Ohio, Chillicothe Grievance Culture
I hope this helps some how people in Texas, California, and Florida with how their grievance procedure is done. We have nothing compared to what I read goes on in those places. I filed 26 ICRs (informal complaints) and 11 NOGs(Notice of Grievance) in 2015. A five year low for me. The most serious grievance I made was a staff member trying to kill a litter of kittens.
Chillicothe Correctional Institution (CCI) is an old army base. It's 100 years old. There's 74 acres inside the fence with 2800 prisoners here. It's Ohio's oldest, largest, and most inmates prison. There are approximately 40 cats (outside cats) that we take care of that CCI refuses to help. We found homes for 14 last year.
Most of my grievances last year were to fix things or get things like fixing lights and coffee makers, to getting trash cans and clocks. But I've had years where it's been a lot worse and I've dealt or helped deal with problems closer to what I read in ULK.
It's nice having an institutional inspector who takes pride in his numbers. He likes having one of the lowest number of grievances compared to the other 29 institutions while in some instances having 2 times the number of prisoners. In doing that, he plays with the numbers a little, but that's how I get things done for myself and others. Commissary won't reimburse someone for a $2 copy card that was defective? Well, here's the claim (an NOG). Once he gets it, looks at it, he calls you up to his office. He then says if you take this NOG back, I'll copy anything you need. In another case, he's given out stamped envelopes, just so he does not have to log the grievance and keep his numbers down. For a small compensation grievance like this it's easier to do this than to put through the paperwork for a credit to your account. Quicker too.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade sets a good example pursuing grievances that are both large and small. And it's a very good tactic to take advantage of any opportunity to win a case, even if it's just for a few copies. Our victories and losses will come and go over time, but we must remain vigilant in fighting for our rights and seeking opportunities to gain some organizing space and resources. Our struggle is a long one, with the goal of overthrowing imperialism not likely to come in the near future. Let's take advantage of these small victories to help build unity and strength to fight the bigger anti-imperialist battle.