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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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[Civil Liberties] [Abuse] [California State Prison, Solano] [California]
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Brutality Under Color of State Law

As I laid there on my prison issued bunk, nursing my wounds and pains, I thought back to the very day I was sentenced to prison. Did my sentence also include occasional excessive force? Did the judge also pronounce contrived rule violations as part of my sentence? Were all my constitutional rights relinquished that day? I don't recall the judge asserting anything to that fact. But evidently, brutality perpetuated Under the Color of State Law is an inherited trait of prison.

The term "Under Color of State Law" means that civil rights were violated by an individual or individuals who at the time of the violation were employed by the local, State, or Federal government.

Since brutality under Color of State Law is so prevalent, it would be appropriate if the sentencing Judge would state the obvious during the sentencing phase of whatever crime a person was convicted of. The Judge could say something to the fact, "I'm sentencing you to 10 years in prison, plus some occasional excessive force, which will be administrated by various rogue Correctional Officers throughout the course of your confinement. In addition, you will also be subjected to several contrived rule violations. The frequency of these false rule reports will depend on the utter lack of integrity and the psychopathy of each rogue Officer." At least this information would give a person facing incarceration a heads up. Time to mentally prepare themselves for the Guantanamo Bay-style treatment that will be visited upon them.

During the course of Correctional Officer B. Johnson's assault on me, I felt as if I were somehow transported to a Third World country where human rights and regulation did not exist. Apparently, my assailant felt the same. How else could he feel so at ease with openly violating my civil rights, right there in front of two other officers, who evidently concurred with B. Johnson's views on civil rights? Maybe the three officers forgot they were in Amerika? That they were correctional officers employed to uphold the law in a system governed by the U.S. Constitution? Or just maybe they forgot that I am a human being? Officer B. Johnson did call me a "Jungle Bunny." But if that were the case, shouldn't animal rights have protected me that night? Here in America, if you harm an animal, you will go to jail. Who knows what the three officer's were or were not thinking. Whatever it was, the shear, sadism of it all was revealed that night.

The assault was witnessed by two prisoners. Both were housed in a cell that gave them a direct view of the incident as it took place. One prisoner, who initially claimed that he witnessed the assault, later recanted his story. He became a confidential informant. He had alleged to the investigating Officers that I conspired to falsely write up B. Johnson for assault. He was originally placed in the hole for a cell fight, whereupon he threw hot boiling water on his cellmate. His cellmate received 3rd degree burns on his face and chest area. At that time he was facing a segregated program (SHU term) for assault on a prisoner with a weapon (hot water), causing serious injury. Also a possible DA referral. But all that disappeared after he provided false confidential information concerning B. Johnson's role in the assault. This prisoner was released from the hole and placed on Corcoran's SNY yard, which is a protective custody yard, equivalent to Disneyland.

Officer B. Jonson, has a history of assaulting prisoners in handcuffs. Now I have a permanent shoulder injury. I will need surgery at some point. I have received physical therapy treatment.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We agree with this comrade's assessment that prison sentences in Amerika come with implicit brutality and both physical and mental abuse. These go well beyond the legal punishments supposedly a part of criminal "justice" in this country. As this abuse is standard in Amerikan prisons, we disagree that the perpetrators are "rogue officers." We need to expose this systematic brutality and organize towards a level of unity that will make it very difficult for individuals to turn against their fellow prisoners, and where the guards know that we have the numbers to fight back and prevent this violence.

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 19]
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Battle at HDSP Gains Official Attention

On 19 January 2011 High Desert State Prison (HDSP) was visited by administrators from the headquarters of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in Sacramento, as well as the inspector general. These administrators finally listened to the many complaints from prisoners and outside advocacy groups and started an investigation into the corrupt policies and actions in place here at HDSP. In this struggle, MIM(Prisons) was instrumental in sending us petitions to submit regarding the appeals process.

This investigation had two parts. It was carried out by several administrators and started in the morning and continued into the early evening. Several prisoners were interviewed, some once, while others twice. I was one of those who was interviewed twice, first by a Correctional Counselor II from headquarters. We discussed the appeals process here at HDSP. During this interview we mostly talked about how our appeals are continuously screened out, denied, lost or simply ignored. The interviewer asked meaningful and intelligent questions and took detailed notes, and he appeared surprised by the lack of meaningful access to the appeals process. This interview only lasted between 10 and 15 minutes.

Later that same day, at around 5:45 p.m., I was again taken from my cell for an interview. This time it was with a captain from headquarters (Sacramento) and the inspector general. During this interview I was told that they, Sacramento CDCR Headquarters, were doing these interviews due to the pressure and complaints coming into Sacramento from prisoners, advocacy groups, and prisoners' families. They said they were simply conducting fact-finding interviews. This interview was more in-depth than the morning interview. We discussed a wide range of topics during the interview from the mass validations of the northern Hispanics on 4 August 2009, the poor conditions here in Z-unit (administrative segregation), to the many violations of our constitutional rights. Again the interviewers asked many valid questions and took notes, giving the appearance of taking things seriously. I did not buy into the act.

During this meeting they showed me copies of petitions I had mailed out which included the MIM(Prisons) grievance petition. I don't know if this is going to make any difference because I think (and hopefully I'm wrong) this was only a smoke and mirror show to attempt to pacify those of us who are fighting against these corrupt and unjust policies. But only time will tell how big a victory this truly was, because it was a victory!

I seriously doubt anything comes of this so-called investigation that is a significant improvement to the quality of life for us here in the zoo (Z-Unit). The reason I think this is the day after the Sacramento officials left HDSP, staff on Z-Unit started their retaliation. They cut our food portions almost in half, and the law library was denied to those of us who are Priority Library Users and have court deadlines. So I expect things will go back to normal in a week or two. Its the same every time anyone visits up here. One of the Sgts did say that they are totally redesigning the entire appeals process and we did get beanies (to protect us from the cold on the yard).

However this is not enough, we cannot afford to be satisfied with this token gesture of a beanie and some promises. No, we must continue to fight and put the pressure on HDSP until we are given all of our rights as well as everything we are entitled to by law and common human decency.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Contact us for more information about the campaign to end the Z-Unit Zoo, and the grievance campaign which is active in multiple states. If there are problems with the grievance system where you're at, spread it to yours!

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[Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 19]
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Murders at Klinton

I am just checking in with current cowardly acts perpetrated by cowardly Kkklinton (Clinton Correctional Facility in New York). (see ULK 17)

The murder of Mr. Leonard Strickland(see 1,2) last October 3rd 2010 in upper F Block has now been termed "death by natural causes" by channel 5 news media in Vermont.

More recently, corrupt klansmen under disguise of law abiding civil servants jumped on a 5'6" 147lbs man. And get this, one of the cowards, CO Barnaby, is also one of the murderers of Mr. Strickland. The others involved in this particular incident of brutal assault are COs L. Bezio whose family members are numerous here in Kkklinton and CO B. LeClair whose family members are also employees of facilities here in northern New York, including Kkklinton.

The behavior of these corrupt officials is very onerous, especially when their superior acting Deputy Superintendent, Captain of Security Facteau makes statements such as "this is a dictatorship, not a democracy," a statement that is relayed amongst all employees giving them the green light to violate even the prisoners' minimum standards.

Maybe one of these days the lumpen will unite as one and focus on our real enemies?

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