The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

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[Censorship] [Oklahoma] [ULK Issue 2]
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Censorship in Oklahoma

The mail kops here stole whatever you sent me, using their standard excuses of "incites revolution" tripe. Probably they just got the secret ok from chuckle-head Chertoff to snoop and thieve at whim. With all the government terrorism being spewed by government about terrorism, it's not a good time to be secretly branded with a bunch of black checkmarks by a pack of sociopathic, religion-crazed paranoids-in-power.

They sat on it for a month before finally deciding, for their own obscure reasons, to obey the law and tell me they stole mail that came from you. If it's any consolation, they are not equal opportunity thieves: they show a decided preference for stealing mail from you over the anarchist groups, Hitler huggers, KKK, etc.

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[Medical Care] [Prison Labor] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 2]
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Fees keep prisoners from needed medical care

Recently the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, in conjunction with Prison Health Services, the statewide healthcare provider for the PA-DOC based out of Brentwood, Tennessee, made it much more difficult for prisoners to get medical treatment by increasing the co-payment for medical services to $5. A fee of $5 will be assessed each time a medical service at sick call is provided to a prisoner when seen by any physician, physicians assistant, dentist, optometric professional or other person licensed to provide health care under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Also, an additional fee of $5 will be charged for each subscription that is ordered for the prisoner by an on-site health care professional.

No complimentary services will be given to prisoners, with the exception of prisoners with well documented chronic care issues: HIV/Aids, hepatitis, hypertension and diabetes.

With the average wage paid for a prison work assignment here in Pennsylvania of 19 cents an hour, 4 hours max a day, many prisoners are letting their illnesses go untreated. They are unable to pay for medical services and buy bare necessities like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo from commissary! Frequently prisoners are deliberately given medication subscriptions that do not improve or fully restore them back to good health.

Under DOC policy DC-ADM820, there should be no additional fee when this takes place, however a prisoner still must fill out and sign a DC-138 cash slip for follow up sick call visits, and these signed cash slips are being forwarded to the facility business office for fee deduction from the prisoners account.

The prisoner can use the grievance system to try to recoup these deductions, however the odds are small that fee will ever be credited back to the prisoners account. This is just one of the many ways the executive administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections manipulate the prison population into handing back over the slave wages they work all month for.

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[Legal] [Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Houtzdale] [Pennsylvania]
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Retaliation for filing grievances

Here at SCI-Houtzdale, there is little or no action taken by the administration when correctional officers or general staff members go out of their way to intentionally mistreat, harass, and do things contrary to department of corrections policy to prisoners who dare to use the Inmate Grievance System.

Retaliation is very common and many prisoners are fearful of getting a fabricated misconduct report and being sent to the RHU (Hole) or having their correctional file sabotaged with misleading information that could harm them when its time to be reviewed for parole.

Basically if a prisoner files a grievance complaining about being mistreated or the conditions here at this facility, within days their name and photo is distributed throughout the institution on the C/Os good old boy network and that is when the harassment starts. C/Os and staff that the prisoner may have never had an altercation with are now openly harassing the prisoner. Cell searches every day, withholding of the prisoner's mail, being intentionally singled out for frequent pat searches when moving about inside of the prison are just a few of the ways COs and staff show their dislike for having one of their co-workers named on a grievance.

A large number of grievances that are filed at this facility, SCI-Houtzdale, are later dismissed as being frivolous. Specially when issues are brought up that the administration is trying to avoid addressing. Responses to grievances are worded on purpose in a way that dehumanizes and makes the prisoner appeal disgruntled in an attempt to discourage the prisoner from continuing on with the appeal process and filing future grievances. COs and staff regularly make remarks to prisoners they are having a disagreement with that has a sarcastic under tone like "you can always file a grievance" knowing that their supervisor will be the grievance officer and will dismiss it. Plus the repercussion the prisoner will fact.

The inmate handbook says on page 12, policy number 804: All grievances and appeals must be made in good faith and for good cause. You will not be punished or otherwise harmed for good faith use of the inmate grievance system. If only these words were true!

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[Control Units] [Medical Care] [US Penitentiary MAX] [Colorado] [Federal]
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Medical neglect in Colorado

One of the most alarming constitutional violations of prisoners' rights today is the denial of adequate psychological and medical treatment. In this prison alone, I have met dozens of inmates who have glaring psychological and medical problems. One quintessential case is the guy who literally tried to slice his genetalia off with a razor blade. This guy has also been kept in handcuffs and leg irons for several months, rather than be sent to a mental health facility. Keep in mind, while inmates at ADX are warehoused in the infamous "control unit," the unit where I am writing you from, it is prohibited to be prescribed psychotropic medication. Thus, guys who need psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medication to function are not able to receive it while assigned to this unit. On average, inmates are serving four to eight years in this unit.

As for the inadequate medical treatment, the simplest way to describe this is as follows: for the entire prison complex of Florence, which consists of a camp, FCI, USP and the ADX Max Penitentiary, there is only one doctor and one dentist to service the entire complex. At ADX the doctor visits only one and one half days per week, and the dentist visits only twice per month. Thus, the waiting list to see either of them is astronomical. This comes as no surprise since there is over 2500 inmates living on this complex. I waited one year to receive my chronic care exam for Hep C. I also waited between 8 and 14 months to be seen by the dentist.

As a consequence of these egregious violations, I have filed two lawsuits since 1999. Twice now, media representatives, R. Scott Rappold, from the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and Henry Schuster, from 60 minutes, have contacted me in order to set up interviews with me at this prison. The prison rules clearly permit prisoners to have contact through visits and correspondence. However, the former must be approved by the Warden. So far, the warden has not approved a visit for me or any other inmate in the past nine years. Apparently, prison officials have something to hide. Even though in the prison regulations it states, we encourage inmates to maintain ties to the community, prison officials' actions speak otherwise.

Finally, it is good to read in the "Under Lock and Key" section that some brothers and sisters are still participating in the arduous yet all-important struggle for reform. Although not many are here in my midst, your publications apprise me that I am not alone.

As I sit here waiting for the seventh day to have photocopies made of legal papers with a June 19, 2007 deadline, I understand just how much patience and hard work is required to succeed against the American oligarchy.

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[Organizing] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 2]
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Militant in the struggle

I, a true militant in the Global Struggle, write you from inside the sordid trenches of a Missouri gulag. I recently received a package from you - finally, after a death struggle with pigs to receive my material that had been censored.

I'm headstrong and set in my ways. Prison cells can't contain or circumscribe my thoughts and ideas. In similar aspects, subjugation/incarceration mirrors social ostracism. In both cases, one is treated as an outcast. That is why, importantly, we must nurture strong identities and, essentially, maintain outside connections and support. We, as prisoners, have something to prove: it is our responsibility to work for positive change, mobilize the masses and endear them to our struggle - and then "shut down" the slave-making prison-industrial-complex.

Throughout my years of incarceration I've personally witnessed poignant scenes that have left an indelible mark on my soul; each time I replay these scenes in my mind, I tremble from head to toe...knowing that, somehow, I got to make a change for "me" (and the voiceless, hopeless brothers and sisters dealing with the turmoil of prison.)

To my MIM brothers, sisters and comrades: you have a lifelong supporter, friend, ally in me. I'm scheduled to be released in the next 2.5 years, and the enemy is doing everything in its power to prevent my emancipation (they have me facing trumped up criminal charges for allegedly committing violence on a DOC employee.)

So stand with me in solidarity to eradicate this beast of property (PIC)! From the trenches, to the streets - can't no concrete tomb hold my body down, still I rise!

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [North Branch Correctional Institution] [Maryland]
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Maryland max unit on lockdown

I am currently being housed at a new warehouse in Cumberland Maryland called North Branch Correctional Institution. NBCI is a max security warehouse that opened up in 2005. As of now NBCI has only 2 housing units but one of the housing units holds Medium II prisoners so it has only 1 max unit which houses 346 prisoners. NBCI max housing unit is a lock down prison because in 2006 smashed 3 pigs because some pigs had jumped on a prisoner a few days before. Every time we come out of our cells for recreation or showers we have to be handcuffed from behind our backs. We take 15 minute showers 3 times a week and have 1 hour rec 2 times a week.

A lot of these racist pigs who work here are trying to crack slick out of their mouths now since this prison is a lock down joint. They are jumping on prisoners while they have their hands cuffed behind their backs. Not too long ago, while I was being moved from one isolation cell to another, with leg irons on and my hands cuffed from behind my back, a sergeant pushed me so I would trip over the leg irons. Then he slammed my head against the cell wall 3 times and yanked on the leg irons a few times and the leg irons cut both of my ankles up.

I was in the isolation cell for 10 days and all the water was shut off in my cell except the hot water for the first 5 days. My toilet was only flushed once every shift. The next 5 days I was moved to a different isolation cell and all water was off, and the only time I could drink water was once every shift when I was aloud to flush my toilet. These racist pigs think they are doing something slick but they just don't know what they are really getting themselves into.

I let a few of my comrades read the things that you sent me and they are planning to write to you.

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[Education] [Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Houtzdale] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 1]
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No useful education in the hole

I have been locked up here in the PA DOC for over 10 years. Four and a half of that has been served in the RHU "Hole" in retaliation for confronting the PA-DOC administration on a wide range of issues, healthcare, dietary, commissary and about having adequate material for general and law libraries, to name a few. The years I have been locked up I have seen things go from bad to worse to sickening in regards to the way prisoners are treated here in PA.

Less and less money is being spent on effective rehabilitation and educational programs. And the programs that are up and running may look and sound very good on paper when presented to the state legislatures in Harrisburg for funding and the general public. However, in all actuality the programs that the DOC do make available to the prisoners are just a shell of what they should be. After securing Federal or State funding for a particular educational or rehabilitation program a major part of this money then gets diverted to things for the guards' new uniforms, the latest two way walkie talkies, new computers, more video security cameras, and the list goes on and on.

Here at SCI-Houtzdale, two of the educational programs that the administration likes to show off when people from the community or legislatures from Harrisburg come to tour the facility are the computer repair class and the computer aided drafting class. However, for a prisoner to get discharged from the DOC and try getting employment with what they were taught will be very difficult because the technique, computers and software they are learning on is 12 to 15 years out of date. The administration, staff, and COs are getting all the new equipment, not the prisoners. So factor this in when wondering why PA has such a high rate of recidivism.

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[Education] [Political Repression] [New Jersey] [ULK Issue 50]
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Struggle to Reunite with Panther Legacy

I am one of Jersey's political prisoners and because of my gang involvement and political views the state views me as a threat. To control and monitor my behavior and movements I was placed in this closed custody Max-Max Unit.

Many of us long termer gang members have transcended the normal gangbang functions of red and blue. Some of our actual history leads back to the militant movements of the Black Panthers of the 1960s. Many of us know about the Panthers and the movement, but 90% of us have missed the opportunity to learn the actual literature and history that motivated this movement.

I'm in a position to educate these fellas to the real militant movements against this fascist state. I had the benefit of learning about Marxism-Leninism-Maoism from a real revolutionary. I would like to return the favor by teaching others the same.

I would greatly appreciate if you will help me by sending me newspapers. I will send a contribution but not with this letter. This letter contains information that this facility sees as dangerous that would be another reason for them to segregate me further.

All of us here are physical revolutionaries. I believe so simply because the state only responds to violence. This furthers their justification for excessive force, beatings and at times torture. It's time we exercise our minds in making a change. All is appreciated.

Please do not return this letter. All incoming mail is reviewed. We have the freedom to receive any literature. We are ONLY NOT ALLOWED TO TEACH OTHERS.

The system can never kill me.

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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Resisting the subversive extremes of political persecution

We, the new Afrikan Black prisoners who are being held captive in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in the state of Kalifornia, are currently being placed under siege and arbitrarily persecuted for our political beliefs. The means of political persecution that we are being subjected to is being perpetuated on multiple fronts by our kaptors, such as 1) The continued infringement upon our 1st amendment right to the freedom of political expression and political activity, 2) The continued criminalization of our political beliefs/viewpoints as allegedly being the expressed activity of promoting gang and criminal activity in the interest of a particular prison gang. These fascist pigs have been relentless in this area, in spite of the fact that time after time it has been proven that the content of the ideological political beliefs expressed are not advocating any form of violence or criminal activity, 3) subjecting us to round 'da clock cell searches, to where any and all New Afrikan revolutionary reading material (books/writings) is arbitrarily confiscated. In particular, as it related to materials that identify with the ideological principals of New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism or the honorable and beloved comrade George Jackson, 4) The confiscation of our outgoing/incoming mail that also advocated the ideological principles of our fallen comrade George Jackson, and 5) The accumulative effect from these subversive practices is that, the material is then used against us, in order to substantiate their arbitrary decision to keep us New Afrikan Black prisoners held indefinitely in the SHU.

Note, these factors are also utilized against us at our parole board hearings, in determining whether we are suitable for parole or not. And based on the arbitrary threshold of interpretation in identifying us as prison gang members on account of our political beliefs, being found suitable for parole is out of the question.

These fascist practices are continuing, with no means to an end in sight. And this is in spite of the fact that there have been several court rulings rendered forth in our favor, to where the courts have consistently stated: "George Jackson, and the ideological political beliefs of George Jackson do not constitute a material basis for a prisoner being involved in the promotion of criminal and gang activities…"

The most recent court ruling was rendered forth on June 15, 2005 by the Del Norte County Superior Court, Case No: HCPB-04-5054. The basis of litigation centered around the fact that Pelican Bay State prison officials had arbitrarily confiscated an incoming mail package that was being sent in from Santa Rosa Junior College (prisonerwriting.com). The incoming mail package contained a political science study manual that was put together by the personnel of George Jackson University. The following reasons were given as to why the incoming mail package was being disallowed: 1) The political science study manual contained the names of several validated prison gang members, 2) prison officials had deemed the address that the incoming mail package was being sent from to be a prison gang mail drop box, and 3) they had identified comrade George Jackson as being a prison gang member, in light of a photograph of George Jackson that was featured on the political science study manual. Prison officials went on to cite the following citations and provisions of the California Code of Regulations, as a basis to justify their confiscation of incoming mail: CCR, Title 15, Sections 3006(c)(16), 3023(a), 3136(a).

On June 15, 2005, the Del Norte County Superior Court, by way of an evidentiary hearing that was held, firmly disputed and disagreed with the reasons that Pelican Bay State Prison officials gave in confiscating and disallowing the incoming mail. In fact, the court went as far as to say that "the reasons that were given by Pelican Bay State Prison officials were exaggerated." And concluded that 1) the photograph of comrade George Jackson did not constitute the promotion of gang, criminal, or violent activities, as in the words of Pelican Bay's own gang specialist Devan Hawkes: George Jackson is a member of the Black liberation movement and not a validated prison gang member, and 2) the address on the incoming mail package was not a prison gang mail drop as alleged, but was in fact an address to an academic institution for higher learning (Santa Rosa Junior College). It should also be noted that three individual pages were withheld because the issue of prisoners having a fundamental constitutional 1st amendment right to the freedom of association was not raised. These three individual pages had the names of fellow New Afrikan Black political prisoners of war, to whom Pelican Bay prison officials have arbitrarily targeted/labeled as being members of a prison gang. I have since obtained a copy of the transcripts (partial) from this evidentiary hearing, which outlines the material facts of this court ruling.

Using our historical ideological line of struggle as our guide to understanding the true nature of these fascist pigs (prison officials), we should realize that these fascist pigs have never been bound to the obligation of upholding and abiding by any laws that are created by the U$ government that don't serve their own perverse interests, as defined by the corrupt and decadent nature of the social system of U$ imperialism.

With the prison industrial slave complex being an extended mechanism of oppression for the U$ government, the only applicable means of justice that can be realized is through the power of the people. So lets mobilize around this issue and do what is necessary in exposing the unjust and fascist nature of political persecution that we New Afrikan Black political prisoner of are being subjected to.

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[Organizing] [Oregon]
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How a Prisoner Should Act

Comrades,

I write with a few pieces of advice for those within the Corruptional Facilities within the imperialist nation of north amerikkka. After 10 years in the Oregon youth corruptional facilities I have learned many things at the hands of the imperialist pigs who call themselves "staff."

  1. Even though pacifism is wrong because it allows us to be enslaved, sometimes prudence should be used to avoid being targeted. I say this because when we bide our time we can act when the time is right and get a real victory over the pigs. I'm not saying to tolerate being beaten, only to not go out and cause trouble with the pigs; Wait until you cannot lose and then on a united front stand up and hit them where it hurts the most in court and in the newspapers.

  2. Within any corruptional facility, it is the pigs goal to limit us, thus education and vocational training is very limited- fight this- we must find a way to educate ourselves so we can overcome the traps they have set out for us. We must be able to function in the "free" world to be able to spread the truth for the masses most efficiently.

  3. We should expect to be beaten and fucked with, so be prepared for it and don't give the pigs a reason. I'm not saying become one of them, only be patient and don't draw attention to ourselves. We can still spread the truth without having to be overly open about it. Obvious advertisement of resistance to the beast will always be put down, so be prudent and watch what is said and done around the pigs and their supporters. Liken ourselves to a slow and steady drip of water upon stone- eventually the stone is worn away- we are that slow, yet steady drip of water- the imperialist pigs and their institutions are the stone.

  4. Only grieve wrongdoing when you can both prove that you are right and can guarantee that you have a good chance of winning- this means witnesses and an extensive paper trail of documentation- also follow the procedures for grievances to the exact letter of their policies- don't let them use technicality to cheat us out of our rights.

My comrades, let us be ready when the Revolution finally comes; this is no time to be lazy like the pigs.

A prisoner of the Oregon Youth Corruptional Facilities

MIM adds: The pigs are constantly censoring MIM's literature on the basis that it promotes disobedience and a threat to security. Yet, like the letter above, we have only ever advocated prisoners to ensure that the so-called "rights" they are supposed to have are granted them through administrative and legal battles. We agree with the letter writer above that u.s. prisoners who wish to contribute to the battle for liberation and justice must avoid physical confrontations with their captors, as well as other prisoners. By engaging in legal battles for justice, it is easy for us to expose the true nature of the system when they oppose our work. They expose themselves as the opponents of justice that we know they ultimately are. Each time they censor this article they are admitting that MIM does not advocate violence or a threat to security, and that they oppose MIM in their fight for an end to censorship, their fight for an end to physical abuse in prisons, their fight for the right to an education, etc.

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