days be numbered.
Today at Polk Correction Institution the prep-team beat a young man in full restraints named Mr. Fox as he screamed for help during a shake-down: video surveillance was not provided.
15 March 2021, a few weeks before the killing of Andrew Brown by Pasquotank Sheriff’s Department, I was maced, tased, beat, and nearly killed by almost 20 Pasquotank C.O.s. The beating occurred in 6 different locations in the building including 3 elevators. I received several life lasting injuries to the head, face, and mouth from being punched and kicked over a hundred times while laying flat on the ground on my stomach and/or side. A chunk of meat was ripped out of my shoulder from being dragged over 50 ft. I was choked while beaten til they thought and asked one another if I was dead.
Another official cut my thumb with a switch blade and I received several other injuries that medical refused to treat or document. The officers said, “they’ll be back to beat me every chance they get and that I better not eat.”
I was emergency shipped, and 3 hours later pictures were taken of my injuries when I arrived at Polk Correctional Institution (High-Risk-Security).
Pasquotank Prison Officials deny to have ever touched me and claim their innocence while not even bothering to explain how my injuries were sustained. The disciplinary officer found that the video footage of the incident had been tampered with and cut-short.
18 October 2021, all mail for North Carolina prisoners will be received at TextBehind in Phoenix, MD with long time promises of iPads in the future. Should department of public safety provide proper video surveillance for safety before iPads for profit and entertainment? Surveillance is critical to maintain and monitor unwanted violence.
Relief in the claim I’ve filed against Pasquotank Correctional Institution include that the courts enforce a policy with an injunction ordering hand-held cameras be used when escorting offenders or using force in blind spots.
Unfortunately, body-cams in prison make it harder for guards to smuggle contraband or have relations which would decrease the rate of violence from drug related issues allowing more prisoners to focus on rehabilitation and money management.
With this we would ask for higher pay rates to support our families and conjugal visits for married couples.
Prayers out for the family of Andrew Brown and the victims of police brutality.
For a full report of Pasquotank Prison Incident, see: “Two Letters From North Carolina Prisons Make the Same Demands 45 Years Apart.”
MIM(Prisons) adds: In the last issue of Under Lock & Key one of our comrades addressed the use of tablets to pacify and surveil the oppressed in A Strategic Objective to Disrupt and Surveil the Communication Between Prisoners and Our Loved Ones. The article above connects this to the many campaigns prisoners have waged to get cameras in prisons so that there is documentation of the regular abuse and illegal happenings that go on inside.
In 2014, comrades in North Carolina won a lawsuit to [require staff of NCPDS to record with video cameras any use of force incidents]((https://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/north-carolina-prisoners-preliminary-victory-on-use-of-force-lawsuit/). This suit however, left it up to the pigs to determine when cameras need to be used. As AK47 asks, if the state is to invest more money in technology, shouldn’t it be on this important task of preventing physical abuse and drug trafficking, both of which leads to the loss of humyn lives?
We can also take lessons from the implementation of universal cameras, including audio recording, in California which brought up concerns of excessive monitoring of prisoners, including in counseling and rehabilitation programs. Just last year, another lawsuit in California brought a federal court order requiring body cameras in Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in California, resulting in passive protests from staff in the form of not running programs for prisoners.
Modern surveillance and communication technology can be used for good and for bad, for the interests of the oppressed or the interests of the oppressor. The interests of the oppressed lie in holding the state accountable for the rampant abuse and drug dealing its employees commit every day, while being able to maintain connections to society, engaging in rehabilitation programs where they can speak freely and openly. The interests of the state lie in pacifying the population with pop culture media and surveilling the communication of those who cannot be pacified.
The state is tightening its control on free communication and association in prisons across the country by imposing digital monitoring systems, and in some cases banning hard copies of mail.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has begun using a company called TextBehind to handle their mail and push people towards their digital communications platform. This allows the company to extort people to pay whatever prices they want just to send their loved ones a message, while the state gets to monitor every word.
MIM Distributors began sending mail to TextBehind last month only to have it returned unopened. It turns out TextBehind does not process letters from organizations, only from individuals. As an organization we would be required to set up a corporate account with non-public pricing schemes. In other words, as a member of MIM(Prisons) I cannot just put a stamp on an envelope and drop it in the mail for a comrade in NCDPS custody anymore. This is a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights to speech and association. At this time it appears that newsletters and books are still allowed through the prisons, but we will not be able to correspond with you directly, send you study guides or other information persynalized to you if you are being held by NCPDS.
UPDATE: We just had a package of ULKs returned to us from Roanoke River Correctional Institution saying, “This facility DOES NOT accept friend and family mail directly” and that we must send mail to TextBehind. But TextBehind does not accept publications, only letters that can be scanned. So it seems mail to NCDPS is being blocked on all fronts.
First thing first, I am still in Wisconsin. They are making all of us have our families and comrades send personal letters and photos to the Phoenix, Maryland PO Box (189) to inspect them for drugs such as K2, even though drugs, cell phones and other contraband items come from the fascist pigs that work in these imperialist gulags. Newspapers, books, publications are still to be sent here.
On 15 September 2021 twenty four prisoners declared hunger strike at Foothills Correctional Institution in North Carolina. By 2PM the administration locked up 3 comrades. Me and another comrade stayed fasting.
They only give us phone once a week; no yard in a month; and less than 2 hours of recreation per day. Basically we’re in segregation for no reason. I reflect on these b.s. measures, then I asked myself why and how does this opre$$ion end?!
“Why are the battles endless?! Why the Us vs. them?! Why is the Earth CRYING ?!”
There’s been a substantial amount of reports on increases in depression and mental health disorders in the United $tates due to the shelter-in-place orders. In September, Time Magazine cited a study that showed severe depression being reported by 5.1% of people, up from 0.7% before the pandemic. The common explanation for this increase is social isolation combined with uncertainty and fear. Yet we have a prison system that regularly uses more extreme forms of social isolation (for example no internet, and being locked down in a literal cage), uncertainty and fear and people often look at the people in these prisons as being mentally ill. In reality, we are seeing a massive experiment on the larger society that shows this is how most people react in the conditions we face in prison. So what does it mean to be mentally ill, if this is socially induced?
It means this place will drive you crazy. If not by having hardly any contact with the opposite sex, then by isolation in a small cell (including being allowed 3 showers a week and an hour of recreation outside your cell 5 days a week). This is not normal and causes abnormal effects.
As you sit in your dwelling long enough you become a different person. You may find yourself venting or doing things you normally wouldn’t do, like burning down your cell or town.
A person may go a period of time without speaking. An elderly self-disciplined person may stay quiet, longing, but when one does break their silence they will talk for an hour or two until they burn themselves out. This will usually occur once a day in conditions where there’s only one person to talk to, as it is an HCON (high) Control Purpose.
Others began to talk to spirits and demons. In some cases, this is stimulated by them making up stuff in their mind, but there are also diagnosed paranoid prisoners who scream every time the light cuts on and they open their eyes. They also fight demons.
Solitary confinement can also lead to suicide, as an escape. There have been people committing reactionary suicide, like Biscuit from the movie Life, when he ran across the gun line because he “couldn’t go on living.” Psychologists don’t even bother to get to know who you are or talk you through your problems. They either give you some drugs to experiment with or decline to help you altogether. They are unconcerned that abused children are liable to grow up with an attachment disorder which doesn’t necessarily require medication but does require TLC, which a half-dozen psychiatrists can’t provide for the 1200 prisoners here.
On Segregation we receive even less communication with our families who can provide that loving sanctuary and keep us sane, because we have no phone and only one non-contact visit a month (we should be able to receive more TV visits).
Our families mail is sometimes held for a month after it arrives at the prison. This creates depression by worrying about our families and why they haven’t written over the holidays, to later find out devastating news from our loved ones. Talk about fear and uncertainty.
Some people become anti-social in solitary confinement for different reasons. One reason may be that after so much chaos and falling out with people around them in distress, they began to fall back from everyone.
Others find themselves through self-discipline and block out all other worldly distractions to work on their goals.
Some stressed adolescents in solitary confinement turn towards music as escape and begin to sing lyrics at the top of their lungs, others find refuge and entertainment in woofing. With all this racket going on in Restrictive Housing, it will drive a perfectly sane person insane and into an insomniac.
At Polk Correctional Institution in North Carolina on supermax (or HCON, High Risk Security) we don’t go outside because the officials will trash your cell, steal your property, fully restrain you with your hands behind your back connected to chains around your waist, and leave you in a recreation cage with giant brown recluse spiders, all to deter you from going outside again. Similar tactics are practices here at Central Prison.
The air in the building is insufficient for a human being to breathe at times and I’ve experienced shortness of breath. Compare that to wearing a mask that you can easily remove if you choose.
Comrades at that camp have developed bone marrow cancer, and there is probably cause to expect that this cancer may have been caused by the contaminated water they were working in. There was also strong gasoline type chemicals in the food that was being served at the time.
Right now at Central Prison our lunch consists of one bologna and cheese sandwich, 2 crackers and a 2oz (1/4 cup) of fruit with a juice packet every day. Dinner’s no better, and staff will fight and curse you if you speak out, because they have PTSD and other disorders themselves from war, childhood and other experiences. In this way, mental health patients (the staff) are responsibly for the well-being of other mental health patients.
There’s a mental health program called T.D.U. for patients on RHCP (Restrictive Housing Control Purposes) that they can send you to where you can slowly earn privileges like television, canteen, phone, being allowed to come out of your cell, but they never send any New Afrikans to the programs.
By contrast, RHCP pods have 16 cells each, and I have never seen more than 5 non-color people at a time in any pod. At HCON there are four blocks each with two tiers that hold 12 cells each. I have never witnessed more than 2 non-color people on any tier at a time during the 2 years I spent there.
If a non-colored comrade gets in a scuffle on the yard at Central Prison, they may receive a week or two in segregation, but a negro will receive 12-18 months on RHCP. Right now, we are receiving more time at Central Prison on RHCP than prisoners at Polk CI on HCON who spend only 10 months on HCON, but after they do their HCON at Polk CI, Polk may hold them for 6-12 months on RHCP.
Some people haven’t been guilty of any charges to be placed on RHCP or HCON, so Classification will lie and forge paperwork (no due process). They are con artists who don’t follow their own laws.
The ill-treatment we receive from the institution only creates more PTSD and brings unnecessary bad energy towards people. Workers should be focused on taking care of their families and not risking their lives to oppress others for no gain, but of their master’s amusement.
This room becomes our life. At Polk CI on HCON our cells have showers with food being delivered to their doors, and some guys never want to leave. Some people aren’t going home and to some poor men on the street, incarceration provides 3 meals a day. In the County jail I’ve seen people live in the hole and refuse to leave on numerous occasions.
Solitary confinement is the only place I’ve seen a man smear shit everywhere including his face, and eat shit sandwiches. Tell me this is normal and something you see people do. Thankfully they finally sent this particular prisoner to the mental hospital where he may get some help (and not get thrown in a cage for sleeping in some bushes on public property because he’s a poor New Afrikan man who was stripped of his assets).
Comrades, we are not ourselves behind the door, so I’ll leave you with the words a knowledgeable man left with me:
No 2 men get along without respect.
Comrade Tag: I fasted from 7PM on 8 September 2020 until 5PM on 9 September 2020. I did drink water though. It was intense, it was the first time I’ve ever intentionally fasted. In the streets I wouldn’t eat for a day or 2, but I had alcohol, weed, etc. to sustain me.
It was eye-opening for me. Like, “Damn, people go through this for the cause all the time!” I need to tighten up. Self discipline for me and food is poor. I write, stand up against oppression, and help educate people, but food is so essential to survival. Not eating for me is like not living. That’s why I decided to fast.
My stomach complained a lot at first, but after awhile it stopped. I had a goal in mind, so it followed my lead. My thoughts tried to scatter, but I focused on explaining to guys why I fasted. Also, more causes were brung to my attention.
All in all the day was a success! The feast with Comrade L was supportive. Ey is new to being aware and learning about the struggle. I explained my appreciation for eir support. Thank you for sending ULK No. 57, it was a great read and perfect timing. Thanks again for your time and support.
Comrade L: Hello, my name is [Comrade L] and I participated in the September 9th Day of Peace and Solidarity. This is the first time I’ve fasted in relation to prisoner awareness. I did this to show my support and to have something to do.
I’ve done a few things this year to further our causes here at Avery/Mitchell Correctional Institution. This 11 hours (6AM - 5PM) helped me to think about what I do. I feel a little more aware of what others have had to go through so prison could be better.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Also, I feel good when I broke the fast with Tag NC. Ey said I should write my feelings so ey could send it with this letter today. I hope you are happy with my support.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) Division of Adult Correction is hard at work exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to further oppress disadvantaged people. Its first big moves were elimination of visitation and Christian religious services. Then, concerned about overcrowding (which DPS has previously denied) and lack of social distancing, a judge requested DPS to tell the court how its acting to keep prisoners in different pods, dorms and units apart. Then things really got crazy.
After weeks of foolish experiments in the overcrowded dining hall, Greene Correctional Institution stopped letting us eat there at all. All meals are now served on styrofoam takeout trays. The pigs have less “work” to do. The partial lockdown didn’t stop there, though.
The yards are now closed about 19 hours/day. Yard time is the only opportunity we have for distanced socializing. Now its limited to less than 1.5 hours/day for each dorm, two or three dorms at a time. The rest of the day we’re locked up in concrete tombs, suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. Lack of fresh air and vitamin D is compromising our immune systems, increasing our risk of dying of COVID-19.
Disingenuous DPS paperwork has placated courts, which have never been known for integrity or common sense. Any reported isolation is a crude ruse effective only when someone chooses to believe it and ignore the evidence. Despite published rules, prisoners float from dorm to dorm, tattooing each other, buying, selling and taking drugs, bartering and trading medical supplies and contraband, gambling, and extorting weaker, elderly, infirm and handicapped prisoners. Guards pretend not to notice the crowds in the dayrooms, bathrooms and showers.
DPS has now “resumed” (it never really stopped) shipping victims between prisons. New arrivals come straight to regular population. They are not quarantined.
Guards and another non-resident personnel come and go. They are not tested. By now, its a near certainty that some of them carry SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
We who are about to die salute you.