Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Hays State Prison - Federal

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from 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.

[Abuse] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Oppression in the Mountains of Georgia

I am currently at Hays State Prison in Trion, GA. I for the record am white, am a Muslim by religion, and tired of seeing all these white trash pigz and klansmen that work here on this kkkompound treat all the inmates like modern day slaves.

There is this level style program called Tier II in GA (see Sop 209.08 Tier II/Administrative Segregation) and here at Hays it is beyond the norm of oppression. Unit managers, supervisors, and officers alike threaten and try to antagonize any prisoner they see as weak. There is an area known to all as simply “behind the glass” its supposed to be level 6 security and the wardens have at times said that level 6 status only will last 30 days, but people are kept in there up to 90 days, for no reason at all. The warden has personally told people, myself included, that “you get no legal library behind the glass.”

The food service here is supervised by ARAMARK, a major imperialist conglomerate in the food service industry, and per the above SOP all Tier II inmates are to receive the same quality and quantity of food as GP. However we don’t receive coffee at breakfast all other state run institutions in the GDC do, our portions are often inadequate and no way possible add up to 2000 calories per day, we only receive lunch Monday-Thursday except on state/federal holidays, meaning on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and any and all holidays we only eat twice, the trays arrive cold more often than not.

When officers are confronted with issues they, in some cases, lie and simply move on. Today, 25 December 2017 I watched a nurse refuse a man his mental health medication, I am unsure of this nurse’s name, simply because he wouldn’t go to the back of his cell even though he is no “behind the glass.” When he asked the C.O. working pill pass why he had to step back the C.O. said “I don’t trust you.” When the inmate refused to move the nurse said “you have three seconds then you’ve refused your meds,” and ultimately she refused his medication.

There are many other very cruel things I’ve heard about but until I see the actual use of “the involuntary hunger strike” or an inmate beat to death by staff, I cannot speak on them.

I ask my fellow inmates/convicts no matter your race, religion, gang affiliation, or sexual preference to stand as one at Hays State Prison without using any unwarranted violence so that us on lockdown get what we need. Please y’all come together and fight oppression and racism with me cause I cannot do it alone.

To all my Muslim brothers As-Salam Alaikum and to the Christians God Bless and to the ones I’ve left out be safe and hold your heads up.

[Control Units] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

24 Hr Lockdown in Hays

Any help you can offer me to help me educate myself would be awesome. So I’m stuck on a lockdown program here in Georgia. We are locked down 24 hrs a day, with no library, no schooling, and most inmates here don’t want to help themselves, much less anyone else. I have no family help. I’m a lil better off than some, i do have my GED. But I still want to better myself any way I can.

[Organizing] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Slowly building for a study group

This dungeon that is the Tier II program here at Hayes State Prison is horrible to say the least. I am one of three caucasians in this dorm that i am in and this makes my life doubly miserable. As most of the pigs are white and prejudice which means all of the other inmates take it all out on me though I am not prejudiced in any way. They all want to complain and cuss me out but say nothing to the pigs here who are their oppressors. No because doing so will get their phone privileges, tablets, visitation or store privileges taken. No one here has any back bone. They are complacent and are willing to accept cold trays, being talked to any kind of way, being denied yard cells for weeks at a time and shower cells as well.

It has gotten a little better now that I have shown people what I am about but only a bit. I have been sharing my socialistic political views and my revolutionary views with my fellow inmates here. It’s been hard and my copies of ULK have been received. I am working towards tarting a study group currently. This place is ripe for a revolution and I would love to help lead it. Viva Revolution.

[Gang Validation] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

False STG Validation of Jailhouse Lawyer

Hays State Prison (HSP), Georgia’s most dangerous and high-profile maximum security prison, is located in the northwest mountains of Georgia. The cold bland setting gives way to its racist history of profiling and beating handcuffed Black prisoners. The media did a great job of highlighting the HSP murders starting in December 2012. One would think it is calm at Hays since the national spotlight has somewhat subsided. Now HSP, backed by the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is doing something new to make a name for itself. The GDC and HSP are falsely validating non-gang members so to appear proactive in the GDC’s phony fight to curb gang violence within the GDC, and specifically at Hays.

I am an educated African-American man with a Bachelor’s Degree. I am a member of the National Lawyers Guild as an active “jailhouse lawyer.” I have filed numerous lawsuits aginst GDC since being incarcerated in Georgia. I have shown a consistent propensity to be unafraid to challenge the GDC in court when they often violate my Georgia and United States rights.

From the date I entered the GDC, I was not affiliated with any security threat group (STG) gang. However, during my recent court filings, a GDC staff member found a way to retaliate against me, by placing a false STG gang validation on my prisoner profile. In the GDC, if you get validated as a STG gang member, you are looked at unfavorably and often get denied work assignments, safety housing, parole and transitional center placement, and educational and pre-release programs. It’s a negative classification. How does a person like myself get classified as a gang member? A GDC staff member, who does not like me being a jailhouse lawyer, created a false narrative that I deny. The STG report reads that I admitted to being a “blood/PIRU” gang member. This is a total 100% fabricated lie.

The validation occurred during a period of July to September 2016, during which I was locked in a one-man segregation cell. Yet the GDC states I joined a gang.

[Control Units] [Abuse] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Need help exposing abuse in Georgia

I am incarcerated at a prison in all ways like what is talked about in Under Lock & Key. I was given the Sept/Oct 2015 No 46 issue and the same things about the lack of medical attention, guards beating, tasing, and killing prisoners are taking place at my prison. This is genocide in a very obvious form. There are little to know classes to enroll and very hard to get into a class that helps you to parole so guys can get out of prison faster. Censorship is getting worse also. There is a control unit that keeps guys locked down for 9 months to 2 years called Tier 2 which is causing mental anguish and deterioration and mental health counselors are not helping at all. I am in this unit. They take all our hygiene items that are needed, depriving us of maintaining ourselves. We need help and your mag is a light in our eyes. I want to subscribe and get info on things that can help us and teach us how to stop these things.

[Abuse] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Refusing to be tamed by physical abuse at Hays

I wonder if those political prisoners form Fleeta Drumga, to Larry Hoover and many more, are content with solitary confinement due to the abuse of the COs that take place throughout a facility on a daily basis? It’s crazy that after 34 months of max security lockdown and the fight I uphold until my assignment back to GP that upon arriving at Hays State Prison, I feel safer being locked down. In about 10 days of being here I have heard, witnessed, and by a mere split second almost became a victimized prisoner. These officers let it be known that they will kill here, my only question is when will my number be called to reap the wrath?

I witnessed a fellow brother receive a flying knee and became over powered and thrown to the cement all because he didn’t comprehend a command to get down. I mean, it’s 20 officers yelling at 50 prisoners so how could he distinguish the command to him from another?

Simultaneously, another young brother was being attacked by at least 700 lbs of human flesh when he only weighed about 130lbs. He was punch, stomped and tased just for looking at an officer at the time that the staff was riled up from the first of three incidents involving use of force, but I have limited knowledge of that one.

Here, I have been sent, to tame. But my devotion to the cause will only leave me questioning daily; am I next? So, I am determined, as I said in Sept/Oct 2014 issue of ULK, to sink this titanic! From Georgia State Prison to here, my fight has not halted not one bit, the struggle has changed form malnutritional meals and rectal searches to verbal and physical abuse. But nevertheless, it’s all a united struggle within!

To my fellow comrades, stay focused, keep ya heads held high. Never forget the struggle we fight together. Stop our gang quarrels and learn why the majority of these gangs were started in the first place. To overcome oppression.

[Organizing] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia] [ULK Issue 54]

Failed Protest Solidifies Commitment

I’m at the most racist prison in Georgia, Hays State Prison. I am currently on lockdown in the Tier 2 program (long-term solitary confinement) and the other day they shook down a prisoner’s room and found two knives. Being that this is a lockdown the Unit Manager Reids and the Lieutenant Jones were pissed because we’re not supposed to even have a way to get a knife, plus sharpening them. And there are 7 or 8 cameras in the dorm, so they can’t hide this like they used to back in the days when there were no cameras.

They have to report this to the Warden and log it in the log book for everyone to see. They were so mad at this prisoner that they took it out on the dorm by keeping the dinner trays outside the dorm for an hour and a half. Other prisoners in the dorm made a statement to the dorm saying that we all should refuse these trays and make them go get us new hot trays instead of those cold ones outside. Everyone agreed and when the officer came in to pass out the trays (a racist officer) everyone started screaming “We don’t want those cold trays! Go get more trays.” When the Lieutenant came in he threatened to give out a DR (disciplinary report) to any prisoners who refused to take a tray.

The goal is to not take the trays. If one person takes the trays then no one will get new trays, and we refused our tray by choice. But if no one takes the trays then they have to go get new trays. They have to feed us. So things were going good, the first 5 rooms refused, until Lieutenant got to the 6th one. He took his tray, then two more rooms did after that. Others were refusing but like I said when one takes a tray it’s pretty much a failed mission.

My Brother in the room with me and my two other Brothers next door said they was going to get their trays since a few took theirs. They didn’t want to go unfed on a weekend where we only get fed two times. I told them “Hell naw! Just because the others took theirs that don’t mean we give up an fold! If we got to go hungry and starve just to let the white man know we as Blacks and as prisoners won’t go for anything then so be it. We have to sacrifice for the greater purpose.”

True, my stomach was touching my back. But I was ready to starve just to show the white man he does not rule me mentally. But unfortunately when the trays got to my two Brothers’ room they took them. Then they were in front of our door and my roommate grabbed me one and passed it to me. At first I was going to refuse, well I wanted to, but seeing the tray with food I gave in.

While we were eating, the Lieutenant came to our door and said “Good boys. Y’all keep being good.” That made me feel so bad and embarrassed. I let the white man win another war. He made me feel so low like I’m a mutt and he told me to sit, I obeyed, and he rewarded me with a bone and said “good boy.”

I was mad at myself. I should have refused the tray even if it means I’m the only one refusing. At least I will feel good about myself and what I did for my self-respect. But I didn’t. Another Black man falls to the worst side of a white man. Why are we so weak-minded? Why can’t we Blacks stick together against oppressors? Why do we fall for their Willie Lynch tactics?

“My Brother is my Brother and I am my Brother’s keeper.” “2 Black minds are stronger than one, and one strong Black mind is better than none.” I guess I needed that extra mind to motivate me to go further with the protest. And when it didn’t I folded, because of feeling alone, vulnerable and hungry.

That day I told myself that won’t happen again. If I have to starve by myself then I will. Our ancestors went through much more worse than this. I won’t fail them again.

MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade provides us a good example of self-reflection and learning from our mistakes. Even the best revolutionaries won’t be perfect all the time, in fact we will make many mistakes. But the key is always keeping an open mind to learning from these errors. And also learning from the successes and mistakes of others. This was essentially what the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was about in China: encouraging people not to blindly accept what their leaders said and instead to be critical of incorrect actions and political line, and to learn from mistakes. During this period in China prisoners were offered an opportunity to learn from their errors, undertake serious self-criticism, and return to society as productive members. Although we don’t currently live under a Socialist government which is encouraging and enabling these progressive practices, we can still learn and grow, as this comrade bravely demonstrates.

[Legal] [Political Repression] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

No Citizens' Rights for Prisoners

As a jailhouse lawyer my mission is always the same: to fight for justice where injustice lives. My mentor, the late Johnny Cochran, embraced the adage “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I believe that’s what led me to law school and now I possess two law degrees and I’m an outstanding member of the National Lawyers Guild.

In December 2014, I submitted a Georgia open records act request for the names and titles of all staff at Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia. Hays is the most high profile maximum security prison in Georgia and it is the most racist. The Georgia Department of Corrections legal office mailed me records responsive to my request after I paid the fee for the copies.

On 2 April 2015, Hays Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) searched my cell and found the request I made for those records. I was immediately locked in segregation/Tier I pending investigation. I was told by five white CERT Officers and one white CERT sergeant that I had no business requesting such information as they slammed my head into the Tier I housing unit door. I was also threatened with being beaten if I told anyone about the assault I had just ingested. All my personal and legal property was taken without due process and not returned. After reporting this to chief of security (who is Black) he laughed and said “you had no business with these folks’ information.” All I did was exercise my right to acquire public information like any Georgia citizen. I’ve committed no disciplinary or prohibited act. Yet I remain committed to my mission and will fight injustice wherever it may be found.

[Gang Validation] [Control Units] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Georgia Targets Goodfellas for Permanent Lockdown

I want to speak up about the Security Threat Group (STG) program in the Georgia prison system. They claim it’s for gang members and people who pose a great risk to the system. Their validations are done based on hate and color and where you are from. The people in charge are validating prisoners who pose no threat to the system.

There is a group of prisoners in the Georgia prison system called the Goodfellas. They have their way of living just like any other brotherhood. But they’re from the Atlanta area and the prison officials hate them and label them a security threat to the prison. Every other group can come to the Tier 2 program and go back to the main compound after doing 9 months in a cell. But these brothers who are Goodfellas can’t get out and are forced to repeat these Tier 2 programs even after they have completed the program.

These young brothers are under great stress. They have been on lockdown for over 4 years with some going on 5 years. It’s unfair and the prison will label anybody to keep them locked down.

Free all Goodfellas!
Stop the madness and bigotry in the state of Georgia!

MIM(Prisons) adds: We’ve heard from others in Georgia about this arbitrary labeling of prisoners as Goodfellas and the use of the tier 2 program for long term punishment and isolation. It is worth pointing out that in the face of all this repression, and reports of thousands of prisoners in Georgia now being held in control units, we are seeing ever increasing levels of activism and organization in that state. We call on all prisoners in Georgia, whether you’re part of a lumpen organization or not, to step up and get involved. With the rising tide of activism we have a chance to unite and make some serious progress, not just on small reforms that will make a few people’s time a little better, but also on building the unity and political education necessary for a long term movement that can take on the criminal injustice system as a part of the anti-imperialist fight. Organizations in Georgia should join the United Front for Peace in Prisons.

[Abuse] [Control Units] [Hays State Prison] [Georgia]

Georgia Implements new Control Unit Program

I am writing to inform about the tier II program Georgia has started at all level 5 security institutions. This program is suppose to be a disciplinary management program, but in reality it is a cover up to keep prisoners on lock down.

There are 13 criteria that identify prisoners to be placed into the program, but since they’ve started this program there are prisoners who do not qualify but who have been placed into the Tier II program. The real reason the program was started is to keep certain organizations on lock down. The majority of prisoners in this program (90%) are African Americans. The other 10% are ones who have rebelled agains their system somehow so they were placed into the program.

You can be in the program up to two years at one camp and even if you complete it at one camp they’ll send you to another camp that has the Tier II program and place you back on lock down.

At Hays State Prison inmates constitutional rights are being violated, they are refusing us recreation, our procedural due process has been violated, they are not feeding us 2800 calories a day, and they serve us cold food at all meals. Recently Hays State Prison guards have started carrying tasers. The officers let a prisoner kill himself, and if you piss one off they’ll neglect feeding you or put something in your food.

In addition, the grievance system they have is bogus. Even if you word your grievance correctly and you have them dead to wrong, their reply will always be ‘your grievance has been denied due to the fact upon investigation of this matter such and such say or nothing was found to be out of order.’ When really no investigation was run, because they never talk to your listed witnesses or talked to you personally.

This is one institution that needs to be closed down. There is so much going on. The only reason certain things don’t take place for now is because of the tactical squad that’s running the institution, but when they leave it’s back to beating on prisoners and other such cruel and unusual punishment.

The prisoners here are filing lawsuits but it’s a process that takes time. Hays State Prison is practically starving prisoners and they violate constitutional rights as well as standard operating procedures of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

MIM(Prisons) responds: It’s important that our comrades report on new programs like this Tier II system in Georgia because this is the sneaky way that states are now renaming long term solitary confinement. Also known as control units this isolation in and of itself is very harmful to people. As this comrade reports, Georgia is taking the repression further by restricting food and carrying out other abuses, and then denying prisoners the ability to grieve these violations of law. Georgia does not yet have a grievance campaign, but we hope that one of the many active comrades in that state will soon take up the challenge to create a grievance petition specific to this state so that we can push that campaign as another tool in our fight in Georgia.

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