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Under Lock & Key

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[Abuse] [Florida State Prison] [Florida] [ULK Issue 20]
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More on Worsening Conditions at FSP

I was recently moved to the gulag of the state and it's real tuff here. They're shorting people on shower soap like it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Food portions done drop majorly, but not too many people write anything up or do anything about it. If you not standing on door for shower you will not shower, which is not worth going to anyway because you only get 30 seconds. When laundry comes on Mondays, if you're not up 4-5 a.m., you will not get to change clothes. To top things off, you can't flush your own toilet, so sometimes you sit in that stink for hours. Just to wake people they flush them in the middle of the night. This shit crazy, but people lay down to it.


MIM(Prisons) responds: In California we're seeing years of work grieving to the administration, while writing to outside media like Under Lock & Key, leading to a growing unity among comrades in some of the roughest prison conditions. We encourage our comrades in Florida, and elsewhere, to launch a coordinated grievance campaign to unite their individual voices and become stronger.

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[Abuse] [Florida State Prison] [Florida]
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Conditions in Florida State Prison

I'm currently residing at Florida State Prison (FSP). FSP is a Close Management institution for prisoners with alleged disciplinary issues. The truth is that FLDOC intends to keep the entire population on maximum lock down! I say this because there are many changes that have taken place since 2007, when I first came to DOC. Most camps now don't allow all prisoners to rec at the same time. Each dorm has specific days to go out. The same rule applies for canteen.

Youthful Offenders camp in Brevard is only allowed to purchase $10 a week on canteen. Supposedly this is to keep down extortion amongst the inmates, but if so then why do they continue to raise canteen prices? Ten dollars a week is not even enough to buy what you need in today's society. This is just DOC's way of showing who's in control.

Here at FSP we can only have 2 pairs of blue-and-whites. We trade them once a week for supposedly clean ones. Just last Monday I received a T-shirt that was damn near brown! They gave me half a towel and half a blanket! We get toilet paper every 10 days and a little motel-size bar of soap once a week. My ceiling leaks water from all the rain, and every time someone takes a shower! I've filed grievances but have yet to receive a response.

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[Abuse] [Utah]
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Utah Board of Pardons

The Utah crooked board of pardons and parole has supreme power over how much time a person has to serve in the Utah crooked prison system.

In the state of Utah, the way they sentence you to time is a trap and set up for the crooked board of pardons to be able to discriminate and snake a person in this crooked system.

In the state of Utah, the way this crooked system works in sentencing is called un-determinate sentencing. For example:
1. First degree felony - 5 years to life
2. Second degree felony - 1 year to 15 years
3. Third degree felony - 0 years to 5 years

The board has the power to make you do anything from the beginning of that sentence to the end of that sentence. Not only can the crooked Utah state board of pardons and parole make you do whatever amount of time they want to, but also they can make people convicted of the same crime and the same type of charge do more than others.

You can have two people on the same crime or the same type of charge, and one does 2 years and the other does 5 years, this is the case all the time, which demonstrates the discrimination and bias by the crooked Utah state board of pardons and parole.

Also when you come into the prison the prison does a criminal assessment which gives them a time matrix on how much time you should do. But the Utah crooked state board of pardons does not even follow the time matrix, and more then likely you are gonna do over your time matrix. Further, the judge can sentence your charges to run concurrently, but the board can go against the courts ruling and make that sentence run consecutive at will.

The Utah state board of crookedness as you can see has the power here in Utah to pick and choose who they want to discriminate against. Race, sexuality, religion, or even if they do not like the way you look.

They own you and have the power over your life and death. They have too much power and they need to be stopped.


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is just one example of the many ways the criminal injustice system has wide discretion to discriminate against groups of people. This is used to lock up and extend sentences of people from oppressed nations, leading to hugely disproportionate imprisonment of Blacks and Latinos compared to whites in Amerika. Further this discrimination is used against politically active prisoners to punish them for fighting for their legal rights.

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [Okaloosa Correctional Institution] [Florida]
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Grievance Fight in Florida

In February I was taken to Captain Schwartz's office where he confronted me about writing grievances. I was then locked up, had 5 Disciplinary Reports (DRs) falsified on me, received 210 days of confinement time and lost 150 days gain time. After having been placed in the cell with a prisoner who had written a grievance on the warden for chewing tobacco in a state building, we were illegally gassed twice, made to sleep on raw steel for three days and nights with nothing but a pair of boxer shorts on, and then placed on a loaf diet for 7 days.

This is the second time that I've been under attack at this institution for exercising my first amendment right to write grievances and both times they started with the same captain and both times the Warden, Colonel, and Central Office of Appeal have backed him up. I have been under attack at two other institutions in the past for writing grievances and both times Central Office knowingly and willfully allowed me to be illegally sent to Close Management (CM) [Editor: term for isolation/control units in Florida].

I have high blood pressure and I suffer from asthma and I am not supposed to be gassed. When he gassed us the first time, I tried to tell him about my medical condition and when he saw me throwing up blood and blood running out my nose, he immediately gassed us again. Out of fear for my life, I have not eaten but two selective meals to stay mentally alert since February 22, 2011.

During this time, I was placed in the cell with another prisoner and he was threatened to be gassed and have DRs falsified on him because he refused to take my tray in the cell so it would look as though I was eating to the camera. Finally, an officer just threw a meal tray in the cell and wrote down that I ate that meal. I am definitely not going to let them get away with what they have done to me and are still doing to me. I would appreciate any help you may be able to give me and I would also like to start receiving your newsletter. I just received notice that they are trying to send me back to CM.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Because of the failure of the grievance process in prisons across the country, we have initiated a grievance campaign. If you are in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and California write to us to get copies of the petition and letter for your state, or if you are in another state write for a generic petition that you can modify for use in your state.

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[Abuse] [West Tennessee State Penitentiary] [Tennessee]
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Mistreatment in TN

West Tennessee State Penitentiary (WTSP) has a lot of house policy issues. For one, their policies are not always legitimate under Tennessee Department of Correction penological justifications. On Feb 1st 2001 WTSP Warden Henry Steward and AWO Tommy Mills put out a memo to the maximum/segregated prisoners about them violating in-house policies. I am a maximum security/segregated prisoner and therefore I can speak about the mistreatment and un-professionalism of the prison officials and administrators.

Max prisoners endure a lot of foul talk and other things that are unprofessional from the correctional officers who run the units/pods. Neither the Tennessee Commissioner or Governor has been notified nor approved of the memo from February. The memo allows the administrators to take away their personal property, such as TVs, commissary, and other articles we bought over the years of our incarceration. This is in clear violation of the 8th and 14th amendments. The 14th amendment protects prisoners against the deprivation of personal property and liberty without due process of law. When state law and regulations substantively limit the discretion of confinement, the state creates an expectation, and the 8th and 14th amendments protects against the intentional, malicious or sadistic acts by prison officials towards prisoners. At the end it's all cruel and unusual punishment.

All the maximum/segregated prisoners have filed a petition on this issue and are waiting to hear back from the commissioner. I believe these prison administrators fail to realize that we as prisoners still have rights. I again thank you for the help in the U.S. prison struggle.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome the news that our comrades in Tennessee are coming together to fight repressive policies. We encourage those in other states to take up their example, and be sure to report on your work in ULK so that we can share these reports and learn from each others struggles.

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Partial Victory in High Desert

Beanies/caps have been provided for all prisoners in Administrative Segregation D-yard and Z-unit here. Strip searches will be indoors only (cells and showers) when it's 50 degrees or lower.

Due to the petitions sent to internal affairs and the ombudsman about the violations of the 602 appeal process that were taking place here in High Desert, an investigation was initiated by the main office of CDCR. All those who sent said petitions were interviewed here in Z-unit by an investigator for Internal Affairs and if my memory serves me correctly the secretary of CDCR.

These "suits" asked about the ongoing issues taking place here in Z-unit particularly, and High Desert in general. Some complaints were the need for warming wealth gear, the 602 process, TVs, cleaning supplies, access to the law library, transfers for validated inmates and those going to SHUs and mainlines, unjustified validations, and more.

The results of these interviews as well as the hard work of MIM(Prisons) and all comrades involved has bore fruit. Although we are used to these charlatans giving us better drag than an eloquent speaking pimp the following was granted: instead of having an "informal level," the 602 form goes directly to the appeals coordinator making it harder for him/her to screen us out unjustly. Also a new "Form 22" has been provided so that our requests may be answered in a timely fashion by COs, with a receipt. Now we have a clearer paper trail to use should K9s decide to implement their underground rules. Attached with this letter are the notices the administration passed out to us here in Z-unit.

Beanies were provided but no gloves. And as I write this, shelves and necessary wiring are being installed in one of these sections/tiers here in the zoo. The K9s cleared out one whole section in order to start the renovation on February 7 2011.

Although some requests were granted we should all reflect on this whole situation and take from it an important point that a challenge to this penal system in solidarity should constantly and consistently be pressed in order to receive our rights, while at the same time keeping our sights on abolishing this human warehouse that only benefits this corrupt capitalist system and nothing else.

How to Appeal

Form 22

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[Abuse] [Washington] [ULK Issue 19]
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Grievances: Fight for Our Rights

I entered Washington DOC less than a year ago, but in that time I've experienced and witnessed first hand the "Department of Corruption." We have rights bestowed upon us by our forefathers through the constitution of the united states of america, so why is it we are belittled to such a point that we aren't treated like men, or for that matter prisoners, but animals in a cage?

The COs and Sgts don't care about our rights, they only come here to receive a paycheck. They cuss at us, disrespect us and use excessive force. In turn we file a grievance or grievances on said officers and actions and these "grievance coordinators" throw out our claims. Or if they do respond we get responses like "rewrite" or "not enough info," something just to shake us up and to detour us from what happened. This works to their advantage because most prisoners are too lazy and they just throw in the towel!

Persistence, organization, education and unity as a "whole body" is the key to gaining the upper hand against these punks. We need to rise up, unite and take matters into our own hands because it's apparent that the facilities and the states they're in are stuck on power and control over the individual prisoner. It's us coming together and standing for our rights, fighting the system to be recognized and treated as people and not animals.

I believe wholeheartedly that a neutral outside company or corporation dealing solely with grievances and our claims is the only way that we as prisoners will be treated fairly and with justice. Until that happens we will continue to be treated like animals and file grievances that most likely won't be read and therefore will be forgotten and thrown out, especially if it's in the staff member's best interest.

Is this fair, just or even legal? No it's not, but until we stand up to these people and put our proverbial foot down, things will continue as they are and I guarantee it will only get worse with time.

Comrades, it's about time something was done about these injustices! Until next time, keep on fighting the good fight and one day things will change. Strive for communism!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This is an important issue to organize around. Not only is it something we can unite all prisoners around, it can also be the spark to begin developing independent power. Only a prison population that studies, struggles and works together can protect themselves from abuses by an oppressive captor.

Comrades in United Struggle from Within have already initiated a grievance campaign in many states. Join this coordinated fight to demand our grievances be addressed. Write to us for letters and petitions you can use in your own states.

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[Download and Print] [Civil Liberties] [Campaigns] [Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Downloadable Petition Against Z-Unit Zoo

HDSP Z-Unit Petition
Click to Download Petition Against Z-Unit Zoo

Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades in High Desert State Prison's Z-Unit (administrative segregation) who are experiencing brutality and cruel living conditions. Send them extra copies to share! For more information on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Prison Law Office
General Delivery
San Quentin, CA 94964

Internal Affairs CDCR
10111 Old Placerville Rd, Ste 200
Sacramento, CA 95872

CDCR Office of Ombudsman
1515 S Street, Room 540 N
Sacramento, CA 95811

U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, PHB
Washington DC 20530

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
PO Box 9778
Arlington, VA 22219

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!

MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

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[Download and Print] [Abuse] [Civil Liberties] [United Struggle from Within] [Censorship] [Campaigns] [Oklahoma]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Grievance Petition
Click to Download PDF
of Oklahoma Petition

Mail the petition to your loved ones inside who are experiencing issues with the grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Warden
(specific to your facility)

Oklahoma State Jail Inspector, Don Garrison
1000 N.E. 10th St.,
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73117-1299

ODOC Office of Internal Affairs
Oklahoma City Office
3400 Martin Luther King Avenue
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111-4298

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
P.O. Box 9778
Arlington, Virginia 22219

United States Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Oklahoma Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants
(OK-CURE)
P.O. Box 9741
Tulsa, OK 74157-0741

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!

MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140

*Petition updated July 2012, October 2017*

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[Abuse] [California Correctional Center] [California]
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How can we fight violations of our rights?

I would like to tell you a little about how these pigs treat us here at California Correctional Center - Susanville. To begin with, the pigs here are constantly disrespecting us and some pigs even get racial with some prisoners.

The following is about something these pigs did to my celly a while back. He had to go to the program office for a disciplinary hearing. Upon being found guilty he asked for an appeal form from a sergeant. When he got it my celly mumbled under his breath "what a joke" and the sergeant thought my celly called the hearing officer a jerk. The sergeant then grabbed him and slammed him into some filing cabinets. The sergeant pinned him with his lower body and started screaming in his ear cussing and threatening his family and friends.

A few days later a couple pigs came to the cell and took my cellmate's address book and told him that he was under investigation for a possible felony. They kept coming two to three times a week to search the house trying to intimidate him. A few days later my celly put in a citizen's complaint to the warden. After about 2 months of them hitting the house, my celly felt he had to retract his complaint due to the pigs intimidation. So he went to the program office to speak to the captain. On video camera they had him retract his complaint and after that they stopped the continuous searches.

This is one of many stories about our rights being violated here at Susanville. Most prisoners are worried that if they file and appeal on a pig then retaliation is gonna follow. These pigs here are known to trump up bogus charges on prisoners. Is there any way we can beat this? If this was to happen to me, there is a good chance I would end up getting a life sentence because I myself have two strikes. If you can give me a little bit of info on how I can protect my rights it would be appreciated. As for doing my part in trying to convert others in to joining us, it is in the process. Thank you comrades for your time and your efforts in helping all of us prisoners in our fight.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We know that retaliation is all too often the response to prisoners taking on the legal battles for their rights. In most prisons the first step is filing a grievance and these grievances are often ignored. We have initiated a campaign to demand our grievances be addressed. And through this campaign we have seen some positive results in California's High Desert State Prison. We encourage California prisoners, and prisoners in other states, to request copies of the grievance petition and help spread this campaign. Retaliation is still a danger, but the more people who speak out the harder it will be to repress our voices. There are no easy ways out of this oppressive system.

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