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Under Lock & Key

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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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[Control Units] [Southport Correctional Facility] [New York]
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Sensory Deprivation in NY

Let me explain what sensory deprivation is and how it is applied on prisoners in the SHU.

First, a prisoner is placed in extended isolation with no human contact, no natural light, no clock and no calendar.

While in isolation, the prisoner is interrupted by strange blaring sounds orchestrated by the corrections officer. This technique deprives the prisoner's mind of contact with an outer world and thus forcing it in upon itself. This is called sensory deprivation.

After a short period of time, the prisoner will be reduced to a delusional state and easy to control, and many of them will lose their mind or their personality will disintegrate. Sensory deprivation may also result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, depression and antisocial behavior, as well as significant psychological disorders.

The CIA and the US military have been using this sensory deprivation technique since the early 1960's. Active and reserve members of the U$ military who are also corrections officers, have brought these dirty U$ military psychological torture techniques to U$ prisons, specifically the "Security Housing Units" (SHU).

I am actively drawing attention to the links between the ghastly practices of dehumanization at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and their everyday application in prisons across the U$. I have been a target for retaliatory actions by Southport prison officials because of my pursuit of numerous federal civil action lawsuits and my political and religious views.

I am currently trying to notify as many media outlets as possible to get my strong voice and political views out to the public. I would appreciate your assistance in getting my voice out to the public.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Keep fighting the good fight.

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[Control Units] [U.S. Penitentiary Florence] [Federal] [Colorado]
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Thrown in segregation in Colorado

I am currently in segregation after a comical encounter with one of the federal guards here that took place on October 13, 2006, at 3:30am. Believe it or not, this clown enters my assigned cell where I had propped/tilted a small trash can on the door as an alarm device for unannounced intruders. This clown enters the cell without any type of announcement; he trips the device, and stumbles towards my bunk where I was in a dead sleep. My reaction was, I jumped directly up and got into a fighting position, he then throws a carton of milk at me, hitting me in the middle of my chest, and ran out of the cell. Then both of us screamed profanities back and forth for at least 30 minutes, while he was on the other side of the door of course. And as the norm they put me in segregation with a disciplinary infraction to follow. In the report/write-up, this clown says he felt threatened, and added that I had thrown an object at him that bounced back into the cell and that I came towards him with my fists clenched.

Now mind you, I'm at what has been deemed one of the deadliest prisons in the country, and this clown enters my cell without knocking on the door, or even calling out my name, he just comes into the cell, making all kinds of noise. Believe it or not, I've been in segregation ever since, awaiting a disciplinary transfer.

The Disciplinary Hearing Officer (DHO), as the norm, sided with the clown, holding that an officer upon hire takes an oath to be truthful. It didn't matter that he entered the cell without any authorization to do so, or the fact that he hit me in the chest with a carton of milk, I'm a prisoner, and he's a guard. To hell with my right to a fair process, as held in Wolff v. McDonnell, or due process right set forth under the constitution of the 5th amendment.

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[Legal] [Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Houtzdale] [Pennsylvania]
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Retaliation for filing grievances

Here at SCI-Houtzdale, there is little or no action taken by the administration when correctional officers or general staff members go out of their way to intentionally mistreat, harass, and do things contrary to department of corrections policy to prisoners who dare to use the Inmate Grievance System.

Retaliation is very common and many prisoners are fearful of getting a fabricated misconduct report and being sent to the RHU (Hole) or having their correctional file sabotaged with misleading information that could harm them when its time to be reviewed for parole.

Basically if a prisoner files a grievance complaining about being mistreated or the conditions here at this facility, within days their name and photo is distributed throughout the institution on the C/Os good old boy network and that is when the harassment starts. C/Os and staff that the prisoner may have never had an altercation with are now openly harassing the prisoner. Cell searches every day, withholding of the prisoner's mail, being intentionally singled out for frequent pat searches when moving about inside of the prison are just a few of the ways COs and staff show their dislike for having one of their co-workers named on a grievance.

A large number of grievances that are filed at this facility, SCI-Houtzdale, are later dismissed as being frivolous. Specially when issues are brought up that the administration is trying to avoid addressing. Responses to grievances are worded on purpose in a way that dehumanizes and makes the prisoner appeal disgruntled in an attempt to discourage the prisoner from continuing on with the appeal process and filing future grievances. COs and staff regularly make remarks to prisoners they are having a disagreement with that has a sarcastic under tone like "you can always file a grievance" knowing that their supervisor will be the grievance officer and will dismiss it. Plus the repercussion the prisoner will fact.

The inmate handbook says on page 12, policy number 804: All grievances and appeals must be made in good faith and for good cause. You will not be punished or otherwise harmed for good faith use of the inmate grievance system. If only these words were true!

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[Control Units] [Medical Care] [US Penitentiary MAX] [Colorado] [Federal]
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Medical neglect in Colorado

One of the most alarming constitutional violations of prisoners' rights today is the denial of adequate psychological and medical treatment. In this prison alone, I have met dozens of inmates who have glaring psychological and medical problems. One quintessential case is the guy who literally tried to slice his genetalia off with a razor blade. This guy has also been kept in handcuffs and leg irons for several months, rather than be sent to a mental health facility. Keep in mind, while inmates at ADX are warehoused in the infamous "control unit," the unit where I am writing you from, it is prohibited to be prescribed psychotropic medication. Thus, guys who need psychotherapy in conjunction with psychotropic medication to function are not able to receive it while assigned to this unit. On average, inmates are serving four to eight years in this unit.

As for the inadequate medical treatment, the simplest way to describe this is as follows: for the entire prison complex of Florence, which consists of a camp, FCI, USP and the ADX Max Penitentiary, there is only one doctor and one dentist to service the entire complex. At ADX the doctor visits only one and one half days per week, and the dentist visits only twice per month. Thus, the waiting list to see either of them is astronomical. This comes as no surprise since there is over 2500 inmates living on this complex. I waited one year to receive my chronic care exam for Hep C. I also waited between 8 and 14 months to be seen by the dentist.

As a consequence of these egregious violations, I have filed two lawsuits since 1999. Twice now, media representatives, R. Scott Rappold, from the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and Henry Schuster, from 60 minutes, have contacted me in order to set up interviews with me at this prison. The prison rules clearly permit prisoners to have contact through visits and correspondence. However, the former must be approved by the Warden. So far, the warden has not approved a visit for me or any other inmate in the past nine years. Apparently, prison officials have something to hide. Even though in the prison regulations it states, we encourage inmates to maintain ties to the community, prison officials' actions speak otherwise.

Finally, it is good to read in the "Under Lock and Key" section that some brothers and sisters are still participating in the arduous yet all-important struggle for reform. Although not many are here in my midst, your publications apprise me that I am not alone.

As I sit here waiting for the seventh day to have photocopies made of legal papers with a June 19, 2007 deadline, I understand just how much patience and hard work is required to succeed against the American oligarchy.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [North Branch Correctional Institution] [Maryland]
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Maryland max unit on lockdown

I am currently being housed at a new warehouse in Cumberland Maryland called North Branch Correctional Institution. NBCI is a max security warehouse that opened up in 2005. As of now NBCI has only 2 housing units but one of the housing units holds Medium II prisoners so it has only 1 max unit which houses 346 prisoners. NBCI max housing unit is a lock down prison because in 2006 smashed 3 pigs because some pigs had jumped on a prisoner a few days before. Every time we come out of our cells for recreation or showers we have to be handcuffed from behind our backs. We take 15 minute showers 3 times a week and have 1 hour rec 2 times a week.

A lot of these racist pigs who work here are trying to crack slick out of their mouths now since this prison is a lock down joint. They are jumping on prisoners while they have their hands cuffed behind their backs. Not too long ago, while I was being moved from one isolation cell to another, with leg irons on and my hands cuffed from behind my back, a sergeant pushed me so I would trip over the leg irons. Then he slammed my head against the cell wall 3 times and yanked on the leg irons a few times and the leg irons cut both of my ankles up.

I was in the isolation cell for 10 days and all the water was shut off in my cell except the hot water for the first 5 days. My toilet was only flushed once every shift. The next 5 days I was moved to a different isolation cell and all water was off, and the only time I could drink water was once every shift when I was aloud to flush my toilet. These racist pigs think they are doing something slick but they just don't know what they are really getting themselves into.

I let a few of my comrades read the things that you sent me and they are planning to write to you.

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[Education] [Control Units] [State Correctional Institution Houtzdale] [Pennsylvania] [ULK Issue 1]
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No useful education in the hole

I have been locked up here in the PA DOC for over 10 years. Four and a half of that has been served in the RHU "Hole" in retaliation for confronting the PA-DOC administration on a wide range of issues, healthcare, dietary, commissary and about having adequate material for general and law libraries, to name a few. The years I have been locked up I have seen things go from bad to worse to sickening in regards to the way prisoners are treated here in PA.

Less and less money is being spent on effective rehabilitation and educational programs. And the programs that are up and running may look and sound very good on paper when presented to the state legislatures in Harrisburg for funding and the general public. However, in all actuality the programs that the DOC do make available to the prisoners are just a shell of what they should be. After securing Federal or State funding for a particular educational or rehabilitation program a major part of this money then gets diverted to things for the guards' new uniforms, the latest two way walkie talkies, new computers, more video security cameras, and the list goes on and on.

Here at SCI-Houtzdale, two of the educational programs that the administration likes to show off when people from the community or legislatures from Harrisburg come to tour the facility are the computer repair class and the computer aided drafting class. However, for a prisoner to get discharged from the DOC and try getting employment with what they were taught will be very difficult because the technique, computers and software they are learning on is 12 to 15 years out of date. The administration, staff, and COs are getting all the new equipment, not the prisoners. So factor this in when wondering why PA has such a high rate of recidivism.

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[Political Repression] [Control Units] [Pelican Bay State Prison] [California]
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Resisting the subversive extremes of political persecution

We, the new Afrikan Black prisoners who are being held captive in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in the state of Kalifornia, are currently being placed under siege and arbitrarily persecuted for our political beliefs. The means of political persecution that we are being subjected to is being perpetuated on multiple fronts by our kaptors, such as 1) The continued infringement upon our 1st amendment right to the freedom of political expression and political activity, 2) The continued criminalization of our political beliefs/viewpoints as allegedly being the expressed activity of promoting gang and criminal activity in the interest of a particular prison gang. These fascist pigs have been relentless in this area, in spite of the fact that time after time it has been proven that the content of the ideological political beliefs expressed are not advocating any form of violence or criminal activity, 3) subjecting us to round 'da clock cell searches, to where any and all New Afrikan revolutionary reading material (books/writings) is arbitrarily confiscated. In particular, as it related to materials that identify with the ideological principals of New Afrikan revolutionary nationalism or the honorable and beloved comrade George Jackson, 4) The confiscation of our outgoing/incoming mail that also advocated the ideological principles of our fallen comrade George Jackson, and 5) The accumulative effect from these subversive practices is that, the material is then used against us, in order to substantiate their arbitrary decision to keep us New Afrikan Black prisoners held indefinitely in the SHU.

Note, these factors are also utilized against us at our parole board hearings, in determining whether we are suitable for parole or not. And based on the arbitrary threshold of interpretation in identifying us as prison gang members on account of our political beliefs, being found suitable for parole is out of the question.

These fascist practices are continuing, with no means to an end in sight. And this is in spite of the fact that there have been several court rulings rendered forth in our favor, to where the courts have consistently stated: "George Jackson, and the ideological political beliefs of George Jackson do not constitute a material basis for a prisoner being involved in the promotion of criminal and gang activities…"

The most recent court ruling was rendered forth on June 15, 2005 by the Del Norte County Superior Court, Case No: HCPB-04-5054. The basis of litigation centered around the fact that Pelican Bay State prison officials had arbitrarily confiscated an incoming mail package that was being sent in from Santa Rosa Junior College (prisonerwriting.com). The incoming mail package contained a political science study manual that was put together by the personnel of George Jackson University. The following reasons were given as to why the incoming mail package was being disallowed: 1) The political science study manual contained the names of several validated prison gang members, 2) prison officials had deemed the address that the incoming mail package was being sent from to be a prison gang mail drop box, and 3) they had identified comrade George Jackson as being a prison gang member, in light of a photograph of George Jackson that was featured on the political science study manual. Prison officials went on to cite the following citations and provisions of the California Code of Regulations, as a basis to justify their confiscation of incoming mail: CCR, Title 15, Sections 3006(c)(16), 3023(a), 3136(a).

On June 15, 2005, the Del Norte County Superior Court, by way of an evidentiary hearing that was held, firmly disputed and disagreed with the reasons that Pelican Bay State Prison officials gave in confiscating and disallowing the incoming mail. In fact, the court went as far as to say that "the reasons that were given by Pelican Bay State Prison officials were exaggerated." And concluded that 1) the photograph of comrade George Jackson did not constitute the promotion of gang, criminal, or violent activities, as in the words of Pelican Bay's own gang specialist Devan Hawkes: George Jackson is a member of the Black liberation movement and not a validated prison gang member, and 2) the address on the incoming mail package was not a prison gang mail drop as alleged, but was in fact an address to an academic institution for higher learning (Santa Rosa Junior College). It should also be noted that three individual pages were withheld because the issue of prisoners having a fundamental constitutional 1st amendment right to the freedom of association was not raised. These three individual pages had the names of fellow New Afrikan Black political prisoners of war, to whom Pelican Bay prison officials have arbitrarily targeted/labeled as being members of a prison gang. I have since obtained a copy of the transcripts (partial) from this evidentiary hearing, which outlines the material facts of this court ruling.

Using our historical ideological line of struggle as our guide to understanding the true nature of these fascist pigs (prison officials), we should realize that these fascist pigs have never been bound to the obligation of upholding and abiding by any laws that are created by the U$ government that don't serve their own perverse interests, as defined by the corrupt and decadent nature of the social system of U$ imperialism.

With the prison industrial slave complex being an extended mechanism of oppression for the U$ government, the only applicable means of justice that can be realized is through the power of the people. So lets mobilize around this issue and do what is necessary in exposing the unjust and fascist nature of political persecution that we New Afrikan Black political prisoner of are being subjected to.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [El Dorado Correctional Facility] [Kansas]
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Isolation cell in Kansas

I am currently being held in a box inside a death kamp here in El Dorado, Kansas. My oppressors do anything and everything they can to keep their boot on my neck. In what they refer to as a "limited-contact" cell. I can be held here as long as they feel they want to hold me.

I'm housed with the other proletariats here in Super-Max seg administrative lockdown. I'm in a cell with no window outside, no sunlight, a built in shower that when used floods my box out and sprays my cell everywhere with water. When brought to the attention of the pigs, they smirk and basically laugh at me. They keep all my property from me and will not work with me to take steps to work towards my release from this death box.

The pigs threaten me and the other prisoners with violence. Two days ago I witnessed a pig punch a prisoner in his testicles while he was cuffed from behind, slammed to the floor for nothing. I'm being held against my will in this black, sunless death box because I "battered" two pigs severely. The violence they threatened me with was received by me with violence. I live here twenty-four hours a day and live by watching my back for the crooked pigs at all times.

Keep up the fight MIM, and believe me, you have the support of a lot of people.

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