Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Texas Prisons

Can you do layout? Help out by laying out pamphlets and study packs to mail to prisoners. help out 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.

Allred Unit (Iowa Park)

Beto I Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Bexar County Jail (San Antonio)

Bill Clements Unit (Amarillo)

Billy Moore Correctional Center (Overton)

Bowie County Correctional Center (Texarkana)

Boyd Unit (Teague)

Cameron County Detention Center (Olmito)

Choice Moore Unit (Bonham)

Clemens Unit (Brazoria)

Coffield Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Connally Unit (Kenedy)

Cotulla Unit (Cotulla)

Dalhart Unit (Dalhart)

Daniel Unit (Snyder)

Darrington Unit (Rosharon)

Dominguez State Jail (San Antonio)

Eastham Unit (Lovelady)

Ellis Unit (Huntsville)

Estelle 2 (Huntsville)

Estelle High Security Unit (Huntsville)

Ferguson Unit (Midway)

Formby Unit (Plainview)

Garza East Unit (Beeville)

Gib Lewis Unit (Woodville)

Hamilton Unit (Bryan)

Harris County Jail Facility (Houston)

Hightower Unit (Dayton)

Hobby Unit (Marlin)

Hughes Unit (Gatesville)

Huntsville (Huntsville)

Jester III Unit (Richmond)

John R Lindsey State Jail (Jacksboro)

Jordan Unit (Pampa)

Lane Murray Unit (Gatesville)

Larry Gist State Jail (Beaumont)

LeBlanc Unit (Beaumont)

Lopez State Jail (Edinburg)

Luther Unit (Navasota)

Lychner Unit (Humble)

Lynaugh Unit (Ft Stockton)

McConnell Unit (Beeville)

Michael Unit (Tennessee Colony)

Middleton Unit (Abilene)

Montford Unit (Lubbock)

Mountain View Unit (Gatesville)

Neal Unit (Amarillo)

Pack Unit (Novasota)

Polunsky Unit (Livingston)

Powledge Unit (Palestine)

Ramsey I Unit (Rosharon)

Ramsey III Unit (Rosharon)

Robertson Unit (Abilene)

Rufus Duncan TF (Diboll)

Sanders Estes CCA (Venus)

Smith County Jail (Tyler)

Smith Unit (Lamesa)

Stevenson Unit (Cuero)

Stiles Unit (Beaumont)

Stringfellow Unit (Rosharon)

Telford Unit (New Boston)

Terrell Unit (Rosharon)

Torres Unit (Hondo)

Travis State Jail (Austin)

Vance Unit (Richmond)

Victoria County Jail (Victoria)

Wallace Unit (Colorado City)

Wayne Scott Unit (Angleton)

Wynne Unit (Huntsville)

Young Medical Facility Complex (Dickinson)

[Abuse] [Censorship] [Jester III Unit] [Texas]

Mail tampering at Jester III in Texas

Please give me notice you received this because I'm indigent and I'm forced to mail out my mail through the unit law library dept and I'm sure some of my mail is being stopped and intercepted by law library staff members. I have filed numerous grievance complaints and am threatening to file a federal lawsuit, due to being subjected to ongoing harassment, retaliation and ADA discrimination by law library supervisor Ms. Mukoro. I have written to Houston Texas FBI office two different times but I never got a response, and I wrote to The Board of Criminal Justice, PO Box 13084, Austin TX 78711 and again no response. I have written to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, letting him know it's my intentions to file lawsuit against TDCJ officials, if the matter isn't rectified very speedily. I have received numerous bogus and retaliatory disciplinary infraction s from only law library staff members in the past year, and none from unit security officers.

[Medical Care] [Texas]

Dangerous medical neglect in Texas

Last time I wrote we was on lockdown because someone murdered their cellie. We came off lockdown for only a little over a month. Now we are BACK on lockdown because someone stabbed a law. We have a new warden, rumor is we will be on lockdown 60 days. If so this will be 4 months out of 2017 the whole unit had to spend on cell lockdown. NO rec. NO 1 hour outside dayroom, only time you come out is showers Tue. Thur. Sat., or if you put in to see nurse.

Now I thought we was supposed to have rec time. But I guess that's long-term seg time. Well this is 3rd wk. lockdown so that's 3 months out of this year. THAT'S LONG-TERM to me. Also no commissary. So we can't buy stamps. We are allowed 5 letters a month. We have to use lineless print paper.

Since I've been back from my bench warrant, they placed me on top bunk on the 2nd row. I wrote a grievance because I have Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome and M.V.P. - mitral valve prolapse. Irregular heartbeat that can sometimes cause you to pass out. I've fallen off the bottom bunk a few times, and have been walking and had to lay down cause I felt as if I was going to pass out. I had an "ablation" heart surgery when I was 17. I'm 28 now. On my step 1, after 30 days they got a 45 day extension then told me they will do nothing they trust the opinion of their medical staff, nurses, doctors. I had a heart specialist and a heart electrophysiologist best doctor in the world. I wrote my step 2 a week ago and told them pretty much same thing that was in 1st grievance. But I added that sometimes I have to sleep on floor with rats & roaches for fear of cracking my head open on falling off the top bunk.

[Abuse] [Hamilton Unit] [Texas]

Parole delays due to program problems

At the Hamilton Unit, the offenders are on the way out – 6-7 months at best 10-11 at worst. Most will not stand for their rights or write grievances due to retaliation and loss of parole. Me and a few others will stand and will tell what's going on and how we are being treated and threatened. This was a youth unit for a long time, so you can imagine how we are treated. The food is now TDCJ as of Sept 1, 2017, yet they are still feeding Air Mart, TYC, or program portions, which are not TDCJ policies.

We have several medical issues at this unit, such as myself, I am awaiting lower back surgery, Dec-Jan, and sitting in a problem. The neurosurgeon who will be doing my operation has done all he can for now. He requests that I receive a pillow to sit on so I don't have pain and burning. Yet I am made to sit in a chair 8-10 hours a day. This should be cruel and unusual punishment. Also South Texas does not approve of North Texas way of medical treatment. North Texas is Texas Tech, South Texas is UTMB. If transferred all treatment could start over and my case was.

Also there is a $ issue about this program and I will do my best to explain one one of many issues, which just happens to be mine. In January, 2017 I received a favorable parole decision. A FI-6R, which is a 6 month PRTC drug program. Target release date Dec 2017. Program start date June 2017. I finally arrived at Hamilton Unit in July, at which time all smut of any kind was removed from my property. I had to and have to follow all new program rules, and mailroom rules, yet I am not actually enrolled in the program yet. I am only housed in the overflow dorm awaiting my turn to start. Now remember my months are June to Dec.

While I am in this overflow dorm waiting my turn to start, July to Jan and Aug to Feb offenders come and start the program ahead of me and several others June to Dec. Parole issued these months, but TDCJ will not get paid unless the offender completes 180 days. You see the program is behind schedule, due to counselor shortage and certain offenders must be released on the short way cause they made parole. This is not fair in my or my family's eyes.

Aug 17, 2017 on about, a Federal Judge made TDCJ clos the Pack Unit due to heat illness. Hamilton Unit is A.C. so all June month offenders were transferred to other units. Myself, I am heat restricted, along with others, yet we were moved to 24-7 lockup at the Goreee Unit for 3 weeks. 24-7 lock up, no rec, no church, no phone, no hot water, only $10 a week commissary. After 3 weeks of this treatment we were sent back to Hamilton Unit.

Why did they chose June month offenders. My thinking is, so they can start 60-100 Aug-Sept offenders and state they were on schedule – they completing offenders on time. I will not get out until April now, yet parole will tell you and my family I get out in Dec. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

[Abuse] [Texas]

Texas Pack inspires litigation against abuses

I have promoted our mission and newsletter throughout my housing area and unit informing others of all you offer and on the Texas Pack which brought me to understanding of your organization. Since I have been put through the mill and received a major case for having a pair of earbuds! They went ballistic on me and I have thus been having to fight their injustice and need as much assistance – have sought out the civil rights division special litigation section for their abuse of authority that needs to be investigated.

I have also educated those who are undergoing similar abuses such as negligence in health matters; harassment and retaliation of filing grievances. I believe they (admin) have put a jacket on my file due to my assistance which has caused this extreme action they have taken on this non-threatening, non-dangerous charges.

I had a friend of mine in this system who warn me about their lying and hateful abuse of authority and he was setup for a fall. Vacca v Farrington cite as 8S5W3d 438 (Tx App – Texarkana 2002) A good case to understand just one fellow's struggle with the system: Vacca alleges that as a result of the retaliation, he experienced pain, humiliation, weight loss, emotional distress, punishment without due process, imminent fear for his life, and a "chilling" of his right to exercise access to the courts. Judgment of trial court is reversed, case remanded.

[Legal] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 58]

Inspired to Act

I just finished re-reading in ULK 53 page 12 "Texas Reform Updates." It sufficiently raised my ire enough to put pen to paper and submit my 14-page memorandum which I had the balls to place into the "Head Warden's" hand personally. I enclosed a copy of the same with this letter.

As a result of that act, 90 minutes later I had a member of the Law Library staff in my cell going through my legal paperwork, devoid of the prerequisite authorization (I-186) of a Warden to do so. Whereas, other copies of my own writings — which I sent out, had duplicated, and returned via the U.S. Postal Service — were filched and used to administer a disciplinary case claiming additional fictitious contraband.

This memorandum outlines in detail how the law library (L/L) is run "out of compliance" with BP-03.81, ATC 020, 030, 050 and the Offender Orientation Handbook (I-202).

Among other things, participants of the L/L, i.e. prisoners, are disallowed the right to vocally interact in assisting each other in legal matters.

Since that fateful day, harassment and retaliation in the L/L has steadily intensified. Not being one to take this illicit conduct, I have sent a copy (oh, about eight of 'em) to various entities akin to "60 Minutes," Texas Attorney General, Texas Governor, Access to Courts (ATC) Administrator, Houston Chronicle and other prisoner-assisting organizations.

A multitude of the L/L patrons had no idea the actual truth of how a TDCJ L/L is intended to be operated and run. The staff are actually obligated to facilitate us (prisoners) in assisting one another in legal matters. Not harassing us for spreading the litigious knowledge — as per the ATC Rules.

I have several Step 2s [grievances] under review and am just awaiting their return so I can initiate State Tort action, because the Federal Courts do not have jurisdiction to make the State of Texas follow their own laws and rules. Only the State can make the State conform to its own rules.

If you think that I'm pissed, you're right! After all, I am convicted wrongfully, and wrongfully convicted in this pissant of a state. Being former military, I do not give in. I will prevail(!!) in getting things straightened out and being exonerated. In the course of accomplishing that, I will altruistically get the L/L in this POS unit to come into compliance with the legislatures' intent and the Board Policies intents too.

Other prisoners in Texas I am certain will have use for my memorandum. Go ahead and offer it up. If we prisoners in TDCJ don't start pulling together we are destined to end up fucked off. Expose these people for what they are!

MIM(Prisons) responds: TDCJ's long-term goal seems to be to hide all relevant policies from the people who are interested in them most, and then just operate its facilities however it pleases. That's why we created the Texas Campaign Pack, and why this comrade sent us eir memorandum to the Warden. If the state won't provide this information, we have to do it ourselves. Send in $2.50 to get the Texas Pack.

Exposure and lawsuits are worthwhile approaches, but can't be our be-all-end-all. We fight to not only get the law library back in compliance, but to change society to the point where these problems are no longer possible. We want oppression to become obsolete, and we want oppressed people to have the power to make this a reality!

[Abuse] [Medical Care] [Wynne Unit] [Texas]

Knee brace destroyed by staff blamed on prisoner

I am writing in regards to retaliation from officers for an attempted sexual assault by an officer that reached into my cell and tried to hit me in the private area. The cameras show this officer assaulting me. About 4 or 5 days go by and Sgt De Chow comes to my door and rolls it and tells us to strip out. During that process I hand my knee brace to him and he tries to bend it and it don't bend so he closes the door and takes my brace to the front of the run by the picket and takes it apart. A Lt. Simmons shows up and takes my brace and leaves the block and Sgt. DeChow comes back and puts me and my celly in the dayroom. I ask the Sgt why he took it apart and he stated it doesn't matter it's contraband, the metal inside could be used as a weapon.

The knee brace was given to me by UTMB hospital Galveston because I have a messed up left knee and need it. I'm placed in lock-up by Lt. Simmons and when I ask why he says investigation from someone higher than him. Three days go by and Sgt. Easley investigates a case for 13.0 destruction of property saying I tore the knee brace up. Note all of this is on camera where I was housed and a review of the cameras will show the Sgt. DeChow taking my brace to the front of the run pulling it apart. I feel like all this is being made up in retaliation for the grievance I filed on an officer prior to this.

[Abuse] [Texas]

Unauthorized cell searches in retaliation for grievances

I am in receipt of your August 15, 2017 sending of the MIM (Prisons) "Censorship Pack", thank you very much. Upon reaching pg 4 of 8 the first line hooked me. After receiving a minor disciplinary case, in May 2017, for possessing copies - sent to me by mail from family - of a 14 page memorandum outlining how the Law Library (L/L) is operated in a manner well outside of compliance with T.D.C.J. B.P.-D3.81 and the various A.T.C. rules and regulations put forth by T.D.C.J. & the Texas legislature to govern the operations & comportment of the L/L & those in the L/Ls of T.D.C.J. Of course I filed appeal grievances (steps 1 and 2 both) after they (yea, the pigs) ran the fraudulent case - in violation of due process rights - without giving me the opportunity to participate in the disciplinary hearing by attending (step 2 still under review).

On Aug 17, 2017 the L/Lian dispatched this time, two L/L staff C.O.s to search through my legal materials - as was done in April/May - while I was forced, once again, to be staged "out of line-of-sight" from my cell, while they perused through my legal writings & documents.

Deigning not to reveal whether or not they had the requisite I-186, "Authorization to Search Legal Material for Written Contraband," it is now 48 hours later, time limit is 24 hours within which they are required by TDCJ B.P. 03.8I & II(B)(3) to provide me an I-185 "Notice of Confiscation of Written or Printed Material During Search for Contraband," informing the offender of the property removed, the reason for the removal and offender's right to file a grievance.

These conductings are retaliatory harassment in response to my filing grievances for the retaliation by L/L staff & supervisors as well (in the grievance(s)) as H/W Richardson and the handing of the 14 page memorandum to H/W Richardson.

Coincidentally, the next day my cell was on the "routine" cell search list by the rover C.O. Then(!) later that same day (Aug 18), Safe Prisons came & did yet another cell search on the cell I am housed in - "coincidentally".

As I (& my cellie) keep virtually no contraband, I anticipate a minor case at best (worst(?)).

Before this turn of events I was "only considering" filing a tort claim of retaliation & breach of obligatory responsibility to my safety & well being under color of state law. Now, they have, frankly, pissed me off. Therefore the consideration is now a mission.

I have never filed a state civil proceedings material. Regretfully, I am now, once again, forced to redirect my attention away from my state writ of habeas corpus to attend to this violation of my state & federal constitutional rights. I do not get intimidated; I get motivated to learn more in how to defend myself in the judicial system from the deviations from established rules by those who abuse their authority and bestowed power.

[Abuse] [McConnell Unit] [Texas]

Dangerous water in Texas

TDCJ has posted a boil water notice on this facility McConnell Unit date of 1 Aug 2017 by a Gary Pendarvis – maintenance supervisory phone 361-362-2300. It said there is harmful bacteria and other microbes in the water. We inmates are told to boil water or buy bottled water. However Texas Department of Criminal Injustice does not boil nor provide a way for inmates to boil water we drink daily a life necessity, an 8th amendment constitutional violation. Nor does TDCJ give prisoners money for free labor jobs to buy water. We get good time parole credits but when you come up they set off!

[Abuse] [Medical Care] [Mental Health] [Theory] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 57]

Disabilities and Anti-Imperialism

disability in prison

[Co-authored with PTT of MIM(Prisons)]

Nowhere is the necessity for the societal advancement to communism more apparent than in the realm of disability considerations. No segment of society, imprisoned or otherwise, is in greater need of the guiding communist ethos proclaimed by Marx: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." This humynist principle applies to no demographic more than the disabled.

When communist society is realized, the intrinsic worth of each and every persyn and their potential to contribute to society will be realized as well. In return, communist society will reward the disabled population by adequately providing their essentials and rendering all aspects of society open and accessible for their full utilization. In a phrase, communism will respect the disabled persyn's humyn right to a humane existence. We communists strive for the elimination of power structures that allow the oppression of people by people. The disabled population, as well as all peoples that have hystorically been subjugated by the oppressive bourgeois system of capitalism/imperialism, can then work toward the implementation of a truly democratic society.

Considering MIM(Prisons) recognizes only three strands of oppression in the world today (nation, class and gender), able-bodiedness is a cause and consequence of class, and in countries with more leisure-time it is intimately tied up in the gender strand of oppression. This essay intends to analyze disability as it relates to class, gender, and the prison environment.

Disability and Class

In the United $tates the greatest source of persynal wealth is inheritance. It can be said the ability to create and maintain able-bodiedness may be inherited also. For the most part, class station is determined by birth. By virtue of to whom and where a persyn is born, their access, or lack thereof, to material resources is ascribed. The bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy have access to nutrition and healthcare the First World lumpen and international proletariat and peasantry do not. The likelihood of a positive health background renders the labor aristocracy and other bourgeois classes attractive prospects to potential employers, lenders, etc. This allows them to continue to enjoy nutrition and healthcare not common to the lumpen, proletariat, and peasantry.

It would be extremely uncommon to find a First World lumpen, an international proletarian, or a peasant with a membership to a health and fitness club. This privilege is reserved for the bourgeois classes, including the petty-bourgeoisie and its subclass the labor aristocracy. This, of course, further enhances the prospect of maintaining good health, and compounded with employer-supplied healthcare, does act as prophylaxis against the onset of debilitating and degenerative physical ailments.

It would be unreasonable to ignore the possibility that a member of the bourgeoisie might be genetically infirm, or a labor aristocrat debilitated by an accident. But, due to their class position, these classes are better prepared and equipped to minimize the adversities resulting from such an unfortunate occurrence.

Able-bodiedness may also affect upward class mobility. An able-bodied First World lumpen that can find employment might enter the ranks of the labor aristocracy. A blue collar labor aristocrat may be promoted to a managerial position, and so forth. Of course other factors, such as national background, do play a role in one's mobility (or stagnation for that matter), but disability also plays a significant role.

Disability and Gender

Gender only comes to the fore after life's essentials are secured, thereby standing out in relief on its own aside from class/nation. In the First World leisure-time plays a major role in gender analysis. MIM(Prisons) defines "gender" as:

"One of three strands of oppression, the other two being class and nation. Gender can be thought of as socially-defined attributes related to one's sex organs and physiology. Patriarchy has led to the splitting of society into an oppressed (wimmin) and oppressor gender (men).
"Historically reproductive status was very important to gender, but today the dynamics of leisure-time and humyn biological development are the material basis of gender. For example, children are the oppressed gender regardless of genitalia, as they face the bulk of sexual oppression independent of class and national oppression.
"People of biologically superior health-status are better workers, and that's a class thing, but if they have leisure-time, they are also better sexually privileged. We might think of models or prostitutes, but professional athletes of any kind also walk this fine line. ... Older and disabled people as well as the very sick are at a disadvantage, not just at work but in leisure-time. ..." - MIM(Prisons) Glossary

This system of gender oppression is commonly referred to as "patriarchy," which MIM(Prisons) defines as:

"the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over wimmin and children in the family and the extension of male dominance over wimmin in society in general; it implies that men hold power in all the important institutions of society and that wimmin are deprived of access to such power."(1)

Professor bell hooks's description of patriarchy in eir work The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love has also contributed to this author's understanding of gender oppression:

"Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence."(2)

Professor hooks's definition of patriarchy not only recognizes terrorism as a patriarchal mechanism, but that patriarchal forces do not intend only to oppress, dominate, and subjugate females or even just females and children, but patriarchy's pathology is to hold down anything it regards as weaker than itself. Patriarchy is a bully.

Children are one of the most stigmatized and oppressed groups of people in the world. Patriarchal society considers children physically disabled due to their undeveloped bodies and therefore susceptible to patriarchal oppression — regardless of the biology of the child. This firmly places children in the gender oppressed stratum. Due to disabled people's diminished bodies (and/or cognizance), disabled people can be categorized similar to children subjected to patriarchy, ergo, disability falls into the gender oppression stratum as well as class.

Patriarchy and Prisons

U.$. prisons are, from top to bottom, patriarchal structures. Prisons are institutions where the police, the judiciary, and militarization have crystalized as paternalistic enforcer of bureaucracies of patriarchy; prisons, the system of political, social, cultural and economic restraint and control, are fundamentally patriarchal institutions implemented to enforce the status quo — including patriarchal domination. Disabled prisoners in Texas have long been labeled "broke dicks," illustrative of their "less-than-a-man" status in the prison pecking order.

There are laws mandating disabled prisoners not be precluded from recreational activities, or any other prison activity for that matter. Yet enforcement of these laws are prohibitively difficult for disabled prisoners, especially prisoners with vision or hearing disabilities, or cognitive impairments. The disabled have few advocates in bourgeois society; they have virtually none in prison.

The likelihood that prison officials discriminate against and abuse disabled prisoners is readily apparent. What is most disheartening is able-bodied prisoners are often the perpetrators of mistreatment against disabled prisoners, frequently at the behest of prison administrators so as to procure favorable treatment. In fact, the most telling aspect of the conditions of confinement imposed on disabled prisoners is the abuse of the disabled prisoners at the hands of able-bodied prisoners. The able-bodied prisoners are quick to manhandle and overrun disabled prisoners in obtaining essential prison services which are commonly inadequate and limited. When queued up for meals, showers, commissary, etc. the able-bodied prisoners will shove and elbow aside disabled prisoners; will threaten to assult disabled prisoners; and have in fact assaulted disabled prisoners should they complain or protest being accosted in such a fashion. All this invariably with the knowledge and/or before the very eyes of prison administrators and personnel.

It is far too common for the victims of sexual harassment and assault in prisons to be gay, transgendered, and/or disabled. Whether the perpetrator be prison officials or fellow prisoners, this practice is condoned by the culture of patriarchy and the hyper-masculine prison environment.

In the Prison Justice League's (PJL) report to the U.$. Department of Justice titled "Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Use of Excessive Force at Estelle Unit" the PJL outlined the routine and systematic abuse of disabled prisoners by prison personnel at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Regional Medical Facility for the Southern Region, Estelle Unit.(3) Prisoners assigned to the Estelle Unit per their disabilities are regularly and habitually denied medical treatment for their disabilities, ergo oftentimes exacerbating the causes and effects of the disabilities which brought them to Estelle initially; are denied auxiliary aids so as to accommodate their disabilities as required by law; are physically assaulted by prison administrators and staff, or their inmate henchmen; and with egregious frequency are murdered at the hands of state officials.

Since the PJL's report and subsequent Department of Justice investigation, there has been a bit of a detente in the abuse visited upon disabled Estelle prisoners by prison personnel. But the pigz are barely restrained. Threats of physical violence directed at disabled prisoners are still a regular daily occurrence, and prison personnel assaults on disabled prisoners are still far too common.

Another recent example of the persistent difficulties disabled prisoners face, even with the courts on their side, can be seen in the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) recent settlement negotiated with the Montana Department of Corrections (MDC), after it neglected to fulfill Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements from a 1995 settlement, Langford v. Bullock. In 2005, the ADA requirements were still not met, and despite the Circuit Court's order requiring Montana to comply with the 1995 settlement, it is not until 2017, and much advocacy later, that negotiations are being finalized between the ACLU and MDC. We can't dismantle systems of gender oppression one quarter-century-long lawsuit at a time. That's why MIM(Prisons) advocates for a complete overthrow of patriarchal capitalism-imperialism as soon as possible.

Another patriarchal aspect to be observed in prisons is ageism. As children are included in the gender-oppressed stratum, so should the aged. As the able-bodied prisoners' ability to work subsides due to age in the First World, especially in the United $tates where the welfare state is minuscule and the social safety net set very low, the propensity for a once able-bodied persyn to be relegated to the ranks of the lumpen is intensified. As the once able-bodied persyn becomes aged and disabled, their physical, as well as mental, health becomes more and more jeopardized, accelerating the degeneration of existing disabilities as well as increasing the likelihood of creating the onset of new ones (e.g. the First World lumpen are notorious for developing diabetes due to poor diet and lifestyle issues).

Disability as a Means of Castration

Holding people in locked cages is an acute form of social control. Solitary confinement creates long-lasting psychological damage. And prison conditions in general are designed (by omission) to create long-lasting physical damage to oppressed populations. Prisons are a tool of social control, and exacerbating/creating disabilities is a way prisons carry this through in a long-term and multi-generational fashion.

Prisoners, who are a majority lumpen population, are likely to already have unmet medical needs before entering prison, as described above in the section on class. Then when in prison, these medical needs are exacerbated because of the bad environment (toxic water, exposed asbestos, run down facilities, etc.); brutality from guards and fellow prisoners; poor medical care including untreated physical traumas, improper timing for medications (see article on diabetes), and just straight up neglect.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's battle to receive treatment for hepatitis C, which ey contracted from a tainted blood transfusion ey received after being shot by police in 1981, is a case in point. Mumia belongs to an oppressed nation, is conscious of this oppression, has fought against this oppression, and thus is last on the priority list for who the state of Pennsylvania will give resources to. And medical care under capitalism is sold to the highest bidder, with new drugs which are 90% effective in curing hepatitis C coming with a price tag of $1,000 per day. In a communist society these life-saving drugs will be free to all who need them.

Disability in the Anti-Imperialist Movement

The fact that people with disabilities will be treated better after we take down capitalism is obvious. Our stance on discrimination against people with disabilities in our society today is obvious. What is less obvious is the question of how we can incorporate people with disabilities into the anti-imperialist movement today, while we are so small and relatively weak compared to the enemy that surrounds us. This is an ongoing question for revolutionaries, who are always pushing themselves to be stronger, better, and more productive. After all, there is an urgency to our work.

Our militancy tends to be inherently ableist. With all the distractions and requirements of living in this bourgeois society, we have precious little time to devote to revolutionary work. We are always on the lookout for things and people that are holding us back and wasting our time, and we work diligently to weed these things and people from our lives and movement. Often when people aren't productive enough, due to mental or physical consequences of capitalism and national oppression, we can't do anything to help them — especially through the mail. No matter how sympathetic people are to our politics, and how much they want to contribute, we just don't have the resources to provide care that would help these folks give more to overthrowing imperialism. Often times all we can do is use these anecdotes to add fuel to our fire.

Disabilities amongst oppressed people are intentionally created by the state, and a natural consequence of capitalism. If we don't take any time to work with and around our allies' disabilities, then we are excluding a population of people who, like the introduction says above, are in the greatest need of a shift toward communism. We aim to have independent institutions of the oppressed which can help people overcome some of these barriers to political work. At this time, however, the state is doing more to weaken our movement in this regard than we are able to do to strengthen it.

[Of note, the primary author of this article has devoted eir life to revolutionary organizing in spite of being imprisoned and with multiple physical disabilities. Even though it is extremely difficult to contribute, it is possible!]

1. From MIM(Prisons) Glossary, Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy, Oxford University Press, 1987, p.239 Appendix.
2. bell hooks, The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love, Washington Square Press, 2004, p. 18.
3. Erica Gammill & Kate Spear, Cruel & Unusual Punishment: Excessive Use of Force at the Estelle Unit, Prison Justice League, 2015.