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[Medical Care] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Medical negligence leads to finger loss

Greetings to all who support what is right! My story goes like this: I recently noticed a friend of mine with a very large bump on his hand due to a brown recluse spider bite. I asked him, "what happened?" He told me that he filled out an emergency medical request form and informed medical staff of the type of spider and its location.

Well, no one responded to even look at it until 19 days had passed. I asked him if they were going to treat it and he said, "yes, they did." They had given him a couple band-aids and a small packet of ointment. Well, this morning I saw him again. They had to amputate 3 of his fingers because the poison from the spider bite had caused severe damage over such a prolonged period of time. However, if they would have responded sooner, then he wouldn't have lost his fingers.

A law came out some time ago called "The Plata Case" which entitles all inmates in CDCR to fair and prompt medical attention, as well as other medical treatments. For the most part, the staff are still negligent, and when they are confronted with that particular issue they say "due to budget cutbacks, we are short of staff!" They cling on to any reason to blame the budget so their job income can be more. A lot can be done to save my friend's fingers, but when I see the attitudes of the medical staff and the way they treat the inmates in a non-professional manner, it's obvious they are unloading their aggressions and animosities on the inmates needing medical attention.

MIM(Prisons) adds: Plata v. Schwarzenegger, docket no. 3:01-cv-01351-TEH (N.D. Cal.), is a federal class action civil rights lawsuit alleging that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) medical services are inadequate and violate the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This case was filed in 2001 and as of early 2010 the state is still resisting as a federal receivership has recently taken over the CDCR's medical care. MIM(Prisons) promotes long legal battles that are strategically chosen to create space for the oppressed to organize and to expose the system. Almost nine years of court and prisoners of the state are still losing fingers and worse unnecessarily. Now that the system is exposed, the other side of our struggle is building the independent institutions of the oppressed that demonstrate better ways to do things.

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[National Oppression] [Pennsylvania]
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Suspicion of all Latinos

Today I write with extreme distress. I am sick of these racist pigs tyranny. On December 24, 2009 I received an order from the third circuit court of appeals stating that I have been denied relief from my wrongful first degree murder conviction and consequent life plus 7 to 20 plus 20 to 40 consecutive sentences, and that I only had 14 days to file a petition for an en banc rehearing. Due to the xmas holidays I had to wait until the 29th to go to the law library to do my research for the petition. While in the law library reading a federal rules of court book I was greeted by five hispanics that were also working on their street cases on the same table I was sitting in. Now in my legal folder I have the only two ULKs I've received in a while, which I gave to one of the hispanics on my table to read and pass on.

However there was a Sherlock Holmes wanna be CO who is an official KKK member who hit the panic button when he seen five hispanics educating themselves and they locked us all in the hole under so called investigation stating that I was possibly holding a Latin King meeting. Now on my DC-141-other report it states inmates are under investigation for a possible violation of institutional rules and will be held on AC status until the investigation is complete.

However, I was placed on a disciplinary cell without any of my legal work let alone property of any sort, no heat, no pen, paper, etc. Not even toothpaste. This was on Dec 29, 2009. Today is, I believe Jan 10, 2010, I could not have filed any paperwork because they do not hand out any supplies, I managed to get this pen because I fished it from under the cell door.

I have no idea what these pigs are doing with my property. Now I ask of you at MIM to assist me on succeeding in a 42 USC 1983 suit because the conditions I am under are meant to sabotage all my litigation efforts.

MIM(Prisons) responds: A good sign of whether you are a threat to the system is whether you are allowed to organize in your own interests. Union organizers in the united $tates are not put in isolation cells, Latinos with anti-imperialist literature, or even just legal books are.

With our limited resources we provide support to the legal efforts of our comrades that best target strategic battles that will benefit the most people. To be a part of the legal strategizing process write in to join our Jailhouse Lawyers group.

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [California Correctional Institution] [California]
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Mail and Other Policy Violations by Prison Staff

The current problem that we prisoners here in CCI Tehachapi are facing at the moment is that our captors are ignoring and deliberately going against the same Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual that they expect us, the prison population to abide by.

Our captors are in violation of these Rules and Regulations by not delivering or issuing out our property, packages, newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and books as stated in Title 15 rules and Regulations section 3134 General Mail Regulations. "Inspection of ingoing mail and outgoing packages will occur as follows: (4) Delivery by staff of packages, special purchase, and all publications shall be completed as soon as possible but not later than 15 calendar days, except during holiday seasons such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, and during lockdown of affected inmates."

In consequence to our captors unwillingness to abide by their own Title 15 Rules and Regulations manual, they've now created an oppressive environment for new arrivals to this institution by placing them in a cell for long periods of time (sometimes nearly up to three months) without their property, which includes their appliances and reading materials.

Other ways our captors violate our rights is by not honoring the following:

Title 15:
Section 3060: "Institution will provide the means for all inmates to keep themselves and their living quarters clean and practice good health habits."

Section 3061: "Inmates must keep themselves clean, and practice those health habits essential to the maintenance of physical and mental well being." Note, we can't because we only get one small bar or soap per week for both our body and laundry.

Section 3095: "A newly arrived inmate may within 30 days of arrival submit CDC form 184, canteen draw order for any scheduled draw."

Section 3031: "Each inmate shall maintain issued clothing and linen as neat and clean as conditions permit. Weekly laundry exchange shall be provided on a one-per-one basis."

I as well as other prisoners here with me, find ourselves under these oppressive circumstances. We have sent in numerous request slips for our property, packages, and books, but to this date they have all gone unanswered.

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[Rhymes/Poetry]
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Just Imagine


Imagine a world where time stands still
where nothing you do is of your own free will
Stripped of your freedom, your hopes, and your pride,
Surrounded by strangers with no place to hide.
Imagine a place where you're told what to wear,
A place where no one is allowed to grow hair,
You are told each day you're not to talk
And where you can and cannot walk.
A world where you sleep, surrounded by hate,
where all you can do is just sit and wait.

Imagine a world where you have no choice,
where you can't even think because of the noise.
A world where you work but get no pay, and,
made to feel worthless each and every day.
A world where days crawl like a snail,
where all you have hope for is a piece of mail,
A world where you have to eat real quick,
Does this sound like a world that would make you sick?
Imagine a world surrounded by wire.
Able to walk from this place free is your greatest desire,
A world like this is hard to conceive.
Yet here I am, and, cannot leave.

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[Gender] [Abuse] [Florida]
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Gay man targetted for rape

I have been sexually assaulted 11 times in the last 24 months of incarceration in the state of Florida. My cries for help and justice have been ignored, shuffled around to 7 locations in the last 6 months, made to face the grim reality of assaultive sexual behaviors at each new facility with no regard for my welfare. I have been assaulted in the Sarasota, Florida county Jail by a prisoner and a Sheriff's Deputy. Since arriving in the Florida Department of Corrections, I have been subjected to assorted sexual misconduct and rape at all locations I've entered (but one), having been assaulted while in what was supposed to be protective custody at one facility and most recently sodomized on a transport bus between facilities. My criminal case, causing me to bare these violations of my civil rights, is a travesty of justice, filled with bias, prejudice, undue influence, conflict of interest, all corrupting the sentencing outcome.

I am actually a San Francisco resident and openly gay man who unfortunately finds himself incarcerated in the State of Florida due to an automobile accident I was involved in (not caused) with a drunk driver, while here in the state comforting my 2 sons in the abrupt loss of their young mother (my ex-wife) from cancer. As a first time, non-violent, felony offender, never having been in jail or prison before, I have been made to endure horrors and tortures due to my sexual identity that can only be compared to those experienced by victims of the concentration camps era.

During my 24 months of incarceration in an especially non-gay-friendly state like Florida, I have been brutally and repeatedly sexually assaulted through rape, sodomy, harassed, threatened with physical harm, tortured, tormented and victimized by prisoners and law enforcement staff alike. I have been extorted in the amount of $500 paid to another prisoner's attorney fees for protection which never came. I have been made to clean up prisoner feces left in front of my cell door and in the shower prior to my entry as acts of harassment and persecution for my sexual identity. I have often times, while in county jail, been taken to a secluded locked interrogation room, where I was left handcuffed to a desk for up to 5 hours for no apparent reason other than torture, as I have had no disciplinary issues. On one such occasion after a lengthy stay in this room, an officer finally came to escort me back to my cell, before doing so he stripped me naked while still handcuffed to the desk, then proceeded to "pat me down," fondling my torso, buttocks, cavity searched and penetrated me with his fingers, before removing me from the room. These actions seemed for no other reason than my humiliation and his amusement. While these aforementioned abuses happened in Sarasota Florida County Jail, similar instances continue to persist, as were predicted would happen and used as reasoning for downward departure in court, but were ignored, and unacknowledged by presiding judge Charles Roberts.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This is just a small sample of the incidents this prisoner reported to us in a recent letter. In an in depth article on rape and gender in prisons, we did not address the role of sexual preference in rape and sexual assault. This was largely because the information analyzed did not discuss sexual preferences. But stories like this demonstrate clearly how homophobia can play into gender oppression. While the majority of sexual assaults in prisons are male on male, those who are identified as feminine or "faggots" are targeted for homosexual assault by macho guards and prisoners. This is just one more example of vulnerabilities that determine who is victimized, such as age, size and health status, including mental health.

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Idaho]
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We need you

There is a war going on, a fight for your mind's attention. You are laid in front of the machine with the tools to destroy it yet the black and white spinning screen is hauntingly enchanting. The voice that speaks tells you to relax, to think of your team's logo and your favorite song. Your eyes flicker and begin to lower. That warm feeling you get when joy flows over you is felt, you begin to obey but something screams inside of you from the core of yourself. A flashback into childhood shakes your awareness and you remember the sardines your mom turned down claiming she already ate. You stare into the machine who is simultaneously doing its destruction and hypnotizing you but it slips a bit allowing you to see it buying the land of a tribe for some pennies and trinkets while it moves in equipment to ravish the land, displace the indigenous people while creating conditions uninhabitable to anything with a pulse. You feel another child die of starvation where the machine was recently but that thing is spinning telling you its hopeless to resist, eat your ice cream with coffee and be happy it's not you. Your resistance falters until you look at the child holding onto your leg who resembles you more than your partner. The child is looking toward a future yet its plagued by limitations due to something as invaluable as ink on fabric. You grip your hammer and sickle but you are confused at how you will survive without the machine. Then you look around and see the millions of beings of all colors dressed in their different trades clothes with a smile on their face. You can tell they are waiting on something, is it that they are waiting for you to smash the machines that is in front of you that only you can smash or are they waiting for you to fall asleep? Either way the decision is yours, nobody can do it for you. The child looks at you says I love you as much as they do. I need your help as do they, the workers of the world, but the machine needs you too.

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[Abuse] [Censorship] [Texas]
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Property set fire by prison guard

I'm currently caught up in a property situation. Last month one of these pigs and I had an altercation which resulted in the CO setting my property on fire. He also gave another prisoner some of my property as payment for setting the fire for him so that he could burn my property. It took 2 1/2 weeks before the major notified me about my property and he only notified me because he knew that the "grapevine" dropped dime to me the day after it happened.

See, after the aforementioned altercation took place, I was moved to a different housing section. My property was to be moved to the property-room after I was moved. Well, before my property could be moved the CO that I had the altercation with returned and set my property on fire. MIM, if y'all will please excuse me because I just got my Step 1 grievance back and these hoes are talking about my shower shoes is the only thing they're going to replace. Now I have to end this letter because I need to check these hoes about my shit!

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[Medical Care] [California] [ULK Issue 12]
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Forced drugging in prison

I shudder to think that our "public servants" are expunging the minds of united states citizens with drugs, and that the courts are so inept as to resort to such insidious devices as forced druggings. Psychotropic drugs are nothing but a slow poison! It's a threat to one's life, health, mind, and religion. The courts may think they have a legal right to expunge the minds of freeborn citizens, but it's not only a flagrant violation of our rights, it's also attempted murder. Therefore I've elected to protest this atrocity with a hunger-to-starvation strike until this evil poisoning stops or I die. I would rather be dead than see myself slowly deteriorate to such a horrid degradation of life.

I've been informed that if I attempt this they will obtain a court order to force feed me through a tube running in my nose and down my throat while I'm strapped to a gurney. Then they will inject the drugs into me with a needle. Therefore, to save my mind, my health, and my life, I feel I have no choice but to plead almost anything that the courts and DA wants from me to stop this poisoning of my mind, body, and soul. It's ironic that this war on drugs is used to discredit some drugs and people, and then to force some horrid drugs on some people and call it lawful.

MIM(Prisons) adds: This comrade makes an important connection between the various uses of drugs by the state. While many prisoners are suffering from physical ailments because they are denied health care that people on the outside have easy access to, others have no problem getting their "meds" that are often forced upon them to control their brain chemistry. Both situations attest to the terrible waste of life that the system perpetuates.

Also see an earlier report by another California comrade in Under Lock & Key 5: Using psychology to drug political prisoners

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[Medical Care] [Florida]
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Denied adequate treatment

I myself have had health complications for the past two years in which I've caught a stomach infection twice. I was diagnosed with H-Pylori (Helico bacteria infection) which basically comes from dirty food on utensils. It is known that this stomach infection can cause cancer if not appropriately treated. To go on further, I've been experiencing burning sensations in my private areas, for which the Florida State Prison and the Union Correctional Institution have continuously run the same tests, never attempting to try another course of treatment, which only causes more suffering.

I've been repeatedly charged a sum of $4 per entry of sick call only to be denied adequate medical treatment. Medical staff, as well as security staff, continue to act as if my complaint of medical illnesses are a mental issue, and not physical until just recently after two full years. I was seen by a urologist due to family support and the consistent inciting of grievances and was told I had kidney stones. So, whoever you are, and wherever you are just know that we all can contribute to struggles for basic rights and with determination we all can achieve our goals, and conquer.

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[Political Repression] [Organizing] [Wisconsin Secure Program Facility] [Wisconsin]
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Fighting repression in Wisconsin

For years now me and other like-minded brothers have been actively engaged in the struggle against this injustice system and the Wisconsin DOC (which is just a microcosm of the Amerikan prison/plantation complex at large). At present, I'm being warehoused at Wisconsin's Supermax Plantation, under the pretext of "conspiracy to harm prison staff" and group resistance" (i.e. gang activity). But the real reason for my midnight transfer to Supermax was that a group of a chosen few conscious brothers decided to challenge the conditions of living in an overtly racist prison system through completely legal means: by inmate complaint and if that was not effective then the next step was to call an absolutely non-violent prisoner work stoppage. But in an effort to invalidate the group complaint and destroy prisoner unity, the fascist prison authorities, with the help of prisoner collaborators, used this perfectly legal method of prisoner protest as an opportunity to enact even more repressive policies all the while shacking down more funds for "better prison security" (hiring more racist guards).

Also, they wasted no time in clearing the plantation of any prisoner who the authorities deemed an agitation to the system: the jail house lawyers, prison litigators, religious leaders and prisoners of any kind of respect and influence among the prison population. These were the brothers who had a history of challenging the system and promoting unity. And as arbitrary retribution, the brothers who they assumed were the leaders of the group complaint were kidnapped in the middle of the night, without due process and shipped to Supermax (me included).

That was 3 years ago. Now I'm scheduled to leave here next month. Even though this experience has been a trying ordeal I am not deterred in the struggle against this beast! I feel morally obligated to continue the fight to try and enlighten the prison class of our agenda and our common struggle.

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