The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Organizing] [Connally Unit] [Texas]
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Restrictions and Struggle in Texas

To acknowledge your struggle which coincides with mine and many other prisoners around the globe, I would like to state some facts concerning the prison (Connally Unit) I am housed at here in Texas. The prison population is 2,812 prisoners, very understaffed due to better service at the oil fields popping up all round this prison complex.

This unit is split A and B side and then we have the dorms which are set apart for those non-gang affiliated and those who pose no threat to the establishment of the institution. Just recently we've been given Johnny's (paper sack lunches) on the weekends for the past month or so and this is due to cuts in the budget. This also constrains a lot of movement to and from the chow hall. B-side is even split two times. On B-side you have 7 building and 8 building. 7 building gets to go to chow with general population but 8 building is restricted. The new major Daniels in town has built a mini chow hall for such sections of the prison population which to them is best. They usually house those prisoner who they feel are the worst such as wine makers, tattoo artists, etc.

These institutions are set up for failure. This is why I congratulate those organizations whether they be lumpen or otherwise who have taken up the banner of rehabilitation and have started or engaged in the process of revolutionizing the minds of the masses. Revolutionizing the knowledge needed in order to free our thinkers from this blind deceptive demagogue. If we ain't the solution then we surely are the problem because until the wheels stop turning it is my duty to struggle and awaken those inactive participants into being a part of this mass movement of prisoners inside and out.

This unit (Connally) is getting worse by the minute and as one good comrade (Blaze) from New York stated, "They're taking every liberty away." Until we acknowledge collectively that there is a problem we will continue to be deceived. Just recently we have been restricted from attending religious services. Before the process of this denial, we could attend church freely without restrictions. Now we must submit an I-60 requesting to attend and if approved we can attend. Ain't that a violation of our 1st Amendment Constitutional right?

I will continue to do my investigative and organizational work for this is what I live for. When my heart and mind stop I will live in the spirits of those true to our cause, but until then I will pump out the revolutionary spirit needed in order to encourage and empower those most in need of such: Lumpen!


MIM(Prisons) adds: The need for struggle against these institutions set up for failure is a primary reason behind the launching of the United Front for Peace in Prisons which stresses the need to stand together in unity with those who share our common interests.

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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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[Censorship] [New York]
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Continuing to Fight ULK Denials

I am writing this article in response to the article in ULK 20 entitled "We must fight ULK denials."

Brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers of ULK, we have to take a stand against the oppressors. Not by rioting, physically fighting, or boycotting but by means of communication. The same way the officers banned together we should put our differences to the side and unite as one!

I have 17 years in the special housing unit (SHU) mostly for fighting the oppressors physically and with my pen's ink. I've caught two new bids for going at it with the oppressors. One bid was a 2.5 to 5 years and the second bid was a 7 year flat 5 year post.

What I did is not important, but why I did it is, I did it because too many comrades were being violated. We have the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.

Also I don't know about the rules in the Texas DOCS, but here in New York state when we're locked down (which I am right now) we're given 1 hour out of cell recreation everyday of the week. So what should happen is whether everybody gets along or not, whoever is in this "close custody" should grieve the issue. The oppressor might fuck with five of those grievances but they won't fuck with everybody's grievance. It will be too suspicious.

Every ULK I get the mailroom got something to say about it. With ULK 20 they said the articles on pages 3, 10, and 13 (continued from 3) posed a threat to the safety and security of the facility. Those articles were entitled "Light of Liberation" and "NJ Avalon Crip signs on to UF Statement." So once again they've taken our right of freedom of speech, the 1st Amendment and swept it under the "security risk" rug, just like the other comrade stated. So let's stand together as one and "take" our rights back.

So remember comrades, yes we're imprisoned but we still have rights!


MIM(Prisons) adds: Unity in the fight against oppression is a key element of this fight. As this comrade says, we need to put aside our differences to join forces against a common enemy. Filing grievances is a good way to get this fight going, and we have initiated a grievance campaign to help prisoners fight grievance denials. Write to us for a copy of the letter and petition.

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[Abuse] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
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Fighting Inadequate Food in Texas

I'm writing to you to report about the food kitchen meals now being given to us prisoners here in Texas at the Barry S. Telford Unit, even here in Ad-Seg. It is beyond cruelty, and passed unusual. This is punishment with the intent to kill. There are many of us here of both level 3 and level 2 who cannot read or write successfully, who have raised the most hell by protesting the meals on each trays. The grievance department workers state they are doing all they can to get the trays to their proper balanced-diet meals. I have yet to see a balanced meal. This started in 2010! And now on the weekend, the trays are so poor that many have said they can barely stand to eat it. The Johnnies are worst, but they are only cold, not hot meals. Sadder still, the ranking officials, and the on-pod security rovers on the floor refuse to correct meals.

We have been told it's the budget cut passed for Texas prisons. There has been a cut of all carton milk, and powdered milk is now given as a substitute. Coffee has been cut off, given only seven days per month. We hear rumors now that other units are suffering worse still than ours. The rumor is they are receiving a breakfast meal, one lunch, and one johnny sack on last chow meals.

Those who get put on food loaf and think they like it better than the trays have changed their tunes all the way around. The food loaves are the size of a slice of bread, and only as large as a honey bun. And get this, there's nothing but bread in them; no vegetables, no beans, no meat, not even any fruits!!! At breakfast they might put cheerios on top of them, and the guards laugh and joke about it. But it's sad a thing to endure for 7, or sometimes 14 days.

I have been helping many write up each meal, but the only time we get a decent meal is when a holiday comes along, or when an outside prison or government agent is here visiting, and trays are heaped up so high there's extra everything. Then even the snacks get a slice of bologna and cheese, or peanut butter with jelly.

Here on Ad-Seg the prisoners are not even up during the daytime or to go out to recreation due to weaknesses and waves of nausea.


MIM(Prisons) adds: We've been hearing a lot lately about budget cuts at prisons leading to cuts in the already insufficient food that prisoners receive. This is a serious matter as prisoners become weak and sick, while staff continue to bring home fat paychecks. Grieving the inadequate food is a good first step to get organized around this battle. For those in Texas whose grievances are ignored, contact us for a copy of our grievance petition demanding that our grievances be heard.

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[United Front] [ULK Issue 21]
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SAMAEL Signs on to UF for Peace

I am writing this on behalf of S.A.M.A.E.L, aka "The Ministry". We are a small autonomous revolutionary organization devoted to engaging in, and fomenting, resistance via individual, tribal, direct, and guerilla action in the cultural, social and political milieu. Our ideology is within the ambit of class consciousness and holistic resistance, "each according to will and ability."

We feel the Statement of Principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons is, in spirit, consistent with our own charter, oaths, and declarations which stress the need for unity in the face of a common enemy and resisting any "doctrines which divide us."

This being said, we accept this unilateral invitation and ratify the Statement of Principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons in the spirit of solidarity and the advancement of our common goals.

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[Censorship] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 21]
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We Must Fight ULK Denials (Part 2)

This is a follow-up article to the We Must Fight ULK Denials article I wrote, published in ULK 20. For my comrades who follow the news published in ]ULK, you will recall that I was denied my right to receive ULK issue 18. I am now sitting here writing this article with issues 19 and 20 in front of me.

After being denied ULK issue 18, I sent the publication and denial form to the Directors Review Committee (DRC) for an appeal of the denial of the publication. As I said in my last writing, if you do not do this, at least in the Texas prison system you will enable the mailroom staff to keep denying the publication. It gets placed on a ban list and is no longer allowed. Sure if you choose to appeal, you may lose then the publication will still be denied to our comrades. But what if you win? If you win you not only win an appeal against the system, you also win for all our comrades united in this movement.

I was never given a response from the DRC on my appeal, and I still did not receive the issue of ULK that I appealed in the first place. However, since the appeal I have received two other issues of ULK along with other correspondence from MIM(Prisons). It may not seem like much and maybe some who read this will say to themselves, "if you didn't get an answer from the DRC and you didn't receive issue 18, then how did you win?" That is the kind of thinking these people in control want us to have. They don't want us to win or even think that it's possible for us to win in our struggle. This victory is just a stepping stone for future victories. It has provided the necessary paper trail for future action.

I know that my fellow comrades see the point I am making. I also understand that not all prisoners understand or even want to understand the importance of fighting for a cause. But to my brothers and sisters united in struggle let this be a stepping stone and encourage us to keep punching back. Remember, you cannot win if you don't fight.


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[Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California] [ULK Issue 21]
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Validation Update for CA SHU

I'm writing you this brief missive to update you on things here at 4B SHU - CCI. The pigs are using any and all of the smallest things to validate a person as a member/associate of a prison gang. Speaking to someone in passing, roll calls, working out on yard together, drawings, etc. This includes literature (MIM, Prison Focus) and any stuff dealing with Afrikan or Latino culture, and especially having the name and CDC number of your homeboys/friends in your phone book. Once they validate you it's for a minimum of six years plus you have to do 100% of your sentence.

All of the bullshit that you can expect a repressive/imperialist power hungry regime to do takes place here. That stuff is expected. One can't expect anything else from a pig. So our focus should be on elevating our minds to find ways to get out, stay out and bring light to all this by connecting the free world to those held captive, so that we all realize that we are all sinking on the same boat.


MIM(Prisons) adds: As we hit the streets building support for the food strike in California we are stressing to people that this is about the First Amendment rights of the oppressed nations to associate with (and read about) themselves. California Prison Focus recently released their Prisoner Self-Help Manual to Challenge Gang Validation (SHGV), 5th edition. They can be contacted at 1904 FRANKLIN STREET, SUITE 507, OAKLAND, CA 94612. We need to keep challenging these repressive tactics at the group level, to defend the rights of all oppressed people to self-determination.

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[Prison Labor] [Oklahoma]
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Prisoners Paid Nothing for Work in Oklahoma

I am writing about slavery in the prison system operated by Oklahoma Department of Corruptions. Prisoners are classified by security levels 1-4. Unless medically restricted, all prisoners must work. Jobs range from air conditioned settings to outside jobs in freezing winter temperatures or 100 degree temperatures in summer.

Gang pay ranges from $14 on level 4 to zero on level 1. Level 1 prisoners work just as hard as other levels, yet work for nothing. Prisoners get write-ups if fired from a job or if they refuse to work. Among other things, sanctions can include a $5 fine. For getting fired or a write-up, your level gets dropped. Thus, level 1 prisoners get no gang pay and get fired. Your fine is confiscated from any money your cash-strapped family sends you.

The cycle is vicious. The slave wages of nothing show just one of the inequalities of Oklahoma's prisons.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade that the conditions of labor in Oklahoma prisons are unacceptable, but we would not call this system of prisoner labor "slavery." As we explained in our article on the prison economy prison labor does not produce a profit for the prisons, rather it is used to offset some (but not all) of the costs of imprisonment. Prisons are primarily used as a tool of social control, with the prisoner labor only a minor aspect of this. The term slavery refers to the system that captures humyn labor for the purpose of exploiting and profiting from it. This is not the case with the Amerikan prison system today. It is important to understand the real motivations of the oppressor if we hope to change this oppressive system.

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[Medical Care] [Release] [California]
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Population Cap on California Prisons

In a May 23, 2011 decision by the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Plata (2011) 563 U.S., the court held that a population limit of 146,000 prisoners was necessary to remedy unconstitutional medical and mental health conditions in California prisons. Although the Court recognized that there were other factors which contributed to inadequate medical and mental health care, the court nevertheless found that the primary cause of those deficiencies was overcrowding. There are just not enough qualified medical and mental health staff to effectively treat 175,000 prisoners in a system designed to house only 80,000 prisoners. These overcrowded conditions are leading to the spread of many diseases and delaying other medical conditions that are going untreated and resulting in unnecessary pain and death. Overcrowding is also affecting staff's ability to properly treat prisoner's mental health conditions. California prisons have a prison suicide rate 80% higher than the national average. 72% of suicides in California prisons involved some measure of inadequate assessment, treatment, or intervention, and were therefore most probably foreseeable and/or preventable had mental health staff not been overburdened with so many prisoners.

Because there was a concern with the consequences of releasing 46,000 prisoners into the community, the court ordered California to immediately start identifying those prisoners who pose the least risk of reoffending and offer them an expansion of good-time credits towards early release. Based on these concerns, it is most likely that those convicted of violence will not be afforded early release. The Court was concerned with the consequences of a previous Court ordered population cap on Pennsylvania prisons in which, during an 18-month period after their release, police rearrested 9,732 prisoners for committing new crimes. Those new crimes included 79 murders, 90 rapes, 1,113 assaults, 959 robberies, 701 burglaries, 2,748 thefts and thousands of drug related offenses. Based on that prior experience, which the Court did not want to repeat, the Court recommended that besides releasing those most likely not to reoffend, California could find other alternatives like diverting low-risk offenders to community based programs such as drug treatment, day reporting centers, and electronic monitoring, instead of releasing violent prisoners.

The California legislature was already working on such a proposal in Assembly Bill 109 which was recently passed and signed by the Governor. AB-109 includes 640 amendments to various California statutes, not all concerning prisoners. As for those that do address overcrowding, only two are worth noting.

The first is an amendment to California Penal Code (PC) 1170(h) which now allows certain persons sentenced up to 3 years to serve that entire sentence in a county jail. Before, only a sentence of 1 year or less was required to be served in the county jail. Those who will not be required to serve a sentence of 3 years or less in a county jail are: anyone who has a prior or current felony conviction for a serious felony as described in PC 1192.7(c ), a violent felony as described in PC 667.5(c ), anyone required to register as a sex offender, and anyone who received a sentence enhancement pursuant to PC 186.11.

The second change worth noting is the promulgation of "The Postrelease Community Supervision Act of 2011." This Act added sections 3000.09; and 3450 through 3458 to the California Penal Code. The Act states that all those released on and after July 1, 2011 who have not been convicted of a serious felony pursuant to PC 1192.7(c ); a violent felony as described in PC 667.5(c ); sentenced pursuant to PC 667(c )(2); PC 1170.12(c )(2); or any person classified as a High Risk Sex Offender, will no longer be on parole nor under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Instead, those persons not convicted of violent or serious felonies as described above will now be released on what will be known as "Postrelease Supervision" and will fall under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff or Director of the County Correctional department for the County that person is released to.

Those persons who qualify for postrelease supervision will be on this new form of supervision for no longer than three years at which time they will be discharged from all supervision. Those on Postrelease Supervision will not be returned to prison for violations of their postrelease supervision conditions. Instead, they will be subject to a variety of other alternatives which will be known as "Community Based Punishment." Such punishment could include what will be called "Short-Term Flash Incarceration" which means that a technical violation could subject the offender to County Jail time of no more than seven days. Other forms of community-based punishment include: intensive community supervision; additional monetary restitution; work, training, or education in a furlough program; placement in a substance abuse treatment program, community service; random drug testing; or home detention with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) monitoring.

Those who are released on and after July 1, 2011 and do not qualify for Postrelease supervision because they were convicted of violent or serious felonies as described above will remain under the jurisdiction of the CDCR and will not see any significant change in their parole conditions and parole revocation procedures.

Those who were already paroled prior to July 1, 2011 will remain under the jurisdiction of the CDCR because they were paroled before the new law took effect. Except that those who were not convicted of violent or serious felonies will have a chance to have their parole reviewed so long as they complete six months of continuous parole without any violations. If the person has not violated parole within six months, he or she will be recommended for Postrelease Supervision and subject to Postrelease Supervision as described in PC3450 through 3458. Those persons also paroled prior to July 1, 2001 but were convicted of serious and violent felonies as described above will remain on parole under the jurisdiction of the CDCR because they would not have qualified for Postrelease Supervision even if they had been paroled after the new law took effect.

California has until May 23, 2013 to comply with the release of 46,000 prisoners unless it requests a five year extension. The extension may be granted only if California satisfies necessary and appropriate preconditions designed to ensure that measures are taken to implement the release without delay. Because California has already relieved its prisons of 9,000 prisoners through out-of-state-transfers, it now has 37,000 more prisoners to address. After the United States Supreme Court had finished hearing oral arguments and was getting ready to issue its decision, California informed the Court that it was working on AB-109. California did not give the Court a specific number of prisoners that would be affected by AB-109. California only said that "thousands" would qualify under AB-109 to serve 3-years or less in a county jail and be released on Postrelease Supervision. California will eventually have to give a specific number of persons who will not end up in prison as a result of AB-109. Once California gives a specific number of persons affected by AB-109, it will then have to introduce more legislation in order to release more prisoners or prevent them from coming to prison. As of right now, no prisoner has been released, they have just been transferred to another state or prevented from ending up in prison.

This is just a brief outline of what has recently taken place to address overcrowding in California. It is up to those of you who might be affected to do your own research into the information provided above. Because of space limitations, not every detail of the Court's order or Assembly Bill 109 could be described in detail. So if you did not qualify under AB-109, you might qualify for release under another change in the law in the near future. If you will not qualify for early release in the future, you should at least see some improvement in medical and mental health care which was the whole purpose of the population cap in the first place. So everyone should be affected one way or another. Good luck with your struggles.


MIM(Prisons) comments: This is a good overview of the new court ruling about health care and overcrowding in California prisons. While we hope that the net effect of this ruling is the release of some prisoners and prevention of locking up others, we're not optimistic that this will lead to any substantive changes. We have seen court rulings in the past about prison conditions, and as the pages of Under Lock and Key have documented, the Criminal Injustice System is very creative about worming their way out of restrictions to find new ways to oppress. The size of the California prison population represents job security and high wages for staff, and they will not give this up without a fight. It is a condemnation of the imperialist system that it enables people to profit off the torture and destruction of humyns. Only by ending imperialism overall will we be able to truly change the criminal injustice system. Until that time, we hope our comrades behind bars will find creative ways to use this court ruling to their advantage.

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[International Connections] [ULK Issue 22]
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Great Amerikan Chauvinism within the Oppressed

"Amerika the beautiful." This is the image of the perfect killing machine that is instilled in Us from youth, even as the Amerikans oppress, exploit and super-exploit our people in the Third World. This is what we're taught. It's bad enough that we have to deal with great Amerikan chauvinism coming straight from the oppressors but now we have to deal with it from within the oppressed as well.

Just the other day as the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat squared off for supremacy in the basketball world and the "national anthem" took center stage, blood-boiling hoops and hollers of "that's right!" and "U$A baby!" could be heard throughout the building. And I'm sitting here thinking, really?! That's right what?! "That's right" that these fucken pigs got us locked up? Or "that's right" that these motherfuckers are out there reeking oppression, death, destruction and exploitation throughout the Third World? Cause that's all I can think of whenever I hear that oppressive and repulsive war-mongering song.

Actually, I also think of how our anti-imperialist comrades in the Islamic Third World put it down on these sorry ass pigs showing them that, no, Amerika isn't all it's cracked up to be. For if that were true then these sorry ass pigs wouldn't be getting their asses blown to smithereens on a daily basis.

Serio, these fools in here really got shit twisted, but I suppose it's no surprise that the bourgeoisified lumpen picks up and holds tight to the ideology of the parasitic coupon-clippers, as they themselves clip coupons. Therefore, it's no surprise that the lumpen tend to cheerlead when the oppressor's military trots the globe seeking to extend its sphere of influence. They are better defenders of the Amerikan way of life than the Amerikans themselves, and surprisingly reactionary.

Instead of cheerleading for these punk-ass Amerikans, wishing, wanting and thinking that we are Amerikkkans too, we should start recognizing the fact that these Amerikkkans want us locked in their prisons for life while slowly fading out of existence. Instead we should realize the devastating toll which our being imprisoned takes on our collective nations.

Instead of doing the oppressor's bidding the world over, we need to realize the crucial role which we in the barrios/ghettos in the internal semi-colonies can play in bringing down U.$. imperialism from within. We need to start recognizing the fact that we too are the hope of the oppressed.

So until all that happens, the only time you'll ever get a "that's right!" from me will be when I see that Amerikan death toll count rise in the middle east.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Those who cheer for the U.$. military are a small minority in this world. The oppressed nations in this country, who have historically been the subjects of Amerikan violence, would be smart to return to (or stay on, as the case may be) the winning side of history. It is alienating to live in a country that celebrates domination and exploitation through violence. But as the Third World unites in cheering for the armed defenders of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, India and elsewhere, we become closer to the end of imperialist oppression, a time when unnecessary deaths of all peoples can be prevented.

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