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Under Lock & Key

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[Abuse]
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Redefining Violence

If you can't criticize a country without being hunted down for ten years and shot to death, along with innocent wimmin and children, in your own living room eating shish kabob. If you can't criticize a pig for putting too much pressure on your neck with his knee, as you lie face down, unarmed on cement, without being shot to death in the back. If you can't speak up about your countries military terrorism without being exterminated in the process. It's violence!

If you can't write essays on the internet without being refused parole for doing so. Even though the families of dead captives, who were killed by solitary violence, are helped by your essays and remembrances. Even if that speaking up lessens further future suicides because the most violent, abusive pigs were removed. To be punished for this. It's violence for stopping violence.

Yet it's me being punished for being violent in this damn solitary cage. Even though I've never been violent.

I've never starved children to death by economic sanctions. I've never fired on an unarmed tied individual as he lay on his stomach on cement, or sat lashed fighting to a wooden chair. I've never pepper sprayed anyone. Nor have I dragged anyone anywhere and shot them to death. This hand has never injected people with poison, without their consent.

A lot of people call me worthless and crazy but you don't see me tracking them down and shooting them, and their wives and children, over leftover steaming bowls of kebab.

Did you see the celebrations for Osama Bin Laden's family's murder? Have you watched fat, drunken people exit a firing squad execution giving high fives and cheers for witnessing a murder? Have you ever watched 500,000 children starve to death because of your country's economy sanctions?

What about 15 million children starving to death worldwide annually because Amerikkkan capitalism/imperialism chooses to destroy excess grains and throw out the piles upon piles of MacDonald's fast food that's partially overcooked? Destroy food because no one will buy it. Can't buy it because they don't even know what money is.

You can't steal Third World resources and teach those in the Third World economics at the same time. But missionaries do a fine job teaching "the meek shall inherit the earth," as that very earth is stolen from under the bishops' students feet.

You can't destroy millions of captives and teach revolutionary politics and high self-esteem at the same time. Psychiatrists work perfect by teaching "you are inferior beings who lack what these pills provide." As these pigs turn us inferior.

Let us fear perfect solutions to imaginary problems as this is an age old formula for genocide. And let the oppressed unite as one and intimidate back! After all, it is us in the majority with history on our side.

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[Abuse] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas]
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Retaliation for Exposing Vicious Beating

On December 28, 2012 at approximately 8pm, I and many other prisoners housed here at Estelle Unit High Security witnessed a heinous act of violence. Four TDCJ employees viciously beat a mentally ill Black prisoner whose hands were cuffed behind his back. Some prisoners wrote grievances, and some wrote their family members to complain about the inhumane and barbaric behavior of the officers. In the months and weeks that followed I have witnessed one of the most devious and calculated programs of retaliation that I have ever seen anywhere.

Lieutenant Deward Demoss who works on this High Security Unit has undertaken the task of targeting prisoners who spoke out against the beating. He has instructed the officers under his supervision to write fabricated and bogus disciplinary reports on specifically "pre-chosen" prisoners. Then Lieutenant Demoss goes further by violating prisoners' due process rights by faking investigation and hearing entries on paper work. The coup de grace is when Lt. Deward Demoss actually runs court on the prisoner who has been "set up" by this modern day Agent of Repression! Yes, comrades, this is an example of the type of pig Ward Churchill and Jim Vanderwall warned us about.

However, all is not lost. Many prisoners have responded to this unethical and criminal behavior by writing numerous Step 1 and Step 2 grievances. Letters have been sent to the ACLU, state legislators, and the media. Prison officials have even knocked out the local Pacifica Radio affiliate, KPFT, to sabotage prisoners access to the fearless free voices on KPFT who champion prisoner issues. Stay tuned for more reports from the front lines.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is not the first time Deward Demoss has been called out in Under Lock & Key for his work at Estelle prison. We know the problem isn't really about one individual, replacing Demoss will not change the fundamentally oppressive criminal injustice system. This prisoner is correct to call out the responses of filing grievances and publicizing the violence and subsequent retaliation. The pages of Under Lock & Key are open to all who work to expose injustice in their institutions. We encourage everyone to take an example from this prisoner and build both publicity and resistance to the repression. And then we must take it one step further and educate all involved about the role individual oppressors and actions play as a part of the imperialist system as a whole. Through this education and organizing we can build the anti-imperialist movement.

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[Abuse] [Texas]
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Isolation and Torture in Texas

For eight days during December 2011, I was placed in a cell completely nude, and without any state or personal property what-so-ever, while outside temperatures fell down into the low 20 degree range, after having my face and head completely shaved at the direction of TDCJ officers. I was forced to sleep nude on the concrete floor, even as my cell was flooded by ice cold rainwater due to a leak in the ceiling, and the section exhaust fan was operated at night time increasing the ill effects of the cold temperatures.

My cell and person were subjected to a thorough search every two hours around the clock for the entire period by a team of TDCJ officers armed with tear gas, pepper spray, and billy clubs. The coercive language, verbal abuse and repeated threats of use of force and chemical agents upon refusal to exit my cell for shake-downs, or other failures to precisely follow orders, was constant. During the cell searches human feces was tracked all over the floor and bunk by officers and was never cleaned up, nor were cleaning supplies provided.

Security checks requiring a verbal or visual response were conducted every 30 minutes and cell lights were left on 24/7, inducing sleep deprivation. Blinds were installed over my cell door windows inducing sensory deprivation, and near constant banging, hammering, grinding, yelling and other sudden and loud noises created a barrage of audio-assaults that was contestant and nerve-wracking. On several occasions I was inappropriately punished with sub-standard food-loaf in place of regular meal trays, not justified by any offense, and I was forced to eat by hand after defecating while unable to clean myself due to a lack of soap, towels and toilet paper.

All recreation, showers and legal communication were denied. I was never charged nor convicted of any disciplinary offense and I assert that these actions by TDCJ officers, and at the authoritative direction of TDCJ prion administration, violated commonly accepted standards of custodial care as well as my civil rights under both the federal and Texas state constitutions, and, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

I filed grievances on the abuse and ill treatment, however, I never received an official response, thereby denying me my constitutional right to due process and concurrently derailing my efforts at obtaining relief and administrative resolution.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This torture is often used by prison officials as punishment for prisoners who are fighting abuse and injustice, in an attempt to break their spirit and end their attempts to seek justice. This prisoner is now planning to file a civil rights lawsuit, after his attempts at administrative relief failed, and so we are happy to see that the torture did not stop him. But we know that these conditions, especially when faced long term in control units across the country, cause serious physical and mental harm. This is why the campaign to shut down control units is a critical battle for prisoners across the country.

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[Abuse] [Security] [Calipatria State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 31]
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Confusion About Snitching Means Pig Gets Away with Murder

do not snitch CA prisons
The pigs have been up to the same old stuff around here. Three days ago they shot and killed one of the brown brothers with the mini 14 assault rifle, the same rifle type the media and congress has been trying to ban. Two guys were attacking another guy and they were on him and wouldn't stop. So the pig stopped it with the assault rifle. The official report is that the victim had a stabbing instrument in his hand. But the men who were closest to the incident said they saw no weapon.

Of course they did the routine investigation and sent out some COs to ask if anybody saw anything. And of course no one wanted to talk. The pigs have brainwashed so many of us that we believe if we report on the pigs' wrongdoing then that makes you a snitch. A lot of guys are afraid to write a grievance for fear of being labeled. The bad thing is the pigs have their compradors in place to push this point.

Some guys here on a facility organized a food strike to protest the fact the kitchen has a mice/rodent problem. It was only one building. There was no communication that it was going to take place. They did it and got some people's attention. Inspectors came out and looked at the kitchen and gave the kitchen workers a pep talk and told them they needed to tell the population that the problem was being taken care of. All they did was put some mouse traps down and nothing else.

Hopefully the population continues to stand up for themselves. If this is a sign of change I hope it continues because the pigs got nervous when those guys refused to eat.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The righteousness of opposing "snitching" is in the idea that you don't go running to the oppressor to deal with problems among the oppressed people. In other words, don't snitch to the oppressor on the oppressed. There is no such thing as snitching on the oppressor. To report abuse of the pigs, you are not bringing the oppressor into a conflict among the oppressed; the oppressor already is the source of the conflict. And if the oppressed don't have the means to resolve that conflict, then it may be tactically correct to turn to other oppressors to resolve that conflict.

It is true that the prison administration gets nervous when prisoners organize. The more we can unite around common goals, the more power we will have. If the oppressed stay quiet and disunited, there is no counterbalance to the abuse that prisoners face.

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[Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [Nevada]
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Nevada CO Targets Prisoners for Abuse

On January 1 a racist pig by the name of Yates assaulted a Black prisoner in the presence of his immediate supervising officer who did nothing to prevent the assault from occurring nor to stop it once it started. He then refused to call a Lieutenant, give the prisoner an emergency grievance, or request medical attention for the prisoner after Yates attempted to grab the prisoners arm through the cuff port and upon failing that, attempted to break the prisoner's arm by kicking the cuff port flap several times.

Since November this same pig targeted two other prisoners, both Black, one who's gone elsewhere. One, still here, is a diabetic and litigant who's problems arose over his prescribed medical diet. He's been the target of repeated and persistent provocation, retaliation, threats, disciplinary action and property confiscation by this same pig to the point where he can't leave his cell for shower or yard when this pig is on duty for fear of property loss/destruction. He and the prisoner assaulted on January 1 were told that Yates would starve them, kill them, watch them die and enjoy every minute of it and make their lives a living hell. Yates has also made it clear that grievances are useless, the administration has his back and if he did kill one of us he'd get a promotion and a pay raise.

This attitude is not uncommon at High Desert State Prison (HDSP). This pig and others routinely refuse emergency grievances or throw them away (or personally deny them!), refuse to call supervisors, leave prisoners in cells without property for weeks (for my first 17 days I had no property - not even anything to eat with), refuse to answer call buttons, and leave the heat turned off to torment us.

A few of us are fighting these abuses, but it is next to impossible to organize a group effort in part due to environmental obstructions in segregation and apparent apathy on the part of captives, which is seriously disappointing. This apathy is more pronounced (it seems) during the holiday season. This has always been a point of frustration to me: These are capitalist holidays celebrating the genocide and destruction of whole cultures. The first thanksgiving was declared by William Bradford (Gov of the Massachusetts Colony) to celebrate the Pequot Massacre - the murder of 700 plus indigenous people of all ages and genders. In Nevada we get better food (and adult portions) on their capitalist holidays and everybody puts on a happy face, I assume out of some misguided notion of respect for tradition. The rest of the year we're starved and treated like herd animals.

There are no holidays for the revolution nor for those devoted to revolution. It was on one of those "holidays" that the comrade above was assaulted. In hindsight, some racist pig assaulting a Black captive on a capitalist holiday is keeping in step with imperialist history.

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[Abuse]
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Resistance to Staff Manipulating Prisoners Against Each Other

My security level was recently lowered and I was immediately assigned as an inmate orderly, to my chagrin. It is like a trustee who works on an assigned cell block, and I know of all the pigs' malicious intent of using certain prisoner orderlies as tools. Tools used to hurt other prisoners.

I got my block assignment and was given the usual lecture about all the things I could not do — basically anything that would ease my fellow prisoners plight/suffering. I politely related to this sergeant, while maintaining every intent to help those confined on this segregated cell block. I was not too long ago confined behind the door, so it was an obvious obligation to do so.

Anyway, that was Wednesday. By Sunday, another shift tried to enlist me as a complicit to starve an individual prisoner, to which I declined. But, the other orderly slaving with me agreed to help. Through intimidation I was able to persuade this orderly to do otherwise.

I warned the target of the pig's intent and, days later, the other prisoner about the plot against them. Well, this orderly informed the pigs that I was alerting all targeted prisoners. So the pigs tried, through aggressive body language, to scare me. The pigs claimed that I wasn't playing with the team, blah, blah. Took all my property and locked me down pending trumped up disciplinary charges.

A few days later, the other punk ass orderly gives another inmate an empty food tray. This prisoner did not take it lightly. The target became disorderly — and rightly so. This led to the individual being administered chemical agents. And he refused to tap out after several rounds of being gassed. Dude forced the pigs to run the cell extraction team, which beat this man stupid. Eight on one.

All because of a stool pigeon.
Shit crazy.

Even more crazy, I receive a kite from someone who was my neighbor before classification made me an orderly. The kite informed that the day after I left the cell block, a white shirt and four officers popped up at the cell with a minicam. Long story short, the pigs were coming with the intent to inflict bodily harm. The veracity of the event was confirmed by an affiliate.

They missed me by one day!

My belief is this was planned because I was part of a core group which gave voice to the rampant pig violence towards prisoners.

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[Mental Health] [Abuse] [Estelle High Security Unit] [Texas]
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Pigs Attack Mentally Ill Man on Estelle High Security Unit

On Friday, December 28, 2012 at approximately 8pm I witnessed an unnecessary and excessive use of major force. The main perpetrators were correctional officer Mendez, Correctional Officer Burns, Lieutenant Patrick R. Eady, and Sergeant Gundacker. The victim was a prisoner, (B) a Black man, who was housed on F-wing at the High Security Unit on Estelle; which is located in Huntsville, Texas. Please note it is well documented that prisoner B has a history of mental health issues that stem from his long-term confinement in 23 hour a day lockdown settings. It is further worth noting that B's hands were cuffed behind his back during the assault which left significant bruising, swelling, and lacerations to his face.

I observed Officer Burns, Officer Mendez, and an Officer Bake approach B's cell (F-125) and inform him to prepare for a "shake-down" or cell search. B was cuffed and removed form his cell. During the time outside his cell, B engaged in profanity laced name calling with Burns and Mendez, all three were talking major "trash." Officer Mendez seemed to have been offended; he (Mendez) pushed B in the back shoving him in his cell.

Burns and Mendez entered the cell and you could hear blows being given to B, who was cuffed! A female officer named Yancey was working the F wing. Apparently, she sounded the alarm and many officers and supervisors arrived at the scene of the crime. Upon arriving, Lieutenant Eady and Sergeant Gundacker did not stop the assault on B, they joined in. Punching and kicking B in the head and face while officer Yancey stood by in obvious shock. Lieutenant Eady saw the look of shock and revulsion on officer Yancey's face and he ordered her off the wing and that is when the "cover-up" was put in full effect.

The Cover Up

The attackers quickly exited the cell as B writhed in pain on the floor of his cell - his face a bloody mess. B's cell door was shut, he was left cuffed. Lieutenant Eady was attempting to make it look as if B had refused to relinquish the handcuffs. Sergeant Harrison arrived after the fact and he was bamboozled by Lieutenant Eady. Lieutenant Eady placed Sergeant Harrison in charge of the use of force. I immediately yelled out at Lieutenant Eady "you're not going to get away with that Eady I got you!" His response "I got away with that, now shut the fuck up or you're next!" and with that I shut my ass up. Fearlessness is a wonderful trait but we must learn when to be quiet and let our pen talk!

The Aftermath

After the incident, officer Yancey, who was actually the wing officer, came to my cell visibly upset. She said "that physical abuse of was uncalled for, they know he is a psyche patient, we all know!" She continued "I think some of these officers were bullied as kids because it seems they get off on hurting inmates."

I wrote the incident up via a Step 1 (I-127) Special Use of Force grievance. B was shipped to another unit 2 days after I filed. This is one of the many tricks the pigs use in Texas in order to obstruct justice. I suppose that would work if they were dealing with "willy lump lump" or "flunky bob" but I am a highly motivated, well trained USW comrade and in the words of comedic genius Damon Wayans "Homey don't play that!" I have contacted many prisoner rights activists and discussed ideas that may serve as solutions to protecting mentally ill prisoners held in captivity by the State of Texas.

A Call to Action

In closing I must remind all of you "We are all (B)!" just like we all are Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and the countless number of oppressed lumpen under class people who have died at the hands of a fascist imperialist pig. Our fallen comrade Fred Hampton said "theory without practice ain't shit!" Practice is theory in action. Will you stand by and do nothing while your fellow comrade/humyn being is unmercifully beat and abused? Are you really about "this life?" Ask yourself when is enough enough? Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The original article included information about the diverse races of the prison staff involved in this assault of a Black prisoner. These references were removed but we note that it demonstrates that there are willing servants of imperialism found in all nationalities. Sometimes that contradiction bites the oppressor in the ass. But either way, that doesn't change the nature of national oppression, or the criminal injustice system's role in perpetrating this oppression.

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[Abuse] [Suwanee Correctional Institution] [Florida]
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Guansuwanee Mo Bay Brutalities Continue

October 2012: A captive, B (an old white man), a known writ writer, was placed in G1112 cell with a younger Black captive, R. Lt. Harrold and Sgt Green told R that B is a racist, causing R to beat up B. R was rewarded with the head orderly job in G-Dorm, while B is to never get off close management due to receiving constant fabricated disciplinary reports against him because he is a writ writer. The beating occurred between October 13th and October 31st in G1112 cell.

Early November 2012: another writ writer was beaten and cut with a razor blade by another prisoner placed in G1106 cell working for Sgt Patton. This is not his first time he was set up by the police. Currently he is on CM-1 slapped with numerous fabricated Disciplinary Reports (DRs) and won't get off CM until he is broken.

Early November 2012, prisoner W, a mentally ill prisoner in G1103 cell, after continuous daily harassment, was gassed by Sgt Green and his crew, for no other reason than implementing mass terror and intimidation. He was made an example of via procedural lynching for all to see and fear.

December 3, 2012: CO Maguire and another CO beat up a prisoner in G1209 cell, while the prisoner was handcuffed behind his back. After being beaten the prisoner was slapped with a fabricated assault on a CO DR. How do you assault a CO with your hands cuffed behind your back?

December 5, 2012: two prisoners in G1203 cell were gassed by Sgt Harvey, all in retaliation intended against one of the prisoners due to some incident months prior.

December 9, 2012, A prisoner was taken from G1103 cell in handcuffs, hands behind his back, and jumped on in the hallway by Sgt Green and his crew. Sgt Green had planned and called in the incident moments prior to its actual occurrence.

December 17, 2012: A prisoner in G1210 cell was gassed for simply declaring a psychological emergency. All captives declaring a psychological emergency are gassed and slapped with fabricated DRs to justify and cover up the gassing.

December 30-31st, 2012: Two prisoners in F1213 and two other captives in F1214 cell were placed on strip (72 hour property restriction - no mattress, no bedding, no clothes - left in only boxer shorts) the temperature outside was in the 20s and the heaters were off. They were placed on strip for fabricated reasons by Sgt Fisher.

December 31st, 2012: two prisoners in F1110 cell were gassed and slapped with fabricated DRs because they refused to speak to Sgt Kelly when he approached their cell in his two faced (smile in your face, stab you in the back) manner.

Jan 5, 2012: Sgt Kelly placed two captives beefing with each other on strip together in F2103 cell so they could fight, they're fighting as I write.

These prison guard brutalities are only a few of the many that occur here on Close Management at Suwanee Correctional Institution here in Florida. Many of the identities of the victims are unknown to me, but can be obtained by simply viewing camera/document evidence which can be obtained by anyone via request of public information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Do not just take my word at face value, please request the evidence and speak with the victims mentioned for a more detailed truth of what transpired. (Some may fear staff retaliation and refrain from speaking). We beg that you help by simply calling in or emailing concerning these brutalities.

Just recently in October 2012, Taylor and Union CI underwent a major purge by higher authorities during which approximately 60 officers of all ranks were escorted off institution grounds due to their brutal and tyrannical practice. Suwanee CI needs to experience the same purge of its tyrants like Lt Martin (aka white widow), Lt Harrod, Sgt Harvery, Sgt Patton, Sgt Silver, Sgt Green, Sgt Kelly, Sgt Fisher, CO Barton, CO Maguire, CO Lynblade, CO Diaz, CO Landrum, CO Lane, CO Murman, CO Pope - who brags to captives how he pays captives extra lunch trays to beat up other captives - and all their superiors - captains, majors, colonels, classification officers and warden and secretary of FDOC - who all encourage, condone and even orchestrate these many use of excessive force brutalities and procedural lynchings and fabrication coverup reports.

Many captives are falsely accused of gunning (masturbating) by female COs just so captives can be jumped on, gassed or placed on strip by these male COs. These tyrants and sadists will not stop on their own.


MIM(Prisons) responds: The list of people this writer suggests need to be purged from Suwanee demonstrates our point that it is not possible to reform the Amerikan criminal injustice system. This is not a case of just a few bad apples, but rather a system of oppression and violence, in which employees must participate to receive a paycheck. We must expose the brutality, and fight the individual cases to create some livable space for our comrades, but we will only end the violence by dismantling the criminal injustice system entirely.

This article referenced in:
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[Theory] [Abuse]
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Stanford Prison Experiment, and Just Doing My Job

prison guards class interests
The class and nation interests of prison guards lead them to mistreat and
not value the lives of prisoners in the United $tates.
A paper published this week challenges the psychological conception of "conformity bias" that evolved from the Stanford Prison Experiment by Zimbardo and the Teacher/Learner experiment by Milgram.(1) The paper makes connections to recent work on the oppression carried out by Nazis in Hitler's Germany, and generally concludes that people's willingness to hurt or oppress others in such situations is "less about people blindly conforming to orders than about getting people to believe in the importance of what they are doing."

In the Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) students were assigned roles as guards and prisoners in a simulation, and soon both groups took on the typical behaviors of those roles, with the guards treating the prisoners so harshly that the experiment was stopped early. MIM(Prisons) has used this as an example that oppression is systematic and that we can't fix things by hiring the right guards, rather we must change the system. In ULK 19, another comrade referred to it in a discussion of how people are conditioned to behave in prisons.(2) The more deterministic conclusion that people take from this is that people will behave badly in order to conform to expectations. The Milgram experiment (1963) involved participants who were the "teacher" being strongly encouraged to apply faked electric shocks to "learners" who answered questions incorrectly. The conclusion here was that humyns will follow orders blindly rather than think for themselves about whether what they are doing is right.

"This may have been the defense they relied upon when seeking to minimize their culpability [31], but evidence suggests that functionaries like Eichmann had a very good understanding of what they were doing and took pride in the energy and application that they brought to their work.(1)

The analysis in this recent paper is more amenable to a class analysis of society. As the authors point out, it is well-established that Germans, like Adolf Eichmann, enthusiastically participated in the Nazi regime, and it is MIM(Prisons)'s assessment that there is a class and nation perspective that allowed Germans to see what they were doing as good for them and their people.

While our analysis of the Stanford Prison Experiment has lent itself to promoting the need for systematic change, the psychology that came out of it did not. The "conformity bias" concept backs up the great leader theory of history where figures like Hitler and Stalin were all-powerful and all-knowing and the millions of people who supported them were mindless robots. This theory obviously discourages an analysis of conditions and the social forces interacting in and changing those conditions. In contrast, we see the more recent psychological theory in this paper as friendly to a sociological analysis that includes class and nation.

As most of our readers will be quick to recognize, prison guards in real life often do their thing with great enthusiasm. And those guards who don't believe prisoners need to be beaten to create order don't treat them poorly. Clearly the different behaviors are a conscious choice based on the individual's beliefs, as the authors of this paper would likely agree. There is a strong national and class component to who goes to prison and who works in prisons, and this helps justify the more oppressive approach in the minds of prison staff. Despite being superior to the original conclusions made, this recent paper is limited within the realm of psychology itself and therefore fails to provide an explanation for behaviors of groups of people with different standings in society.

We also should not limit our analysis to prison guards and cops who are just the obvious examples of the problem of the oppressor nation. Ward Churchill recalled the name of Eichmann in his infamous piece on the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center to reference those who worked in the twin towers. Like those Amerikans, Adolf Eichmann wasn't an assassin, but a bureaucrat, who was willing to make decisions that led to the deaths of millions of people. Churchill wrote:

"Recourse to 'ignorance' — a derivative, after all, of the word 'ignore' — counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in — and in many cases excelling at — it was because of their absolute refusal to see."(3)

The authors of the recent paper stress that the carrying out of something like the Nazis did in Germany required passionate creativity to excel and to recruit others who believed in what they were doing. It is what we call the subjective factor in social change. Germany was facing objective conditions of economic hardship due to having lost their colonies in WWI, but it took the subjective developments of National Socialism to create the movement that transformed much of the world. That's why our comrade who wrote on psychology and conditioning was correct to stress knowledge to counteract the institutionalized oppression prisoners face.(2) Transforming the subjective factor, the consciousness of humyn beings, is much more complicated than an inherent need to conform or obey orders. Periods of great change in history help demonstrate the dynamic element of group consciousness that is much more flexible than deterministic psychology would have us believe. This is why psychology can never really predict humyn behavior. It is by studying class, nation, gender and other group interests that we can both predict and shift the course of history.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Lanesboro Correctional Institution] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 29]
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Violence Perpetuated by Prison Admin: Come Together and Fight for Peace

In late September of this year, in a fight between a few prisoners, a prisoner was killed and another prisoner was seriously wounded and is still in critical condition. The incident happened at Lanesboro Correctional Institution and we have been on lockdown since it occurred. The administration discontinued visitation for regular population and segregated inmates, cut telephone privileges for everyone, and regular population was limited to ordering only five items, three times a week, and three showers a week. Recreation was taken from regular population indefinitely, which caused them to remain in their rooms for 24 hours a day for days at a time.

The strange thing about this entire event is when Superintendent Parsons was questioned on the Channel 9 news based in Charlotte, North Carolina, about what exactly happened, he responded by saying 148 prisoners had a "brawl" in which a prisoner was killed. The media then debased the prisoner who was killed and devoted the entire segment to discussing how he was shot by police in 1999 in an attempted escape. Nothing was said about why this prisoner-on-prisoner stabbing occurred, or about the dozens of other stabbings that happened throughout this year. Nor did they mention the illegal and inhumane "dry cells" that were mandated by the administration, leaving almost 100 prisoners in rooms with feces covering the entire dorm.

As of now, all of the questionable events are being investigated by the State Bureau Investigation Unit and Laneseboro Correctional Institution may be looking at grave consequences. But why did these events end so brutally? Why did it take a prisoner losing his life for the administration, the Governor, and law enforcement to get involved? First let's take a look at what led up to these times we are in.

At the start of the year, the prison administration promoted the idea that gang violence was the cause of dozens of stabbings occurring statewide which put several close custody camps on lockdown for weeks and even months. Here at Lanesboro, that soon subsided and things were back to "normal." Then early June, the Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT) raided the prison, where nearly 100 prisoners were placed in "dry cells" where we were in our cells 24 hours a day for a week. PERT officers weren't allowing us to flush our toilets, which caused them to become clogged. aIn protest we threw our feces out into the dayroom, leaving the entire dorm in a heap of feces. Prisoners were forced to eat, clean our bodies, and sleep in this stench. Also prisoners were forced to have x-rays to find drugs, cell phones or weapons. This led to many lawsuits being filed.

What happened next indicates how much the Lanesboro administration cares about prison life. A stabbing had occurred in which one prisoner's neck was cut. A prisoner involved was placed in segregation along with the prisoner who had his throat cut. The administration then released the assaulted prisoner into regular population after one week and placed him in the same pod as his enemies. This set off four consecutive stabbings in less than two hours around the prison.

They momentarily locked us down. When we came off, two days later a prisoner was killed. Another strange thing is the prisoners who did the killing didn't live in the dorm where the killing occurred, and neither did the prisoner who was killed. This means the officers had to let these prisoners into a dorm where they didn't live.

So we see the perpetuation of violence by the Lanesboro administration who place known enemies in the same dorm. Obviously they're not trying to stop the violence. This perpetuation of violence results in lockdowns where they take all of the prisoners "privileges" in an attempt to further control us. It's obvious these lockdowns did not halt the violence. In fact, evidence shows that violence in prisons across the country increases after a lock down (see the documentary Unlock the Box). But the puzzling part is when they take away our "privileges," we gladly accept it instead of resisting. There were only a few people filing grievances, filing lawsuits, taking progressive actions against the beast, but there were many complaining.

Why do these violent acts continue to occur? To understand the simple answer you just have to look at conditions here. We have to wait 90 days to receive a job, even unit jobs. They're denying some of us from even enrolling in school or extra-curricular activities. They barely even offer any extra-curricular activities. All we have to occupy our time is TV, yard and gym. Prisoners have no activities to engage in, and so just hang around the dorms. With the state building medium custody facilities right beside the close custody facilities, the administration says all "good" jobs (kitchen workers and other important jobs) will be taken by medium custody prisoners. This will ultimately have more of us in our dorms unable to work, and so prevented from getting gain time and being shipped to a "better" facility. It will destroy morale and cause some to lash out and perpetuate the prisoner-on-prisoner violence.

So why do these events continue to happen? Because the administration wants it to! They perpetuate violence. They don't care about prisoners' lives, and they are never going to solve the true problems. Therefore, it is up to us to remedy our own situations by uniting and never splitting. We need to take the rebellious actions against these oppressors and force them to recognize their policies aren't working. We must come together and get an understanding and peace with one another so they won't have to enforce any policies anyway.

We don't want them to do their jobs because their jobs are to repress, suppress and oppress us, to hinder us from uniting and fighting the true injustice. As superintendent Parsons lied to the public media, they lie to us as well. And we have to show them we won't tolerate it any longer. Unite and resist and our conditions will get better because "We" will make them better!

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