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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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[Control Units] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Control units - living like dogs

I am a youngster serving time in one of California's control units - Tehachapi - and although I haven't been here long and don't have much longer to be here, I already have much to say about it and prison in general. But then again, wh owouldn't in a place where you could compare your lifestyle and living to that of a caged animal?

Twice a day you have contact with someone other than your cellie (that is if you have a cellie). They approach your door opening that small tray slot of your steel door, throwing a meal at you for breakfast in the early hours of the morning. Then you receive a meal for dinner at the late hours of mid-evening.

I understand that it may seem that this is a lot better than it could be, seeing how there are people around the world who are starving. But I ask you, how much worse can things get in this land of the so-called free? When you are served half cooked, spoiled meat in a pot of grease. Then given a mixer of maltodextrin, ascorbic acid, aspartame, and acesulfame K as your beverage to wash it all down. How much worse can it get, when you're given concrete and slabs of steel for beds to lay on, and told to sit like a trained dog, for sometimes 24 hours a day with no movement.

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[Control Units] [Arizona State Prison Complex Eyman SMUII] [Arizona]
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21 years in Super Max with no way out

Receiving your newspapers let me read what you're about and I am very impressed. As I see that MIM stands firmly against the criminal injustices and engages in reformist battles to improve the lives of prisoners.

I am particularly drawn to the section Under Lock & Key: News from Prisons & Prisoners, as I myself am a prisoner housed in SMU-2, the Super Maximum Security Lockdown unit here in Arizona State Prison.

I have been slammed down in super maximum security lockdown units since 9/14/87, to this very day. On 9/14/87, I was slammed down in CB#6, the first super max lockdown unit. On 8/1/89, I was transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-1 and remained until 2/1/96, and then transferred to the newly opened super max lockdown unit SMU-2, special management unit.

This particular unit was built to house all alleged prison gang members and street gang members. Once validated by a special committee, prisoners are sent to this unit to remain until one renounces his alleged gang membership and agrees to cooperate with DOC officials and give information about himself and fellow prisoners; or, until he paroles; or, until his sentence is served. If he is serving a life sentence will just die in this unit.

Last year the Department of Corrections implemented a release program (Step Down) for all STG members housed in SMU-2. Many prisoners, including myself, had filed civil complaints against DOC for illegally locking up prisoners in SMU-2 and for subjection to cruel and unusual punishment and for indefinitely keeping prisoners in lockdown.

The Step Down program was implemented in 2006 and activated May 21,2006. The first ten prisoners (hand selected) where chosen to participate, and a few months later another ten were chosen to participate. As of yet, no other prisoners have been chose to participate in the program, and as of yet, none of the first 20 prisoners have been released or transferred to other units.

Since the DOC implemented a release program from SMU-2 for STG members, all the active and pending civil complaints filed by SMU-2 prisoners have been dismissed.

So what has actually happened is DOC can now show the courts they do in fact have a release program for SMU-2 prisoners. So now prisoners cannot file complaints of being indefinitely locked up in SMU-2and DOC now can say this prisoner or that prisoner poses an indefinite threat to the prison population and security and orderly operations of the prison.

In truth, prisoners do not benefit from the implementation of the Step Down program.

In truth, it is DOC that benefits from the implementation of the Step Down program. They now have absolute power to play God with the SMU-2 prisoners.

I was validated as an alleged prison gang member back in the 1980s and slammed down. Since being in lockdown, I had completed the criteria for release back into general population many times over and over. But every time I went before the reclassification committees I was denied release and told by the committees that I pose an indefinite threat to the prison's rival gang members.

I was transferred to this unit SMU-2 the very first day it opened on 2/1/1996, from SMU-1, and still remain (against my will).

I'm in my 21st year straight of being locked away in super maximum security lockdown units and in my eleventh year straight here in SMU-2. I will remain here in SMU-2, indefinitely, or until I renounce alleged gang membership, or, until I am hand selected to participate in the said Step Down program.

SMU-2 is a mirror reflection of many of the other Special Management Units across the united states. We sit in windowless cells measuring approximately 10' x 8'. We are locked in our individual cells 24 hours per day except for three days out of the week for 2 hours we are allowed to go to an empty room with a 20 foot wall and a mesh grate ceiling situated in the back of the pod one man at a time. Our only human contact is when a guard is handcuffing a prisoner up to leave his cell.

We cannot purchase any food from the prison commissary nor receive food packages from the outside. Once a year during the month of December we are allowed to purchase what is called "Christmas store" food beverages and candy.

The meals served daily combined cannot fill a man's stomach. So the mass majority of the prisoners in this unit have lost and continue to lose weight.

We are deprived of immediate medical attention and must submit a health unit request form to be processed and put on the nurse's line. Then she determines whether or not a prisoner needs to see the doctor.

There have been many attempted and successful suicides in this unit that are never released to the media or public.

Prison officials and medical staff are fully aware that the results of long-term isolated confinement causes psychological problems and in some cases irreversible damage to prisoners. And yet, they ignore it.

Our president of the united states gets on the world news and claims prisoners in the united states are not subjected to barbaric living conditions!!

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[Control Units] [Eastham Unit] [Texas]
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No water for ad-seg

Texas institutions are playgrounds for the imperialist and their drones. The sexual abuse scandal of the Texas Youth Commission exposes how immoral just one of its branches is. Here on the Eastham Unit we are subjected to daily forms of psychological abuse, stress torture, atrocious harassment, and threats, deprivation of basic necessities and violence. I am on an ad-seg line. The pigs constantly turn off our water, without telling us, warning us to get water before it's off. It's always the same excuses, i.e. the pump, a pipe, or they're fixing something. The pigs only cut off ad-seg water supply while general population remains on. Under the no-water ruse, ad-seg can not shower or go to rec. The pigs don't do anything but sit on their ass. They bitch about having to serve us our trays at chow time. The no-water ruse isn't a once in a while occurrence. No, at least every other month we go a week or more without water. Some days the temperature is 95 degrees outside but 112 degrees inside.

The discrimination doesn't end with water. While general population gets full portions of food at meal time. Ad-seg inmates are severely rationed. The pigs instruct and direct inmate kitchen workers to shake-the-spoon (half spoon serving), cut smaller portions, leave off food segments or side items, and substitute ad-seg meat entree with processed pork substances. While general population has beef ribs, we get pork sausage link. GP gets ice cold juice, we get watered down diluted piss water, usually at room temperature or hotter.

There is a policy to do nothing for ad-seg inmates. We have to protest, argue and complain (PAC) to every shift supervisor to get clean laundry. We have to PAC to get porters to clean our showers, sweep and mop the line and have them keep their hands off our food trays. We PAC with maintenance to get running water, light and power or for them to fix the toilet that's been flushing for over two months. We PAC about the spiders and roaches and mice, about the bird crap that's caked up on the rec yard. We have to PAC for our mail, shower, rec, meals and medical. The only time the pigs do any of this on their own is when the American Correctional Association is inspecting.

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[Spanish] [Control Units] [Abuse] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Abuso en SHU

Me dirijo respetuonamente a ustedes. Para dejarle saber lo que me esta pasando, y para que me ayuden. Tengo diez meses en SHU en Clinton CF. Tan pronto llegue comence a sufrir acosos sexuales y abusos por parte de los sargentos, oficiales, psiquiatra, consejero y el director medico y el superintendente, le escribí al Commisssioner Brian Fischer, Inspector General Anthony Annucci, Lucien J. Leclalle Jr. y a varias organizaciones y no hicieron nada por my. Y puse un grievance pero aqui no procesan los grievances.

El 7/7/07 el oficial J. Cross me acoso sexualmente mientras me bañaba en mi celda. Pero como no deje que me falte el respeto y lo denuncie tomo represalia conmigo. Primero me dejo cinco dias sin comida, y me boto todas las medicinas. Y el 7/8/07 le puso veneno o un liquido deconocido a los tres jugos que me das el medico. Me tome la mita de un jugo y pase el día vomitando y desde entoces tengo fuertes dolores de estómago.

El 7/9/07 me puse para el sick call, y le enseñe los jugos a la enfermera y a un sargento, y le escribí al departamento en Albany, y a V. Johason, Medical Director en Clinton Corr Fac.

El 8/1/07 una persona me vio respecto a los incidentes, y le dije que necesitaba un interprete, porque no habio ni entiendo el ingles correctamente, pero la persona me dijo que estaba bien y se fue de una vez.

El 8/9/07 recibí una carta del Commissioner Brian Fischer dejandome saber que el Superintendent Dale A. Artus, hizo una investigación de los incidentes, que a mi me hicieron una entrevista, y que mis alegeaciones son mentiras.

Aqui en SHU hay una camara en cada celda y graba lo que uno habla. Yo le estoy pidiendole al Commissioner y al Superintendent que cheque el video del 4/22/07 que me asaltaron en la yarda y el 8/4/07 que la enfermera me trae la medicina incompleta desde que llegue a Clinton CF, y el 6/22/07 que el oficial R. Perry me acoso sexualmente en el baño, y el 7/7/07 y el 7/8/07 que el Oficial J. Cross me acoso sexualmente y quiso envenenarme.

Pero esto cerdos criminales y corruptos no me dicen nada respecto a los videos porque saben que es verdad. Ademas yo tengo todos reportes de los incidentes y no se puede mentir con las camaras.

Tambien no me estan dando la recreación que es una hora diaria mandatoriamente ni el baño tres veces a la semana. Aqui en SHU no cogen lista para el baño pero cogen lista para la yarda. Pero sacan aquienes los cerdos quieren. Yo le digo al Commissioner que cheque el video, para ver si abren la puerta de mi celda cuando hacen el baño y la yarda pero no hace nada por mi.

Los Sargentos W. Bisso y N. Giambruno son los cerdos que permiten que los oficiales hagan lo que quieran. Un día no me dieron el baño ni la recreación porque la psiquiatra M. Smith le dijo al Sargento N. Giambruno.

Aqui en SHU no dan limpieza de celda ni revistas ni ponen deportes en la TV ni en la radio ni ponen programa ni musica en la TV ni en la radio. Ahoramismo no le estan dando comida ni baño ni recreación a algunos presos.

Los cerdos llevan a los presos a la clinica y le dan golpes en un cuardo sin camara y lo ponen desnude en un cuarto sin nada. Y en invierno abren la ventana del cuadro con la temperatura bajo cero. Y a algunos presos le inyectan droga en contra de su voluntad. Y lo bañan con aqua fria en invierno. Y le envian un libro de ley con páginas rotas y lo acusan que lo rompio para que la pague y no permitirle usar la biblioteca de ley más, y para que lo no luche contra todas clases de abusos inhumanos de parte de estos cerdos criminales.

Aqui, no procesan los grievances y el Superintendente Dale A. Artus es el primer cerdo corrupto y el Commissioner Brian Fischer no quiere hacer nada por mi ni quieren chequiar los videos. Que puedo hacer yo para que vean los videos, y me envien para otra prision, antes que me envenenen o me maten estos cerdos criminales.

Yo tengo una demanda en proceso por estos incidentes, pero como puede ver necesito que me ayuden, porque el Commissioner y el Superintendente no quieren ayudarme, y los grievances no lo procesan.


Campaign info:
Shut Down the Control Units
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[Political Repression] [Racism] [Control Units] [Legal] [Abuse] [Red Onion State Prison] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 1]
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Red Onion State Prison: Obstruction of Justice

"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people, by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law: it invites every man to become a law unto himself."Olmstead v. U. S., 277 U. S. 439, 485 (1927)

In April 2007, Richard Rowlette became the new Assistant Warden at Red Onion State Prison (ROSP). Rowlette had previously worked at ROSP in the position of Security Chief from the time that the prison opened in 1998 until December 1999. During that time he was a principal administrative player and ringleader in the racist abuses that won ROSP its reputation for prisoner mistreatment. He was instrumental in helping ROSP gain national notoriety as one of the country's most abusive prisons.

Since his promotion to Assistant Warden, I have filed an official complaint with Rowlette concerning ROSP officials refusing me telephone contact with two attorneys who had offered me their professional assistance. I presented a request to Rowlette to allow me to call these two lawyers.

Months before, both of these lawyers had verified their credentials and their intent and efforts to advise and assist me in litigation against various ROSP staff, including my assigned counselor John Sykes and the chief warden Tracy Ray. One of these lawyers is Mr. Malik Shabazz. Upon being informed of my ongoing experiences of abuse at ROSP (abuse which is a response to my political activism and continuing exposure of abuses at the prison), Mr. Shabazz decided to support me. Mr. Shabazz happens to be the Chairman of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), an organization with which I have no affiliation.

Rowlette's response was that if he had anything to do with it I'd never talk to a lawyer. When I pointed out that this was a basic constitutional right, he responded, "Your people have no rights." I am New Afrikan (Black) so his meaning was obvious. I filed a complaint. I also filed a complaint about being denied contact with my lawyers for months, despite their repeated attempts to arrange legal calls with me. Rowlette responded to my complaint with a memo stating that my request to have confidential legal calls to these lawyers was "DENIED." In this memo he rationalizes denying me legal calls by claiming that no attorney-client relationship exists between me and these lawyers.

The memo states that unless I prove that they are actively representing me in litigation pending in a court of record in Virginia, I will be denied legal calls. It specifically states that a letter from a lawyer stating the she is representing me "will not suffice." The memo also states, "Your request is further DENIED in regards to Mr. Malik Shabazz due to his involvement with the New Black Panther Party. To allow unrecorded phone calls between you and the President/Founder of the New Black Panther Party would present an unacceptable risk to the Security of this Facility."

For the benefit of any doubters, I've attached a copy of Rowlette's initialed memo.

Rowlette's memo breaks a barrel full of criminal laws. In Virginia it is a crime for any person to interfere with the relationship of confidence and trust that must exist between a lawyer and her/his client. It is also a crime for any one not licensed to practice law to present himself as qualified to give legal opinions. Both of these acts constitute the crime of "unauthorized practice of law."'

Rowlette has no legal training or authority to define the attorney-client relationship. He certainly cannot use any such unauthorized definition to block confidential communications between a lawyer and client. Indeed, the Virginia Supreme Court itself has defined what constitutes an attorney/client relationship. The court's definition is quite different from Rowlette's. In the U.S., it is the function of the courts to define and interpret the laws and the functions of executives (including prison officials), to enforce and apply those laws.

In its definitive document "Practice of Law in the commonwealth of Virginia" (PLCV), the Virginia Supreme Court defines the attorney-client relationship as follows:

"Generally, the relation of attorney and client exists and one is deemed to be practicing law whenever he furnishes to another advice or services under circumstances which imply his possession and use of legal knowledge or skill.

"Specifically, the relation of attorney and client exists, and one is deemed to be practicing law whenever (I.) One undertakes... to advise another... in any matter involving the application of legal principles to facts or purposes or desires. (2) One ... undertakes, with or without compensation, to prepare for another legal
instruments of any character...(3) One undertakes, with or without compensation, to represent the interest of another before any tribunal judicial, administrative, or
executive..."

Rowlette's memo presumes to overrule the high court's definition of the attorney-client relationship. Using his unlawful definition, he has barred me from confidential contact with these lawyers. The bigger absurdity is the obvious Catch-22 in Rowlette's position. A lawyer must be able to consult with a client in order to gather the information necessary to file a lawsuit for him/her. If I am blocked from confidential communications with lawyers, then they will never be able to bring litigation on my behalf. This is the real intent behind Rowlette's game.

As for Mr. Shabazz's NBPP membership, Rowlette presents no evidence that this affiliation threatens prison security. As a federal lawyer, Mr. Shabazz is foremost an officer of the courts. If his private organizational affiliations conflicted with his professional status, Mr. Shabazz would not be permitted to maintain his legal license.

Furthermore Rowlette has directed ROSP mailroom clerks to intercept, open, read, and refuse to send out mail that is clearly identified as "legal mail" intended for lawyers. These mailroom officials, based upon Rowlettes' position, refuse to treat or process mail to and from lawyers as confidential legal mail in blatant violation of VDOC mail policy. This is a federal crime, obstructing U.S. mails,2 and violates my constitutional rights to free speech and to privacy in my legal mail.


History of Abuse at Red Onion State Prison

When ROSP first began operating in 1998, it developed almost instantly a nationwide reputation for racism and abuses of its predominantly nonwhite prisoner population by its near exclusively white staff.

In response to receiving a flood of letters from ROSP prisoners complaining of unjustified transfers to ROSP and of frequent and widespread racism, brutality and general abuse, Human Rights Watch (HRW) attorney Jamie Fellner conducted an independent investigation into conditions at the remote Virginia prison. Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) officials refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Ms. Fellner's findings were set out in an April 1999 HRW report entitled Red Onion State Prison:Super-Maximum Security Confinement in Virginia.3

This report touched on the various abusive conditions and treatments suffered by ROSP prisoners and found that many of those assigned to the prison did not meet the criteria for "supermax" confinement. Actually almost none did. Seven pages of the report focused on incidents and practices in the "Use of Force" at the prison. One incident described in that section stands out and is particularly relevant here:

"One inmate told HRW that immediately upon arrival at Red Onion in September 1998, he and other inmates were told to strip and permit a visual body search, including by spreading their buttocks. Female staff were present—indeed one was taking a video of the proceedings—and the inmate was reluctant to do as ordered in front of them. A captain shot him with the taser in the presence of the warden, associate warden and a major. After the inmate had been tasered, the major screamed in his ear, “Boy, you’re at Red Onion now” and then told the other officers to “get that nigger out of here.” The inmate filed a grievance because he felt—correctly—that he should not have had to submit to a visual body search strip in front of female staff.

"The inmate's grievance was denied. The warden acknowledged that a taser had been used because the inmate hesitated to strip and thus 'was failing to obey instructions.' The denial was upheld by the regional director without comment 'based on the information provided.' There was no effort to suggest that application of physical force was warranted by any possibility of danger or that nonphysical effort to persuade the inmate had been attempted and failed. The use of the taser appears more likely to have been a deliberate and malicious excessive use of force calculated to intimidate new arrivals to the facility.

"In denying the inmate's grievance, Warden George Deeds stated that post orders at Red Onion permit females to work at any post in this case, assignment to the video camera. It is widely recognized, however that cross-gender strip searches violate inmates' 'Individual dignity and right to privacy'. The warden's policy at Red Onion ignores basic correctional principles and international standards prohibiting cross-gender strip searches unless in an emergency." (pp. 21-22)

The prisoner who was the victim of this abusive strip search and unwarranted attack was XXXX XXXX. Indeed, most every prisoner assigned to ROSP during that time, including myself, were subjected to this cross-gender strip search process, during which it was often demanded that we repeatedly manipulate our genitals and spread our buttocks.

These searches were conducted under threat of being immediately tasered. A taser was trained on us throughout the strip search process. We were bodily subdued and searched by force by a mob of guards who were always present and dressed out in full riot armor. We were then escorted to our new cell assignment. Most were literally dragged stark naked through the prison while being observed nude by multitudes of guards, both male and female, as well as by other prisoners.

The entire process was calculated to humiliate and terrorize new arrivals and convey the message that at ROSP we would comply without hesitation with any staff demands, no matter how abusive or arbitrary. If we failed to promptly comply or questioned the demands, we would be met with immediate overwhelming force and further humiliation.

To convey this message these officials deliberately created a situation (for example the cross gender strip searches) calculated to provoke our resistance or hesitation and thereby justify the
premeditated intent to use overwhelming force.4

Before Abu Ghraib there was Red Onion.5


Richard Rowlette: Crime Time at ROSP

The Major who was personally present and supervised most of these intake strip searches, the very same major that screamed in XXXX's ear and told guards to "'get that nigger out of here," was Richard Rowlette.

XXXX subsequently filed and won a lawsuit concerning the incident. The court found that the officials had violated his constitutional rights, which is a federal crime.6 XXXX was then transferred away from ROSP and hasn't since returned. However, the multitudes of other prisoners who were subjected to the same treatments and worse, including myself, were granted no relief

In the wake of extensive bad media, the HRW report, and a U. S. Department of Justice investigation, Rowlette was assigned to another VDOC prison in Powhatan County, but not before he acted to settle a long standing vendetta he had against me.

On December 6, 1999, the day before he left ROSP, and in a departing last show of power, Rowlette attempted to force me to talk to him at my cell door. I ignored him. I generally refuse to engage him in conversation. This enrages him, as he believes he can intimidate prisoners to do whatever he demands under threat of having them attacked by guards.

Because I wouldn't talk to him, Rowlette had two extraction teams of some 10 guards assembled at my cell in full riot armor, with two 50,000 volt electric shields and a 36 ounce canister of gas. Under his direct supervision and direction I was gassed for an entire hour while the entire canister was emptied into the cell. This level of gas was far in excess of the 6 grams that federal courts have found to be an "estimated lethal dose" when sprayed into a small closed-in cell.7 He then had me sprayed with more gas from a smaller canister that guards generally carry on their sides. This was a clear attempt to torture and murder me by asphyxiation.

I was then met with violent attack by the two teams of armored guards. After being restrained and strapped down to the bunk in 5-point restraints8 for 48 hours (in the still contaminated cell), I was electrocuted repeatedly. For the entire two days in restraints I was denied water, meals, medication, and restroom breaks. This is all documented and on record in the U.S. District Court in Roanoke.9

Rowlette had remarked that he had hoped I'd refuse to talk to him and that the attack he'd orchestrated was his "going away present" to me. His spell away from ROSP was merely a "cooling off period" and a token move by VDOC officials to create a public appearance of responding to abusive conditions at ROSP. Indeed, there was little effect on abuse levels after he left.


Promoting Official Criminals as the Norm

Rewarding criminally inclined prison officials in Virginia is the norm. For example, one guard, David Allen Taylor (a prior captain at ROSP), has been found guilty in several prisoner lawsuits of involvement in beatings and abuses of Black prisoners. in one such case, a prisoner YYYY YYYY, won a monetary judgment against Taylor. The state not only paid the judgment for Taylor (your tax dollars at work), but he was promoted in the meantime from lieutenant to captain. Just this year, he was promoted again, to major, at one of the VDOC's new prisons.

Another guard, William Wright, is widely known for assaulting Black prisoners at ROSP while they are fully restrained. His attacks have resulted in broken bones, dislocations, lacerations, and other serious injuries. Wright was recently promoted from corporal to sergeant.

Indeed an unmistakable pattern and long-standing trend in the VDOC is to promote guards who are being sued by prisoners for abuses while they have litigation pending against them. This is a ploy to bolster the professional image of abusive guards in order to create bias in their favor. Furthermore, the state defends abusive guards against prisoner litigation no matter how obvious their guilt and no matter what their offense. And as occurred with David Taylor, the state pays any monetary judgments awarded, no wonder there is no fear of consequences for abuses.

Most of the abuses at ROSP are captured on videotape, but those records are routinely erased, which is a crime in Virginia. 10 So where do the illegalities end and "justice" come into play? Rowlette won't be prosecuted for his crimes. This contributes to the cavalier attitude of officials towards the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Indeed what is a man like Rowlette doing running a prison? Ain't prisons in Amerika supposed to exist to punish and deter criminals? Where are all the tough on crime politicians when you need them?


Power to the People!


Notes;
1 In Part 6 Section II of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, "Introduction," the Supreme Court states: "any person practicing law without being duly authorized or licensed is guilty of a misdemeanor." The statue under which this crime is enforced is Code of Virginia section 54.1-3904. The Supreme Court has promulgated a set of Unauthorized Practice Rules (UPR) which outline some specific acts which constitute a criminal unauthorized practice of law. Rowlette's actions violate the following UPR's:

"UPR 3-101. Attorney Client Relationship": (A) An agency shall not disrupt the relationship of confidence and trust which must exist between a lawyer and his client.
"UPR 9-101. Holding Out as an Expert": (A) A non-lawyer shall not hold himself out as authorized to furnish another advice or service under circumstances which imply his possession of legal knowledge."

Prisoners also have a constitutional and civil privacy right to confidential telephone calls to their attorneys. See Tucker v. Randall. 948 F 2d. 388, 391 (7th Cir. 1991).
2 It is a federal crime to obstruct or delay delivery or processing of U.S. Mails. See Title 18 United States Code sections 1702-1708. Prisoners have a constitutional right to privacy in mail to and from "any identifiable attorney either representing or being asked to represent a prisoner in relation to any criminal or civil problem." See Taylor v. Sterrett, 532 F 2d 462, 474 (5th Cir. 1976).
3 The entire report can be read and downloaded at the Human Rights Watch website at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/redonion/
4 The U.S. Constitution's 8th Amendment protects prisoners from "cruel and unusual punishment." The federal courts have ruled that officials violate the 8th Amendment when they deliberately "provoke an incident so as to allow" them to attack a prisoner "under guise of maintaining order or defending" themselves. Miller v. Leathers, 913 F. 2d 1085, 1088 (4th Cir. 1990).
5 As XXXX's incident exemplifies, the abuses at ROSP cannot be dismissed as the actions of a few unsupervised low-level staff, but rather was approved by the VDOC's highest administrators. The torture, sexual degradation and abuses at Abu Ghraib were dismissed as the acts of a handful of "renegade" soldiers acting without authority. These soldiers, when targeted for prosecutions, contended that they were doing as instructed by high level military officials, which likely they were, just like at ROSP.
6 Under 18 United States Code, sections 241 and 242, it is a crime for prison officials to violate prisoners' civil and constitutional rights.
7 Based upon tests of pharmacological experts, the federal courts have found that caustic gas is lethal in doses of just 6 grams "in the confines of a small cell." See Williams v. Benjamin 77 F 3d 756, 764 (4th Cir. 1996).
8 5-point restraints is a process where a prisoner is handcuffed and leg shackled to the frame of a steel bunk inside a cell spread eagle on his/her back. A thick strap is then secured across his/her chest to prevent the body from being able to raise up or move.
9 See case file of Kevin Johnson v. Page True, et al.
10 Under Code of Virginia section 18.2-472 it is a crime for any "public officer" to make any false entry into or destroy any government record. Under this statute any such offense committed by an officer "shall" result in the permanent forfeiture of his office and he shall forever be barred from holding any public office in Virginia ever again.

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[National Oppression] [Control Units] [Texas]
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So-called illegal immigrants

I see that the United Front has broken down on the issue of migrants, or what some term illegal immigrants. All I can say is those who call themselves Marxist-Leninist or Maoist should read their works on this issue. What is going on now is nothing new that the imperialists are doing, Lenin, Mao and Stalin all dealt with this. Besides, if you really claim to know the history of Amerika you'll know that this nation was started by who? White Settlers! Or illegal immigrants, because I've never seen the documents granting them tribal citizenship by the five nations, or what was once northern Mexico. So get past your chauvinisms so-called anti-imperialist revolutionaries.

As for myself, I still sit languishing in the Texas state prisons' version of control units. We call them "High Security Buildings." And this is all because I won't and refuse to become part of their program GRAD: Gang Related Activity Desensitizing. You know the game that the federales play, if you wanna get out you renounce your affiliation to whatever family you are a part of and you become an informant for the administration. No thank you, I'll pass.

So I'll sit in this cold ass building and study, plan and grow mentally, physically and spiritually. If these prisoners before me that were kept isolated for their beliefs could hold up with no let up ten and twenty years strong. I would be doing my ancestors in the struggle a grave disservice by becoming weak for an opportunity to get an extra tray at chow or watch a football game out in the dayroom among others. How could I be amongst them and call myself a man knowing I'm snitching for the man. They can keep those bullshit illusory privileges. Remember if we keep pulling, snapping and twisting, we'll eventually break this damn chain of imperialism. We have nothing else to lose.

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[Control Units] [Calipatria State Prison] [California]
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Snitch or be locked down

Coming out of LA and the gang lifestyle to get here everything is different: everyone stuck together. But you aren't told this while out there in society. There everything is racial. Blacks and Hispanics are the majority here so the police find a way to keep us at each other's throats.

But after you hit these holes and SHUs [short and long term isolation cells], everybody is together, now that we all realize the police don't give a damn about none of us. If you ain't working with them (snitching, kissing they ass, doing they dirty work) they are gonna find a way to get you off the line. Your own might sell you out so they can stay out there and be susceptible to the bullshit. When you bring this to their attention it's always an excuse. It's sad because a lot of the ones who are accepting the BS know better.

These are the ones who been down twenty plus years and ain't getting out. If they ain't letting someone go for petty theft, how do you think you are going to get a date for 2 murders. It don't add up. But these are the role models who are pushing these brooms around this dayroom and getting called out to speak for the population. And if you bring it to their attention, they either drop a kite to get you rolled up off the line, or they leave to protective custody.

I don't promote violence, I'm just one who believes in truth, non-fiction. It is what it is and since I've been here in Calipatria, that's what this prison breeds (snitches, protective custody, illiteracy, racial tension, etc.) So many have debriefed that it has become the norm. I just can't accept befriending someone whose job is to fuck me over and use me and then throw me to the wolves.

The courts already sentenced me, let me just do my time and go home. But if you ain't laughing in their face, you are a threat somehow. It's ludicrous. So the end result is you are either going to conform and go against everything you believe in, or put a muzzle on your mouth and tie your hands together and sit around and deteriorate until you die or you're on you're way to a 180 degree design prison or a SHU term. If you show signs of aggression, Calipatria is gonna have you on a bus up outta here.

It's going to take a lot to open up eyes to truth, but one must continue to push forward towards a better tomorrow!

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