The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Expand ULK. Send us $50 concealed cash with an address and we'll send you a stack of each issue for the next year. help out
[Legal] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 17]
expand

Campaign Update from Missouri

Censorship Campaign Update

In April 2010, we embarked upon a legal campaign to protest the Missouri DOC's decision to place a blanket ban on all CDs and tapes which carry a parental advisory label. We suggested that prisoners send in a complaint to DOC and government officials, and other prisoners' rights organizations.

On 29 June 2010 the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri responded to the letter I sent to them. In short order, they said they couldn't represent "me" in the complaint set forth in Our complaint letter, although I stressed that this was an issue that affected the entire class of prisoners in this state.

On 13 July 2010, Natania Gazek, Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.$. Justice Department responded to Our complaint and letter. Her response was that the U.$. Justice Department would not get involved in "individual" cases, but does have the authority to initiate civil action in the name of the Unite $tates. against state and local officials to remedy conditions of confinement which violate the constitution.

We shouldn't be surprised by these responses. These officials represent the interests of the state, which is imperialist in word and deed. However, what surprised me was that I wrote to over 40 organizations and groups which have memberships in these prisons including but not limited to the NAACP, NOI, Missouri CURE, Human Rights Watch, Critical Resistance, rcp=U$A, ASPS, the Fortune Society and not one of these groups had enough respect for Our struggle to even respond to Our call for help.

From this you should take that it is exceedingly important that we support groups such as MIM(Prisons) and USW who have shown in their actions that they support our struggles. We must withdraw all moral and financial support of groups and leaders who don't give a damn about our repression, yet want our membership dollars.

Legal Work

I have current federal litigation filed that alleges that the censorship policy is a violation of Our 1st and 14th Amendment rights. This case deals specifically with DOC officials' censorship of issues of Under Lock & Key and other MIM publications.

What will strengthen this case and the new case that I'm preparing is if those of you in Missouri who have had issues of ULK and other literature from MIM Distributors censored would write out declarations or affidavits stating when and what was censored and send them to the MIM(Prisons)-led Prisoners' Legal Clinic, who will send them to me. I will present this evidence to the Asst. Attorney General as proof that these illegal actions are happening in other prisons and it is not just me as an "individual" who is suffering.

In all, the lesson here is that we can't expect "justice" from our enemies and that we must organize ourselves and build independent institutions that speak to our needs. Rest assured that our enemies know full well the social implications of their policies. A persyn can only proceed as far as their knowledge will carry them and they plan to keep prisoners ignorant, addicted and coming in and out of prison as a constant source of income.

Ups to all of those who took the time, energy and efforts to send in complaints, file grievances and educate fellow prisoners on these issues and others. If you have other ideas, suggestions or strategies please send them in. Keep your heads up, stay strong, unite and organize.

This article referenced in:
chain
[Control Units] [Legal] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
expand

Keep Fighting Gang Validation

I would like to comment on the "Legal Tips to Fight Gang Validation article that was printed in ULK 16. This comrade's tips are greatly appreciated and will help a lot of prisoners who are not familiar with our rights in the validation process. Here's the thing though, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is aware of such due process rights and we get a 114-D lockup order, a chance to reboot our validations, and to be put up for the Security Housing Unit (SHU) by classification. However, it's all just a big charade without any meaningful review given at any time and no matter what we say or what evidence we present to show the source items are insufficient, unreliable and can't be used as source items per the Title 15 and relevant authority, we are ignored at every level.

I 602ed [grieved] my validation and clearly showed why my validation is false on all levels but was just given a general response at the 2nd and 3rd levels, as all prisoners are, saying I'm wrong and my validation meets the department's requirements. CDCR refuses to follow their rules and is just rubber stamping prisoners' validations and going through the motions that are nothing more than a front in an attempt to dupe the courts into believing we got our due process.

Now in my optimistic attitude I thought the courts would see the arbitrariness of my validation and actually, you know, follow the law. But when I sent in my habeas corpus to the Lassen County Superior Court it took them all of 6 days to deny my petition without holding any hearings, which is the only way the court could have determined that my source items showed "some evidence" and were reliable as they stated. So I sent my habeas corpus to the court of appeals hoping I can get a real review, which I have yet to receive. My case is no different from all other prisoners being validated here at High Desert State Prison and it won't change until we shed light on this dark process. So my question is, what do we do when the officials and courts that swore to uphold the law are disregarding it without a second thought? We all will continue to 602 and petition the courts about our fake validations for they can't ignore us forever.

Another case that is vital for validated prisoners to get their hands on to study and apply to their situation is the Lira v. Cate, No. C-00-0905 S1 (N.D.Cal. Sept. 30, 2009) which is regarding a former validated prisoner who challenged his gang validation and lack of due process and won.


MIM(Prisons) responds: They can't ignore us forever if we team up. As pointed out, people are facing the same situations all over. Legal battles are an important tool in the struggle, but we know the whole system, including the courts, is set up to oppress certain groups. Part of these struggles is making connections and working together. With enough unity around the right issues our reliance on the courts becomes less and less necessary.

chain
[Organizing] [Security] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
expand

Lumpen Loyalty Dividing the Struggle

My question to MIM(Prisons) is this: how could you consciously and intently continue to give known rats a forum or conduit to speak and voice an opinion as if he was an honorable or principled man? When has it been right in history to accept traitors? Never!

Let's keep shit non-fiction. Everybody who betrays their own can never be trusted. MIM(P), you're setting a dangerous precedent that should not be emulated in any regard. Those that will compromise all their beliefs and yet find a voice to be heard shows the weakness of the cadre. Real folks see them for who they really are: parrots, poison and cancerous cells. When one practices deceit long enough they begin to believe it. The truth and lies reverse roles. A coward dies a thousand deaths, a real one only once.

What separates the best from the rest is the loyalty, honor and dignity one has for self as well as those of like stature.


MIM(Prisons) responds:

"It is scandalous to Christians to think of a world without timeless moral values such as loyalty, honor and integrity — characteristics that God supposedly places in each of us once and for all time, especially in the more hard-line Protestant religions upholding predetermination. These moral characteristics are then referred to by the Christians as our 'moral character.' The Stalinists' opposition to such an ideology leaves the Christians aghast and hence we 'Stalinists' appear as 'amoral' to those who claim timeless values."
—MC5. Anna Larina. MIM Theory 6: The Stalin Issue, p.53.

Ironically, this quote comes from an article that defends Stalin for overseeing the killing of innocent people in an effort to eliminate spies and infiltrators during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Today we are in much different conditions in our discussion of spies and snitches, but "honor" and "loyalty" are still used to attack us. We would say that even the concept of being "principled" is dangerous. Principled is too often viewed as picking a position and sticking to it no matter what, right or wrong. But Stalin only stuck to one principle, and that was to serve the people by building socialism. Everything else is determined by a scientific analysis of conditions.

In Stalin's conditions, the principal contradiction was the fascists versus the first socialist state in modern history. Spies could have brought the destruction of the Soviet Union. In the U.$. prison movement, the principal contradiction we face is the conflicts between the lumpen themselves. Without resolving these conflicts and building unity around the mutual interests of the imprisoned population, there is no prison movement to speak of. So we must combat ultra-leftism that prevents broader unity.

We know Special Needs Yards (SNYs) are not full of scientific revolutionaries, because that's not true anywhere in the U.$. prison system today. We know that many prisoners use snitching as a way out to get more for themselves. Yet as more and more people go to SNY to opt out of the bullshit warring that the pigs have promoted, the pariah status given to SNY prisoners is playing right into the hands of the state's divide and conquer strategies. As long as general population insists on playing by the pigs' rules, SNY will continue to be an outlet for those who don't want to be pawns in the game.

Despite the rhetoric of honor and loyalty, it is a minority who really live by these ideals. Perhaps that minority are more reliable comrades in the revolutionary struggle. On the other hand, we are trying to mobilize the prison population as a whole on behalf of the interests of the oppressed, and we believe that through education people can change their character.

Of course, there is a reason why not working with the pigs is a common principle among certain populations, while most Amerikans turn to them whenever they need help. No good can come for the oppressed from working with the pigs, but we must apply this principle in a way that best pushes struggle forward.

The lumpen have an ideology of self-sacrifice and dedication that comes from their experience as oppressed people. While we often print articles that reinforce this lumpen morality when it reinforces the unity of the oppressed against the oppressor, we must also address its weaknesses. When the idealism of the masses holds back progress, we must push hard for the acceptance of scientific truth.

chain
[Education] [California] [ULK Issue 20]
expand

Educational Warfare

The Prison Industrial Complex is a form of what I call "educational warfare." It is not a war that the PIC itself has enacted, but one which it carries out, quite effectively on its already captive masses, in collusion with the larger psychological warfare agenda of the governing neo-colonial system. The prisoners languish inside, trapped in a deplorable state of ignorance. Mental boundaries often go no further than the few city blocks of their own neighborhood's horizons. The illiteracy of the many would be laughable if it were not obvious that, for the most part, it is not self-induced. With no expectations that the captors will relent, for it is not in their interest to do so, the captives must endeavor to enlighten themselves in an organized manner.

With an annual nine-figure budget, California Department of Corruption and Debilitations spends a paltry 1% on education and that being mostly focused on hands-on trades. Most offenders who flow in and out of the revolving doors are short-termers. Those who do request the few educational programs available are placed on a waiting list and end up arriving in a program too late to complete it. They are released having a basic educational benefit of nil. A few can learn plumbing, electrical, or carpentry in order that they can be used in skilled peonage supporting the infrastructure of the cage that houses them.

It is no secret to officials that studies have proven the more a prisoner is educated the less likely they will become a recidivist. It is also confirmed knowledge that higher levels of learning translate into decreased levels of physical aggression in said individuals. That alone is a threat to prison officials who thrive on prisoner violence because they are given a financial boon in the form of hazard pay when such incidents occur. Not to mention politicians who thrive on incidents of violence to terrorize their constituents into voting one way or another. The only conclusion that one can arrive at is that it is desirable to those in charge to have a segment of the population destitute of their rights, politics, economics, social development, higher learning, organizing skills, and the value of true freedom.

It stands to reason that the forces who desire the true good of society must consider the importance of educating prisoners. Educated prisoners, when released, have not only more confidence, but they also possess greater opportunities of obtaining gainful employment. This will give them the potential to aid in restoring economic value to families and communities. Educated prisoners increase the pool of those who can become politically active to affect lasting societal change. Educated prisoners increase their chance of avoiding legal trouble and if faced with such, unjustly, may have better tools to avoid imprisonment. Educating prisoners will decrease crime and violence as minds expand and deepen. A society is judged by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable, and is only as strong as its weakest link.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Though all that this prisoner explains is true, the imperialists don't see benefits from educating the oppressed. That is why we run a Free Political Books for Prisoners Program, and conduct political study classes with our comrades behind bars. For many prisoners this is the only education available, and we have seen great advances in understanding and organizing as the result of our programs. By expanding the understanding of the oppressed we heighten the contradictions that must be resolved to end this oppression. Only a society that has eliminated the profit motive of capitalist economics can grant all people the same rights and opportunities.

chain
[National Oppression] [ULK Issue 50]
expand

Black Panther or Aryan Soldier

With extreme I compose this essay in hopes to shed light on a prison-related issue of national oppression and prison organizations. The Black Panther Party (BPP), and similar organizations, are not entirely made up of Blacks. Far from it. This is because the BPP's whole creed and politics center around non-racism and equality. Whereas you must be 100% white to become an aryan soldier (AS). And an AS's whole creed revolves around that fact. Literally the 14/88 of the aryans stands for "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."(14 words) and the 88 precepts are set at that exact number because the eighth letter in the alphabet is "H." and "HH" stands for Heil Hitler! And I'm sure readers are familiar with the Nazis.

Aryans believe in and support such myths as Valhalla (palace in which the souls of slain heroes feasted for eternity) and Valkyries (maidens who selected heroes destined to be slain in the battle and escorted them to Valhalla) geared from ancient Norse mythology. Whereas Panthers believe in and support science and a thing called "materialist dialectics" which basically states contradiction exists in everything [everything that's not a fairy tale or myth] and in order to embrace reality, or change it if you wish, one must understand these contradictions inherent in things.

If we were to look at the reason why an aryan has time for nursery rhymes and fictional deities we'd see it's because the white imperialist elite system these aryans live in already supports such idealist metaphysical ideals. And in truth, a person who doesn't oppose a system thereby supports that system, as silence is taken as acceptance of that system.

And why not? The 14 million children who starve to death annually and the over 500,000 Iraqi children who've died because of U.$. sanctions aren't white children. If one of our white baby Jessicas slips down a hole we aryan nation amerikans pull out all the stops. And I say aryan nation because history has shown the U.$. leaves these aryan gangs and organizations alone. At least compared to what the U.$. government did to the Black Panthers. Has anyone ever heard of a COINTELPRO (counter intelligence FBI program) roundup of aryans? Inside of Amerika? Just look at how long it took the U.$. to step in and oppose the nazis.

So why isn't an aryan soldier deemed a threat but a Panther is?

Is it because the Panthers actually voice dissent at a system that allows millions of children to starve to death? At a system that wars for profit and imprisons for the simple fact you are not white, or rich enough to dodge the bullet? Because the Panthers use statistics and percentages:


U.$. Black incarceration rate per 100,000: 1,947
U.$. white incarceration rate per 100,000: 306(1)
Iraqi children killed because of U.$. sanctions (1996): 500,000 (2)

Not folklore and myth to attempt to grasp reality, they're "dangerous" and deemed a threat to the white elitists who run the amerikan military, and prison industries.

A Panther seeks an end to all wars. What is the aryan soldier's take on the issue of war? They don't have one. Unless it's the willingness to join the U.$. military and fight for "their" country. A Panther will not join the military out of moral and ethical beliefs.

And then we come to "choice of words" or "manners" that these two groups have adopted over time because their environments have forced such polarities. A person in the aryan soldier brotherhood has time to write about and justify his tattoos. He could be seen as a man who isn't in no hurry at all. No danger for this man or his people is imminent. He thinks of tattoos. And justifying himself and his gang.

But a panther worried about the deaths of his friends, loved ones and comrades, at the hands of an aryan system, will speak with an entirely different tone of voice. Because he must hurry, it's life or death for him, his family and 15 million children annually. His people. The ones oppressed and dying because of this white elitist aryan system of government.

It's like this. You and a friend are walking toward the Grand Canyon. 1,000 yards away your buddy turns around and walks backwards smiling at you. You say, "funny, but we're far away from the cliff. nice tattoos." At about 500 yards you say "well dude, better face forward or you'll walk over the cliff." At 5 yards you're not going to smile and say "please"; you'll grab him; or if he's too far away, you'll scream "stop! now!" even if it hurts his feelings or upsets him.

Unless you'd rather talk about his hair style or tattoos. Unless you don't care if he (15 million children) die. Would it make a difference to an aryan soldier what color this man's, 5 yards from a cliff's edge walking towards it backwards, skin was? Most certainly it would. Read the 14 words.

Even though I'm a white "redneck," I am very put off by aryan soldiers. I personally am ashamed and embarrassed when anyone tries to support or stick up for "14/88" or "skinhead($)". And, i guess, this makes me a race traitor to these people, and a captive that sticks up for "undesirables." But I don't care. I'm already deemed a "threat to the community" and a "terrorist" in most people's eyes. What's a group of Nazis 'hating on me' going to add to the state of Utah's and government's already dislike for my anti-imperialist person? Nothing.

To justify a Black Panther and their beliefs is progressive and correct. To (attempt to) justify a white supremacist is backwards and frightening to the world's majority.

Notes:

1. MIM Theory 11: Amerikkkan Prisons on Trial, p. 59.
2. Arundhati Roy, "Power Politics", p. 111.

chain
[Control Units]
expand

Home Sweet Home

Go to your bathroom door and kick a hole in it. Now lock yourself in tight. Throw all your hygiene items, except a toothbrush and toothpaste tube, out the hole. Everything. Now go sit. The light switch disappears and the shower splits. A little speaker replaces them. It listens and sometimes speaks to you, laughs at you, taunts you, tells you your sufferings entertaining. You can't shut off the light with no switch and you'll have to shower using the sink. As you sit you hear ten or so voices outside the door. That's funny, sounds like that guy who robbed my mother's house last year and put her in a wheelchair after brutally beating and raping her. It can't be! Is that the judge that let the man run free too? And his twisted attorney? Why they here?

The worst enemies you could imagine, or put a face to, have just moved into your house as you sit in the bathroom. These people wish you harm of the utmost, and your death would be nothing but joy to them. All your food, and any mail you might be expecting, will have to come from these "squatter-enemies." Good luck!

To make matters worse, these enemies of yours control all your heating, air conditioning, water form your sink and to your toilet. And to top it off, if they see you sleeping they'll kick the door and yell at you, then laugh.

You can hear these men day and night right outside your door. You smell them Bar-B-Qing and smoking. You're hungry. You can hear these men torturing people. Sometimes other people in similar bathrooms next to yours are pulled out and placed in body bags. To these "squatter's" amusement.

A day passes this way.

"My god," you say "what have I done to deserve this?"
A week passes
You cry
A month
You attempt suicide but your vein closes up before death
A year

You are now talking to yourself and running around naked. You are convinced the food you seldom receive, that's halfway edible, is poisoned. As you eat the rotten "meat" your beard and mustache get in the way of the teeth chewing. You couldn't cry if life depended on it. And it used to. But you've forgotten why.

Two years.

You can't remember. You've forgotten. Forgotten what? You don' know. The "squatter-enemies" come around and you look at them. They look at you. They laugh. You start to laugh too. You forgot why. But you do.

Three years.

You sleep 20 hours a day. You can't help it. But your floor's clean. You keep it spotless. You don't know why. But you do. You're skinny. You've lost an easy 60 pounds. Your skin's turning yellow and your legs cramp up and atrophy. You don't want to die anymore. Why bother? You'd rather sleep and dream. The dreams are so vivid. More real than these walls.

Five years

You go home, you leave your bathroom, this year they tell you that. But why? Where do I go? I don't want to leave now. I like my tub and sink…


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade vividly describes the torture that is found in control units in prisons across the U.$. The criminal injustice system uses the torture chambers as tools to break the will of politically conscious prisoners. It is one more weapon in the criminal injustice system's work of social control. For more information about these units and what you can do to join the fight, see our campaign against prison control units.

chain
[Campaigns] [Scotland Correctional Institution] [North Carolina]
expand

Staff Assault Prisoner, Ignore Grievance

In August 2010, Sgt Lowry grabbed me from behind and started choking me. It is on video tape. I was in my cell and unit manager Covington had my cell door opened and lock-opened. He asked me to dress and exit my cell. I step out my cell door. I was then grabbed from behind and choked. They acted out of retaliation from two officers being in a confrontation with another convict earlier.

My case is a sure assault on a convict. I have witnesses, plus I wrote RN Barrett up for denying me medical attention. I finally received medical attention on August 20, eighteen days after the assault. I've been trying to receive further medical attention and medical has not made any attempts at scheduling or assisting me with my neck injury I sustained from being choked. The facility and the medical department at Scotland Correctional are working together against my claim of assault. I have written various letters to assist superintendent Stanback concerning this matter. I have not received step two from grievance even though I signed off on step 1 a month ago. No one is answering my paperwork.

My case is very strong against them. This is why they are avoiding me. Hoping I will get tired of writing or pursuing the issue. I just need the proper legal back-up. I would appreciate your advice or referral in this matter.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Unfortunately it is typical that prisoner's grievances are ignored by staff, especially when they directly accuse a staff person of wrong doing. For this reason we are working with USW comrades on a grievance campaign. We have petitions set up for several states and need prisoners to help expand this across the country. Contact us for more information and to get a copy of the petition for your state (or to get a generic petition that you can customize for your state).

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry]
expand

The Cause

I endure draconian conditions with an acrimonious mainframe
surrounded by animals who poorly pose as human with
transparent pious characters
They attempt to sway me with virulent ideologies
Thoroughly adding to the dumb urban inmate stereotype
makeshift cadres are formed, under myopic manifestos
to establish misguided unity among the misguided
who enthusiastically appoint a despot to lead & maneuver
flocks into self destruction
Unconscious & unintelligent most blindly embrace
this way of life in the name of "the cause"… the cause?
an imaginary cause that leaves those dedicated filled
with an undeserving sense of accomplishment
severe daddy issues has them covered in tattoos
hoping to hide or disguise "the little boy inside"
striving to fill their voids with praises of approval
from: perros, comrades and even n'dugus
slip once and its a wrap [full throttle relegation] "exile" SNY
disgraced & disrespected after years of dedication
your position was boss, but in the end it means nothing
Mr. Victim, statistic neo-enemy of "the cause"


MIM(prisons) responds: There are a few points in this which require a response. First, the "daddy issues" which is a psychology term not clearly explained here but which we universally oppose. There is no need to get into psychoanalysis of people to figure out their material interests and to explain their actions. We need to be scientific when we look at our friends and our enemies and understand their political and material motivations. On the SNY question, we have written extensively and published many letters in Under Lock and Key explaining that we do not oppose those in SNY on principal, but rather look at their practice like we look at the practice of all prisoners to determine whose side they are on. While the SNY does house snitches who have sold out their people for some benefits from the pigs, it also houses people looking to escape the violence and political games of mainline.

chain
[Organizing] [Security] [Texas]
expand

Snitch Solution

Ears on alert everyone - wherever snitches roam carelessly, claiming that this is their "get down" generation ready to put any prisoner way down.

There's no doubt that snitching has gotten out of hand in prison, but here in Texas we have found a good solution to this shameful way. If you want to be a "snitch", go ahead get down, I and other prison reformers have decided to support you all the way. You can declare victory now!

Pick up your pen and paper, if you need more, feel free to ask for more from any of us. No one will try to stop you, as long as you start snitching 24-7 to our state Senators and Representatives about our prison conditions. I truly believe that you, snitches, can get something rolling, and help us bring some kind of change for the betterment of thousands, if not millions. That's truly getting down, maybe someday others will stop calling you a snitch and honor your efforts because you finally got it right. Other prisoners are not the enemy - for sure.

What are you waiting for, become part of the solution, stop contributing to the problem. If that's what makes you a snitch, then more power to you, use your mind and your prison time for the struggles of someday fulfilling better prison reform. Go ahead, if you plan to do something, let it be done in prison style, that'll be the day, I and thousands more, maybe millions of prisoners will shake your hand tight, call you a real brother, never a snitch.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade correctly points out that there is a political line behind snitching. And when it is the imperialists and their pigs committing the worst crimes, we support those who are brave enough to come forth and expose the truth.

chain
[National Oppression] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
expand

Lockdown of "northern hispanics" at HDSP [Z-Unit Background Story]

I'm writing you today regarding High Desert State Prison's (HDSP) violation of my constitutionally protected rights (as well as the rights of many other inmates). Those violations include 14th amendment (due process), 1st amendment (freedom of religion) and 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) just to name a few! Now I would like to give you a little of the background and then a brief rundown on conditions here at HDSP in the Z Unit Administrative segregation Unit as well as how these violations are taking place.

On August 4, 2009 HDSP targeted "northern hispanic" prisoners on C-yard general population, due to supposed racial tension between white prisoners and "northern hispanic" prisoners (there was no tension until HDSP staff started spreading false rumors). Note: because of these rumors both white and "northern hispanic" prisoners were placed on lockdown the first week of June 2009. On August 4, 2009 staff turned all water off on C-yard prior to 8am. Then IGI/ISU started a building by building sweep of all (only) "northern hispanic" prisoners. All were systematically strip searched, cuffed and removed from their cells, wearing only boxers and shower thongs. Our boxers were then taped to our stomachs and around our legs (the taping was done on bare skin). All these prisoners were taken outside and wanded with hand held metal detectors and we were then sent to one of three destinations: 1) if your names was on the list for validation you went to the gym where you were medically cleared and then forced, by investigators, to be photographed, then sent to ad-seg. 2) if the list did not say validated by your name, and the metal detector did not beep you went to the dining hall. 3) if the wand beeped you went to potty watch. Note: some inmates went to potty watch even without the wand beeping. All "northern hispanic" prisoners' property was confiscated and thrown in the gym where it was searched and personal items were lost, destroyed and damaged by careless correctional officers.

This was simply a racially motivated attack by HDSP! Close to if not more than half of all "northern hispanics" on C-yard were removed from general population and sent to ad-seg and then validated.

Now the aforementioned is just the background and beginning to the violations of our constitutionally protected rights. Since my arrival in Z unit, staff has refused to follow the policies set forth in California Code of Regulations Title 15 section 3343 - conditions of segregation - with their willful and blatant disregard for following state created rules and regulations, they (HDSP) are in violation of the 14th amendment of the US constitution, specifically the Due Process Clause. Now let me briefly explain the conditions they are violating.

1) Clothing/laundry exchange - this has recently improved, however prisoners for the most part must still wash their clothing by hand, because the exchange offered is either old and worn out or there is only one or two different items available. Prisoners also do not receive proper winter attire. It is extremely cold and it snows much of the late fall, winter and early spring. The jackets given to us do not button up nor do they zip up, and prisoners are not allowed gloves or beanies. The only clothing we are allowed to wear outside at yard are a pair of socks, boxers, t-shirt, thin cloth jumpsuit, jacket and a lightweight pair of state issued slip-on shoes, and if a prisoner has already purchased their own, prior to ad-seg placement, a set of thermals. This is all in sub-zero temps.

2. Meals are served in unsanitary conditions. Food is served cold, mixed together some items are stale and fruit is rotten, and meat and other food is undercooked.

3. Mail is late, lost and destroyed, outgoing mail is lost, delayed or not mailed at all.

4. Personal cleanliness - prisoners are supposed to be allowed to shave 3 times a week, however in the year plus that I have been in Z unit I have never shaved more than once in any given week and then it's not with a razor, it's with haircutting clippers. Also indigent supplies such as the tooth floss and bodywash/soap is not always passed out. Supplies for cleaning our cells are not adequate to last the week nor are they always provided.

5. Exercise yard - yard is often canceled. For example in February of 2010 our section only had yard four times the entire month. Prisoners are supposed to get a minimum of 10 hours per week of yard. While at yard in the winter, prisoners are strip searched outside in snow, ice and 10 degree temps. While we are standing there naked correctional officers laugh and say "it's not that cold out here!" Not only do these actions listed above violate 14th amendment rights, they are also violating the 8th amendment and are (most if not all of them) a form of cruel and unusual punishment.

All of the previously mentioned issues I have tried to address via the institutional appeal system (CDCR 602) but I have been stopped at every turn. Staff either toss it in the trash, disregard it, or screen it out every time I attempt to bring these issues to the table. Therefore they are not allowing issues to be resolved administratively nor are they allowing us to be able to seek judicial review.

Other major issues include these validations from August 4, 2009 - most if not all of them are bogus as well as prejudicial. For example, not one point used to validate me meets CDCR criteria, state or federal laws. Now my initial paperwork said I was only under investigation. Less than 2 months later I received a second 114-D which said the first one was a lie, the investigation was concluded in July 2009 (which was prior to my ad-seg placement). These lies did not allow me to prepare a proper defense to combat these allegations. This is the standard operating procedure of staff and administrators here at HDSP which is to tell one story after another, lie after lie, and this is designed to keep prisoners confused and off balance.

Validated inmates are not being transferred to the SHU unit due to supposed over crowding at the SHUs, so here at HDSP it takes 2-3 years to be transferred. SHU inmates are supposed to be allowed an appliance, i.e. a TV or a radio, but not here in Z unit, here we don't even receive all of our allowable property. Also the lighting is poor, causing eye strain. There are no fire extinguishers in the cells. Toilets are on flush meters meaning if you flush more than 2 times in 5 minutes the toilets will shut down for an hour. Also power outages disable the toilets and those are frequent. Also there are ants, spiders, mice and birds on the tier. Which leads to animal (mouse) and bird feces on the walls, the doors, the floors as well as all over the yard cages. Each and every one of these issues are a violation of the 8th amendment and they create cruel and unusual conditions of punishment.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This testimonial highlights the difficulties with the grievance system that many prisoners face when fighting the atrocious conditions in the criminal injustice system. We point this prisoner and others to the grievance campaign that was initiated by a California prisoner working with United Struggle from Within and has now spread to states across the country. [Since receiving this report, a full blown campaign to end the abuses at the "Z-Unit Zoo" has developed.]

chain