Prisoners Report on Conditions in

US Penitentiary Terra Haute - Federal

Got legal skills? Help out with writing letters to appeal censorship of MIM Distributors by prison staff. 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.

[Deaths in Custody] [Civil Liberties] [Black Lives Matter] [Censorship] [Federal Correctional Institution Tucson] [US Penitentiary Terra Haute] [Federal] [ULK Issue 82]

Why Prisoners MUST Speak

statue of liberty communism

There’s an ongoing debate as to why prisoners must have rights to the First Amendment, the right to free speech. Prisons often suffocate prisoners from speaking about what happens in prisons, as if it is a “security” risk. While there are elements that can pose a prison interest, most times this is not true, but prisons use flimsy excuses to prevent prisoners from telling the world what goes on. Prisons, like USP Tucson, use the Las Vegas mantra, “what happens in prison, stays in prison” (even if it’s illegal).

Let me share with you an example of prisons illegally suffocating a prisoner’s right to tell the public what is going on:

A magazine called Labyrinth published a story about two Black prisoners at a federal facility, Terre Haute, who died of asthma. Apparently, in January of 1975, a prisoner died, then in August at the same prison, another Black prisoner died of asthma.

During that time, the prison (Terre Haute) had only one respirator, which was known to have been inoperative in January when the first prisoner died. It wasn’t working when the second prisoner died either.

That is negligence. The prison’s incompetence cost two Black prisoners their lives.

However, when Labyrinth tried to send their magazines to Marion Federal Penitentiary, the prison blocked it, claiming that the article could be “detrimental to the good order and discipline” of the institution. The courts disagreed, stating that the incidents in Terre Haute, a federal facility, are newsworthy and of “great importance” (Pell v. Procuiner, 417 US. 817, 830, n.7. 94 S. Ct 2800, 2808 n.7, 41 L.Ed 2d 495 (1975)).

In that incident, the necessity to report prison negligence outweighs the prison’s vague idea that anything that happens in prison are not for the public’s ears. The public has a tremendous right to know that prisoners are dying in American prisons, and more so, if those working in prisons are indirectly, or directly, responsible for it.

Prisoners must be allowed to tell society if human beings in American prisons are treated with humane dignity, or like slaves at a plantation, or Jewish prisoners at a Concentration (and Extermination) camp. Left unchecked, this is exactly where prisons will gravitate to.

A few years ago, I personally wrote an essay about a prisoner here at USP Tucson, who was murdered while in the SHU (Special Housing Unit). I wrote that the staff knew that if they put the prisoner in a cell with a certain prisoner, that he would be killed. And so it was.

After getting the essay out, I got a letter from a law firm representing the victim’s wife. They wanted to talk to me, to get information about the staff working at the time of the murder, because USP Tucson refused to release such information. Even though staff was directly responsible for a man’s death, they refused to give the attorney the information, protecting the officers that facilitated the murder.

Sadly, I did not have such intel, because while the prison population all knew what happened, and how, most didn’t know who worked that day. A prisoner who was in the SHU that period of time, however, would have known. This is not about “safety and security” …it’s about murder.

Prisoners must be able to inform the public of what goes on in prisons, because if not, then there is no counter to prison staff brutality. Prisons like USP Tucson can toss every law over their back, and treat prisoners like dogs. They can beat a prisoner, steal their property, rape them, and no one on the outside would ever know. And, if it did get out, the prison would suppress all information and “defend the shield.” The First Amendment allows prisoners the equalizer, to hold prisons responsible for how they treat those under their custody.

Let’s be clear; the prison staff do not have the right to torment or torture prisoners, they prevent society from knowing about it; but unless prisoners get the word out, prisons will almost always violate humane treatment.

Left unchecked, prisons will always gravitate to persecution, torment, or torture. There must be a level of accountability by prisons, otherwise there would be no fear in allowing prisoners to speak.

So, let me share another recent example of why it is critical for prisoners or captives to speak. It is all too easy to prove that if prisons prohibit prisoners from writing, it gives the prison staff a green light to neglect their responsibilities.

On Friday, 18 November 2022, USP Tucson put the entire prison population on an institutional lockdown for an unknown incident. The week prior, on November 13th there was a “code red” because a prisoner at a different facility acquired a gun and would have shot an officer except the gun didn’t fire because the bullets didn’t match the gun.

Now let that marinate for a bit: how the heck did a prisoner at a federal facility acquire a gun, and what pushed such a person to that extreme? Shouldn’t that be an issue that the prison needs to look at, as far as how staff treat prisoners? It is not always just a prisoner’s fault: it takes two to tango. What did the officer do to provoke a man to such an extremity of hate that he had to get a gun? But prisons won’t look at that. There are other essays that could be written on that, but that’s for another time.

After that incident, on Sunday November 18th, another incident involving staff resulted in an immediate and excessive 30-day lockdown. All prisoners were restricted to their cells (the word “all” really needs to be defined as certain situations clearly show that the prison did not go by their own rules) with no outside movement except to the showers every 2-3 days. But, in this, there were numerous violations by the staff at USP Tucson, most with what may be legally called “deliberate intent.”

Earlier, I was attempting to make a compelling argument about the reasons why it is critical for society to hear from prisoners. Most times people think that once a person goes into a prison they lose all of their rights, this is often told to society by people working in prisons.

This is a lie.

Prisoners walk into Amerikan prisons with most of their rights, including the First Amendment, which is the freedom of speech. This is critical in the prison environment because left unchecked it will always result in prison abuse by staff. I might sound extremist when I say all, but history has clearly shown that if prisons are left to do what they want without any check on humane treatment, it always gravitates to neglect and abuse of the prisoners.

So the First Amendment allows prisoners to voice their grievances whether the prison likes it or not, to the people on the outside who have an interest in what goes on in prisons. We did not lose the right to say what is going on in prisons, in fact, who has a greater experience than us. Often times, courts use a “hands off” approach on these issues, usually deferring to the “expertise” of prison officials. I get that, but expertise does not mean these prison officials use humanitarian elements in their decision making.

So, I gave you a real example of a situation that happened here at USP Tucson; we were put on lockdown on Friday November 18th for what was identified as a “staff assault” in a separate dorm. The prison identified the perpetrator, moved him out of general population then it turned to the rest of the prison and punished them severely as if we all had a hand in it. This is called mass punishment and it is frowned on by many countries, yet the United $tates continues to use it.

I mentioned in the first part the numerous violations that USP Tucson may have committed in what is termed “deliberate intent.” This means there was no mistaking the actions the prison took, it was intended to cause harm. Here are some of the violations:

  1. The warden never issued a memo for the official reason the prisoners were on a 30-day lockdown. If a person or people are to be punished, he or they must know why they are being punished so they can challenge it. This may very well be a violation of their due process – another constitutional right.

  2. USP Tucson prevented prisoners from filing a grievance or a “BP.” When prisoners asked for them, the counselor flatly refused. This alone, is illegal.

  3. Unit Team (Unit manager, case manger, counselor) avoided all prisoner questions, except legal calls or when passing out disciplinary charges. Unit team was working the entire time we were on the lockdown, but deliberately refused to do their job, avoiding all prisoners asking for help or assistance.

  4. Unit Team refused to pass out paper, envelopes or writing instruments, prohibiting prisoners from writing. Here is the deathblow to the First Amendment. If a prisoner is refused these elements, there is no way he can communicate to the outside world.

  5. USP Tucson violated their own policy, forcing kitchen workers to work 10-12 hours a day – every day – to prepare and clean the cafeteria. Prisoner medical orderlies, laundry workers, and selected prisoners were forced to work, but the prison refused to allow the dorm orderlies to clean the showers. This implies that the staff deemed certain prisoners “less of a security risk” than others, even though 99% of the prison population had nothing to do with the incident.

    And let’s touch on the “incident” of the “staff assault.” Here is what happened, in a nut shell. USP Tucson brought a prisoner that is on a high care level, with clear and documented psychological issues, from a high-level prison. Hh has only been on the prison grounds less than a week, and the prison decided to take away his medication. Why? That makes no sense! He obviously needed it for a reason.

    So, when the prisoner was refused his medication, he got angry, and assaulted an officer. This had nothing to do with the rest of the prison population.

  6. USP Tucson never allowed prisoners a clean shower. At the point of this essay, each unit had eight shower runs the last 4 weeks. Each of the ten shower cells were used, on average 80 times and not once did staff allow the dorm orderlies to clean it, and the showers were toxic each time prisoners had to step in there.

  7. USP Tucson prohibited the sale of stamps, nor would distribute stamps, nor would take letters without stamps. This, for 25 days, prevented prisoners from any contact with the outside world. Another deathblow to the First Amendment, and obviously, quite illegal.

This act, the one just mentioned, may be the most malicious because unless you had stamps before November 18th, you had no way to communicate with loved ones, an attorney, a church, the media, or anyone. USP Tucson violated prisoner’s First Amendment for almost a month, and ignored every request and offer to rectify the situation.

Prisoners with no stamps had no way to let loved ones know that they were okay, or alive, or if USP Tucson was beating prisoners, stealing property or doing all sorts of things to them. When families and loved ones called the prison, many were told that we were on a “COVID-19 lockdown”. That was a lie. With no accountability, staff were free to be inhumane, for almost a month. This includes a “shakedown” where the prison took easily tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal and legal property from prisoners and threw them away or took them to their families for Christmas.

When the prisoners lose their First Amendment, when prisons like USP Tucson rob people of this protected right, it immediately opens the door to mistreatment. It always happens. Without fail. It is said in a case law, Thomburg v. Abbot, that

“A prison ban on prisons sending letters that complain of internal conditions in the institution restricted the First Amendment in two ways: one, the prisoner’s right to free speech is curtailed and two, the public’s right to know what is happening within the prison system, a right that can only be fulfilled through an informed press, is restricted.”

For four weeks, I didn’t have the chance to tell people what USP Tucson was doing to us. For 25 days, I could not let my mother know that I was still alive. For 25 days I could not tell society that these federal prison staff officers had denied us humane showers, stole property, and practiced slave labor.

For 25 days we were tortured and nobody knew until now.

This is why prisoners MUST write. And just wait until you read what I share after the four weeks ended, and we were finally able to find out everything that happened around the prison.

[Censorship] [Abuse] [US Penitentiary Terra Haute] [Federal]

No First Amendment Rights for Revolutionary Prisoners

On October 11, 2018 I was transfered from US Penitentiary Terre Haute, to the Communication Management Unit (CMU) better known as “Guantanamo North,” which is located in the old Death Row unit at FCC Terre Haute. The BOP stated reasoning for this transfer is the forming of a “group identified as TREASON while housed in general population” (see attached Notice to Inmate of transfer to Communication Management Unit).

The document goes on to state: “Allegedly, the group was initially formed to fight for equality for all inmates and individuals, who felt oppressed by the government. As the group began to gain members and notoriety, the focus shifted from standing up for the oppressed, to organizing a movement to overthrow the government…”

Though strategically false as it relates to the founding and initial goals of TREASON, and tactically devoid of specific information regarding the religious cornerstone of TREASON, and speciously crafted to ensure CMU placement, and thus in effect to monitor & silence me and more essentially to stop the fires of TREASON from spreading uncontrollably. Yet for present purposes let’s assume it’s all true & accurate, every word of it, how is this advocacy and group not guaranteed the constitutional right and protection of freedom of speech & assembly.

That is to say, does a citizen’s 1st Amendment rights die at the prison gates, become obsolete at the prison gates, or is it simply a fact the prisoner dies a civil death upon entry to United States’ penitentiaries. Last I checked Supreme Court case law, advocating the overthrow of the Amerikan government, even the violent overthrow, is neither illegal nor unconstitutional. And in fact violates no laws, statues, or regulations in this country; nor does it violate any B.O.P. rule and I received no incident report for any misconduct as it relates to TREASON. So this begs the question why have I been transfered to the ultra secret CMU, subjected to sensory deprivation, complete separation & isolation from general population.

It should be understood I’m physically confined in FCI Terre Haute, yet this unit (the old Death Row) is completely isolated, it has its own mess hall where all 30 of us eat, has a TV room, exercise room, several cages for recreation, a room that serves as our chapel, 5 computers for a law library, a separate 6 cells for SHU, 2 showers, and, what appears to be where the electric chair was is the barbershop. Three officers are within the unit at all times, and a fourth officer sits enclosed in an office controlling who can enter or exit this unit. Monday through Friday there is an assigned “Intelligence Research Officer” and Case Manager. This unit has exceptional monitoring, there are numerous cameras in every area, along with a “live” listening device in every section, which are monitored at all times by the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU). All my communications incoming or outgoing are reviewed (examined for approval) by CTU and the Intel Research Officer. No address or email can be placed on your correspondence list unless approved by CTU, all books, magazines, newspapers, etc. are subject to CTU approval. And all mail to members of the “news media” which used to be unread and allowed to be sealed as special mail per 28 CFR 540.20(a) must now be read, copied, and forwarded to CTU for approval prior to being mailed.

Based on this CMU placement, I’ve been told that TREASON constitutes a Terrorist organization, and I am now the leader & founder of a Terrorist organization. In fact the enclosed pictures, originally allowed into the USP Terre Haute, have now also been deemed “contraband” and I must mail them out of the facility or have them destroyed. Each time I’ve begun to write my book, it too has been confiscated as contraband, for referring to/promoting TREASON. In fact, my writing of the ideological doctrine for TREASON, and passing out these pamphlets amongst the Treasonists is another justification for my CMU referral & placement (Again see notice of CMU referral).

“In an effort to advance that agenda, you dispersed information packets to the members of the group, which included the varying definitions of Treason in different countries and the penalty imposed by those countries, for committing Treason.”

Again, is the passing out of pamphlets, even if you strongly disagree with its contents, not protected by the 1st Amendment? And why is there NO Due Process (eg. adversarial hearing) prior to a person’s referral to CMU. I was placed in SHU for investigation on July 12, 2018 and referred and accepted to CMU before October 11, 2018 by the assistant director of the BOP and CTU. To appeal this placement prisoners are directed to file a (grievance) “BP-8,” “BP-9,”and “BP-10” which are all decided by BOP officials subordinate to the BOP Asst. Director and thus could never and would never be overruled.

Just as consciousness & resistance rises in the society at the election of Trump, the same occurs in Amerika’s prisons. Despite the fake prison reforms, these men look around daily with no hope, knowing they will die here, that they’re not going home. So I speak on politics, correlating Amerikan politics & Trumpism to their plight, pointing out who the oppressor is and the real right to be waged in here and out there. Each day I explained the reality of Fox & Friends and turned convicts into Political Prisoners. Alarmed, the prison administration took immediate repressive actions! I understand the BOP’s logic, segregate the lead Treasonist and hope to silence TREASON. No different than what the government did to the BPP, AIM, SNCC, and SCLC targeted and repressed by J. Edgar Hoover via COINTELPRO which stated as a primary goal to stop the rise of a “Black Messiah” and prevent the unification of militant organizations.

Jeff Sessions stated his intention to follow suit on August 3, 2017 when he issued the FBI report “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers.” The Patriot Act is COINTELPRO 2.0, and has implemented on a national & international scale the same goals and extreme repressive measures to be employed even in prison–without any form of Due Process. Aware of the history of this country, (The Saint John Brown was hanged for TREASON) and knowing I’m confined to cages where the media attention is minimal or non-existent, I’m not shocked, surprised, or cowed. As I knew I was on top of their food chain, for the NPR interview I did w/ Joe Shapiro & NPR, and my essays & posts on and Facebook, not to mention the litigations of I’ve repeatedly filed against rogue BOP officials and draconian conditions of confinement. Placing me in the SMU three times didn’t break my spirit nor deter me, so now I’m isolated in the CMU aka the Terrorist Unit. If Moses, Jesus or Muhamad were alive today, they too would be in the CMU, ADX, or Guantanamo Bay! None of these Prophets would be been embraced by Trumpism, conservatism, or the United States of Capitalism…Facts!

The BOP came for me for many reasons, one of which is the US Supreme Court’s decision in Ziglar v. Abbasi (2017) which in sum and substance denied any cause of action through Bivens litigation for 1st Amendment violations, and only permits extremely limited court redress for prisoner suits. Due to this decision prisoners will have their rights violated by Federal Officials, and be unable to file a suit, via Bivens; since Congress has for decades failed to pass a statute equivalent to 42 USC 1983, which allows state prisoners to file suit in Federal Court when their constitutional rights are violated. There is no Federal equivalent statute for Federal prisoners. So all over the country US Attorneys (who represent BOP officials when they are sued–free of charge) have been filing motions to dismiss prisoner suits for all 1st Amendment violations, from New York to California!

So now my chances of being able to turn to the Federal Courts for equitable or constitutional redress for the BOP violating my rights to Free Speech & Assembly, or for a denial of due process in my referral to CMU, are slim to none based on the Ziglar v. Abbasi decision. Not a single person in the mainstream media machine covered this Supreme Court decision or its expansive effects on prisoner/citizens’ ability to seek redress (“Thorny Issue for court: Free Speech meets Police Power”-NY Times) and not a single legislator Democrat or Republican has even considered drafting Federal legislation to protect prisoner/citizens’ rights to seek judicial redress of cruel & unusual punishment, and 1st Amendment (eg retaliation) violations and other enumerable Constitutional Infringements by Federal BOP employees.

So in a nutshell, I know I’ll Max-out from the CMU (no rehabilitative programs for the CMU terrorists), fortunately that’s 3 years away…a few people have been in this unit over 7 years, and counting! So the answer to the rhetorical question is NO, prisoners do not have any 1st Amendment rights that the pigs are bound to respect.

Yet I expect no different, from a nation that capitalized off of my dehumanization, whose wealth and institutions thrived from slave states, Jim Crow segregation, mass murder of Natives, and now mass incarceration. I expect none of my rights to be respected, and fully understand why the oppressor would immediately perceive unification of oppressed prisoners as a danger & threat. A threat to be isolated, silenced, and subjected to long terms of solitary confinement. The BOP survives as all tyrants through Divisions, Tokens, and Violence. Divisions are promoted = self segregations: Black prisoners sit here, Mexicans over there, White there, Natives there, further sectionalization ensues through the gangs all promoted and permitted for population management by BOP officials. Tokens, through job placement the BOP creates tokens as the best jobs go to conformist inmates, medical, UNICOR, education, and yard while recalcitrants are assigned as shower orderlies or no job–creating a class system by pay grade. Violence, arbitrary, random yet pervasive violence is employed, staff attack prisoners, encourage prisoner-on-prisoner attacks, and keep violence always just below the surface.

Think about old Whitey Bulger mysteriously landing at USP Hazelton in general population–a known FBI information and the BOP acts surprised he’s dead in under 24 hours! But it’s okay because he was despised and so it was okay (to dehumanize) to do that to him! And no one was fired!

Warden Krueger was alarmed by me because he kept seeing numerous prisoners come to mainline (the chow hall) with the exact same “Hammer & Sickle” tattooed on the right side of their necks. And the prisoners were all different races & nationalities, this is what alarmed him and his administration; Black, Latinos, Asians, Caucasians, Natives! Then all these prisoners study amongst each other, walk the yard with each other, eat together, but what really got under his skin was seeing transgender prisoners as part of this movement. A part of this unification without any discrimination or hate which him and his administration promoted. I had individuals from every gang, and faith, unified under one banner with one goal…TREASON!

I would have 12 prisoners in my cell on any given day educating them on what unites us and who our enemy is and the real politiks behind our imprisonment–so the warden issued a new rule, 2 inmates per cell! He began sending C.O.s into my cell to confiscate pamphlets I had typed up, then these officers would sneak back into the cell to replace them, when I had left the unit. They were running covert document grabs inside the prison! Twenty, Thirty years ago there was always political prisoners, conscious prisoners politicizing the prisoners, educating them. But today in the BOP all these prisoners are either in ADX or dead, the few still in population no longer can identify with the young prisoners of today that are consumed by Gangism, Drug Consumption, and their own misery. Politicizing and unifying the prisoner population is a danger & threat to prison administration, so they labeled me a terrorist and had me placed in the Communication Management Unit, with prisoners captured on the battle fields of Afghanistan and members of ISIS and on my 29th day in the CMU there was a homicide.

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