The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Release] [California]
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Paroling with no employable skills

I am writing because I parole soon for the first time since I was 21 and have no employable skills, and was hoping I could get some trade, vocational, engineering, or even how-to cooking or baking books I could study to develop some. Where I parole there are a lot of restaurants.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This is the sad state of supposed "rehabilitation" in Amerika's prisons, where people spend their young adulthood locked up, only to be released to the streets with no way to support themselves. This is just one of many reasons why prisons are very clearly nothing more than a tool for social control for this imperialist government.

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[Censorship] [California]
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Disregarding mail regulations in California

I'm still hoping that Imperialism and Class Structure in 1997 shows up. These people here have gotten so audacious that they don't even bother to follow their own regulations. One, there's absolutely nothing whatsoever that "threatens the safety or security of the institution" regarding this piece of economics. Two, they're illegally blanketing censorship of all materials from you without even looking at them. And three, they have a procedure that they're supposed to follow, i.e. send the prisoner a rejection of mail form, stating why it's being rejected, and give the prisoner an opportunity to send it back, destroy it, or challenge it via a 602 form.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Medical Care] [Texas] [ULK Issue 5]
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Medical neglect in Texas is killing prisoners

I wanted to write and tell you about some of the things that we deal with in this plantation. One of the most serious and blatant violations we deal with is with basic medical services. I have witnessed a prisoner who had an aneurysm that led to a massive stroke. The man went to the person on duty and told him what was going on, first they told him they were busy. When they finally did see him they told him it was gas and go back to his cell. On the way back he had a seizure and they finally got him to the hospital. In less than one week they sent him back and now he is not coherent and the whole left side of his body, including his face, is paralyzed. He can't even walk by himself or feed himself and they put him right back in population.

I've seen 3 people die here because of lack of medical treatment. There was a guy in the same dorm with me who had a history of heart problems. He went to the desk and told the officer on duty what was wrong, that he was having bad chest pains, and the office got medical to give him some pepto and tell him to go back. He came back a while later and told the officer he was still having chest pain so they sent him to the sergeant who told him "I don't care if you die, get out of my face and go to your bunk before I lock you up," The next count time he was found in his bunk dead from a massive heart attack. What makes me so sick is the fact that nothing was done to the officer. What kind of world is this that people charged with authority have such blatant disregard for human life?

This is just a very small part of what goes on in this country where people can invade a country and kill thousands of people and say "oh sorry, we thought you had some bombs" and the public just blindly follows along and it all boils down to this money and greed and people are so wrapped up in their own self-interest. People just accept anything as long as it doesn't affect them. The mentality of this government is they don't care who gets killed or who suffers as long as they get what they want. So how much money is enough? How much oil is enough? How many people need to die before people say screw this, we are tired of being pawns in your game, and stand up and fight?

MIM(Prisons) adds: We agree with this comrade's analysis that the Amerikan public is wrapped up in their own self-interest. This economic interest is served by foreign invasions and the criminal injustice system. Because of this, we would not call these people "pawns" in the game of imperialism, as that implies they are being duped when in fact they are just lining up with their economic interests. Even as the Amerikan economy suffers one of the inevitable crises of capitalism that will cost the public millions of dollars and many people's homes, Amerikans sit at home content to pick between one imperialist president or another. This is why it is so important to focus on the principal contradiction between the imperialists and oppressed nations, both within u.s. borders and around the world. We need to ally with those who truly have an interest in this fight and not sit around hoping that the white Amerikan citizens are going to wake up and fight the system that makes them rich.

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[Legal] [New York]
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New Law Promises Sentence Reductions in New York

For many years now the New York $tate Department of Correctional Services has been exceeding their authority by calculating sentences consecutively with the undischarged term or terms of imprisonment. Recently, the Appellate Court holds (DOC$) may not run predicate sentences consecutive to parole time where sentencing court is silent on that issue.

The decision decided on February 28, 2008, People ex rel. Gill v. Greene, 852 N.Y.S. 2d (3rd Dept), reverses 25 years of caselaw to the contrary and, if implemented, would have sweeping consequences. It would require the recalculations of the sentences of some eight thousand comrades currently serving predicate offender sentences here in the gulags of the N.Y.$. DOCS. Some of those comrades would almost certainly be eligible for immediate release from these gulags if their sentences were calculated under Gill.

The issues about Gill concern the proper interpretation of Penal Law 70.25(1-A) and 70.25(2-A). Penal Law 70.25(1-A) states that when a court sentences a defendant who owes time (parole) on a previously imposed sentence, the court may specify that the new sentence run either "consecutively" or "concurrently" to the parole time, and if the court is silent, the new sentence shall "run concurrently." Penal Law 70.25(2-A), however, states that when the court finds that the defendant is a predicate offender, it must impose the sentence to run consecutively to the parole time.

Now, where does it state that the N.Y.$. DOCS has the authority to act as a judicial function, and impose consecutive sentences? The only role that the N.Y.$. DOCS has as far as correcting the court's error is under Correction Law 601-A, which states that wherever it appears to the satisfaction of the warden of any $tate prison based on facts submitted on behalf of a person sentenced and confined in a $tate prison, that any such person who has been erroneously sentences as a second, third or fourth offender, it shall become his duty to communicate with the district attorney of the county in which such person was convicted, and allow the district attorney to take the necessary action for resentencing.

For those that are under lock in a N.Y.$. DOCS and that are being affected by the actions set forth here by the oppressors, I advise you comrades to obtain the keys to stop our oppressors from oppressing us. For many years we've been living in the dark due to our own ignorance. The struggle is calling us, believe it or not. Remember that without struggle we have no progress. "Until the lions have their historian, the tale of the hunt will be told by the hunter!" The key to life is knowledge, my comrades, once we obtain that key then we have the authority and power to unlock that door and proceed to walk through the light and shine. It is time for us to unlearn, relearn, and lean again! ARISE

Any questions pertaining to this matter you can reach out to the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York, 114 Prospect Street, in Ithaca, NY 14850-5616.

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[Spanish] [California] [ULK Issue 7]
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Negando el correo y derechos legales en Nuevo Mexico

Esta institución aqui es una de las más sobre-controladas en la que anteriormente estado. Uno no puede recibir, libros, revistas, cartas-postales, el periódico, recortes de periódico ni de revista, nisiquiera tienen materiales educativos. Tampoco no puede recibir el correo que venga con xeroxes, ni cualquier otra clase de correo que sea copiada con tinta jet, no copias o fotocopias de la internet, tampoco que le sobre traiga un poco de perfume, lapiz labal o que lleve las palabras de "espero me escribas pronto", ni las inisiales XOXO (que son beso) o las iniciales SWAK (por sus siglas en ingles) sellada con un beso.

Aquí no hemos ningún aceso a la librería legal o a ningún material legal. Yo he recibido correo legal que anteriormente fuese abierto fuera de mi presencia, además me lo han negado mi correo legal porque la información contenida que era de como poder peliarle al systema, que es una ley de un caso que te enseña de los derechos constitucionales para los prisioneros, que es del centro de derechos constitucionales - una companía de abogados de la ley en Nueva York. En el tambiín contenía el libro llamado "The Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook" (un manual que le enseña como a un abogado aunque este encarcelado) cuando los contenidos de este libro fueron vistos, el sobre en el que venía fue sellado de nuevo y regresado.

Todo esto lo estado documentando y agurdando, también escribí una queja de derechos civiles contra el reclusorio Aramak (a un miembro de la Prison Industrial Complex) y tres otros oficiales, pero no he podido meteria, porque me niegan sacarle las copias requiridas por la ley. También me niegan obtener la copia del movimiento monitario de mi cuenta de prisionero que es reqirida por la ley para poder meter mi queja o demanda en "forma pauperis."

Ademas les estaba ayudando y aconsejando a otros diferentes reclusos, a como poder meter una demanda. Yo los tenía metiendo las quejas para cumplir con lo requirido por la "prison litigation reform act." Que es usar todos los remedios administrativos antes de llevar estas quejas a corte, pero la administratción se ha enterado de lo que estoy asiendo y se niegan a responder las quejas, las cuales son las mismas tres que coinciden a las cuales quiero llevar a corte. Se niegan a respondelas porque saben que sin la preveva de que uno cumplio con el poseso de usar todos sus remedios administrativos, uno no puede llevar estos problemas a la corte.

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[Legal] [California]
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No programs or legal appeal at KVSP

I am writing from Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California. I am writing to seek outside assistance and support on a few issues of importance and necessity for the entire population's well being. I have personally addressed these issues to Wardens, Captains. Lieutenants, Sergeants and C/Os. The two most common excuses I get are, there is not enough money in the budget or this is a new prison that is not fully up and running. How could this be?

I arrived here in February 2006, and have seen little if any improvements. I opened the 4th building on this yard out of 8 buildings. Unit recently I have been an active participant on the I.A.C. (Inmate Advisory Counsel). Working on that committee afforded me numerous opportunities to address this administration to no avail. All the necessary steps were taken to exhaust appeal procedures, the 602 process here is flawed on all levels. They have the same excuses as everyone else or constantly screen out appeals requesting unnecessary paperwork and then when provided still deny the appeal.

I am currently starting from scratch to create my own paper trail in regards to disinfectant. They simply do not distribute it to the cells. They use every possible excuse when in all reality they do not support their claims. By law and Title 15 Article 5 personal cleanliness Section 3060 means state institutions will provide the means for all prisoners to keep themselves and their living quarters clean and to practice good health habits. The Departmental Operational Manual has numerous paragraphs which concur and support this. Yet it is still not issued.

We also have no self-help groups. IAC did submit paperwork to have one approved and we never heard back. We had our dayroom taken well over a year ago with the promise that it would be returned. We did not abuse that privilege to have it taken in the first place. There is a very limited number of jobs, no NA or AA groups, no hobby craft or in cell hobby which could be consistent with a maximum security prison. A lot of prisoner parole guidelines or lifers board guidelines require them to attend such groups. Well those guidelines cannot be met when this institution does not provide the means to do so.

This is just a short list of problems here at KVSP. I am putting this out there to shine some light on the injustices of prison life. We need outside pressure put on this institution.

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[International Connections] [Censorship] [ULK Issue 4]
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Some Ammo for China v. Bush

"We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly and labor rights, not to antagonize China's leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential." - U.$. President George W. Bush (1)

Last week MIM(Prisons) released our biannual censorship report, which cites documented incidents of censorship of our literature in more than half of the states in the united $tates of amerikkka. That's just the documented incidents of one organization with a tiny distribution.

Comrades in our movement have been yelled at, kicked out, ticketed, physically attacked, arrested and many are currently sitting in isolation cells for the crime of trying to speak about or distribute literature expressing our ideas. For prisoners in isolation, it's usually just a matter of possessing said literature.

If China changes its policy of not publicly criticizing the internal affairs of other countries, documentation of the extensive censorship we face is provided right here on our website for their use.

Let there be no mistake, freedom of speech in a class system is a bourgeois myth.

notes: (1) Washington Post. August 7, 2008.

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[Medical Care] [Texas]
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Medical malpractice in Texas

The U.S. Justice Department says there are 33% of disabled people in prison. Texas closed mental health hospitals and a lot of disabled people are now housed in prison.

A disabled person makes $9,000 a year to live on the streets, but TDC makes $32,000 a year to house the same person. In TDC there is no protection for disabled people and most can’t write or think properly to protect themselves from rape, extortion, beatings and mistreatment from staff and medical care.

This is one case out of many that I am trying to bring to light. I was being overdosed at the pill window [where they dispense medicine in the prison]. The pill window staff would give me an odd number of pills repeatedly and when asked why, the reply would be “Take your meds or receive a disciplinary case.” Over the course of this three and a half years, my blood work has come back toxic three times. While this was going on I had over 30 seizures and I started having blackouts. I did not receive treatment for years.

When I first learned that I was being overdosed I told the nurse. The reply was “we don’t do that” so I wrote emergency grievances but they were all kicked out. I requested help from the doctor and he said “he’s crazy” and sent me to the mental health department. Then TDC put me to work while I was still unstable from seizures. I had three seizures at work and they said it was a security issue and put me back to work in the hot kitchen where I had 4 more seizures.

Eventually I talked to a nurse who stopped the overdose of one of my drugs. But the medical department continued to cover up the overdose while the overdose of another drug was still going on. I told the nurse manager that I needed my medical records to show the doctor to stop the seizures and blackouts. She said “we don’t keep those records” then added “some of your records are not for you to see.” Then she told me “get a lawyer.” When my lawyer finally was able to get my medical records, I found that the overdose was deleted from my records. The lawyer asked the nurse manager about this and was told this was a mistake and sent the records again. But the records were not corrected. After repeated appeals and requests for my full records, on the fifth try I got a set of records that show them overdosing me 11 times, but the rest of the dates were changed.

After 2 years I wrote to Senator John Whitmire and to the Texas Medical Board. The Senator faxed a medical release to get my medical records and within two weeks the doctor called me in and asked me what was wrong. I told him “seizures, blackouts, confusion, and I could not eat.” He asked how long and I told him I had been reporting all this for the past two years. He said he would send me to a neurologist.

Then my letter from the Texas Medical Board came and the response said “the doctor is now under investigation for what he has done and now his case is in the director of enforcement.”

My last seizure was August 2007 and I was sent to the emergency room. There I weighed 148 pounds, that is a loss of 52 pounds from this treatment. My appointment with a neurologist showed neurological problems. So I filed a case in federal court and was denied counsel. Now I must represent myself.

This is going on in prison. There was a man who died August 9, 2007 from seizures from the same treatment I was getting. If they have the ability to change my records, then they will change anyone's and get away with it.

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[Censorship] [Texas]
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Censorship at Texas Estelle Unit

This brief letter is not a complaint but only to raise my voice against the injustice I'm experiencing here at the Estelle High Security Unit.

I understand the implications pursuant to Correspondence Rules BP-03.91, of which each out-going and in-coming letter to and from offenders are indeed subject to inspection and if such letter is denied then the offender and the sender will be provided a Correspondence Denial Form within seventy-two hours of rejection. This is designed to go into detail informing the offender of the appropriate cause and the evidence relied upon for this denial, and whether he intends to appeal. If he does not wish to appeal, then he has the choice either to have the letter destroyed or sent back to the sender at the offender's expense. This rule, policy or procedure is not being followed.

As stated, there is no question a uniform procedure for denying out-going and in-coming mail is needed. I don't have a problem with the policy. I have a problem with the process. The BP-03.91 policy is a complete method of procedures, which establish a way of doing things and each procedure shall be related in accordance to policy.

What the mailroom staff (Office of Intelligence) are doing is shifting/switching procedure from one day to the next to cover whatever actions they've taken. In a very plain term, its unfair and totally inappropriate to shift or switch procedures in midstream without giving prior warning to offenders. How can any offender follow rules which constantly change without any notice? Rules, policies and procedures that change without notice confuse me as well as other offenders.

This policy is vague and ambiguous, leaving major openings for misinterpretation and giving unreasonable discretionary power to unit Gang Intelligence Officers that TDCJ-ID has left largely unchecked and unquestioned and untrained in key areas of the policy which, in return, causes animosity towards myself and other offenders. They use these misinterpretations to vastly exaggerate accounts of supposed gang-related information, and to justify denial of out-going mail. When mail is denied it often takes weeks before an offender is notified or if the correspondence is not denied it is sent out weeks later. All this is under the guise of security.

If the G.I. (reader) decides my letter contains dangerous content the letter will automatically be denied. How these readers define such content, and who plays a role in making that determination are questions without clear answers. And while such denials require written notification, in practice that rarely happens.

A review of the process exposes a policy in which sections of the policy either contradict each other or are shifted from one day to the next so that no one is responsible. The mailroom, the G.I. and/or Wing officer or even other offenders have access to our mail. The policy isn't even uniformly applied. These type of standard procedures will continue to exist because the mailroom staff insists on denying out-going mail without providing a written notice and without returning back offender's stamped envelopes.

For over two years on this unit, when out-going mail was denied the offender was informed and his stamped envelopes were confiscated. Only after the mailroom staff became so sloppy that they no longer even passed out any denial forms were there enough questions raised that it was discovered that the offender was supposed to receive his stamped envelope back, how nice! However, if questioned about where the thousands of stolen or wrongly confiscated stamps when to the past two years, there is no answer. In fact, any offender ho dares to ask will be retaliated against. Even when caught, the mailroom staff will deny that their conduct was unlawful in any respect.

Enclosed in this letter are grievance step one and two proof of my effort to remedied the problem but as you can see their response is always the same "...The Estelle Unit mailroom is processing all incoming and outgoing correspondence in accordance to BP-03.91. No further action is warranted..." I have other grievances that consist of the same issues but were handled with the same answer.

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[Censorship] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 5]
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Hypocrisy continues at Red Onion

Peep this out! You all remember sending me a document of someone saying that ROSP [Red Onion State Prison] allowed his January 2008 issue of GQ to come through when it had an article concerning the Crip gang lifestyle? Well, I went and ordered GQ in hopes that they slip up, to help in our defense in this battle. Well, in the August 2008 GQ, under the topic crime, there is an article titled "Mexico's Red Day" on pages 96,97,98,100,102 and 103. In it they talk about gang/drug cartels, rapes, small gang war, killing left & right behind the gang & drug war, cops getting killed & using their rank to get over on people.

I mean, how could these three levels of review miss this, especially when it's dealing with Mexico and they are aware of the conditions of poverty there? It's disappointing to see such blatant racism go unchecked, just because GQ is deemed a white publication while XXL and others are "Black." But it's alright because these fools insist on placing themselves in a position that they can't justify. They want a strictly enforced policy that they don't even honor.

MIM(Prisons) adds: There is an ongoing battle against censorship in Virginia, where the prisons are rejecting all MIM(Prisons) literature as well as any other publications considered "Black" like XXL. We are appealing this through the legal system and also need letters of protest sent to: W.D. Jennings, Ph. D., Management Lead Analyst, Virginia Department of Corrections, PO Box 26963, Richmond, VA 23261-6963

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