Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Pendleton Correctional Facility - Federal

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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] [Censorship] [Political Repression] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Indiana] [North Carolina] [Florida]
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Censorship: ULK Art Too Real, Too Big, Too Detailed

Censored

All of our readers who operate within the hideous belly of the beast that is the United $nakes prison system know about this system’s cruel and unrelenting oppression in every facet of daily life. This article serves to highlight and expose the asinine nature of one particular aspect of this oppression that is particularly relevant to our work: censorship. Every time we send out a document, book, or newspaper, there is always the risk that whatever pig is working in the mail room on the day it arrives will arbitrarily opt to censor it for any number of made-up reasons. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, this behavior has the backing of the U.$. court system which has granted the prison bureaucrats almost total control over deciding what comes into prisons. Like every other instrument of control wielded by the state, the pigs use this power to repress the masses of the oppressed groups, especially if this repression targets political content that challenges the status quo.

However, there are still victories to be won in appealing these cases of censorship, which comrades in Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support (AIPS) are striving to do for every incident that comes to our attention. With this in mind, we hope to start publishing these censorship reports as a way to communicate to you, our readers, our efforts in combating censorship as well as to showcase particularly pathetic attempts by the pigs to censor our mail.

North Carolina’s Brazen Hypocrisy

In ULK 84, we included a piece of art sent in by a subscriber of ours which depicted a pig officer beating a prisoner with a baton. This was apparently too far for the North Carolina Division of Prisons (NCDOP) who said that they don’t allow “depictions of violence” and that this image “may encourage a group disruption.” We simply had to scoff when we read this in light of the fact that the NCDOP specifically lays out guidelines on when it is “appropriate” to beat prisoners with “impact weapons” like the baton depicted in the art. To the pigs, it’s fine to physically abuse and maim prisoners. But showing them a cartoon of such acts? That’s where they draw the line.

MIM(Prisons): Political Organization or Tattoo Artists?

MIM Distributors recently sent a copy of the Fundamental Political Line of the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons (FPL) (which we recommend to all our readers who wish to get a deeper understanding of our organization’s politics) to a comrade serving time in the heinous Florida Department of Corrections. Usually the FPL gets through to prisoners fine, so we were a bit surprised to receive a censorship notice in this case. This unfortunately means that FPL is now on the Florida ban list, preventing any Florida prisoners from doing our intro study course (they were already prevented from doing our 12 Step Program). And the official reason listed for this censorship? That the FPL contained an image “large and distinctive enough to be used as a tattoo pattern.” This was truly a new one for this author (though our records show it’s been done before). Apparently, sending any sort of art can justify censorship if some pig decides the art might make a good tattoo! The silver lining to this abuse of power is that it provides the perfect example of how the pigs will use any justification to achieve their goals of repressing the masses.

Indiana Finds “Drugs” in Our Letters

The third and final case of censorship we’ll discuss is more aptly described as a crusade against one of our comrades in Indiana. Nearly every issue of ULK or any other mail we send to this comrade is censored for some inane reason usually relating to our alleged promotion of “Security Threat Groups.” We think it’s more likely that the state has it out for our comrade though, seeing as ey are currently filing a lawsuit against one of the pigs at the Indiana Department of Corrections. Recently though, the mail room at the facility this comrade is imprisoned in decided that MIM(Prisons) had laced one of their letters with drugs. Not only this, they threatened the comrade with a year in lock up and to take away all of eir legal work. After sending our letter off to the lab it turns out that the “drugs” were simply some ink that got smeared. When the oppressed simply try to survive, the pigs will resort to beatings, administrative punishments, and acts of sabotage. But when the pigs are caught actively lying to facilitate such cruel acts, the oppressed get nothing, not even an apology.

In spite of this brutal repression, our comrade in Indiana is continuing on with eir lawsuit in an attempt to expose and hold accountable the pigs who think they can just violate the rights of prisoners without a second thought. If you’d like to read more about our campaign to support this prisoner as well as ways you can help, look to our campaign linked below (or p. 16 of ULK).

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[Download and Print] [Censorship] [Campaigns] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Indiana]
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Gather Support for IN Prisoners Facing False Drug and Gang Charges

postcards to protest political repression and censorship at Pendleton CF

MIM Distributors has been targetted in Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana for promoting “Security Threat Group” information, usually with no justification. Sometimes they will also add “New Afrika”, as if the whole nation of New Afrika is a Security Threat Group. This has been used to censor our newsletter and communications with prisoners at Pendleton. More recently, staff have accused MIM Distributors of lacing mail with drugs and threatened to throw the intended recipients of that mail in long-term isolation torture cells as a result! The charge against at least one prisoner has been dropped, but the political repression continues.

Comrades in Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support have taken up a campaign to get Pendleton staff to follow their own rules and stop this baseless persecution. You can see in our Amerikan Censorship Documentation Project that we have been appealing the censorship for the last couple years with little progress. Therefore we are expanding this campaign to build public opinion in support. You can help by using these postcards to talk to people about what is going on in Pendleton and getting them to send a postcard of protest to let the Indiana Department of Corrections know that people are not okay with their political persecution tactics.

  • download PDF above
  • print 2-sided on cardstock
  • cut into 4
  • add $0.56 stamp (or more)
  • go to event or public space and ask people to sign their name, city and state
  • hand them a flyer or Under Lock & Key
  • ask for a donation to pay for postage & printing
  • drop postcards in mail box (don’t mail them all at once we want a consistent stream of cards coming in)
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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Indiana] [ULK Issue 81]
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Commend Comrades in Indiana on Censorship Victory

Comrades in Indiana have recently celebrated a victory in our campaign against censorship. One comrade in particular diligently appealed repeated arbitrary and illegal incidents of censorship of mail sent to em by MIM Distributors. Ey regularly reached out to us and other organizations, and a comrade on the outside provided support in appealing these incidents on behalf of MIM Distributors. After about a year of censorship of anything with anti-imperialist political content, this comrade received eir first issue of Under Lock & Key this month. We have also been able to send em other political books and get ULK to others.

MIM(Prisons) wants to recognize the comrades in Pendleton Correctional Facility for their efforts and consistency. Victories will not be easy, and often they are few and far between. But with consistency the struggle continues, and as the oppressed are the vast majority of the world, that struggle is destined to win.

In most cases, our mail is censored for completely illegal reasons. Here are some reasons given by Pendleton in the last year for censoring our publications:

  1. “5PT STAR ALL SEEING EYE 5” - not only does this make no sense, there was not even a star on the page cited
  2. “STG: AMERIKKKA”
  3. “HATE SPEECH”

Many Amerikkkans are offended by that spelling, or when we say that they are not exploited by capitalism, or that they are a nation built on white supremacy, or that they they are committing atrocities against oppressed nations. But to censor something because you find it offensive is illegal in this bourgeois democracy that we live under. As our readers know, nothing MIM(Prisons) has ever written promotes hatred of other peoples or mistreatment of peoples because of who they are.

Often, when our mail is censored it is because someone finds it offensive. Therefore, consistent appeals to higher levels of government can work to have the existing laws enforced. But other times the state is behind it. This was the case in our biggest censorship battle of 2022 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. They had system-wide bans on certain materials that we were sending in across the state because they want to prevent peaceful organizing. This is an example where bourgeois democracy is not so liberal, when even talking about a peaceful protest in prisons becomes illegal. And while we face censorship on the outside, those inside face being thrown in torture cells, and violence by staff or other prisoners.

The connection between free speech and association and this ability to protest and organize power is why we prioritize censorship as a campaign. It’s not just because those of us on the outside are being censored, it’s a strategic decision as far as what battles help create the space necessary for the organizing that we need to change the world.

So we encourage comrades to be diligent in fighting censorship, especially of political materials. And we will do our best to support you in those battles.

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[Censorship] [Political Repression] [Florida State Prison] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Florida] [Indiana] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 80]
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Woke Prison Officials See Racism Everywhere

The imperialists are crying “racism” to repress prisoner organizing, censoring mail
and punishing those who boycott their patriotic holidays.

Lately there has been a rash of woke mail room staff and prison officials who seem to be able to find “racism” everywhere they look. Under Lock & Key has been censored by a number of these activist employees of the state in Arizona, Indiana and Florida. This is very odd, as most of our readers know we rarely even mention the concept of race as we maintain that it is not a biologically valid concept, so clearly we do not believe or promote ideas of racism or racial superiority. But these snowflakes are just looking for reasons to be offended and use the state to crush free speech and association of the oppressed.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry - Office of Publication Review gave as one of their reasons for censoring Under Lock & Key 78 as:

“7.2.8 Content that is oriented toward and/or promotes racism and/or religious oppression and the superiority of one race/religion/political group over another, and/or the degradation of one race/religion/political group by another.”

“…The pages identified containing such content are throughout, including, but not limited to, pages 1, 2, 4, 9, 16.”

Page 2 is the same in every issue of Under Lock & Key and is an explanation of what MIM(Prisons) is and how our programs work. We do not promote racism or even discuss race on that page. Page 1, 4 and 9 contain reports on the struggle of Texas prisoners against oppression, and page 16 lists ongoing campaigns, including the one in Texas. It is confusing why Arizona is so worried about this campaign in Texas, and why they would call it “racist.” However, it did advocate boycotting the Juneteenth holiday, which triggered prison staff in Texas to get very repressive.

On 21 November 2022, staff member Chambers of the Indiana Department of Corrections censored Under Lock & Key 79 at Pendleton Correctional Facility. Pendleton has been censoring all mail from MIM Distributors for the last year for spurious reasons. Snowflake Chambers was offended by the spelling of Amerikkka with 3 K’s and decided to label it Security Threat Group material.

Security Threat Group (STG) can be used to prevent materials from entering the prison that facilitate illegal activities by a criminal group (STG). STG cannot be used as an excuse to censor people for their political beliefs. It is our belief that Amerikkka is a white supremacist nation and therefore we spell it with 3 K’s to criticize it as such. This is political speech, and it is legal in the U.S.A.

Florida State Prison (FSP) also deemed Under Lock & Key 79 to be “racist” among other things, on 2 December 2022. We really must go through their reasoning point-by-point for censoring this newspaper as it is quite revealing.

They objected to “Obtaining Copy of Lawsuit on TX Mail Policy BP-03.91” because “our inmates might try this”! The article is literally just telling people where to write and how much to pay to get a copy of a pending lawsuit around Texas mail policies. At this point it seems they’re just rubbing it in our faces to use the most illegal reasons they can to censor us.

FSP employee J.M. Clillen (sp?) goes on to cite “Alabama Prisoners Demand Freedom” because “talking about living conditions”. So that’s illegal now? If we talk about conditions in prisons all of a sudden we’re “racists”?

The one article Clillen cites that does not have a reason with it is “Free Palestine - Join the BDS Movement.” This couldn’t possibly be a threat to security at FSP, and is clearly just demonstrating their support for the Zionist (racist?) state of I$rael.

Finally we get to the “racist” claim, which was made against the article “Conquering My Demons” on page 13. This article is a self-criticism by a USW comrade regarding eir past substance use and misogyny, and a call for all of us to become new, better people. It discusses the resistance of oppressed nations against the imperialists – which is our best guess as to why they labelled it “racist.” Oh, and it also spells Amerikkka with 3 K’s. That’s not racism idiot, that’s a critique of racism.

There are no rights, only power struggles. And it is the oppressed and powerless who are denied rights by the powerful in this racist woke imperialist country.

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[Censorship] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Indiana]
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Mail Denial Indiana

I recently had two items confiscated from MIM(prisons); a letter and newspaper. The reasons for confiscation are as follows: Denied II STG Folk Nation Nazi; and denied II 5 PT Star All Seeing Eye “5”. II is the abbreviation for Internal Investigations.

I also wanted to make MIM(prisons) aware of an on going issue we are facing at this facility. There have been several days the past couple months when we were on restricted movement due to (this is what we are told) “Short of staff.” When we are on restricted movements, school and rehabilitation programming are canceled for the day. They said “Short of staff” has also caused in-person visitations from family and friends to be canceled as well, religious services included.

I did not receive much information about the said confiscated mail. I received a copy of an envelope post marked 6 August 2022.

Thank you for the attempted correspondence and being a voice for the struggles we face in prison.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is the latest in a rash of censorship in Pendleton Correctional Facility in Indiana. We have sent this comrade our censorship guide and appealed this decision with the Indiana Department of Corrections. They provided page numbers and specific reasons for the censorship, but we could not find anything on those pages corresponding to what they describe above.

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[Censorship] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Wabash Valley Correctional Facility] [Pendleton Correctional Facility] [Indiana]
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Censorship and Grievance Denials in Indiana

Enclosed you should find Under Lock & Key number 14. I am returning it to you because prison staff disallowed it’s delivery to me and confiscated it stating 1)“contains information about performing work stoppages” and 2) “photos of dead klan members (cartoons).”

Apparently the issue was confiscated in May/June 2010 while I was housed at the Pendleton Correctional Facility (PCF). I was not notified of the confiscation until July 12, 2011. I was transferred from PCF in November 2010 to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF). PCF staff forwarded the confiscated mail (almost a year after receipt) to WVCF staff. WVCF staff notified me of the confiscation.

I have attempted to challenge this confiscation via the offender grievance process. However, WVCF case manager Marty Hale refuses to provide me with a grievance form. On August 9 he responded to my request by becoming irate and yelling at me, “fuck your grievance… every time an issue comes up you want to file a grievance, fuck you… you’re just a sniveling complaining bitch”, “you bitch”, and “stick a grievance up your ass.” To date I am still being denied a grievance form.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Prisons in Indiana are blatantly violating what few rights they tell us prisoners have, both with their illegal censorship and failure to notify both MIM(Prisons) and the prisoner of this censorship, and by denying this comrade the ability to file a grievance. By documenting such abusive denials to grieve we can continue to expose their sacred grievance system for what it really is, a sham. Even if the public buys it, all prisoners need to understand what it means to file a grievance and what it takes to change conditions in prison.

This is the inspiration behind the current campaign to Demand Our Grievances Be Addressed, currently active in California, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. Write to us for a copy for your state, or if one does not yet exist, help create one by researching the citations and policies specific to your state and we will type it up and get it circulated.

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