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Under Lock & Key

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[Control Units] [Pennsylvania]
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Virginia's supermax at Red Onion State Prison

This letter is to inform you that I too was an inmate in Red Onion Supermax prison when it first opened. I too witnessed the horrors that occurred there in the name of the state of Virginia, and this barbaric device that this country has embraced throughout this land called Super-Max's.

There are a couple more facts I would like to pass on to your readers, I was blessed when I was able to read the copy [of Under Lock and Key] that I did, for it was passed on to me with knowledge I was there [in Red Onion]. I could not, in all my self-conscious, sit back knowing the information I do, to think "it's not my problem", "I'm not there no more" to abandon my brothers there. You must get it out of your head, it is not just Black, white, brown, yellow, that matters, because if you follow that line of thinking then you have already lost the battle. To divide is to conquer, and that is just the play they did to us. For I not only am a convict, I have lived through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in and out from these walls. I was there during the riots in the system to get the things to better our way of life in here, only to watch these "inmates" come in here and waste the blood that was shed during these uprisings.

In all my time I have never seen such barbaric living conditions within walls. Sure it was brand new, clean and good food, but the threat of someone shooting you for something as simple as turing around to go back to your cell because you forgot your lighter, to light a smoke. Anything at any time could get you shot. "Just being Black," "a white dude getting along with the brothers" (you were hated by these hillbillies), to come to someone's aid, better not even think about it.

Remember that the DOC of the state of Virginia put this prison so far west in the state it was nearly impossible for one from the Richmond, Virginia beach area to come that distance to visit. This area they put these two prisons in were at one time coal mining regions, well those fell through, and since the new economical booster for any depressed area are prisons, they put two of them there. These folks know nothing but coal mining and hunting. Now they put them in charge of these prisoners, give them guns, and tell them if they get out of line shoot them. And they took that to heart and opened up.

There were no jobs, library, law library, schooling, trades of any kind. They opened these prisons before they were ready for a safe operating condition.

I tell people here and they look at me like I am insane. Try to make these people believe that this is going on in this country, and they laugh at you. I start bringing out the paper work to prove my point.

Comrades understand there are forces in play that would like nothing more than to lock every one of us away, and they are doing it state by state. Pennsylvania has its own "Super Max" called Greene County. They abuse them down there too, but no guns as of yet.

The beast that ran the Virginia DOC, Ronald Angelone, was the same beast in Nevada's DOC, from what I have gathered he got run out of there. This was done with the blessing of then-governor George Allen. When we first started reporting these conditions to whom ever we could, no one believed us, not even some of our own family. The only one who listened was the United Nations Human Rights Watch Group. Even these folks got run off the property. This is the new vicious and barbaric way they want to do things in here and most other places. In PA the Greene County Super Max has a history of inmate abuses. Sgt. Grainer, yes the leader involved in the Abu Gharaib prison abuses in Iraq, was the lead abuser in the RHU units at Greene County's Super Max in the state of Pennsylvania.

But since he was not charged in state court, and resigned on his own, you only heard this reported one time in the very beginning of the news reports about the abuses over in Iraq, (hush hush hush) never to hear another word about it again. But I was there and I remember. This goes on in every prison system in this country.

Do not think it does not affect you because it does, every time you read a story and think it can't happen to me, I am in a safe place, remember the only qualification that got me sent to Red Onion was I had a life sentence. Nothing more nothing less. Now in PA's DOC they got a new plan, lifers will be allowed to work only in approved areas off the block (cell house). Every system is so full of small timers that the older lifer prisons are being overrun with short timers who do not care and do not see what is coming down the road right into their faces. There is no way to turn this around unless we protest in a nationwide effort. Could you imagine the impact on this system, and the world reports that every prison in the country is on some sort of protest strike.

As I have known for years this is the new beginning of something even worse. Think big brother isn't watching? That is because you are too busy crying me! me! me! We got brothers of all peoples being beat, killed, and abused each and every day, in every state of this country. Poor health care, mental care, and then they want to disrespect your people when they come to visit you, to even abuse them. They are arresting our people right in the visitors parking lot for violations, all to discourage the family units from staying together. When are you going to raise your voice and make a stand? This is just the beginning of horrors to come, and believe me they are coming!

Remember when they decided to take DNA from the sex offenders, for the protection of our children and females? Well then they said why not lifers, how about violent offenders, we might well as get all felons, now it comes to the point where if you have committed any crime they want DNA. Have you been watching of paying attention to the news, they can get your peoples DNA to get you. There is no end to their madness, the new thing is putting electronic taggs in the children, next is the sex offenders, then lifers and every convicted felon, and parolees too Must I go on? The lesson is to open your eyes, as long as they have you divided into sub-peoples, whites, Blacks, reds, and browns, and fighting and killing each other. Then they have nothing to worry about for all your hatred is directed at each other instead of at them where it should be, they would be in fear if that was the case.

There are no truer words, it have been practiced by the peoples of every country, race, in war and out of war, throughout time: divide and conquer. It's us against them, you must take a stand, make a choice, make up your own mind. Stop the madness of going against each other. It's time to wake up brothers! We don't want to be divided, we want to be united! It's the only way, or the blood and lives given by those who came before, were given in vain.

If you have any questions, new information about Red Onion, or want to put someone in touch with me such as an attorney who is defending something there, please feel free to contact me here. I know it is very difficult for attorneys to get in there to see their clients.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Nevada]
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Ely State Prison: Are Officials the cause for Prison crimes?

Nevada recently passed new "No Smoking" laws, and Ely State Prion (ESP) is using these laws to say that prisoners can't smoke in their cells. Because of this, they now ignore the classification procedure that does not allow smokers and non-smokers to be placed in the same cell. Before the rule that has abolished smoking in the cells was implemented ESP released a memo listing outrageous sanctions that will be imposed on prisoners who refused to accept obvious enemies as cellmates. Due to fear of the sanctions, prisoner refusing cellmates has ceased in large measure.

I've been placed in the hole for staging a protest because they put me in the cell with a smoker. I went to my 1-hour yard and refused to return to my cell until they moved me I was charged with G1: Disobedience of an order of any correctional employee or anyone who has authority to supervise inmates in work or other special assignments; G14: Failure to follow posted rules and regulations; and a MJ28: Organizing, encouraging or participating in a work stoppage or other demonstration or practice. I was sanctioned with five days DD., which means five days in a bare cell It is a psychological attack; an assault on the mind to drive prisoners crazy.

A lot of conflicts between cellmates, many of which result in new criminal cases, are a direct result of negligent classification practices. They are putting Bloods and Crips and other rival gang members in the cell with one another, smoker with non-smokers, etc.

Although they have always put smokers in cells with nonsmokers, now they believe it is legitimate to do so. This new practice once again shifts a heavy burden on prisoners, particularly non-smokers. We all know that a smoker will smoke, and he has a right to do so. Yet, if a non-smoker complains that his cellmate is smoking, then he's snitching! This is exactly what the Senior C/O told me to get me to call off my protest. Since ESP's interpretation of the new laws means that it is illegal to smoke in the cell, then non-smokers are snitching if they complain. The law bans smoking in certain public places and areas, and ESP extends it to inmate cells. I beg to differ. A prisoner's cell is not a public place because he lives there. It is his residence, his home. As such, prisoners have a right to smoke in their cells. Prisoner smokers should maintain this view and protest. ESP is trying to make prisoner smokers sit in their cells for 23-hours a day without smoking. And as EPS prisoners know all too well: there are more 24 hours days than 23 because we don't always get our 1-hour yard.

In order to stop any Uprising and Protest ESP will employ the same tactics they did to get prisoner to stop refusing unwanted cellmates - suppression. Every time a non-smoker complains, the smoker will receive a Notice of Charges (NOC). since no one wants to be labeled a snitch, non-smoking prisoners will stop complaining But, as with so many other conflicting classifications being forced to live with one another, it will manifest as fights and stabbings between cellmates, which will send a new wave of criminal cases to White Pine County Courthouse and fill its calendar.

Why is ESP so content with forcing mixed classifications to live with one another at the very risk of our lives? Instead of being responsible mediators they implement rules and policies that make them systematic instigators of the blood that is shed by ESP prisoners.

Prisoners being beaten and stabbed and catching new cases are the unspoken affects overcrowding is having on us. Because of the overcrowding population, classification is creating rules and policies that relieve them of responsibility so they can put any prisoner anywhere; otherwise, ESP would be gridlocked. However, ESP's whole administration is rigid. There are numerous ways through which they can rectify overcrowding. ESP has 8 units. Units 1-4 are lock-down units, and 5-7 are general population units, but with the exception of few "privileges", units 5-7 are just like the lock-down units. Unit is the only open unit and it is the workers Unit. Simply put, if you are not in Unit 8 you are locked down 23 hours a day.

Caseworkers often tell us that the only way to get transferred is by first going to Unit 8 first. However, since the eligible prisoners from Units 5-7 are trying to get to one Unit, somebody must be left behind. There are too many prisoners trying to get to one Unit. So, discrimination and favoritism ensues. If a prisoner catches a new case while here ESP that puts a five year hold on him, meaning he can not transfer for at least five years, assuming he has five years left on his prison term. If a prisoner has recently arrived and has a life sentence, or more than one life sentence, he must do at least 1-2 years on each life. If you are a Mexican, you are not allowed to go to Unit 8 at all, but must remain locked-up until they decide to transfer you. Some prisoners, like escapees, they say, may never transfer. My list goes on.

The point is that ESP has all these policies, including the acceptance of non-violent, petty theft prisoners into this Maximum Security Prison, to make it seem like they are tough on us. Instead of rearranging how they determine who to accept, what cases to put before the courts, how long prisoners must stay before they are eligible for transfer, etc. They just make up new policies and guidelines and force prisoners to stay with each other, regardless if they are rival enemies, smoker and nonsmokers, etc. Should they abandoned some of the foregoing policies so that the ebb and flow of prisoners through ESP can run more smoothly, it would appear that they are growing soft. So, they neglect classification procedures, throw us in the cell with anybody, and let us kill each other. Then, it appears that we are just being criminals, which the public expects, and they continue to look like the good guys who are tough on crime. Yet, many of the crimes committed at ESP are not due to prisoners willingly engaging in criminal acts, but because of the negligence of a poor administration.

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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [California] [ULK Issue 3]
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On lockup for filing lawsuit

Once again I'm back in ad-seg, this time my lock up order reads: "for allegations of staff misconduct." The smoke screen justification for locking me up they say is "to protect the integrity of the investigation." But it's clear that my current isolation is just retaliation for my jailhouse lawyer activities. Just recently in December the U.$. marshals were up here issuing service of a summons order for several high ranking Salinas Valley State Prison officials and some of the low level guns, to appear and answer the civil rights complaint I filed against them. They violated their own United Snakes constitution, in 14 different ways, against several of us beginning in 2005 all the way until 2007.

The complaint just passed district screening in November, therefore that initial battle was won. The officials violated the 1st Amendment, in regards to our freedom of speech, by requiring prisoners up here to participate in the threat assessment interviews, after any rumor of a threat on staff, or any other incident that was transpiring on the yard or at this prison. When some of us refused to answer any of their questions or sign any documents (they had put together a promise to behave chrono) we were removed from general population and isolated in the institution's Behavior Modification Unit (BMU) and stripped of all our so-called privileges such as canteen, packages, phone calls, contact visits and yard - indefinitely. Of course there was no rule or regulation in the Title 15 to support the administration's arbitrary actions. So they made one up and deemed it confidential, D.O.M. #55015, unlock protocol. Cold thing is the office of administrative law never heard of this regulation, but that wasn't a surprise to us because the officials kept switching up their methods of repression.

After they saw nothing was working to break our resolve (about 10 of us on the yard who took part in the resistance), the administration began libeling us. They issued out 128s indicating, by our refusal to assist staff in their investigation, that we were actively promoting "organized criminal/gang/disruptive group activity." These assertions were ludicrous as all of the individuals involved were from different geographical locations and there were both Blacks and Latinos who choose, as a matter of principal, that they weren't going to assist the pigs. This is a political belief - that's one of the 1st Amendment claims I presented, but on that one there's still research that needs to be done to see the extent to which our political rights apply in the prison settings.

I believe when it's all said and done they will definitely have to be held accountable for the 8th Amendment violation in denying us yard - fresh air and exercise opportunities for long periods of time. One brotha - struggling with us was denied for 2 years from 2005 to 2007. My celly was denied for 18 months. Me myself I was denied for the shortest period of time which was just a little over 6 months. Still and yet the Supreme Court deemed denial for even 6 weeks cruel and unusual punishment years ago.

As a prisoner in the 21st century there's a clear and present danger of losing everything that was previous gained through struggle in the prison movements of the past. If we would have the support of the majority or even 2/3rds, I don't believe the administration would have even attempted to push a line on us like that.

It's unfortunate, but many prisoners here are unaware of the oppressor's true reason for forcing the interviews and forcing us to sign the document. The interview in and of itself is a guise, to create suspicion and engender more disunity than there already is amongst the general population. The officials created a rule requiring everybody to come out of their cells one by one and enter the guards office - a dark room - and answer questions concerning any rumors or racial and gang conflicts, so on and so forth. This disguises and provides comfort for their informants.

By 95% of the population participating in this, it's clear that we're in a state of emergency as a people and that's just from a conscience perspective. From a legal perspective, when individuals sign that chrono, it's a waiver of rights and it absolves the administration of liability. It serves another purpose, for it's also a contract promising to behave. With your signatures it justifies them hitting us with indeterminate SHU based on a violation of that contract. The people who have us enslaved like this are wickedly wise and constantly look for new and improved ways to play us against ourselves. The people tend to lose sight of that and it pains me deeply to see the extent to which we are allowing ourselves to be manipulated. This is my reason for fighting through. I don't so much mind the repression, now based on what I know and now understand that the cause is in righteousness. With that said I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

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[Control Units] [Texas] [ULK Issue 3]
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Segregation and Classification in Texas

I would like to congratulate you and your staff, MIM. My respects go to each and every one who finds themselves in the struggle.

I just finished reading some of the statements and ways of living by other prisoners in similar situations to myself in Texas. This injustice prison and freeworld system goes out of its way to get at target minorities and their peers, labeling us security threat groups. Some of these captives have never been in general population and get segregated from population as soon as they hit the prison system.

I am going on 2.5 years in TDCJ and out of that, one year has been spent in administrative segregation with 18 more years to go, with no record of disciplinary cases or proper counsel to represent me in defense or to prove otherwise.

When I first got segregated in April 2007, I was on Polunsky Unit. There, Building Major John Werner segregated me for supposedly stock piling weapons. He did not give me and several people who were also put in ad-seg for the same reason, any kind of proper hearing or any kind of counsel to represent me and help with my defense. Two weeks after, we got moved to different units so now we can not prepare a proper defense together and build a successful civil suit on the state of Texas for allowing unjust placement in ad-seg.

Out of all this I was placed in ad-seg with a label that will segregate prisoners for long periods of time - security threat group (STG). I went into the STG manual and did not find the fraternity I am associated with there. But still my review papers state clearly that I am an STG. I fought that through step ones and grievances and all I have been given is the run around. But on my I-169 review paper stating reason for ad-seg, it states "threat to the physical safety of others and/or the order and security of the institution." Once again I wrote a step one requesting evidence and witnesses and counsel for proper defense and was denied. I have repeatedly submitted grievances requesting information and review. I am currently awaiting an answer and if I do not get a proper and legit answer I shall do my duty as a revolutionary and file a civil suit.

I bring this up because it is not just I who is being played but several tens of hundreds of should be revolutionary comrades. The Texas system has a program that is called GRAD (Gang Renunciation and Dissociation) that one must go through in order to be placed back into population. The Texas Senate sponsored the program instead of funding educational programs. The majority of people segregated are Latinos (90%). Some of these men have no education or way of knowing if their rights are being violated.

Texas prisoners confined in ad-seg are deprived of virtually all human contact and mental stimuli. We are housed alone and remain in our cells 23 hours a day. But lately we have been housed 24/7 due to shortage of officers. We have no access to educational, vocational, or other rehabilitative programs and we are provided with only limited access to legal materials, visitation and other privileges.

What's more, Texas prisoners placed in ad-seg for gang affiliation are reviewed just once a year and because we are deemed members of a security threat group, the State classification committee has only one option, to continue confinement in ad-seg.

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[Abuse] [Control Units] [California]
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Green Wall at California prison

The conditions in prison need to improve. This place, Pleasant Valley State Prison, has what is called the "Green Wall." It is a type of gang, a "code of silence" within the ranks of the staff (officers). When an inmate does something wrong that warrants negative attention from staff, inmates such as myself are what they call "dealt with" privately. Inmate's are at times taken out of the view of other inmates so they can receive private punishment, such as being beaten and deprived of their rights.

Inmates here are treated like dogs that wouldn't obey their masters, when inmates don't do exactly what the officers want, the alarms go off and that inmate is taken away to a private area for punishment - rules do not exist!

The "color of authority" and rules that staff were signed up to follow when they first got their job, does not exist most of the time, which makes this place very dangerous. Receiving medical attention sometimes can take weeks, such as seeing the dentist or optometrist. If you have bad vision, it is currently an 8 month waiting list for glasses, which is not good if you have bad vision. We are now charged $5 for all medical requests - however, we are not charged $5 for psych visits.

The waiting list to work is now taking up to two years, once you arrive at prison you are placed on a waiting list which consists of over 800 to 1000 others. Another thing is we in the "hole" (ad-seg) are suppose to get 10 hours of yard per week, we now only come outside once every two weeks for 2.5 hours. We are kept under lock and key almost the full duration of our stay. If you are in the hole for disciplinary reasons, you end up staying back here for one year to three years, depending on how serious the offense. Like myself, I'm currently waiting for transfer to a SHU. I was given an 18 month SHU term for "battery on staff". If an inmate just touches (not hits) any staff member, you are given three times the punishment as if you really harm them. If we stabbed or beat up an inmate, we are given less time than just bumping into any staff - it's totally outrageous.

The rehabilitation of this place has been void for over 20 years, since I came in 1988. I was arrested back in 1988 and have been to every hardcore level 4 that CDC has, and this place is the worst of all of them, because of the Green Wall they got here. We prisoners do not get fair treatment at all. This prison system doesn't work - there is absolutely zero rehabilitation whatsoever. No one in here truly wants to help us understand why we did our crimes to begin with - it's all about keeping us alive so CDC can collect money for each one of us - it's a factor, period.

Just two months ago I was beaten so severely that two of my ribs were fractured. I was put in a cell without a mattress, blanket, toilet paper, etc, for three days, and was not permitted to see a nurse/doctor for 11 days. I just laid there having trouble breathing/sleeping, etc. Finally they took me to committee in front of the warden, where I mentioned what they did to me, and about my ribs. The next day I got taken to the ER for X-rays - they confirmed my #8/#9 ribs were fractured. I'm an indigent inmate (lifer) who wants to file a lawsuit, but I don't have any money or a lawyer on my side to help me. So I just sit in this hole while they get away with breaking my ribs - it's not right.

I will close with this bit of advice, CDCR is not at all what the public thinks it is, nor is it any form of rehabilitation for inmates - once you're inside these walls you are their puppet, period. This is not any way to spend your life - it's a world within a world - and CDCR always gets their way.

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[Censorship] [Control Units] [California]
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High Desert ban's MIM, falsifies reports on prisoners

Hello there, it's been a long time since I wrote. I have been looking for your address for a long time now and just my luck someone happened to have it. Well please, let's catch up!

First of all, I don't know if you knew, but High Desert State Prison has put you on its black list. We can not receive your monthly newsletter anymore (which I always love to read). We both know why they banned you from this prison. High Desert is so corrupt, they fear that through you we prisoners could shine a light on them. Also, the town of Susanville, which is where almost all of the Correction Officers (COs) are from are majority white and is a tightly knit community. Almost everyone who works here knows one another or are family.

Now I am in the hole for a so-called attempted murder on a peace office (that's what High Desert State Prison is saying). I've been here in the hole for the last year now and have been retaliated against. I've been starved, made to sleep in the cold, made to live in unsanitary conditions, I was forced to live in inhuman conditions. All my mail was being thrown away (incoming and outgoing). I have complained and all this prison would do is an inquiry.

I also have complained about COs falsifying reports and doing a lot of guess work and false charging me. High Desert State Prison knows that this whole thing happened because one of their COs assaulted a prisoner who was in handcuffs and in the program office. When prisoners tried to ask what happened this same CO assaulted a prisoner again.

The CO only received a redness to his cheeks and he refused medical aid. This CO walked off the yard on his own and also before he walked off assaulted prisoners who were on the ground and handcuffed. I have complained about these assaults, but High Desert State Prison is trying to cover up for their COs and also filing false reports.

You could read the reports and see that COs are making things up as they go. All reports don't make sense or are all contradictory to each other. High Desert has filed my case to the DA and even the DA did not believe that an attempted murder had happened.

The DA did pick it up as a battery though. High Desert would not investigate their own. I have tried and tried to complain about it, but my complaints never got answered. Also High Desert staff are doing a lot of these attempted assault claims and beating up prisoners. 602s are not to be given back to prisoners until their time limits are overdue so prisoners can not continue their complaints.

Well, as I can not receive your newsletter, I hope that you will print this in your newsletter and shine a little light on this place.

I will keep up the struggle.

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[Control Units] [California] [ULK Issue 2]
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California housing integration an excuse to lock more prisoners in control units

What is the effect of a new section, 3005, 3269.1, 3315 and 3341.5 of Article 1.6 of Subchapter 4, Chapter 1 of the Title 15, Division 3 of the CCR (California Code of Regulations) that will be felt by California's prison population?

This question, which may confuse your average low down convict held captive by this imperialist state, will be answered by one who is incarcerated and both interested and caring about the well being of this prison society, like myself. Sec 3005, 32691, 3315 and 3341.5 are all sections of the California Department of Corrections (CDC) Title 15 Rules and Regulations that have recently been changed, to implement the department's new behavior control tactic of integrated housing. This is a plan that the secretary of CDC, Mr James E. Tilton published to the public on the date of June 18, 2007 and will attempt to prescribe into prison law in the following manner:

* The insurance that race will not be used as the primary determining factor in housing the department's inmate population. All inmate housing assignments shall be made on the basis of available information, individual case factors, and objective criteria, to implement an integrated housing plan. It is the intent of the CDC to ensure that housing practices are made consistent with the safety, security, treatment, and rehabilitative needs of the inmate, as well as the safety and security of the public, staff, and institutions.

* The housing plan involves an interview with the inmate, a review of the inmate's central file, and a review of all available and relevant information. The housing plan will use all available information to determine an inmate's eligibility for integration and will assign inmates to available and appropriate bed based on their integrated eligibility.

* Implementation of the integrated housing plan will occur over several phases. The first phase will occur in 2007 and will consist of the development of an integrated coding system that will be used to identify each inmates eligibility to integrate. The actual implementation of integrated housing will commence in 2005 at designated facilities such as reception center, and then be phased in statewide commencing in 2009, over a period of several years.

Now I understand that our people of society may take this plan and the implementation of this plan as something greatly needed in California prisons. That is the reason for the CDC claiming that this plan was designed because integration in other states has assisted in the management of gangs and disruptive groups and reduced racial tension. Integration of housing in other states has also assisted with breaking down prejudicial barriers, perceptions and attitudes, promoting increased tolerance of others reflecting community norms.

Wow! With that type of talk you would think that the department is actually making an attempt at changing California's wicked prison system. Yea right! Take it from a California prisoner, looks can be deceiving. In digging deeper into the core of this matter, one may retrieve some very disturbing news for California's prisoners. The integrated housing plan is a trap and nothing but it. Although the CDC states that the plan is designed with an overarching strategy for safe implementation and not forced integration, they also state the options for inmates who fail to comply, such as rule violation reports and alternative housing placement.

Non-compliance will be rewarded with a RUR-115 or a stay in either ASU or the SHU until they agree to integrate. Refer to new Title 15 subsection 3269.1 or 3005(c) - It's not a forced integration, but if you refuse you will be labeled as a non-compliant inmate and dealt with accordingly. Wouldn't you say that's real contradictory? I know I would. But then again I'd say everything that the CDC does and says is contradictory! CDC claims this effort and plan is intended to control gang and race wars, but California is one of the most gang infested states there is. About 90% of California prisoners are gang affiliated. [MIM notes: we can not verify this statistic, but we do know that the prison classifies many prisoners as gang affiliated upon entry into the prison simply based on their nationality and birthplace. The prisons then promote tension and conflict between these groups, making it dangerous for them to live in the same areas.]

The department claims that its response to the non-compliant inmates will be the placement of these prisoners into control units known as ASU and SHU housing. But one may fail to realize that the Department of CDCR is limited on its ASU and SHU housing bed and space, therefore they have nowhere to place the masses of those who refuse to integrate. Or at least that's what they tell us.

California state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger just recently asked the U.$ Supreme Court for permission and funds to add a couple thousand beds and add on to some of the institutions already built. The CDC knows that with all the prison politics and prison gang warfare, there's no way in hell that prisoners will accept an integrated housing plan. At least not on the level fours (Maximum Security yards). Therefore they look good to the public when they come saying they need funds to build more control units for the non-compliant inmates who are too violent for general population. When in all actuality what they're really saying is, give us some money and we'll use the integrated housing plan as our front and reason to remove all the real brothers who are willing to go toe to toe with them for the cause, from the general population. See they want lay down yessa masters like Jessie Jackson on the yards, so they don't have to do their jobs and still get paid. So they can shit all over the prison population and not be held accountable for it. If they lock up all the non-compliant inmates then they don't have to worry about brothers being on their heads for them to do the things in which they are paid to do. They don't have to worry about so called gangsters and thugs uniting together as a convict structure like in the 60s and 70s with our comrades the Soledad Brothers.

The effect that the integrated housing plan will have on the California prisoners, is the destruction and I mean the total destruction of prison civilization. We think we got it bad now. Let them come with this plan of integration in 2009 and truly lock all those who refuse in the SHU indeterminately. We are going to see how bad prison can really get.

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[Education] [Control Units] [California]
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California uses gang label to stop activist prisoners

I must say that I am indeed a prisoner who is against the hegemonic domination of Amerika over nations and I believe imperialism is the primary struggle to fight again. I believe that the Amerikkkan injustices system is the most fascistic aspect in amerikkkan society and is a tool perpetuating national oppression and social control. I indeed want to see stronger organization and unity against Amerikkkan domination. The USW seems to be a major need and must to the brothas and sistas locked behind these bars nationwide. Because I indeed understand that knowledge is power, and without it you are weak. And right now the prisoners of California are real weak (but only to the oppression of this enslavement). We need real live educational resources that'll teach the forwardance of this struggle against the "free and almighty land of Amerikkka," and you can beta believe they aren't going to give it to us. That's why we have to take it and pass it on, and enforce this revolutionary lit at all times, while at the same, realizing the following.

It's known to the mass populations of California Department of Corrections that IGI (Institution Gang Investigator) and ISU (Institution Security Unit) are not trying to let prisoners become educated on a real level, because it'll have us all united, and we know here in California that's against everything they stand for (which is the oppression of us and all our families.) California has a Gang Validation law that gives these two prison agencies the authority to hand out indeterminate SHU terms to prisoners who they believe to be involved in a prison gang (such as the Black Guerrilla Family, Nazi Low Riders, Mexican Mafia, etc.)

Take notice that I said "believe", versus "are", in a prison gang. Now these are indeed actual prison gangs that are still in existence to this day, but they are also labels placed on inmates who are politically active in trying to educate the general population. With one of the set labels, they are justified (on paper) when they throw you under the prison (indeterminately) and forget about you. If resources provide it, look up the case of Steve M. Castillo vs. Edward S. Alameida Jr in the US District Court of the Northern District of California, case number C-94-2847-MJJ-JCS. It will show you in black and white how they do it.

At the moment I'm in the SHU and I'm in a cell by myself. I try to use this time of solitude to really, really focus on educating my mind about this struggle we all face. Although a lot of brothers on the main lines (general population) are afraid of that validation lawn, and therefore lay down to the oppression when they fail in their duty to preach the real to those who are blind and are dying for their help. I'd rather go out on my feed than on my knees any day. Although I'm young in age, teach me and I'll indeed teach them.

If we properly prepare for the battle, then we know who we're up against and can be ready. Don't be quick to shout out who you're with and what you're about, because as I said "divide and conquer" is one of their tactics and it has worked well. That's the reason for the Inmate Task Force (ITF), rats and infiltrators who play the ears to and for the CIA/FPI/ATF wannabes and prevent the educating of the blind behind bars.

They understand that education is knowledge and knowledge is power. That's why [our literature] is censored and rejected when being sent through mail. They say it is a threat towards the safety and security of the institution. Wow! And that's on paper? What happened to the land of the free? As human beings, weather we're incarcerated or not, in this country we are appointed civil rights. We gotta start standing up together and demand those rights. I believe through United Struggle from Within (USW) we can get that done.

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[Control Units] [Ely State Prison] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 2]
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Long term segregation in Nevada

I'm currently doing 365 days in the "hole" (disciplinary segregation) at Ely State Prison in Nevada. There is only one unit in this entire prison that gets to walk the yard. The rest of us are on 23/24 hour lockdown and have to be cuffed and shackled and escorted any time we leave our cells. And not all of us are on disciplinary segregation. I was told that it's a federal law that prisoners are only supposed to get a maximum of 100 and something days in the "hole" but Nevada gets away with it because of our privileges. Some people are allowed to have appliances in the hole, and that's cool, but a lot of us either lost that privilege or can't afford that stuff, so we are forced to do 1, 2, 3, maybe more years, in the hole with nothing. Me personally, I'd rather only do a couple months in the hole with nothing and get back to a mainline, then sit back here years with a TV.

In this state they have slimmed down on the physical abuse so now they're going even more for the mind. And a lot of dudes can't take it. I request books from our library, but that's a joke, so I was given an old copy of MIM Notes to read from a comrade, and I was relieved to have something righteous to read, and I was also glad to know we have fellow comrades on the outside who are truly helping us in the struggle. Being that I'm fresh out of Y.A. (youth authority) and still a youngsta, it's been difficult finding info on the adult system. I never know where to look up, but MIM Notes has put me up on game.

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[Control Units] [Southport Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 2]
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Shut Down the SHU in NY

Let me explain the situation here in Southport. They got regular cells and regular blocks, but not this one. This one is D-block, the most high profile are here, the worse of the worse, that what the crackers say. These are some crazy cells where out of your window nothing can be seen. This is like the basement of the $HU. The lights are kept on 16 hours a day. A real big light which causes pain in the eye. Out of the metal door there is a lil' window which you only can see to the front and to the front there is nothing but a well.

The showers are Tuesdays & Fridays only and you get to shave and shower for 5 minutes. They put a brother like me right now in shower deprivation. That means no shower for over 30 days. The same with rec [recreation]. Over 30 days locked in this crazy cell eating a crazy bread loaf for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

They run into brothers' cells here on a daily and they start taking non-important papers or cases we get from the law library that they say is gang stuff. They write you up and the cracker that conducts the hearing gives the person 2 or 3 years with loss of good time. The Sergeant don't care here. Whatever the pig CO do he's OK with it- here they all cracker protect each other's dirty action.

There are video cameras here but when they want something out they just call Dep. Superintendent of Security (D$$) and you can bet it is out. There is no ventilation. They keep the back door open in winter. This is the nastiest place I've seen. This block got to be shut down. People here are sufferin and their mental state is not 100% for the simple fact that they are being tortured; most of the time mentally, but there is a lot of physical torture, not just here in this block, but through all the slave houses, especially A-block. That's where everything happens, and the sad thing is they get away with it. Gov. Eliot Spitzer needs to take this place into consideration to be closed down.

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