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[Organizing] [State Correctional Institution Somerset] [Pennsylvania]
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Educating and Fighting Grievance Denials in Pennsylvania

Until recently I was being held at SCI Somerset with 9 months hole time. During this time prison officials stole my commissary, denied me access to the law library (mini law library), discarded my legal materials, discarded my incoming mail, denied me legal phone calls whereas I had court within days of my request, and I was denied meals (trays), among other things. All in retaliation for my filing grievances about the many injustices and inhumane living conditions I suffered from as well as others.

After successfully challenging those things via grievance appeals to central office, these C/Os started targeting other prisoners. Denying them showers, yard, meals, and giving their incoming mail to other prisoners. These guys reacted as they should, but "not in the way that they should have," the way they reacted was counterproductive. So I taught them how to fight our oppressors using the grievance procedure for positive results and they were successful.

As a result of this, the prison guards and prison officials conspired on a course of action and the result was, they transferred me to a facility where they know I have multiple enemies, and labeled me as a gang member (which I'm not). This is a Restricted Housing Unit (RHU).

Throughout this entire ordeal I saw opportunity to start teaching those brothers how to put a stop to oppression and injustices they were subjected to before I arrived. I am proud to say we've made a couple victories (small ones) but victories none the less. The brothers are especially happy of the bigger trays in the RHU! But we have more work to do, our battles continue.

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