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[Medical Care] [Abuse] [Texas]
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Race and Abuse in Texas Prisons

The Texas prison system is fucked up. We were the last state to get telephones in the units. Our governor called phone privileges pacifiers. We inmates have so few privileges it is sad. I believe we are the only state that doesn't pay the inmates to work. we get "good time credits" but the good time credits don't count if you are an aggravated offender or if your custody level is high.

Texas definitely endorses slavery. If you refuse to work they take away what few privileges we do have. I have now been in this cell for three weeks without drinking water. If I want any water I have to get it out of the toilet like I am a dog. Grievances don't work here because when we get them back they all have the same answer on them "officer denies allegation no further action will be taken at this time."

Censorship is crazy here. They ban books by Mao, Lenin and Stalin. But we can get books on genocide, ethnic cleansing, Adolph Hitler, and the K. I have actually seen a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why by Christof Friedrich and Eric Thompson. Friedrich is a Nazi sympathizer and should have been imprisoned for his active role in genocide. I am including an article from the Austin American Statesman on the redundancy of the censorship. The article is titled Variety of Books Banned in Prison.

Medical conditions here are no better. Back in January I was being treated for H. Pylori virus. It is a virus that lives in well water. The system has prevented us from filing a class action lawsuit on it. They claim that we could have got it in the free world. While I was being treated for H. Pylori half the unit along with myself came down with the Novo Virus. The officials said that we got it from the food. What I can't understand is why only half the unit came down with it and the other half didn't.

Now I want to take a little time talking about racism. It is not just corporate white colonizers that are the bigots. But it goes on in every nationality. We need to set aside skin color and look at the bigger pictures. Communist leadership and rule was formed to go against imperialism and capitalist bullshit. It is not a movement against whites. From what I understand, Marx, Lenin and Stalin were all white. There are too many people of the Latino and Black race who are caught up in the imperialist and capitalist movement for it to be only the whites to be put down like they are in some of the articles. When it comes to the U$ imperialists the only color that I can see is green. So stop hating on skin color. The only way we can make a change is to put race aside. Remember, we are all red inside.

MIM(Prisons) responds: While we share this reader's call for unity among all people fighting for communism, we do not agree that whites should be equated with other nationalities within U$ borders. The reality of Amerika is national oppression, and whites enjoy the role of oppressor. Historically, being Amerikan has been defined by pseudo-scientific ideas of race. As other groups become more integrated into the amerikan nation, the idea of race could become less significant, but Amerika would still be the oppressor nation.

We don't believe in race, so we would never say that whites can't join the revolutionary struggle, but when we talk about whites as a group we have to recognize their role as an oppressor nation. Whites do have to work against their national interests to join the revolutionary struggle. Similarly, all free U$ citizens have class/economic interests that they must work against to join the revolutionary struggle.

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[Abuse] [] [California]
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Jails just as bad as prisons

We talk a lot about what's going on in the prison system but what about what's going on in the county jails? The Los Angeles County Jail (MCJ) where the infamous headquarters is located is like CDCR's notorious "green wall". Operation Safe Jail (OSJ) is no more than a prison gang, more so than those who are validated and serving time in CDCR's SHU facilities. Just like the green wall, they bet on human cock fights and beat you down to the point where you can't even walk anymore. In prison I dropped out of a prison gang and have been doing my time in SNY facilities also know as PC (Protected Custody).

In August 2009, as I was getting booked through the LA County Jail processes and being interviewed by officers. I informed them that I was put on the hit list by a [lumpen organization] member and was put in PC in State Prison and that I should be put into PC in the county jail as well since I still do fear for my life and safety. They housed me in high power fish roll 4500 for 3 weeks with no contact with anybody, no visit, no phone calls, nothing. After that I was interviewed by OSJ and I explained to them my situation and they promised to put me in PC. But to my surprise they lied to me because I was declassed to General Population. I did start to refuse but officers grabbed me, by twisting my arms they forced me to walk to another floor where I was to be housed in GP. I refused and pulled away from their torturing grasp. They took me down and beat me with unnecessary force. They tasered me while I was on the ground for a long, long time. After I passed out. I awoke to them still beating on me hand cuffed. They were even tasering my hand cuffs.

When it was all over they promised to put me in PC if I did not say anything to the lieutenant or anybody while they put me on camera where I was to be asked some questions that I was to answer "I don't want to talk about it" to every question, or I would be put back into GP. So I did what I was told for fear of my safety. To my surprise I was medically cleared and they put me in a cell in Green Light Fish Roll for PC process. They also told me that if I had any complaints they would put me in GP.

I really needed to see a doctor again. But I couldn't ask for fear that I would be put in GP so I did what they told me. Well, everybody else on Fish Roll heard my cries of pain and suffering and they called "man down" for me which I begged them not to for fear that they would think I'm still complaining. They finally came (officers and nurses) and took me to the MCJ's clinic where they transported me to LCMC where they discovered that I have a collapsed lung. It it wasn't for everybody calling man down for me I would have died that night.

Of course they lied on the report and submitted it to the DA for prosecution. They gave me 2 years with 1/2 for resisting. I am now in prison because LA County failed to serve and protect, as their motto says.

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[Abuse] [Kansas] [ULK Issue 15]
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No longer suicidal, fighting for the revolution

I was reading ULK 13 about the Illinois prisoner driven to suicide and I understand why he seeks death. They say I'm very suicidal, but that was before I was enlightened by your publication. We have nothing to live for, but I say, but for the revolution. These imperialist and capitalist countries have been destroying the proletariat long enough. My fellow comrade has put in several cases against this prison to fix their new control unit they just modified. The windows are about 4 feet high and 4 to 6 inches wide, and they still placed bars across them. This is one of the new modifications to the Long Term Segregation (LTS) unit. They barricaded the door, so they said, because they were afraid it'd get kicked off the hinges. What a crock of shit. And this is going to be done to this small mental health prison of 400 crazy people including some minimum security on the hill. There is a suicide attempt daily here and all they do is lock us in a room, naked, for several hours before we get a security blanket. Then we have to wait and beg for a gown or other things like toilet paper. I had a long talk with the psych doctor explaining our torture but I got a deaf ear now that I stopped being stupid and going on crisis. They threaten to place me on LTS. They hear me speak to people in population, so I had only 20 days out before I was placed back in seg. I am currently on strike from taking medication I don't need, so I only take what they can force me to take, 1 pill out of 10 of my anti-psychotics. Brothers we can only dedicate this life to the revolution. The KKK have evolved from white hoods to SORT gear and chemical agents. We must unite and fight.

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[Abuse] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California]
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Brutality in San Diego

We live here at pig central, Richard J. Donovon Correctional Bitch Facility. If you ever want your 14th or 8th Amendment rights violated or be treated like an animal come visit for a while. Prisoner or citizen they don't discriminate.

I want to share a little story with you. On November 12, 2009 I was in my cell and I broke my window out in protest to some rights of mine that were being violated with the food. Once my window was shattered c/o Rucker and c/o Davis came up to my cell claiming they were moving me to another cell, so I cuffed up without argument or a fight, when my door opened c/o Rucker grabbed me by my throat and slammed me into the top locker head first. I slumped to the floor, Rucker and Davis then picked me up and slammed me into the top bunk striking my chest area with my wind knocked out of me again. I sank to the floor where again they picked me up and slammed me onto the bottom bunk, Rucker forced my arms up as far as humanly possible without decapitating. He placed his knee with all his force into my back so I couldn't move, while Davis struck me several times in the right ribs and lower back, they both then picked me up and drug me through the broken glass down the tier to the stairs. I got to my feet before they could toss me down the stairs. Once I was downstairs they slammed me into a cage, then pushed me into the cage forcing me to strike my left knee on the steel seat. They then went to their area and concocted a lie that I had assaulted them both, they came back to the cage 5 or 10 minutes later and activated the alarm system.

When the nurse came, well actually before she came, Rucker told me I better pretend nothing happened or another beating would follow. So I lied to the nurse, saying my hands were swollen and my wrist possibly broke because I had been punching the wall. I then claimed I was suicidal so that I could go to TTA for protection (the hospital here), where I then became an "enhanced outpatient inmate" and I was moved to another building specifically designed for mentally ill patients, I"m far from being a basket case but I have my problems.

I waited until their time constraints ran out to write me up for staff assault, which I did not do. Then I filed my appeal on what happened and the misconduct I'm currently in Sacramento at the directors level awaiting his response, so I can take it to the courts on a USC 1983 civil suit. X has been putting me up on legal knowledge and showing how to pursue it, he has been a great help to me on the legal know how. I will fight tooth and nail for justice. This story is actually a lot more complicated, but I do have copies of documents they later falsified and tried to back date. These pigs are stupid.

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[Abuse] [New York] [ULK Issue 13]
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Ra'd Lives On in Our Struggle

Thanks to those who continue to pass us information on what happened to Amare "Ra'd" Selton, as well as the many words of condolence. Though it is hard for us to say anything conclusive on what took place last September when he died in Attica, it has become more evident that the DOCS was ultimately behind what happened. As our comrade explains below, there is a constant struggle for many between staying alive to struggle and staying sane under extreme repression. For more on this topic read Prisoner driven to suicide.

To learn from Ra'd's sacrifice is to study strategy, and how to be effective in organizing for justice. As materialists, we also recognize that winnable battles are not always in the cards. Sometimes there is no question of whether we can win, only a question of whether we struggle or not before we lose. In such cases, our strategy must center on making these losses serve as examples to inspire and to expose. Ra'd continues to inspire those who knew him.

A New York prisoner writes:


I am writing to inform you and my comrades of the death of my mentor Amare "Ra'd" Selton. May Allah bless his soul. … Ra'd was my boy, he's who a person with nothing would always look up to. Ra'd would embrace anybody who was struggling. Ra'd would pick anybody up who was down. If Ra'd saw another prisoner being assaulted by a police officer he'd help out any way he could. Ra'd was a good brother, may Allah be with him.

Rest in Peacefulness, hold your head Ra'd!

A second New York prisoner writes:


I was in SHU with Amare back in 2003. He is a true rebel with a cause! May he rest in power! He was never the suicidal type, he was a warrior, a freedom fighter and he had 25 to Life, so he sought freedom by all means, even death.

I had hours to build with him and he always expressed his Muslim theory and stance against imperialism and white supremacy, which coincides with his murder, which I know was done by the pigs! He was a threat, that's why they isolated him in SHU for long, extended periods of time.

I met him and automatically connected with him because he has a passion to resist oppression and police brutality. So to know he got murdered by these pigs really was heart-wrenching. The pigs get away with it like they do when the pigs in the street shoot an unarmed Black or Brown brother/sister; it becomes justifiable homicide! This cannot continue to happen without some type of organized resistance. One cannot talk non-violent or peaceful resolutions with those sadistic pigs because they don't respect it. To be honest, I don't want to die in prison, I'm more worthwhile on the streets organizing, but there's only so much I can endure in this hell hole. I'm not reactionary, but we must demand our respect by any means!

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [Potosi Correctional Center] [Missouri] [ULK Issue 14]
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CO undermines hunger strike, causes death

On March 6, James McKinney died at Potosi Correctional Center. In the Washington County paper it said natural causes (heart attack). Now for the real story. James McKinney was in solitary confinement with me. So I'm giving you a first person account of the events that I believe led to this man's death. In early or mid-February McKinney was assigned to cell 2C-20 for a minor infraction. His first couple of days there he ran afoul of COI Shannon Clubbs (as many prisoners do). COI Clubbs harassed and verbally abused McKinney daily. In protest of this ill treatment James McKinney declared a hunger strike. He also sent a letter of protest to Senator Robin Wright-Jones.

When you have missed a certain amount of meals, you are automatically referred to medical personnel for a physical. Two times when he was approaching this certain amount of missed meals COI Clubbs opened McKinney's food port and threw a noon-time meal in his cell. He then logged as if McKinney accepted a meal, effectively rescinding the food strike. The second time Clubbs did this McKinney screamed on the walk that Clubbs was setting him up, Clubbs was laughing and taunting him the whole time. To add insult to injury, he also gave McKinney a conduct violation for accepting a food tray and then not returning it when the meal was over. This is a common and favorite tactic of confinement COIs. We (all the prisoners) did kick and holler for assistance from other COIs to no avail, so when McKinney finally saw medical, he was in worse shape than they thought, because he had missed triple the meals as the files indicated because of Clubbs manipulating the files, but no one would listen to him or us. He wrote a letter to Senator Robin Wright-Jones explaining the harassment by PCC staff in general and COI Clubbs in particular. I'm not sure how long it was, but it was well past 2 weeks, maybe 3 before he was convinced to eat, the first couple of days in March early in the morning he was complaining about chest and he went to medical as a self-declared patient - 3 or 4 days later he was dead.

I'm not a doctor and I don't know anything about his health or lack of health, but he wasn't overweight, looked to be in good shape, a quiet respectful brother. I asked him a couple of times if he was cool and he said he had things under control. I tried to rally everyone to form a peaceful protest, but these passive-assed conformed-as-slaves won't put up any type of resistance. My focus is COI Clubbs. Me and a couple of comrades wrote letters to Senator Robin Wright-Jones, State Rep Linda Fischer, Lisa Jones of constituent services. I have several copies of complaints on COI Clubbs in the last 6 or 7 months, about his abuse, harassment.

I just don't know what to do next. I am not afraid of them so educate me and tool me up and I'll stay on their asses here. Several convicts have won suits against them over the years. They pay but never change their repressive policies.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We print this article to continue our discussion about which strategies and tactics are available and useful to us in our struggles to end oppression worldwide. We need to analyze our options with a realistic and material perspective, and with that we need to measure their limitations. One lesson we can learn from this prisoner's tragic death is that hunger strikes by individuals are vulnerable to manipulation by COs and administration. As we explained to another comrade in ULK 13, a protest needs to be well-planned and considered from all angles. The more we can learn about the limitations of our tactics, the better equipped we will be to use them effectively.

Another error we would point out is the assertion that COI Clubbs is a problem separate from the repression of the imperialist system. We think it is important to bring attention to this abuse, and to name names for accountability's sake. But focusing all energy on getting COI Clubbs fired doesn't impact imperialism in general. In fact, it does the opposite by reinforcing the idea that the system is good; that the problem is just a few "bad apples" who can be dealt with on an individual level. In our agitational work, it is important to be clear about what the true problem is and the correct strategy to address that problem.

The fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of prison staff with similar accusations against them demonstrate that firing one guard does not usually improve the conditions of prisoners at a particular facility. In other words, getting Clubbs fired doesn't ensure that the next guy that goes on hunger strike won't face the same fate. However, developing strategy among prisoners who are facing these conditions and building outside support will help avoid such tragedies and make comrades' lives last longer and be more effective in their resistance.

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[Abuse] [Connecticut]
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8th call to assist

On December 22, 2009 a guard was assaulted, and I am accused. I was attacked by a hoard of guards. If you have ever seen a bunch of wild animals during a feeding frenzy that is exactly how they acted. I was taken to the floor, there were 13 to 17 guards on top of me. This one supervisor named Germond sprayed me directly at point blank range with a long blast of chemical agent (pepper spray - mace) the powerful chemical effectively took all of my air and went up my nasal passage, of my frontal lobe, he then shook the can and saturated my face with another longer blast, all over my face. The chemical becomes very hot once it touched your skin, burning ever hotter, the more air it is exposed to.

A Guantanamo type mask was placed over my entire head, effectively cutting off my ability to breath even further, coupled with the fact that I had over 1200 pounds on top of me. I could not expand my diaphragm and I was on the verge of blacking out. Actually suffocation via asphyxiation. I was fortunate that I had my arms to the front, and with every ounce of my strength I was able to turn enough to get some air. This one guard was violently punching me in the jaw, another one was drop kneeing me (standing up and dropping down on me with his knee). There was someone trying to hurt, if not break my legs, while yet another one was trying to break my fingers, I had to make a fist to prevent this.

They finally put leg irons and handcuffs on me, the leg irons were so tight I was unable to walk. I was suppose to be put under cold water to decontaminate me. Instead they put me under hot water, which caused excruciating pain as the chemicals got into my pores. And this was done on purpose just to cause me pain. Due to the leg irons being so tight I was unable to walk, so they dragged me down this quarter mile long hallway. I was put in this dirty filthy cell, in all the years of doing time I have never been in a cell that was a foul as this one was, it smelled like the den of a wild beast, there was dried blood, urine and spit on the floor and walls. The toilet had crud on the outside, and about an inch on the inside. I was chained to a bed, 4 pointed. They have managed to transform the use of this therapeutic, mental health procedure, to a form of punishment and torture, and it was amplified in my case by chaining one of my arms up and down which is reported to cause pain, and did cause me pain. And such practice is in violation of the DOC's own policy.

As they were putting the chains on me, these two sad excuses for human beings, named Sisk and Thomas were putting their feet on the edge of the bed to gain leverage, so they could pull the chains as tight as physically possible, to assure I would be in maximum pain. They applied so much pressure, they hyper-extended my collar bone, which remains painful and swollen. I was 4 pointed over night, and it was probably the longest night of my life. Every second in pain and being burned by the chemicals on your face. I was denied water by Lt. Germond, as though this was not enough, my cloths were ripped and cut off of me until I was totally naked, the cell was colder than a refrigerator. A useless cotton porous blanket was put over top of me, but my feet were only inches away from the back wall, which was like a block of ice, you could feel the cold radiating from the wall as much as a foot away. I was truly afraid that my feet would become frostbitten. I was unable to sleep the entire 12 hours I was chained.

Once they removed me from the stationary chaining, I was 3 pointed, placed in handcuffs, leg irons and a tether chain which connected the hands to the feet. And the tether chain was short chained, another illegal procedure applied to keep you bent over, unable to stand erect, and causes pain in your lower back. I was left like this for 4 days. The floor was dirty and made of concrete, and I had no socks or shoes. The toilet could only be flushed from the outside, and in 9 days it was only flushed 4 times. The first couple of days I was not fed at all, it was not until an internal affairs officer came did they start feeding me. (This guard named St. John led the charge not to feed me.) Soon after they started feeding me, the guards started urinating and spitting in my food, so I did not eat anything but drink the milk and juice for the next nine days.

Immediately after the incident every Tom, Dick and Harry was writing false disciplinary reports on me. The purpose was to keep me without my radio. That is how their sick twisted minds work as they try to break me. I am also without my property, and they are keeping me isolated. But you may rest assured, I actually see it as a badge of honor. I was moved after 9 days to what amounted to the Ku Klux Klan's den, run by the Grand Dragon, Captain Chaill. As the head goes, so goes the body. They have been, and continue to subject me to all kinds of unsavory and discriminatory treatment, not giving me my out of cell exercise, forcing me to go out in inclement weather without being adequately dressed, coming up with all kinds of arbitrary and capricious rules that only apply to me. Once in that unit they started urinating in my coffee. I prepared some samples of the coffee and sent them to the state police, governor, commissioner, warden and the Grand Dragon, to be tested for DNA. The Grand Dragon came to my cell with a larger contingent of guards and put me back into the same filthy type cell in isolation. The charge was using the mail to send my sample. He lied and said that I purported it to be a sample of my urine sent in retaliation. These cells are supposed to be used to control someone being violent. He used it solely as punishment and retaliation. (I was kept in chains again for 3 days, the same filthy, dirty, cold cells. In order to sustain his lie, the Grand Dragon discarded my written description of what I was sending, he further ripped the top off the document in order to hide what had been written, and then as a final move threw away the actual evidence and took instead a very bad black and white photo. And even after i presented all of that to the D.R. board they still found me guilty, in triple fashion of a kangaroo court.)

They have destroyed all of my legal cases by mixing all of my documents together. It would take a team of forensic scientists or a team of archaeologists to get them back in order again, I'm not even going to try. I am just going to allow the cases to expire and file a lawsuit. In closing my motto is: that which does not kill me only tends to make me stronger.

Please write to:

Governor Jode Rell
State Capitol Building
Hartford, CT 06106

Commissioner of Corrections
24 Wolcott Hill Rd
Wethersfield, CT 06109

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[Abuse] [Kern Valley State Prison] [California]
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Rotten Food in CA = Hunger Strike

Revolutionary Greetings to all those who struggle to remove the infestation of capitalism-imperialism from it existence on our mother Earth. From one humyn to all humyns, power to humynity...

Kern Valley State Prison has been forcing prisoners in ASUII (and who knows where else) to consume spoiled milk, rotten meat, rotten fruit, moldy bread and small rations. I've filed multiple 602 appeals (class action), but have only had them screed out by the Appeals Coordinator.

The staff say the conditions are due to [Governor] Arnold's budget crisis. But I ask, what is the price that you put on humyn life? Because after this is all said and done my family might need one.

I have begun on the day of 2/27/2010 (Saturday) not accepting any of the food that they claim to offer - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't eat or drink anything!!! Because the food they are serving is bad.

I will continue this until we receive humyn justice and are fed like humyn beings.

MIM(Prisons) adds: As Under Lock & Key 13 goes to print we have not heard from this comrade since they began their hunger strike. We hope they are well, and hope to hear from them, or anyone else at Killer Kern soon with an update. As we expected, among the privileged citizens of the united $tates, it is the oppressed nations and the lumpen who increasingly feel the crunch of economic crisis in terms of real life necessities.

Hunger strikes are a tactical approach to protest that can get attention with only a few participants, but it relies on the party being protested actually being concerned about your life. They don't need to subjectively care about you, but they must feel some pressure to prevent you from dying for their own interest.

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[Organizing] [Abuse] [California] [ULK Issue 13]
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Call for unity against CO violence

When I first came in to the CDC, a guard's job was simple: unlock us in the morning so we can function and lock us up at night. The rest was living simple and every once in a while someone would get stabbed or jumped, but the violence ratio was 10 times lower 25 years ago. But now times have changed. For example, a few weeks ago, a prisoner was being yelled at by 2 corrections officers. As the non-English-speaking prisoner was sitting on the bench, trying to understand what they were saying (they wanted to know his name), without any cause or reason, the 2 COs started spraying him with large canister sprayers of pepper spray, soaking his entire body, and then started beating him with little telescopic-like batons with a lead ball on the tip (very painful). Afterward, he was kicked while he was lying on the ground, and placed in handcuffs and escorted to a vertical coffin-like holding cage. I stood at my cell window and observed this, among many other incidents.

When I was in Salinas Valley, housing unit number 5 (also known as "the dirty nickel"), the COs would yell racial slurs, profanity, and anything disrespectful towards the prisoners over the intercom. When I was there I counted 115 acts of violence against prisoners by COs and on one occasion I observed a CO tell one prisoner to assault another prisoner or he would tear up his cell. The prisoner complied out of fear of reprisal.

I am writing this to educate you and hopefully many others of the mistreatment and abuse of the COs, currently named the "Green Wall" due to the fact that all of the correctional officers wear green uniforms. The main gist of the Green Wall is to keep total control over the prisoners by encouraging them to maintain violence and animosities with each other. The Green Wall will use any and all tactics to maintain that control. Sometimes a prisoner may try to stand up for what is right, but no one will join him or support his cause because the majority of prisoners are in constant fear of getting property (photos of family) torn, damaged or destroyed.

My hopes are for everyone to be on notice. Be vigilant, be aware, and let's stop being entertainment for the Green Wall. Let's start figuring out a way where all the prisoners can come together. The mainline GPs [General Population] are outnumbered by the SNYs 3 to 1 because the GPs are inventing new reasons to attack their fellow brethren and make them run to the SNY (Sensitive Needs Yards). All I'm asking is that all come together and repair and change what the Green Wall has caused. All it takes is that one voice to get it started!

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUI] [Arizona] [ULK Issue 15]
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Intentional deterioration of mental health in Arizona DOC

I am currently being housed in a maximum facility in the Arizona DOC where I've been confined to a one-man prison cell for over seven years in 23 hour a day solitary confinement. I was sentenced to precisely 156 years for taking up arms against a corrupt judicial system. One of my ultimate goals is to help shed some light on the inhumane environment that those of us in prison are subject to live in "generation after generation." Those of us who speak out against capitalist, imperialistic injustice are kept silent and retaliated against in prisons all across the world. We're kept isolated in boxes about the size of dog kennels for years. Rehabilitation only comes in the form of one's personal dedication of adopting a military mindset and achieving what is essential to keeping oneself afloat and not consumed by the burden of being taken for granted as human beings.

It's very common to become invisible in any society designed to desensitize and demoralize the average person, designed to corrupt and eat away at some of the greatest minds. Inevitably, the mental disease surrounding this establishment consumes the vulnerable-minded completely and has its effects on those stronger and competent minds. No amount of love or money can ever replace one's lost time or sanity. Oddly, some of these same people return back into society with no real plan on how to cope or withstand even the smallest pressures. Sadly, I witness people deteriorate on a daily basis while imprisoned, what could have been a short-term prison sentence often ends up a lifetime scar.

I've always resented the idea of one resorting to drugs as a means to emancipate oneself from the difficulties, but as you can see when dealing with the shamefulness of the imperialist system, I really do understand why my equals would rather be intoxicated than face a reality in which we're born into a cycle of destruction. However, one fact that will never change is that drug abuse only hinders and destroys one's personal experience to grow in strength and wisdom. Our ancestors weren't quitters nor cowards. We're skilled, imaginative, intelligent engineers and ultimately we adjust to our problems to overthrow our challenges. Yet we remain students to our own neglect; show us a meaningful purpose to our civilization and we will keenly follow.

In July 2003, I returned to the Arizona Department of Corrections to spend approximately 156 years behind bars for taking up arms against a corrupt Tuscon Police Department in self-defense. I was immediately placed in Arizona's super-maximum facility (SMU-I,(VCU)). SMU-I is a facility that publicly houses "the worst of the worst" special management prisoners. Prisoners are able to obtain some personal items but conditions in SMU-I are very restrictive and inhumane. I was housed in VCU, which is considered isolation within solitary confinement. Ordinarily, prisoners who are held in VCU are labeled disruptive while housed in SMU-I or have accumulated serious disciplinary violations while in prison. Most prisoners in VCU are labeled disruptive for choosing not to conform to the collective ways of the prisoncrats and in return are retaliated against.

One of the many tactics used by our oppressor is to place us in the tortuous shadows of the severely mentally ill to help break a person's spirit. I was placed in this unit upon my initial intake into the penitentiary, never once expecting for my oppressors to provide me due process before being admitted into this unusual world. During this particular part of my life a lot of soul-searching was done and ultimately strength was gained. These teachings have allowed me to fully comprehend my ancestry's mantra of "what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger." For long periods of time I debated with the idea of suicide. It was at my lowest point in total darkness and hopelessness that my eyes were truly illuminated to the ways of this injustice system. At this point I chose to continue my life, to have life. The nightmares that keep me from advancing forward, I've confronted and compromised with. But as you can imagine, I found myself in a tight spot, being the VCU unit.

I was placed on a gurney while four correctional officers escorted me to my new cell. I was strip searched, placed in extra-tight handcuffs with an additional dog chain that offered my captors an object to manipulate.The officers who were escorting me decided it was essential to assert themselves aggressively. I was pushed face down on the gurney and was advised if I looked sideways or moved even just slightly I'd be pepper-sprayed, tazed and neutralized by the police K9. I knew in the back of my mind this was a familiar tactic embraced internationally by my oppressors so I closed my eyes and kept my mouth shut. It is these types of incidents that inspire me to vigorously overcome fierce adversity. In prison, life goes on but one never gets comfortable with the demeaning environment, the torture, the food poisoning, the searches, the depression, the yells, and the screams. It is what brainwashes us into what we are.

I was wrongfully convicted by a judicial system that clearly favors the police, the state's prosecutor, and biased, corrupt judges. My best friend, my little brother and myself are all sentenced to die in an institution that shows no compassion. This is the same institution that as a child you become so dreadful of as you watch your father travel through the same system. Just when I thought my childhood couldn't become any more tragic, reality set in. The temperatures in solitary confinement have a strong tendency of remaining freezing cold; my captors figure if we stay under our blankets all day, wishing upon falling stars, the odds of becoming productive prisoners will diminish. I say productive in the sense that we as prisoners should take up the obligation of combating what is inhumane within the injustice system. This becomes a lifetime struggle while imprisoned. What actually appears to be meaningless, in the long haul is actually morally fulfilling. Yet challenging! What we consider to be productive, our captors refer to as "disruptive." In the end all we want is equal opportunity.

Many tactics and well practiced strategies are put up like road blocks. This has given our captors an everlasting advantage. One important method of abuse is the placement system. Our captors have the authority to move prisoners at will. The sycophants usually end up in "Disneyland" while the "disruptive" end up in "Alaska". With this tactic our captors maintain control. The majority of prisoners housed in VCU are seriously mentally ill. Banging on cell doors creates insomnia, the lights stay on all the time, and some prisoners become extremely delusional and schizophrenic. Mental illness has a strong desire to befriend the next prisoner's addiction, as if the air was contaminated with dementia. All different types of crazed thoughts are fabricated in these prisoners' minds, where everyone around you acts suspiciously like an assassin. These types of delusions commonly progress and eventually their pressures become too overbearing to hold inside, forcing these prisoners to act out. Prisoners lose their minds and begin mutilating themselves to ease their mental pain. Suicide is still viewed as cowardly, but some are too overwhelmed to escape its treacherous snares.

The main instigators are often the ones who are employed to implement corrections. They introduce this type of behavior to intensify the mental strain, giving the vulnerable a reason to simply attend to their anger, frustration and pain. Sometimes they even use seduction as a defense mechanism or to infiltrate the lumpen organizations to create conflict. This misconduct usually creates disagreements, cell extractions and the like. I myself have continuously remained in long-term isolation. No effective adjustment programs have ever been offered to us in this Arizona maximum facility, so obviously this type of behavior continues to worsen. The truth is solitary confinement is creating its own demise. Since I have been in isolation, the VCU ward I spoke of has been deemed unconstitutional by the higher courts and has publicly been shut down.

I am grieving the techniques implemented by the Arizona Department of Corrections in regards to long-term isolation without adequate recourse for mental health treatment. It is detrimental to one's comprehensive health and in due time deteriorates one's ability to function as a human. ADOC utilizes a detrimental structure which it abuses in its discretion to maintain order, rather than to address rehabilitation/recidivism concerns. Long-term isolation without adequate and the effective recourse increases the risk for prisoners to develop extensive mental health disorders and physical health problems as well. This also recruits and increases additional mental health cases for those prisoners isolated amongst the severely mentally ill population for long periods of time. ADOC has neglected to provide adequate mental health services in their maximum custody facilities. What this atrocity does to the environment is create a breeding ground for psychosis. ADOC has strongly neglected to conform its system to reduce recidivism and in fact has demonstrated through their actions, a crime against humanity by converting prisoners into mental health patients, consciously capitalizing on prison enterprise by neglecting to provide adequate recourse for their maximum facilities. This makes prisoners worse off than when we initially arrived, creating a more fortified cycle of sociopaths. This is a logical fact and is very inhumane. Without the adequate learning tools this process is going to keep creating insanity.

Also see An Alternative to the SHU
and U.S. Prisons Prove Maddening

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