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.

[Control Units] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania]
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Urgent Action Alert: Camp Hill SMU torture

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HRC-FedUp! URGENT Action Alert: 6 Prisoners
Assaulted in the SMU at Camp Hill; Chemical and
electro-shock weapons used; racist violence and
repression on the rise again; take action Today
Tomorrow and Next Week.

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Forward further and wider than ever because enough is enough!

On January 20, 2009 guards in the Special Management Unit (SMU) at the State Correctional [sic] Institution (SCI) in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania assaulted six prisoners, reportedly citing as reasons that these men file grievances against guard misconduct and are engaged in civil litigation against DOC officials; contact outside organizations (HRC/Fed Up! and www.prisoners.com in particular) to expose conditions of torture; also to send a message-in their words: "fuck a historical day, y'all always going to be niggers."

Seven men inside the state's premier torture unit have testified to the following events in reports to HRC/Fed Up!, including six men who submitted Declarations of Truth pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746 and subject to the penalty of perjury, adding to the hundreds of pages of prisoner reports, additional Declarations, institutional paperwork, and civil litigation documents sent to our offices from the SMU at Camp Hill alone since only June of 2008. The incidents have been verified in a personal interview with Mr. Damont Hagan, who has since been transferred (as we've been demanding for 5 months). Superintendent's Assistant Robert Volciak further verified that four or five men were subjected to forcible cell extractions on the 20th in a telephone conversation of January 26th. Several others around the state and the country, from Louisiana to California, have received reports of these assaults as well and contacted our offices.

We are asking that you read the alert, become angry, and act accordingly to help protect the men in the SMU and by extension all others subjected to the normalized white supremacist torture occurring on a daily basis inside prisons in the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.

Inauguration Day

David Smith #FZ5176: On 1/20/09 C/O Liddick, C/O Zeigler, and Lt. Kuzar approached Gary Tucker's cell upon the pretext of wanting to conduct a search, despite having conducted one on 1/15/09. When Tucker came to the door, Liddick said, "Since this guy likes filing grievances, let's make an example out of him." Tucker refused to leave his cell after Kuzar denied his request to have a Captain or Unit Manager present. Willie Robinson then refused to leave his cell out of fear for his safety. David Smith then consented to a cell search, and was promptly assaulted by the above named staff and thrown in another cell, separated from his property. Mr. Smith reportedly suffered undisclosed injuries.

Gary Tucker #FG8520: In his own words: "A little later that morning a cell extraction team came to my cell. I was then told to come to the door and cuff up. When I walked to the door a guard opened the slot and sprayed me in the face with a whole lot of OC mace. I backed away from the door blinded; seconds later more mace was sprayed inside the cell, trapping my lungs up, that's when about 7 guards (including Lt. Kuzar, C/O Brant) charged into the cell slamming me to the bed with electric shields [that discharge 50,000 volts of electricity]. These electric shields were pressed against my body and held there for several minutes while the 6 guards took turns beating, kicking, and shocking me with hand held stun guns. After cuffing me they continued beating me down and shocking me. The guard holding the camera maneuvered the camera so that the beating couldn't be caught on it. From D-12 I was dragged out the cell and hoisted into the medical cell. There the beating continued (shocking, choking, and punching) and a male nurse squirted a liquid in my eyes that didn't seem to help at all. Next I was airlifted up a flight of stairs (after protests from several inmates about my medical condition [which requires me to be] bottom tier status. I was taken into D2-20, slammed face first to the metal bed frame and the 6 or 7 guards continued jumping and shocking me with stun guns. After several minutes of this I was stripped naked, dragged to the floor and pulled up to the tray slot and the cuffs were taken off after they tried to break my wrists. I requested to see medical but was denied the request so my injuries weren't [recorded]. The injuries suffered were as follows: face swollen both sides; wrists with deep cuts from the cuffs; stiff neck (I can barely move my neck); severe pain in my lower back which makes it hard for me to move; my right arm dislocated; badly swollen right ankle that I can't put pressure on and a bloody mouth. Several inmates witnessed this assault and the Lt. Kuzar kept yelling, "Stop resisting" which was merely a means to justify their actions in assaulting me. Truth was I never resisted; I couldn't resist at all."

Damont Hagan #DS9488: In his own words: "I was approached by C/O Brant who threatened me, informing me that I had to come out for a search, stating 'the camera can be manipulated Hagan, remember that.' He also called me a 'nigger.' . . . After a while, I told Unit Manager Chris Chambers [about the threats] . . ., and informed him that 'I fear for my life.' He retorted, "Hagan, I'm tired of this complaining to HRC and www.prisoners.com and preliminary injunctions. Y'all did this to y'all selves, now y'all scared. You're coming out regardless, so write HRC [which he did-let's be there for him] or have .com write the Attorney General again, who cares.' . . . A cell extraction team came and the same SMU staff (Brant, Kuzar) were in suit. I also witnessed them abuse Gary Tucker. They told me to cuff-up and I told them I feared for my life (on camera). Sgt. Maxwell then sprayed me with OC which got in my lungs and eyes, forcing me to cuff up." After being cuffed Hagan was taken to a cell where his clothes were cut off of him and Sgt. Maxwell whispered sexually lewd comments to Hagan regarding Lt. Flowers (a female) being present. Mr. Hagan was denied water for two days, his food was tampered with when it wasn't denied altogether, and he was left naked in a freezing cell, which caused him to become sick. He was transferred on 1/27/09 to SCI Pittsburgh.

Ronald Jackson #CF3994: Mr. Jackson refused to exit his cell because of the threatening and assaultive behavior of the guards, and was subsequently attacked with mace and punched several times in the back and head by C/O Brant, carried to another cell where C/Os Brant, Liddick, Ziegler, Lt. Kuzar, and Sgt. Maxwell cut off his clothing and cut his dreadlocks. Mr. Jackson was left bleeding behind both ears, had numbness in both hands, and cuff markings remained on his wrists for 6 days. Mr. Jackson was left naked and without property or state issue items for six days-like all the others assaulted on this day. On January 26th he was returned to his cell, which was still contaminated with mace. C/O Huber, Jones, Sabolsky, Banks, Martz, and a Lt. stole and destroyed much of his personal and legal property. In a written response to Mr. Jackson regarding this theft, Superintendent Palakovich justified yet another unmistakable effort on the part of SMU staff to deny access to the courts under the pretext that his property was contaminated with mace and needed to be destroyed as a result. Given that several of the prisoners extracted that day have reported being returned to cells still contaminated with mace, this explanation cannot be taken seriously. Mr. Jackson's lawsuit against the DOC will likely be sabotaged by this theft and destruction of his legal documents, which is a widespread practice throughout the PA DOC.

Willie Robinson #FX7258: After refusing to exit his cell for obvious reasons, Mr. Robinson was attacked by the same guards with mace and thrown in a cell that had dried blood on the walls and floor for 6 days without bed sheets or underclothing. Following this he was returned to his former cell, which was still contaminated with mace, including his bedding.

Jamar Perry #DQ4432: Mr. Perry was also attacked with mace and cell extracted on this day. According to Michael Edwards, in a Declaration subject to the penalty of perjury, Mr. Perry is severely mentally retarded, constantly covers his cell and his person with bodily waste-which he also ingests-and suffers from suicidal tendencies. Staff, including C/O Flynn, Sgt. Jones, and Lt. Kuzar, frequently call him names such as "retarded nigger," and encourage him to kill himself. Mr. Perry has been constrained in a "restraint chair" on several occasions, including the first three days of February. These devices are widely recognized as implements of torture. He reportedly wants to die, and ranking officials, including Regional Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore-Smeal have witnessed his fetid condition and taken no remedial action, despite policy provisions against housing severely mentally ill and developmentally disabled inmates in the SMU.

White Supremacy and Repression

In another Declaration from Michael Edwards, Unit Manager Chris Chambers is again alleged to have threatened Mr. Edwards for his correspondence with HRC/Fed Up! Chambers and Huber and others have repeatedly threatened Damont Hagan and Gary Tucker about their involvement with HRC and www.prisoners.com, along with other efforts to expose torture and officially-sanctioned sadism inside the SMU at Camp Hill.

An all white staff in the SMU is holding hostage and waging a one-sided war against a captive, defenseless population that is "99.9% blacks and latinos," according to Mr. Edwards.

A small sampling of racist remarks made by SMU staff, according to Declarations submitted by Michael Edwards, are as follows:

*1/19/09: C/O Brant stated over the PA system, "I have a dream that one day all of you niggers will be dead," after which he laughed, clapped his hands, and lit a smoke; *1/20/09: Lt. Kuzar stated, "He [Obama] may have won, in my eyes he's still a nigger." Brant and C/O Flynn started laughing at this, and Kuzar continued, "There will be no showers or yard today. We are going to show you niggers who run this SMU."
*1/20/09: When told Tucker has a medical condition and is not to be housed upstairs, Chambers replied, "I don't give a fuck what medical says, I want that nigger upstairs now."
*1/30/09: After Chambers told Mr. Edwards he would not be receiving any law books or property in retaliation for his working with HRC/Fed Up!, Huber told the inmate, "Hey listen up nigger, I have the green light to kill your black ass," before walking away from the cell laughing.
*2/1/09: Lt. Kuzar stated to Mr. Edwards, "Nigger do you honestly believe we are going to let you, or any of these other niggers get away with what you are doing?"

Hagan, Jackson, Tucker, Robinson, Smith, Edwards, Terry Brooks, and others in the SMU are being targeted for their refusal to be silenced and submit to a regime of white supremacist torture. These men continue to file grievances, pursue civil litigation, and write family, friends, and other allies on the outside to expose the illegal and degrading conditions they are being subjected to.

Despite being starved, gassed, electrocuted, beaten, sickened, and subjected to racist death threats on a daily basis, these men refuse to submit, they continue to resist, and they are calling on us to take action again.

This action alert is more comprehensive and far ranging in the targets it lists than the ones in November and September (provide links). We have watched the Emergency Response Network grow considerably over the last 12 months, especially during the last 4, and countless people have answered the call to defend the rights and lives of prisoners. This is why we are asking even more from our allies this time, because we trust you will continue to intensify your efforts, channeling your outrage into action and building this movement against torture and racism and for human rights.

As Michael Edwards recently wrote from the SMU: "Keep doing what you are doing, because it surely is working. Some of these guards are just walking around here banging on any and everything, and using racial slurs. This means we are winning the war." I take this to mean that this latest outburst of hate and violence by SMU guards is a desperate reaction to growing outside pressure. They are trying to silence the men in the SMU through daily acts of terror, but it is not working. Resistance continues, and the outside pressure is growing. . . .

Action Alert Targets and Talking points

DOC Targets

DOC Secretary Jeffrey Beard-717-975-4918
2520 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17001

Superintendent John Palakovich
SCI Camp Hill
P.O. Box 200
Camp Hill, PA 17001

Office of Professional Repsonsibility
Director James Barnacle (formerly with the FBI (i.e. u.s. political police) for 30 years-see the book Agents of Reprssion by Churchill and Vander Wall for more on the criminal nature of the FBI)
717-214-8473
2520 Lisburn Road
Camp Hill, PA 17001

1)-Report the truth of the Inauguration Day atrocity: six men were targeted for assault with chemical and electrocution weapons by guards calling them "niggers" in retaliation for these prisoners continuing to file grievances, pursue civil litigation, expose prison conditions to the public, and otherwise seek justice. Be specific, name the names of the prisoners, guards, the threats made and injuries suffered. Tell them that you are sickened by the endless reports of flagrant racism on the part of guards and the obvious approval of such by top officials in Camp Hill and the DOC. Grievances and civil suits reach Supt. Palakovich and Secretary Beard by the thousands regarding the racist attitudes and actions of staff under their command, and they refuse to take action

2)-Emphasize the role of Unit Manager Chris Chambers-demand he be fired: As our abuse logs indicate (http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org/fedup/abusereports.htm), Unit Manager Chris Chambers, who oversees the SMU, bears command responsibility for the actions of Jones, Kuzar, Sabalsky, Banks, Flynn, Brant, and the rest. We want to build his infamy and make him a liability to the PA DOC and SCI Camp Hill. If his superiors lean on him because of the heat they feel from the people, then he will lean on SMU staff to end the torture in order to protect himself. Tell Beard that you have reviewed the accumulated evidence from the 20th and the preceding months, and that Chambers needs to be held accountable for his crimes. Failure to do so will be understood as complicity in torture. Emphasize that several prisoners consistently report that Chambers has personally told them on multiple occasions that he is punishing them for filing lawsuits and contacting HRC/Fed Up! and www.prisoners.com.

3)-Transfers for Tucker, Jamar Perry, Michael Edwards, Terry Brooks, Ronald Jackson: These men need transferred immediately. When speaking of Gary Tucker tell them that his continued confinement in the SMU is a violation of DOC Policy 6.5.1 (which is top secret-forbidden to the public-and has been provided to HRC via clandestine means) which states that an inmate who does not show progress in the initial 12 to 18 months should be deemed a failure and transferred. Mr. Tucker has been in the SMU for 28 months. Furthermore, Jamar Perry suffers from severe developmental disability (i.e. reportedly mentally retarded) and needs an immediate transfer. Edwards, Brooks, and Jackson continue to face retaliation for filing grievances and lawsuits.

4)-Speak your own truths, make your own demands: If you have ideas of who to contact (press, lawyers, the Justice Department, law enforcement, United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, NAACP, ACLU) then tell the authorities of your intention and then get a hold of these organizations and have them contact us to learn more. Each one needs to conduct their own investigations to verify these truths. Also, be encouraged to tell them that they need to close down the SMU for good-it is a failed program that does nothing but torture vulnerable prisoners, and it is irredeemably racist. Please inform HRC/Fed Up! of your efforts so we can keep track of where this alert and the supporting evidence are sent and the various responses it receives. Be encouraged to become a point person for reaching out to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the NAACP, or whoever. Just make sure you are familiar enough with the talking points and the evidence that supports them and stay in touch with us.

5)-Prior Notice: Beard and Palakovich have been notified of the criminal acts of retaliation, racist hate crimes, denial of access to the courts, assault, medical neglect, etc. months ago. There is a paper trail leading to their office and their adamant refusal to accept accountability for the actions of staff under the command of Unit Manager Chris Chambers amounts to complicity in torture.

6)-Accountability: Let it be known, finally, that we intend to see criminals held accountable, and that each denial, evasion, and deception on the part of prison officials will only strengthen our resolve to pursue justice by every means possible. We want accountability now.

7)-Special for OPR: The Office of Professional Responsibility (which is neither professional nor responsible, but is-supposedly-an office), the DOC's own internal "investigation" unit assured an HRC/Fed Up! investigator in early January that they were in fact conducting an investigation into documented human rights violations inside the SMU at Camp Hill. After declaring that they always talk to the inmates, OPR Director James Barnacle went on to directly contradict himself by admitting that their "investigation" consisted of cross-checking our documentation with the prison's own records. Given that the prison records will report only what guards say, since the word of prisoners is deemed prima facie untrue according to their totalitarian (and, yes, racist) ideology, Barnacle more or less admitted that his investigation was in fact not an investigation at all. Furthermore, we have specifically asked several of the men in the SMU if OPR has interviewed them, and with one exception (Brooks was interviewed two or three months ago about an assault he suffered in 2007), nobody had seen OPR-despite several having contacted them-by the end of January. Tell OPR that we know they are not engaged in transparent and good faith investigations, because if they were SMU staff under the command of Unit Manager Chris Chambers would not dare perpetrate such atrocities. Demand responsibility and professionalism from Barnacle.

Political Targets

Governor Ed Rendell

See numbers 1-6 above. Rendell was informed at the end of November, with considerable documentation. He sent it to OPR.

Senator Stewart Greenleaf

Inquire into the appropriate process for requesting hearings in front of the PA General Assembly, and then request a hearing-to be organized by HRC/Fed Up! and our allies-regarding torture in PA prisons. Provide him our contact information and ask that his staff get in contact with us. Tell staff what is going on in the SMU at Camp Hill.

Local PA Representatives

Hammer away at them, make these lazy, incompetent, and corrupt parasites take a stand. Demand they petition Greenleaf for a hearing. Who are these fools anyway?

Reminders about demeanor, temperament, manners, composure, etc.

Just a reminder, it is acceptable and appropriate to express anger, be firm in our demands, and not tolerate deceptions and diversions. That said, it is critical that we control our anger and not vice versa, and maintain composure and dignity in our demeanor. We want the functionaries manning the phones and reading the mail to be impressed by our command of the facts and message consistency.

Mary Ann Kushner at SCI Fayette apparently told one of our allies that HRC people had been "nasty" to her. Given Mary Ann's less than sterling reputation as a truth-teller, I assume that means you were all doing your job and holding firm to our shared principles in defense of prisoners' rights and lives, which no doubt upset Mary Ann. So, keep the cursing to the minimum amount necessary and get at them day after day after day.

And pace yourself. Make a call today, two tomorrow, another the next day, and keep at it for weeks on end. This is a long struggle and we're in it for life. Invite others to join, today. Thank you.

We need lawyers! Please help us find lawyers with grit, intelligence, and integrity who are willing to go to war with the DOC.

PS-Taking it to the Streets

Phone calls and letter writing are important, very important for providing some measure of oversight and security to the men in Camp Hill and other torture chambers in PA and the U.S. But it is but one tactic amongst many. We need to take this to the streets and get on a move. Be on the lookout for an invitation in the near future, when the entirety of the country-and beyond-will be welcomed into the state to voice their collective outrage over the dehumanizing white supremacist torture of the PA prison system.

HRC/Fed Up! has accumulated over 100 pages of documentation of human rights violations in PA prisons in the last 16 months alone, supported by thousands of pages of prisoner reports, affidavits, declarations, grievances, requests to staff, and civil litigation documents, and further corroborated by hundreds of hours of interviews/conversations with prisoners and their loved ones on the outside. We can assert with absolute confidence and substantial-in fact, incontrovertible-evidence that torture is a widespread, systemic feature of the prison system that deliberately sabotages parole and increases recidivism, hence creating the conditions for continued market growth for the prison-industrial complex.

PPS-Call and/or write us!

Who are you? Have you taken action? Can we know one another and work together to beat back this insufferable brutality? Call, email, write whenever.

Please provide feedback as to your conversations with the peoples above and other efforts undertaken to protect the men in Camp Hill's SMU.

Thank you.

Solidarity, Health, Respect,
Trust, and Struggle

Contact Information
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HRC/FedUp!
5125 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
[email protected]
412-361-3022x4~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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[Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania]
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Pennsylvania torture units

I was in Camp Hill prison control unit called the SMU which means special management unit. The race there is only Black prisoners and the staff there beat Black prisoners until they are bloody or deprive them of their food. In 2005 the SMU guards killed a prisoner - a black prisoner that is - by not feeding him his food. I myself have been beaten and deprived of food, water and other things mainly medical care. These control units are slave torture camps and the staff that work in these control units are diabolical devils. They only build these control units for Black prisoners to torture, murder and rape our mind from our sanity. These staff who work in Camp Hill SMU are all white and they do so many unlawful things it's crazy. The courts of commonwealth of PA backs them up. Many lawsuits have been filed against Camp Hill control unit, but nothing has been done. Outside people need to realize that us prisoners are being tortured and murdered because of the color of our skin.

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[Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Camp Hill] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 6]
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Oppression at Pennsylvania's SMU

Oppression in Pennsylvania's plantation "Special Management Unit" is at an all time high. This is where the so-called worst of the worst convicts are sent, but it's not for any form of rehabilitation but rather to be abused. A lot of strong brothers are being physically and mentally abused in an attempt to break their fighting spirit. Note: the oppressors fear what they can not conquer.

It is said that all those of us who have the mental ability to organize the masses and structure any type of movement for the betterment of the oppressed peoples movement "need" to be locked down.

The abuse at SCI Camp Hill runs deep, to the point where it'll drive the weak crazy. The other day a brother (new arrival) split his own forehead open in an attempt to get transferred. He was taken to medical for 3 days and brought right back to the SMU. I personally have been experiencing a lot of abuse. I'm labeled by central office, under the Security Threat Group as a high ranking New York Blood. Officers use this to confiscate my literature, mail, photos and legal materials (all is labeled gang related).

We are not allowed to buy soap, deodorant, toothpaste, or lotion off of the commissary even if we have the proper funds in our accounts. Every time we request copies of any policies that tell us what we're allowed to have, we're told, 'oh you can't have that in the SMU.' Everything is considered a security risk at this concentration camp.

All other facilities allowed me to have MIM Notes except here. Officials don't follow publication procedures and take it upon themselves to determine what is and isn't allowed. I've filed a grievance on this and a number of violations here including health risks and I'm currently planning to file a class action suit with a few other comrades. Our ultimate goal is to get this concentration camp shut down.

We are currently working with a number of organizations who've been very supportive. I write so that everyone may know the seriousness of the situation. Officers beat brothers senseless in this control unit even if we're completely restrained, wearing cuffs, tether, shackles and restraint belt. This isn't rehabilitation at all but it sure is oppression at its worst! Still in all, we remain strong and focused on shutting this joint down!

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[Abuse] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 6]
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Brutality in Pennsylvania

I was recently sent to the suicide observation cell due to a renegade C.O. I've always had problems with telling lies about me being suicidal. After 2 days of telling the proper people I wasn't suicidal, they called for a "cell entry team" to remove me from my cell by saying that I was still a danger to myself as well as others. The "cell entry team" was getting ready to enter my cell without cuffing me first (which is against policy) and I just so happened to look at the officer holding the camera and he mumbles the words "they are gonna fuck you up!." Later I found out that that wasn't a warning at all, that was for me to have knowledge before hand that I was about to have my brains beat in. Upon hearing that message I thought was a warning, I went to the door and looked into the camera and stated, "I am not refusing to come out, I am also willing to comply with being cuffed and moved to another cell without any problems." Once that was done that messed their whole game plan up to try to assault me.

Once I got cuffed I was ordered to get on my knees, to which I complied. Then once the door was buzzed open I was kicked in my back so hard I went face first towards the marble floor. Once they completely entered my cell I had one officer who made his way over top of my head and repeatedly used his knee to assault the back of my head. Once all that was over, instead of putting me in another cell as I was told, they put me in 5 point restraint chair for an unbelievably painful 8 hours. The straps across my upper body were the worst, they were pulled so tight I passed out after about 2 hours and when I woke up my whole eight hours was finished. I had to get medical attention due to cuts and bruises from the straps.

I filed a grievance on it and now I'm waiting for the first response. We all know that even though I have this whole incident on video it's still gonna get shot down by the DOC to try to discourage me from going all the way with it. I'm filing a lawsuit and I will not settle until justice is met.

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[Prison Labor] [Pennsylvania]
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Prison Labor at SCI Fayette

SCI Fayette has about 1800 to 2100 prisoners, of those 1200 to 1400 work for the DOC doing various work assignments. Jobs are related to running of the facility, such as maintenance, commissary, grounds crews, schooling, laundry, barber shop, library and janitors. Some also work for "Correctional Industries." The pay scale is as follows in $/hour:

Step AStep BStep CStep D
Class 10.190.200.210.23
Class 20.240.250.270.29
Class 30.330.350.380.42

People usually work from 120 to 160 hours per month, so top pay would be $50.40 to $67.20. Correctional Industries (CI) makes 51 cents or about $81.60 a month. Like similar programs that exist in all 50 states, Pennsylvania Correctional Industries produces things such as furniture, clothing and personal care products primarily for purchase by state agencies. However, on their website they claim they are unique in that they are completely self-sufficient. Like most examples of "industries" in prisons, they allow the state to save money, but there is no private profit being made.

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[Control Units] [Pennsylvania]
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Control units in NY and PA

I see that comrades are working on producing a movie that exposes the corruption which is taking place in control units all over the country. Hence, I would like to take the time out to touch on some of the things that I've seen and experienced in these types of confinements.

I've done time in New York and am currently trapped in Pennsylvania. Between the two, I've been in five control units, and know of several more. I can't remember the addresses to the ones in New York because it's been some years since I've been there. However, the names of the ones I've been in are Southport, Marcy S-Block and Lakeview S-Block. I know of others in New York such as Malone's Upstate, Green S-Block, Cayuga S-Block, Collins S-Block and Fishkill S-Block.

In Pennsylvania I was in the now defunct Long Term Segregation Unit (LTSU) which was at SCI Fayette (PO Box 9999 Labelle, PA 15450). It originally opened in 2000 at SCI Western but was moved to Fayette in 2004. That so-called "program" was totally shut down in 2007 because of the barbaric conditions. It was since converted into what's called SMU (Special Management Unit). I was never in the SMU at Fayatte, but I was in the SMU at SCI Camp Hill (PO Box 200, Camp Hill, PA 17001).

New York is designed just to be a Control Unit. It has 1200 people in the Control Unit, then an additional 300 people to do the cooking, cleaning, etc. Marcy, Lakeview and the other S-Blocks in New York are units built at "regular" prisons and confine 200 people apiece. Southport is predominantly a Control Unit, but I don't know the head counts.

The SMUs in Pennsylvania are units built at "regular" prisons and hold about 70-something people each. The LTSU was a unit within "regular" prisons and housed 40 people.

In terms of the national/racial make up of the people in the CUs I've been in, I would estimate that they all had about 90% Black/Latino and about 10% white.

The ways that the CUs are run varies, especially from state to state. Nevertheless, they are all different from the "regular", "holes", "boxes," or whatever the 23 hour/day lockdown units are called in each state. One of the biggest differences is that these CUs have several levels that a person can be on and these levels determine how many privileges are supposed to be afforded to them. For instance, in the SMUs in Pennsylvania, people on Phase 5 cannot have personal pictures, newspapers, magazines and many other things. The LTSU was the same way on levels 4 and 3.

Often times, persons with mental health issues are placed in these CUs, at least in Pennsylvania. It is not uncommon for them to bang on their desks, toilets, etc. for many hours at a time being as they can't deal with the confinement. Many even throw feces, urine and vomit on other prisoners and guards.

Several people enter these CUs with no history of mental health issues, but develop them while they're in there. They begin banging on things all day as well as throwing feces, urine and vomit. Suicides/attempts are not uncommon in these units.

Many guards antagonize prisoners and deny them food trays that they are supposed to be given. Or they may put things such as dead mice in the trays.

The physical abuse from the guards is a common thing. They sometimes beat handcuffed and shackled people bloody. They'll even do it while video monitors are recording by yelling "stop resisting!" to make it seem like they're to restrain a person.

They also have restraint chairs that they put people in. These are chairs in which people are strapped down for hours at a time - in Pennsylvania it's for a minimum of eight hours. People have been known to urinate or defecate on themselves while in these chairs.

These are just some of the things going on in these CUs. People have filed numerous grievances and lawsuits about the things that are going on, but for the most part there have been very few changes made. Usually a person's claim of being denied a food tray is dismissed as being "frivolous," or something of that nature.

I think it's a good idea to expose to the public what is actually going on behind these walls. Not only in Control Units, but in these neo-plantations in general. I will be of whatever assistance I can.

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[Control Units] [Organizing] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 4]
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Using time in control units for the revolution

As they keep moving me from penitentiary to penitentiary I can’t help but realize that the majority of prisoners serving indefinite life and death sentences in control units are Black and Latin brothers who, due to their lack of knowledge, had their rights violated and like myself were railroaded and ambushed by this corrupt injustice system, and eventually thrown into these control units. I consider these human warehouses, where we die a slow agonizing death.

I am one of the very few who has managed to maintain my sanity. And rather than serving this tortured time, I’m having this time serve me by educating myself and as the sun bringing light to all corners of my circumference, waking up all those who have been sleeping in the graveyard of ignorance, to unite and assist in organizing a revolution that will bring an end to the oppression of all groups over other groups, classes, genders and nations.

I agree with those who believe that crime is the bad oppressive things we do to each other. The more people you hurt and oppress, the bigger the criminal you are. So the big criminals in our country are the bourgeoisie – those who are rich while others are poor, those who make profit from other peoples misery, street crime is a very small part of all the crimes committed each day in comparison to unemployment, homelessness, discrimination, bad education and bad health care.

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[Spanish] [Pennsylvania]
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Michigan represión contra Indíginias

Saludos hermanos y hermanas de MIM. Los saludo a todos por su trabajo revolucionario en educando y liberando las mentes encarcelada del mundo. Yo soy otro rehén encarcelado por beneficio en la prision maxima de Marquette Branch y estudiante del pensamiento comunista. Estoy presentandoles este papel que escribí para mi grupo en luz de mis estudios y reflejos sobre la historia en Americanos Nativos. Mis esperanzas son que les pueda ayudar a brillar una nueva luz sobre el comensamiento del la colonización americana y evocar discusión y más estudio como lo ha echó en mi circulo.

Yo atendo, al igual con otros hermanos, el servicio "del camino americano nativo" y recientemente cuando al fin llegamos junto a construir con significativo, y con el escarnio de la institución, afirmandonos que nuestro 1 y 14 derechos de enmendiamiento de la constitución esta bajo ataque. Y no es que tenemos fe en una constitución que todavía sancióna esclavitud, pero nuestra lucha diviera alamar ciertas comunidades, especificamente los americanos nativo, ya que es una larga y vieja guerra de supresión a nuestra tradición y costumbre nativa.

Nosotros ya tratamos de resolver este problema atravez de la administración y sus remedios de agravio y todo más pero estos son los mismo enemigos que controlan todos los processos de agrivio y reedios administrativo. Los mismo agentes fascista que interrumpen nuestro servicio con comentarios como "en america hablamos inglés." Mientras nuestros hermanos rezan en su lengua nativa. A nosotros regularmente no sueltan de nuestras celdas tarde y no podemos conducir nuestro servicio formal. También cuando tratamos de obtener nuestros articulos permitible para conducir nuestro servicio en su maneraadecuada, nos la confiscan.

Ellos hacen lo necessario para impedir la asistencia con intimidación. Si uno pide asistir el servicio, primero recibes una visita de una trabajador de pandillas, que te informará que el servicio es conducido por padilleros y que si tu participas te pondrán bajo investigación de amenasa de seguridad.

Nosotros hemos escrito a las naciones locales aqui en U.P para mas apoyo de afuera pero lamentablemente no hemos visto unidad entre los Americanos Nativos possiblemente por la intimidación de estas instituciones corruptas. Pero comoquiera nuestro circulo es fuerte y nos unimos cada semana para intercambiar cultural, intelectual, espiritual, y siembral semillas revolucionarias. También tenemos debates, discussiones, asignaciones y presnetaciones oral. Esperamos tener una relación con MIM(Prisons) y los tendramos al dia con nuestros assuntos ye materiales revolucionarios.

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[Control Units] [Pennsylvania]
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Virginia's supermax at Red Onion State Prison

This letter is to inform you that I too was an inmate in Red Onion Supermax prison when it first opened. I too witnessed the horrors that occurred there in the name of the state of Virginia, and this barbaric device that this country has embraced throughout this land called Super-Max's.

There are a couple more facts I would like to pass on to your readers, I was blessed when I was able to read the copy [of Under Lock and Key] that I did, for it was passed on to me with knowledge I was there [in Red Onion]. I could not, in all my self-conscious, sit back knowing the information I do, to think "it's not my problem", "I'm not there no more" to abandon my brothers there. You must get it out of your head, it is not just Black, white, brown, yellow, that matters, because if you follow that line of thinking then you have already lost the battle. To divide is to conquer, and that is just the play they did to us. For I not only am a convict, I have lived through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in and out from these walls. I was there during the riots in the system to get the things to better our way of life in here, only to watch these "inmates" come in here and waste the blood that was shed during these uprisings.

In all my time I have never seen such barbaric living conditions within walls. Sure it was brand new, clean and good food, but the threat of someone shooting you for something as simple as turing around to go back to your cell because you forgot your lighter, to light a smoke. Anything at any time could get you shot. "Just being Black," "a white dude getting along with the brothers" (you were hated by these hillbillies), to come to someone's aid, better not even think about it.

Remember that the DOC of the state of Virginia put this prison so far west in the state it was nearly impossible for one from the Richmond, Virginia beach area to come that distance to visit. This area they put these two prisons in were at one time coal mining regions, well those fell through, and since the new economical booster for any depressed area are prisons, they put two of them there. These folks know nothing but coal mining and hunting. Now they put them in charge of these prisoners, give them guns, and tell them if they get out of line shoot them. And they took that to heart and opened up.

There were no jobs, library, law library, schooling, trades of any kind. They opened these prisons before they were ready for a safe operating condition.

I tell people here and they look at me like I am insane. Try to make these people believe that this is going on in this country, and they laugh at you. I start bringing out the paper work to prove my point.

Comrades understand there are forces in play that would like nothing more than to lock every one of us away, and they are doing it state by state. Pennsylvania has its own "Super Max" called Greene County. They abuse them down there too, but no guns as of yet.

The beast that ran the Virginia DOC, Ronald Angelone, was the same beast in Nevada's DOC, from what I have gathered he got run out of there. This was done with the blessing of then-governor George Allen. When we first started reporting these conditions to whom ever we could, no one believed us, not even some of our own family. The only one who listened was the United Nations Human Rights Watch Group. Even these folks got run off the property. This is the new vicious and barbaric way they want to do things in here and most other places. In PA the Greene County Super Max has a history of inmate abuses. Sgt. Grainer, yes the leader involved in the Abu Gharaib prison abuses in Iraq, was the lead abuser in the RHU units at Greene County's Super Max in the state of Pennsylvania.

But since he was not charged in state court, and resigned on his own, you only heard this reported one time in the very beginning of the news reports about the abuses over in Iraq, (hush hush hush) never to hear another word about it again. But I was there and I remember. This goes on in every prison system in this country.

Do not think it does not affect you because it does, every time you read a story and think it can't happen to me, I am in a safe place, remember the only qualification that got me sent to Red Onion was I had a life sentence. Nothing more nothing less. Now in PA's DOC they got a new plan, lifers will be allowed to work only in approved areas off the block (cell house). Every system is so full of small timers that the older lifer prisons are being overrun with short timers who do not care and do not see what is coming down the road right into their faces. There is no way to turn this around unless we protest in a nationwide effort. Could you imagine the impact on this system, and the world reports that every prison in the country is on some sort of protest strike.

As I have known for years this is the new beginning of something even worse. Think big brother isn't watching? That is because you are too busy crying me! me! me! We got brothers of all peoples being beat, killed, and abused each and every day, in every state of this country. Poor health care, mental care, and then they want to disrespect your people when they come to visit you, to even abuse them. They are arresting our people right in the visitors parking lot for violations, all to discourage the family units from staying together. When are you going to raise your voice and make a stand? This is just the beginning of horrors to come, and believe me they are coming!

Remember when they decided to take DNA from the sex offenders, for the protection of our children and females? Well then they said why not lifers, how about violent offenders, we might well as get all felons, now it comes to the point where if you have committed any crime they want DNA. Have you been watching of paying attention to the news, they can get your peoples DNA to get you. There is no end to their madness, the new thing is putting electronic taggs in the children, next is the sex offenders, then lifers and every convicted felon, and parolees too Must I go on? The lesson is to open your eyes, as long as they have you divided into sub-peoples, whites, Blacks, reds, and browns, and fighting and killing each other. Then they have nothing to worry about for all your hatred is directed at each other instead of at them where it should be, they would be in fear if that was the case.

There are no truer words, it have been practiced by the peoples of every country, race, in war and out of war, throughout time: divide and conquer. It's us against them, you must take a stand, make a choice, make up your own mind. Stop the madness of going against each other. It's time to wake up brothers! We don't want to be divided, we want to be united! It's the only way, or the blood and lives given by those who came before, were given in vain.

If you have any questions, new information about Red Onion, or want to put someone in touch with me such as an attorney who is defending something there, please feel free to contact me here. I know it is very difficult for attorneys to get in there to see their clients.

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[Abuse] [Pennsylvania]
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Repression in Pennsylvania prisons

The Under Lock and Key (Nov 2007, No 1), MIM Theory 10, and Aug 2006 MIM Notes couldn’t have come at a better time, for at that very moment I was in extreme need to hear from others who agree that merikkka’s system of injustice – when it comes to the universally poor and oppressed – is not only justifiably contemptible, but is yearning for a well placed, organized and strategic foot in their ass.

I read of the fantastic and revolutionary things MIM does in California – especially at the Bryant Street Jail, and High Desert State Pimping where D-facility got together in protest.

I’m definitely for ending the oppression of “all groups over groups” and do not claim to have all the solutions; therefore do not mind being a soldier. Neither do I really care about the method of ending oppression of all groups over groups; only the progressive results. I’m trying to cook up a recipe for change in Pennsylvania, but we need like-minded outside support to help us stir up the pot.

When I received all three above I was at SCI Cresson. I’m now at a security level 5 unit at SCI Houtzdale where in 15 months of disciplinary time I’ll be sent to the super maximum unit at SCI Green County where free-thinking political prisoners – such as myself – have been boldly killed. Green County is Pennsylvania’s Pelican Bay.

On February 1, 2008, while out in the so-called general population I was accosted by twenty white racist in black riot gear after respectfully trying to report to a lie-utenent that one of his officer’s discriminated against my disability, called me a nigger, and made comments with homo-sexual innuendos that I did not approve of. In the process of the riot team trying to extract me from my block so that I could be isolated for further abuse, one claimed that I stabbed him twice, while another claimed I hit him with a blunt object. I’m winning in the courts, about to take down a prominent judge, I never had a misconduct before this incident, I’m very studious and charismatic. Not only do I find their timing odd, but it is no coincidence that they charged me with just enough to qualify me for a life sentence under the unjust three strikes law.

If this isn’t enough to point out that we need a revolution in Pennsylvania, SCI Cresson can only flush their toilets twice.

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