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[Control Units] [Menard Correctional Center] [Illinois]
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Illinois: Down with Menard's seg quota

Menard Correctional Centers Segregation Unit consists of one abnormally large cell house, which has the capacity of 490 inmates. Menard had only one major incident this year and there's hardly anyone getting into trouble. So in order to justify using so much space for segregation, the staff issued quotas for each population cell house on how many inmates they need to send to segregation. So the staff sets out to find reasons to place inmates in segregation.

During quota filling time, correctional officers exaggerate disciplinary reports, by writing tickets for "intimidation and threat" because an inmate stared at them too long. Or they charge people with "gang activity" when six or seven people are standing in a small group on the yard. Oftentimes, they can't exaggerate tickets so they talk loudly and curse at inmates to provoke a verbal or physical response. If all else fails, they will utilize the Internal Affairs Confidential Sources procedure, which uses inmate trustees to lie on gang members. Law advocates say that the inmates are planning some outrageous security threat, so that they can lock them in segregation anywhere from 30 to 60 days under "investigative status." I encourage any and all inmates to remain dormant to force the staff here to open at least half the segregation unit's building to the general population, and at the same time neutralize Menard's Segregation quota procedures.

RAIL and MIM respond: The prisoner is correct to expose the everyday injustice as prisoncrats use their power to fix their stupid mistakes. Like this prisoner, we also do not encourage prisoners to fight the pigs since they are currently armed and dangerous. The demand to reduce the size of Menard's segregation unit is a correct one. Segregation brings with it such increased suffering for prisoners as sensory deprivation, reduced yard time, highly restricted contact with other prisoners if any, denial of the ability to work, and tighter controls on visitation. All this is in addition to the loss of good time from tickets, forcing prisoners to serve longer sentences before getting the opportunity to parole.

As we point out in every issue of MIM Notes, the size of the U.$. prison population is too big and growing, with more prisoners per capita than any government since Stalin's during World War II and more Black prisoners than Apartheid South Africa. While we work to bring down this system in its entirety, for the short term we look to fight winnable battles that we can win by legal means. Bettering prisoners' conditions now is a good thing. Any honest persyn can see that getting the Menard Correctional Center to stop manufacturing charges against prisoners is a positive reform that deserves support. To express your views to the Warden, write or call (please send MIM a copy of any correspondence):

Warden George Welborn
Menard Correctional Center
711 Kaskaskia Street
Menard, Illinois 62259
Phone: (618) 826-5071

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[Control Units] [New York]
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New York SHU's repress oppressed nation orgs

I would like to advise MIM that my issues with NYS DOCS on keeping me in admin seg for being a leader of the New York State Latin King Chapter is now in the Albany Co, Supreme Court. The continued segregation and solitary confinement of minority Latinos and Blacks must come to an end. These Special Housing Units (SHU's) in New York State were built under the pretense of placing extremely violent prisoners within them. These new prisons have been built within the past 4 years and 12 new prisons have been built for these reasons. These prisons are not being used for the violent, they are being used for Security Risk Groups: Latin Kings, Bloods, Crips, Rat Hunters & so on.

These new SHU's are filled with people who are here for dirty urine. To justify the money being spent for these prisons they must keep them full! New York State is the only state that gives 5 years solitary confinement on a dirty urine for smoking a stick of weed!(joint) This is their reform and rehabilitation for the drug users!

The article on U.S. prison officials use of torture and biological weapons in MIM Notes 256 is 100% true, because I live it every day of my life since 2000. I've been in the New York State SHU restricted diet (the "loaf") bread mixed with cabbage then baked into a solid gruel. The teargas, pepper spray and so on to an asthmatic is a deadly practice. The stun guns, and electric riot shield is a deadly practice for anyone with a heart problem. The United States Supreme Court abolished cruel and unusual punishment. If these practices aren't cruel and unusual then deadly force along with the governments dumbocracy has just stepped up onto a new plateau!

It's time to wake up and become a part of the resolution to fix the problem.

Peace almighty today, tomorrow and forever. King's love,

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[Control Units] [Indiana]
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Indiana prisoners fight SHU

My comrades and I have just recently won a battle to get out of the SHU unit here in Indiana. We won it through appeals and are now back in the general population. Our release is just a drop in the bucket, though, considering that no one should be subjected to such torments and inhumane treatment. Where some would be happy with gaining their own releases, I will only be happy when the SHUs are abolished. So until that time I must continue to work towards this goal.

Keep in the struggle

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[Control Units] [US Penitentiary Marion] [Federal]
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A brief history of Marion

There are various rumors going around that we will soon be transferred to the new Federal prison complex at Florence, Colorado. Some say we all won't be transferred there; some say only those of us who are classified as "sixes," which is the highest security level in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). We hear that we will be isolated from other convicts, and then we hear we will participate in recreation in groups of nine men. Some say the transfer will begin in September; other indications are that it will be sooner.

We won't know for sure until it happens, and that's the way the BOP wants it—shrouded in mystery.

Whatever happens here in regards to the transfer to Florence, CO, this marks the beginning of a new era in repression of the ever-increasing, restless and angry prison population in the U.S.

With the closing of Alcatraz in 1962 and the simultaneous opening of Marion in Illinois, the Federal BOP has had 32 years to study Marion prisoners, and has shared this knowledge with the state prison systems and prison systems throughout the world. They concentrated what they called High Security Level prisoners here at Marion and began their experiments. For years it was common knowledge that Marion's water was contaminated with PCBs. Several ex-Marion prisoners have died or still suffer from various forms of cancers and central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

In 1972, after an institution-wide work strike [and, notably, after the 1971 Attica prisoners' rebellion —MC49], 150 prisoners were put in disciplinary segregation. Sixteen months later, 36 prisoners were still in what had been officially designated the control unit. The control unit on H-unit was a mini-Alcatraz. There, in that strictly- regulated environment, Marion concentrated its most "disruptive" inmates and, of course, the system's revolutionaries.

Today, there are many control units in prisons throughout the United States and the world, and they have been perfected for the purpose of burying any activist, POW, political prisoner, and any prisoner the administration doesn't want to influence other prisoners.

Repression is mounting throughout the world, as the powers that be attempt to contain and silence the just grievances of the oppressed peoples who are doing what is necessary to survive in a world where greed is king and is protected by the power of the gun. "Power comes from the barrel of a gun," said Mao, and today we see how right he was.

Peace and power,

—a Marion prisoner

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[Censorship] [Illinois]
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Pro se victory against censorship in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has the authority
and obligation to establish rules and regulations to provide
prisoners with access to published materials including newspapers
and magazines approved by the Director of the IDOC. (730 ILCS 5/3-
7-1)

The IDOC's regulations for prisoners' access to publications is
set forth in title 20, Sections 525.200 through 525.230 of the
Illinois Administrative Code (20 Ill. Admn. Code Sec 525.200
through 525.230). A prisoner may subscribe to, solicit free copies
of, or buy individual copies of approved newspapers, magazines,
books and other publications for delivery to the facility of
confinement. "A member of the [prisoner's] family or a friend may
also order, solicit or bring approved publications to the
facility." 20 Ill. Admn.Code Sec 525.210(c).

The warden of the Pontiac Correctional Center implemented his own
personal policy which prohibited friends and family members of
prisoners from bringing in approved publications.

A complaint for mandamus was filed in the Circuit Court of
Livingston County, Illinois, seeking an order compelling the
warden to allow family members and friends to bring in approved
publications for prisoners in accordance with established
regulations.

The warden filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the decision to
allow friends and family members to deliver approved publications
to a prisoner is a discretionary act. The warden argued that the
use of the word "may" in the last sentence in Sec 525.210(c)
indicates a discretionary act. Thus, mandamus is inapplicable.

In response to the motion to dismiss, the prisoner argued that the
use of the word "may" does in fact allow for discretion. However,
the plain reading of Sec 525.210(c) clearly indicates that the use
of the word "may" refers to what the prisoner's family and friends
may do, not to what the IDOC employees may do.

The Circuit Court agreed with the prisoner and denied the warden's
motion to dismiss. In its holding, the Court ruled that Sec
525.210(c) indicates that discretion lies with the prisoner's
friends and family members, not the warden. The Court further
ruled that the IDOC must allow prisoners' friends and family to
bring in approved publications.

The warden subsequently rescinded his policy and permitted friends
and family members to deliver approved publications to prisoners.
[See Markiewicz v. Gilmore , No. 97-MR-22 (Order Filed
July 1, 1998)]

(Note: This action was litigated pro se.)

MIM organizes the Serve the People Prisoners' Legal Clinic
(PLC). This is a revolutionary program geared toward serving needs
of the oppressed masses as we build opposition to imperialism. PLC
activities vary widely (with room for expansion) and include
fighting censorship, prisoners providing guides on grievance
procedures and the publication of MIM Legal Notes. MIM leads this
program with the knowledge that only armed revolution to seize
state power and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat will
liberate the oppressed. This is one aspect of how we fight
winnable battles to create more maneuverability for political
organizing within the current corrupt system.

MIM Legal Notes is researched and written by comrades behind the
walls. We publish these articles because we believe that the legal
research and information will be useful to other prisoners. But
comrades should be aware that differences in laws between states,
changes in laws and legal precedents over time, and different case
circumstances all mean that even something that was successful for
one person might not work for others. We print the best legal news
and information available to us with the understanding that this
program will only grow stronger with increased exposure and
participation. We encourage prisoners and non-prisoners to
contribute to this program with research and writing.

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[Control Units] [Virginia]
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Control unit treats men like meat

In mid-July a prisoner had an epilepsy seizure on the second tier. It took 20 minutes for the nurse to get to the control unit. The nurse could do nothing but stand at the door and attempt to calm the prisoner.

According to the standard policy of the Fourth Reich the security methods are that the keepers have to be dressed out in full riot gear, shields, helmets, bullet proof jackets, riots sticks, mace, etc. It took 15-20 more minutes for the keepers to suit up.

A stretcher was brought into the pod, the prisoner's cage was opened and he was told to remain STILL. A man having a seizure is old to remain still — that's deep. The prisoner was handcuffed and shackled in leg irons, placed on the stretcher, hauled out of the pod as though he was a piece of meat.

This was a demonstration of what the hooligans think of the dispossessed classes. Prisoners screamed and cursed, they were visibly upset.

We see the wake up calls, however, we need to desperately wake up. The prison movement has to regain the organizational functioning of unity among ourselves.

On September 3, 100 and something New Mexican prisoners were transported to Wallens Ridge State Prison. You know, the slaves cannot be separated from one to the other, however, the state will utilize every tactic possible to have the edge. If we're transferred 2,000-3,000 miles from our roots what of it? The slave-owners are doing no more than what they did during chattel slavery.

How you grasp the realities of the world makes the difference. When you don't see the realities, the ruling circle will have us at each other's throats, still killing one another for reasons which have no merits, other than our being manipulated to destroy the outcasts, whether it's for drugs, turf disputes, because of the color of one's skin, gang-banging etc. The deck of playing cards have been stacked against the poor, word.

Solidarity forever!

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[Control Units] [Red Onion State Prison] [Virginia]
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Torture in Red Onion Control Unit

.... I am locked down in the control unit of Red Onion State Prison 23-24 hours per day. Prisoners have been maced, assaulted, and placed in five-point restraint. I refer to Red Onion as a concentration death camp. For the outcast, being in five point restraint in only your underwear and a cold cell - this is torture, everything is taken from you besides your underwear when you are placed in five point restraint. Five point restraint is tied to the steel bunk spread eagle. This is a 48 hour punishment.

There is intimidation and the threat of bodily harm. The majority of the keepers at the stalag are caucasion. I have heard the cops ... use the words nigger, tar baby, sambo, spook, buckwheat, coon and monkey man. Racism is thick here. The medical collaborator, maintenance, and other staff members are just as racist. The area Pound, VA could have been named Racism Town, USA. I have seen prisoners denied their small ration of food because they were insolent, according to the guards, some prisoners challenged the racist cops although there is a possibility of being attacked by the lynch mob.

When prisoners complained to a sergeant or lieutenant, it's always, well, the officer said you refused the food. Cops have said they will poison the food, urinate in your food. The psychological warfare is in depth here. The prison camp opened in August 1998 or thereabouts. ... We are served very small rations of food. Semi-starvation — the control units nationally have the same brutal force. The tactics to instill fear....

In the trenches,

To build is to win.

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[Control Units] [Southern Ohio Correctional Facility] [Ohio]
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New Ohio Harassment Policy

Here at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, our tormentors have started a new policy where prisoners in control units have to be handcuffed and shackled just to walk back and forth to the shower. When we complained the administration responds by claiming that this is for our own safety and the safety of the officers. But the officers are the number one threat to prisoners' safety. Handcuffing and shackling us puts us in a more precarious position. Plus, it seems, that if they were truly worried about the officers' safety, the would have left the old policy in place where the officers could simply open our cell doors from the safety control booth then lock us in the shower from the same position. But instead they now have to escort... And in an attempt to cut back on spending (at least on the prisoners), those of us who are in control units are not longer being issued clothing. So no matter what you have, irregardless of how raggedy, you best be luck that you got it. And this same thing goes for all supplies. Sometimes it is the little things that mean so much. And in the control units here you better value something as little as toilet paper like its gold, because you'll only get one a week if that. It's not like the prison officials don't realize that we have to use this toilet paper as paper towels, napkins kleenex and toilet paper. They would just rather see us go without then give us an 'extra' roll.

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[Control Units] [Massachusetts]
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Oppressing Latino's In Mass

...I'm a Prisoner in the Maximum joint. I'm Puerto Rican and have been in this toilet for fifteen years. Right now these low-lifes [guards] are hitting the Latino people hard. 90 percent of all Latinos are being accused of being a gang member, so they made four special blocks for the Latino people. You come out of your cell one hour a day, not everyday. Three showers a week. One hour a week in the yard, outside.

The racist low-life cops just harass everybody, and most dudes don't even speak English. No jobs, no nothing. Now we can't even take their so-called education program. We get two hours a week in the law library. There are no Spanish-speaking people down there to help anybody out.

This started back in April of 1995. I was there [Latino Segregated Block] for two years. Then I was transferred to DDU [Disciplinary Detention Unit]. You know the DDU is much better than those Plymouth Blocks.

I just filed a lawsuit, but I can't even get the right help. I don't have access to anything. I'll keep you posted on things. Y'all stay strong....
In the struggle!

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[Control Units] [Northern State Prison] [New Jersey]
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Exposing New Gang Units in New Jersey

...On March 13, 1998, about 80 prisoners were transferred from Rahway and shipped here to Northern State Prison to a new gang unit. Here they are housing Latin Kings, Netas, 5%ers and some white hate groups. They have us all separated and want us to deny any membership before letting us out of this unit.

I as a member of the Latin Kings refuse to do such a thing. Therefore I will remain locked down in these new kages. These Pigs are only trying to break the band of Brotherhood, which will not work. And the reality is putting us all together they only make us stronger....
Our Struggle Continues

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