On 15 September 2017 my neighbor died smoking K2 and after the pigs saw I was the last person to speak with him they locked me up under investigation. The first interrogation was conducted by the Arkansas state pig and it seemed as if all was well. The next week another death, same cause. Then my neighbor's mom appeared on the news saying she was gonna get to the bottom of his death (apparently they told her he had a heart attack), and bring a lawsuit before the court.
So when the internal affairs came and conduct their interrogation the pressure had been put on ADC (Arkansas Department of Corrections) and the woman resorts to some dirty ass tactics as soon as I walk in. She starts by telling me she's been doing her thorough investigation and listening to my phone calls, and that she knows about my girlfriend that I tell that I love her and then call my wife and turn around and tell her the same. I ask her if it was some type of threat she was implying because what she was talking about had nothing to do with my neighbor's death. She then starts her backpedaling and starts questioning me about $ I had moved in the "free." That's where I decided to end our conversation.
Right before the time period for investigation ran out I received a disciplinary for possession of contraband even though I was never in possession of anything and it was at this point I realized ADC had their scapegoat in the form of myself. That week topped off with another death, same cause. That's 4 deaths from K2 in this prison within 90 days (there was one about a month before my neighbor).
I was found guilty in kangaroo court, given 30 days punitive and 60 days restriction on phone, visits, commissary. A few days later, the Arkansas state pig comes back. The only reason I could see was to fish for some more circumstantial evidence and bring some type of formal charges to cover ADC's ass. I've been in the hole for about 40 days now and as far as that situation, that's where things stand.
I am reporting an act of solidarity. First we must remember what the word solidarity means. Solidarity is defined as: A feeling of unity between people who have the same interests, goals, etc. (Merriam Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary).
I am currently in the Residential Mental Health Unit (RMHU). It's similar to the SHU. The COs think since we're diagnosed with bi-polar, antisocial, major depression and whatever that they can just oppress us. Well, they learned on 4 September 2017 that we're not just a bunch of crazies.
It's hard to get 10 comrades to stand together as a whole so when a member from the LGBTQ community got jumped on and 30 comrades refused to leave the classrooms I was shocked! I asked a few of them "why did you stand up for one of mine?" Some of them said they were tired of the COs putting their hands on us, and some of them said the COs went too far. I thanked these comrades for standing with me and my LGBTQ family.
So, I'm sharing this because in the July/August ULK (No. 57) a Nevada prisoner weighed in on "Fighting Gender Abuse." As comrades we need to stand together in this way more. You shouldn't care who or what the person is, who cares? If s/he is in the same struggle as you then you need to help him/her. In the long run by you helping them you'll be helping yourself.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a great example of people coming together behind bars. And the writer highlights the important point that we need unity across different groups and individuals. This imperialist system has created some major divisions between groups of people: based on class, nation and gender. And these divisions are found in prisons as well.
In prison, class tends to be less relevant as prisoners are forced together as lumpen, at least while behind bars. But the national oppression that is so fundamental to imperialism's power and wealth creates national divisions. Within the United $tates (and around the world) oppressed nations are encouraged to fight one another and even to form sets within a nation to fight, so that they won't come together against the oppressor nation.
Gender oppression is a bit different behind bars than on the streets, with prisons segregated by designated biological sex. One of the most common manifestations of gender oppression we see is against non-heterosexual prisoners (or those perceived as so). Uniting against this abuse starts with people, like those described above, recognizing that this abuse is wrong, no matter who is targetted. We can take it to the next level by proactively combatting gender oppression among prisoners as well as by the guards. We need to defend our comrades against abuse, and educate our allies about why gender oppression is wrong.
Nowhere is the necessity for the societal advancement to communism more apparent than in the realm of disability considerations. No segment of society, imprisoned or otherwise, is in greater need of the guiding communist ethos proclaimed by Marx: "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." This humynist principle applies to no demographic more than the disabled.
When communist society is realized, the intrinsic worth of each and every persyn and their potential to contribute to society will be realized as well. In return, communist society will reward the disabled population by adequately providing their essentials and rendering all aspects of society open and accessible for their full utilization. In a phrase, communism will respect the disabled persyn's humyn right to a humane existence. We communists strive for the elimination of power structures that allow the oppression of people by people. The disabled population, as well as all peoples that have hystorically been subjugated by the oppressive bourgeois system of capitalism/imperialism, can then work toward the implementation of a truly democratic society.
Considering MIM(Prisons) recognizes only three strands of oppression in the world today (nation, class and gender), able-bodiedness is a cause and consequence of class, and in countries with more leisure-time it is intimately tied up in the gender strand of oppression. This essay intends to analyze disability as it relates to class, gender, and the prison environment.
Disability and Class
In the United $tates the greatest source of persynal wealth is inheritance. It can be said the ability to create and maintain able-bodiedness may be inherited also. For the most part, class station is determined by birth. By virtue of to whom and where a persyn is born, their access, or lack thereof, to material resources is ascribed. The bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy have access to nutrition and healthcare the First World lumpen and international proletariat and peasantry do not. The likelihood of a positive health background renders the labor aristocracy and other bourgeois classes attractive prospects to potential employers, lenders, etc. This allows them to continue to enjoy nutrition and healthcare not common to the lumpen, proletariat, and peasantry.
It would be extremely uncommon to find a First World lumpen, an international proletarian, or a peasant with a membership to a health and fitness club. This privilege is reserved for the bourgeois classes, including the petty-bourgeoisie and its subclass the labor aristocracy. This, of course, further enhances the prospect of maintaining good health, and compounded with employer-supplied healthcare, does act as prophylaxis against the onset of debilitating and degenerative physical ailments.
It would be unreasonable to ignore the possibility that a member of the bourgeoisie might be genetically infirm, or a labor aristocrat debilitated by an accident. But, due to their class position, these classes are better prepared and equipped to minimize the adversities resulting from such an unfortunate occurrence.
Able-bodiedness may also affect upward class mobility. An able-bodied First World lumpen that can find employment might enter the ranks of the labor aristocracy. A blue collar labor aristocrat may be promoted to a managerial position, and so forth. Of course other factors, such as national background, do play a role in one's mobility (or stagnation for that matter), but disability also plays a significant role.
Disability and Gender
Gender only comes to the fore after life's essentials are secured, thereby standing out in relief on its own aside from class/nation. In the First World leisure-time plays a major role in gender analysis. MIM(Prisons) defines "gender" as:
"One of three strands of oppression, the other two being class and nation. Gender can be thought of as socially-defined attributes related to one's sex organs and physiology. Patriarchy has led to the splitting of society into an oppressed (wimmin) and oppressor gender (men).
"Historically reproductive status was very important to gender, but today the dynamics of leisure-time and humyn biological development are the material basis of gender. For example, children are the oppressed gender regardless of genitalia, as they face the bulk of sexual oppression independent of class and national oppression.
"People of biologically superior health-status are better workers, and that's a class thing, but if they have leisure-time, they are also better sexually privileged. We might think of models or prostitutes, but professional athletes of any kind also walk this fine line. ... Older and disabled people as well as the very sick are at a disadvantage, not just at work but in leisure-time. ..." - MIM(Prisons) Glossary
This system of gender oppression is commonly referred to as "patriarchy," which MIM(Prisons) defines as:
"the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over wimmin and children in the family and the extension of male dominance over wimmin in society in general; it implies that men hold power in all the important institutions of society and that wimmin are deprived of access to such power."(1)
Professor bell hooks's description of patriarchy in eir work The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love has also contributed to this author's understanding of gender oppression:
"Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence."(2)
Professor hooks's definition of patriarchy not only recognizes terrorism as a patriarchal mechanism, but that patriarchal forces do not intend only to oppress, dominate, and subjugate females or even just females and children, but patriarchy's pathology is to hold down anything it regards as weaker than itself. Patriarchy is a bully.
Children are one of the most stigmatized and oppressed groups of people in the world. Patriarchal society considers children physically disabled due to their undeveloped bodies and therefore susceptible to patriarchal oppression — regardless of the biology of the child. This firmly places children in the gender oppressed stratum. Due to disabled people's diminished bodies (and/or cognizance), disabled people can be categorized similar to children subjected to patriarchy, ergo, disability falls into the gender oppression stratum as well as class.
Patriarchy and Prisons
U.$. prisons are, from top to bottom, patriarchal structures. Prisons are institutions where the police, the judiciary, and militarization have crystalized as paternalistic enforcer of bureaucracies of patriarchy; prisons, the system of political, social, cultural and economic restraint and control, are fundamentally patriarchal institutions implemented to enforce the status quo — including patriarchal domination. Disabled prisoners in Texas have long been labeled "broke dicks," illustrative of their "less-than-a-man" status in the prison pecking order.
There are laws mandating disabled prisoners not be precluded from recreational activities, or any other prison activity for that matter. Yet enforcement of these laws are prohibitively difficult for disabled prisoners, especially prisoners with vision or hearing disabilities, or cognitive impairments. The disabled have few advocates in bourgeois society; they have virtually none in prison.
The likelihood that prison officials discriminate against and abuse disabled prisoners is readily apparent. What is most disheartening is able-bodied prisoners are often the perpetrators of mistreatment against disabled prisoners, frequently at the behest of prison administrators so as to procure favorable treatment. In fact, the most telling aspect of the conditions of confinement imposed on disabled prisoners is the abuse of the disabled prisoners at the hands of able-bodied prisoners. The able-bodied prisoners are quick to manhandle and overrun disabled prisoners in obtaining essential prison services which are commonly inadequate and limited. When queued up for meals, showers, commissary, etc. the able-bodied prisoners will shove and elbow aside disabled prisoners; will threaten to assult disabled prisoners; and have in fact assaulted disabled prisoners should they complain or protest being accosted in such a fashion. All this invariably with the knowledge and/or before the very eyes of prison administrators and personnel.
It is far too common for the victims of sexual harassment and assault in prisons to be gay, transgendered, and/or disabled. Whether the perpetrator be prison officials or fellow prisoners, this practice is condoned by the culture of patriarchy and the hyper-masculine prison environment.
In the Prison Justice League's (PJL) report to the U.$. Department of Justice titled "Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Use of Excessive Force at Estelle Unit" the PJL outlined the routine and systematic abuse of disabled prisoners by prison personnel at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Regional Medical Facility for the Southern Region, Estelle Unit.(3) Prisoners assigned to the Estelle Unit per their disabilities are regularly and habitually denied medical treatment for their disabilities, ergo oftentimes exacerbating the causes and effects of the disabilities which brought them to Estelle initially; are denied auxiliary aids so as to accommodate their disabilities as required by law; are physically assaulted by prison administrators and staff, or their inmate henchmen; and with egregious frequency are murdered at the hands of state officials.
Since the PJL's report and subsequent Department of Justice investigation, there has been a bit of a detente in the abuse visited upon disabled Estelle prisoners by prison personnel. But the pigz are barely restrained. Threats of physical violence directed at disabled prisoners are still a regular daily occurrence, and prison personnel assaults on disabled prisoners are still far too common.
Another recent example of the persistent difficulties disabled prisoners face, even with the courts on their side, can be seen in the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) recent settlement negotiated with the Montana Department of Corrections (MDC), after it neglected to fulfill Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements from a 1995 settlement, Langford v. Bullock. In 2005, the ADA requirements were still not met, and despite the Circuit Court's order requiring Montana to comply with the 1995 settlement, it is not until 2017, and much advocacy later, that negotiations are being finalized between the ACLU and MDC. We can't dismantle systems of gender oppression one quarter-century-long lawsuit at a time. That's why MIM(Prisons) advocates for a complete overthrow of patriarchal capitalism-imperialism as soon as possible.
Another patriarchal aspect to be observed in prisons is ageism. As children are included in the gender-oppressed stratum, so should the aged. As the able-bodied prisoners' ability to work subsides due to age in the First World, especially in the United $tates where the welfare state is minuscule and the social safety net set very low, the propensity for a once able-bodied persyn to be relegated to the ranks of the lumpen is intensified. As the once able-bodied persyn becomes aged and disabled, their physical, as well as mental, health becomes more and more jeopardized, accelerating the degeneration of existing disabilities as well as increasing the likelihood of creating the onset of new ones (e.g. the First World lumpen are notorious for developing diabetes due to poor diet and lifestyle issues).
Disability as a Means of Castration
Holding people in locked cages is an acute form of social control. Solitary confinement creates long-lasting psychological damage. And prison conditions in general are designed (by omission) to create long-lasting physical damage to oppressed populations. Prisons are a tool of social control, and exacerbating/creating disabilities is a way prisons carry this through in a long-term and multi-generational fashion.
Prisoners, who are a majority lumpen population, are likely to already have unmet medical needs before entering prison, as described above in the section on class. Then when in prison, these medical needs are exacerbated because of the bad environment (toxic water, exposed asbestos, run down facilities, etc.); brutality from guards and fellow prisoners; poor medical care including untreated physical traumas, improper timing for medications (see article on diabetes), and just straight up neglect.
Mumia Abu-Jamal's battle to receive treatment for hepatitis C, which ey contracted from a tainted blood transfusion ey received after being shot by police in 1981, is a case in point. Mumia belongs to an oppressed nation, is conscious of this oppression, has fought against this oppression, and thus is last on the priority list for who the state of Pennsylvania will give resources to. And medical care under capitalism is sold to the highest bidder, with new drugs which are 90% effective in curing hepatitis C coming with a price tag of $1,000 per day. In a communist society these life-saving drugs will be free to all who need them.
Disability in the Anti-Imperialist Movement
The fact that people with disabilities will be treated better after we take down capitalism is obvious. Our stance on discrimination against people with disabilities in our society today is obvious. What is less obvious is the question of how we can incorporate people with disabilities into the anti-imperialist movement today, while we are so small and relatively weak compared to the enemy that surrounds us. This is an ongoing question for revolutionaries, who are always pushing themselves to be stronger, better, and more productive. After all, there is an urgency to our work.
Our militancy tends to be inherently ableist. With all the distractions and requirements of living in this bourgeois society, we have precious little time to devote to revolutionary work. We are always on the lookout for things and people that are holding us back and wasting our time, and we work diligently to weed these things and people from our lives and movement. Often when people aren't productive enough, due to mental or physical consequences of capitalism and national oppression, we can't do anything to help them — especially through the mail. No matter how sympathetic people are to our politics, and how much they want to contribute, we just don't have the resources to provide care that would help these folks give more to overthrowing imperialism. Often times all we can do is use these anecdotes to add fuel to our fire.
Disabilities amongst oppressed people are intentionally created by the state, and a natural consequence of capitalism. If we don't take any time to work with and around our allies' disabilities, then we are excluding a population of people who, like the introduction says above, are in the greatest need of a shift toward communism. We aim to have independent institutions of the oppressed which can help people overcome some of these barriers to political work. At this time, however, the state is doing more to weaken our movement in this regard than we are able to do to strengthen it.
[Of note, the primary author of this article has devoted eir life to revolutionary organizing in spite of being imprisoned and with multiple physical disabilities. Even though it is extremely difficult to contribute, it is possible!]
I was transferred to California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison (CSATF). Me and a companion from the former prison we arrived from knew that we had arrived at a concentration camp that was as shitty of a place as we could have ended up in. One can always tell the make-up of a prison by the writings on the walls of its R&R. If its toilets look like something that one could catch a disease from just staring at, and the pigs search out the property seizing every single object that the average person would assume allowable; face it, you're in hell.
Time has found me here, but since the 30th of March, and there have already been several incidents forced before me, one of which surprised the living world out of me. And this isn't something I say lightly. I am a person with pretty thick skin who would like to believe can handle just about anything. But on 6 May 2017, I was revealed a sign that showed me maybe I am not quite ready to handle it all.
1. I was solicited for murder of an inmate by a California correctional officer.
2. On the date of 6 May 2017, at CSATF, approx. 12:05 p.m. after returning from rec. yard to the assigned living quarters D2-211 to be informed by the cell-mate occupying the quarters with me that the facility unit officer Pano had conducted a punitive cell search of the quarters in response to the cell-mate's failure to return to the living quarters in a timely matter, having my cooling fan confiscated.
3. The cell-mate mentioned is an XXX YYY ZZZZ, 28-years-old.
4. I reported to the officer in question C/O Pano, who was covered by colleague C/O Barajas — female floor officer — and C/O Martines — male tower officer — where I opened a dialogue with Pano in regards to an explanation for the confiscation/seizure of my cooling fan; at a time when the temperatures of the living quarters are rising to high levels.
5. C/O Pano replied that the objective of the search was to "give him the attention that he was looking for" referring to XXX YYY ZZZZ.
6. I notified C/O Pano that I had nothing to do with him and XXX YYY ZZZZ problem, and it was unfair that I'd had my personal property confiscated as a result of another person's actions. I informed this officer that I would not be held accountable for another prisoner's actions unless he was somehow asking me to rectify the problem between him and XXX YYY ZZZZ by "handling it."
7. By "handling it", I for all intents and purposes meant to do bodily harm to XXX YYY ZZZZ, as physical force is the only power I have over another, to harm an inmate — being an inmate myself — I went so far as to describe "bashing his head into the wall", as to getting a clear understanding to the degree of violence that officer Pano smiled at me and said, "You know how it goes, it's just business."
9. But I didn't "know how it go." I am not accustomed to officers soliciting my service to do harm to another inmate. Though I have experienced in the past, officers of CDCR attempting to incite violence between myself and a cell-mate out of retaliation for a cell-mate's misbehavior. [Officers conducted a punitive cell search of my assigned living quarters, destroyed only my property and then informed me that it was because of my cell-mate that the nature of the cell search transpired as it did, hoping I'd take my anger out on him, See, KVSP-APPEAL-602-0-10-00887]
10. I am a political prisoner freedom fighter with many years of experience in dealing with crooked officers who abuse their power, invested into both badge and seal by the republic of California to cross up prisoners and have them framed for rule violations and criminal charges in the local courts. My particular history can be reviewed in the Superior Court of CA County of Kern, "People of California v. David Cauthen DF010469A."
11. Officers at Kern Valley State Prison made me the target of a physical beat down, while in handcuffs, for my leadership role in a ten man protest on the rec yard. KVSP officials came together in an effort to frame me in disorder to cover up their attack on me. False statements were made in reports used to have me prosecuted by Kern Valley District Attorney Lisa Green, Officer of the Court, in a criminal complaint based on charges of ATTEMPTED MURDER OF A POLICE OFFICER. I spent nearly two years in California's Security Housing Unit defending myself in court on bogus charges.
12. When it comes to the struggle being waged between California and its most advanced political prisoners, I may be considered an expert. Identifying the sneaky tactics of officers/pigs instigating problems amongst the prison population to justify their failure to correct & rehabilitate. I have made it a point to single-handedly lead the charge of political prisoners uniting and holding the state accountable for their actions.
13. I believe it is in a database held by the state that I am who I say I am and C.O.s may and often do access this data for their own personal information. Officer Pano had to have accessed this information to make himself familiar with me as a prisoner with capabilities of committing violence against another prisoner.
14. After standing in the center of the dayroom of the unit, pleading with Officer Pano that as it had begun to get extremely hot in the cells [The staff at CSATF TURNS THE HEAT ON IN THE SUMMER TIME] his decision to enter my living quarters and confiscate the cooling fan used to keep me cool, would be construed as inhumane & cruel treatment. He just smiled and walked away to retrieve the fan.
15. Pano returned the fan, but not without making a smug statement about how I needed to "get at my celly" and how he'd return to confiscate the fan if the particulars of a situation did not check out.
16. I returned to my assigned living quarters without any further dialogue with Pano. Upon my return I opened a dialogue with my cell-mate XXX YYY ZZZZ in relation to his actions having an effect upon my program, bringing about unnecessary altercation with the Babylon, and what could be done to rectify the situation.
17. I informed XXX YYY ZZZZ that the Babylonian officer had acted in a manner that would cause the two of us to be placed in a cross. It was intended for me to act rash in response to the level of disrespect suffered at the hands of both "Ant" and the Babylons, but as a righteous member of the Black Riders Liberation Party and leader of the United Struggle from Within Chapel Group Ra'star Far I, Prison Ministries I would not be puppeted by the pigs.
18. I informed "Ant" that there were two options. 1) The two of us could file a complaint and get paid from the Babylons' willingness to break the law, or 2) we could fight, like the pigs wanted, for the disrespect suffered to my character and make our people look like fools. I explained to him how I aspired to be a member of the African People's Socialist Party and could not in good conscience support the second option and preferred the first alternative. He too agreed and settled for the first option.
19. I immediately got to work drawing up the statement of facts for the entire incident. Once I had concluded my works I took my outcome to the young ndugu "Ant" to read over. To my surprise he lit up and seemed on fire to bring justice to the situation. We agreed that the facts I outlined were best and should be moved forward on.
20. But on the following day, 8 May 2017, things took a turn for the worst. I reported from my work assignment as a Main Kitchen Baker, making about $0.15 an hour :( Upon arrival to the living quarters I discovered that my cell-mate had rolled up, voluntarily removed himself from the yard and was in the process of being transferred to a more safe/comfortable living environment.
21. This young African stole close to $400 worth of property from me and the Babylons helped him pack it up and travel to the program office. The pigs actually inventoried my belongings as being inside of his property and tried to tell me that it was nothing they could do about it when I brought it to their attention. This alone confirmed to me that the Babylon had planted this lost ndugu amongst my ranks to distract my mission and disorder my campaign to unite the prisoner masses.
22. This ndugu was allowed to roll up with a variety of valuables, but what was of a tell-tale sign that the individual was a plant is that he: 1) Took the complaint that I had put together, 2) He stole letters from the latest supporters of my United Front for Peace in Prisons project "FREE KING DAVID" as a means to interfere with communications, and 3) He stole the goods of commerce to support the economical needs of an initiative to finance the subscriptions to: "The Burning Spear," "The 5% Power Paper," "The Final Call," "The Bayview Newspaper," and "Under Lock & Key."
23. After establishing a partnership with the leader of "Peace Behind Bars" to develop a system of exchange inside prisons using photos of women, to remind men what they struggle to be released to, for postage I convinced this brother to begin printing photos for my project so that I can begin accumulating postage stamps, and in turn offer them to the comrades employed by the above publications in order to have the publications mailed in to the yard with hopes of raising the awareness level. I had a total of 50 wonderful photos prices at the least 8 postage stamps alone. Taking care of the bill of one subscription, dues to he who made it possible and postage for a new 50 photos to be mailed. But all was delayed by Babylon.
24. I have submitted the report as a complaint of C.O.s soliciting murder from me as of 22 May 2017. So I trust Babylon will bring its fire. All of this comes right after the announcement published in "Turning The Tide" of my works to move along the United Front for Peace in Prison and a complaint filed at the previous prison against "UNSAFE WORKING CONDITIONS" in support of the 2016 nationwide prison work stoppage. [See, CSATF Appeal-STAFF COMPLAINT-D-17-02787- ]
I write this statement to describe to brothers & sisters behind the wire inside Babylon of what staying strong under pressure looks like. When you sign up to join forces with groups like the Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Police Brutality, Anti-Racist Action/People Against Racist Terror, Black Riders Liberation Party, Uhuru Movement and the United Struggle from Within, Babylon is going to bring its death game. We must remain strong under fire and lean even greater on the teachings of the groups mentioned above, and those not, placing the people's principles into practice.
No matter who you are, radiate the teachings and uphold good conduct. Feed other prisoners who wander the path of the freedom fighters and trust in the teachings, not the student. The Babylon will scratch and claw at what it fears threatens its existence as a system of power oppressing the people. All of the above mentioned groups are feared because they bring light to the minds of prisoners, who are essentially the most capable mass of people in the United $tates to free themselves from the strongholds of imperialism.
Educate yourself on the methods of government interference with United Front culture campaigns, that you will be prepared. Both state and federal government agencies will go out of their way (the District of Columbia) in order to intimidate the members. In the newsletter publication of Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons, ULK No.56, there is a story published titled, "No TX pack tactics have worked," by a Texas prisoner. This story really touched me because I know the struggle. It feels like it's all a waste of time, but it's not! I've learned that we won't see the works of our labor filing charges against the Department, but it will be NOTICE.
At the moment the Campaign Demanding that our Grievances be addressed is in a phase where supporters of the campaign in states across the U.$. are familiarizing themselves with the art of serving NOTICE to the office that corruption is taking place. Once prisoners master the art of serving NOTICE, then they will learn to FILE CHARGES against the office with the right people/agency, forcing the Department to make a public statement officially ANSWERING to our charge :)
The comrades being released will then begin holding court with the agents/representatives in the streets. Until then, just keep documenting the corruption until you have a book to release. And you will see the movement that has been here all along. Keep it sharp, keep it tight.
David S. Cauthen, Jr.
MIM(Prisons) adds: Since receiving this report, the comrade has asked for supporters to call CSATF on eir behalf at (559) 992-7100. Ey is going to initiate a civil complaint. The appeals coordinators are not even processing the appeals, they’re just rubber stamping them. Callers should inquire:
Why wasn’t a report filed? A crime occurred.
Why was a complaint against a C.O. processed as a first level appeal when it was accepted on its charges of “An Officer Soliciting Murder”?
Why was appeal log #SATF-D-17-03418 against SATF Appeals Coordinators for failure to process appeals canceled by a Lt. N. SCAIFE – an officer who wrote themselves into the coordinators office?
As this example paints quite clearly, the campaign to have grievances heard in California prisons, which began over 7 years ago, is a campaign to get the CDCR to put a stop to life-threatening behavior by their staff. The lives of the oppressed nation lumpen are given little regard in this injustice system. Those in power manipulating their wards to fight and kill each other has long been a practice in California prisons to control those who the state sees as a threat. The notorious "gladiator fights" staged by staff in the Corcoran Security Housing Unit is just one blatant example of this. So while the right to have grievances heard may seem like a nicety of civil society, it is more than that. It is about the oppressed having recourse when their lives are threatened by their captors.
Our comrade has already been retaliated against with a transfer for filing a complaint on the above incident, filed by a grievance when the Appeals Coordinator refused to NOTICE the complaint. We expose this case to rally support on the inside and the outside for the campaign for a meaningful grievance process in California prisons, and in all the states across the country waging this same battle.
On June 13, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) released an Amerikan student, Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned there for 15 months. The student came home in a coma and died a few days later. According to Korean officials, Warmbier had been in a coma since shortly after his arrest due to complications from botulism, a condition that can be contracted from contaminated food, soil or water. It's likely that the imprisonment of Warmbier was just a political move by the DPRK government. He was convicted of stealing a propaganda poster.
What is unusual about Warmbier is that he was a young, well-off white guy, enjoying the privilege of his Amerikan citizenship and wealth by going on a fun adventure to visit north Korea. Amerika mostly targets lumpen from oppressed nations and non-citizens for imprisonment, as well as people who take up the fight against imperialism. So in this country Warmbier would be very unlikely to end up in prison.
In a parallel to this case in Korea, Amerikan prisons hold many non-citizens(9), especially from Mexico and Central America, locked up for small or bogus charges. If not for conditions caused by imperialism, these people want to go home to their country and families. Some don't speak English and so can't even fight for their rights. Some were railroaded into pleading guilty without really understanding the trial. And some of these prisoners will end up seriously ill or even die due to conditions in Amerikan prisons.(10)
We don't hold out hope that the white nationalists will offer a criticism of the "brutality of the Amerikan regime" for all these crimes against prisoners held behind bars in this country. It should be an embarrassment to Amerikans that the United $tates locks up people at a rate higher than any other country in the world. But this system of social control is swept under the rug, while appologists for imperialism hypocritically criticize the DPRK (and other countries) for their treatment of one Amerikan prisoner.
MIM(Prisons) struggles for an end to a system where prisons are places where people suffer and die premature deaths.
There is no genuine or legal justification for still using strip searches in prisons today, except to breed homosexuality and cause aggressive sexual assaults, using it as a punishment to humiliate someone. I can prove without a doubt that times have changed/evolved and this strip naked prison rule is outdated. Modernized technology has invented what is called x-ray machines, which are used to search/see the body without forcing nude search. Prisoncrats provided prisons with sufficient funds to purchase and provide such x-ray machines. Prison staff, in their sadistic practices and policies to punish captives, refuse to use the x-ray machines for body searches.
Metal detectors are stationed throughout the prison, checkpoints forcing captives to walk through them, in their policy to confiscate any and all illegal metal objects. Captives are never asked if they are allergic to the radiation of the metal detectors or x-ray machines, which explains the prison staff's complete disregard for the physical or psychological effects on the captives.
We captives of the Pennsylvania state prisons ask for legal advice in our desires to sue the Department of Corrections for forcing the strip search policies. We live during advanced technologies and modernized minds, which dictates, strip searches are outdated, violates religious rights, breeds sexual predators, and are methods used to harass, humiliate and harm captives. Not to mention strip searchings are methods used identical to the times of slavery.
If for no other humane reasons, prison strip searches needs to be abolished, eliminated, minimized, because state prisons have been provided with the necessary machinery and manpower to secure prison grounds and facilities. The time is here. We the state captives in Pennsylvania prisons ask any and all judicial scholars and students of civil law, for legal advice, and to petition the courts to abolish all prison strip search policies.
There is the questions raised about prison security being vulnerable, and breached, if the strip search policy is eliminated. Such positions, beliefs or arguments are simply said to continue this long practice of psychological slavery in prisons. When in fact, x-ray machines detect any metal or foreign objects and contraband. Therefore, since state prisons have x-ray machines and metal detectors on facility grounds, it shows any need to search a subject can be done without the need of such said subjects being forced to disrobe, strip naked. Which means, if the metal detectors and x-ray machines they have are not successful to secure the prison facilities, then their machines are obsolete and obtained falsely.
However, if such machines and technologies are vital and essential to the security orders of running the prisons, then strip searchings are deemed obsolete and performed falsely. It is our contention, challenge, calling, that because x-ray and metal detector machines are used, that shows strip searches are no longer needed or necessary. Which proves strip searching are being used simply as a form of the prison's psychological punishments.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections state prisons has implemented a new policy against sexual assaults/harassments, called the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). This PREA policy exposes its own ineffectiveness and prejudicial punishment, under the disguise of prosecuting sexual harassment and/or predators. To prove that this new PREA policy has been designed to minimize and eliminate sexual assaults in all of its manifestations on prison grounds, strip searching would also be minimized or eliminated as a means to sexual assaults and sexual harassments on state prison grounds.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer makes an important point: guards use strip searches as a form of gendered power that humiliates and degrades prisoners. But we don't agree that this abuse of power causes guards (or prisoners) to become homosexual. And even if that was possible, it's patriarchal society that teaches people to use gender for power and abuse which is the problem. There is no evidence that any sexual orientation is more predatory than any other. We need to focus on the real enemy here: the patriarchy which trains people to enjoy the abuse of gender power.
Prisoners are in a unique position in that they face gender oppression as a part of their imprisonment. This is true of both male and female prisoners. Strip searches are a good example of this gender oppression. This writer raises a good point about the abuse of power, and specifically gender power, that happens every time there is a strip search. This degrading practice is not for security, as this writer clearly demonstrates.
Identifying this form of oppression and calling it out for people to see is the first step in fighting back. The idea of using PREA to fight strip searches is an interesting approach. We'd like to hear from others who are fighting strip searches about what tactics are and are not working. Ultimately gender oppression in prisons isn't going away while we have a criminal injustice system serving imperialism. The patriarchy is an integral part of this system. But we can sometimes win smaller battles against these forms of humiliation and degradation.
Another pretrial detainee and I were rolled up and put into punitive segregation for the grievances, appeals and letters that we wrote to the Alaska DOC commissioner and our state's Lieutenant Governor, in standing up for our rights here at Anchorage correctional Complex (ACC). Detainees here are afraid of the retaliation brought upon those that stand up for their rights.
Superintendent Jesse Self, Assistant Superintendent Sondra Thomas, Lieutenant Jason Hamilton, Segregation Sergeant Tania Enyard, and Standards Sergeant G. Helms have all participated in violating pretrial detainees' rights at ACC. Grievances take four-plus months to be processed, if they even get processed. Many request for interview (RFI) forms never see an answer either. Requests through proper channels like RFIs, grievances and appeals go to the ears and eyes of the deaf and blind officials that condone these atrocities of injustice to happen. If one makes too many, or too loud, complaints against the officials in charge about the conditions here at ACC, they are relieved of all legal and personal property and put into punitive segregation for up to three months, without due process.
I have been in punitive segregation for only three days and I had to practically beg to get law library access once, for an hour. Under Alaska law we are to be allowed law library access at least seven hours a week. I may end up writing more grievances and appeals from punitive segregation than I have written total in the last two years. Of course, that depends on how long they keep me here in punitive segregation.
On your grievance campaign, I rewrote the copy that you sent me and I will try to get a version of it sent your way. I have not heard back from any of the officials that I sent it to. I sent, on my behalf, copies to Alaska DOC Commissioner Dean Williams, Alaska Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott, and the Department of Justice in Washington DC.
So many Alaskan pretrial detainees and prisoners do not know that their rights are being violated under both the U.S. Constitution and the Alaska Constitution. The guards run over them and their rights, stomping them into the ground. I am not legal knowledgeable, although I'm learning more all the time. I am trying to put together a lawsuit on my own behalf against officials of Alaska DOC. I have read enough to know that administrative remedies must be exhausted, and the lawsuit must be written correctly to be kept from being screened out of court. I have the grievance and appeal process down fairly good, it's the court filing that I was working on before being put into punitive segregation. I'm not beat, they have only slowed me down.
I share your publications with anyone and everyone that I can. I can't keep much in my possession anyway, so I write down what I'm interested in and pass on your publications. Thank you for the informative publication.
To whom it may concern, this is a plea for help from all prisoners housed in David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC) located in Homer, Louisiana.
Warden Goodwin is locking us inside these torture chambers for years with no educational activities, no corrective-rehabilitative programs, and no counseling for mental health. The lawmakers' and courts' intentions were to send those convicted of a crime to prison as a punishment, not to be oppressed, tortured in a cell 24-7 with nothing to do for years with nothing to better themselves, also with no TV or radio to have contact with the outside world. The lawmakers' intent was that prisoners receive correction and rehabilitation so as to return to society as productive, tax-paying, law-abiding members. By prisoners not being able to better themselves behind these walls, that is what makes us the highest incarceration state of the U.S.
Warden Goodwin is forcing mentally ill prisoners in a cell together 24-7, only coming out for a shower, and in turn these prisoners are hurting each other and raping each other. The policy #035 stated no maximum ext-lockdown inmate should be housed together but they are at DWCC where if you do not go in the cell you will be pepper sprayed. And not knowing what to expect or having any idea as to the length of confinement is added stress and particularly traumatizing, compounded by simplistic practices. The courts have also held that housing mentally ill prisoners under conditions of extreme isolation is unconstitutional, see Wilkerson v. Goodwin 12-17-14 [This case addressed long-term/indefinite solitary confinement, not specifically for the mentally ill - ULK Editor]. There has been much research that demonstrated that prolonged solitary confinement is most dangerous to the mentally ill. Thus, we become disturbed with mental anguish that compels us to grab and adopt to other means and channel our pain, many are cutting themselves and going on hunger strikes. These are only a few experiences of prisoners. We need help, we need change, expose this torture!
Help us today, make a call or fax our governor and head of DOC. Ask them to close the torture chamber confinement unit at DWCC:
James Leblanc, Secretary of Corrections 225-342-6740 fax: 225-342-3095
Governor John Edwards 225-342-7015 fax 225-342-0002
MIM(Prisons) adds: As we have discussed elsewhere, isolation in prisons and mental illness reinforce each other under the current imperialist prison model. Too often people in these institutions are seen as lacking as individuals, when it is a system that creates this crisis in mental health. That is one reason we have continued to focus on the campaign to end the torture that is solitary confinement in the U.$. injustice system.
This issue of Under Lock & Key is focused on disabilities in prison. The use of control units to torture people, leading to physical and mental health problems is very much related to this topic. Long-term isolation is creating more and more disabled prisoners, by destroying their health. And then prisons are perpetuating this problem by failing to provide adequate care for the problems they created.
[Comrades in Georgia have been suffering from and fighting against the Tier II program since its inception. Tier II is a long-term isolation program with indefinite terms and severe restrictions on communication and other "privileges." Of course the program is officially not for disciplinary purposes. And of course the program has set terms on paper. Below is a portion of a petition some of our subscribers have signed on to and mailed out to various administrators. It illuminates in detail many of the problems that prisoners in Georgia are facing. In December 2014 another comrade from Smith State Prison mailed us a similar petition with over 30 signatures, which we publicized on our website.
Another comrade in the state is working on a guide on how to fight against the Tier program. We encourage anyone who has successfully won any battle against the Tier program to write in with your experiences, so we can consolidate this knowledge and distribute it to those in need. However, many people on Tier restriction can't even have access to Under Lock & Key or other mail from MIM(Prisons), so those who are in most immediate need of this information aren't even able to receive it. Prisoners who aren't (yet) assigned to the Tier program should take an immediate interest in this topic, so that the knowledge is circulated among the Georgia prisoner population before people can't access it anymore.
As we've been writing about for a long time, we see long-term isolation not only as an atrocity because of the humyn suffering, but also as a political tool that is used by the state to keep the oppressed nations subservient, preoccupied, and broken. We want self-determination of oppressed peoples, and we oppose all tactics that the state uses to subvert this goal. -MIM(Prisons)]
In the name of liberty, life, and human rights the Administrative Segregation population at Georgia State Prison (GSP) is reaching out to you with hopes that you will advocate and intervene on our behalf to put an end to the horrific and inhumane conditions of confinement being forced upon us, through the implementation of the Administrative Segregation Tier II Program, because the grievance system here is a mockery and has rendered us no relief from the oppressive, repressive, and dehumanizing tactics of the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC).
Georgia State Prison, which for decades has held a large lockdown population with some inmates being on lockdown for 20 or more years, began what is called the "Administrative Segregation Tier II Program" on July 16, 2014. On this date, GDC's tactical squad, along with GSP's correctional officers confiscated all of our personal clothing, hygiene products, health care products, books, photo albums, lawbooks, magazines, newspapers, CD players, radios, drinking cups, bowls, etc., with us only being allowed to keep 20 personal letters, a portion of legal mail, and a Qur'an or a bible (one or the other). Our personal hygiene products were replaced with only state-issue soap, toothpaste, and roll-on deodorant which are of very poor quality.
The guidelines for the Tier II Program (which lasts for a minimum of 9 months) places a ban on all books, newspapers, magazine (novels, textbooks, dictionaries, etc.) and many materials to self-educate ourselves. All books, magazines, newspapers, etc. which are mailed to us are returned to sender without giving us notification or a chance to appeal the prison's decision.
We are not being allowed to continue educational correspondence courses to earn degrees or diplomas so that we can have a better chance of getting legitimate jobs upon release.
Inmates are allowed very restricted contact/access to the "free world" which is perpetuated in part by the ban on books and periodicals and the confiscation of all TVs and radios which effectively blocks us from being kept abreast of current events and aware of the world's happenings beyond the prison's gates. Phone calls and visits are limited to only 3 fifteen-minute collect calls and 3 two-hour non-contact visits for the first 6 months of the program.
We are not being given proper access to the law/courts. Tier II inmates are routinely denied "law-library" by officers. The law library for Ad-Seg inmates only has seven small holding pens and one computer to service the needs of the entire lockdown population, which is approximately 600-700 prisoners.
We are not being given the proper nutrition or portions of food and are not being allowed to purchase commissary as a means to supplement the malnutrition being forced upon us. This is evident in the fact that the number of prisoners being placed on medical diets to increase weight and calorie intake has made a steep incline. Bugs (both live and dead) are often found in the food and the officers still force the trays on the prisoners.
We are inadequately clothed. The prison won't provide us with the proper clothing and won't allow us to purchase the clothing we need.
We are not being given the means to sanitize the cells that we are housed in. The cells are filthy. Most have food, blood, and feces on the walls and there is a serious rodent and insect infestation. We cannot even flush our own toilets; we rely on officers to flush the toilets for us so we may have feces and urine in the toilets for hours at a time.
We are not being allowed to have the hygiene products that we need and are not allowed to purchase any so most inmates have a foul odor because the deodorant the state issues us doesn't work for most of us.
We are routinely denied the right of religious freedom and expression. We are not allowed to practice beliefs that forbid cutting the hair, keeping kosher or other restrictions from eating certain foods.
Prisoners are subjected to brutality, humiliation, and harassment by correctional officers and staff at any given time. Prisoners are often assaulted while in handcuffs/restraints for no reason at all, but most frequently for practicing "freedom of speech." If a prisoner addresses the warden or other administrative staff about anything they don't like, or mistreatment, you are liable to be sprayed with mace, OC spray, any of the other toxic gases, stripped naked and humiliated and be placed on "stripped cell" with no bedding, clothing, or anything else (regardless of the temperature) for 8 or more hours just for exercising your 1st Amendment rights.
Prisoners are forced by the administration to bunk with other prisoners against their will, even when they let officers know there will be a conflict. This deliberate indifference has led to deaths, stabbings and other serious injuries.
Mental health prisoners are often times punished for mental infirmities and deficiencies which are beyond their control and made worse by the conditions of confinement forced upon them. Mental health patients here are suffering because of a lack of treatment and staff. Many are wrongly diagnosed and are either over- or under-medicated.
Prisoners validated by the GDC as being part of Goodfellas, Young Mafia Family or plain and simply as "Mob" are being subjected to group punishment and all prisoners with this validation are kept on Tier II, and most have been on lockdown since November 2011 or even longer. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Tier II program states that prisoners can only be held on the program for 2 years, but those validated as "Mob" are being transferred from prison to prison at the completion of one prison's Tier program requirements and forced to begin the program again at the entry level at the new facility.
We know that prison isn't supposed to be comfortable, but what we are experiencing at the hands of the administrators and staff here is torture and extreme abuse of authority. Regardless of our debts to society, we are no less human than anyone else. Many of us are mentally unstable, indigent, or have no family or friends who are willing to help us fight for our rights to be treated like human beings and not be subjected to such demoralizing and dehumanizing treatment.