Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Wisconsin Prisons

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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.

[Control Units] [Green Bay Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin]
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Torture in Control Units for Black Organizers

As you can see I'm back at Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI), still in seg. On Wednesday morning I was told to pack up. Later that day I received a copy of the committee's recommendation and decision from the warden. The PRC recommended a program that would remove me from A.C. [Administrative Confinement] and the warden recommended the same. Yet he decided to keep me on A.C. until a program is created. I was told that GBCI is on board with it, so I wrote the day I arrived to Deputy Warden Sarah Cooper, a Black woman who once worked at Wisconsin Resource Center (WRC), and asked when will this program be implemented. I have not heard anything from the warden's office as of yet.

I have reasons to believe that these people have no plans of removing me off A.C. WRC, the most liberal of them all, kept me on A.C. They said all these good things about me only to further the oppression and persecution of me. They said a program needs to be created, but didn't specify what the program is or how it would be implemented. They have me in the worst conditions in the Wisconsin DOC. This is the worst segregation. Boscobel, even in its most oppressive days, has nothing on this seg. This seg makes the old greenhouse at Waupun look like a camp. It is fly infested. I have black worms coming out of the sink. We can't have publications.

I have been in seg for over 13 years. and I haven't given these people any trouble in a long time, and what I'm in seg for is solely political. I am being punished for organizing for Black Unity and against institutional racism. I simply created organizations that advocated the advancement of Black people and that fought against Black on Black crime, poverty, ignorance, etc. It wasn't created to terrorize white people, as the totalitarian state would have you believe.

As a result of being in seg I have developed a long range of psychological issues, issues that have left me scarred permanently. These issues have caused some professionals to label me psychotic and delusional among other things. I was diagnosed with Delusional Disorder and am being treated for it. I am supposed to be at Waupun or Columbia Correctional Institution, places that house prisoners being treated for serious mental health diagnoses.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade provides one more example of the torture that is part of the daily conditions in the solitary confinement units in Amerikan prisons often called control units. These units were primarily developed to isolate comrades like this to prevent them from organizing the oppressed for national self-determination. We are documenting both the terrible conditions prisoners face in these cells as well as the number of such units that exist across the country. To date we have counted over 100,000 and we invite prisoners to contact us to fill out a survey about your prison's control units.

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[Censorship] [Green Bay Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 22]
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Wisconsin "Security Concern" Excuse for Censorship

I am currently fighting censorship by the Wisconsin Department of Corruption. I have many outside contacts who are willing to do legal internet searches, type up legal briefs and make copies of legal documents for comrades here in prison. Due to this, the WDOC has found themselves trying to restrict the flow of free legal help coming in to the prison. This help jeopardizes their industrial prison complex and jeopardizes the identity of their snitches. The WDOC is now using a "security concern" excuse to deny me any correspondence that "pertains to the personal legal information of another inmate." This violates the law and their own established policies and procedures. The WDOC believes they are above the law. The WDOC is more concerned about keeping the identity of their snitches private, although they will never admit this. I will continue to fight against this and all censorship in this injustice system.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Illegal denials of mail are just one of the tactics used by the criminal injustice system to make our struggle more difficult. Persistence from comrades like this one is key to the few victories we do win. And this persistence will be necessary over the long haul as we build a movement to take on the larger imperialist enemy to put an end to the oppression and exploitation of capitalism once and for all.

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[Political Repression] [Censorship] [Green Bay Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 18]
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Reading Non-Fiction = Threat to Security

Last month in October a brother was written a misconduct report for having Soledad Brother and From Niggas to Gods. They reasoned that George Jackson is a "known Panther" as if that is a valid reason to write him up. They said From Niggas to Gods was banned in Green Bay Correctional Institution. I guess 'cause they don't want us to go from calling ourselves niggas, behaving like niggas, to calling ourselves children of God or behaving as such. They want us to still be their niggas and we best not be caught trying to learn or read any books of substance. But we can read an "urban" novel that promotes all type of Black-on-Black murder and violence. He was given 210 days in the hole.

On November 2 2010 my comrade's bunk was searched and the racist pig Van Laden took several books from him, i.e. Soledad Brother, Noam Chomsky, Niami Akbar, Cornel West's Reader and a couple more. They also took some 4struggle newspapers because they mentioned the Black Panther Party. For several days they didn't give him the conduct report. They usually come within 2 days. He was called out to talk to the pig Van Laden and Van Laden told him that he will see him in court, meaning at the conduct report hearing.

On November 8 2010 he was given the conduct report. It is a witch hunt. The pig Van Laden says Soledad Brother mentions the Black Panthers, that 4struggle mentions the Panthers' 10 point platform, and phrases like "clenched fist," "power to the people," "red black and green." This pig said the material and books are "black supremacy" literature! I'm still trying to understand what is Black supremacy and what does that mean. The use of the word supremacy means one group is saying that they are superior to another. Nothing in any of the material points to that because if it did he would have written "page so-and-so of this book says they are superior and whites are inferior." But he can't because that is not what any of the material advocates. He claims to be a Security Threat Expert and states in the report that the Panthers are on the list as a security threat group. Thus any material that mentions it is banned and anyone caught with it is in violation for having this reading material. Same as slavery.

But dig this, comrade has receipts for every book they say is a threat to their security. They let them in, then say you can't have them. They have a list of banned books and none of his books are on the banned book list. Not even Soledad Brother, because nothing in it is a security threat. George ain't advocating nothing of so-called violence or Black supremacy. Like I said before this is just a witch hunt to break us up. The two brothers I mentioned are in the dorm with me, we are in a social environment, not fighting each other, and teaching these younger brothers. That is the security threat to them. They don't want us to learn about our history and gain a sense of self. They want us ignorant running around here being good n's. Reading is forbidden unless it's fiction. He was charged with Group Resistance and Petition and awaits to go on his hearing.

On November 5 2010 I was called up to the CO desk and asked how another prisoner got my book. She said if I didn't give it to him she would write him up for theft. I said the regular CO Zellner that works here said he can read it as long as I get it back by the end of the night. She said "well I'm giving you a ticket for unauthorized transfer of property." She called another brother to the desk and gave him his book back without writing a ticket for him. The title of my book was Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party. That is why she wrote me up but gave the other brother his book back.

I got the conduct report on November 8 2010 and Group Resistance and Petition was on it too. This charge is one that they use to lay someone down in the hole or send to Wisconsin's supermax in Boscobel where I have been for over 4 years already. The report says I gave my book to someone else to read which is a violation 9.e. unauthorized transfer of property. Even if a CO gave you permission it is still unauthorized transfer of property under their 1984 newspeak semantics. It also says that the Black Panthers are an "unsanctioned" group, and the book is confiscated. But I worked in the library here before and I've seen this same book come in on inter-library loan on several occasions; Soledad Brother and From Niggas to Gods too.

The fix is in. My comrade and I still await our hearings. We talked to white shirt and the security director about this fix. This way they have knowledge of it and can be added to the lawsuit. Because none of this is a threat. I had this book for almost six and a half years! We're trying to get the word out about this. They have a list of banned books but none of these books we are written up for are banned.

Also I wrote a book about change and let a young brother read it. His bunk was searched and a new pig brought it up to the Sergeant and he called me up to the desk and asked if it was my book. I said yes. He asked, "who gave you permission to write this?" I said, "my mind! What you mean who gave me permission?" He said he was calling up to security to see if I could do that. About an hour went by and he called me to the desk and gave me the book back. But the thing is "who gave you permission?" As if I need someone's permission to write down my own thoughts. This same pig has a confederate flag tattoo on his left arm.

Saying we can't read or gain a sense of self by learning our history or that we need "their" permission slip to write our thoughts is the same as the slavery that our ancestors went through. But most can't see it. They just see these racist pigs as having a job. This is not a job, this is a form of oppression. Capitalism is a form of oppression. We are a means for them to be employed through our oppression. And I try to get these young and older brothers to see this. Slavery was capitalism. Prisons are capitalism. Whites were the ones that ran the plantations. Whites are the ones that run the prisons. It's all the same just a new way.

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[Medical Care] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 15]
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Pleas against brutality following suicide attempt

I write to you in regards to a sexual assault, battery and abuse that I am a victim of. I would have written to you sooner, but my resources are limited, and I have just very recently received your info and address from the psychological services staff here at the prison.

On April 13 I made a suicide attempt by trying to hang myself, which the officers here at the prison responded to by removing me from that unit and bringing me to DS-1, the segregation unit. As we arrived on the unit the officers asked me if I would comply with the strip search, to which I responded "I need help," referring to psychological help or treatment. As I stated no, one of the officers slammed my head into the steel shower door and I fell to the ground. After falling to the ground the officers piled on top of me and rolled me over on my stomach and began tearing and cutting my clothes off me. Then they spread my legs and arms out and the officers began to punch me and twist my arms and wrist behind my back. The officers also choked me and placed their knees on my back and in my face and told me to stop resisting, though I had never resisted, nor had I ever become physically or verbally abusive or hostile. After all this, the officers then began to poke and insert their fingers inside my anus and squeezed my testicles after lifting them up while laughing at me during this unlawful and unconstitutional assault.

I've written to numerous prison officials and have also spoken with several white shirt lieutenants about this matter and about being transferred to another institution because I'm not safe in this prison and the officers are still harassing me. I've done all that I can possibly do and now you are my very last and only hope for help. I respectfully ask you to please please please publicize my story.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We publish reports like this as a small service to some of the most oppressed people in the United $tates who send us these pleas. We hope that our readers are appalled by these injustices and driven to work harder to end imperialism. However, we also recognize the limitations of these moral appeals, and want to reiterate that for the oppressed who write these letters and hope for their conditions to change. Recently, USW comrades discussed the question of appealing to the emotional sympathies of the oppressor. In that discussion comrades recognized the primacy of class and national interests. Emotional appeals may strike a chord in a small minority who may commit class/nation suicide and fight for the oppressed. But overall, Amerikans are aware of what is going on and they support it, even if they don't like to think about it.

As one comrade put it, "we shouldn't base our strategy of building public opinion on whether we can guilt trip amerikans into not being parasites." Our strategy should be based on the vast majority of the world who are the victims of this parasitism. The difference for the oppressed is that they don't have a choice whether to think about the brutality of this system when they are seeing it on a daily basis. It is only a minority in the United $tates that faces this level of oppression, and that is the minority that should guide our strategies for anti-imperialist organizing here.

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[Political Repression] [Organizing] [Wisconsin Secure Program Facility] [Wisconsin]
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Fighting repression in Wisconsin

For years now me and other like-minded brothers have been actively engaged in the struggle against this injustice system and the Wisconsin DOC (which is just a microcosm of the Amerikan prison/plantation complex at large). At present, I'm being warehoused at Wisconsin's Supermax Plantation, under the pretext of "conspiracy to harm prison staff" and group resistance" (i.e. gang activity). But the real reason for my midnight transfer to Supermax was that a group of a chosen few conscious brothers decided to challenge the conditions of living in an overtly racist prison system through completely legal means: by inmate complaint and if that was not effective then the next step was to call an absolutely non-violent prisoner work stoppage. But in an effort to invalidate the group complaint and destroy prisoner unity, the fascist prison authorities, with the help of prisoner collaborators, used this perfectly legal method of prisoner protest as an opportunity to enact even more repressive policies all the while shacking down more funds for "better prison security" (hiring more racist guards).

Also, they wasted no time in clearing the plantation of any prisoner who the authorities deemed an agitation to the system: the jail house lawyers, prison litigators, religious leaders and prisoners of any kind of respect and influence among the prison population. These were the brothers who had a history of challenging the system and promoting unity. And as arbitrary retribution, the brothers who they assumed were the leaders of the group complaint were kidnapped in the middle of the night, without due process and shipped to Supermax (me included).

That was 3 years ago. Now I'm scheduled to leave here next month. Even though this experience has been a trying ordeal I am not deterred in the struggle against this beast! I feel morally obligated to continue the fight to try and enlighten the prison class of our agenda and our common struggle.

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[Medical Care] [Waupun Correctional Institution] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 12]
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Prison lax on spread of H1N1

I'm in the Wisconsin prison system at Waupun Correctional Institution. This is a letter concerning one of my fellow prisoners.

You guys already heard about the H1N1 flying around the country. There are 3 prisoners in Waupun Correctional who have confirmed H1N1. Now with my fellow prisoner in particular, he has been sick all day and on 11/6 supposedly the guards called down to HSU and they said they can't do anything about it.

Now this fellow prisoner has been lying on the floor throwing up in a garbage can since 2pm, that I know of (it could have been longer). Second shift comes on at 1:45pm. They checked on him at 2:30pm and that was the last time they checked on him until 4:45pm count. I go get my meds between 3 and 3:30 every day. I went to get my meds and told the 2nd shift Sgt. Congel, and he said they couldn't do anything about it. Now after 4:45pm count the guards pass the mail out and they just walked past his cell without even looking in. I know this because I'm right next door to him.

It's been 15 minutes, 5 to 5:15pm and the guards still didn't come. They are only 40 feet away at the desk. Finally at around 6pm they came and got him and he hasn't returned yet. It is now 9:15pm.

To me this is way wrong, the guards don't do shit about this and they don't care about us! The only way we can catch H1N1 is if a guard brings it into the prison! Is this the way we have to live? Just because we are in prison doesn't mean we aren't human beings. Trust me if there is a lawsuit I'll be the first one on the stand going against these bitches.

This is not justice, all these guards care about are their checks. This does piss me off very much and I wish I could do more.

p.s. My last issue was denied because they said it had gang stuff in it.

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[Organizing] [National Oppression] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 10]
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An open letter to my fellow prisoners of war

Greetings to my brothers in this universal struggle for freedom against the imperialist power structure that warehouses human beings like livestock in grossly overcrowded penitentiaries, where prisoners are forced to live one on top of the other, like new age slave ships. This predominately affects New Africans and Latinos. Being consciously aware of the fact that the injustice system, the United $tates BOP and the various state DOCs are being used as one of the most effective and detrimental reactionary weapons against the political, economic, and social growth of both the New African and Latino communities.

I was deeply disappointed to hear of the recent infighting between Blacks and Latinos within the Chino plantation. For years now I've heard of the "great Black/Brown divide" amongst New Africans and Latinos in general (Mexicans specifically). I've never fully understood why. As two groups of oppressed people we have a shared history of revolutionary collaboration, from the brave Che Guevara fighting to liberate the brothers and sisters of Angola and Mozambique all the way back to the great General Toussaint of Haiti who led a revolution to free the island of Hispaniola from its colonial oppressors.

Also as an oppressed people we all suffer from the same by-products of American racism. Both our communities share the same poverty stricken ghettos, we're all subjected to the same sub-par educational system from neglected and grossly underfunded schools. And we're both suffering from years of economic suppression, political disenfranchisement, and complete apathy by the racist/classist oligarchy power structure of america towards the daily plight of our people.

And so with a clearly defined and established common enemy and a shared struggle for improved economic, education and social equality, they're a hindrance to our unity and dangerous to the struggle. And if we are to ever get beyond our current turbulent and intransigent relationship we must not focus on our petty differences but unite and rally around our shared interests and common goals. Until there is unity there can be no victory. So until there is victory, the struggle continues.

MIM(Prisons) adds: We share this comrades sentiments regarding recent events in Chino. For years, leaders in California have been working to develop a Peace Summit in the prison system, but these efforts have been thwarted by the administration while the lumpen continue to attack each other. Once a strong example of an organized front for humyn rights, the California prison system now shows how bad it can really get when the state is able to manipulate the oppressed to do their bidding.

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[Legal] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 13]
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Anti-Censorship Lawsuit Strategies Used by a Successful Jailhouse Lawyer

This article was submitted a year ago after the author won a successful anti-censorship lawsuit in Wisconsin where the prison administration was censoring materials because they were critical of the department and encouraged legal challenges to their abuses. As MIM(Prisons) continues to stress, censorship has nothing to do with the safety and security of humyn beings and everything to do with the safety and security of the state and its use of repression. This article is being posted as we work to release a collection of legal documents and launch a Serve the People program for jailhouse lawyers. We apologize for not publishing this sooner.

Dear MIM Distributors,

I am glad to share with your readers the successful strategy used in my First Amendment case that could be used by other prisoners in the future. However, I would be remissed if I didn't acknowledge the assistance of well known Legal Activist and Para-legal "MoSo" who actually litigated the case.

He provided me with this information for your article. He indicated that prison officials always rely on the trusted and well used excuse to deny your rights by asserting "security" or as in this case, that the material was "inflammatory".

This derives from the well-known phrase that although you have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech, you cannot shout "Fire!!" in a crowded movie theater. Even the Supreme Court has recognized there are limits of what a person can say, including things such as "Fighting Words". These types of restrictions are amplified in the prison context, of course, and are over exaggerated by prison officials.

Thus, the first thing in litigating such issues is to make sure to continue to remind the court that it is their Constitutional duty to review those decisions "independently." This is true despite the assertions put forth by prison officials to support their decisions, and despite the fact that the court owes such decisions some deference. So once you can get the court to step outside of the prison official's mind set, and look at the issue legally, then you have passed the first hurdle.

Most of these conservative Republican judges simply read what the prison official says and accept that as being a valid reason to infringe upon a Constitutional Right. However, a judge's job is to "protect" the Constitution, not act as a supervisor authority for the prison or a rubber stamp, nor be a sympathetic ear for something bad prison officials did against you.

Whether the Court is in your own Circuit or an outside Circuit (if you can't find one in yours), try to develop arguments that show that the Court had ruled against whatever it is the prison officials did. A lot of prisoners make the mistake of thinking the more cases you cite for a proposition, the stronger your argument is and the court will be impressed. What I have learned is stick to one or two cases that are factually the same and continually argue from those cases, showing such excuses are either not valid, with no connection to the "concern," or are exaggerated to such a concern.

In convincing a court such excuses are not valid or are an exaggeration, I used the "comparison" technique. There is well-known case law which holds that if you can show other prisons of the same security allow certain things, even publications, when another bans it, the concern put forth by that prison has been shown to be either invalid or exaggerated. So in the case cited as Lorenzo Johnson v. Rick Raemisch, et al., Case No. 07-CV-309-bbc. (W.D. Wis), we got affidavits from other prisons showing the publication was allowed in those institutions and yet was banned from mine. [note: MIM(Prisons) can often provide documentation of where certain items have been allowed if needed.]

In addition, in discovery, I requested what specific material the defendants deemed objectionable. Then when arguing in the briefs, proved that all that same information alleged to be inflammatory was in fact available to inmates from other sources allowed in the prison, such as on the computer, news paper articles, or even in prior published court decisions.

And lastly, what I would like to import to other prisoners attempting to litigate any First Amendment claims is the fact that most publications are denied based on prison officials' conclusions that such publications create a risk to security because they are either inflammatory, or contain gang symbols or racist materials. So one should make sure to read and cite the Supreme Court's decision in Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1976). Another case I would recommend to read is Bressman v. Farrier cite as 825 F. Supp. 231 (N.D. Iowa. 1993). These are just good cases to keep in your ammo belt.

I hope this information helps others. I believe Judge Crabb's decision in Johnson, supra, could also be helpful if cited, as it was finally a principled decision based purely on law and showing that a true judge's Constitutional responsibility is to uphold the Constitution, no matter who's right and wrong. The judge is supposed to be "impartial."

Justice for all!!!

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[National Oppression] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 7]
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Fighting Imperialism in Wisconsin

I have had enough of being denoted a nigger or nigga or whatever the hell they wish to call my people. No more of the racial backward politics, the hands that rock the cradle of oppression!

Even as a fellow Afrikan brotha sits in the White House, which is, let us not forget, stained by the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors who were forced to build it, Amerikkka remains the nasty, hateful, oppressive, greedy, unconscious government that it always has been. There has been no real change for my people, the disenfranchised of the nations of people who constantly fall at the hands of imperialism. All that has changed is the man who holds the whip. My brothers and sisters, did not some of our own brothers enslave us on this land? Whip and shackle us?

I encourage the brothers of the motherland to learn who they are, their true origins and essence. Come on into the movement of Maoism, only then can we find a proper vehicle through which to attain assistance for true freedom in this land. I believe in the cause of justice and freedom, of the principles of love, truth and peace, and in socialism we can pave the road to a form of communism that would allow us all to accomplish our primary objective which is, and let this be clear to all, liberation from this damn government.

I've noticed that there has not been one Wisconsin captive's writing published, and I would like to change that. Not only change that but also get more Wisconsin prisoners involved in the movement.

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[Organizing] [Wisconsin] [ULK Issue 8]
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Info About Work in WI: We Need to Keep Fighting

At this place there are 1050 prisoners. There are 2 dorms. Dorm B holds 55 prisoners and Dorm A holds 110. There are 2 cell halls, North and South, about 300 prisoners each. The hole holds 150 and stays packed to capacity. Intake holds about 100 and a medical unit about 40.

Approximately 300 have jobs at maintenance, yard crew, bath house, rec, school hallway janitor, rotunda janitor, dorm janitor, canteen, library, tutors, cell hall swampers, paint crew, wardens clerk, treatment center janitor, health service clerk, visiting room janitor, picture project photographers, the kitchen, and Badger $tate Industries, in which they are paid between 12 cents to 42 cents an hour plus 2 cents extra on weekends and holidays, and they work up to higher positions in wages.

Prisoners who go to school get 15 cents an hour - yea they pay them, if you can call it that, to go to school. And those who don't go to school or have a job get 5 cents an hour to sit in a cell, which adds up to about $4 every 2 weeks, not nearly enough to get a stick of deodorant and soap, especially once they take out 50% for child support or other court obligations one might have. Yes, I still have to pay child support while in prison, 50% of any earnings.

The pay ranges are: 12 cents ($9.60 every 2 weeks), 19 cents ($15.20), 24 cents ($19.20), 35 cents ($28) and 42 cents ($33.60). And Badger $tate Industries is separate from institutional jobs. 18 prisoners have those jobs and get from 79 cents to a dollar an hour. They make clothing for outside vendors and to sell to prisoners around the state. They also make the pillows and mattresses. People on the streets want this closed because BSI could provide them with jobs. Prisoners at BSI used to get minimum wage and up.

I see brothers I rotate with work around here to get basic necessities because they have no income or family support on the outs. And if I give a brother a bar of soap or something to eat it is viewed as an infraction and I will be written up for "unauthorized transfer of property" and the soap confiscated. We aren't allowed to do what is right here and help our fellow man. Divide and conquer. Just like they do with the jobs. Brothers will cut each others' throat for a higher paying job around here.

On the other hand, I hate the idea of working in a prison (or on a plantation) because it helps to fuel it. If we all protested by not working, the staff would have to cook, clean, etc. It happened during lockdowns before and staff hated it. But there are not enough brothers willing to sacrifice their only income for change. The wages have continuously gone down in the 10+ years I've been down and canteen prices have continuously gone up.

I know of brothers who made this little money to send it to their kids, etc, or pay for phone bills. So some work for their families. But if the 100 kitchen workers all stopped working that would cause a lockdown and the warden would want to know why they won't work. In 2002 I was sent from here to Supermax for inciting a riot against staff and the old warden here asked prisoners what it is that they wanted and these suckas said more rec, shoes with air bubbles, porn and cigarettes. But when they took the cigarettes in 2000 they didn't riot. They only got more rec and the staff took 1 pair of shoes (we used to be allowed 2 pair) but that 1 pair could have air bubbles if they could afford them. I got back here in 2006, 4.5 years later and realized that brothers sold us out.

So I don't put my head on the chopblock any more because I know that most won't ride for a real cause for improvement such as more law library time (we only get 30-40 minutes a week, if lucky), better wages, better medical care. If the workers did stop working they have another prisoner that will fill that spot before the day has ended. Capitalism taught them individualism so most are for self and quick to say "I came in by myself, I'm go do me."

MIM(Prisons) responds: We get a lot of letters like this one from comrades behind bars who are down for the struggle but frustrated with the lack of support from their fellow prisoners. It is true that capitalism has taught prisoners individualism well. And the reality of Amerika is that citizens in this country have a material interest in preserving the system that is benefiting them. While prisoners are in a unique position because the very system that used to benefit them is now locking them up, it will not be an overnight transformation for people to see the connections with the capitalist system and move beyond individualist thinking. We know that most prisoners are not down for the anti-imperialist struggle. But we also know that their conditions leave many prisoners with open minds hungry for education. And so it is our job, both on the streets and behind bars, to provide educational material and food for thought to as many prisoners as we can reach. This is the purpose of Under Lock and Key. And we rely on conscious brothers and sisters behind bars to circulate it and spread the word.

In addition to many letters like this one, we also get many letters from prisoners who talk about how they pursued an individualist and selfish mentality for many years before having their eyes opened by something they read or by someone on the yard talking to them.

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