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Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [Allred Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 7]
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Life in danger after being labeled a gang member

I am here in Allred Unit in Texas. I was reading a friend's Under Lock and Key paper and it caught my eye when I was looking at the article about segregation in Texas. I can't believe it, but it's all true the way security threat group classification works in Texas prisons.

I'm here in Seg at Allred. It started back in San Antonio Texas. I went to court for my charge and the DA was talking about me being a suspected gang member, which I am not at all. My case was not strong so I took a 3 year sentence. I got to the prison and the Security Threat Group label is waiting for me like a hawk. They start asking me all these things about my past. I told them I am not part of anything. They said it's on my travel card from court. I did all I could to make them understand the card is wrong. But they pulled me out in front of the other prisoners and so the prisoners started thinking I am somebody. So my only chance was to ask for help.

Not only do the prisoncrats think I am a gang member, but now these other guys think I'm a member or ex-member so my problems got worse. Some of the prisoners planned to take me out so my only chance was to tell the prison administrators that my life is in danger. When I told them this I got segregation under investigation. They transfered me to another unit. When I got to the new unit I told them I can't go to population so they told me I will stay in pre-hearing detention and wait for the prison to make a decision. They finally shipped me to an ex-gang member unit and then transfered me to population. I got jumped and beat up real bad. Then they told me that if I don't tell the prison that I'm an active gang member they will leave me where I am. To protect myself I have to claim something I am not. If I claim I am a gang member I can go to Seg.

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[Organizing] [California]
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Snitches, agents of the oppressor

Whether you call it snitchin, rollin over, or throwin rat, there has been a trend take over of brothas and sistas alike cooperating with the oppressor. Now I don't know why, but it seems to be a subject that many whisper about but few are willing to discuss. It's nothing new, but due to the over-popularity of its recent trend, many people are falling victim to the reconstruction of its appearance. And something needs to be done.

Since the beginning of history there have been traitors, informers, and infiltrators, so I'm not looking for a magic potion that'll eliminate the existence of snitching. I'm just looking for my revolutionary comrades to start (or put more effort in) educating each other on the existence of the snitch population, because it seems with so many falling victim to the traps of the oppressing agency, somebody somewhere failed to do so.

Snitchin ain't cool, solid, or proper, no matter how one chooses to dress it up and define it. It shouldn't be tolerated under any conditions or circumstances, whether you're incarcerated, caught up in court on a beef that involved a rad or two with you havin nothing to do with the case, or on the streets under investigation for an involvement, or lies with a certain revolutionary struggle/movement. It is totally unacceptable for one to open up his or her mouth to volunteer his or her cooperation with the oppressor.

As a revolutionary comrade to the USW, I find it my duty to speak on the issue and address it with all my heart.

Here in California there's been a trend of general population inmates turnin in there flags to the administrators for a life in the world of a P.C (peace of $hit) - Protective Custody. Now excuse the french, because I know there are a few celebs lie 'ol O.J. Simpson who reside in the system and have to be PC'ed up so they can keep the vultures off them. But I'm talking about the pieces of shit's, the child molesters, rapists and informers for the government. Dudes who used to be part of the criminal lifestyle, but violated the script, and used the PC route for a scape goat.

These individuals are the ones who are the main reasons prisons all over Amerikkka are fucked up the way they are. If it weren't for this population of individuals, the prison officials wouldn't know half the things they know about the prisoner organizing tactics and strategies, helping them to better limit us of our much needed resources, cornering our struggle and section of the end to imprisonment movement.

California has what they call the sensitive need yard (SNY) program, and it is under the protective custody program. It seems that convicts (ex-convicts) of all ages are flocking to the wardens to be enrolled. The program is separated from the GP prisoners, but already it is more of them than it is of us. A common joke amongst the GP prisoners is that in a few years we'll be the prison minority.

I can't speak on the lifestyle of a PC because I've never been on that side of the fence, but I can speak on how the PC lifestyle messes up the lifestyle of the GP.

After a prisoner decides he wants to go rat, he must inform the faculty Sgt officer of his intentions and why. Once this is done the goon squad (institutional security unit or institutional gang investigator) will get at him to receive any information that can be given. Weapons, drugs, names of the politically active, etc. From what I hear, if the information is valid enough they sign him up as a confidential informant and use him to take down individual convicts or whole convict organizing groups.

This snitch then is provided with special needs: a TV or a cell phone, or whatever the guard has to spear with its budget, which makes him want to stay on his job and encourage others to join his Inmate Task Force.

With these individuals existing along with their selfless structure of thinking, the solid revolutionary must truely practice knowing what they deal with, and the ways they deal with them. Back in the mid-sixties the convict element knew of no PC or Sensitive Needs Yards. Dudes got their paperwork checked at the front door, and if he/she had smut on their jacket, it would either be cleaned up or dealt with accordingly.

Now days you ask a dude for his/her ID, and he's bound to call the pigs. I'm supposed to be surrounded by these group of individuals claiming to be incarcerated for murdering a pig, but really be down for molesting a little girl or something. Something I'm totally against, and believe deserves capital punishment right along with the blooming snitch trend.

Informants are being placed on the main lines nationwide comrades, watch yo self and who you surround yourself with. The oppressor has become more aggressive in his/her campaign to destroy communism in Amerikkka (the U.$. to be exact) by putting eyes on the party's people even more so.

Those who are educated behind these walls are a threat to the prison officials and their puppeteers, because we can educate those who aren't. We are the political cadres for the movement to end oppression and imprisonment, and we must conduct ourselves as such. Safe guard yourself for there will always be eyes on you, whether it's the mailroom or Bush and his telecom eavesdroppers.

The snitcin game isn't to be played by a true revolutionary, for it's everything that we as communists are against. It's the game that destroyed the Gang of Four in China, the Bolsheviks in Russia, and Huey P. Newton and the Panthers here in the U.$. Prison rads must safeguard themselves, watch what you say, where you say it, when you say it, how you say it, and who you say it to.

Power to the People.


MIM(Prisons) responds:
This comrade makes some important points about security for our comrades behind bars. We do take issue with one point in his article: MIM(Prisons) does not make a distinction between prisoners based on the crimes for which they were convicted. We know that it is easy enough to convict a Black man for rape of a white womyn, and that coerced sex goes on in marriages, relationships and families, every day. Because sex under the patriarchy is inherently unequal we don't condemn those convicted of rape as somehow inferior to other prisoners. Instead we struggle with all prisoners to see the error of committing crimes against the people, and encourage them to take up the revolutionary struggle.

We also don't support capital punishment for anyone under imperialism because the capitalists use the death penalty to further their political agenda. We know that it may be necessary under a dictatorship of the proletariat, but we strive to avoid taking lives that could be turned into productive revolutionary citizens.

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[Prison Labor] [California]
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Jobs and rehab in California prisons

Jobs at this prison, what a joke. I've been sitting on my ass for 3 years and still no job. They have few jobs at this place, if you are lucky you can be a slave and work in a chow hall and bust your ass for 10 hours a day. They have 30 people and only 7 are fortunate to receive a pay number. The highest paid slave is the clerk, he makes 32 cents an hour but he owes restitution so they take 55% and he has to pay $5 for medical so he will take home $1.40 a month. The pig who is his supervisor makes $43 an hour with all the overtime he wants.

As for other jobs, if you are into boot licking you can be a janitor in the watch office. All you have to do is clean after the pigs and rat on everyone, for that you get a whole 8 cents an hour. If you want to learn a trade they have a few vocational classes. They have auto body and paint. You get to paint and repair pigs personal cars for free. Does society know that these scumbags are driving BMWs, Porsches and $50,000 Corvettes? While our families are suffering from the recession these scumbags are buying cars, houses and all sorts of fun toys, all from the peoples taxes.

I have no money, no family, no income, I get a bar of soap, a razor, some tooth powder and a roll of toilet paper once a week. They added the word rehabilitation to CDC. I want to file a lawsuit for false advertisement. They offer no form of rehab at all. This is a human storage unit with babysitters who pull in $130,000 a year, all on the tax payers.

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[Education] [California] [ULK Issue 6]
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Responses to ULK5

To my loyal solid freedom fighters. ULK5 has reached its destination safe and sound (to my hands). I must say this one really caught my eye. It's contents are enjoyable and very inspiring to say the least. First, I'd like to extend my thanks and appreciation to MIM for their unending support and dedication. You never fail to teach or elighten me on so many different levels. I can't wait to be set free and given my opportunitity to help and shine a light on the injustices of this corrupt system.

I'm pending validation right now so I can really identify with what was said in ULK. Obama changes nothing, Amerika can't see this point of view. I mean are they blind, in denial, or what? Especially when rappers, musicians, go out of their way to show support. I understand the dire need for change. But changing the face is not going to change the system. The comrade who wrote this article couldn't have said it better: "why is it that if Barrack Obama starts talking about the empowering of oppressed people in this country, he wouldn't stand a chance of becoming President?" Because that's the truth and a lot of people can't handle the truth.

And to CDC's name change, it's ridiculous, nothing but a lie. I'm up for parole in a matter of months. I've been down 10 years. What are they doing to help me prepare for society? Not a damn thing. Except find a way to oppress me even more by labeling me an active gang member and validating me as a prison gang member. All in an attempt to further hinder my so-called freedom once I depart from these gates.

Now I'd like to take a minute and respond to a New York prisoner's words. His is a response to ULK4. He sees the great need for struggle, this can't be stressed enough. We must be patient and humble. Do not let others actions or words disturb our peace and harmony. We need to stay focused on the big picture which would be true liberation. We must educate ourselves and learn rules, laws, and regulations. Even CDC's appeal system. I know it sounds crazy. The system sets up a system to hear their own grievances against them. I have no faith in it either from personal experience.

There is a way to work it, however, and that is get an outside organization to assist you. Send them copies and have them send them into wardens or overseers. You must have patience, build a paper trail, and document everything pertaining to said incident. My last citizen complaint took 4 months just to hear it on an informal level. The stalling in time is just a tactic CDC uses but don't be discouraged. Assist one another, teach and guide one another.

And to a Mississippi prisoner's Combatting Liberalism: very well spoke comrade. I aspire to put words together as you have. They truly inspired me. Reading this whole ULK was inspiring. It's words such as these that keeps that fire burning within to the fullest. I awake everyday eager to learn or teach somebody something new.

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[Censorship] [Legal] [New Mexico]
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Legal Mail caselaw needed

I have been getting blocked from accessing the courts by mail due to my indigency and DACDC refusing to send out my legal mail to the courts. I have been writing 2-3 times per week to submit motions and add exhibits as evidence including 40 more mail rejection notices and 10 envelopes from the Supreme Court of New Mexico Law Library that were not processed properly as legal mail. Can you advise me on this or at least give me appropriate case law to cite in this regard?

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[Abuse] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 6]
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Brutality in Pennsylvania

I was recently sent to the suicide observation cell due to a renegade C.O. I've always had problems with telling lies about me being suicidal. After 2 days of telling the proper people I wasn't suicidal, they called for a "cell entry team" to remove me from my cell by saying that I was still a danger to myself as well as others. The "cell entry team" was getting ready to enter my cell without cuffing me first (which is against policy) and I just so happened to look at the officer holding the camera and he mumbles the words "they are gonna fuck you up!." Later I found out that that wasn't a warning at all, that was for me to have knowledge before hand that I was about to have my brains beat in. Upon hearing that message I thought was a warning, I went to the door and looked into the camera and stated, "I am not refusing to come out, I am also willing to comply with being cuffed and moved to another cell without any problems." Once that was done that messed their whole game plan up to try to assault me.

Once I got cuffed I was ordered to get on my knees, to which I complied. Then once the door was buzzed open I was kicked in my back so hard I went face first towards the marble floor. Once they completely entered my cell I had one officer who made his way over top of my head and repeatedly used his knee to assault the back of my head. Once all that was over, instead of putting me in another cell as I was told, they put me in 5 point restraint chair for an unbelievably painful 8 hours. The straps across my upper body were the worst, they were pulled so tight I passed out after about 2 hours and when I woke up my whole eight hours was finished. I had to get medical attention due to cuts and bruises from the straps.

I filed a grievance on it and now I'm waiting for the first response. We all know that even though I have this whole incident on video it's still gonna get shot down by the DOC to try to discourage me from going all the way with it. I'm filing a lawsuit and I will not settle until justice is met.

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[Legal] [Censorship] [Missouri]
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The First Amendment is Disregarded by Prisonkrats

Under the United States Constitution, in particular the First Amendment, is Our fundamental right of freedom of speech, expression, association and religion. This means that people have the right to freely express themselves socially, politically or religiously no matter how radical or backwards the ideas may seem. Everyone has the right to believe what they choose and to freely express those views. At lease that is what the law says.

However, prison administrators across the country have continuously and deliberately violated prisoner's rights based upon the false assumptions that the social, historical and political material that they are receiving is somehow a threat to the prison safety and security.

What this amounts to in reality is the prisonkrats suppressing Our right to associate with, receive mail from, correspond with, possess the literature of, or be part of any group or organization that is political in nature, and especially those groups or organizations which are critical of the prison industrial complex. The last thing the prisonkrats want to see is a bunch of prisoners who are socially and politically conscious and active. They want Us to stay ignorant and in the dark, as We are their job security.

Everyone who is currently incarcerated must learn not only mailroom policy and procedure, but what federal case law supports and protects Our rights. If you aren't doing anything to challenge the repressive/oppressive conditions, then you really have no right to complain. I am encouraging all of you whose rights have been violated to appeal those decisions through the grievance process and to exhaust all of your administrative remedies. Once this is done, you should prepare and file suit under 42 USCA 1983, which is the federal civil rights lawsuit and the proper legal avenue to challenge the system's censorship of your mail.

For those of you in Missouri, I am currently preparing a federal complaint and once filed, you may be able to become a part of this suit if it is "certified" as a class action, meaning that the censorship policy is violating our rights as a class.

I am asking all of you on the outside who support Our right to receive literature and information to write letters to the Director of the Department of Corrections. and the warden here and let them know that you are aware of their illegal activity of violating Our rights and that you support Our right to receive information, correspond with and be members of outside social and political organizations.

For those who are not too abreast of the law, here are some cases that the courts rely on regarding censorship. These are your weapons, use them well.

Turner v. Safely 482 U.S.78. 107 S.Ct 2254
Proconier v. Martinez 416 U.S.396. 94 S.Ct 1800
Thornburgh v. Abbott 490 U.S. 4o1
Johnson v. Raemisch 557 F.Supp 2d 964
Jacklovich v. Simmons 392 F.3d 42o

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Thank you for your support. You can also contact me through MIM for more information. Send letters of support/protest to:

Larry Crawford, Director
Missouri Dept. of Corrections
PO Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 526-6607

Troy Steele, Warden
Southeast Correctional Center
300 E. Pedro Simmons Dr.
Charleston, MO 63834
(573) 683-4409

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[Spanish] [Texas] [ULK Issue 6]
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Pornografia y su censura

En general la pornografía es censurada en prisiones para mantener el control en las prisiones con el propósito de ejercer poder. La pornografía ciertamente no lleva a ningun problema de seguridad en las prisiones, ni de ningun modo pone en peligro el poder de la estructura. Y todos sabemos que los guardias, tanto como hombres y mujeres, usan la sexualidad para presionar a los prisioneros. En respuesta a nuestro articulo ULK4, sobre este tema, demasiados prisioneros respondieron describiendo muchos casos donde los guardias usan la sexualidad para controlar a los prisioneros. Pero de ninguna manera quiere decir que la pornografía sirve como un proposito progresivo para los prisioneros.

Nosotros nos oponemos a la pornografia porque se trata de re-enforzar la opresión de genero. Pornografía del romance capitalistico donde las condiciones de la cultura hace que las personas tengan relaciones enfermas de genero. De la theoría MIM 2/3 Genero y Revolución Feminista, "Una de las maneras que la sexualidad del hombre es instituida es por medio de la pornografía. Robin Morgan dijo: 'Pornografía es la theoría, violación es la practica.' Pornografía es el medio de justificación sexual y violencia contra la mujer. Su mensaje es 'Una mentira contra la mujer, que vivimos para satisfacer y servir al hombre, y que nuestro placer profundo se encuentra en esclavitud y sobornación..."

También en MT2/3 "Los que apoyan el derecho de pornografía son los que apoyan el derecho para degradar a la mujer y venderlas de tal manera. En otras palabras la pornografía no tiene valor si muestra a la mujer haciendo cosas poderosas, importante, y cosas sin valor. Su valor esta en connección con enseñar a una prostituta lista para ser violada. MCO suguiere que estas personas que apoyan estos derechos son las mismas personas que argumentan que las prisiones muestran tratos humanos y su rehabilitación trabaja."

Aun si la pornografía esta prohibida en prisión, la pornografía seguira estando presente afuera de las prisiones, perpetuando, y re-enforzando la opresión de genero en nuestra sociedad. MIM(Prisiones) se opone a la pornografía en esta sociedad, pero en este momento nos oponemos a la censura que a la pornografía. Ni la pornografía ni la literatura de politica debería ser prohibida por los trabajadores de prisión, que son empleados como armas del estado. Por esta razón estamos dispuestos a unirnos con los que producen pornografía que estan en contra de las censuras en prisiones, mientras nuestro punto sigue firme la pornografía no debería ser protegida por la constitución sobre un dictador de una sociedad baja donde el habla esta protegida para servir los intereses de la mayoría de la gente en este mundo. Estamos peleando en contra de la censura en prisión, no a favor de asegurar la entrada de pornografía en prisión.

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[Censorship] [Florida] [ULK Issue 6]
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More Vibe, King, XXL Subscriptions cancelled

Last night at dinnertime they served what you call "baked chicken" and it had blood running out of it. It had a stink to it. You can catch salmonella this way and it can kill you. The canned greens had sand all in them, the carrots had mud stains on them and the rice was raw. None of these foods were washed or cooked properly. This is done regularly. I've written grievances and complaints to no avail. This is just inhuman, we are human beings not pigs out in a barn.

I canceled my XXL Magazine subscription. My Vibe and King subs should be about up too. They rejected Vibe November 2008 for so-called "gang signs" as well as my first issue of King. I'm sending you the copies of both of the censorship notices so you can contact them for me. I sent grievances (formal and informal) out about my Vibe magazine and never saw a response- it's December now, this is ridiculous.

MIM responds: We have also attempted to contact Harris Publications a number of times regarding racist censorship of their publications, but we have not received a response either. This is just one of an increasing number of reports we are receiving regarding the censorship of these three publications in prisons across the country. So far, they seem unconcerned with the subscription cancellations. We encourage prisoners to change to an Under Lock & Key subscription and support a publication that will stand up for your basic constitutional rights. Even though we offer free subscriptions to prisoners, anyone who can afford to should be contributing to our printing and postage costs. We are a 100% self-funded by comrades in the movement.

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[Organizing] [Montana] [ULK Issue 7]
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Call for unity among Montana prisoners

I'm writing in support of the Montana prisoner article detailing corrupt medical services and canteen schemes for profit. I've been a prisoner here in the Montana prison system since 2001. Over the years I've seen many changes, most for the worst. The biggest and the one that truly makes me sick, is the total collapse of prisoner unity in our prison system.

There's a scary trend of new prisoners entering here. It's all about submissive cooperation with prison officials. Making deals with the man (snitching, confidential informants) to secure favors from prison administrators (extra privileges, early release). Also a bad case of "Good ol Day" or "Back in the Day" syndrome. Unfortunately most people just talk, bitch or complain. Old timers are not standing up to teach the youngster how to carry himself within the walls.

I agree the medical services/canteen corruption in this system is out of control, but we have no one to blame but ourselves because we allowed the prison to take ultimate control. So now brother, I call unto those with heart to stand up and take back what's ours.

This is not a call of ignorance or senseless violence, but of sound, wise, educated resistance that benefits everyone here. In other words, prisoner unity, not division.

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