Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Utah State Prison - Utah

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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.

[Gang Validation] [Control Units] [Utah State Prison] [Utah] [ULK Issue 31]
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Utah Maximum Security Prisoners Demand Basic Privileges

Revolutionary greetings to all who stand in opposition to the oppression being inflicted upon the people! I'm writing to you from within the depths of the Utah state prison where it's business as usual for these oppressive devils. Here in the housing unit known as Uinta One, the vents are pumping out cold air and there's nothing much that can be done, because if we go off and buck on the cops we will only gain a 48 hour strip cell. The situation is sickening, but only one of many!

I was placed in Uinta One at the beginning of December with no explanation other than that I was "under investigation." I was already housed in maximum security gang housing under "Severe Threat Group" (STG) classification. I've been put under numerous investigations before this one and it usually involves my cell being tossed and all property being searched or seized, along with mail and phone calls being monitored. But now they choose to start the investigation by taking all my stuff and shipping me to the hole where it took over 35 days before I could even order a bar of soap or deodorant from commissary.

This has been done to many other prisoners who are housed in the so-called STG program. Most of the prisoners whose scheduled release from STG maximum security is close, or past due, do not get moved to less restrictive housing, and the ones who are at the forefront of fighting this injustice are often subject to more harassment, or in certain cases moved to "deeper" parts of the hole, aka Uinta One.

Most recently the prisoners of Uinta Two, both STG and non-STG, have been petitioning to change the privilege level system to one that treats all maximum security prisoners equally. They are demanding that we all be allowed to get 3 visits a month, unlimited phone calls while on recreation (out of cell time, which is one hour and 15 minutes every other day) and to be allowed the same spending limit on commissary. These privileges are provided to prisoners who are in maximum security but not classified as STG. What is the difference between a maximum security prisoner who is STG and one who's not? Nothing other than how the oppressors have decided to classify us. Some members of LOs are considered STG and others are not, yet we live together in the STG unit regardless of a prisoner's STG status, as long as our LOs are believed to get along with each other.

Prisoners' first amendment rights are clearly violated by the STG policy and program here. They punish us by locking us in maximum security where we only recreate one cell at a time for an hour and 15 minutes every other day. We are given STG classification for tattoos or suspected gang affiliation without ever even having any write ups (disciplinary convictions) in this prison.

The oppression is real and thick here at the Utah State Prison, but we are fighting back.

I hope that all of the prisoners who are showing unity can continue to enlighten each other and others to the need for a united struggle! I know we have our differences, but we all are similarly oppressed. Stand tall, stand strong.


MIM(Prisons) adds: "Threat Group" classification is used by prisons across the country to target oppressed nation prisoners, specifically those who are politically active and organizing others to stand up for their rights. The classification system is arbitrary and allows use of things like holiday cards, or legal help, as evidence of association. Further, in many states the evidence is kept secret so prisoners can't fight false classification. This status often gets prisoners locked in isolation units, where conditions like those described above eat away at physical and mental health. This is part of the systematic oppression of the criminal injustice system, serving imperialism by keeping the lumpen in check. As this prisoner wrote, unity is key to our fight against this system.

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[Abuse] [Utah State Prison] [Utah]
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Kruel Koncentration Karnival

What's it going to take? How many more of us must die before someone steps in and stops this control units maws from destroying your brothers, sons and fathers? Is there a lack of belief on everybody's part because I come across as unstable and untrustworthy? Maybe I am nuts, maybe I'm insane, I'll grant everybody that. But maybe that's a prerequisite for servicing this….this place. These walls. These words:

"So that I don't have to drag myself to the door, I stay in front of it. All that I have sits in this hollow with me. I prop my mattress up against the door for a backrest. These officers (Peterson, Randall, Stephens, Sgt. Lund) delight to kick the door, especially so when they know I'm either asleep or writing.

"I'm forced by these officers to be stark naked for more than five years; enduring a triple gum abscess, broken teeth, lost filing for over eleven years, being repeatedly starved and dehydrated, have all of my possessions stole repeatedly."

Damn huh! Those WWII holocaust victims had it bad, right? Of course they did. But would you believe me if I said these words were written only three days ago by a fifty-three year old man in Utah's UINTA One control unit? Only three cells away from myself I've sat in witness to this man's torture and starvation and sleep deprivation and sexual harassments and even religious taunts and oppressions. These words you just read are dated August 9th 2010. These words are why the UT DOC won't allow any of us media interviews. These words are why this man doesn't receive PWCC's letters mailed to him repeatedly. And why letters he mails out do not make their destinations. These words:

"Officers steal it [food] more frequently than I am given it. Dr. Tubbs came around and stated: we don't care and we don't have to, I'm glad I'm not in your body.' Nearly a year passed in very great discomfort and I'm stricken with scurvy. I asked for help again. The doctor looked at me and asked if my bones always stuck out like they do. I confirmed so. I was given a breakfast drink. I can't count the number of times I've eaten it dry. [They turned off his water]."

I don't hear anyone laughing out there. You guys don't find this at all funny? That's fucking strange because these "corrections officers" find this man's condition and treatment hilarious. Even some of my fellow captives care and prance around for the benefit and show of these officers. It gets to be so slap-ass happy. Everyone seems to forget a crippled man is lying huddled against his cell door. Unshaven and hair uncut for almost fifteen years. Un-showered for easily five years. Unaware that maybe any day another body bag will be popped out and unfurled and untied. Then re-zipped….

Then I suppose it's only fair and just that we forget all about Sgt Fairbank's threats to my fellow prisoner. Don't want to get any of the upstanding CO good guy mormons in hot water do we? (If you notice traces of anger you're dead correct).

One month shy of today and still nothing has been done to correct these abuses and tortures and inhumanities. On the above day, my fellow prisoner told me that in the past Sgt Lund, Feikert, Fairbanks, Scott, and officers told him that "we're going to kill you just real slowly so no one gets in trouble." He came to prison 190 pounds and now is below 100 pounds. He states he only gets one or two meals a week. If that. His exact words: "I'm going to go pray, I will ask god, my heart palpitates and I become dizzy because I'm weak. I black out and I'm unable to stand. These guards will not provide me anything to stand up with. My body and legs hurt. I've written many organizations, etc. No response. I don't believe my mail's delivered."

This building houses 97 prisoners each and every one of these captives knows about Mr Chaney's dire straights. Hundreds of men have come and left over the years; thousands of men know what the UTDOC has buried in its closet. All the guards know about this man's condition, along with medical staff and administration.

It's time for the world to see and pass judgment on what's occurring here in this building. You see, we Utahns are the only Amerikkkans to use the firing squad. We Utahns, and mormons, believe in blood debts where the spilling of guilty's blood is the only way to pay for your sins. We Utahns have district attorneys who brag about signing death warrants on twitter. And a board of pardons and parole who hands out three more years for obtaining diplomas and completing substance abuse therapy.

We Utahns support the prison policy of placing the ill and legally mentally retarded in the hole for years on end. Decades on end. We Utahns have the upstanding executive directors Gary Deland and Lane McCotter who started and ran, after stepping down in Utah amid scandal, Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib.

I quote Mr. Deland in an April 23, 2010 Desert News article concerning our firing squad executions which the man boasts of writing the book on: "I go down about 30 minutes or so before the execution. I just feel if you claim to believe in capital punishment, and you're not pulling the trigger(s), you need to be able to look the guy in the eye that's going down and spend some time talking with him."

Now this is a call to uphold magnanimous behavior on the part of the Utah Department of Corrections. I ask the modern day directors: Thomas E. Patterson, Robyn Williams, Mike Hadden, Lowell Clark and Mr. Steven Turley to follow in Mr. Deland's footsteps.

If these men believe in starvation, torture, religious persecution, sleep deprivation, cruelty, sexual harassments, retaliation, intimidation, prejudice for filing grievances, etc., and the keeping of a man, a fifty-three year old man, with scurvy and broken teeth with abscesses, so emotionally scarred and bruised, he's afraid to even ask for dental screenings or visits, after fifteen years at the hands of cowardly public servants like Sgt's Feikert, Scott, Lund and Officers Ritter, Faurot, Bartolotti, Randall, Peterson, Nelson and Stephens; and you're not the ones kicking his door all night as he sleeps, or refusing him water out of his sink, food or even access to a bible, if you're not these men "killing [him] just slowly so no one gets in trouble," You need to look the guy in the eye that's going down and spend some time talking with 'Him'!!!

I mean, that is, if you believe in that sort of stuff, and allow it year after year, you kind of owe it to the man to attempt to look him in the eye as he looks up from the ground at you. Quivering and smelling of rot, eye twitching, with swollen jaws and cheeks and "bones sticking out."

Because this man is right here. Today I requested of him to sing 'yesterday' by The Beatles. He barely could! Today I witnessed him not get fed and I heard him being taunted that he doesn't know the true God and plus he's a dirty liar. I listened as officers Stephens and Peterson and Randall degraded him in the most disgusting fashion. Again. For the hundreth-thousandth time. They laughed at him as he attempted to defend himself sitting in his hollow, back against the door that they kick and slam the cuffport on.

I've got a neighbor with an IQ of 60 who isn't allowed to move from the hole because he keeps attempting to obtain reading material under his door from his friends.

We've got the deaf kept without hearing aids and the crippled without wheelchairs!

We've got 75 years old fed bologna for over nine years, constantly guarding his dentures and reading glasses from retaliations.

We've got 19 years olds in prison for petty burglary and catching two 1-15 year sentences and 2012 rehearings for defending themselves from constant harassment and abuse.

We've got 18 year olds with ADHD, clubfeet, deformed hands, learning disabilities (and again mental retardation) being pepper sprayed and beat then left to freeze on strip cell with officer Peterson opening outside recreation doors in December.

We've got Iraqi refugees whose death(s), so the officers say, will be a cause for celebration. Still!

Come one. Come all. We've got it all.

I'm just sick of fucking seeing it and documenting it and being called a liar. Even though it's all on camera and administration has to keep back peddling to avoid admitting it. Administration has to keep moving new guards and Sgts and captains here and there, yet they leave the most sadistic rookies like stains in their coffee mugs. Lingering.

So this is just a call to anyone who may consider themselves a progressive or compassionate soul. I challenge anyone, any organization, to a little one on one face to face with Mr. John Chaney. Let's see you weigh him and look into his yellow bloodshot eyes. Lets see UTDOC hide this man's bones sticking out and crumbling abscessed teeth.

I welcome everyone again to Utah's corrupt (modern day concentration kamp) control unit carnival.

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[Organizing] [Utah State Prison] [Utah] [ULK Issue 9]
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Unite to work with MIM(Prisons)

Since I last wrote to you I’ve been studying with MIM(Prisons) cell study course and had the privilege of seeing one of these punk pigs here at the Utah Supermax solitary unit fired. Not only was Feikert fired for sexual misconduct, but it seems he’s pursuing a lawsuit himself against the DOC. Let them bite each others swine throats I say. He’s back at work though on some form of legal matter but hopefully not for long.

The interview with Mfalme Sikivu in ULK 7 was right on and I respect what he and the UFD are doing. Though the comrade from Texas’s words were the most heartfelt I believe. I think we should all try harder to see things for what they really are instead of putting our own personal slant on issues. Being a realist for sure isn’t the easiest way to be but it’s the truest.

Take for example my comrades here in UINTA One solitary. Day in and day out these pigs taunt and seek reactions so they can keep us here longer or take all our stuff and place us on strip cell. Most comrades are wise to that approach but it’s when these pigs turn us against ourselves that most convicts become tricked into acting out.

I don’t see how some people can become friends and sit there talking to these pigs. You see my friend just hanged himself and the next day I hear ”I don’t care about you pieces of shit, I never lost a single moment of sleep over you scumbags” or “Spider went home, 4a, Hoopers on early release” as they laugh like it’s funny.

To my comrades in neighboring cells no matter if they’re white or black, I will be beside all you comrades when revolution is necessary. I see the economic recession as just another sign the U.$. is weakening and I can feel the anger turned to knowledge in each of your ULK submissions. I’m glad to be a part of MIM.

Imperialism is the enemy first, all this other shit second but it’s not time to just wait for a movement. We are the movement, every time one of us wins a lawsuit or cracks a law or history book we win. Slowly we’re winning, growing, learning.

Just keep your heads up out there, especially those sitting in these solitary dungeons. It’s not east-side west-side, it’s the oppressed-side. We are all family in this and we are going to take the power back because we speak truth, we bleed justice.

I am alive today because of MIM and the ideals I’ve learned there. The anger's not focused inward anymore, but outward towards learning how to better myself instead of destroy myself. Because they want us to go off, they want us to die. It’s what they don’t want that scares them, that gets through to them. They fear real equality, justice and peace. I mean their minds can’t grasp the possibility of liberty for all. It’s our jobs to blaze a trail, to show the way.

Budget cuts here at the USP have knocked indigent envelopes down from 5 a week to just one a week which is hateful. The fact that paper got cut too from 25 pieces a week to just 5 is a matter I’m grieving (freedom of expression) because we here in the hole aren’t allowed to buy any writing materials other than 15 envelopes a week. So we (some of us) have 15 envelopes but only 5 pieces of paper.

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