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[Control Units] [Tamms Supermax] [Illinois]
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Activists Labeled a Threat and Locked in Tamms

I have recently received your MIM Theory 13 magazine and your letter and the ULK newsletter. I am a Tamms C-Max incarcerated individual who has been living and experiencing the Tamms life of daily struggles and misfortunes for the past year of what seems like an estimated five to ten years before review and actual consideration for an eligible transfer. Although fixed annual and quarterly reviews are held for us here, nobody goes anywhere, especially for what most of us are down here for which is allegedly being gang leaders and influencers over a Security Threat Group(STG). Really we're just conspired against by those in general population who can't stand to live among a different mindset which is hated on by those who can't figure one out.

So the birds chirped and the masses spoke to get rid of yet another innocent man just trying to get back in count and enjoy a few contact visits. I was brought here in January and have kept to myself since then. I'm antisocial and goal oriented, silent to the land but outspoken and observant for the blind. So with that said, I've been silent to the land concept and scheme which revolves around my 90 thousand dollar a year head and stay here in the worst of the worst prisons. I've observed enough and must now speak out for those who are blind and out of sync with what's really transpiring behind the walls of Tamms.

On my first day here from being transferred I wasn't fed on the ride here so I spoke up and was told my next meal was going to be a 3-11 shift, but then I stood light headed till four that afternoon hungry from breakfast which was my last meal before waking up at 7 to be told to pack up what property never got sent here to my possessions. I got discriminated and retaliated against for something I wasn't even a part of. I only retrieved my personal electronics, clothing and food but all my legal mail and personal mail never showed up... "mistake", i think not.

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[Control Units] [Political Repression] [ULK Issue 18]
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Solitary for Studying instead of Fighting

Revolutionary Greetings,

...I would have responded much sooner to give notice to the fellow comrades at MIM(Prisons) that I received ULK 16. However, at the time I was forced to remain in solitary confinement for organizing an intellectual study group, which included members affiliated with organizations such as Bloods, 5 Percenters and Latin Kings. This oppressive institution of confinement and confusion charged me with "group demonstration." I am currently housed in Administrative Segregation for that charge and serving a 365 day sanction. But in any event, I received the ULK 16 and wish to be added to your mailing list.

Thank you very much!

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Control Units] [Federal] [ULK Issue 17]
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SMU Federal Forced Psychological Treatment Program


Do you realize, it is not wise, your actions are absurd!
You know from history, there is no mystery, haven't you heard!
It's been tried again and again, successful it has never been,
you want to change reality!
Only an idiot would believe it, your report concludes the
opposite, but it's your story!

To follow a flawed plan, of a foolish man, is no less idiotic!
Federal SMU, they don't have a clue, their leader must be
psychotic!
Contractors keep on bribing, congress keeps on buying, greed
takes over the atrocity!
Employees union denying, administration outright lying, sacrifice
integrity for the money!

International courts condemn the practice, you must be actors,
lied to congress to get your wish!
You claim it's beneficial, in actuality it's detrimental, how do
you explain this!
Community communication, through human isolation, the theory
is ridiculous!
Add antagonization, mental manipulation, makes the hypothesis
preposterous!
where'd you get that data, like indicting a potato, the truth
you will always withhold!
It's a program, run for the sons of sam, one of the biggest
bullshits ever told!

Your stated objective, must be defective, the strategy is
really old!
Institutionalization, of the entire nation, seems to be your goal!
A laboratory experiment, who gives a shit, about some
federal convicts!
Just some lab rats, Stanford's second act, use them
for your benefits!

So what if they go crazy, ignorant and lazy, signed the
consent to make it authorized!
The ones who try to get wise, hasten their demise, to
keep the others terrified!
Keep it on the low, nobody needs to know, the true nature
of your enterprise!
When you get exposed, the doors will be closed, now it's
you being ostracized!

What you don't understand is any flawed plan, that tortures
your fellow man, must come to an end!
Just as before, those that work the store, shall face
the forgiver of sin via pistol or pen!
Don't see the danger, that's the avenging angel, you
must have made a mistake!
Thought he was nice, better think twice, your soul
he comes to take!

Now that he is here, no need to shed a tear, your path
is set in stone!
No you can not hide, before the foolish man by your side,
now he has left you alone!
But you knew all along, that it was wrong, yes you
assisted in the deed!
I too cry, because now you lie, soulless, heartless,
fertilizer for planted seed!

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[Control Units] [National Oppression] [Nebraska] [ULK Issue 18]
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Isolation for Symbolic Drawing

As of this writing I've been confined to a special management unit because, of all things, a drawing. The artwork however is not the problem, but what it supposedly represents. From a larger standpoint the censoring of such work is another form of passive cultural destruction. What they can't control they restrict. What they don't understand, they tend to fear. And of course the "they" I'm speaking of are those upholding Amerikan values of whitewashed virtues.

The drawing was one I chose to adopt because of its high symbolism and esoteric meanings. But because this symbol was first used by the Nation of Gods and Earths (Five Percenters), a branch of the Nation of Islam, which is deemed a "security threat group" within penal institutions in six states, I was also branded a threat. I have no affiliation with that organization or any gang. I don't adhere to the NOGE's or NOI's religious dogmas. I do however share in their militant outlook and agree, for better, with what they've done to reeducate Black youth to the realities of this system. Because of this they, and anyone even duplicating a representative symbol of such organizations, are deemed a threat.

I must assume the motivation behind the government labeling a peaceful, cultural religious organization as a gang can be found in a real warranted fear of this group's objectives. To name just a few: its obvious work in enlightening individuals about this police state, its very successful strategy in reducing the recidivism rate, and most importantly empowering youth to be leaders and conduits of true culture in their families and communities. These priorities, and numerous others, are something to fear, especially when privatized institutions can prospectively lose millions annually.

The programming of the masses through corporate-owned media propaganda has not been done haphazardly. Sensationalism, violence, stereotypes and desensitization through repetition of crime and cop shows has not only controlled opinion but has thoroughly turned people into mindless robots, keeping the rich in control, middle class happy and poor discontented but helpless. Any organization that exposes this government for what it is and directs its energies to providing and teaching what true responsibility is to a community, is one I'd gladly be a part of.


MIM(Prisons) responds:
We agree with this prisoner that the criminal injustice system has a real reason to fear any organization that is educating people about the prison system, working to reduce recidivism, and organizing oppressed nations. These organizations threaten their use of the prison system as a tool of social control. And it is true that the media plays a major role in promoting imperialist policies to the Amerikan people. However, this is not the only reason the masses are passive. Amerikan citizens are acting in their economic self-interest when they play the role of happy robot and accept imperialist policies. See our article Amerikkkans: Oppressing for a Living in ULK 2.

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[Control Units] [Legal] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 17]
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Keep Fighting Gang Validation

I would like to comment on the "Legal Tips to Fight Gang Validation article that was printed in ULK 16. This comrade's tips are greatly appreciated and will help a lot of prisoners who are not familiar with our rights in the validation process. Here's the thing though, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is aware of such due process rights and we get a 114-D lockup order, a chance to reboot our validations, and to be put up for the Security Housing Unit (SHU) by classification. However, it's all just a big charade without any meaningful review given at any time and no matter what we say or what evidence we present to show the source items are insufficient, unreliable and can't be used as source items per the Title 15 and relevant authority, we are ignored at every level.

I 602ed [grieved] my validation and clearly showed why my validation is false on all levels but was just given a general response at the 2nd and 3rd levels, as all prisoners are, saying I'm wrong and my validation meets the department's requirements. CDCR refuses to follow their rules and is just rubber stamping prisoners' validations and going through the motions that are nothing more than a front in an attempt to dupe the courts into believing we got our due process.

Now in my optimistic attitude I thought the courts would see the arbitrariness of my validation and actually, you know, follow the law. But when I sent in my habeas corpus to the Lassen County Superior Court it took them all of 6 days to deny my petition without holding any hearings, which is the only way the court could have determined that my source items showed "some evidence" and were reliable as they stated. So I sent my habeas corpus to the court of appeals hoping I can get a real review, which I have yet to receive. My case is no different from all other prisoners being validated here at High Desert State Prison and it won't change until we shed light on this dark process. So my question is, what do we do when the officials and courts that swore to uphold the law are disregarding it without a second thought? We all will continue to 602 and petition the courts about our fake validations for they can't ignore us forever.

Another case that is vital for validated prisoners to get their hands on to study and apply to their situation is the Lira v. Cate, No. C-00-0905 S1 (N.D.Cal. Sept. 30, 2009) which is regarding a former validated prisoner who challenged his gang validation and lack of due process and won.


MIM(Prisons) responds: They can't ignore us forever if we team up. As pointed out, people are facing the same situations all over. Legal battles are an important tool in the struggle, but we know the whole system, including the courts, is set up to oppress certain groups. Part of these struggles is making connections and working together. With enough unity around the right issues our reliance on the courts becomes less and less necessary.

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[Control Units]
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Home Sweet Home

Go to your bathroom door and kick a hole in it. Now lock yourself in tight. Throw all your hygiene items, except a toothbrush and toothpaste tube, out the hole. Everything. Now go sit. The light switch disappears and the shower splits. A little speaker replaces them. It listens and sometimes speaks to you, laughs at you, taunts you, tells you your sufferings entertaining. You can't shut off the light with no switch and you'll have to shower using the sink. As you sit you hear ten or so voices outside the door. That's funny, sounds like that guy who robbed my mother's house last year and put her in a wheelchair after brutally beating and raping her. It can't be! Is that the judge that let the man run free too? And his twisted attorney? Why they here?

The worst enemies you could imagine, or put a face to, have just moved into your house as you sit in the bathroom. These people wish you harm of the utmost, and your death would be nothing but joy to them. All your food, and any mail you might be expecting, will have to come from these "squatter-enemies." Good luck!

To make matters worse, these enemies of yours control all your heating, air conditioning, water form your sink and to your toilet. And to top it off, if they see you sleeping they'll kick the door and yell at you, then laugh.

You can hear these men day and night right outside your door. You smell them Bar-B-Qing and smoking. You're hungry. You can hear these men torturing people. Sometimes other people in similar bathrooms next to yours are pulled out and placed in body bags. To these "squatter's" amusement.

A day passes this way.

"My god," you say "what have I done to deserve this?"
A week passes
You cry
A month
You attempt suicide but your vein closes up before death
A year

You are now talking to yourself and running around naked. You are convinced the food you seldom receive, that's halfway edible, is poisoned. As you eat the rotten "meat" your beard and mustache get in the way of the teeth chewing. You couldn't cry if life depended on it. And it used to. But you've forgotten why.

Two years.

You can't remember. You've forgotten. Forgotten what? You don' know. The "squatter-enemies" come around and you look at them. They look at you. They laugh. You start to laugh too. You forgot why. But you do.

Three years.

You sleep 20 hours a day. You can't help it. But your floor's clean. You keep it spotless. You don't know why. But you do. You're skinny. You've lost an easy 60 pounds. Your skin's turning yellow and your legs cramp up and atrophy. You don't want to die anymore. Why bother? You'd rather sleep and dream. The dreams are so vivid. More real than these walls.

Five years

You go home, you leave your bathroom, this year they tell you that. But why? Where do I go? I don't want to leave now. I like my tub and sink…


MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade vividly describes the torture that is found in control units in prisons across the U.$. The criminal injustice system uses the torture chambers as tools to break the will of politically conscious prisoners. It is one more weapon in the criminal injustice system's work of social control. For more information about these units and what you can do to join the fight, see our campaign against prison control units.

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[Control Units] [Campaigns] [High Desert State Prison] [California] [ULK Issue 16]
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Wrongful Validation in California Leads to Support for Grievance Campaign

I am a prisoner at High Desert State Prison (HDSP) and one of 60 prisoners who were wrongfully validated in August 2009. Z-unit is notorious for its disregard for prisoner's rights. Likewise HDSP and CDCR are disproportionately validating prisoners as gang members and associates, regardless of their actual affiliation.

In the past 3 years HDSP has validated over 110 "Hispanics" off of C-yard. Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) is very prejudice and racist here in HDSP. All validations here are racially motivated. All IGI workers here are white and the new Lieutenant is Mexican but wants to be white. The validation system is a sham. The most bothersome thing is in R&R the COs ask you who you roll with. If you say no one they'll ask you where you live and when you tell them they declare that you are a northerner or southerner just because of your region of habitation.

CDCR validation procedures are vague and overly broad. HDSP is not following court orders nor administrative regulations. Information from informants and debriefers is being taken and used as 100% fact. Some of us are issued validation points for a drawing. However we are not given any notice of what is considered gang related. So how are we supposed to know what is against the rules? Instead this is being utilized to validate us and confine us to the Security Housing Unit (SHU) for life. CDCR is using "kites" [written notes] to validate us. If a prisoner is caught with your general information, CDCR uses that as a validation point, saying you committed "gang activity." How do you get a validation point for someone having your name!? Anybody has access to your information as COs post this info on our doors. This whole process is ambiguous.

CDCR has a motivation for all these unjust validations. On January 25th, 2010, California legislators passed a new law (Senate Bill xxx18) in regards to new credit earning for prisoners. General Population prisoners are now receiving half time credits. While SHU and ASU have to do 100% of the time they were sentenced. CDCR is wrongfully validating prisoners as a tactic to ensure their job security. Many general population prisoners will be getting kicked out because of the overcrowding issues but ASU and SHU prisoners will be stuck with the COs needing to guard them. It costs $50,000 to house a SHU prisoner so of course the "Green Wall" wants to line their pockets with "Green Money."

There are many inhumane conditions of confinement here in Z Unit. Prisoners are kept in their cells 22 hours a day with no windows, TVs or radios. Prisoners are not given adequate winter clothing. It rains, snows, and an average temperature stays below 30 degrees and the only things we get is a jacket. Prisoners are forced to strip buck naked in the snow and freezing temperatures. Lastly, staff complaints and grievances are often trashed or just not answered. In ULK 15 (July August 2010) your feedback to a prisoner regarding grievances not being handled property was to get involved in a petition campaign for grievances. I want to get involved along with other prisoners here! I look forward to your response.

MIM(Prisons) adds: CDCR has a long history of ignoring grievances and it is in this state that the grievance campaign started. It has now expanded to many other states. Contact us for more information and to get a copy of the petition for your state (or to get a generic petition that you can customize for your state).

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[Organizing] [Control Units] [High Desert State Prison] [California]
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Control Units No Better than Zoo for Animals

I am writing in hopes of bringing awareness to your followers regarding some of the injustices being forced upon prisoners housed within the administrative segregation units(ASU) in Z-unit. The circumstances below have unfortunately become the norm. Z-unit is officially referred to as the zoo due to the fact that it is a habitat fit for animals. We don't expect five star treatment because we are in prison. We know this and we are grateful for all that comes our way.

A major issue around here is mail. It is often late and quite frequently lost. Pictures, books, and magazines tend to often come up missing, but we are usually not provided with notices of disapproval. The thing is, when the mailroom confiscates something as contraband, they send you a notice of disapproval that allows you the opportunity to send home or donate whatever it is. So if the mailroom does not enclose this form in your envelope, then it is not them who steals the stuff, right? This issue is currently being reviewed at the director of CDCR's level of the 602 inmate appeals process in Sacramento, California.

High Desert State Prison(HDSP) is located in the mountains of Northern California. The winters are long and unforgiving. Temps often drop to 20F with gnarly winds, snow and ice. Since we are not provided with adequate winter clothing to defend against the literally numbing cold, we are forced to choose between freezing for three hours on the days they do choose to run yard or stay in our cells month after month. This too is being looked into by means of the grievance process.

HDSP is an unrelenting environment. Z-Unit is entirely worse. The way it was designed deprives one of all stimulation. The architects sure did a good job on designing an oppressive atmosphere. There is no window to the outside, simply a mere slit in the roof that leads to another skylight twenty feed higher. Looking out of the cell door all one can see is an all white wall five feet in front of you, the only contact you have is that of your cell mate, but that quickly becomes stale and strained.

TVs and radios have been authorized by the state since 2005, allowing purchases by inmates for entertainment purposes, but this has yet to be put into effect by the administration here in High Desert. Inmates who are fortunate enough to purchase books, magazines, newspapers etc., often have to wait upwards of a month after they are here to actually receive them. And when they're finally passed out, all reading material gets circulated throughout the entire tier. To say the least, we put everything to good use when we have it.

In spite of that, at one point, we were provided one book a week (better than nothing, I'm not going to front) by means of a tiny book cart. But that has ceased as of June 3 and to top it off, we are provided a slap in the face with two measly cross-words each week.

Without stimulation, internal anguish tends to set in. It has been clinically proven and well documented that in as little as two weeks in this type of environment, the average individual shows signs of stress, depression, anxiety, frustration, PTSD, anti-social symptoms and SHU syndrome. These conditions and the mental impact/ side effects they entail are the major cause of violence, both self-inflicted and in-cell combat. The mental imbalance is such that in September or October 2009 an individual committed suicide in his cell. In December 2009 another prisoner did the same, just to give a couple examples.

The impact this setting imposes has been acknowledged by the administration, for they have hired "psych-techs" who walk down the tier twice each day every day. How much does each psych-techs cost the state each year?

Prisoners have exhausted the appeals process and will continue on the right path to keep doing so, however, we are met with resistance at every level. More often than not, when you have proper grounds for a grievance, your appeal will somehow get lost. And when you write internal affairs asking them to submit it for you so that it won't be "lost," the warden will inevitably get at you letting you know that if you go that route then your grievance will not be processed. But it never gets processed anyway. Real fucking jerks, I know, not only this, but due to the insufficient nature and complete disregard on appeal coordinator's behalf, there is currently a lawsuit pending against the state. What can I say? We're trying.

Frustration got to the point that on June 14 and 18 about 35-40 cells boarded up to get cell extracted so they could voice their grievance. Unfortunately, we must expose ourselves to such gruesome protests, yet we are still not acknowledged. Moreover, on June 14-15 and again on Aug 2-9, prisoners housed in Z-unit went on hunger strikes. It seems like the light at thee end of the tunnel cannot be seen.

Many of the prisoners housed in Z Unit (about 80%) are awaiting transfers to other segregation units; however, some of these individuals have been enduring such dire circumstances upwards of two years.

To date, we have a select few of us on a writing campaign. Our object is ultimately to get our voice heard. So far, we've had a little success. Primarily, the Prisoner Activist Resource Center(PARC) is an organization currently working close with the prisoners housed in Z-Unit. Earlier this year, they led an investigation of this prison, but now they've planned one specifically for Z-Unit. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

This investigation has been published by SJRA Advocate. Also the AFSC has an open investigation on this prison's now obsolete Behavioral Management Unit (BMU), the same setting just a fancier title. The BMU investigation has been published in two newspapers: the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee. We are hoping to get Z-unit added to that investigation.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [North Carolina] [ULK Issue 17]
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Torture in SHU for Being a Crip

I just got a letter from you a couple days ago and I think that y'all movement is really what I am into and what I stand for and that is putting an end to all oppression. I am locked in prison at this moment and I am also a part of a gang that Tookie Williams put together, which is the real reason why he got the death penalty.

I'm in a Security Housing Unit (SHU) right now for watching a fight between two prisoners. Just because I'm in the system as a Crip they took me to SHU where I have been going on two years. A couple of days ago I was maced for not letting the CO throw a Rasta Crown away. I asked them to let me send it home if I could not have it but they told me that sending it home was not an option. So I told them to go get the higher rank. The assistant unit manager told me that I have no rights to be requesting to talk to anyone, so they left my cell door and came back a few minutes later with 8 or 9 COs threatening to come in my cell to beat me up and spray me with mace if I did not give up my Rasta Crown. So I told them that if they were going to throw it away then I was not giving it to anyone and they popped the trap on my cell door open and shot mace in my cell and left me in there where I couldn't breath. Then after six minutes in a cell with a lot of mace everywhere they took me out and stripped my cell to the point that I had not even a roll of restroom paper. They left me like this for 72 hours; no socks on my feet, nothing to keep me from being cold. It got to the point where I was throwing up blood so I put in a sick call. When the time came for me to see the doctor they would not let me go.

I will not stand and let these COs think that they are getting the best of me. These people who say they are here to stop the crimes or violence behind the wall are really the ones who are beating on people and doing anything to oppress. And they are the justice system, prison system. They hate to see a Muslim, Rasta, gang banger sticking together to overcome this oppression that these people are coming at us with. They hate to see a Black man reading a book about Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party or anything to learn about your Black history. They are willing to do whatever to make you dumb so that you will never know about where you came from.

The only people in SHU are Black and Latino; no white people are in SHU here.


MIM(Prisons) responds: As we wrote in a response in ULK 16, Tookie was murdered because he was a Crip and he truly reformed himself to serve his people.


Related Articles:
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[Control Units] [Louisiana]
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Signing petition to shut down all control units

I agree that control units are not productive means of rehabilitating prisoners for productive living in society, but do the exact opposite of their original purpose. Control units starve life mentally and physically, creating an insensible life. These control units create this insensible life by: 23 hour lock down (sometimes more), no religious programs, no school of any type of educational purpose. Maximum $10 store (no food products), one roll of toilet paper every two weeks and anything else punishable and inhumane the system can get away with such as excessive temperatures, followed by abuse of authority.

By no means is this program of life in control units to help a person be better than when they entered. I know this ala because I am a victim.

I condemn these control units and demand the united states to eliminate these unconstitutional disciplinary control units.

MIM(Prisons) adds: See our web page on prison control units for more information on this campaign.

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