The Voice of the Anti-Imperialist Movement from

Under Lock & Key

Graphic design skills? Help us with our new logo! help out
[Rhymes/Poetry] [Tennessee]
expand

Three strikes in California


In the state of California
They say 3 strikes you're out
If you don't know what that means
Let me explain what the game is about
Now strikes are known as felonies
and they can cause some strife
with 2 you're going to prison
with 3 you're going for life
This law will break up families
and uncover societies fears
The streets will fill with blood
and little children's tears
I say the streets will fill with blood
with this law you choose
A two strike prisoner facing life
has nothing left to lose
If you've ever been to prison
I'm sure you understand
A person without their freedom
is like a person without their hands
And what about all the children
and the parents they have lost?
Suicide and welfare lines
are just a fragment of the cost
and what about the prisons
filled beyond their max
it's those who voted for this law
the government will tax
this law was passed in ignorance
by the people of this states
I hope that it is corrected
before it is too late.

chain
[Control Units] [Texas] [ULK Issue 5]
expand

Segregation in Texas

After five years in administrative segregation with no disciplinary cases of any kind, I went before the State Classification Committee, for the tenth time. Again I was denied going to population at any level of custody. Before I left this hearing I spoke with the chair of the hearing and asked "Will I ever be allowed out of Seg?" He looked back in my file and said "No I don't think you will, or at least not until you're very old."

I served another four years with only two minor disciplinary cases, when I was called in by the Gang Intelligence Officer. I was told that I'd sent a letter to a confirmed gang member, four years ago. There was nothing illegal or gang related in that letter. I never received any notice of confiscation, the stamp was still on the envelope. This G.I. claimed I was a member of an STG (Security Threat Group). I denied this saying: "Actually it's you who believes in State Censorship and theft of the mail, and of course locking men up without hearings." We had several sharp exchanges of words before she had me stand on a wall as she examined my body for Tattoos; I have none. Her last words were that she'd have me tagged.

At this point I really didn't care because after all I'd already been told I'd never be released from Segregation. However it did place me in a somewhat awkward position because I wasn't a member of the alleged group. Upon being returned to my cell I wrote a kite to a member of the alleged group, and later received an answer saying: "Don't sweat it, you'll have a confirmation hearing, they can't tag you for that letter."

I proceeded to write out my defense, all the reasons I was not and could not be a member of the alleged group. However I was never given a confirmation hearing and have never received confirmation papers to this day. The next time I went before the State Classification Committee I was informed that I was a confirmed gang member.

I have now been in segregation for 12 years with three major disciplinary cases and two minor cases. Conditions here are similar to what I've read described by segregated prisoners in other states. Recreation is supposed to be run seven days a week for one hour, but we are very lucky if we get 4 days and usually it is less. If you write grievances your cell will be torn apart and your property broken. The grievance system is set up so that it is impossible for any prisoner to ever win no matter how much evidence you present.

Recently four toilets stopped working - they wouldn't flush. The first one broke down for eleven days before it was fixed. You'd think eleven days without a toilet would be illegal but not here in Texas. Yesterday a man a couple doors down went down sick vomiting blood and he couldn't breath very well, he was able to call the wing officer but she refused to even come see what was going on. It took the whole wing banging to get a Lieutenant to check this prisoner. It only took them one hour and fifteen minutes to respond to a prisoner who is supposed to be watched because they know he is sick.

Now that I'm a confirmed gang member, I am only allowed to see State Classification once per year. I believe that these hearings are illegal because to satisfy due process they are supposed to be meaningful hearings. How can a hearing be meaningful when the committee will tell you "We don't have the authority to release you from Seg. You will have to sign up for GRAD." GRAD is the Gang Renunciation and Disassociation program. Basically it's known as the SNITCH program because you must renounce your membership and supply information on the gang. If you don't have the information they want that's ok, they will supply it and you can sign it.

In response to what we consider illegal rules and confinement, both my cellmate and I have become more and more involved in prison activism. We believe that all segregation is punitive and that non-punitive segregation is a lie. In fact, segregation is one of the most severe forms of punishment and should easily constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

We believe that if segregation is used as punishment for disciplinary violations, that all men should have the opportunity to earn their way out of segregation by their behavior, not by becoming or forced to become state informants.

chain
[Censorship] [Organizing] [Texas]
expand

Repression in Texas

I would like our community of revolutionaries to know what is going on in the confines of Preston Smith Unit. The gang intelligence officer took all of my property, saying that I was trying to recruit a feline pen pal into the ALKQN. When my property was returned to me I was missing people's birthday dates, the names of people getting married, and all my addresses and phone numbers.

The reason that was given was "dangerous contraband." I don't know when such things became "dangerous," none of the people have tried to break me out of prison or smuggle in contraband. I have been incarcerated for a little over eleven years, I have had the gang intelligence take my property several times. At no time have they tried to take my addresses, they have taken pictures, names and numbers of inmates and even raps. At no time have they gone this far.

I have no way to contact anyone that I know and it is infuriating. The gang intelligence has cut me off form society and I still have a little over seven years before I see parole.

The grievance system is a joke, here are people who are chummy with those who we "write up." Do we actually think that we will get results? Of course not. That is a fallacy that only novice prisoners might believe in. The truth of the matter is, the injustice system gets away with so much due to those who are outside of it, not doing anything to assist those who are inside.

This [Under Lock and Key] is a forum, sort of a think thank. We know far more collectively than we do individually. All that needs to be done is to set the stage for a movement. That's why they really took all my addresses, they fear my mind and power to build.

It is time to unify into one, we must set objectives that we reach on a deadline. How beautiful it would be to have 7,000 people call and write letters about one issue at a time.

chain
[Censorship] [California]
expand

Censorship at Pelican Bay State Prison

For the past eighteen years a clear pattern of racial discrimination and political persecution has reared its ugly head, its presence is vivid clear and profound, a procedural manifestation within the protocols of official -sanctioned practice here at Pelican Bay. Which simply means the inherent propensity to discriminate against New Afrikan (Black) prisoners, an antiquated evil which is still prevalent in today's society and is magnified ten-fold within the concrete confines of the U.S. penal system and its deplorable code of conduct.

Though we can concede to the observations that socio-demographics contributed and facilitates the proliferation and perpetuation of racial discrimination, being that the majority of U.S. prisons are located in white rural areas where New Afrikan people are only an image on the 5 o'clock news. It is only inevitable that racism flourishes in these areas. Many of the local rural citizens are hired to work in these new prisons, and they don't leave their racist beliefs/attitudes at home. In fact these folks bring/import their racist attitudes with them, and these attitudes manifest themselves within the core penological psyche of the Prison Industrial Slave-Complex thus influencing every aspect of the Prison Industrial Slave-Complex and this is applicable to the entire U.S. penal system.

In Pelican Bay State Prison the inherent racism has manifested in a very blatant but unique way. The Institutional Gang Investigation Unit (IGI), Investigative Service Unit (ISU) and the Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) out of Sacramento have reduced New Afrikan (Black) history and culture to prison gang politics. By doing so they have limited New Afrikan politically conscious prisoners ability to learn and teach our history and created a method to circumvent our first amendment rights, for example: New Afrikan revolutionary prisoners presently being housed in the security housing unit (SHU - Solitary Confinement). We are forbidden to possess any book, literature/material or pictures/drawings by or about George Jackson, we can't even write about George Jackson. This is considered contraband and gang activity. They have reduced George Jackson to a prison gang symbol. This is a method they have employed to conceal their racial and political persecution. But it don't stop there, we are also forbidden to possess any literature or publication about/or that mentions Black August. Though New Afrikan people in every major state including the New Afrikan Independence Movement/New Afrikan Liberation Movement commemorate Black August. It is considered gang activity for us to write about it or commemorate it.

They have also criminalized the New Afrikan Independence Movement by reducing its primary ideology (i.e. New Afrikan Revolutionary nationalism) to prison gang politics. They have confiscated any/and all relevant literature. They have reduced our political activities to gang activities. For example, about 8 years ago I wrote a pamphlet titled "The Bell Curve Conspiracy - A Recipe for Black Genocide." Two of the New Afrikan prisoners who contributed to this booklet were also alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family (like myself). For this reason alone this pamphlet was confiscated, claiming we were involved in gang activity. Anytime we come together to participate in a clear political act it is reduced to gang activity and every literature that is associated with that project is confiscated.

Another example: I had Professor Dorothy B. Fardan (Sojourner Truth Forum School, Center for Human Growth) send me a printed copy of a proposal I had written back in 1996 and revised in 2002. this proposal is designed to eradicate hunger/starvation among all children, Black children in particular, because they content I had intended to distribute copies to other alleged Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) members it was confiscated and I was accused of participating in gang activity.

People, what I have described to you above is only a brief glimpse of what we as New Afrikan prisoners are going through. We are also being penalized for our political activities, when they reduce our political activities to gang activities. They are then able to write negative reports which can and have affected our release to the general population, many of us have been in solitary/isolation over 20 years, for me it has been 25 years in the hole. At least 12 of us have lawsuits pending in the Federal Court, and many more are in the process. Before I end this, I would like to provide you with one more example. On January 30, 200, special gang units from Sacramento along with IGI that ISU raided our cells, the following is a listing of what all they had confiscated stating it was gang related, list one consists of my personal writings and list two consists of Black historical, cultural and political literature and artwork and religious material:

List one: 1. New Afrikan Criminology 101 textbook. 2. Other literature pertaining to New Afrikan Criminology 101. 3. Bell Curve conspiracy (pamphlet). 4. The U.S. fradulent annual crime report (pamphlet) 5. All material pertaining to the George Jackson University and Marcus Garvey Study Group. 6. Pan-Afrikan Community Dept. of Agriculture proposal. 7. Support the Pelican Bay State Prison peace summit (proposal). Note: unbeknownst to many, California prison system averages 300-500 race-based riots/melees a year and this does not include the individual race-motivated stabbings. This has been going on for the past 20 years and now it has spilled over into the streets of Los Angeles. 8. Save the Black Farm (proposal) 9. How to stop the spread of the Control Unit Prison (proposed strategy) 10. All my writings concerning George Jackson and Black August. 11. All my notes and rough drafts to at least 15 proposals. 12. Over 40 poems.

List two: 1. Blood in my Eye, by George Jackson. 2. Malcolm X Last Speech. 3. Revolutionary Handbook, by Kwame Nkrumah. 4. A pamphlet on the Black Liberation Army. 5. A pamphlet commemorating those members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army that was murdered during the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. 6. All literature pertaining to George Jackson. 7. A picture and art work of George Jackson. 8. A painting of dead Black Panther members. 9. Revolutionary artwork. 10. All literature pertaining to Black August. 11. A CD cover: one song titled Long Liver the Guerrilla, one song dedicated to George Jackson. 12. Approximately seven newsletters from the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. 13. Pictures. 14. A number of handwritten material. 15. Chairman Mao interpretation of Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism. 16. Swahili dictionary. 17. Seven Christian pamphlets by the army of god. 18. Black history book catalog. 19. A class action petition (note: they claim this legal petition is a cover designed to disguise a roster of alleged BGF members).

All the property listed in both list one and two were all confiscated under the fabricated contention it was all prison-gang related. In addition to the censorship, political persecution, we are being intentionally further isolated, New Afrikan prisoners are often assigned to one cell in a pod, while our racist oppositions can occupy up to five/six cells in a eight cell pod, leaving us with no one to communicate with or share our political views. This is a deliberate act by IGI, OCS and the administration.

People, we are presently developing a campaign, if you are interested in helping us put an end to official censorship and political persecution contact MIM(Prisons).

Petition Against Censorship and Political Persecution

1) We demand the immediate end to the IGI/ISU censorship program targeting New Afrikan politically conscious prisoners being held in the security housing unit 1, 2, 3 and 4.
2) We demand the immediate end to the ban on all material concerning George Jackson
3) We demand the immediate end to the ban on all material concerning Black August
4) We demand the immediate end to the political persecution of those New Afrikan revolutionary prisoners who are presently being held in Pelican Bay security housing unit 1, 2, 3 and 4.
5) We demand the immediate end to the racial isolation of those New Afrikan revolutionary prisoners being held in the Security Housing Unit 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Campaign info:
MIM Banned in CA!
chain
[Abuse] [California]
expand

Arsenic in the water at Killa Kern

Revolutionary greetings to all. I’m back one again to report the activities here at Killa Kern for the week. To start it off, we’re still dealing with the same problems of the prices on canteen items risen. And the Arsenic poison being fed throughout our prison’s plumbing system.

Now on the count of California’s Governor failing to come up with a way to break bread and relieve its paper pushers of this cash crisis. I gotta give it (the rise of canteen prices) to the Dept of Corrections. They’re doing their thang, and not getting any criticism about it. The people ain’t trippin, cause the soldiers ain’t trippin. So what the hell! Let ‘em do them which is a feeling that can be understood by a person who understands).

But when the war becomes physical, and the effect goes from psychological and financial, to actually harming ones internal organs, somebody has to stand up and shut it down. These folks here at Killa Kern (named that by me for the way they’re killing their prison population mentally, spiritually, financially, and physically) have already released data that shows a long consumption of this tainted water over a period of time could cause respiratory problems that could lead to cancer. But they say “it’s no emergency, it’s no biggy, we’ll have the problem fixed within 13 months. There’s no need to bring in an outside source of water. Just keep drinking the arsenic water. We’ll get around to it.”

With this sort of response by this prison and its agents, one should be able to see the reason for my naming it Killa Kern. I mean truthfully, how long is too long of a consumption? Three years, four years, or five? Shit, maybe it’s a decade.

I have been at this death chamber for over half a year, and I’ve been heavily drinking the water since my arrival. I work out a lot so I have to stay hydrated. But look what I have to stay hydrated to: Arsenic Lead. This is some shit I wouldn’t even let my hogs drink. And they’re said to be the nastiest animal of them all. This lead that they have us drinking is a weapon of modern day human destruction, and it’s killing us slowly.

I haven’t yet been able to obtain the scientific data needed to enlighten the convict body here, or those who read MIM(Prisons), if anyone reading can add facts of researched data on the damages and long term effects that Arsenic lead can cause to the body, please contact me with the info.

We need them to correct Kern Valley’s water problem now. If this can’t be done, they need to bring in a secondary outside water source for us to drink.

chain
[National Oppression] [California]
expand

Black August Resistance - history is a weapon

August is one of the hottest months in many ways. Many of the great New Afrikan slave rebellions, including Gabriel Prosser's and Nat Turner's were planned for August. It is the month of the birth of the great Pan-Africanist and Black Nationalist leader, Marcus Garvey, and also of our New African freedom fighter Dr. Mutulu Shakur. New Afrikans took to the street in rebellions in Watts CA in August 1965. On August 18, 1971 in Jackson Mississippi, the official residence of the Republic of New Afrika was raided by Mississippi police and FBI agents.

August 1989 marked the 10th anniversary of Black August commemorations. The promotion of a conscious, non-sectarian mass based New Afrikan resistance culture, both inside and outside the prison walls all across the U.S. Empire. Black August originally started among the brothers in the California Penal System to honor three fallen comrades and to promote a Black culture of resistance and revolutionary development.

The first brother, Jonathan Jackson, a 17 year old man child was gunned down August 17, 1970 outside a Marin County California courthouse in an armed attempt to liberate three imprisoned Black Liberation Fighters (James McClain, William Christmans and Ruchell Magee). Ruchell Magee is the sole survivor. George Jackson, Jonathan's older brother and comrade, a great Black revolutionary theoretician and leader was assassinated August 21, 1971 by guards during a Black prison rebellion at San Quentin. In an unsuccessful effort to cover up the state's pre-planned assassination of comrade George. The third brother, Khatari Gaulden, was victimized by the blatant assassination of capitalist corporate medical politics in prison August 1, 1978.

MIM(Prisons) adds: The original Black August Organizing Committee still commemorates this holiday each year. The group works to maintain the original focus of the commemoration on the ongoing war on oppressed nations in the united $tates. Over 40 people came together to form the BAOC in 1979 after a united front of New Afrikan prisoners formed in 1978 following Khatari's murder. This year's commemoration featured New Afrikan, Native and Asian cultural acts intermixed with the political presentations with a focus on promoting community.

MIM(Prisons) brought to the attention of the audience that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) considers the celebration a "gang activity." That was how the Institutional Gang Investigation unit justified withholding mail from a comrade to a prisoner that mentioned Black August. They don't try hard to hide he fact that their repression and their so-called war on "gangs" is really about keeping the oppressed in their place. Members of Black August face persecution by the CDCR on the streets as well as in prison.

Meanwhile, a local weekly in Oakland ran a smear piece on Black August following the CDCR line. The article bad mouths Black Panthers George Jackson (falsely accusing him of being a convicted murderer) and Basheer Hameed (who just died this past week).

chain
[Abuse] [California]
expand

Cuts in recreations, arsenic in the water

As always I extend my revolutionary love and respect to the comrades of your staff. As things here at KVSP have changed once again like the seasons, I write in to briefly report my captors' activity.

After taking advantage of the economic crises here in the states and boosting all of its institution commissary store product prices sky high, the administrators are taking another path of destruction.

Recently there's been talks of California's budget crises and its effect on its massive prison population. But now 'ol Arnold is letting actions speak louder than words. With a so-called job cut for prisons Correction Officers, prisoners are seeing our little bit of program go down the drain with Amerikkka's stranglehold of the world's bottom class. They have come up with what they call "down days," in regards to a total of four days out of the week where there will be no program at all, due to the so-called lack of staff. This means no yard for most, along with any other program or activity that has to do with one being outside his cell and not working for the prison.

Now I know that by U.$. law these folks are required to give us a certain amount of hours a week for recreational purposes, but with this new budget crisis (or whatever you want to call it) the judge is going to say their arguments of shortness of staff are valid. And to sum it up, they did that just like they took the weights and the family visits for lifers. Hell, they did that just like this prison is feeding its population "arsenic lead" through its plumbing system. They've had a memo on the issue floating around for almost eight months now, but its like the taste only gets stronger. They've admitted that it's there (I guess as a warning) but have done nothing to change it, and we have no choice but to drink it. How about those apples?

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [California]
expand

Inlisted


Inraged by the blaze that's been set by the states.
I have ingraved a personal aid in the fight against the snakes.
Yes against the Fakes and all its stragglers of the game.
I pledge the help of all myself from feet to full round brain.
Although Id like to skip the range and go straight to the field,
To skip the class would be my ass and that's just keeping it real.
How can one dismantle the tank when one can't assemble a gun?
I must learn true strategy, before attending true made fun.
A rise and true made revolution is destined in this land
As the turning of a power where the peasants take command
The winds blow a sharpness clearing smoke from Peoples War
with the sun high and smiling full of knowledge of what's in store.
Nations come together baring arms to feed the starved
While also giving up the shots to cure all AIDS scared
No more injustice killings, or the kiling of true troops
No more miseducating or the raping of our youth
For I have inlisted

chain
[Rhymes/Poetry] [California]
expand

Death to Oppression


It is the exposure of the capitalistic heart, and the imperialistic mind,
that has me fine with the destruction of its total system.
Fill up the clip for my gun and place its barrel in its rectum.
The revolutionary trigger is pulled, and at best there's a mess,
For its original insides will no longer exist
No longer resist,
The strong temptation to fin a deep dug black hole like a rabbit confined.
Hide in it like a snake on decline
From the troops on their fast paced way to demolish your lines
Class struggle with submission to time.
Off the break when admitting the crime?
Hell no!
I've committed the mind, and have purchased a nine for your conviction.
No Petition.
You are found guilty and will visit a mortician.
Get out the kitchen.
The people have spoke and for this is their mission.
Death to the oppressor and all its ways of oppression.

chain
[Control Units] [Indiana]
expand

Unlock the Box survey - Indiana

These are two prisons that have designated cells where prisoners are in solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day with no congregate dining, exercise or other services.

1. Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Secure Confinement Unit, PO Box 111 Carlisle, IN 47838

2. Maximum Control Facility, PO Box 557, Westville, IN 46391

I have been in both and the following statistics apply to both prisons:

There are around 250-330 prisoners
It is around 48% white and 48% Black and 2% Latino
The units opened 15-20 years ago
Prisoners have been abused physically by offers in the past
Prisoners are regularly subject to humiliation and refusal of showers

chain