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Under Lock & Key

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[National Oppression] [ULK Issue 2]
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Blacks targeted for drug imprisonment in Amerika

Large population counties across the United $tates continue to imprison Blacks for drug offenses at a much higher rate than whites, in spite of similar rates of drug use, according to a report released December 4 by The Justice Policy Institute. The report underscores the fact that "Whites and African Americans report using and selling drugs at similar rates, but African Americans go to prison for drug offenses at higher rates than whites."

The study used data from the National Corrections Reporting Program and other census and government sources, focusing on 2002 because that is the most recently year of NCRP data available. In 2002 there were approximately 19.5 million drug users and 1.5 million drug arrests (1 in 13 drug users). These arrests resulted in 175,000 admissions to prisons; 51% of these new prisoners were Black.

The 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that rates of drug use were similar between whites and blacks: 8.5% of whites compared to 9.7% of Blacks. Given the economic disparities and national oppression within Amerika, it is not a surprise that there is a slightly higher rate of drug use among Blacks.

These rates of drug use translate into about 14 million white drug users in 2002 compared to 2.6 million Black drug users (in the month prior to the survey). This means there are roughly 5 times as many white drug users as Black drug users. But Blacks were locked up in prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of whites: 262 per 100,000 for Blacks and 25 per 100,000 for whites.

Underscoring the fact that these lock up rates are not a result of Blacks using more potent or dangerous drugs, the Drug Use survey found that 24% of crack cocaine users were Black while 72% were white or "Hispanic," but over 80% of people locked up for crack use in 2002 were Black.

The JPI report focused on 198 counties with populations over 250,000. They found that "Despite similar rates of drug use across counties, drug admission rates vary substantially." The correlation is not between drug use and imprisonment but rather JPI found that drug imprisonment was directly correlated to the per capita policing and judicial budgets in each county. The JPI explains that the bottom line is resource-driven discretion by local police:

To further substantiate these results, JPI conducted a multiple variable analysis that controlled for the crime rate, region of the country, the poverty and unemployment rates, and the percent of each county’s population that is African American. The results
strongly suggest that the resource-driven discretion that local police forces have is the engine driving the wide variation in local drug imprisonment rates. This relationship is evident in this study’s finding that policing budgets are positively associated with the drug imprisonment rate—even after controlling for the crime rate.

The JPI report looked at likely causes for this disparity in imprisonment rates. They cite mandatory minimum laws as contributing to a growing disparity because Blacks are already more likely to be locked up for drug use, and they are now also more likely to be incarcerated under a mandatory minimum sentence - increasing the length of time they spend in prison. Between 1994 and 2003, the average time Blacks spent in prison for drug offenses rose 77% compared to a 28% increase for whites. They also noted disparate policing, disparate treatment before the courts, differences in availability of drug treatment, and punitive social spending patterns.

These are all important factors but they are not the whole picture. All of these discrepancies in treatment between Blacks and whites are symptoms of an underlying system of national oppression in the United $tates. Studies have repeatedly shown that imprisonment rates are not correlated with crime rates. The fact is that prisons are used as a tool of social control and disparate arrests, sentencing, imprisonment, access to education, health care, financial loans, job opportunities, and more are part of this system of social control that maintains the supremacy of whites in a society that pretends to offer equality to all.

The JPI report concludes with the recommendation of a "more evidence-based approach to drug enforcement." They want to hold the criminal injustice system to standards enforced by statistical analysis of arrest and imprisonment rates. This is probably the best that we can hope for from an institute like the JPI. The fact that there is currently no science behind the actions of the criminal injustice system is a striking indictment of Amerikan society overall. But the problem is not just in the police and the judicial system. Both of these systems are part of a larger political infrastructure that props up a massive imperialist state. We can not expect one aspect of this state to change and grant equality to oppressed nations while all other aspects remain the same.

Locking up more whites would be progress - if the whites in question were those in the government who are responsible for more death and destruction than all the 2 million people in U.$. prisons combined. In the end, progress of this sort, or progress towards a more equitable justice system will only come through revolutionary struggle.

Notes: The full Justice Policy report can be found here: http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/07-12_REP_Vortex_AC-DP.pdf

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[Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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Legal research on censorship

I've been in and out of this prison law library and I've found some information that should be placed in the Under Lock and Key section of MIM Notes. According to the California Prisoners Rights Handbook, page 49:

Prison officials are permitted to open and read most incoming and outgoing mail, except legal or confidential mail that may not be read by prison staff. Such "regular" mail may be withheld or censored only when necessary for the reasonable protection of the public. Mail cannot be censored because prison officials believe it improperly magnifies complaints or contains inflammatory remarks. A prisoner should receive notice of any mail that is withheld or is returned.

I've studied other law books and prison officials taking our mail or sending it back is dead wrong. I've heard that the prisons and their officials are supposed to be letting us prisoners get our political books back, but it's just a rumor as I've heard. I will keep studying the law books.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
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[Censorship] [Civil Liberties] [Virginia]
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Censorship in Virginia=Political Repression

At this point the game here has been to label any group or media critical of government policies/practices as a 'security threat' or Security Threat Group(ie. gang) affiliated. Also this is the trend of 'interpreting' all media and groups of oppressed nationalities. Essentially it boils down to political, cultural and racial censorship, dressed up as 'security' concerns. This is a remote prison staffed by 98% rural socially (race) segregated Appalachian white people, who project and harbor deep-set racist stereotypes and repressive instincts. They've even taken prisoners' Black history reference books labeling them STG material. Hell, I just had Harry Haywood's book "Black Bolshevik" rejected and referred to the Publication Review Committee as STG related. They label any material on the Black Panther Party (BPP) as STG material and the BPP as an STG, although the BPP has not existed since 1982.

You should be aware that during February 2006, FBI director Robert Mueller went before a Senate subcommittee called a "threat assessment program." The professed object of which was to identify, disrupt and develop profiles on prisoners and prisoner groups who aspire to "radicalize" other prisoners and thus result in violence upon the return of such radicalized prisoners to society. The same 'violent' pretext and stereotype always used by the government to repress political activism and consciousness raising. This program was said to be coordinated between the FBI and various prisons and DOCs, both federal and state.


MIM adds: Not only is the Black Panther Party labeled a Security Threat Group, but recent study questions on idealism vs. materialism, discussing Mao's On Contradiction were also considered to promote STGs, terrorism and a list of other charges.

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[Legal] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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No law library acces at Kern Valley

The one most important problem we have here at Kern Valley State Prison is being allowed access to the law library.

We have a law library with a fire hazard safety code of 25 people max at a time. So there is never more than 20 people allowed in the library. There are only 4 law books total, and 4 CD Rom computers which 20 inmates have to share in a time frame of 3 hour sessions.

You have to take into account that there are 8 buildings on each facility with 160 prisoners in each building, and due to prison over crowding we now have 80 level III gym sleepers illegally sharing a lever IV yard. They can not come out with us due to the fact that they will be sued if one is attacked. But they share our library and visiting room.

So you have 1200 plus prisoners, some of whom are true litigators, sharing a law library that only 20 people can get into at a time. As you can imagine, the waiting list is 2 to 3 months every time. I turned in a request to do some legal research on September 22nd. Here it is 62 days later and I'm still waiting. There are several grievances being circulated on this issue. Administration has proposed to adopt a paging system where we can fill out forms for supplies and have them brought to our cells, but that dose not solve the problem for people who need physical access to seek what they are looking for.

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[Abuse] [International Connections] [Spanish]
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La Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos aprueba tortura

Si, esa clase de país
La Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos aprueba tortura


Octubre 19, 2007
originalmente en inglés aqui

El problema no es solo Bush. La Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos acaba de aprovar la tortura secreta de un ciudadano Alemán por la Agencia Central de Inteligencia. Los abogados de la administración Bush argumentaron que la tortura fue un "secreto de estado," y la Corte Suprema no voltio las decisiones de las cortes mas bajas favoreciendo el gobierno sobre la victima torturada.(1) Eso comprueba que no solo es la Corte Suprema desde que las cortes mas bajas estaban envueltas. El problema es Amerikkka, punto.

En Europa, el publco ya sabe sobre el caso de Khaled el-Masri. La linea plateada en esta Corte Suprema sin-decisión es que esto incrementaria tensioón con Alemania. La pequeña burguesía Alemana esta basicamente unida con la pequeña burguesía de los Estados Unidos por una guerra de represión indeceable en contra del Tercer Mundo, pero ahí esta la más débil de las contradicciones o fuerzas que nosotros podemos tomar ventaja aquí, porque los Alemanes y Estadounidences pequeña burguesía no están unidos bajo un estado. Entonces los secretos de un estado arrivan al gasto del otro. El "conflicto de civilazaciones" es propaganda designada para sobrevenir esta clase de problemas.

Una regla basica de los civicos burguesía salió por la ventana, "inocente hasta que se compruebe culpable." El gobierno militar llega a Afghanistan, dispara a todo lo que se mueve incluyendo el jugador de balon-pie Pat Tillman y el resto de la gente que sobrevive en la escena por cualquer razón es arrastrada hacia Gitmo. La gente quien no soporta los civicos burguesía aprendemos en esculeas por medio de años de entrenumiento asumemos que la Agencia Central de Inteligencia esta todo el tiempo bien y Bush esta todo el tiempo bien, o no hubieron ellos detenido a alguien para empezar, entonces no se necesita allí un proceso. Esto se le llama "Ganga linchadora de Justicia" estando con los Estados Unidos hace largo tiempo.

El antes presidente Jimmy Carter a ahora admitido que los Estados Unidos tortura prisioneros, pero el dice que está es la primera vez en su vida. (2)

El presidente Carter es demasiado clase alta apra saber como es la vida en las prisiones Estadounidences, y que Charles Graner estaba trabajando en la prision de Pennsylvania antes de Abu Ghraib. (3) Si el hubiese estado leyendo MIM Notes, Carter hubiese actuado con Charles Graner antes de a ver llegado a Abu Ghraib.

Si Bush y Cheney no hubiesen tomado control de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia, tortura y observasion domestica ellos mismos, Carter y clases similares podrían ignorar la stituación de vida día tras día para los rangos menores de los oficiales de gobierno tortuando gente de clase baja.

Tenemos un punto de desacuerdo con el expresidente Carter cuando dice que los candidatos Republicanos a la presidencia: "Estan compitiendo el uno con el otro por atraer la extrema derecha, elemento exitadores de guerra en nuestra país, la cual pienso es la minoría de nuestra total población. (2)

Si Carter estuviese bien en su brilloso punto de vista de la mayoría Amerikkkana, sería duro explicar como Bush obtuvo 60 millones de votos en el 2004, un record. La diferencia entre un nacionalista blanco como Carter y MIM es que Carter tiene optimismo sobre la mayoría Amerikana. No lo occurió a él que en cuanto si estuviese bien, el activo 30% tolerado por el inactivo 60% indicaría un enorme configuración opresión racial y nacional. En esta situación, el 30% tomará las decisiones la mayoría de veces. Hasta hoy dia, Bush tiene 30% de soporte sin importar lo que el publico sabe. Esto no es un Watergate trespaso más una guerra de Vietnam. El publico sabe sobre Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, tortura de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia, la matansa de Blackwater etc. aun el aprovamiento de Bush es 30%. La razón es porque ese 30% aprueba la represión monarquistica consistentemente. En algunos condados y estados, esa populación monarquistica es la mayoría.

Democratas redujeron la popularidad de los Republicanos, pero por los gustos de dinero en la guerra y las muertes. Sin los insurrectos de Iraq, los Democrates no podía hacer esto. Los cuestiones quedaría homosexuales, la bandera y Mexicanos.

Los Estados Unidos no es un país libre. Este tortura gente y da razones para mantener secretos de estado tan igual a todos los dictadores de la burguesía del mundo.

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[Control Units] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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California housing integration an excuse to lock more prisoners in control units

What is the effect of a new section, 3005, 3269.1, 3315 and 3341.5 of Article 1.6 of Subchapter 4, Chapter 1 of the Title 15, Division 3 of the CCR (California Code of Regulations) that will be felt by California's prison population?

This question, which may confuse your average low down convict held captive by this imperialist state, will be answered by one who is incarcerated and both interested and caring about the well being of this prison society, like myself. Sec 3005, 32691, 3315 and 3341.5 are all sections of the California Department of Corrections (CDC) Title 15 Rules and Regulations that have recently been changed, to implement the department's new behavior control tactic of integrated housing. This is a plan that the secretary of CDC, Mr James E. Tilton published to the public on the date of June 18, 2007 and will attempt to prescribe into prison law in the following manner:

* The insurance that race will not be used as the primary determining factor in housing the department's inmate population. All inmate housing assignments shall be made on the basis of available information, individual case factors, and objective criteria, to implement an integrated housing plan. It is the intent of the CDC to ensure that housing practices are made consistent with the safety, security, treatment, and rehabilitative needs of the inmate, as well as the safety and security of the public, staff, and institutions.

* The housing plan involves an interview with the inmate, a review of the inmate's central file, and a review of all available and relevant information. The housing plan will use all available information to determine an inmate's eligibility for integration and will assign inmates to available and appropriate bed based on their integrated eligibility.

* Implementation of the integrated housing plan will occur over several phases. The first phase will occur in 2007 and will consist of the development of an integrated coding system that will be used to identify each inmates eligibility to integrate. The actual implementation of integrated housing will commence in 2005 at designated facilities such as reception center, and then be phased in statewide commencing in 2009, over a period of several years.

Now I understand that our people of society may take this plan and the implementation of this plan as something greatly needed in California prisons. That is the reason for the CDC claiming that this plan was designed because integration in other states has assisted in the management of gangs and disruptive groups and reduced racial tension. Integration of housing in other states has also assisted with breaking down prejudicial barriers, perceptions and attitudes, promoting increased tolerance of others reflecting community norms.

Wow! With that type of talk you would think that the department is actually making an attempt at changing California's wicked prison system. Yea right! Take it from a California prisoner, looks can be deceiving. In digging deeper into the core of this matter, one may retrieve some very disturbing news for California's prisoners. The integrated housing plan is a trap and nothing but it. Although the CDC states that the plan is designed with an overarching strategy for safe implementation and not forced integration, they also state the options for inmates who fail to comply, such as rule violation reports and alternative housing placement.

Non-compliance will be rewarded with a RUR-115 or a stay in either ASU or the SHU until they agree to integrate. Refer to new Title 15 subsection 3269.1 or 3005(c) - It's not a forced integration, but if you refuse you will be labeled as a non-compliant inmate and dealt with accordingly. Wouldn't you say that's real contradictory? I know I would. But then again I'd say everything that the CDC does and says is contradictory! CDC claims this effort and plan is intended to control gang and race wars, but California is one of the most gang infested states there is. About 90% of California prisoners are gang affiliated. [MIM notes: we can not verify this statistic, but we do know that the prison classifies many prisoners as gang affiliated upon entry into the prison simply based on their nationality and birthplace. The prisons then promote tension and conflict between these groups, making it dangerous for them to live in the same areas.]

The department claims that its response to the non-compliant inmates will be the placement of these prisoners into control units known as ASU and SHU housing. But one may fail to realize that the Department of CDCR is limited on its ASU and SHU housing bed and space, therefore they have nowhere to place the masses of those who refuse to integrate. Or at least that's what they tell us.

California state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just recently asked the U.$ Supreme Court for permission and funds to add a couple thousand beds and add on to some of the institutions already built. The CDC knows that with all the prison politics and prison gang warfare, there's no way in hell that prisoners will accept an integrated housing plan. At least not on the level fours (Maximum Security yards). Therefore they look good to the public when they come saying they need funds to build more control units for the non-compliant inmates who are too violent for general population. When in all actuality what they're really saying is, give us some money and we'll use the integrated housing plan as our front and reason to remove all the real brothers who are willing to go toe to toe with them for the cause, from the general population. See they want lay down yessa masters like Jessie Jackson on the yards, so they don't have to do their jobs and still get paid. So they can shit all over the prison population and not be held accountable for it. If they lock up all the non-compliant inmates then they don't have to worry about brothers being on their heads for them to do the things in which they are paid to do. They don't have to worry about so called gangsters and thugs uniting together as a convict structure like in the 60s and 70s with our comrades the Soledad Brothers.

The effect that the integrated housing plan will have on the California prisoners, is the destruction and I mean the total destruction of prison civilization. We think we got it bad now. Let them come with this plan of integration in 2009 and truly lock all those who refuse in the SHU indeterminately. We are going to see how bad prison can really get.

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[Legal] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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Law library access restricted

I will soon encounter a new roadblock [in researching censorship lawsuits to help fight the censorship of MIM]. Our law library will be shutting down soon. The library clerks told us that after the 29th of November the law library will only be running for a day or two out of the week. The reason for this, or excuse rather, is that since our gym is due to be emptied out within the next couple of weeks, the population on the yard will be substantially smaller, there is no need for law library to be open every day. Of course this is just an excuse for them not to run the library for us. So most likely the only people allowed inside will be those with "PLU" status, no chance for the rest of us to do any research. However, people are already preparing to draw up 602s and those that are more experienced with the law have promised to pursue the matter. As long as the library remains open, I will hopefully be ready to file the complaint with the district court.

I also want to mention, I just acquired a Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook a few weeks ago. It only instructs prisoners on how to file 1983s. I've checked out a couple other similar manuals and this is most certainly the simplest and straight to the point manual I've come across, very easy to understand. You can have people download it for free on the internet, or you can write to the National Lawyer's Guild via a letter and request it for free. For a copy, write to: The Prison Law Project, National Lawyers Guild, National Office, 132 Nassau St, Rm 922, New York, NY 10038. Download it at http://jailhouselaw.org.

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[Abuse] [Calipatria State Prison] [California]
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Lockdown and bad conditions in California

We are pretty much on lockdown 24-7 here at Calipatria State Prison. When we get full program we only go out to yard 4 hours per week, and that's if we are lucky because a lot of the time they come out with all kinds of excuses, and we only end up getting two hours weekly.

There are prisoners who have been here 4 years without getting any assignments (a job or school). I had a job before I arrived here at this "institution" (like they wanted this to be called, instead of what it is - a prison cages for animals, not fit for human beings.) Anyway, I had a job with a paid number which was about $20 a month, and that's if I work a full month. Most of the time I don't work the full month. Anyway, I asked my counselor what's going on with a job. I said I've been here 3 months already and he says, why are you asking that, there are a lot of people here who have been here five years without any assignment. That surprised me because I've been in prison for over 12 years and I have seen other prisoners waiting for assignments 3 years at the most, never 5 years.

The situation here is really sad. A lot of us have to wait over a month to get called to see the doctor, and that's in an emergency. So imagine those that are not emergencies. They only have one doctor for everything and one dentist and we are over 1000 prisoners. The showers look like 1940s showers, they have rat holes in them. My cellie almost broke his foot on one of them last time.

You know what's the worse part of it? When we complain to these Correction Officers, they just say to put in a 602, which is a citizen complaint form, supposedly to fix problems in here on behalf of prisoners. The prisoners hardly win 602s. They either end up losing your 502 or rejecting your 602 because you didn't follow a proper rule. They will do this or that and at the end nothing gets done.

In this law library you are not even allowed to make copies of legal documents. I recently went to the law library because innocence project is getting my case to see if I can prove innocence in court. They sent me these questionnaires in which they needed copies of my opening brief and reply brief. So I went to the law library to get copies. They stopped me on the spot, telling me I cannot get copies. I asked her how we can prove our innocence when we are getting doors slammed in our faces. She just said "that's the policy."

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[Organizing] [California]
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Organize to fight repression in prison

Comrades of MIM, allow me to speak from the eyes and ears on the inside speaking out. In the last 10 years I read a lot of MIM publications and I know and talk to a lot of prisoners/captives who read MIM publications and other anti-U.S. prison and anti-U.S. plutocratic publications.

We all see the "why" and the "who" and the "cause" but no one is doing anything! The whole world has been taken hostage on the capitalistic plutocratic slave ship. The proletariat cows and sheep and some of the bourgeois mule class suffer and complain but they do nothing to fight or undermine this unfettered capitalistic plutocratic slave ship that has shanghaied this planet.

In the background I hear the outcry of the Blacks and Hispanics and the indigenous peoples voicing their complaints of the exploitation and oppression of the U.S. prison machines on their peoples.

Take a video camcorder to the front of a u.s. prison at shift change and see how many Blacks, Latinos and Indigenous people are wearing badges and Nazi uniforms. They far out number the whites in California. Everyday I witness a Black man handcuff and lock a Black man in a cage. Everyday I see a Latino pepper spray poison onto a Latino man. Why?! For that stinking U.$. dollar! For the great crumbs that fall from the capitalist imperialist plutocrats table.

We need to fight fire with fire: A U.$ prisoners union? This union could take dues and invest them to generate revenue to fight the system. It could call for a two year strike - a two year moratorium on all prison commissary, all prison special purchases, all phone calls. A prison union could give a voice and presentation in the state capitals. It could gain prisoners the right to vote and form a voting block against all these u.s. corrupt judges, lawyers and politicians.

The one thing there is an abundance of in the U.$. prison systems is "division." Division created by the capitalistic plutocratic controlled media machine. Division created by the mind poisoning Kool-Aid of the CDCR and CCPOA union mafia. The CCPOA has over 35,000 union dues payers. A California prisoners union could have 200,000 union dues payers.

It's time to punch holes into the hull and sink this U.$. capitalistic, plutocratic, imperialist slave ship.

MIM(Prisons) replies: Prisoners interested in organizing should check out United Struggle from Within - the MIM(Prisons)-led group fighting the criminal injustice system from behind the bars.

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[Abuse] [California]
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Brutal segregation cells

On October 25th I was led into a room they call a Management Cell. It has a sleeping area where you sleep naked with a thing they call a hard blanket, and you sleep on the floor, no mattress. The pigs brought me from another block and they put me in central ad seg (administrative segregation). Then they put me in the Management Cell. While they were in the cell they cut my clothes off me, then they put me in leg shackles and put the cuffs (hand and ankle) on so tight that I started to bleed. This is what it's like here, the pigs are doing bad things that hurt prisoners.


Campaign info:
Shut Down the Control Units
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