Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Oregon Prisons

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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.

[Censorship] [Oregon] [ULK Issue 3]
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Oregon Censoring the Wrong Newspaper

12/9/2007

MIM,

What's good? Check it out. I just had my review for the publication violations for MIM Notes that I sent you last month and the violation stands. They're reasoning is that due to the fact that my comrades are reporting the very real abuses that are occurring Under Lock & Key in the California institutions of incorrection and throughout the U$ in general, that this information has the 'potential' to threaten the safety and security of the institution and therefore, to alleviate this concern, they will not allow those particular copies of MIM Notes into the institution. I don't think I need to tell you what kind of precedent this will set, especially since the Under Lock & Key section is specifically set up to allow us incarcerated to express our concerns regarding the reality of our existence in these gulags. With that being the case, the institution now has a ready made excuse to violate not only MIM Notes but any other political literature you comrades send. Again, all these prisonkrats are doing is verifying everything that's said about them in your literature [MIM(Prisons) adds: In their own efforts to protect their political interests the oppressors dig their own political grave. That is what the censors have mostly failed to understand.]. Still, I'm getting real tired of this bullshit.

I am enclosing 3 articles from the local metro section of the Oregonian, which is a 'newspaper' that is allowed in this institution everyday. Given the fact that rapists, child molesters and your general so-called "weirdos" are targets of all types of abuse ranging from extortion to murder within this prison environment, I would think that the information in the Oregonian has the potential to threaten the safety and security of the institution, unlike MIM Notes which these authorities cannot point to a single incident instigated by anything written in that paper. In fact, MIM teaches that all prisoners are political prisoners under the present system of imperialism. So one who'd adhere to what he learned in MIM Notes in all actuality would not be riled up by the Oregonian articles, whereas your average prisoner who does not receive MIM Notes but reads the Oregonian would find the 3 enclosed articles inflammatory indeed. But oh! I forgot. Under Lock & Key deals with police and CO misconduct. We must protect the unnamed COs and police who abuse their authority, while the so-called "scum" named in the Oregonian who will more than likely (potentially) end up in one of this state's institutions will have to fend for themselves. Of course, that poses no threat to the safety and security of the institution. What a crock of shit.

12/17/2007

Yo, check it out, comrades. I just received your letter dated 12/8/07. Most peace on following up on the review process. I was finally able to gain access to ODOC Mail Policy. Under OAR 291-131-0010(9), Inflammatory Material is defined as:

"Material whose presence in the facility is deemed by the department to constitute a direct and immediate threat to the security, safety, health, good order, or discipline of the facility because it incites or advocates physical violence against others."

As I mentioned earlier, none of the rejected/violated Under Lock & Key articles can be shown to have actually incited or advocate such action.

The rule continues:

"No publication shall be considered inflammatory solely on the basis of its appeal to a particular ethnic, racial, or religious audience. No material shall be considered inflammatory solely because it criticizes the operation, programs or personel of the Department of Corrections, the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, or any other government agency."

So this is what we have. MIM Notes, which is a political news source protected under the Constitution, contained commentary concerning the operation of department of correction facilities in the state of California and the very extreme unprofessional behavior of its personnel, of which these commentaries were critical, and of course that is the duty and responsibility of any citizen, to express criticism of injustices and illegal acts, especially when done by those who are entrusted in positions of authority by our government. After all, how else do we begin to address and correct problems if those problems and the source of the problems are not criticized and exposed?

In addition, the criticisms leveled did not advocate physical violence against anyone, nor did it incite such action. The commentaries, according to the designee who performed the administrative review, upheld the publication violation based upon his finding/opinion that the commentaries were inflammatory and hence a threat to the safety and security of the institution based upon the "potential" for the alleged inflammatory material to incite violence against DOC personnel. However, this decision is in violation of OAR 291-131-0010(9). So I have appealed the designee's decision to the functional unit manager. If he/she does not overturn the decision, I will appeal to:

Mail Administrator Randy Greer
Central Administration
2575 Center St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-4667

where it is already on file that this mailroom here at SRCI and its officials go out of their way it seems, to clearly find excuses to prevent MIM's publications from being received by prisoners here.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Prisonkrats across the country are claiming that our literature is a threat to security because of our articles about censorship and other repression within prisons. But if prisoners are going to commit acts of violence due to censorship and repression, wouldn't the prudent thing be to get the prison employees to follow their own rules to prevent such outrage? As this comrade writes, our literature gives prisoners the ideological understanding that allows them to put such frustration into more productive outlets and actually reduce violent interactions. But rather than do their job and improve safety, the prisonkrats shoot the messenger and encourage the reading of literature that will divide prisoners thru violence and abuse.

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[Censorship] [MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility] [Oregon]
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WA Youth share MIM Theory

Comrades,

It is with mixed blessings that I report that so far in Oregon at MacLaren Youth Corruptional Facility, no editing or censoring has yet taken place for MIM Notes or MIM Theory. It is just a matter of time before it does happen here though. Until that day, I will leave my copy of MIM Theory on the bookshelf for others to pick up and read. Lets hope that it opens their eyes to the Evils of Capitalism and amerikkkan imperialism. May the best be brought to its knees and slayed by the might of the people united under true equality. Long live the Maoist Internationalist Movement! Long live Communism!

A lone communist in Youth Corruptions

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[Organizing] [Oregon]
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How a Prisoner Should Act

Comrades,

I write with a few pieces of advice for those within the Corruptional Facilities within the imperialist nation of north amerikkka. After 10 years in the Oregon youth corruptional facilities I have learned many things at the hands of the imperialist pigs who call themselves "staff."

  1. Even though pacifism is wrong because it allows us to be enslaved, sometimes prudence should be used to avoid being targeted. I say this because when we bide our time we can act when the time is right and get a real victory over the pigs. I'm not saying to tolerate being beaten, only to not go out and cause trouble with the pigs; Wait until you cannot lose and then on a united front stand up and hit them where it hurts the most in court and in the newspapers.

  2. Within any corruptional facility, it is the pigs goal to limit us, thus education and vocational training is very limited- fight this- we must find a way to educate ourselves so we can overcome the traps they have set out for us. We must be able to function in the "free" world to be able to spread the truth for the masses most efficiently.

  3. We should expect to be beaten and fucked with, so be prepared for it and don't give the pigs a reason. I'm not saying become one of them, only be patient and don't draw attention to ourselves. We can still spread the truth without having to be overly open about it. Obvious advertisement of resistance to the beast will always be put down, so be prudent and watch what is said and done around the pigs and their supporters. Liken ourselves to a slow and steady drip of water upon stone- eventually the stone is worn away- we are that slow, yet steady drip of water- the imperialist pigs and their institutions are the stone.

  4. Only grieve wrongdoing when you can both prove that you are right and can guarantee that you have a good chance of winning- this means witnesses and an extensive paper trail of documentation- also follow the procedures for grievances to the exact letter of their policies- don't let them use technicality to cheat us out of our rights.

My comrades, let us be ready when the Revolution finally comes; this is no time to be lazy like the pigs.

A prisoner of the Oregon Youth Corruptional Facilities

MIM adds: The pigs are constantly censoring MIM's literature on the basis that it promotes disobedience and a threat to security. Yet, like the letter above, we have only ever advocated prisoners to ensure that the so-called "rights" they are supposed to have are granted them through administrative and legal battles. We agree with the letter writer above that u.s. prisoners who wish to contribute to the battle for liberation and justice must avoid physical confrontations with their captors, as well as other prisoners. By engaging in legal battles for justice, it is easy for us to expose the true nature of the system when they oppose our work. They expose themselves as the opponents of justice that we know they ultimately are. Each time they censor this article they are admitting that MIM does not advocate violence or a threat to security, and that they oppose MIM in their fight for an end to censorship, their fight for an end to physical abuse in prisons, their fight for the right to an education, etc.

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[Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution] [Washington] [Oregon]
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MIM United Front lit banned on 2nd Amendment

MIM recently sent free issues of our magazine MIM Theory 14: United Front to many of our comrades behind bars. The response by prisoncrats was widespread censorship, that should be of concern to everyone from the National Rifle Assocation (NRA) to New Afrikan Liberationists.

The Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution sent us a stack of violation notices and a comrade in Oregon State Penitentiary forwarded us a copy of a violation notice that they never sent to us themselves, despite regulations requiring them to notify both the sender and the intended recipient. All of these censored MT14 complaining about page 92 and 96 of the Black Panther Party Reprints section of the magazine. On page 92, Field Marshall Don Cox says, "more and more gun control legislation, the guise under which the people are being unarmed, is being passed every day to take away the democratic right to bear arms, which in turn dehumanizes you by preventing you from exercising your human right to self-defense." While most NRA supporters will balk at the Panthers efforts to unite the oppressed for self-determination, if they want to protect the right to express one's opinions on the right to bear arms and self-defense they should support MIM in this case.

The main article on page 96 is "Message to Revolutionary Women" from Candi Robinson, which stresses the inherent unity of Black people in revolutionary struggle, while acknowledging the need for Black wimmin in the movement to educate Black men about gender inequality, among other things. The prisoncrats did not specify which part of either of these articles was deemed "inflammatory material," the reason given for its censorship.

Washington State has simultaneously issued an across the state ban of MT14, as well as MIM Notes 328, 330 and 331. Despite a US District Court ruling in 1999 that disallowed the WA Department of Corrections (DOC) from an across the board ban of MIM publications based on our declared purpose of "struggl[ing to] end oppression by build[ing] public opinion to seize power through armed struggle," they have blocked all four of these publications from entering WA prisons without providing any specific justifications. The only justification given by authorities at Stafford Creek Correctional Facility is WA DOC 450-100, which includes over 30 different reasons for which Incoming Mail can be rejected.

One comrade in Washington did write us to tell us his MIM literature had been censored, with the reason give that it "advocates armed violent struggle against authority." This misrepresents MIM to imply that we advocate that prisoners use violence against Correctional Officers (COs). On the contrary we expressly discourage prisoners from getting into physical confrontations with anyone. We have a long history of comrades behind bars who have stopped getting in trouble for violence after finding more effective means of self-defense through legal battles and public opinion building.

The idea that MIM can be censored because we recognize the need for armed struggle by the oppressed to liberate themselves from imperialism is illegal despite regular attempts by prisoncrats to do so. According to Procunier v. Martinez, the Supreme Court upholds the right of prisoners to receive mail, regardless of the prison official's opinion of the mail content, as long as there are no legitimate restrictions from the prison related to correctional purposes. Our belief in the need to seize power through armed struggle is a belief that we share with Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and the founding fathers of the United States government.

Just prior to going to print, a comrade in Washington State Penitentiary sent us a Mail Restriction Notice for MT14 and the three MIM Notes issues that did state the reason for censorship as being "Advocates armed/violent struggle against authority" and goes on to cite pages 80 and 94. Curiously, neither of these pages contains even a discussion of armed struggle. The first is our statement "MIM on Prisons & Prisoners", which our readers will be familiar with. It merely explains why we oppose the current prison system, how we would change it and the role of prisoners in the larger anti-imperialist struggle. Page 94 is an interview with David Hilliard explaining the ideology of the Black Panther Party. As far as we can tell, these pages were chosen arbitrarily, but we are currently investigating a more thorough explanation in order to combat these instances of censorship.

These instances of censorship are not isolated incidents, but part of a long history of struggle with various departments of the criminal injustice system. Regardless of their reasoning for singling out certain pages to justify censorship, just as u$ court rulings do not allow the censorship of Abraham Lincoln for his statements on the importance of overthrowing the state, they do not allow the censorship of our materials because someone disagrees with our beliefs. We welcome anyone who agrees with us on this point to join us in our struggle against censorship in Oregon and Washington prisons.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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OR prisoner locked down/fined for not making bed

I have currently signed up for your MIM Notes. But due to my recent transfer to another "Correctional Facility" I am delayed in my response back to you. Fortune has it that another comrade is on my tier to help me out.

He read to me from your latest edition about Control Units, SHU, IMU, DSU, and AD-SEG. I am currently serving 16 years (190 mo) under mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines (Measure 11) and have spent 7 years in DSU and IMU. I have not even stabbed anyone or killed a cop and yet Oregon Dept of Corruptions has kept me consistently locked down for not lining my shoes up under my bunk, hanging too many shirts on my clothing hooks, and various disobediences of order and disrespect.

As your article alluded to, I have lost a good deal of my long range and medium range vision. And because the ODOC doesn't provide toothpaste, only baking soda, my teeth are rotting out of my mouth due to lack of Flouride and breaking because baking soda is an abrasive which strips tooth enamel, making the teeth susceptible to cracking and breaking.

It's not like providing inmates with toothpaste would break the bank. DOC confiscates inmate money for every and all rule violations. I recently got fined $75.00 for not making my bed in a timely and fashionable manner. Times this by 20,000 inmates a week and "Inmate Welfare fund" has the money for basic elements of hygiene.

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[Control Units] [Oregon]
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IMU in Oregon

I finally got my MIM Notes and I really enjoyed reading about how you expose the department of corrections dark side. Here in Oregon you see a lot of human rights violations such as: being placed in a program called IMU (Intensive Management Unit) without a probable cause, if your institution feels you're a threat to them or the prison population you're placed in this program, but first you go to segregation for six months, then you go to IMU and depending on what DOC says you could stay there up to five years. IMU is a max custody unit. But they have made it out to be like segregation. According to DOC if you're in a max custody unit you're supposed to receive your property in IMU. You have to earn it by doing programs. Because you people expose such acts and believe that it should be changed I enjoy your MIM Notes.

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