The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Got a keyboard? Help type articles, letters and study group discussions from prisoners. help out
[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Florida State Prison] [Florida] [ULK Issue 74]
expand

End and Abolish

  1. Abolish FSP (Florida State Prison) use of force (pepper spray and cell-extraction beatings) on prisoners who are only voicing their grievances, while in secured cells, not being violent or destructive, just voicing grievances.

  2. End FSP so-called “no talking” rule. Prisoners are being deprived meals and/or pepper sprayed, and/or even beaten during cell extractions, solely for speaking to each other, our stay on CM (Close Management) being prolonged – yes, just for talking to each other.

  3. Abolish mental health staff being in cahoots with and approving of overseer abuse and brutality of innocent prisoners already suffering from CTSD (Current Traumatic Stress Disorder), being misdiagnosed as ‘disruptive.’

  4. End overseers withholding of prisoners meals as a disciplinary sanction.

  5. Abolish preparing meals with subliminal intent of feeding pigs at neighboring swill farms rather than feeding human prisoners.

  6. End FSP serving prisoners meals on mold, greasy and wet trays. Health risk.

  7. Abolish FSP serving meals cold, which are supposed to be served hot. Another health risk.

  8. End FSP serving of half cooked meals to prisoners. Yet another health risk.

  9. Abolish FSP serving of highly carcinogenic, GMO, processed, fake meat.

  10. End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary deviation from FDOC master menu, and serving meals in exiguous portions, denying prisoners legally required nutritional value and calorie count.

  11. Abolish FSP vertical use of black box on handcuffs and waist chains. Black box and handcuffs are designed to be used horizontally, not vertically. Even while having to carry personal property, placing prisoners at great risk of breaking wrists and/or other life-threatening injuries during falls.

  12. End FSP use of exhaust fans and heaters as control and/or torture devices as collective punishment of prisoners.

  13. Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant withholding and delaying of prisoners incoming and outgoing mail as a censorship tactic.

  14. End FSP’s blatant and rampant arbitrary and retaliatory impounding and rejection of prisoners’ incoming publications, based solely on prisoners political beliefs, expression, affiliation and advocacy/activism.

  15. Abolish FSP repression, re-education campaign and war on prisoner’s aspiration of genuine essential self-rehabilitation via political studies, application and practices of genuine essential self-criticism and rectification.

  16. End conducting of prisoners medical sick-call at cell doors, depriving prisoners of confidentiality and privacy.

  17. Abolish FSP pepper-spraying and/or beating of mentally ill prisoners.

  18. End CM (Close Management) solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners.

  19. Abolish the blatant and rampant ignoring the audio/video of prisoners PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) calls on overseers sexual harassment, or declaring mental health (psych) emergencies.

  20. End FSP overseers taking of prisoners personal property and giving it to or leaving it accessible to friendly or favored prisoners.

  21. Abolish FSP discriminatory denying CM I & II prisoners their JPAY purchased tablets and service, while allowing CM III prisoners their JPAY tablets and services, denial of JPAY tablet is based solely on punishment for being on CM I & II status.

  22. End overseer training, indoctrination, instilling mindset that CM is disciplinary confinement rather than administrative or segregated housing. FSP staff and overseers literally believe that CM is for torture of prisoners rather than correction and rehabilitation of prisoners.

  23. Abolish FSP’s blatant and rampant throwing away/trashing of prisoners submitted informal and formal grievances.

  24. End FSP fabrication of disciplinary reports, falsifying documents, solely to prolong prisoners’ stay on CM.

  25. Abolish FSP’s racist/KKK/good-ole-boy code of silence. Prisoners are being beaten in the medical building, off camera, in blind spots – being in blues is the new black.

If you are reading this, please understand that the above listed are only a few of the many injustices occurring here at FSP (Florida State Prison). Please understand that our backs are against the wall, we are voiceless, disenfranchised, isolated, alienated and scared of retaliation. Please understand that we are very well aware of the fact that we are in prison, and many believe that we deserve to be tortured. But what we and many others do not realize is the fact that though we are in prison, technically, we are not the real criminals. The actions that land us in prison are only reactions and responses to the mis-education and poverty created and perpetuated by the real criminals, the plutocrat politicians. Most of us are in prison only and mostly because we are not corporation owners who are too big for jail, instead we are the too poor and mis-educated to defend ourselves against the state and the prosecutors who know full well who the real criminals are, their bosses and friends, state and capital.

Please help us by spreading the word and emailing the above demands to all your friends and family, ask them to email it to friends and family, and post it on social media. The idea is to raise mass awareness, and to also let the real criminals, the plutocrats, know that we, the people, know that they are the real criminals, doing all in their power to perpetuate crime, because crime creates and perpetuates state jobs, nationwide.

Please email ‘End and Abolish’ to

  • Governor Desantis: flgov.com/contact-governor
  • FDOC Secretary: prod.fdc-wpws001.fdc.myflorida.com
  • the Region 2 Director: [email protected]
  • and the Inspector General using the Complaint Form at fdc.myflorida.com.

“Real change begins with real awareness.”

18 July 2021, approximate 6:22AM, a prisoner in #1217 cell just got pulled out of his cell and jumped by overseers. Prisoner was already in restraints, two cells away from his cell. He was slammed to the ground, one overseer had his knee planted in the back of the prisoners neck while the prisoner was face down and handcuffed with his hands behind his back, while the other overseer punched him. I’m in the wing next door (J-Wing). Prisoners on windows reported it as it happened.

chain
[Civil Liberties] [Abuse] [ULK Issue 74]
expand

Innocence Wasn't Enough for Erick Riddick

Comrades, I want to highlight the issues surrounding the Erick Riddick case because I feel it did not get enough media coverage. Sure there was enough attention given to free him after 30 years, however that is only because he knew a famous rapper. What about the thousands of other people in prison who don’t know any famous celebrities?

[Editor: Erick Riddick was released in May 2021 after 30 years in prison in a deal for time served for a guilty plea. His case was championed by Meek Mill, who he met in prison, and brought his case to the attention of some law students at Georgetown University.]

Riddick’s case disturbed me personally because I too tried to raise a claim of actual innocence in court only to be told that claims of actual innocence are not cognizable. For all who do not understand legal language, that means ‘so what if you have evidence of innocence, the law does not permit one to be freed on those grounds.’

The inequality of Herrera v. Collins 506 U.S. 390 (1993) should enrage anyone who has an atom of decency in them. All of these prejudiced kind of laws are opined in private, however the very moment it is brought to the public’s attention at large, like with Erick Riddick, the pretense of justice is miraculously assumed.

Riddick had solid evidence of his innocence and yet that was not enough for his release from prison after 30 years! Because of Herrera v. Collins, Erick Riddick had to plea to a 3rd degree murder charge in exchange for release. The very notion of the plea deal is illegal – words like extortion, ransom, kidnapping, come to mind – but when are government officials ever subject to the law?

When I was in county jail the sheriffs officers there would boast that a court can not order them to do anything. They would say “a court order is only a suggestion.”

Does anyone in the free world care that 4% of the U.S. population has a ‘do whatever you want’ license or is it ok so long as it don’t happen to you? What? You didn’t know that 4% of the U.S. population works to incarcerate Americans? Look around, someone standing close to you locks people in a cage for a paycheck. They take off their uniform before entering the public domain because they know they are enemies of the people. They are hiding their evil, that’s why they change clothes before leaving work at the police station.

I am doing a life sentence, so that you will be frightened into submission. Any who are complicit encourage further tyranny. I don’t have anything to lose but my chains, but I guarantee you this, if you do not stand against the police now your kids will suffer a much worse fate than mine.

None but prisoners know how unjust the laws are. Judges are paid in excess of $300,000 annually to give life sentences but the jury has no right to know what sentence a guilty verdict carries. The Riddick case should be mainstream media. The public deserves to know that the law don’t care if a man is innocent, their only concern is intimidation, life sentences for some so that all will cower down & pay heavy taxes.

4% of the population roams around with a gun and a badge and a fat belly, living off the working man’s hard work! They carry that gun because they are too lazy for a real job. When will government officials be held accountable for their crimes against humanity? The time to stand united against the police is NOW!! It is me today, tomorrow it will be you. Resist NOW!

chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Youth] [Abuse] [International Connections] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

A Silence Haunts Occupied Aztlán

communism liberates kids from imperialist cages

In the United Snakes of Amerikkka there is an eerie silence surrounding the most grotesque reality of today within the borders of this imperialist settler colonial nation. A silence similar to the one on that cold night in Germany on the 9th of November, 1938, known as Kristallnacht. This silence is different however because unlike that night otherwise known as the “night of broken glass,” this silence encompasses both day and night seamlessly and seemingly endlessly. This silence protects the interests of a select few in power. It protects them from having to answer for the chaos they created outside these arbitrary borders against the survivors of Amerikkkan imperialism by separating the families in custody of the criminal Amerikkkan state. I’m talking about the children in cages.

We’re talking about traumatizing the youth of colonized nations in modern day concentration camps. Like in the concentration camps for “amerikkkan citizens” there is no shred of dignity provided. No recognition of humanity. The magnitude of crimes actually perpetrated by these agents of fascism is unknown. Occasionally a whistleblower will receive a small slot on the evening news to highlight a particular abuse. Hollow promises of change from the settler government followed by silence from the settler masses are soon to come with a distraction here or there to qualm concerns of the still inquisitive.

The European settler seeks to soothe the colonized revolutionary demands in order to settle for reform. So it’s no surprise then when fundamentally nothing changes in the system which perpetuates these horrors. Many who are conscious of said horrors and who claim to be serving the “best interests” of the people are quick to co-opt anything that sounds remotely revolutionary. Democrats or Republicans, Coke or Pepsi, both are toxic formulas made by the colonizers to extract profit from the oppressed colonized people while simultaneously killing them slowly.

Even amongst those who call themselves “the radical left” there’s barely a shred of concern sustained outside of a shareable post on social media. When hysteria breaks out over a single incident millions are quick to interject with an opinion. When over 2.3 million people are incarcerated and enslaved it’s just business as usual. When over 70,000 children are jailed it’s justified to “protect the borders” from Raza fleeing chaos started by those in power within these same borders.

We are all prisoners of war, some of us are politicized prisoners but we all remain at war whether we wish to be or not. Whether we are surrounded by concrete towers, riflemen overhead, or kept in line by terrorists with badges in the barrio. Make no mistake the poor and colonized are at war. They will justify incarnating the “Gangster” or the “Cholo.” They will say that we had “opportunities” but simply made the wrong choices. They will have us believing that we are the problem. Just like they told our ancestors as they burnt our sacred texts and destroyed our highly developed societies. They will teach us of salvation in white Jesus. They will teach us that we may face peril here on earth as slaves to the colonizer but in reality we should be grateful because those same colonizers brought us european religion that will give us everlasting life and a kingdom of riches in the afterlife!

I have a cousin named Jesus but he is brown and I can tell you I have never met a white Jesus. I’m even less concerned with riches in an afterlife when we all are subjected to poverty here in this one. The fact is that we are not the problem. We only had opportunities to betray our nation and class. We were taken from the womb to the tomb. Our sentence was handed out before we even opened our eyes to see the devastation that Amerikkka has brought to the world.

They can fabricate lies about us, but when it comes obtaining a respiratory infection in ICE custody, this is the greatness United Snakes of Amerikkka aims to return to. The “great” genocide of all the poor Brown and Black people unfortunate enough to be “discovered.” Thousands of recorded cases of little girls being sexually assaulted in ICE facilities with untold more numbers growing daily are being told it’s going to be okay because Amerikkka is a Pepsi nation now and Coca Cola is in retreat. Joe is in office and the orange man is out! If we are being honest with ourselves and true to the plight of those traumatized children though. We all know that the shackles which bind us all together on this sinking ship won’t be unlocked by the same person who put us in them. As for the impotent left that is silent to our suffering and the suffering of our children in cages. Break the silence with the sound of marching feet or be tread upon by the roar of history’s feet stomping over the indigent rulers of yet another decaying social order.

Free the children!

Free them all!

chain
[Aztlan/Chicano] [Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [Republic of Aztlán] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

ROA Statement on Kids in Kkkages

No More Kids in Kkkages

The Koncentration Kkkamps holding migrant children are horrific. We see images of dog kennels being used to warehouse these babies and not enough is being done to shut them down. The U.$. “Left” has been unable to respond properly and something more needs to be done.

We recently discussed this issue where the Chicano Nation has supported the actions of many issues and will continue to do so but when it comes to kids in kkkages the turn out of non-Raza allies is slim to none. This has to change.

The Republic of Aztlán (ROA) has taken a firm stand on this issue. We attend all actions that we can for all forms of injustice and we will continue to have boots on the ground. However, we have reached a position that if we are asked to do security or speak at an action or event if the hosts do not speak on the kids in kkkages we will decline. We will still attend, but will not do security or speak if these allies are not addressing these kids at this particular action.

We feel that we must apply pressure on the overall movement and push them to be more revolutionary. This small act may not succeed but we will have tried.

Children held in dog kennels should affect anyone with an ounce of humynity. People say “Free all political prisoners.” These kids, in our opinion, are political prisoners. More than that, it’s a crime against humynity what is occurring.

The ROA will continue our campaign to free the kids. We are currently organizing a tour where we will address the Kids in Kkkages from Califaztlan to New York, so stay tuned.

chain
[Economics] [Abuse] [COVID-19] [ULK Issue 73]
expand

Stimulus Checks Are Being Stolen by TDCJ-CID

[MIM(Prisons) are not lawyers. The legal information provided by jailhouse lawyers in ULK is verified to the best of our ability. This particular issue seems like a winnable battle based on the information provided, but winning will take more effort by comrades in Texas.]

Prisoners in Texas are having the money from their stimulus checks taken by the state to pay fees and restitutions. Section 272(d)(2) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides that the second round of stimulus checks ‘shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and no applicable payment shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.’ This means that this round of stimulus checks may not be garnished to cover overdue debts by federal or state prisons.(1)

The stimulus checks have the same protections as the United States Veteran Affairs Administration whom sends millions of checks across the country to incarcerated former military service men and women whom only get 10% of such checks.

People held by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correction Institutions Division(TDCJ-CID) are having their stimulus checks stolen from their inmate trust funds accounts due to debts owed in the following categories, with the percent of each deposit they will deduct for each category:

  1. federal court costs (20%)
  2. state court costs (10%)
  3. child support assistance (case-by-case)
  4. medical co-payments (50%)
  5. TDCJ-CID indigent supplies and postage (100%)
  6. TDCJ-CID disciplinary destroying prison’s property (100%)
  7. current/prior TDCJ sentences (old or new, no amount specified)

I have written a complaint – a TDCJ Step One Offender Grievance Form No. 2021020837 that said the direction would come form the IRS as to whether those stimulus checks would be exempt from collection. The response was that this “action was out of the control of the unit, no action warranted.”

Thereafter, I appealed that response in another complaint Step Two Offender Grievance Form. I wrote the agents in charge at the IRS Department of the Treasury in Austin, TX but never received any response.

Scholl v. Mnuchin, et al. No.4:20-cv-05309-PJH ND Cal.; Appeal Docket No. 20-16915 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of prisoners getting stimulus checks while incarcerated. The checks in question should not be confused with the most recent $1400 checks under current Presdient Joseph Biden. It was the $1200 and $600 checks under President Donald Trump that were ruled on. These checks should be issued whether one is incarcerated or not because everybody is affected by this global crisis.

According to The Intercept the TDCJ was ironically the only state they spoke to that claimed it was not garnishing stimulus checks to its prisoners. Many, if not all, states have seemingly been breaking the law in doing so.(2)

There is a solution to safe-guard some form of protection to those stimulus checks or other funds.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The author provided names of some companies that used to provide banking services for prisoners. These companies all seem to have closed down. We leave this note here as a suggestion for possible solutions to storing your stimulus money if you can find a similar service that is trusted.

Also note, that according to caresactprisoncase.org, if you have not filed the tax forms for the stimulus checks by 15 April 2021 you may not be able to receive them. At the same time, the official word has gone back and forth on how all this works.

Some comrades have written in to say they are boycotting the stimulus checks. While we agree that these stimulus checks are a means of buying off the population in U.$. borders with wealth stolen from the Third World, as individuals we can still do good things with this money. Like how we view investing in the stock market, we do not take a moralistic view of this money and encourage comrades to get the funds they are legally due and put them to good use in projects serving the people and building independent institutions of the oppressed.

Notes: 1. https://caresactprisoncase.org/incarcerated-people-are-eligible-for-second-round-of-stimulus-payments/
2. Asher Stockler and Daniel Moritz-Rabson, 17 February 2021, Prisons Are Skimming Big Chunks of CARES Act Stimulus Checks, A September court ruling promised incarcerated people their slice of the federal stimulus. Some prisons still took a cut, The Intercept.

chain
[Abuse] [Campaigns] [COVID-19] [Telford Unit] [Texas]
expand

URGENT: Take Action for Texas Coronavirus Sanitation

The Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice(TDCJ) is Lorie Davis, and she ordered TDCJ for all units to follow a list of sanitation [protocols]. You can email [email protected] to get this list that’s been ordered, and the phone number to call to report failure to follow these policies is below.

I wrote Lorie Davis and reported TDCJ Telford Unit not following policies implemented by Director Davis, and they still haven’t been implemented. Assistant Warden Mr. Marshall called me out and threatened me, told me to stop writing, and to set down.

My Texas Pack which I hustled hard to get has now come up missing. I think my legal mail is thrown away. If you can please send me a Texas Pack, I can send a donation when I get out, for all the hard work you do and help any way I can.

I need you to call Lori Davis, and please leave my name out of it. I fear what could happen. Right now I’m on the worst effected unit with COVID-19. There’s been 4 inmate deaths, 80 sick and 31 officers have gotten it. And the administration refuses to give any disinfectant to segregation inmates.

By Lorie Davis, we are supposed to be getting Double D [disinfectant]. We’ve not gotten it once. Bleach is not being used or anything else in administrative segregation.

**1-844-476-1289 is the number to report this

Also contact the TDCJ’s Director of Administrative Risk and Review Management Marvin Dunbar at (936) 437-4839 **

The Johnnies (sack) meals we get have little to no food on them. Special medical-prescribed meals, meat frees, are not sent out but every once in a while. Also we are not getting beverages of any kind.

We need you to report these things on Telford. Thank you for your time.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is one of many reports we’ve been getting regarding prison staff not following basic sanitation guidelines in prisons across the country. We just heard from a comrade who got eir parole delayed on a bogus rules violation write up in California for signing eir name on a group grievance that staff were not wearing masks. Not only are staff putting prisoners lives at risk by not following these procedures, but they are punishing people for bringing it to their attention!

chain
[Abuse] [COVID-19]
expand

Inadequate Hygiene Products for Coronavirus

Here in prison, they finally started letting us make phone calls after close to 3 weeks of being on lockdown. But since April 7th we have been on lockdown because of the virus. But Texa$ Telford Unit prison can’t give us any extra soap or cell cleaning supplies, we have got zero cell cleaning supplies. 2 man cell, 1 toilet, 1 sink. We only shower 3x a week, this is during a time when we are supposed to be washing our hands “in all” about a hour a day. We share 4 showers with 48 different people, so we get in the shower right behind someone else, a very small shower that does not get sanitized or aired out after each use. They didn’t even clean the showers for the first 2 weeks of lockdown. Now inmates are dying and even their own officers. Maybe it would have been a wise choice to take a little out of the 3 billion dollar budget and give us some extra soap to wash our hands with? We have to use our own soap to clean the plastic and metal phone after someone uses it (they let 2 people out at a time for phone). TX doesn’t have iPads so we can’t email or watch movies like some states.

In this capitalist world, if you can’t afford a computer or internet you can’t go to school now. So that’s the way greed works.

I don’t really have a study cell but I have had quite a few conversations with people and I let them know that socialism is for the poor and oppressed, like us prisoners, and some of these people want Trump to win and they are for the right. But they agree that socialism would actually be for the better of the people. They hang their head and agree.

P.S. Donation of 5 stamps

chain
[Abuse] [International Connections] [Florida State Prison] [Florida]
expand

Prisoner Support Organizations Needed for Liberation

June 16, 2017 was a day of my current prison life that I would never forget, no matter how hard I try or no matter what my mental health counselors tell me about “letting go.” On this particular day, I was being escorted down the walkway at Suwannee Correctional Institution by a prison official by the name of Sergeant Moore, when out of nowhere Sergeant Moore placed his right leg in front of my shackled feet and slammed me face first on the concrete floor, splitting my bottom lip on impact and knocking out three of my front teeth. Then he began repeatedly punching me in the face while stating “I’ll catch you in this blind spot every time mother fucker.”

As this tragic incident was taking place, another prison official by the name of Lieutenant Riegel ran up to me, grabbed both sides of my face, and banged my head against the floor three times before more officers responded to the scene to take me to medical. I was taken to an outside hospital for facial trauma.

The bad part about this entire incident is that neither the prison’s administration nor the Inspector Generals Office did anything about this incident, because the prison officials fabricated the paperwork stating that I attacked Sergeant Moore. In reality, Sergeant Moore was the one who attacked me, out of retaliation for the ongoing problems I was having with security at Suwannee C.I.

In addition, I was in full restraints from my hands down to my waist and feet at the time of this incident, which made it impossible for me to have attacked Sergeant Moore. The prison administration knew this. However, they still swept this incident under the rug like they tend to do when officers brutally assault prisoners.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always heard of officers jumping on inmates in full restraints, but when it actually happened to me, my eyes were instantly opened to the corruption that’s taking place in the Florida prison system, especially at prisons like Florida State Prison, Suwannee Correctional Institution, and Union Correctional Institution.

For example, there’s something called the “Cell Extraction Team,” which is a group of five officers, dressed in riot gear, whose sole purpose is to go inside of a cell and restrain a prisoner who allegedly “refuses” to submit to hand restraints. However, instead of sticking to the sole objective, these officers are often times going inside these cells and brutally beating inmates by kicking them, punching them, kicking their teeth out, etc. And while they’re doing this, they’re yelling “stop resisting.” How can an inmate possibly resist when five officers are beating him? The entire time they’re doing this, another officer stands in the doorway to block the view of the camera. I’m currently speaking from personal experience.

Another example is there’s something called “Property Restriction,” which is when officers strip a prisoner of all his property and clothes and leave them inside their cell in just a pair of boxers to sleep on the hard metal bunk, for allegedly “misusing” their property. However, instead of using property restriction for what it’s intended for, officers are using this as a tool to simply strip a prisoner of all their clothes, and they are mainly doing this in the winter time. Once again, I am speaking from personal experience. Most states have actually abolished property restriction practices in prisons, deeming it cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners, but it is still going on in the Florida prison system.

Truth be told, officers aren’t the only ones that’s participating in the corruption. The nurses are guilty as well because whenever officers assault inmates, instead of documenting our injuries, nurses are covering up for the officers by not documenting our injuries.

In addition to that, whenever we file grievances reporting what officers are doing to us, the grievance coordinators are throwing away grievances. Which is why I’ve decided to write this short story to shine some light on the corruption that’s taking place.

The worst part is, the Florida Prison system administration is fully aware of this cruel and inhuman treatment that’s being inflicted upon inmates, because they’re the ones who sign off on the paperwork. Yet still they’re not doing anything about it.

No one deserves to be treated this way. The readers of this article can even go online and see with their own eyes that Suwannee C.I. was under investigation for this same corruption a few years ago.

Now, I know some people may feel like we are criminals so we deserve to suffer in prison. However, our mistakes don’t define who we are as a person. It’s our heart. And I know there’s people in the community who know some very good-hearted people that’s locked up in prison. In addition to that, since I’ve been incarcerated, I’ve written three novels and I’m currently working on my fourth novel, which shows that coming to prison has actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because if I hadn’t come to prison I would have never discovered my God-given talent.

My only desire now is to expose the corruption in the Florida prison system because not only are these officials mistreating us, but they are also taking advantage of us.

I’m just trying to show the community how corrupted the prison system is, and it should not be this way. Prison is supposed to be a place for prisoners to rehabilitate themselves before they go back into society. But how can we rehabilitate ourselves if we are constantly being mistreated in prison, and then they wonder why prisoners get out of prison and do the same thing. Because we didn’t learn anything.

And whether or not the community believes it, prisons are some of the most corrupted places in the world. I’ve seen officers purposely put two inmates in the same cell, knowing that both inmates were having problems with each other. And these are just some of the things prison officials have been doing.

Consequently, I’m sincerely asking that the community assist us with pushing the “Prison Lives Matter Organization” (PLM Organization) because it’s only so much us as inmates can do from behind the doors. I’ve already written the blueprint for the PLM Organization and I don’t mind sharing it with someone who’s interested in being the co-founder of the organization. However, I’m looking for people who’s sincerely going to put their heart and dedication into bringing about a change in the Florida Prison System. If you are a serious inquiry, then you may contact MIM Distributors for information on how you can contact me, and you can be part of the PLM Organization.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds:We fully echo this comrade’s call for people on the outside to get involved in supporting prisoners’ struggles. We are even recruiting for our own outside-support organization, and it’s in a similar phase as PLM Organization. The main thing lacking right now is people getting involved. If you are inspired to contribute to prisoners’ struggles in Florida or elsewhere, but can’t join MIM(Prisons) at a cadre level for whatever reason, we would be ecstatic to support the development of a new prisoner-support mass organization.

We have a policy that we don’t build organizations outside of the MIM(Prisons) umbrella, but a prisoner-support mass organization led by MIM(Prisons) can work in united front with other groups like the PLM Organization. Or maybe the Maoist-led mass organization takes on the work that encompasses what PLM is out to transform, so prisoners have an organization they can turn to rather than needing to start their own from behind bars as individuals. There’s a great opportunity here and we encourage “people who’s sincerely going to put their heart and dedication into bringing about a change” to get in touch with MIM(Prisons) directly via our contact page.

We have a different view than this comrade about the role of prisons and the causes of criminality in our present United $tates society. Where ey says that going to prison was a blessing in disguise, we ask, "why aren't there opportunities for certain populations of people to develop their talents outside of prison?" And where ey says mistake don't define a persyn, we ask, "why are people committing these mistakes in the first place?" And "who gets to say what counts as a crime, or not?" Clearly there are many, many people in U.$. society who do things that harm many other people, and they are not considered to be criminals, and are not punished by the court system. So, why is that?

It would be great if prisons were a place where people who harm other people go to see the errors of their ways and transform into people who are able to contribute to society. Like this comrade who started writing novels and advocating for prisoners’ rights behind the walls. In fact, that’s what prisons were like in communist China under Mao Zedong, and that’s a social model that we look to for inspiration and guidance on how we can create it in our own future. Chinese society under Mao is where we get our name “Maoist” from. We are big fans.

And we look to Chinese society under Mao for how we can create a culture and economic system that means people aren’t committing crimes that stem from survival needs, or mental health issues, or historical trauma. Imagine how much less harm there would be in the world if these low-level “crimes” became obsolete – if people’s survival needs were met, mental health was taken care of, and historical trauma was healed and not perpetuated. Not to mention if the capitalist crimes against humynity were abolished, and we had clean rivers, and all peoples were allowed to thrive.

So we think prisons in this country are working exactly as designed. They’re not really “corrupted,” because the entire purpose of them is for social control, to keep certain populations and certain ideas suppressed. Every act that communicates that “prisoners’ lives don’t matter” and “you can’t do that” is part and parcel to prisons under capitalism. When you consider that capitalist prisons aren’t meant to rehabilitate “criminals,” you can see that they are actually working perfectly. Whether by punishment (beatings, isolation) or reward (TV, privileges), U.$. prison administrators are doing their job and doing it well.

MIM(Prisons) aims to get at the root of this suffering, which we see as the capitalist economic system itself. On the surface, the economic system might seem unrelated to abuse of prisoners, and to a certain extent we could have better prison conditions (prison reform) under capitalism. But as Maoists we are out to create a world free from all oppression, not just a relief of some oppression for a few groups. Where some groups are given privileges, other groups are still suffering and often times suffering worse to make up for it. We believe that only through addressing the root cause of the suffering – capitalism and imperialism – can we fully support prisoners’ struggles here and around the world.

chain
[Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]
expand

Staff Ignoring Assaults

I just want to thank you for the Texas Pack. It’s quite sad the things that are kept from us so that we ignore the corruption. Let me tell you what’s going on with me.

I did a I-127 to appeal a case and 40 days passed without me hearing from the grievance lady. Your packet came today and pretty much walked me through what I needed to do next, because I had no clue. The case that I’m appealing lowered my custody level to G4. This goes to the next set of problems I’ve encountered.

I did an Offender Protection Investigation (OPI) because an offender who was also G4 was Gun Ho on kicking my ass. They failed to investigate properly, then said “unsubstantiated evidence” even though officers seen what happened.

It’s so much that happened with not enough room to write. But I’ll keep it basic.

They moved me to another dorm. And a few days ago I got assaulted by another offender. That’s right man, hit on my right eye with a scratch under my eye. The officer that seen it said nothing about seeing it, yet she called an “ICS.” The offender that did it was G2 status and should not have been mixed with G4s. OPI was done that rank did not want to do. So a fighting case was wrote. The other offender denied of course and “I folded.” That was my statement. I walked out with a march and they allowed the offender to go to work.

Now they have me on a unit transfer, but this offender has not been held accountable for her action. How do I press the issue on this when no one is talking?

Before I walked out my building I had no marks, but as soon as I step outside in less than 2 minutes I’m being escorted to medical.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds: This report shows how much effort Texas prison staff put into protecting prisoners. Seeking protection from staff offers predictable results. Sometimes they’ll listen, and sometimes they’ll transfer you. That’s if you’re lucky. Most of the time they pretend they didn’t see it, never got the grievance, etc.

If we want to end the assaults, we can ask ourselves: what are the core issues causing these assaults? When that’s clear, we can ask: will staff do anything to address those core issues? It would probably benefit them to do so, but decades of practice shows they likely won’t put in the effort to make that kind of difference.

So this report also shows the importance of prisoners building their own peace in prisons. We have a slightly different approach to ending these assaults than this writer. This might sound crazy, but what we’re working toward is helping prisoners build a culture of comradery and peacefulness on their units, so that this kind of behavior is not tolerated among the prisoner population.

When this comrade asks us what we think ey can do to end the assaults, we don’t advocate for more punishment from admin on the people committing the assaults. We advocate for building bridges, improving communication, and standing together in a United Front for Peace in Prisons.

That work is NOT EASY. But if we want to end assaults in prisons, and if we want to build a society that isn’t centered around unnecessary violence, then we have to commit to doing the hard work. No one is going to hand us a world free of oppression and exploitation. We have to build that ourselves. And that’s a beautiful thing. To be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to the future in this way.

MIM(Prisons) does everything we can to help support prisoners in this task, including providing education opportunities, organizing materials, and resources (like the Texas Pack). What of those materials and concepts would improve the situation with these prisoners who seek to cause you harm? Grievances and OICs aren’t working, and probably will never really work. So what do WE need to do about it?

chain
[Abuse] [Control Units] [North Carolina]
expand

The Criminal Injustice System Works for the Jailers

It’s August 2019 and people say that the Criminal Justice System doesn't work. I beg to differ. I've come to believe that it works just fine, just like slavery did as a matter of economic and political policy. How is it that a 16 year old in North Carolina who can't get a job can suddenly generate $54,750 (which equates to $150 a day for prison upkeep) when trapped and inducted into the Criminal Injustice System where architects, food and medical providers, masons, carpenters, electricians, painters, correctional officers, administrators and a myriad other skilled trade workers get paid with guaranteed job security?

Just like the era of chattel slavery, there is a class of people dependent on the poor and on the bodies of all of us who are behind bars. All throughout the Criminal Injustice System, the policies of the police, the courts, and our prisons are a manifestation of classism, racism and dishonesty which governs the lives of all of us. Then you have prosecutors. They are like nasty little rats with quivering noses that have invaded our court systems with full impunity across the country feeding thousands of human bodies into the bowels of the razor-wire plantations without the slightest remorse for the hell they are sending us to, where slavery is mandated.

No matter how you look at it, involuntary labor is slavery. You see, the United $tates didn't abolish slavery, they just transferred it into their prisons. So last year on 20 August 2018 with the help of outside human rights activists, prison abolitionists, anarchists, and other public supporters who did a peaceful demonstration in our prison parking lot, I, [Prisoner A], alongside [Prisoners B, C and D] all organized together with hundreds of other prisoners across North Carolina and questioned these policies by assembling peacefully and petitioning our government for a redress of our grievances.

As a result, we were all labeled as rioters and Security Threat Group individuals and sent off to super max prisons and thrown into solitary confinement where we were subjected to all sorts of mistreatment: glass was found in [Prisoner D's] food, I was poisoned and never receiving any treatment, [Prisoner B] was sent to the Rehabilitative Diversion Unit (RDU) program where he is currently being brainwashed. [Prisoner C] got out of prison. I finally got out of solitary hell after spending 8 long months of sensory deprivation and losing 53 pounds only to face more repression and mail censorship that resulted in me receiving another 6 months for simply writing and organizing the 21 May 2019 National Grievance Day complaining about the new discriminatory JPay policy that limits who can send a prisoner money.

And what have I learned in all of this? I've learned that any time you restrain a person from going where they want to go, its an act of violence. Anytime you bully and mistreat someone by placing them in a cell 23 hours a day, it's an act of violence! I've also learned that it's not the inhumanity of the cruelties prisoners face in prisons on a daily basis or inhumane conditions: the cold, filth, callous medical care, tasers, unnecessary chains, pepper spray, beatings, excessive censorship, dehumanizing strip searches, extended and excessive isolation in solitary confinement for simple things like writing, or the robbing of our trust funds of $10 each time a prison guard accuses us of a rule violation that are criminalized; it's the complaining about our conditions of confinement that's made criminal. Right now there are tens of thousands of humans living in enforced solitary confinement cells in U.$. prisons.

Over a decade ago when news broke about what was going on in Abu Ghraib, President Bush stated "what took place in that prison doesn't represent the America I know." Unfortunately, for the more than 2.5 million prisoners and undocumented immigrants and the rest of us living in U.$. prisons, this is the Amerikkka we know, our family members know, and the anarchists and prison abolitionists know. Furthermore, prisoners have got to wake up and realize that the entire executive branch of the U.$. government seems to sanction torture in our prisons and all of the repression and disrespect that we endure on a daily basis from prison guards is unacceptable. It is imperative that prisoners continue to organize and to write about their experiences and complain to folks on the outside so that the public can realize what's happening to people in U.$. prisons. There are watchdog organizations that expose, ridicule and punish Internet and school bullies and there are laws against bullying. The prison guards are also supposed to observe these laws.

The conditions and practices that men, women, and children can attest to here in North Carolina are in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In addition, most U.$. prisons practices also violate dozens of other international treaties and clearly fit the United Nations' definition of genocide. Aren't you tired of being told where to sit? What to eat? Who you can socialize with inside and outside of prison? What you can watch on TV? What you may read or what you can write about or to whom? Of being denied basic dignity based on race or class? Aren't you tired of your bodies being examined, exploited and used through dehumanizing and invasive strip-searches on the whim of a prison guard or a jailer?

Prisoners have got to continue to organize and alter the very core of every system that slavery, racism and poverty has given birth to, and particularly the Criminal Injustice System. The entire prison system must stop violating the rights of men, women, and children in North Carolina! We must effectively eliminate solitary confinement, the restriction of our civil rights, their devices of torture, family-run prisons, and all forms of sentences of "death by incarceration" or sentences that are overly burdensome, oppressive and too lengthy that financially benefit the government instead of victims of crime!

It's plain to see that many victims could be better served by working out an honest agreement with those disingenuous persons who have wronged them, and that prosecutors have a lot of undue power to decide whom to criminalize as well as what cases are or aren't priority. Of course these mutual agreements will not be ideal in every case, but failure to account for social context is such a crucial aspect of what's wrong with our current system. We need to put context first and resolve each dispute in its own way rather than just applying a rigid legal formula.

I think the call for universal basic decency and respect towards all living creatures as well as towards prisoners is a powerful message that's made more powerful when people share their stories of mistreatment. Each of our personal and individual struggles are one of many, but when we as prisoners stop focusing on the color of one's skin, or what he or she is in prison for, and all join hands, that's when we can get our freedoms back and that's when we can all win.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is right on when ey says that prisons do work. It's all about understanding the real purpose of prisons. Amerikkkan prisons are not meant for rehabilitation, they are meant for social control. The author speaks of the child prisoner who is "generating" $54,750 per year. This is another purpose of prisons: distribution of profits stolen from the Third World to First World workers. All those workers in the criminal injustice system are parasites, earning good wages to further this system of social control. Those wages come mostly from state budgets. And those state budgets are just a redistribution of wealth. Imperialist wealth. Which is taken from the Third World through exploitation of workers and theft of natural resources.

This redistribution of super profits is a side "benefit" of the criminal injustice system. The focus is social control, particularly of oppressed nations. That social control wouldn't be complete if prisoners were allowed to study, communicate and organize freely. In fact, there is a contradiction inherent in the United $tates prison system. Locking up people as a means of social control puts these people in close contact, with lots of time on their hands, which facilitates organizing and studying together. So the prisons turn to greater repression behind bars to try to stop these activities. That's exactly what this writer is fighting against. We must demand an end to solitary confinement, an end to censorship of prisoners' mail, and access to a real and effective grievance system. These are small goals in the context of the larger fight against imperialism. But they are goals that will bring real progress for our comrades behind bars. Progress that will allow the prisoners to organize and educate and build.

chain