Prisoners Report on Conditions in

New York Prisons

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. help out

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] [Racism] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 7]
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Victim in Clinton Brutality Needs Legal Help

Dear MIM,

I was the person in your article in ULK # 5 page 9. I was beaten for no other reason than the color of my skin! The pigs tried to pay me off with a television, in order to keep quiet. I've filed a grievance with the facility, but they all work with each other. I wrote to the Inspector General of New York, no help. I need a civil rights attorney to represent me, most attorneys in this area are friends of the officers responsible for my injuries: black eye, lost tooth, fractured rib cage, back cuts and welts.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Unfortunately there are not enough lawyers out there willing to take on cases like this. We are adding this to the campaigns page of our website because we are getting a lot of interest in this incident. But this is not unusual. Anyone who can offer assistance can contact this comrade through MIM(Prisons) by mail or email.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [New York]
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Still I Rise

Still I Rise... not for myself but for my nation. I'm blinded by justice -n- deaf from oppression. All I hear is freedom, all I see is liberty...

Still I Rise... not for love but for equality. I'm armed for war -n- scarr'd from tragedies. All I feel is pain, all I see is shame...

Still I Rise... not for a reason but for a cause. A tongue sharp as a sword a heart as solid as a rock. I speak the truth -n- love every bit of it...

Still I Rise... no turning back when you motioning forward. Yesterday struggles is in the past but the memories of the pain still flow violently thru my veins.

The heart of Nat Turner, the tears of Corretta Scott King, the blood of every Ethiopian king -n- dreams of my fallen soldiers to let me know it's never over because... Still I Rise

Askari

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[Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 6]
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Murder and brutality by white supremacist COs in NY

On September 12 at Clinton Correctional Facility I was a victim of Prison Official's assault. They came to my cell searching it, and while one CO kept asking me what's in my cell, as soon as I spoke up another CO kept slapping me in the face roughly for 20 minutes. I told the prison official to keep his hands to himself so COs took me to an isolation area for the beating of Blacks and Latinos where I was roughly beaten for 30 minutes. I was repeatedly assaulted with CO's intentions to break something (an arm or leg), kick my teeth out, and they shouted racial slurs during these attacks. E block is a Special Housing Unit with no camera to record these attacks.

In a surprising move, Sgt. Randell transported me to the new hospital mental health unit where Sgt. Randell hit me in the face with his stick over my left eye causing a painful injury to my left eye, a bleeding cut on the side and a black eye.

Prison officials have begun to engage more frequently in a monstrous form of prison homicide, a strategy to instill terror in the hearts and minds of Black prisoners. This is Clinton County NY, a white district. We don't have Black nurses or Black CO employees to lessen the racial tensions here at Clinton Corr Facility. In spite of the brutality, there is no special prosecutor and consequently no conviction of any criminal charge in recent homicide at Clinton Correctional Facility.

Commissioner Brian Fischer talks about NY gang-related violence in correctional facilities, but he is the gang leader of New York. The white supremacy CO mobs with a routine of beatings and murders that Inspector General in New York State Commission of Corrections fails to prosecute. The term homicide means the murder of one human being by another. A big percentage of COs mistreat Black prisoners, and there is no penalty. There is no regard for the life of the Black and Latino prisoners who have been beaten to death.

Prison official's white supremacy still rules in every sphere, they kill five or six of us every year sending the message, 'you best behave well or die.' This philosophy of intimidation and murders lets prison officials legitimize their mob attacks under the name of "back up". Prison official backup is often no different than the lynch mobs 100 years ago: Brutal murder of Black and Latino prisoners are twisted around and called justifiable homicide.

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[Theory] [New York] [ULK Issue 5]
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Struggle: responses to ULK4

First and foremost, I want to address the issue of struggle. Brothers and sisters, struggle has been a part of life since the beginning of time. Struggle is the life of the oppressed more than the non-oppressed [hence we expect change to come from the oppressed - editor for MIM(Prisons)]. Struggle is an element of life that brings about the strength needed to succeed beyond life's boundaries. Struggle is not as bad as one may perceive; especially when struggle isn't fully understood by it's perceiver. Struggle gave us the strength to stand and speak against the conditions of oppression...

Second, my comrade who wrote, "Who's talking in code, pig?" You are much older than me. Please let me share with you what you may already know. The ignorance of those who formulate task forces for individuals they don't understand only shows the fear they choose not to express verbally, due to pride. This is what J. Edgar Hoover created COINTELPRO for, because they did not understand that the struggle of our people numbed the pain away, but, that same struggle they caused upon us, became the strength we needed to expose their ignorance. Many obstacles are placed before us as a test to succumb or prevail. Frustration at times ensue. Understand, that smiles given to those that seek our ultimate downfall enrages them to the point of self-destruction. Because, ignorance is their conscious and knowing that ignorance is their conscious, they can and will never be fully aware of their downfall upon its arrival. Which is already before their eye, as we know of course though. Their own ignorance has kept them blind to their own downfall, which makes it useless to lower your standards through frustration, for something that we both know is not on your level. Liberation is a must. Therefore smile at the captives, for they lack the understanding of true identity and struggle - you're within my thoughts.

My Nevada comrade, you're energy is truly felt. Educating the masses that have been misguided for so long is the key to exiting the mental wilderness of the oppressed. Continue with the spirit you have in uplifting the people through proper education. I commend you and wish you the best within all your endeavors. Mental liberation is indeed a must my brother.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We see the power of ULK in bringing together those who are struggling for justice, who the government has made every effort to isolate. And we find this comrades thoughts useful in inspiring struggle in others that is based in recognizing and working within the conditions we find ourselves. Life is struggle, and struggle brings change, and that should be inspiring, especially when we realize that we determine what type of change will come about.

Patience and strategic confidence in dealing with the oppressor is another thing this comrade stresses. On the one hand we should be outraged by injustice and therefore we will use strong language like in the article cited. But using strong language to rally the masses around a cause is not the same as becoming frustrated or acting out violently in anger, which this comrade rightly discourages. The comrade who wrote the article has a lawsuit that is part of a long legal struggle against the CDCR, so he is a good example of struggling through patient legal efforts. Our strength grows in slow, determined educational work, while the oppressor acts out violently and ultimately, helplessly.

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[Censorship] [Gender] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 6]
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NY promotes Sexual Harrassment and Violence


8/12/2008

Yo, I just want you to know that I received your letter and that I didn't get the MIM Theory #7. I am waiting for the grievance that I filed on 8/5/08 and I just wrote to the superintendent of programs about this. I got the manila envelope that they send the MIM Theory in, but the MIM Theory was not in the envelope, instead there was a pictorial sex book.

...I don't know if it was on tv out there but the jail got locked down for like 4 to 5 days and 4 C/Os got cut or stabbed, so shit's been crazy.


8/18/2008

I just wanted to let you know that I didn't get the MIM Theory #7. I wrote to M. Putnode, Deputy Supt./Programs Services and they said that they do not have it. I wrote a grievance and they didn't write back.


- a prisoner in Clinton Correctional Facility

MIM(Prisons) comments: We can document a history of abuse and targeting of politically conscious prisoners at Clinton Correctional Facility going back years and naming names. Numerous prisoners have filed complaints regarding these staff members, and groups like the Correctional Association of New York (in 2004) have reported on these trends. Yet the state has still not put an end to it.

This example is similar to others at Clinton, where there is no paper trail, allowing the administration to say that nothing happened and deny responsibility. In other words, the NYS DOCS has granted staff the freedom to act however they see fit to repress efforts at organization and education in Clinton.

We have written in previous issues about the gender oppression of prisoners. This act of sexual harassment is just one more example of that. A Black man tries to educate himself about the liberation of his people and some cracker steals the literature we send and replaces it with porn. He sees the Black man as having no interests outside of smoking weed and chasing pussy, and this is how he reacts when faced with reality.

Upstate and Five Points have recently censored mail from MIM(Prisons) as well alleging that it promotes violence. Once more, for the record, MIM(Prisons) does not promote violence, we promote a world free of oppression. Only the oppressor can decide how that will come about. Unfortunately, we do not have the power to do so ourselves. We can only transform the world we find ourselves in by understanding its internal nature.

Some recent censorship was justified because it was critical of prison labor, the physical abuse of a prisoner in New York, and advertised lawsuits that are pending against the state. The most recent prison censorship case, Lorenzo Johnson v. Rick Raemisch, Daniel Westfield, and Michael Thurmer, Case No. 07-C-390-C, upheld that prisons cannot censor literature because it is critical of their department. And attempts at stifling support for class action suits is just one more effort to prevent prisoners access to legal protection. The recent attacks at Clinton reported here show what happens when you don't allow prisoners access to legitimate grievance procedures when staff becomes abusive, as they inevitably do in such an oppressive situation.

The policy of the NYS DOCS of supporting staff committing these abuses for years demonstrate a clear attempt by the department to promote violence. Even if they can't learn from their own experience, we've been telling them this for years, and we know they read our literature, so they can't claim ignorance. They want violence, because they use violence as an excuse for further repression. Repression is against the interests of the oppressed, so the oppressed (MIM(Prisons) included) oppose this violence that is being promoted at Clinton.

see censorship records

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[Legal] [New York]
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New Law Promises Sentence Reductions in New York

For many years now the New York $tate Department of Correctional Services has been exceeding their authority by calculating sentences consecutively with the undischarged term or terms of imprisonment. Recently, the Appellate Court holds (DOC$) may not run predicate sentences consecutive to parole time where sentencing court is silent on that issue.

The decision decided on February 28, 2008, People ex rel. Gill v. Greene, 852 N.Y.S. 2d (3rd Dept), reverses 25 years of caselaw to the contrary and, if implemented, would have sweeping consequences. It would require the recalculations of the sentences of some eight thousand comrades currently serving predicate offender sentences here in the gulags of the N.Y.$. DOCS. Some of those comrades would almost certainly be eligible for immediate release from these gulags if their sentences were calculated under Gill.

The issues about Gill concern the proper interpretation of Penal Law 70.25(1-A) and 70.25(2-A). Penal Law 70.25(1-A) states that when a court sentences a defendant who owes time (parole) on a previously imposed sentence, the court may specify that the new sentence run either "consecutively" or "concurrently" to the parole time, and if the court is silent, the new sentence shall "run concurrently." Penal Law 70.25(2-A), however, states that when the court finds that the defendant is a predicate offender, it must impose the sentence to run consecutively to the parole time.

Now, where does it state that the N.Y.$. DOCS has the authority to act as a judicial function, and impose consecutive sentences? The only role that the N.Y.$. DOCS has as far as correcting the court's error is under Correction Law 601-A, which states that wherever it appears to the satisfaction of the warden of any $tate prison based on facts submitted on behalf of a person sentenced and confined in a $tate prison, that any such person who has been erroneously sentences as a second, third or fourth offender, it shall become his duty to communicate with the district attorney of the county in which such person was convicted, and allow the district attorney to take the necessary action for resentencing.

For those that are under lock in a N.Y.$. DOCS and that are being affected by the actions set forth here by the oppressors, I advise you comrades to obtain the keys to stop our oppressors from oppressing us. For many years we've been living in the dark due to our own ignorance. The struggle is calling us, believe it or not. Remember that without struggle we have no progress. "Until the lions have their historian, the tale of the hunt will be told by the hunter!" The key to life is knowledge, my comrades, once we obtain that key then we have the authority and power to unlock that door and proceed to walk through the light and shine. It is time for us to unlearn, relearn, and lean again! ARISE

Any questions pertaining to this matter you can reach out to the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, 114 Prospect Street, in Ithaca, NY 14850-5616.

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[Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 5]
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Brutality in Lockdown and No Grievances

This modern day plantation I'm in just came off a week long lockdown due to brothers acting some damn fools [Afrikan on Afrikan]. In that incident a few pigs got injured (so they say), it's funny how they claim to be injured when they was the ones swinging those sticks. In any event, the plantation was shut down then the nonsense started. Very, very small portions of food was given out, not to mention the already small portion that's given. Everyone's cell was tossed-up (they call it legal cell searches), which is crap because what does the entire population have to do with a 14 man (pigs included) incident?

During the cell toss-up these pigs just went along hand-picking brothers in their boxer shorts and handcuffed, taking advantage of them. The roughshod began and it ran for 3 and a half days of plastic buckets over the heads of brothers then striking the bucket with their sticks. They knocked the tooth out of one brother when he asked "why was they kicking his radio around."

These and many other racist tactics was done as a modern day paradigm for the Willie Lynch Theory! I say that because out of the many that I've spoken to, only a handful wrote out grievances, phoned family members, wrote lawyers, etc. The masses chose not to, in fear of retaliation! Some have open dates, others have parole boards coming up, and others just prayed for them!? That last one really got to me and it's a shame that someone would believe that the very god that they forced upon us can save us! I mean, we loved Martin Luther King Jr., but I respect Malcolm because he never gave a damn about the repercussions! By any means necessary! We must continue to uplift our people and stop waiting for some clown named Obama to bring change.

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[Abuse] [New York]
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Assault for using the bathroom

This is to inform you of the recent incident involving officer Demo at Adirondack Correctional Facility.

On 7/19/2008 at approximately 2:10 am, I was walking down 3C hallway in route to the restroom. At this time officer Demo asked me "where the fuck are you going". I stated "to use the restroom" and Officer Demo said "no go the fuck to bed." I then stated "I take medication an dI really have to go". He said "I don't give a fuck if you piss yourself, go the fuck to be."

There was no need for the officer's unjustifiable harassment, seeing as though I was not causing a disturbance or being disruptive in any manner. I was only trying to use the restroom before I went to bed for the night.

After I used the restroom Officer Demo asked me "give me your ID so I can write your dumb ass up." I then asked for a grievance and asked "why are you harassing me for using the restroom." Officer Demo then approached me in a very aggressive manner. Then he took his right hand and slapped me across the eye and face area, again saying "go the fuck to bed." I then said "call the sergeant, you just assaulted me and I want to file a formal complaint." Officer Demo then told me to turn around and place my hands on the wall. I complied and he then pushed my head into the wall.

Due to an old eye injury I take medication to relieve pressure on my pupil. Officer Demo's physical attack on me further aggravated my injury. Further, once the Sergeant and three other officers arrived in the dorm area Officer Demo gave me an ultimatum status "you leave this alone and go to bed or you can go to the box upstate."

This is not the first time this officer has refused to let prisoners use the restroom facilities causing conflict between him and other prisoners.

As of now I am in grave fear for my safety and well being. For fear of retaliation from officer Demo. Seeing as he is known through out the prison population to bring forth repercussions to prisoner who grieve him.

I would like for Officer Demo to be placed under investigation. I am filing a complaint for assault, battery and harassment.

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[Religious Repression] [New York]
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Fighting repression of Muslims in NY

At the end of October, I will begin trial in a civil action lawsuit regarding the mistreatment of Muslim prisoners in the Lakeview Shock Correctional Facility in New York. This trial will be conducted before the honorable Charles J. Siragusa in the United States District Court in Rochester. I will be proceeding pro se in this case. This case is entitled Andre Smith vs Glenn Goord, 04 CV 6432 (CJS).

This case is based on the fact that the defendants placed a substantial burden on my right to exercise my religious beliefs at the Lakeview CF from December 30, 2003 to March 26, 2004, while promoting the Catholic religion at the expense of myself and other Muslim prisoners, by acknowledging the Catholic religion by passing out bibles to all inmates and allowing the Catholic chaplain to give religious advice to all prisoners, including myself and other Muslims. They accord special recognition to Christianity beyond anything necessary to accommodate the religious needs of the Catholic majority, and the defendants make it easier for Catholics to practice their religion than for adherents of another faith to practice their faith. The defendants did not provide an alternative way for myself and other Muslims to exercise our religious beliefs. This violates the religious land use and institutionalized persons act which congress enacted in 2000.

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[Political Repression] [Gender] [New York] [ULK Issue 4]
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Psycho-Sexual Warfare vs. Political Prisoners

On May 19th, 2008 I received the book that you sent me, Schooling the Generations in the Politics of Prison edited by Chinosole. I really enjoyed this book, especially the section called, "Genocide waged against the Black Nation," which starts on page 174. I totally agree with the theory that psychological warfare is being waged against political prisoners in an effort to get them to comply with brainwashing objectives of the U$ penal and imperialist system.

Dr. Edward Schein mentions 24 strategic techniques that prison officials use in order to break and dehumanize political prisoners. However, there is one strategic technique that Dr. Schein fails to mention that I would like to address in full detail: the sexual exploitation and manipulation of young and political prisoners by female staff sexual perpetrators. This technique leads to false disciplinary and criminal charges being filed against political prisoners who pose the greatest threat to the prison's use of oppression and most importantly have the potential to lead other prisoners to fight the system.

Let me briefly explain how this is done. First, prison officials determine which prisoners have the greatest leadership potential and pose the greatest threat to the prison - politically speaking.

Once this is determined, prison officials will try numerous psychological mind-breaking techniques to disrupt and strip the political prisoner of his focus and will, and at the same time dehumanize him by making him subservient.

Once a political prisoner proves to be too strong mentally and once the prison officials techniques fail, prison officials will place these political prisoners in an ambiguous and pressure-filled situation. The high-ranking prison official will order a female staff member to play sexual manipulation games with this political prisoner, while at the same time putting pressure on them to conform and comply with what is desired by the female staff in order to win favor and to have the pressure lifted.

If the political prisoner does not agree to comply with the female staff's sexual advances, then the female staff will create false claims of harassment against the political prisoners, which will result in false disciplinary and maybe criminal charges. If the political prisoner does agree to comply with the female staff's sexual advances, then he risks being set-up and retaliated against by jealous male staff members. This will likely lead to physical assault of the prisoner by male guards, in addition to false disciplinary and criminal charges.

It's a dirty game and this technique by prison officials is typically used against political prisoners who have the greatest potential for awakening and organizing the rest of the prison population.

Often, if the political prisoner chooses to have the sexual relationship with the female staff member, high-ranking prison officials will lift the pressure from the political prisoner, thinking that the prisoner has been neutralized and has become subservient to the wills of the administration. Once a political prisoner loses his focus and allows himself to be sexually exploited and manipulated, he dehumanizes himself and basically strips himself of his unique individuality and becomes neutralized, ineffective, psychologically incompetent and easy to control.

This prisoner basically becomes a slave to the female staff member, because the female staff is allowed to act aggressively sexually toward the prisoner. But once the prisoner tries to act aggressively, he will be beaten by the jealous male staff. This game is normally played on younger prisoners, but it is a tactic that works on all prisoners because it's a no-win situation.

MIM adds: In an article entitled, Gender Oppression in u$ Prisons we quoted a study that found that, "In State and Federal prisons, 65% of inmate victims of staff sexual misconduct and harassment were male, while 58% of staff perpetrators were female".

Maoists have long explained that gender is not about genitalia, but about power and relations between groups in leisure time activities. The Abu Ghraib photos were a clear lesson in this reality. Since then, it has become well established that amerikan bio-wimmin were used as gender oppressors against Arab biomen in prisons in Iraq and elsewhere. The use of sex in political repression within the u$ described above is another example of this theory in practice. Just as we say that sex cannot be consensual under patriarchy where gender is defined by power, there can be no consent between prisoners and prison staff.

This article referenced in:
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