Prisoners Report on Conditions in

MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX - Tennessee

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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.

[Campaigns] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Grievances Ignored in Tennessee

I am writing this letter in hopes that you can provide me with information on how to combat a unjust prison's grievance process. As of the moment the grievance process at MCCX is broken and I and other inmates really have no way to have our complaints heard and addressed. The grievances go unanswered most of the time and/or the process is purposely delayed to let the time-frame expire after which the grievance is denied. The grievance chairperson is supposed to pick up the grievances daily but if and when she does pick them up and process them, she uses this as a reason to throw the grievance out. If I knew any better, I'd say this is illegal, but I'm really not sure. I have brought this issue up to the warden but it seems he is in cahoots as well. Can you please send me some info about how to combat this issue and hopefully fix it?

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[Censorship] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee] [ULK Issue 69]
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Choose Your Words Wisely - ULK Censored in Tennessee for L.O. Language

I would like to inform the supporters, comrades and my fellow brothers throughout the world, plus also in the "Amerikan Prison System," that we must be watchful of our message that we are attempting to give and spread to those who very well needs it. The ULK article that was titled "Konfused Gangster Mentality" was deemed to be a threat to the Morgan County Correctional Facility. So it was rejected by the mailroom staff. This decision was upheld by the "Security Threat Group" coordinator, and by the final decision of the head warden.

The article was said to be written by a supposed gang member who has ties to the Bloods street gang. It was said by the prison officials that the way the word “confused” is spelled as "Konfused." But also that the word "Damu" that's a part of our Afrikan native people spoken language, that many of our slave ancestors spoke called Swahili. This was brought to the land of Amerika by the Afrikan slaves, who spoke Swahili and also many other Afrikan language dialects.

Even today across the great land of Amerika, you can hear Swahili spoken throughout many major cities as common language by "Afrikan Amerikans." Many may greet one another in such of a way for all to hear. "I love you Damu of my Damu!" Let me translate "I love you Blood of my Blood!" Because for we as Afrikan Amerikans we share something in common. That our people was stolen, kidnapped and then shipped across the Atlantic, during which millions of people died while being transported.

Now when we are attempting to speak to brothers, sisters, supporters, plus comrades through the ULK, we must choose and use our words wisely in our articles, so the law enforcers won't be offended. Because here at Morgan County CF they have a long history of being taught to be racist, prejudiced, biased and abusive by assaulting prisoners while being in restraints. Yeah they're country boyz here at this facility. They don't want prisoners awoken and told what they should be doing against their oppressors. Because that would mean that these coward "Correctional Officers" would be getting their ass kicked left and right when they do things to us in a wrongful act.

And last, but not least, it was said by the STG coordinator here that he didn't like that the article titled "Konfused Gangster Mentality" used the word pig to describe law enforcers. I myself thought it was funny, because this same STG coordinator at MCCF, he has witnessed his co-workers partake and possibly himself also in one or two of the foul acts I mention above.

Now we know that this is an ongoing problem that's not confined to the prison system; it also is happening in our streets of Amerika. The law enforcers are killing unarmed black males at an alarming rate as they did in 1950s thru the 1960s when our true brothers and sisters known as the Black Panthers became aware of the problems and began to form a movement to deal with them.

If you are affiliated with a gang my brother, keep your gang slang, your dissing ways toward another gang out of the ULK. Because these swine are always looking for ways to stop such articles and paper from entering into the prison systems. And that goes for being straight forward when it comes to speaking on dealing with the law enforcers. And being behind enemy lines without the system knowing that it has been infiltrated by us in all forms. Then more damage can be done against who we are fighting. This simple, but effective technique has been used by the oppressed through the world.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer raises a difficult question for those of us working to expose the criminal injustice system. We want our publication to get in to our readers behind bars. We also want to print the truth. And we want to use language that inspires and empowers our readers. This truth and this language sometimes leads to censorship. We try to walk the line, always printing the truth, but choosing our language carefully when there is an alternate word that means the same thing and can prevent censorship. We can be thoughtful about what words we put out front.

We also need to take on these censorship battles and use them to expose the prison system, and the lack of free speech under imperialism. Like this writer, we need to appeal censorship when it happens. And when you appeal, if you inform MIM(Prisons) of the censorship we will also write an appeal as distributor of the publication. Even if we don't win these appeals, we put the prison on notice that we're paying attention to their rule breaking. Often the words and articles they cite as reason for censorship wouldn't pass a review by the courts. We need to remind them of these laws. If you don't have a copy of our guide to fighting censorship, write in to request one.

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[Abuse] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Victim of Injustice System

In the last 2 months I've fallen victim to the injustice system in prison. The first time was a sexual assault by a staff member. I'll not get into that because I'm still dealing or should I say trying to find ways to deal with it. My other incident, I was working in Admin as a counselor aid and was assaulted by a corrections officer. We had had words previously because the job I had did not require me to do what he told me to do so he felt I was "walking on him."

Well he was sitting in the counselor's office and he was talking to the man I worked for. He was getting up to leave and I was shutting the door behind him and it hit his boot. He turned around and lunged at me so I threw my hands up in a blocking, defensive manner and he grabbed my pinky and ring finger and jerked it and twisted it which broke it.

My boss called for me to get medical attention (costing me $5) so I've got 5 x-rays and doctor's notes on this incident. I have filed numerous Grievances on this core officer. The paperwork I filed was "too late" or "lost" so it was thrown out and I was placed in protective custody due to the incident. And since it has happened I've been treated worse than an old smelly mutt. It's sad how much the injustice system can get away with here in the united $tates these days. I've tried going an alternate route by getting one of the neglected forms with response and mailed it to my lawyer.

A lot of my things have come up missing, they are constantly in my cell searching for items that's not there. I've been trying to file a civil suit of negligence against the state and TDOC since this occurred but I'm having the hardest time from a control unit (23/1) and little if any help.

Since this assault my time has gotten really hard. It's a struggle every day. Trying to use the phone, the excessive force used to and from the Dog Pen (recreation). A week ago a corporal shoved and spit on me for filing a grievance on him. I got to be on guard with them. They have done all they can do and more. A man can only take so much but it will only satisfy them to see me act out in violence on them so I'm taking every precaution to their games. It's quite sad they stoop this low.

I wish there was another way to reach out. I know I'm not alone and we keep our heads up and keep on fighting from behind bars. I am trying to keep it cool and recruit all anti-imperialists and encourage them to start standing up for themselves and others. We're not alone in this war.


MIM(Prisons) adds:
Stories like this one are a big impetus behind the grievance campaign that MIM(Prisons) and United Struggle from Within(USW) have initiated in prisons across the U.$. We are fighting to get grievances, like the ones this comrades has filed, handled fairly. Write to us for a copy of the petition.

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[Abuse] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Guard Brutality Unpunished in Tennessee

This prison is a 100% white employed prison. As you can imagine, there is a great number of racially motivated incidents that occur here. Earlier this year in May, several correctional officers beat a Black prisoner and broke both his arms and gave him brain damage. In response to this beating, many Black prisoners (who were not on max security) responded by attacking several COs and beating them. The local media reported this incident as "inmates rioting against COs and sending 8 of them to the hospital." However, the media failed to report that the beatings of the COs were in response to the lynch mob type beating of a Black prisoner.

The head pig in charge of this beating is named Sgt. Bennett. He single-handedly carried out many beatings of Black prisoners and his only form of discipline for beating the prisoner in this incident was being stripped of his title as a Sergeant and demoted to a Corporal and being placed on third shift. Meanwhile the prisoners involved in the beating of the COs all face additional time added to their sentences and placement on max security for years on end. The pigs who nearly killed a Black man are still employed here at this prison.

I have been incarcerated over 9.5 years and 8.5 years of that have been spent on max security segregation and this is one of the only incidents that I've ever seen in prison in my time where prisoners came together for a common purpose against the prison officials. What amazes me is that the very human desire to fight oppression has seemed to die within the prisons of Tennessee. I have read several accounts of how prisoners in other states have stood up for a common purpose against oppression, yet the prisoners in Tennessee lack the desire to fight oppression. They all complain verbally but if someone such as myself files a grievance on behalf of us all and tries to pass it around for all to sign showing support, 98% of them will refuse to sign because they fear some form of retaliation when the truth is, nothing else can be done to them that hasn't already been done. These pale faced pigs have stolen the very essence of our people which has made us great and allowed us to survive... a will to fight.


MIM(Prisons) responds: While we agree that the race of prison guards underscores the racism of the criminal injustice system, we're under no illusions that having Black and Latino guards would change the system. The problem is the system, and the guards are just serving that system. Some may be more brutal than others, but they are all pigs in the eyes of the people.

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[National Oppression] [Control Units] [MORGAN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL COMPLEX] [Tennessee]
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Blacks face longer Max in TN

I'm currently locked up in a racist mousetrap camp called Morgan County Correctional Complex in Wartburg, TN. This is the newly built plantation and is "state of the art" as the oppressors boast.

I'm writing and speaking briefly on my struggle as a maximum security prisoner. I have been on maximum security for 7 years and 5 months for a fight (hand on hand, no weapons involved) that resulted in the death of another brother who attacked me. The prison officials never actually took the circumstances surrounding this attack and "investigated" them to collaborate my story of self-defense on a compound I only resided on 5 days before this happened. Instead, they placed me on maximum security and have left me here 23 hours a day for the past 7.5 years.

Since my arrival to max in 2002 it has been a constant battle to maintain my relationships with my family and my wife as well as my daughters. This is by design because the oppressors know that the foundation to any relationship not only is communication but physical contact/visits as well. I haven't been able to so much as kiss or touch my wife or hug my daughter in 7.5 years and that has been not only a physical challenge but an emotional one and mental one as well.

Max security has a "review board" that, every 30 days, makes assessments of a prisoner's behavior and makes recommendations to the warden of whether to release you from max or continue to hold you on max. The warden then decides whether to approve those recommendations or deny them. In the past 19 months the review board has recommended me for release from maximum security a total of 11 times and each time I have been denied release by the warden citing "nature of placement on max." Meanwhile, I am forced to witness white boys being released from max security every day only to return to max 60 days later (or less) and I meanwhile continue to be denied release from max and this is my first time in prison and on max security.

We arrived to this new plantation in May of this year from Brushy Mountain Complex and, to date, since our arrival here, the warden has only released 6 Black prisoners and nearly 70 white prisoners from max security. We're in the mountains and no Black employees work here and the place is 85% white. The Black prisoners request BET or MTV due to the white prisoners having CMT but this request is denied. This is just a small example of where we are and the favoritism shown to whites.

I would advise all of the brothers and sisters to educate themselves about these prisons and not just use your voices to complain but to act on your complaints and take full advantage of your grievance and in house procedures because education and knowledge is the only way to defeat these oppressors. I have obtained a college degree (associates) in applied sciences and have continued to educate myself despite these oppressor's attempts to break me or bury me on max. I have continued to strive for betterment and enlightenment while these oppressors pray for my mental demise because if they can kill your mind, your body will soon follow.

Maximum security has stolen so many brothers minds because brothers lose so much that they snap, but all you brothers and sisters on max or in these prisons, educate yourselves and be determined to survive and utilize your voice because your voice is powerful and it will be heard in time as we continue to collectively come together against these oppressors.

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