Democracy is an illusion of the mind that misleads the blind. Who are they fooling? What are we doing? What are we actually pursing? They’re talking about equality and we dying in the trenches. Starving on the sidelines. Aches and pains while the rich is completely full, staring out of the skyline. How do we rise above the equation? A broken nation with no vision. Our only dreams is to have bricks of cocaine in the kitchen. Oh, and residue on the dishes. How can this be a democracy and the homeless got bread and water on their wish list? And the rich got the poor on their diss list. And you want me to turn christian so I can be like my ancestors praying for a “white” Christmas? When the symbol of the church represent a white supremacist. A blonde hair and blue eye’d lie… Naw. I’ll take my chances with the Revolution. These hungry kids got thirty round drums and they’re shooting. And Black Lives Matter protest turn into looting? This is not the rise of amerika– We are living in the days of its ruins.
Since Monday, 26 September 2022, Alabama has struggled to keep its prisons operating as prisoners across the state have not been performing work in their facilities until their demands for reform of the parole system, sentencing, and oversight are met. Organizing around this campaign began back in June among prisoners and their families, after years of protests and litigation over the escalating brutality of the Alabama Department of Corrections failed to make the state budge.
In the state of Alabama, prisoners manufacture license plates, furniture, clothing, while maintain the prisons themselves by working in the kitchen, laundry, or doing yard and road work. Without this work the prisons are dramatically short-staffed and can barely even keep prisoners fed. Meals being served to prisoners in recent weeks are basically slices of bread and cheese, a powerful indication of the willingness of the state and its employees to run the basic infrastructure prisoners need to survive.
The prisoners’ demands are not centered on overcrowding or the fact that Alabama doesn’t pay its prisoners anything for their labor, or specific acts of brutality by correctional officers, as galling as all of that is. Instead, they are targeted at the parole and sentencing systems, which have led to “more people coming out in body bags than on parole,” in the words of outside organizer Diyawn Caldwell of prisoner advocacy group Both Sides of the Wall.(1) The prisoner’s demands are:
Repeal the Habitual Offender Law immediately.
Make the presumptive sentencing standards retroactive immediately.
Repeal the drive-by shooting statute.
Create a statewide conviction integrity unit.
Mandatory parole criteria that will guarantee parole to all eligible persons who meet the criteria.
Streamlined review process for medical furloughs and review of elderly incarcerated individuals for immediate release.
Reduction of the 30 year maximum for juvenile offenders to no more than 15 years before they are eligible for parole.
Do away with life without parole.(2)
The sentencing and parole systems in Alabama have always been bad and have been getting worse in recent years. In mid-October while prisoners in some facilities were still refusing to work, the Alabama parole board granted two paroles out of 124 cases, a rate barely above one percent. Whether this was conscious retaliation or just the day-to-day brutality of the system is unknown at this time.
An investigation initiated by the Justice Department under the Trump administration identified horrific overcrowding (182% of capacity) and neglect that has led to some of the highest rates of homicide and rape among prisoners in the country.(3) Following this investigation, the Justice Department then took the extraordinary step of suing the state of Alabama over the conditions of its men’s prisons.(4) According to prison organizers, nothing has changed in the almost two years since the lawsuit.
Because of the prisoner participation across the state, the government wasn’t able to ignore it like they normally prefer. Governor Kay Ivey called the demands ‘unreasonable’ while also admitting that the building of two new mens’ prisons (with misappropriated COVID-19 relief funds) would meet the DOJ’s demands to end overcrowding.(5) Regarding parole and the basic fact that the state is putting more and more people inside with longer and longer sentences with no end in sight, she had nothing substantial to say.
The warehousing of predominately oppressed nation men, with no opportunities for rehabilitation or release is why we charge genocide against the U.$. criminal injustice system. Alabama is part of the Black Belt south, with 26% of it’s overall population being Black/New Afrikan. Yet, 54% of prisoners were New Afrikan across the state in 2010!(6) Alabama is in the top 6 states in the United $tates for overall imprisonment rates, with most of those states being in the Black Belt.
Caldwell discussed the despair prisoners in Alabama feel because of the lack of opportunities in Alabama prisons:
They’ve taken all the exit and second chance options away from these men and women in Alabama. There’s no hope for parole because the parole board is practically denying everyone and sending them off [with] five [more] years with no explanation, even though these men and women meet the set criteria that has been established.
They practically have a living death sentence, if they don’t have an EOS date, so all the hope is gone. They have nothing to strive for there, they feel like they’re not worthy of a second chance, they’re not given a second chance. And no one has any type of trust or hope in them to come out and reintegrate into society and be a stand-up citizen.
People incarcerated in Alabama face excessive force from correctional officers, a high risk of death, physical violence and sexual abuse from other prisoners and are forced to live in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, according to the DOJ.
The prison authorities have responded to the work refusal by cancelling all visitation, cutting programming back to nothing, and serving next to no food. The Alabama Department of Corrections is one of many prison systems across the country struggling to function without enough people to run its operations. While prisoners are the primary people to suffer under these conditions, this also indicates a contradiction in the United $tates use of prisons to control large populations that could offer opportunities for change. As Under Lock & Key goes to print, the prisoners have faced the state of Alabama down for three weeks. We will continue monitoring the situation and try to extract lessons for the rest of the country.
Many young soldiers have heard of comrade George, a Black Panther leader, revolutionary prison writer, and organizer who was assassinated in August 1971 in a California Penitentiary in San Quentin.
It’s time! Wake up comrades! The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is a tool of racist repression for Black & Brown people in the U.$. prison system. CDCR has made serious mistakes in splitting the prisoner populations (50/50 yards/EOP/GPline/SNY/GP) political and social prisoners. CDCR has realized their mistake and in the process of trying to correct it at whose expense? you and I. So CDCR will once again go back to their reactionary tactics oppressing the masses.
Comrade George gave us a strategy to combat CDCR false ideology: “When I am denied or corrected, I always understand, but rage on, all on the principle that the ideal must be flung about, that the oppressed mentality must first escape the myth, the hoax, that repression is the natural reaction to a collective consciousness of the commune.” And just know that ideals cannot be killed with violence, racism has always been employed as a pressure release for the psychopathic destructiveness evinced by a people historically processed to fear.
The revolutionary is outlawed!
You can’t understand my pain but me. I’ve used every tool in the kit to stay sane over these last 11 years in prison. I am alive and learning for real. The only way CDCR can maintain its power is to create differences on these yards and cause a diseased mind and feed it drugs. Comrade wake-up. What’s the problem? If you not a disruptor or agent provocateur, show proof and let’s start building this collective unity. That’s the only way we can combat CDCR tactics of repression.
AFW on the move.
A California comrade provides more background info: California has been phasing out its protective custody (P.C.) yards for the last few years. CA prisons started eliminating the P.C. yards on the lower levels and due to the high rate of violence this caused, it is taking longer than expected to phase out the higher levels (lifers).
CDCR is well aware of the common practice of separating sex offenders from general population prisoners. The cruelty sex offenders face in prison is the very reason CA opened the P.C. yards 2 decades ago. Sex offenders are regularly beaten, murdered, and as hypocritical as it is, raped in prison.
However, over the years a lot of general population(G.P.) prisoners have requested protective custody and once on the P.C. yards, these G.P. prisoners continue their abuse of sex offenders. The result is that according to CDCR, P.C. yards are more violent than G.P. yards (if anyone believes that) and so CDCR is now requiring sex offenders to house with the gang members that everyone knows, especially CDCR knows, sex offenders need protection from.
I think CDCR is intentionally creating a violent environment for whatever reason. CDCR is not ignorant that this new policy will and already has resulted in the murder of a lot of sex offenders. Since the policy began 3 years ago, the gangs have murdered sex offenders on every yard the prison has forced them to house on and yet CDCR continues to push for the complete elimination of protective custody. This is obviously a deliberate action to increase violence.
Dozens of lawsuits have already been filed, but few if any will bear fruit due to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which basically is legislation designed to erase a prisoners constitutional right to sue the prison. Furthermore, most prisoners have no legal skills whatsoever and are forced to litigate against professional lawyers. So the chance of any of the lawsuits asking the court for a right to safe housing of winning that right is very small.
I will eventually litigate the issue and I will win.
MIM(Prisons) adds: We’ve printed a number of articles in the last couple years about this integration plan creating violence. It’s not just about sex offenders, many have gone to Special Needs Yards in recent years for a number of reasons, including political ones.
While most seem to agree that the CDCR is creating more violence, injuries and deaths among prisoners, few have tried to explain why. One thing that has been happening on the SNY, and now the integrated yards, is the creation of new prison gangs, many of which have been fostered by CDCR police gangs and work hand-in-hand. This seems to be part of a larger strategy to displace the big four lumpen orgs that have historically dominated the G.P. yards and at least some of which have been staunch in their refusal to work with the pigs. These four lumpen orgs were behind the largest prison hunger strikes in history to protest the torture happening in CDCR’s Security Housing Units.
As we’ve always said, “We Want Peace, They Want Security.” And most often the two are at odds, where the state uses violence and chaos as a form of social control and securing it’s power over the prison masses. That said, the integration offers an opportunity for the prison population in CA to unite along once deep divisions, and we call on comrades to build the United Front for Peace in Prisons based on the 5 principles.
MIM Distributors has confirmed at least 135 pieces of our mail that have been censored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) in 2022. However, the vast majority of our mail goes unaccounted for, so we know that the actual number is in the many hundreds.
Censorship in Texas is not new. The TDCJ banned our book Chican@ Power and the Struggle for Aztlán for many years. More recently it was brought to our attention that that decision had been reversed and a number of comrades were able to receive the book. However, Allred Unit has censored the book 4 times in 2022. The bourgeois state has always repressed political speech that is opposed to its oppression.
Most of the censorship in 2022 has been triggered by and targeted at organizing efforts around the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative. In particular letters with updates on the campaign and plans to boycott the holiday. The most censored letter actually was mostly reports on censorship by the TDCJ itself.
Many comrades reported that the censorship of the infamous June 8th JFI Campaign Update letter was appealed automatically by the TDCJ. We received dozens of letters stating the censorship was upheld by the Director’s Review Committee(DRC) on appeal because the letter was “inciting a disturbance.” Yet all the letter called for was to boycott the holiday and instead spend it advocating for a list of demands including an end to long-term solitary confinement, censorship and unpaid labor. In other words, peacefully advocating for your rights has been made illegal for Texas prisoners. That is why we say prisoners in this country do not enjoy full citizenship rights.
Meanwhile, of the dozens of notifications that we received, none of them specified what the item was that was being censored, or what about the item was objectionable. When we wrote the DRC to point this out we received no response. Similarly, our letter to Allred Unit warden Jimmy Smith regarding blanket censorship went unanswered. This is a violation of caselaw, such as Crofton v. Roe (9th Cir. 1999) 170 F.3d 957, which concluded:
“Unsupported security claims couldn’t justify infringement on First Amendment rights.”
One comrade in Stevenson Unit who had achieved a reversal after appealing a recent censorship reports:
“I received the enclosed notice that the Director’s Review Committee reversed the unit denial of 5 pages that could incite a disturbance mailed to me from MIM. I am now in possession of your MIM Censorship pack, and I can’t seem to find any mention of riotous propaganda, or anything other than helpful caselaw in the struggle to uphold 1st Amendment rights. Systematic denial by the piggy is surely taking place because they don’t like the expression of political and social views that are protected by the 1st Amendment right against arbitrary government invasion. Oh well, life’s hard. Harder if you’re stupid.”
Another comrade who won an appeal was convinced that our letter contained more contents because all ey got was an Unconfirmed Mail Form listing what we had sent em recently. Nope, that’s all that was in the letter that was originally censored for “containing information to incite a disturbance.” The only appeals that have achieved reversals so far have been for Unconfirmed Mail Forms(UMFs), our censorship pack, and a copy of the Bill of Rights. However, these reversals were not applied consistently, in other instances UMFs and our censorship pack was censored after appeal to the DRC.
While most of our censored mail was destroyed, one comrade in Allred had there’s sent back to us. In the letter “An Address to Tx USW, All TeamOne Committees, and Tx inmates”, the TDCJ seems to have highlighted where the letter mentions the “Juneteenth Freedom Initiative.” Specifically it is the sentence that calls for filing complaints and petitions to the DOJ. We mailed out copies of such a petition with ULK 78. This is the type of activity the TDCJ is calling “inciting a disturbance” in order to censor our communications.
While Under Lock & Key 78 seems to have reached many in Texas, we are still seeing an almost complete censorship of mail from MIM Distributors in prisons like Allred Unit and Hughes Unit. We’ve been told there is a whole shelf for mail from MIM Distributors in the Allred mailroom now.
MIM Distributors and our subscribers within the TDCJ have exhausted all administrative remedies with our appeals, letters and grievances. The TDCJ is not interested in following the law on it’s own accord. Therefore we have begun to step up outside pressure on two fronts.
the legal front by filing a lawsuit
the public opinion front via our postcard campaign
Anti-Imperialist Prisoner Support(AIPS) has been reaching out on the streets of Texas and elsewhere to bring this story to the masses and gather signatures on postcards we are sending to the TDCJs DRC to voice opposition to this illegal practice of handling our mail and communications.
One comrade observed:
“Going to the masses with these postcards was very eye opening. Conceptually I knew many of the theories of how different classes of the oppressed nations react to building revolution differently, but to see how that plays out with my own eyes was something else. For example, many of the petty-bourgeois student types were more likely to scoff at or dismiss prisoner organizing out of defeatist attitudes at best (such as how censorship/repression is so big in prisons therefore we shouldn’t try at all) or take up bourgeois ethics and “justice” at worst (believing many prisoners “deserve” to be there). Many of the common labor aristocrat types tended to be more supportive, but also was discouraged in not being able to see the movement in Texas prisons right in front of them – expressed in attitudes of “what do they have to do with us here?” The oppressed nation lumpen (homeless, lumpen organization members, etc.) on the other hand were much more eager to sign the postcards in support of the comrades in Texas despite them being in another state. They knew how repressive the inju$tice system was in either out of personal experience or through their close friends’ personal experiences; and many expressed how even if all of our comrades in Texas was 100% guilty of the most heinous of crimes that the imperialists had no right to judge them expressed through sayings of “cops are the real criminals.”
“Going through these personal experiences with the different types of masses can become pragmatism itself on this comrade’s part, which can become dangerous, so we should remind ourselves of the whole picture of what Chairman Mao said in eir essays”On Practice" and “On Contradiction.”
Yes, mass work like this is how we learn how the masses will respond and engage in different campaigns, but we shouldn’t be too quick to draw broad conclusions based on a little persynal experience. Another comrade reported:
"There’s so many people from all nations who are personally oppressed by the Texa$ Criminal Injustice system, who with the right political education will be prepared to join the movement. There’s no doubt in my mind as a supporter from the outside myself that there will be many more ready to put in the work, in the near, near future. The reception to the Allred censorship campaign has been nearly all positive so far, and many people of the oppressed nations here have told me persynally that they’ve been looking for something just like Under Lock & Key to educate and organize the people.
"Keep on the pressure from the inside, you have millions more to come and push from the outside, we just have to keep our heads on tight, stay determined, and struggle on.
“ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”
For the voices of the oppressed inside to be heard, we must increase the voices of support on the outside. We call on our readers outside to print out some postcards and fliers, and copies of this article and hit the streets today.
I was told that commissary prices went up here in Oregon, but wages for prison jobs have mostly remained the same. At least the administration in Oregon pays prisoners for labor, because back home we don’t get paid shit, as is the case for most southern prisons. I’m curious to see how inflation is effecting other prisons in the United $tates. Is there anything that we (prisoners) can do about inflation? Do we just sit back and let it slide?
On another tip, I’m actually gettin’ ready to file an Americans with Disabilities Act class-action to try and get disabled prisoners, like me, disability checks in prison, because non-disabled prisoners get paid for working, but disabled prisoners, who can’t work, aren’t able to participate in such monetary programs and services. A $50 disability check, per month, would work. Fifty bucks is probably the average amount of money that non-disabled prisoners earn per month in Oregon.
Let Under Lock & Key know how inflation has affected prices in your prison. And what is being done about it by prisoners or the administration? [We’ll be covering this issue in more depth in ULK 81 if we can gather more info from you.]
The FEDs gave me 20 years in prison For being a high ranked GD And other alleged GDs committed crimes But that didn’t have nothing to do with me.
They say when others commit crimes Allegedly under your chain of command This is what they do. But I just have one question to ask, shouldn’t This apply to those running the system too!?
Because Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 9 min and 29 seconds A blatant murder for the whole world to see. So why isn’t his superior officers Locked in a KKKage doing time right next to me?
OH! Because they took no part in it? Well let the records show neither did i
Court document 3580-107 Clearly states “Remaining GD” is my only crime. But if that’s not enough i have some more hypocrisy to show you that i’m sure will blow your mind. Where are the superiors of the officers Who savagely murdered Amadou Diallo? What about brother Michael Brown? Are the superiors of those who murdered sister Breonna Taylor Ever going to be held accountable for how that lynching went down?
Who is going to be held accountable for Oscar Grant And let us not forget Ramarley Graham. And WE can’t even get criminal justice reform passed Proving once again that this system is a sham!
How many of you remember Michael Taylor in Naptown? Handcuffed behind his back and shot in the back of his head? And what about Major Davis beaten in his front yard and left for dead!
The hypocrisy of this system disgusts me!! Ain’t no such thing as Equal Justice Under the Law. Or else Donald Trump would’ve been charged with RICO Conspiracy For all those under his chain of command that committed fraud..
My Big brother Christopher Calhoun Was shot over 30 times at the West End Mall in Atlanta My baby brother Grant King was murdered in Indianapolis the same. My little sister Khalalah was stabbed multiple times in the neck and survived And all this was done by UNIFORMED POLICE!
My first cousin Kevin Hicks Was shot in the eye This was done at point blank range. My “FAMILY” has been the target of political repression Body cams, ain’t stopped a damn thang! But you want to give me 20 years Just for remaining in a so-called gang.
Nah the real reason you gave me all that time Was because I was organizing these so-called gangs To bang for change. You saw me organizing voters registration drives You saw me marching down Bankhead in Atlanta Chanting “I can’t Breath”.
You got scared because you seen Stones, Lords, Crips and Bloods Marching right along-side of GDs. And don’t try to lie because I seen the video and pictures on my discovery!
You saw us standing together protesting police brutality. You saw us at Stone Mountain in 2016 Standing against the Klu Klux Klan You saw all OUR flags tied together Black fist in the air screaming “Free the Land”,
Yeah, you can jail the revolutionary But you can never silence me. You ain’t nothing but a bunch of hypocrites And I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
Crime is a child of poverty and miseducation, which are both created and perpetuated by Plutocrat Policy(s).
The real criminals are too rich and too big for jail, while the poor are incarcerated for simply living a survivalist existence, for responding and/or reacting to poverty and miseducation in reactionary, economically desperate and miseducated ways.
Prison is mainly based on inflicting punishment and resentment, rather than cultivating genuine healing via essential self-criticism that has historically proven to decrease recidivism. Prisoners’ growth will defeat the purpose of spending or investing 20-plus million dollars building each prison. Genuine rehabilitation is a bad investment to the Plutocrats.
The entire so-called criminal justice system is nothing but a replacement and extension of slavery. A job-generating industry for all government branches and departments between the slave patrollers (street PIGs; Plutocrat Imperialist Goons) and Overseers (D.O.C.; Department of Cruelty) as was the case with post-Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676.
Crime, is all founded upon, and backed up by the exception clause of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as a punishment for crime…”
Thus, to genuinely heal or rehabilitate prisoners is to end the new slavery; meaning, leading to the shutting down of prison, and mass lay-offs within the entire so-called criminal justice industry system, made up of slave patrollers (street PIGs), judges, state and defense attorneys, counselors, doctors, nurses, canteen vendors, civilian food service and maintenance workers and county jail and prison overseers (DOC). Millions of jobs when tallied up nationally, all off so-called crime, the new cotton, tobacco and/or sugar.
Crime, as an industry, can only end by first and foremostly ending poverty and miseducation. Even rape is a result of miseducation, or psychological defects of miseducation by the system of patriarchy. However, poverty and miseducation will not end without first and foremostly ending and replacing the CIPWS (Capitalist Imperialist Patriarchist White Supremacy) with a Proletarian Internationalist Dictatorship.
Whenever and wherever there is poverty and miseducation, material conditions are ripe for the warrant of crime or revolution. For neither takes place without the desire for and/or the aspiration of better days, or a higher standard of living.
History is proof, that revolutions do not automatically occur and succeed with the collapse of the CIPWS elite and their Plutocrat’s superstructure. Revolution can, and will only occur and succeed when and where the revolt which leads to revolution is culture. When and where the masses are revolutionary conscious and active in every aspect of human life. When and where every human embraces the power to determine the egalitarian destiny of his and/or her own community. Revolution is when and where power changes hands, in our case, from CIPWS to PID (Proletarian Internationalist Dictatorship) ensuring egalitarianism meaning All Power To The People. Revolution begins with education like crime ends with education.
In egalitarian solidarity and struggle.
MIM(Prisons) adds: This is great summary of the connection between the system of mass incarceration in the U.$. and the need to end imperialism. We agree that this criminal injustice system is a replacement for slavery in relation to controlling New Afrikan populations, and that it funds millions of jobs for Amerikans. However, this system is very different from cotton or sugar in that no value is being created, rather the potential value that the oppressed nations could be producing to benefit their people is being squandered by locking them up in unproductive conditions for years and decades.
Prisoner(s) housed at FSP (Florida State Prison) on C.M.-I & II (Close Management) status are being used by FDOC/FSP and JPay as means of robbing our family(s) and friend(s), thus inflicting punishment beyond court ordered separation from society as sole and significant punishment for crime.
In 2021, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) installed new private contracted prison mail system services mandating that all routine mail to prisoner(s) be addressed to Tampa, Florida office to be processed, i.e., scanned for verbal contraband and forwarded via JPay email system service to mail room of intended institution, to then be printed out and delivered to intended prisoner(s). However, such service is not being consistently and timely provided, except only when and where convenient to and for FSP administration, STG (Security Threat Group) personnel and mail room, all in punishment for prisoner(s) being on C.M. status.
Inconsistency and untimeliness in mail delivery to prisoner(s)
Prisoner(s) are not receiving all incoming routing mail and email in timely and consistent manner. Mail is being intentionally delayed, withheld for weeks, in some cases, months after the post mark, constituting violation of mail rule. CH. 33-210.101(6) F.A.C, which clearly states, “Incoming and outgoing routine mail shall be processed within 72 hours, except for inmates in certain housing assignments identified in paragraph (7) below, which pertinently states:”(7) inmates, that as of a result of housing designation or status are not permitted to access kiosk, kiosk services, or tablet services as provided for in Rule. 33-601.900 F.A.C, will have their scanned mail printed and delivered at no cost to the inmate."
Lack of notification
Prisoner(s) incoming routine mail is being sent back, withheld or thrown away by Tampa private mail contractor office, without issuing notice of any kind to prisoner(s) or sender(s).
Effect on prisoner(s)/loved-one(s) relationship structure and rehabilitation process
Incoming mail being received by FSP mail room via JPay mail system service is not being consistently and/or timely printed out and delivered to intended prisoner(s).
Prisoner(s) have no way of knowing that mail had been sent to them until informed by sender(s), either through argument or worrisome inquiry as to why prisoner(s) are not responding to mail, causing sender(s) to feel ignored.
Prisoner(s) are kept unaware of undelivered, deprived mail, while sender(s) are unaware of fact that prisoner(s) are not responding, not because they don’t want to, but because prisoner(s) are not receiving all mail being sent to them, because;
FSP mail room, and administration are literally and intentionally playing games (not printing and delivering all prisoner(s) incoming mail) resulting in relationship structure conflicts, leading to prisoner(s)/loved-one(s) alienation and isolation.
Objective investigation, review of kiosk of kiosk inbox
Objective review of each FSP, C.M.-I & II status prisoners’ Jpay kiosk account inbox will clearly confirm the truth in this matter, by revealing the scores of undelivered emails and photos, sent to prisoner(s), but never printed out and delivered, as is prescribed by Rule. 33-210.101 (7) F.A.C
Prisoner(s) or their family(s) and friend(s), due to being ignorant of this denied service (robbery) are not realizing that prisoner(s) are being held semi-incommunicado, as punishment for being on administrative segregation (C.M.) status, which is not D.C. (Disciplinary Confinement) status, in fact prisoner(s) on D.C. status, are allowed more privileges than C.M., i.e., non-D.C. status prisoner(s), and this is all intentional.
Conflict in FDOC/FSP Jpay Kios/Tablet Policy
Rule. CH. 33-602.900 (4)(C)3 F.A.C and CH.33-602.900(5)(d)3 F.A.C, which governs Jpay kiosk and tablet clearly states that: “Prisoners on C.M. status are allowed access to JPay kiosk, kiosk services, tablet and tablet services,” stands in polar contrast with CH.33-601.800(11)(b)7 F.A.C and CH.33-601.800(11)8.(c)5. F.A.C, which governs C.M., clearly states the opposite, that “C.M.-I & II status” prisoners (respectively) are not allowed access to kiosk, kiosk services, tablet and/or tablet services." (to keep prisoners from becoming aware of the scores of emails, letters, and photos listed in their (prisoner(s) inbox, but are not being printed out and delivered to them) while;
C.M.-III status prisoners are allowed access to JPay kiosk, kiosk services, tablets and tablet services, constituting not only administrative disparity in treatment and discrimination against C.M.-I & II status prisoners, but FSP administrative use of JPay email system services as a means of or device of authoritarian intimidation, punishment and control.
Robbery: Family(s)/Friend(s) of Prisoner(s) not receiving JPay services they are paying for.
Family(s)/friend(s) of prisoner(s) purchase digital postage stamps for a promise that their emails to loved-ones in prison will be delivered without hindrance, a service paid for, which is not being delivered/received, due to their sent emails not being printed out and delivered consistently to their prisoner-loved-ones, being punished solely for being on C.M. status.
Hundreds of FSP (all C.M.-I & II status) prisoners are not receiving letters and/or photos sent to them via JPay email system service. Thus, family(s)/friend(s) of prisoner(s) are being bilked, literally robbed for their hard earned money by JPay and FDOC via FSP mail room, STG and administration, constituting the bilking of unknown amounts of money once all prisoners and undelivered emails are tallied up and combined. The results is robbery and false advertising.
Nonexistent FDOC/FSP Grievance Process
Many grievances regarding all issues mentioned above have been repeatedly submitted at every level in the grievance process and are being biasedly rubber stamped “DENIED” or not returning or responded to, or plain and simple being thrown in the trash. FDOC secretary office is very well aware of this fact, but is refusing to intervene or rectify the situation trashing of prisoner(s) grievances. See formal grievance, log #22-6-27139.
That FDOC Tampa private contracted mail service provide written notice for impounded or withheld incoming routine mail being withheld for STG surveillance or being returned to sender(s).
That FDOC/FSP kiosk and tablet policy be rectified to uniformity.
That FSP mail room print out and deliver all digital mail, letters/photos entering its system, to intended prisoner(s) in timely and consistent manner, thereby ensuring;
That all Jpay email service and routine mail service paid for by family(s) and friend(s) of prisoner(s) be received without hindrance, i.e., end the bilking/robbery of prisoner(s) family(s) and friend(s) via use of prisoner(s), resulting in incalculable amounts of money being stolen.
That all money for all undelivered emails, letters and/or photos be reimbursed, given back to family(s) and friend(s) if prisoner(s).
P.S. Concerns regarding this issue can be addressed to the: Better Business Bureau, JPay Company headquarters, FDOC, Lauren.Sanchez@fdc.myflorida.com (830)717-3605
Stop The JPay Bilking
A few weeks after MIM(Prisons) received a copy of the above complaint we received an update:
“Florida Department of Cruelty has finally rectified ch.33-601.800 (dealing with JPay kiosk and tablets on C.M.: Close Management) to be in uniformity with ch.33-602.900 (which deals with Jpay kiosk and tablet). As of 6 October 2022, every prisoner is allowed access to kiosk and tablets. This was not done out of altruism. However, I believe JPay threw a rod regarding the amount of money their being denied via the thousands of prisoners being denied their service or should I say bilking. I won’t even front with a tablet, I won’t need anyone to transcribe my thoughts and I can get my thoughts out to be published allowing me to raise funds for appealing my criminal case while enlightening others in the bigger cage.”
It remains to be seen how the resolution of this conflict will affect all of the complaint outlined above. But we can say that Under Lock & Key continues to be denied to the majority of prisoners in the Florida DOC, as do publications like our Revolutionary 12 Step Program, which are tools intended to help people rehabilitate and reintegrate into society and to serve their community upon doing so. As the comrade above notes, there is clear bias, both politically and nationally, as far as what communications are allowed in Florida and in most of the prisons across this country.
[Responding to “What did you disagree with?” when studying “Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?”]
I disagreed with the basis of idealism not being action. To think is action. Thought can be provoked by stimuli collected by the body’s sensors, which is more reactionary. Or you can create a thought or an idea, but this is action. Mental action nonetheless but action all-in-all. And it must be understood physical action comes from mental action. As I write this I understand the materialist method is physical action. Well I guess I don’t have a disagreement but rather a question, is ideas placed on paper in book format considered materialism?
Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: As comrade Melo X explains, we can have thoughts that are reactions to physical stimuli, or we can create thoughts. But this “creation” of thoughts is also a response to the physical world. What we might call reason, abstracts concepts based on our experience with real phenomena, or physical things we can interact with.
“the faculty of understanding is not a ‘thing in and of itself,’ because it becomes real only in contact with some object.”(1)
Dietzgen explained how the idealists see the mind as separate from the sense perceptions of the material world. So Melo X is correct to see the unity between them. The comrade also distinguishes creating thoughts from more passive perception. This realization demonstrates the role of reason in developing scientific understanding from our perception of the physical world around us.
We also agree that our thoughts impact our actions. Hence we stress class consciousness as an educational process that is a product of our interactions with the class system.
So, are ideas in a book part of the materialist method? Well, it depends on what ideas. A book can promote contemplative reasoning. Bourgeois books will promote bourgeois thinking that harbors much idealistic reasoning in order to deny the contradictions inherent to the capitalist system. All that said, 99% of our materialist understanding of the world is based in history, and therefore must come from books (or other historical record). If we discarded books in our scientific pursuits we could not continue to build on the knowledge of the past, but would be stuck relearning the same things with each generation.
It is a crass form of materialism that says everything must come from persynal experience and direct interaction with the physical world. Rather we must learn from the actions of the people who came before us, and as we develop new theories they must be tested by us in practice through action and not just tested in our contemplative, subjective minds. Another way to look at this is that books are recorded practice and direct experiences of other people. Frederick Douglas’ writings are from eir practice with chattel slavery, and Lenin’s writings are from eir practice with the first proletarian revolution. When we say that all knowledge is 99% history, we’re not saying we should spend all our time learning using books but to see it as a starting point so we can make new practice in the future.
Notes: 1. Joseph Dietzgen, The Nature of Human Brain Work: An Introduction to Dialectics, PM Press, 2010, p.58.
As a first time writer for MIM(Prisons) I must confess that, it’s absolutely a blessing to have found such a space/medium to expose what’s currently taking place within the Georgia Department of Corrections (G.D.C), hereinafter “Georgia industrial slave complex”. Because honestly, with every issue of Under Lock & Key, I thirst to develop a political cadre, in order to establish a vanguard party among the (lumpen) prisoner class.
Here at Telfair State plantation, there’s no real sense of political consciousness among the masses nor is there any form of unity among the street tribes, whom all proclaim to have been birthed out of Black struggle to combat against oppression from a political perspective to protect their community. To which I ask, isn’t the slave plantation environment currently their community? Then why is it that their claims, tends to seem as though nothing more than “persuasive rhetoric” produced from the tenets of a force with every form of materialistic/imperialist reason to divide the common? and yet, it gets worse.
There’s a massive staff shortage at the root of many Georgia industrial slave sanitation failures and the problems don’t stop there. It’s beyond the crisis point and something needs to change. Because there’s a real humanitarian crisis. In which homicide and suicide rates has already reached “unprecedented levels.” At Least 25 slave prisoners deaths on plantation compounds in 2020 were suspected homicides, 7 at Macon State plantation, according to “G.D.C.” and 19 slave prisoners supposedly killed themselves in 2020, twice the national average.
The “G.D.C.” annual report for fiscal year 2019 (there was a lack of access for 2020 FY report) reveals constant churn. According to the OF, 78% of the department’s new hires are (overseers) “Corrections Officers,” and 71% quit before the year ended. Gov. Brian Kemp, just proposed a 9.1% pay increase for plantation(overseers) guards that would raise their entry level salary from $27,936 to $30,730. The experienced staff are leaving as fast as they can to get out of here. What we’re left with is kids trying to supervise slave prisoners they’re afraid of and that has a domino effect. Without adequate staffing, the maintenance begins to suffer, food service suffers. Because they don’t feel safe, it’s created a circular problem.
Access to healthcare is more limited than ever and mental health counselors are afraid to come in the dorms. Under-staffing has led to more slave prisoners being stationed in temporary holding cages, going extended periods without food, water or even bathroom visits. Often we’re left in those cages to urinate and defecate on ourselves. If the situation persists, lives will continue to be at stake. It’s just a matter of time before we see causalities among the staff and slave prisoners.
Urban street tribes have filled the power vacuum. The G.D.C. estimated it housed 15,000 tribe members; nearly a third of it’s total population. In the five previous years, authorities said tribe members were responsible for 1,700 assaults in Georgia industrial slave plantations. The pandemic has only made the situation worse, as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the slave plantations. Recently 24 slave prisoners tested positive for the virus; 3,100 have been infected so far, 88 have died. Another 1,482 staff members have test positive and two died from the virus, according the the G.D.C Those figures are likely 10 times below the actual number of infections, according to a recent study by the Center of Disease Control & Prevention.
I believe (the G.D.C.) is tolerating levels of chaos we have not seen in the last 20 years. The scale of the problem is so great that federal interventions is necessary and warranted. (Side note, the Department of Justice continues investigation into Georgia prisons.)
Please family, friends and those on the inside report on what is happening inside the walls of Georgia Department of Corrections prisons. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in September a state-wide civil investigation into conditions at facilities across the state. The DOJ investigation is focused on determining whether state prisoners are reasonably safe from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners. DOJ is also investigating whether the state offers reasonable protections for LGBTQIA prisoners from sexual abuse by corrections officers and other prisoners. If you or someone you know has information that could raise awareness to this cause, submit tips to:
DOJ email community.georgiaDOC@usdoj.gov. Dept. of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC 20530
MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade’s report echoes what is being reported from Alabama from prisoners organizing there. Georgia is one of the five states with a higher incarceration rate than Alabama, and of course both are in the Black Belt south. Prison systems across the country are crumbling and failing. It is our purpose to support those who are trying to organize for change amongst this chaos. These contradictions create opportunity for change.
If you did not receive a copy of the JFI petition to the Department of Justice that we mailed out with Under Lock & Key 78, write us to get copies and use them to organize a collective voice in your prison. It is only by independent, collective organizing that we can stop these unnecessary deaths and abuses.