Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Pennsylvania Prisons

Postage is one of our biggest expenses. Why not send a book of stamps or two to POB 40799 SF, CA 94140 next time you're at the post office? 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.

[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Huntingdon] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 14]
expand

Fight the system: boycott work

Once again I find myself pushed in a corner with the swine in Huntingdon, PA. I've tried to get prisoners together and put in paperwork against these jokers, but many have no intent to do so. They'd rather bitch and complain and allow these chumps to keep doing what they do. But don't let another convict do or say something, or you might get stabbed or rocked with a lock in a sock. It's beyond my understanding and to be honest with you it makes me fucking sick! The prisoners would rather worry about the latest BET video or the stats of last night's NBA game. All the while, the administration is planning to take something else from us or plan on adding another provision to an already fucked up policy. What gives?

As I have said before, our cells are think tanks. We put our focus on shit that doesn't really mean shit. I'm not going to say take a guard hostage or stab a nurse. I'm saying to use our minds, stand as one, and do something rather than just talk about it. To really get their attention, hurt their pockets. Don't go to work. Do you realize that if everyone stopped working in the kitchen, they would have to figure out why, but more importantly they still must feed us? This would throw a red flag in the air. Stop going to work in the CI shops. Now, no clothes or soap is being made for the state.

I've given these ideas to many to think about. Then the new excuse is "I need my job cuz I don't have anyone sending me money." Ok, I understand. However, just say we as a whole stopped working, don't you think I wouldn't help a few soldiers out with enough to live off? I don't have shit but myself. Yet I have enough to get by and then some. I understand everyone's situation is very different, but in the same token, we are in the same situation, are we not?

All in all I'm plain ol' sick and tired of this chicken shit. Stand for what's yours. Would you allow someone to take something off you in the free world? So why allow it here? Everyone needs to get their shit together and realize this ain't a game. Sometimes I wish I was living in the era of the 60s and 70s. Back then convicts fought long and hard for theirs.

For those who are fighting strong, I'm with you! Even when I finally leave, I'll still help those inside.

chain
[Abuse] [Control Units] [Medical Care] [National Oppression] [Racism] [State Correctional Institution Mahanoy] [Pennsylvania]
expand

Brutality Report on Control Units in Pennsylvania

There is a control unit in every prison in Pennsylvania, and I've been in three of them so far. In every one of them I have personally witnessed or been affected by mistreatment by the guards. I was in Camp Hill when the guards opened the windows, which are about 3 feet by 4 feet, when it was around 20 degrees out and left them open all night. I filed a grievance about this and the response was that they opened the windows to reduce germs. I was forced to stay in a cell with a blanket that was nothing but a bunch of strings and had a lot of holes and spaces in it. I could not sleep due to the fact that I was shivering so badly all night long. When I would breathe out, I could see my breath in the air.

I have also personally witnessed several beatings by the guards on prisoners. Somerset was one of the worst that I have seen, as the Corrections Officers there seemed more apt to assault a prisoner. I saw one guy who was handcuffed and had a big yellow rope attached to him get punched in the face several times by a sergeant while still restrained. He ended up with a big black eye and several bruises on his face, as well as severe rope burn on both wrists.

Pennsylvania is notorious for abuse of prisoners. They cover everything up. The medical staff also changes dates on their paperwork and does not place all of the information on the medical reports. This is all an effort to cover up all the abuses. I was in the Restrictive Housing Unit (RHU) at SCI Somerset for 8 months. In that time, I personally witnessed at least 10 assaults by staff on prisoners that were handcuffed. I am now in SCI Mahanoy. I have been to the RHU here a few times. I have also witnessed assaults here on prisoners that were in handcuffs. The guards will not even try to assault a prisoner unless they are handcuffed.

I was also placed in the RHU for absolute lies. The staff here can place you in the RHU at their discretion. All they have to do is put on a write-up that you used foul and abusive language or threatened them. It does not matter if that is what happened or not. The hearing examiner will not call any of your witnesses to the hearing. They give us a witness form only because they have to. It is just a waste of paper. You are guilty before you walk through the door. The hearing examiner here will even tell you if you do not plead guilty to whatever is on the write-up, that they are going to place you in the hole for the maximum time for each and every charge on the write-up. So most people just plead guilty to get a little less time in the RHU.

The RHU here is also 23 hours in and 1 out. We only get 1 hour of recreation during the week, and that is only if the guard feels like taking you out. Then we are strip searched before we go out and then have to stand in the cell handcuffed until they get around to taking us out. The guards here also take pleasure in burning us for showers and recreation time. They will even burn us for meals. They simply yell out "Refused!" when they get to your cell with the food trays. It happens here all the time.

I was even sexually assaulted by a staff member here, named Ms. Longo. I reported it and requested the state police, as in the handbook it states that I have that right. They refused to call them. Then they hurried up and wrote me up saying that I was stealing several jelly packets. I don't even eat the jelly here. They did this to discredit me and then they actually fired me from my job in the kitchen. Then that same staff member was accused of doing the same thing to several other prisoners and she still has her job. I made several complaints against her prior to this whole thing and nothing was ever done.

Longo constantly curses at prisoners, which is an offense that a prisoner would go to the RHU for. Longo on a daily basis calls prisoners "pussies, cunts, bitches, faggots, mother fuckers, assholes" and several other things. She also had several complaints about her doing "pat searches," during which she likes to grab the penises of the prisoners.

She is in her late 50s or early 60s and has bowel issues, so she needs to wear a diaper. She constantly poops herself and then just stands there. This is also in the food service area, as she works in the kitchen. When on a serving line with her you are stuck in a very small area with very little air flow. It is about 10 feet by 30 feet in the serving line. She stands by the door to the serving line, which is where the air comes from. So the smell just travels all through the line and lingers. We are forced to stand there and smell and breathe that nasty stench in. This is cruel and unusual punishment.

We have all complained about Longo's mistreatment and swearing at us, as well as the smell of her going to the bathroom in her diaper. The prison won't do anything about it. These people here are all related or neighbors. They all know and protect each other no matter what. Pennsylvania put this prison and two others in this rural area on purpose. They know this is a small community and that the staff will protect each other. The prison never has Ms. Longo here when there are inspections or visitors to this prison. It seems she is always off on those days. They will not have her here for anyone to see from outside this prison.

They will also not allow us review of any security tape if we report an assault by a staff member. It seems there is never a tape unless it is used against a prisoner.

Pennsylvania is one of the most crooked prison systems in the country. That is why they had a riot at SCI Camp Hill. They were afraid that a riot was going to happen here a few years ago. There have been several staff here taken out in handcuffs since I have been here. Even one of the superintendents was taken out in handcuffs for sexual harassment of another staff member. They think that they can get away with anything here. They even tell prisoners here that if you put your hands on a staff member "we will beat you all the way to the hole." And they have done this since I have been here at least five times. I have seen blood from prisoners all the way up the walkway. We can see the guards beating the prisoners while dragging them up the walkways. They punch and kick them while other guards are dragging them. They do this in plain view of the blocks so that we can see it out the windows.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Many prisons are built in rural areas where the staff is mostly white and tight-knit if not blood related. Prisoners are generally shipped from metropolitan areas to these back country prisons where staff have no cultural awareness or exposure to non-white people outside of their occupation. This combination inevitably leads to all levels of staff protecting each other against grievances from prisoners who they seen as less than humyn.

For more articles on this issue check out...
Dixon's Disabled done wrong
Find Your Strength
The Pigs Feed at the Lockdown Trough
My Environment! Real as it gets!
Prisons Used as Political Tool in Rural Communities

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 14]
expand

Their goal is menticide


They thought that this would break me
They tried to tear me down
Confinement made my mind get stronger
You should hear me now
I wasn't hip to all their tricks
They had me stuck before
I had to grow but now I know just what it's hitting for
Their mission is divide and conquer
Their goal is menticide
We must protect our minds from them
Don't let them get inside
Cus if they do
then they'll use you to do the dirty work
Unconsciously they'll make you be the bringer of the hurt
Unity's ingredients are power, strength and love
And if we come together we will surely rise above
Divided, we are midgets with no hope to ever rise
But together we're a giant who can choke them till they die.

chain
[Abuse] [Cambria County Prison] [Pennsylvania]
expand

Cold and Torture in PA Prisons

It's January 15 and the vicious hatemongers who operate this facility have again flipped the heating system off, changing it to cooling. On Christmas Eve over a foot of white hit up here. This is an apex mountainous zone of the Pennsylvania Appalachian territory. A day after Christmas, there was a freezing hail storm that locked in the foot-plus of white x-mas at peak altitude.

On December 23 I was nestled in warmth underneath a wool/poly blend county-issued blanket with my head tucked under and my knees towards my chest like I was back up in the womb, when I heard someone with a walkie outside near my cell comment on the nice, humane and cozy warmth on the cell walkway. At that time I thought little of it while relishing the civil humanity of heating in a prison's segregation unit in winter. But later that night, with the peculiar uneasiness about the temperature in my cell gradually, steadily, going down, I put my hand to the vent and became stupefied with anger. This morning there was a similar occurrence as the morning of December 23.

Several times this morning I argued with that same correctional officer (CO) in response to him making statements in front of my cell as to the warmth of the unit. My point was, plain and simple, "It's cold outside. It's supposed to be warm inside!" Yet, the CO played it down as some deranged joke saying that it wasn't nothing for me and if I was out the cell running around the unit working I would be complaining about it being "warm" too. (I have been on 24 hour lockdown for the past 7 years and for the past 11 days I have been on what's known as "Butt-Naked". [I'll get to the Butt-Naked thing in a minute; please keep reading]).

See, on December 23 the regular maintenance faculty went on vacation for the holidays. They didn't return until January 4: the first normal working day of this new year. Now this time, the regular maintenance faculty is off for their normal Saturday and Sunday, plus, Monday too, as this is Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Monday is the celebration of Reverand Martin's birthday in honor of his civil rights accomplishments, leadership and examples of peacefulness and righteousness.

It pains me to think that these hatemongers who operate this facility would be so viciously cruel as to shut down the heating and pump out air-conditioning in the middle of the winter, on a keep-lock segregation unit in a prison on top of a mountain in the Central region of Pennsylvania to spite Dr. Martin Luther King weekend, blatantly disrespecting the American notion of civil and human rights, mocking, ridiculing, and dishonoring. Yet, I am without doubt to these devil hatmongers' viciously cruel intentions due to the fact that they blasphemed lord Jesus Christ the savior by saying, "I got a Christmas time present this year for them DHU prisoners that they'll never forget: torture!!" and then manifesting their hate for 12 straight days.

On January 3, after hearing every excuse feasible as to why the AC was on blast, and had been continuously on blast for the past 10 days, I proceeded to unload a gallon worth of human feces, which I had been storing in my cell, saving it in half-pint milk cartons since Christmas, just for the occasion. I shitted the entire unit out! There was shit all up and down the walkways, on the stairs, the railings, the walls, high up on the walls, the ceiling, and the officers' chairs and desks. It was shit splatting all over the place dropping at unexpected places outside the cells like bird doodoo. Everybody acted like they couldn't understand why I did it.

The shit was splattered-scattered all over like spots on a dalmatian hound; and, the regular DH inmate workers were crying. After an officer, who must have pulled the shortest straw, came out with a shield, I went ahead and closed the box on my cell door where the shit propelled from. A special work crew came to clean the shit with a hose, a shovel, and later, a ladder. It took them 3 hours to clean it to satisfaction; but, there's still shit gobs on the high ceiling, which have calcified.

Butt-Naked status

There's this special punishment treatment program here at Cambria County Prison (CCP) classified by the administrators of this facility under the official title of "Security Risk" but, amongst the hip staff members and CCP prisoners/jailers, Security Risk is commonly referred to as "Butt-Naked" status (i.e. "they got Baby T on Butt-Naked again.")

During one of my two previous stays here at CCP (from SCI Pittsburgh) while socializing with jailers outside the segregation yard cages, I was informed for the first time of what it was that those jailers called Butt-Naked (i.e. "You better be careful here because these hatemongers are really racist and like putting black men on Butt-Naked and don't give a fuck about none of this civil-human rights shit you be preaching!") A prisoner told me of how after he had "whipped the whole CERT [Community Emergency Response Team] teams asses and broke one of them pussies jaw" he was subdued, beaten by officers, stripped of all his clothing to total nudity, placed in a cell without any bedding or toiletries, left in handcuffs and leg irons and cuffed to the bed, and kept on Butt-Naked for over a month straight. He also told me that once, during the period he was on Butt-Naked for over a month, guards had the audacity to place another butt naked man in the cell with him who had just been put on butt-naked to "overcrowd" the DHU.

On the day I was transferred back to CCP, I witnessed a fellow state transferee be subjected to "Security Risk" Butt-Naked status. This prisoner, who happens to be transgendered, told me that officers beat her while in the jail's intake area after 3 p.m. due to her complaints of being tired and wanting to get to a cell with a mattress to rest. They dragged and carried her from the intake to the DHU in chains and then taser gunned her and beat her more after they got her into a DHU cell before battering off all her clothing and leaving her in the DHU cell totally nude with no bedding, and no toiletries, beaten, cold and in pain without medical. She also was sexually assaulted by anal digital fondling during the episode.

I got socially acquainted with another prisoner in the DHU. I witnessed his holiday depression in 2009 after an officer pressed him about his family. One second he was speaking calmly with the CO and wisecracking, the next thing I knew he was cussing the officer out and banging on the toilet, bed frame, desk and light fixtures inside his cell without abandon.

He started screaming for the guards to "CERT the fuck up!" and come in his cell so that he may murder at least one of them, or, if they didn't come in his cell to stop him, he was going to slit his wrists and throat and murder himself; because as he put it frankly, "Somebody gonna muthafuck'n die up in this bitch tonight!" He was banging on the fixtures in his cell trying to get some steel loose to make good on his word, one way or another. An officer who had tried to talk reason with him witnessed him making cutting gestures against himself in his cell and called in on walkie-talkie, "he's cutting himself, it looks like it's a razor blade."

The CERT team did eventually appear. Instead of going right in, they doused him with 4 bursts of hot choke burn nerve OC gas for 5-8 minutes while demanding him to surrender his stance and come to the cell door to be handcuffed. He began loudly coughing from the effects of the gas, coughing interspersed with cuss screams of how the guards were cowards for continuing to spray through the door and not entering the cell. When the guards finally opened the door, they ran in on him and had him restrained in 10-20 seconds. I could hear him yelling, "You got me! You got me! Fuck! I'm not resisting! Y'all got me! Get off my fucking head!" And, I could hear the lead guard yelling over and over, "Stop resisting!"

For this he was thrown in the coldest cell on the inhumanely cold unit, inhumanely cold from the heat being turned off and the AC on for the past week, stripped of all his clothing on Butt-Naked/Security Risk. He was placed on suicide watch as well. He remained on Security Risk until January 8, 11 days from his mental health breakdown suicidal/homicidal episode.

There is not very much doubt in my mind that he wouldn't have succumbed to his happy holiday incarcerated suicide, seasonal depression were it not for the viciously cruel devil hatemongers operating this county jail/prison and controlling the conditions of confinement within the facility motifs of physio-psychological torturing and their shutting down the segregation unit's heat and pumping out AC against its captive inhabitants. If it were not for the physio-psychological assault on his senses from the inescapable coldness of the DHU from December 23-27 he would have never succumbed on that Sunday night.

Now, I have myself braved Cambria County Prison's Security Risk special punishment program. I had counted on the hatemongers courting up on me and placing me on Butt-Naked after my having shitted down the whole unit. But they never came for me that night. Then the next morning after the shitting, after I had dosed the officer picking up trash after breakfast with heifer-tit juice, the CERT came (headed by an officer named Kupacella, who threatened to "shoot" me and who was cleared of wrong-doing for bringing his personal gun into the facility and shooting a prisoner to death in 2006) and I was moved to another cell. After I was moved to the Butt-Naked cell the heat came back on.

I just got off Security Risk today. I was on security risk for a total of 16 days. On the 7th day, because I hadn't given back the blanket on time (they give you a blanket and mattress every day for use from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the hardest time to sleep, and expect you to happily give it back when they come at 1:30-1:45 for it) the CERT team (again headed by Mercenary hate monger CO Kupacella) came back, I was caught off guard by them. I didn't know they were coming until they were right at my door! None of the the prisoners said a word even though they knew that the CERT team was geared up for somebody.

The Lieutenant told me "I'm giving you a direct order to come to the door and cuff up." As soon as I went to the door to cuff as instructed, the Foreman officer of the CERT team (who I recognized visually and by his voice as Kupacella) said "go to the back of the cell" and repeated it 2-3 times. After asking "How am I supposed to cuff up? Do you want me to cuff up or go to the back of the cell?" The Lieutenant didn't respond and the Foreman again said "go to the back of the cell!" Seeing that the box wasn't being opened for me to cuff, I went to the back of the cell. The Foreman screamed "Put your hands up! Drop it! Drop it!" Then called in on the walkie-talkie to open my door. Needless to say I had nothing in my hands. The foreman had the door opened just enough to spray me aiming at my head with high-powered OC nerve gas. After he closed the door back, I took off my eyeglasses and laid on the floor at the front of the cell with my feet at the door and my hands behind my head. I was then beaten by the CERT team, dragged to the shower, and roughed up some more.

I was dragged back into the OC-contaminated cell totally nude. There wasn't even a decontamination attempt made! The officer evacuated all the other 3 cells due to the spraying of the gas, but still put me back on the contaminated cell. (I believe more gas was sprayed in it while I was being roughed up in the shower.) I screamed in agony from the burning effects of the OC. I couldn't open my eyes, because he had got me dead in the face! I continuously splashed my face with water from the sink, but as soon as I'd stop my facial skin would again feel like it was on fire! I couldn't flush my eyes out either. The horrid screams of agony started after I first splashed my body with water, after that it felt like I was in an inferno pit! I would fill a cup to try and get the OC off my body with. I would be on fire for the 15 seconds it took to fill the cup, and after I poured the water on my naked body I would start burning up again in 1-2 seconds. This went on for 2 hours. I eventually gave up on the water and sat down and supplicated to Allah.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This prisoner writes a vivid account of the horrifying conditions in Pennsylvania prisons and the irrational responses that the torture conditions elicit from prisoners, ranging from suicide attempts to aggression to any other form of acting out that they can use to maintain some small amount of control over their lives. Control units are torture, and they are used as a tool of social control in prisons.

We do disagree with this prisoner's statement that carrying out brutality in the prisons over MLK weekend is "blatantly disrespecting the American notion of civil and human rights." The Amerikan notion of humyn rights is the supremacy of the few at the expense of the many. This is the imperialist system. There is only lip service given to humyn rights when it is convenient, for instance protecting the Kurds in Iraq once Amerika no longer finds Saddam Hussein to be a useful ally. But the systematic destruction of basic human rights is commonplace in Amerikan militarism. And we see it daily in the criminal injustice system.


Related Articles:
chain
[National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
expand

Suspicion of all Latinos

Today I write with extreme distress. I am sick of these racist pigs tyranny. On December 24, 2009 I received an order from the third circuit court of appeals stating that I have been denied relief from my wrongful first degree murder conviction and consequent life plus 7 to 20 plus 20 to 40 consecutive sentences, and that I only had 14 days to file a petition for an en banc rehearing. Due to the xmas holidays I had to wait until the 29th to go to the law library to do my research for the petition. While in the law library reading a federal rules of court book I was greeted by five hispanics that were also working on their street cases on the same table I was sitting in. Now in my legal folder I have the only two ULKs I've received in a while, which I gave to one of the hispanics on my table to read and pass on.

However there was a Sherlock Holmes wanna be CO who is an official KKK member who hit the panic button when he seen five hispanics educating themselves and they locked us all in the hole under so called investigation stating that I was possibly holding a Latin King meeting. Now on my DC-141-other report it states inmates are under investigation for a possible violation of institutional rules and will be held on AC status until the investigation is complete.

However, I was placed on a disciplinary cell without any of my legal work let alone property of any sort, no heat, no pen, paper, etc. Not even toothpaste. This was on Dec 29, 2009. Today is, I believe Jan 10, 2010, I could not have filed any paperwork because they do not hand out any supplies, I managed to get this pen because I fished it from under the cell door.

I have no idea what these pigs are doing with my property. Now I ask of you at MIM to assist me on succeeding in a 42 USC 1983 suit because the conditions I am under are meant to sabotage all my litigation efforts.

MIM(Prisons) responds: A good sign of whether you are a threat to the system is whether you are allowed to organize in your own interests. Union organizers in the united $tates are not put in isolation cells, Latinos with anti-imperialist literature, or even just legal books are.

With our limited resources we provide support to the legal efforts of our comrades that best target strategic battles that will benefit the most people. To be a part of the legal strategizing process write in to join our Jailhouse Lawyers group.

chain
[Abuse] [Federal Correctional Institution McKean] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
expand

The Pigs Feed at the Lockdown Trough

The McKean Federal Prison in Bradford, Pennsylvania is on lockdown due to a fight between African-American gang members and Mexican-American gang members. Nobody was hurt and all those involved or thought to be involved have been placed in segregation. So the threat of continued violence no longer exist, however the prison administration has decided to continue the lockdown indefinitely!

Due to the ill-treatment that we are going through in here, we seek the help of MIM concerning this matter. As this lockdown is about money, not a security threat as you will see.

It should be noted that an Acting Warden took over the week following the fight, and does not want to take responsibility for lifting the lockdown.

It is obvious that the threat of violence no longer exists since the prison administration allowed 30 to 40 prisoners to go to work in the prison's UNICOR factory. If there were a serious security threat why are these prisoners being allowed to go to work? They're not feeding prisoners or washing clothes, but working in the prison factory making cups, spoons and forks!

The prisoners have only been allowed 2 showers a week. They have been feeding us 1 thin slice of cold cuts, 1 thin slice of cheese, 4 slices of bread, 1 spoiled fruit, 1 small pack of cookies, and 2 drink mixes. Several prisoners have been suffering from constipation. They have started giving us lukewarm meals, but those meals aren't any better.

We have been denied access to commissary except to buy stamps and batteries, denied access to the law library, phone calls, etc. But the main problem, once again, is the food.

Now, due to the lockdown, the staff here gets extra pay. So there is this possible link which motivates the continuation of the lockdown, especially due to the situation our economy is in. And with the majority of the staff here being related to each other in one way or another, nepotism is rampant here. There is no one the prisoners can complain to in order to address our concerns. And that is why I am writing you. This lockdown is about MONEY!

It is my hope that your legal department will call the acting warden, any of the associate wardens or the Captain at McKean and inquire about this situation. As you know, they will LIE, but one or two phone calls threatening legal action will bring about a change.

The phone number to the McKean Federal Prison is (814) 362-8900.

see our analysis on the parasitic economics of the amerikkkan prison system in ULK 8

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 11]
expand

Positive Rap

They got me Under Lock and Key
The movement that got me ta see
How these imperialist capitalist countries
want us to be
Dumb to the facts
They don't care
Whether we white, Latino or Black
Why we glorifying those things
That got us right where we at
In this position
Tryna find our ways
Out of these prisons
Time ticking away
Mail censored
So we gotta watch what we say
Oppression gets worse by the day
Commissary prices up
But we continue to pay
Defeating the cause
Time 2 take a second and pause
Why we giving our money away
When they only giving us
17 cents 4 a pay
No medical benefits
So who really benefits
The rich keeps getting rich
Why we getting the short end of the stick?

chain
[National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
expand

Prisoner demands justice for Migrants

For many years now this country has been experiencing concerns by the present imperialist rulers regarding the issue of migrants and non-citizens and what needs to be done in order to "control" the flow of "illegal immigrants" into the U$ territories.

The oppressor's solution to this situation is to create a concentration camps to warehouse those who seek freedom and a better life for their loved ones. The current administration s incarcerating women, children, and innocent people who do nothing more than strive for independence and freedom.

As an incarcerated individual who has experienced many abuses and injustices behind these walls, I can only imagine what abuses and injustices these innocent families and individuals must face. Generally, institutional staff are neglectful. They neglect to address problems faced by those incarcerated, they neglect adequate health care, they neglect to feed those confined, etc. Being that they are migrants, those individuals are likely to not speak English which poses yet another barrier.

These people have not committed any crime! Their intentions are to work and to feed their families, yet they are forced to suffer behind these walls. This is something that cannot endure. We must stand up for those innocent souls.

I urge those who are free to do whatever necessary to be heard on the issue of immigration and the incarceration of innocent migrants and non-citizens. As an incarcerated person I continue to write the powers that be and I continue to voice my message through my pen and paper, for I must always strive to awaken my people to the injustices I witness.

I respectfully conclude by expressing my greetings to all my fellow comrades. Never give up because nothing worth fighting for is easy to accomplish!

chain
[Medical Care] [State Correctional Institution Muncy] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 12]
expand

Basic Healthcare threat to security

Here at SCI Muncy prison for women the medical department is a complete joke and employs morons. In order to get any type of treatment you have to be half dead. I sign up for sick call numerous times and every time I see them they tell me they have to check my chart. There is not that much checking that even an obsessive compulsive person would do. Nothing ever gets done. I am in RHU, which is segregation, since April 10, 2007 on bogus misconducts. Medical comes to your door in RHU and everyone hears your medical problems. They don't check you at all, and diagnose you through a door and charge you $5 every time you are seen. And nothing ever gets done.

I have arthritis in my spine and RHU staff took my mattress from me since August 24, 2009. They have me sleeping on a metal bunk bed with no mattress. They also had medical take my back pain medicine away. I signed up for sick call to get an order for a mattress and my pain med back, they told me security overrides medical and they can't. They have x-rays of my back which shows arthritis in my lower lumbar and they refuse to order me a mattress. I kept signing up for sick call for over 2 weeks and only thing they gave me was my pain med back.

I also have asthma and since I been in the department of corruptions I had an order for no Capsicum (mace). Two weeks ago security asked the doctor to remove that order so they can spray me with mace when they need to. This doctor removed that order and never checked me for my asthma before he lifted it and I still have asthma and an active order for my inhaler. He is an idiot. He told me "well, they asked me to." Are you kidding? They have EBID which is like a stun gun. It's ridiculous here. Spraying mace at an asthmatic can be deadly!

I'll be in RHU till I max in 2014. I am hoping I don't get any type of sickness while I'm here. The RHU Lt. has to approve medical to give us any type of orders before we get it. Whether we need it or not, the RHU Lt. has to approve it first. And if we seriously need an order and he says no, we don't get it. He won't even let medical order us lotion. We can't get no lotion in RHU. Imagine what our skin looks like!

I'm having problems with my teeth. The dentist don't even see us. A dental hygienist comes up and her answers to our dental problems is gargle with salt and warm water. She won't even order salt and we only get 1 small packet, if we are lucky, with meals. They only give us 1 tube of .85 oz of toothpaste per week and we can't get orders for more. That tube don't even last 2 days.

And the food? It's such a small amount that I lost over 100lbs in a year and became malnourished. My hunger pains start 3 hours after I eat a meal. Sick call only ordered me a vitamin with iron and and a calcium pill and now they discontinued the order because of the RHU staff. The food hasn't gotten better, as a matter of fact it's worse. They try to perpetuate a fraud by saying it's a "healthy heart" menu, meanwhile everyone who has no money and orders commissary or is in RHU loses an abundant amount of weight and looks anorexic and sickly. I've lost a lot of my hair because of not being fed properly and sick call orders me tar gel shampoo. What is that gonna do? That's for dandruff! 9 times out of 10 I am refused medical treatment and the one time I get treated I get something that does not treat my ailment.

The prison health care system is getting worse and worse. When I first came to SCI Muncy prison I was supposed to get hand therapy because I had surgery. You know what their therapy entailed? Seeing a physical therapist 1 time at the prison for 10 minutes. And she tells us what to do and we have to do it ourselves. I was going to a physical therapist twice a week before I came here. And so because of that my hand is fucked up.

I had surgery in my foot as well. They removed a tendon and when I came here I was in a wheelchair. They took my wheelchair away and made me walk this campus while I was in excruciating pain and fell down numerous times. I was told to hurry up, and I was threatened with misconducts for being too slow. I have problems with my eyes, my left eye's vision is distorted. The eye doctor ordered me to go to an outside doctor. The RHU Lt. told them no, I can't go, and they canceled my appointment and refused to reschedule it. RHU staff also refused the doctor to do a physical on me. I haven't had a physical in over a year. We can only see the dentist for a checkup once every 2 years. They can't afford to provide us with medical treatment but they keep sending people here. This prison is so overcrowded it's ridiculous. The prison health care system is terrible. But that's the department of corruptions for ya!

chain
[Political Repression] [Organizing] [Pennsylvania]
expand

Inspired to fight, restricted by prison

I'm fortunate to say that your letters and assistance have encouraged me on a constructive level and I truly appreciate your correspondence. I'm 33 years old and my approach has always been to confront and address oppression physically. I still believe that occasional physical resistance is sometimes warranted, but as a growing man, thinking about these struggles, I understand that attacking in anger is to do so in confusion.

Like many of my brothers and Askaris before me, I was under the impression that muscle alone equals might. For a moment I even fell in love with confrontation and the opportunity to flex that muscle. Such heedlessness has led to my current placement in confinement, but is also the reason for my redirection, as well as my gratitude to you for reaching out.

As the komrade Huey P. Newton so eloquently phrased it: "the walls, the bars, the guns and the guards can never encircle or hold down the idea of the people. And the people must always carry forward the idea which is their dignity and their beauty."

Here's the latest pertaining to me which begs for more of your input: Because of some correspondence I sent out on July 30, 2009, I received three disciplinary misconducts (270 days) for third party correspondence, and unauthorized group activity with prisoners at other plantations. However, the letters in question, 2 in particular, were not addressed to any current or former prisoners. And the misconducts were based on assumption due to my alleged affiliation and no facts. More importantly, there are policies in place to safeguard constitutional rights when scrutinizing or monitoring mail.

Because of that incident, all of my incoming and outgoing correspondence is now monitored by security, and they're attempting to use that to infringe on my First Amendment. My outgoing mail, including privileged legal mail, is being withheld for over a week before being processed for delivery. This intentional prolonged withholding of my mail has directly conflicted with the timely deadlines of my administrative appeal process, and is intended to disrupt my correspondence to sensitive media outlets like yourself.

Pennsylvania's DOC policy statement DC-ADM 803 states that all mail should be processed within 24 hours. And that "an inmate shall be notified when outgoing mail is being withheld." My postage receipts verify withholding of longer than 24 hours and I have never received any notification authorizing my mail to be held.

I've brought this to the attention of the pink bellies, and I've exhausted my administrative remedies without any redress despite my eagerness to learn litigation. I'm lost on how to proceed to the courts: what motion, what court, etc, etc.

Pennsylvania has a common practice throughout the state that limits prisoners who are housed in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) to purchasing only 10 envelopes a week. Every prisoner is afforded 10 free envelopes a month, but once those are gone, s/he must purchase the rest. I typically run through 50-60 envelopes a month, and any limitation on paid envelopes seems to be a violation of the first amendment.

In enforcing this limit, prisoners in PA's RHUs can correspond no more than 40-50 times a month, sometimes 30 because it often takes two full weeks to receive your commissary order. I've initiated a grievance challenging the practice.

I'm in solitary confinement for an indefinite period of time for what has been termed "a failure to adjust" and "affiliation to an STG". However, when I addressed officials at a hearing last week and voiced my willingness to participate in counseling, I was told that there are no such programs available to me. So, I took it upon myself to seek counseling from an outside party, and was warned by the farmers that if I continued to pursue that counseling, or wrote and informed, that I would receive a misconduct.

chain
Go to Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] 6 [7] [8] [9]