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[Prison Labor] [California]
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CDCR taking 55% of money sent to prisoners

My respects to all of you. I just wanted to let you know your letter was a touch down and is being passed around so others can be enlightened on topics that you provide so the struggle can be strengthened by more support on the inside.

As always, the condition in the SHU is poor, but I want to bring up another issue. The CDCR is taking 55% of all money loved ones or friends send. This is strong arm extortion at the highest level. It can also be considered robbery since none of my victims have been given a penny in reimbursement. I'm not alone in this concern. 95% of the prisoners are effected by this extortion. This needs to be addressed to the state legislators so they know the prison is not providing jobs to prisoners to earn money to pay off any restitution owed. It's been said it may go to 60% soon. It is not fair to friends or loved ones to pay any restitution we owe. I am slammed down 24/7 as well as everyone in the SHU, so none of us are able to get jobs.

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[Control Units] [Texas] [ULK Issue 6]
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False STG validation

I still, to this day, have no idea how they confirmed me as being a part of an STG [Security Threat Group]. I've been in one fight that I got wrote up for and never had a weapon on me at any time. They don't have any kites with my name in them and they won't tell me anything. One day they just said you confirmed a member of an STG and locked me up.

I'm not a part of this group they confirmed me as, and the only way out is to take a G.R.A.D. program, and to do this I have to sign a paper saying yes I am a member, when I'm not. Doing this will put my life in danger as having marked an X to something I never was a part of.

They should change some rules in TDCJs in Texas because these GIs are just confirming people left and right saying they're confirmed when they are not. I'm not the only one who's been done like this.

How can I make them tell me what evidence they're using to confirm me? What could I do to help people like me get out of AdSeg without taking that G.R.A.D. program?

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[Gender] [Control Units] [Mississippi] [ULK Issue 5]
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Segregation in Mississippi

While at the Parchman plantation I spent 5 1/2 years in a sensory deprivation unit called Unit 32. It holds a thousand bodies, but when I first got there it was doubled up due to banging between the Vice Lords and Black Gangster Disciples. The racial makeup was over 90% Black with a smattering of caucasians and one or two Vietnamese and Latinos.

I was first placed in it for my crime and length of sentence: Aggravated assault - my sentence is 110 years. I was kept in there due to my lack of conforming to their principles, willingness to attack them in court, filing numerous grievances, refusing to be brainwashed, and most importantly I did not lose my mind. Currently I am in federal court pursuing a censorship and 8th amendment cause (2nd hand tobacco smoke exposure) as I have pulmonary problems and a strong desire to be kept abreast of world events and revolutionary education.

People are ad segged for fighting, escape attempts, standing up to the officials, dirty urine, trying to obtain education or better health care, fighting the phone system monopoly and canteen monopoly, trying to obtain and utilize knowledge to make a better way for themselves and family, and for trying to obtain better prison living conditions (i.e. less overcrowding, sanitary, food, etc.)

Unit 32 opened in 1989 and has not been expanded. However, there are rumors that they are in the process of building two, possibly three more deprivation units in MS. One is to be down here and the other in Rankin County, MS, AKA Central MS Correctional Facility.

I know all about female psycho-sexual predators [as described in ULK 4]. In Parchman it is very prevalent. They use it to control prisoners in various ways. I've actually seen them (females) take out hits on people using their boy toy to do it. I like sex as well, if not more so then the next person, but I have never and will never lower myself to do some crap such as that. Nor set up a brother with drugs, hooch, or weapons. Down here it is not so much actual sex, though that happens too, it is the expectation that it could happen if the person just plays his cards right, or wrong as the case actually is.

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[Abuse] [Gender] [Montana] [ULK Issue 6]
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Psycho-Sexual Warfare Article Speaks to Others

I have been receiving your newsletter for a couple of years now and have thought to write on many occasions. But reading the article "Psycho-Sexual Warfare vs Political Prisoners" by a New York Prisoner has finally compelled me to do so. My own personal experiences within Montana's prison system share some common ground and I thought I would take the time to offer a comparison.

Unlike most of your contributors, I am not only a political prisoner within the prison system itself, I am a political prisoner for opposing the corrupt authorities on the outside, as well. I did not commit a crime to be arrested, I sued the City of Kalispell, Montana, and was charged with a false crime and arrested, followed by a kangaroo court trial and conviction, to stop my suit against those authorities.

Upon entering the prison system I committed myself to fighting the system from the inside. I have used my legal knowledge to file hundreds of legal documents for other prisoners (in spite of unlawful rules and regulations prohibiting prisoners from assisting each other with legal matters) and filed several claims in the courts on my own, including an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) suit and a class action suit for numerous civil liberty violations.

As a vocally outspoken opponent of the prison industrial complex as a whole, and the Montana State prison system specifically, I have made myself quite the target for retaliations from the prison administration. Though I have not had the sexual element foisted upon me as my New York counterpart reports, I have had the rest done to me. I am a low custody prisoners presently confined in a high security lock-down facility, for instance. This has been done in spite of the authorities' foreknowledge that I am claustrophobic, in spite of the fact that I am housed with predatorily violent prisoners, many of whom are staff bulldogs (prisoners who work for the cops, basically acting as strong-arms against anyone in disfavor with those same cops). I have been not only placed in "ambiguous and pressure-filled situation(s)" but I have been beaten by an inmate who did so I believe at staff instruction.

I have had privileges stripped from me, and even property stolen from me, by staff members whose only intent is to harass and provoke me. Yes, I have been on the receiving end of efforts designed to "dehumanize" me and to make me "subservient." And I have only been subjected to all of this extra hardship because I will not break and I continue to fight the system. The New York prisoner is absolutely right in this regard - prison officials isolate those with the greatest potential and subject them to abuses designed to strip us of our focus and will.

I wanted him and everyone else suffering similar hardship to know that you are not alone. Others fight the war with you. Each time prison officials fail to break you, it's a victory. Remember that and stand strong.

I wish my brothers and sisters in solidarity strength and goodwill.

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[Censorship] [California] [ULK Issue 6]
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Responses to ULK4 on censorship

I'd like to comment on some of the articles written by prisoners in September's ULK. While I haven't finished reading it just yet, only the prisoner articles, I quite enjoyed the ULK. This edition should've been titled "The Censorship Issue."

It's true that institutions throughout the country focus only on Black and Brown oriented magazines, citing "pornographic material" or "gang paraphernalia." Now this doesn't just have to do with "Vibe" or "XXL" or "Maxim en Espanol." Even "ESPN en Espanol" has begun to be targeted within SVSP. Now last I checked "ESPN en Espanol" focuses on soccer and sports in Latin America in general and last I checked there weren't many scantily clad women in this magazine. So what's the deal? It seems that since many adult institutions so successfully banned pornographic materials, such as pictures and magazines, now they're trying to stop us from appreciating our own women who aren't even naked in these magazines. Now that they see that they can get away with this they seem to move on to sports magazines stating that they can't understand the language therefore there's a possibility that coded messages might be hidden somewhere in the text or some other frivolous, ridiculous reason.

To me this seems like a type of aggressive assimilation. You can't look at brown/black women, but you can look at some fancy white model in Vogue magazine. Also I recall seeing an issue of GQ magazine sometime back with an article about a supposed member of the CRIPS gang in Watts. In this article there were a few pictures which, if found in Vibe or any other culturally oriented magazine, would've deemed the magazine a "safety and security risk" to the institution, but because it was in good 'ol GQ, no one batted an eye. I'm sure they don't even bother to crack those open for inspection in the mail rooms inside institutions across Amerikkka.

Another article that caught my attention in the ULK was the plight of the South Carolina inmate. There seems to be a lot wrong with what's going on over there. To begin with, by law every institutional law library must be properly stocked and equipped with adequate and up to date legal materials. Off hand I can't remember the title of the case but I believe this has already been decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. Next time I go to law library I'll try to find it.

Also concerning the New Mexico inmate whose grievances are not being responded to, it would be a good idea if he acquired declarations from other inmates there who've gone through similar experiences he could use these declarations to show the court how the prison refuses to let prisoners exhaust their remedies. This is what I'm doing for a couple of guys here whose civil suits were dismissed in the district court due to supposedly not exhausting the remedies. They are now appealing in the 9th Circuit and my declarations of how I found 602s and legal mail in the trash will hopefully be helpful.

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[Control Units] [Ohio]
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Info on control units in Ohio

I’m in a controlled unit that’s called 4B. It’s a special unit of the Maximum Security Prison of Ohio (max security level is rated 4 while 4B is a secluded section of the same prison). This is also where they administer the death penalty. People are sent to 4B for assaults, drugs, fights, etc. I came from a close security prison #3). One must do 6 months, 1 year or 18 months here on 23 hour lock down before going to general population, depending on your case. General population is called 4A here, at the same prison.

There are 6 cell blocks of 4B, 9 cell-blocks of 4A, 1 cell block of “the hole” (segregation) for 4A, 2 cell blocks for “protective custody” and one for Security Threat Groups” (gangs). On the 6 cell blocks of 4B you have 80 prisoners in each. The cells have bars and some brothers conduct themselves like animals (cursing, yelling, throwing urine and waste, etc.). Televisions are hung on the walls outside of the cells. Racially it’s probably 60% Black, 30% white, 10% other. This first opened after the riots went down here in 1993 (the Lucasville Riots). Going to recreation we have to chain up on ankles, arms behind backs and placed on a collective chain.

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[Abuse] [California]
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Limiting toilet flushing in California

Just recently CDCR replaced all state owned prison institutions with new flushing mechanisms for the toilets, The flush-o-meters. This is supposed to save money on water waste, leaving the prison money, in other words. First off the flush-o-meter varies from prison to prison. But basically you get 2 flushes within a 15 minutes time zone. If you flush a 3rd time the toilet locks for 15 minutes. If you check within 15 minutes that the toilet is locked, the timer resets. So you could have your toilet lock for a long time (I myself had it lock for over 90 minutes).

The thing is, if you live with a cellmate you need to flush your waste down because of the smell. It's the only logical thing to do. No one flushes that many times.

This is supposed to be a big money saver. First the CDCR pays pennies for work (prisoner's work) so it's a joke. It's basically slave labor. A form of slavery in the worst kind. Because people want to get out of their cells they do anything, It's like building your own cage. So right off the bat the CDCR saved for the installation of the flush-o-meter. Where did all the extra money go that they saved? Who knows.

Second off, the water waste is lessened supposedly. So the water bill for all state prisons are less. Where does that money go? My assumption is that it does not go back to help rehabilitation of prisoners. This machines is broken down, it needs reform and change. One thing for sure, whatever budget the CDCR wants, it gets.

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[Censorship] [Gender] [Clinton Correctional Facility] [New York] [ULK Issue 6]
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NY promotes Sexual Harrassment and Violence


8/12/2008

Yo, I just want you to know that I received your letter and that I didn't get the MIM Theory #7. I am waiting for the grievance that I filed on 8/5/08 and I just wrote to the superintendent of programs about this. I got the manila envelope that they send the MIM Theory in, but the MIM Theory was not in the envelope, instead there was a pictorial sex book.

...I don't know if it was on tv out there but the jail got locked down for like 4 to 5 days and 4 C/Os got cut or stabbed, so shit's been crazy.


8/18/2008

I just wanted to let you know that I didn't get the MIM Theory #7. I wrote to M. Putnode, Deputy Supt./Programs Services and they said that they do not have it. I wrote a grievance and they didn't write back.


- a prisoner in Clinton Correctional Facility

MIM(Prisons) comments: We can document a history of abuse and targeting of politically conscious prisoners at Clinton Correctional Facility going back years and naming names. Numerous prisoners have filed complaints regarding these staff members, and groups like the Correctional Association of New York (in 2004) have reported on these trends. Yet the state has still not put an end to it.

This example is similar to others at Clinton, where there is no paper trail, allowing the administration to say that nothing happened and deny responsibility. In other words, the NYS DOCS has granted staff the freedom to act however they see fit to repress efforts at organization and education in Clinton.

We have written in previous issues about the gender oppression of prisoners. This act of sexual harassment is just one more example of that. A Black man tries to educate himself about the liberation of his people and some cracker steals the literature we send and replaces it with porn. He sees the Black man as having no interests outside of smoking weed and chasing pussy, and this is how he reacts when faced with reality.

Upstate and Five Points have recently censored mail from MIM(Prisons) as well alleging that it promotes violence. Once more, for the record, MIM(Prisons) does not promote violence, we promote a world free of oppression. Only the oppressor can decide how that will come about. Unfortunately, we do not have the power to do so ourselves. We can only transform the world we find ourselves in by understanding its internal nature.

Some recent censorship was justified because it was critical of prison labor, the physical abuse of a prisoner in New York, and advertised lawsuits that are pending against the state. The most recent prison censorship case, Lorenzo Johnson v. Rick Raemisch, Daniel Westfield, and Michael Thurmer, Case No. 07-C-390-C, upheld that prisons cannot censor literature because it is critical of their department. And attempts at stifling support for class action suits is just one more effort to prevent prisoners access to legal protection. The recent attacks at Clinton reported here show what happens when you don't allow prisoners access to legitimate grievance procedures when staff becomes abusive, as they inevitably do in such an oppressive situation.

The policy of the NYS DOCS of supporting staff committing these abuses for years demonstrate a clear attempt by the department to promote violence. Even if they can't learn from their own experience, we've been telling them this for years, and we know they read our literature, so they can't claim ignorance. They want violence, because they use violence as an excuse for further repression. Repression is against the interests of the oppressed, so the oppressed (MIM(Prisons) included) oppose this violence that is being promoted at Clinton.

see censorship records

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [Tennessee]
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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.

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[Control Units] [Texas] [ULK Issue 5]
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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.

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