2017 DECEMBER — My beloved comrades at ULK, please take whatever steps necessary to convey this information to your readers, particularly those on the Texas plantations. It is my hope this will move a few to join in this all-out attack against mass incarceration, which those brothers on the Eastham Plantation are being persecuted for.
First, we have launched an attack on the totality of the living conditions on this plantation: double-celling, sleep deprivation, extreme heat, contaminated water, no toilets in the day rooms and rec yard, overcrowded showers. At present we have 5 lawsuits filed and hoping to have 5 more by the first of the year. They are listed at the end of this missive for those who might want to obtain copies and/or file for intervention. I would urge each plantation to file because each plantation has different violations, which in their totality are cruel and unusual.
Next, we have launched an at attack on the symbiotic-parasitic-relationship between Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the American Correctional Association (ACA). Last year we sent numerous letters to the ACA headquarters in Virginia with various complaints including the delayed posting of scheduled audits. Apparently someone was moved to do the right thing. Then notices for the January 2018 audit were posted here in October. As a result, we of the Community Improvement Committee (CIC) here on the unit have sent petitions with hundreds of names with numerous complaints of ACA violations and requests for a Q&A in the gym or chapel. This is being done with individual letters as well. Plus, we have sent the actual notice to various reform organizations requesting them to visit the unit during the audit and act as overseers pointing out particular areas of violations such as the giant cockroach infestation beneath the kitchen.
Next we have and intend to continue to urge the public to stay on top of their legislators to change the law, making it mandatory that prisoners be compensated for their labor.
Finally, we have filed an application for Writ of Habeas Corpus requesting to be released immediately due to the fact that the time sheet shows one has completed 100% of his sentence – that even without the good time, the flat time and the work time equals the sentence imposed by the court. In addition we are drafting something similar for those sentenced under the one-third law. We are submitting to the court that these prisoners have a short-way discharge date. The application for Writ of Habeas Corpus was first filed in the state court in Travis County and denied without a written order in the Texas court of criminal Appeals (#WR-87,529-01 Tr.Ct. No. D-1-DC-02-301765A). We are now in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District Tyler Division (McGee v Director, #6:17cv643). This info is supplied so that those with the means may download the info and/or keep track of the case. The following are the case numbers for the totality of living conditions complaint, which is also in the U.S. District in Tyler:
Walker v. Davis, et al., #6:17cv166
Henderson v. Davis, #6:17cv320
Douglas v. Davis, #6:17cv347
Burley v. Davis, #6:17cv490
The Devil whispers: "You can't withstand the storm"
The Warrior replied: "I am the storm." - The Mateuszm
MIM(Prisons) responds: These comrades are pushing the struggles to improve conditions inside Texas prisons along its natural course. Countless prisoners have sent grievances, grievance petitions, letters to the Ombudsman, letters to elected officials, and letters to various TDCJ administrators on these same issues. We have seen some victories, but mostly we've had barriers put in our way.
The next step laid out for us is to file lawsuits, which is another kind of barrier. Lawsuits take years and sometimes decades to complete, and innumerable hours of work. When we do win, we then have to go through additional lawsuits to ensure enforcement. And on and on it goes...
If we expect the lawsuits to bring final remedy, we must be living in a fantasy. A quintessential example of how the U.$. government behaves regarding lawsuits can be seen in how it totally disrespects treaties with First Nations. When the U.$. government, or its agencies, doesn't like something, they don't really give a shit what the law says. This has been true since the beginning of this government. We don't see any evidence that this will ever change.
Yet, lawsuits aren't all bad. They can sometimes create a little more breathing room within which revolutionaries can operate. Lawsuits can also be used to publicize our struggles, and to show just how callous the state is, if we lose.
Yet, most importantly, lawsuits keep comrades busy. Before any lawsuit, there needs to be a solid analysis of winability, and the likelihood of other options. While we are relatively weak as a movement, lawsuits are a fine option, and building a movement around these lawsuits will give them strength. But if your legal strategy doesn't also include building up collective power to eventually protect people without petitioning the state to do it, then your legal strategy is as useless as a feather in a tornado.
The comrades fighting these battles inside Texas have done a great job of spreading the word to outside organizations to garner support and attention for their lawsuits. We support their efforts to make Texas prisons more bearable for the imprisoned lumpen population, and we support their efforts to link these lawsuits to the greater anti-imperialist movement. And when they decide that lawsuits aren't enough to bring a real change in conditions, we'll support that too.
The U.$. legal system's role is to keep the United $tates government as a dominant world power, no matter what. The extreme heat in Texas prisons isn't just an oversight by administrators. And it's not even just about racism of guards. It is directly connected to the United $tate's role in the oppression and repression of oppressed nations across the world. If the legal system fails, don't give up. Try something else to bring it down. Lawsuits are not the only option.
For a while now I've wondered why all the conflict between anarchists and socialists/Marxists/Maoists. I mean, we are two revolutionary forces who are committed to the abolishment of capitalism, imperialism and all forms of oppression. We have that in common and that is what's important. I understand that our strategies and ideologies are a bit different, but what's preventing us from getting together in solidarity, agreeing to disagree and focus our energies on the revolution combining our strengths and common ground? Why can't we cease to tear each other down? I don't know about anyone else, but this bothers me! The energy used to tear one another down, discrediting one another, could be used to gain some real headway by picking up arms together to combat oppression. Of course there are more experienced and more politicized people than me that may wish to give me some feedback and critique. I welcome critique, feedback and criticism.
MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a good question, especially for building a united movement against imperialism. There are many reasons to build unity with all who can be united. Maoists advocate a united front against imperialism because this format of organizing allows all organizations to freely build their own movements and push their own ideologies, but come together against a common enemy.
At the same time, we do believe there are some very good reasons to refuse to unite with some organizations. Just because a group calls itself "socialist" or "anarchist" doesn't mean it is automatically on the right side of the struggle. In the extreme, we have the national socialists who are really fascists, as an obvious example. But even among those claiming to be progressive revolutionaries there are some organizations that have taken up such wrongheaded and dangerous political lines that we consider them to be more use to the fascists than to the revolutionaries.
In the case of anarchists in general, we do not see them as enemies. In fact we believe that anarchists have the same end goal as communists: a society where no people have power over other people. But anarchists don't have a strong history of success in progress towards that goal. We see their approach of jumping right from imperialism to anarchism as idealist, because it hasn't played out in real life at even a comparable scale to the socialist experiment.
It's just not realistic to overthrow the imperialists and keep them overthrown, without a period of proletarian state power. We have too long of a history of class, nation and gender oppression for that to happen. The bourgeois classes will need to be forcibly repressed, and culture will need to be radically altered on a mass scale. It might take generations before humyns evolve to live peacefully with no oppression. As MIM write in MIM Theory 8: "Communists know that it takes power to destroy power, whereas anarchists see power itself, independent of conditions, as the enemy of the people."
In the First World, in particular, there are some anarchist (in addition to socialist) groups which are doing work that actively supports imperialism. It's important that organizations clearly work out what are the most important questions of political line that we face today. For instance, we have, in this country, a bought-off class of people who are clearly economically and ideologically in support of imperialism. Yet some so-called socialist and anarchist organizations see these people as their mass base, and call on them to rally for even higher wages and a bigger piece of the imperialist pie. That's not progressive, that's a call to fascism! And so we can't unite with such political stances. In fact if that group calls itself "socialist" or "anarchist" or even "Maoist," we think that's more dangerous than if they openly organized for fascism, because it is misleading people about what is the communist struggle.
I would like to ask your staff a question. I recently received ULK 60 and it made a statement that solitary confinement was abolished in Texas in 2017. When I seen that, it floored me. I say that because i'm writing this letter FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. So did I miss something? And if so, how can I fight from here to rectify the situation?
I let others read that and we all was stunned. I mean stunned. Are we reading this statement in your newsletter wrong?
Also we would like to know what is the Texas Pack and how can I obtain one? Your newsletter has shed light on a lot of things that are helpful for us in this place, and I just would like to say thank you and keep up the good work.
MIM(Prisons) responds: In September 2017, TDCJ announced it would no longer use solitary confinement for punishment, or as a method to encourage good behavior. It would "only" use "Administrative Segregation" (totally different from solitary confinement, right?) for "gang members, those at risk of escape, and those who are likely to attack other inmates."(1) That month, 4,000 people were still held in isolation on these grounds. Consider that only 75 prisoners were actually released from solitary confinement after this policy change.
We appreciate that this writer spoke up, because this is a very common practice. The Department says "we're not using it for punishment," while holding many, many people in isolation. The claim of gangs and security threats is often cited as the justification for the "exception" to their superficially-humanitarian publicity stunt.
Some examples include the Tier 2 program in Georgia, and the indefinite solitary confinement in California prisons that led to the hunger strikes in 2011-2013 and the Ashker settlement.
No matter what you call it, or what "justifications" are given for why it's used, solitary confinement is always torture, and never necessary. We have no doubts that solitary confinement can and should be ended, for everyone, today.
As for the Texas Pack, we are still updating and mailing this out. It's one of our more expensive projects, so we're asking for subscribers to send a donation of $2.50, or work-trade, to get the Texas Pack. This packet contains all our campaign info relevant to TDCJ, including on the grievance process, medical copay, and indigent mail restrictions. Send your donation to the address on p. 1, and tell us first if you want to send a check or M.O. so we can send instructions.
When state-level petitions fail, we now have this petition to appeal to the Department of Justice. This federal level appeal may help put pressure on the state corrections departments ignore our appeals
Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with the grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.
Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.
Section Chief – Special Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530
ACLU National Prison Project, 915 15th St NW, 7th floor, Washington DC, 20005-2112 (for those ready to bring class action lawsuits)
Office of the U.S. Attorney General, 1425 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20530-0001
Director/Commissioner/Secretary of Corrections (for your state)
Agency or Facility Grievance System Director or Coordinator (for your state)
And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140
Más de 2 millones de personas se encuentran encerradas en prisiones y cárceles en los Estado$ Unido$. Estos encarcelamientos representan sólo 1% de la población. Casi 7 millones de personas han estado bajo la supervisión del Sistema Correccional para Adultos (incluyendo libertad condicional y probación) a finales del 2015. (1) Y en el 2012, los últimos datos disponibles del Departamento de Justicia de E.E.U.U., el total de la cantidad de dinero gastado en el sistema de Injusticia Criminal entre los gobiernos Federal, Estatal y local fue de
$265,160,340,000. Estas prisiones son responsables de $80,791,046,000.
2) Estas prisiones son increíblemente costosas para el estado y estos
prisiones cuestan mucho más que lo que producen. 3) La pregunta es,
porqué el gobierno, en todos los niveles, continúa gastando tanto dinero
para mantener tanta gente encerrada? Y porqué los Estados Unidos tienen
la tasa de encarcelamiento más alta que en cualquier otro país del mundo?.
El mito del complejo industrial de prisiones
El meme del complejo de la Industria de Prisiones (PIC) se ha convertido
efectivamente popular en Estados Unidos. Detrás del concepto del PIC está la
creencia que hay grandes intereses de parte de grandes corporaciones y por
eso hay encarcelamiento masivo en los Estados Unidos. Esto representa la
política Amerikana que aparenta ser "anti-corporativa", mientras niega
la estructura de clase de un país que está formado casi completamente de
una clase de gente que sigue siendo explotada.
Mientras que si hay algunas corporaciones están, ciertamente, ganando dinero
gracias a estas prisiones, la mayoría de las prisiones son operaciones que
hacen perder dinero al gobierno. Básicamente, el gobierno subsidia las
ganancias e ingresos de varias corporaciones y muchos de los así llamados
"trabajadores" individuales (vea el artículo de Costos de
encarcelamiento). Si nosotros examinamos las estadísticas de las prisiones,
ondas económicas, prisiones privadas y la “diversidad” de la población de
prisioneros, entonces si nos queda claro que las prisiones son
fundamentalmente para el control social sobre naciones opresoras dentro de
las Kkkulebras Unidas (Estado$ Unido$). Esto nos lleva a unas conclusiones importantes sobre
cómo funciona el sistema de prisiones y cómo debemos de luchar contra estas.
Baja la tasa de encarcelamiento
En general, la población en las prisiones y cárceles en los Estado$ Unido$
ha estado disminuyendo en estos años recientes, junto con el ritmo de
encarcelamiento. El número total de gente en prisión y cárceles empezó a
caer en el año 2009, después de décadas de incrementos estables prisión
y cárceles empezó a caer en el año 2009, después de décadas de
En realidad los incrementos en el año 2008 no pudieron mantenerse con el
incremento de la población en los Estado$ Unido$, puesto que el nivel
en el año 2007 estaba con 1 en cada 31 personas estando bajo alguna
supervisión correccional (incluyendo cárceles, prisiones, libertad
condicional y periodo de prueba-probación). La población en las prisiones tuvo su pico en el 2006-2008 con un 1% de la población adulta encerrados tras las rejas. Esto cayó al .87% al final del 2015. (4)
La crisis financiera reciente se alinea con la caída de encarcelamiento
empezando desde el año 2008. Parece ser que el gobierno de Estado$
Unido$ sí tiene límites en su voluntad de gastar dinero en un sistema
criminal injusto. Si encarcelar a gente fuese una manera de aumentar las ganancias, entonces el número de prisioneros aumentaría cuando hubiese una crisis financiera, no descendería.
El desarrollo de prisiones privadas en el sistema criminal injusto de
Amerika son un peligro. Estas prisiones son operadas y son propiedad de corporaciones con fines lucrativos. Estas prisiones privadas toman posesión de cualquier
reo de cualquier Estado que les page por su servicio. En los Estados
donde hay sobre población, mandar gente a una prisión lucrativa es una
buena opción de negocio. Estas corporaciones también tratan de vender sus
servicios como más baratos y eficientes, básicamente reduciendo los servicios de nivel ya peligrosamente bajo a los prisioneros, a fin de ahorrarse en costos, porque como hemos visto, las prisiones son extremadamente costosas de mantener.
A los finales del 2105, El Buro de Prisiones Federales y 18 Estados
estaban saturadas o excedían la capacidad máxima de las instalaciones de las
prisiones.(5) Hay que esperar esos contratos de parte de prisiones hacia
prisiones privadas. Pero el actual porcentaje de prisioneros en prisiones
privadas es relativamente bajo.
En el 2015, solamente el 8% de prisioneros estatales y Federales ocupaban
complejos privados. Y este número bajo 4% desde el 2014. 6) Esta caída
es mayor que la disminución del 2.2% en cantidad de presos entre los años
2014 y 2015.
Si las prisiones privadas fueran tan exitosas, entonces deberíamos ver estos
números aumentar, y no disminuir. Y si fueran tan influyentes con los
políticos, entonces tendrían un mayor valor en el mercado. Claramente, las prisiones privadas no son la parte principal de algunos "complejos de prisiones industriales." Hasta ahora, las corporaciones no han descifrado cómo generar ganancias, de forma exitosa, de las prisiones, aparte del bajo subsidio limosnero que reciben de parte del gobierno y la
comisaria. Y además de todo esto, los gobiernos estatales y federales
están perdiendo dinero al tener que pagar por prisiones.
Hay mucho activismo opuesto a las prisioneras privadas. Esto
generalmente viene de gente que entiende que la privatización de una
institución usualmente no tiene un buen resultado para los oprimidos. El activismo
influye al gobierno. Es posible que las voces en contra de prisiones
privadas ayudó a empujar a la administración de Obama para que implementara las
pólizas de facetas fuera de las prisiones privadas para reos Federales.
La administración de Trump ha repelado esa política desde entonces.
Pero no creemos que esta pregunta sea políticamente partidista. El
gobierno de E.U. ha mostrado que no parará hasta implementar políticas que
empujen ganancias industriales capitalistas. Los ataques violentos
contra activistas que protestaban por la destrucción de la Línea de Tubería de Acceso de Dakota es un buen ejemplo. Esto no es
una lucha contra corporaciones capitalistas, esto es un debate sobre qué
grupo de gente recibe un subsidio del gobierno: corporaciones de
prisiones privadas, o empleados de prisiones públicas. Alejarse de las
prisiones privadas no es doloroso para el gobierno, porque esto no
requiere una disminución de prisiones, sólo un cambio hacia donde se va el dinero.
Entonces, si no para ganancia de dinero, porque Estados Unidos encierra
tanta gente? La repuesta a esta pregunta es obvio cuando vemos a los presos y al
el historial de encarcelamiento en este país. Es imposible hablar de
prisiones sin mencionar la tremenda desigualdad en que el sistema de injusticia
criminal trata a [email protected], Primeras Naciones, y Nuevos Afrikanos, dentro de las
fronteras de Estados Unido$. La tasa de encarcelamiento es ridículamente alta, particularmente para los hombres de estas naciones mencionados, es la desigualdad más obvia.
Aproximadamente el 12-13% de la población de Estados Unidos son
Afrikanos Nuevos, pero los Nuevos Afrikanos hacen alrededor del 35% de prisioneros. (7). La
tasa de encarcelamiento de las Primeras Naciones también
esta desproporcionadamente alta. En Dakota del Sur, por ejemplo, la
población Indígena forma el 8% de la población en ese Estado, pero
forman el 22% de la población masculina, y el 35% de la población
femenina en prisiones de ese estado. Mientras, que las [email protected] son
encarcelados a una escala mayor que los Euro-Amerikkkanos.
Cualquier estudio del sistema de injusticia revela la misma evidencia:
La mayoría de prisioneros son de naciones oprimidas. Aunque la realidad es
que hay más Euro-Amerikkanos en E.E.U.U. que todas las naciones oprimidas
La desigualdad empieza en las calles con los policías
encargándose de las comunidades oprimidas, y continúa en las cortes con sentencias desproporcionadas, representación legal inadecuada, y un jurado sin
conciencia o con consciencia pero prejuiciosa. Para cuando llegamos a
la prisión, podemos ver con claridad el resultado de la opresión sistematizada nacional en las tasas de encarcelamiento.
El uso agresivo de prisiones que se utilizan como herramientas sociales
de control empezó en Estados Unidos en respuesta a las
organizaciones nacionalistas revolucionarios que ganaron una tremenda
popularidad a finales de 1960s y 1970s. Y para mantener control de las
masas de este movimiento revolucionario, Estados Unidos optó por
utilizar policías y prisiones.
Entre los años 1961 y 1968, la población de reos disminuyó al punto más
bajo desde los años 1920s. Del 1968 al 1972 el ritmo de
encarcelamiento subió despacio. Sin embargo, a principios de 1974 después del punto más alto de la organización revolucionaria en este país, hubo un aumento increíble en las tasas de encarcelamiento. COINTELPRO fue dirigida contra las
organizaciones revolucionarias, como lo son las Panteras Negras (Black
Panther Party) y los Estado Unidos empezó sistemáticamente a encerrar o
a asesinar a gente que trataba de pelear en contra de la opresión. Casi
150,000 personas fueron encarceladas en sólo 8 años – esto demuestra que
el gobierno teme a los revolucionarios.(10)
Al mismo tiempo, hubo un movimiento anti prisión que crecía y el gobierno se aseguró de
erradicar y desaparecerlo. El libro "Soledad Brother", de George Jackson, que salió en el año 1970 fue un gran acusación en contra
de la opresión hacia las colonias internas.
Al siguiente año fue asesinado.
El arresto desproporcionado, el encarcelamiento y persecución de las naciones
oprimidas no paró en los años 1970s. Hoy continua. Las semi colonias internas
están posicionadas para sostener su estado de subyugación. Y es cuando las naciones
oprimidas se juntan y se organizan el gobierno Amerikkkano ataca como un
Lecciones Para nuestro trabajo
Entender el sistema de injusticia es de mucha importancia para desarrollar un método y la estructura para resistir la red
de prisiones. Por eso, es tan necesario entender que las prisiones son
operaciones de pérdida de dinero para el gobierno, y localizar la
política de encarcelamiento en masa, sólo para poder
controlar a las naciones opresas.
Si, nos enfocamos en el rol de las prisiones para tener control social, podremos darnos cuenta de la
verdadera razón del porqué existe el vasto sistema de injusticia criminal
Amerikkkano. El exponer esta información ayuda a que la gente entienda
que tan desesperado estaba el gobierno de U.$. en los años 1970s cuando
encaraban el gran movimiento nación revolucionario. Y el gobierno aún le
teme a alejarse de esta solución de encarcelamiento.
Esto nos dice que aún le temen a las naciones oprimidas, y que no les
importa llevarse entre las patas a cuanta gente blanca, en esta
locura de encarcelamientos.
Como el control social está manejando el
sistema de prisiones Amerikkkanas, deberíamos enfocarnos en organizar
nuestro trabajo exactamente alrededor de lo que el gobierno teme::Organizar a los que están siendo controlados. Hay que escoger nuestras batallas
para exponer las partes del sistema que sabemos que son vulnerables: le
temen a la educación revolucionaria (censura, prohibición de grupos de
estudio), le temen a la organización (reglas en contra de grupos), y le
temen a la unión pacifica más que todo (por eso provocan peleas, grupos
en contra de grupos). Nosotros podemos construir esta unión propagando
nuestro análisis sobre la raíz y meta del sistema de injusticias criminal.
Todos esos que somos el objetivo del control social deberíamos
inspirarnos y juntarnos para ir en contra de este sistema.
I have served nearly 25 years prison/jail time in the United States. In fact, all but a small portion of my adult life has been spent behind bars. My California tour includes Chino, Soledad, Solano, Calipatria and Donovan. In Nevada: Southern Desert, Lovelock, Ely and, yes, Hight Desert State Prison (HDSP). As you can probably imagine, violence and drugs are common fare in most of these institutions. And while a few of these places were just plain filthy, others simply stagnate with the decay of deliberate indifference. I've done "hole-time" in all of them and certainly thought I'd seen it all.
Boy was I wrong.
Let me spell it out for you: B.M.U. (Behavioral Management Unit). Described by COs, Medical Staff and other institutional employees as the "Zombie Unit," the "Weirdo Pod," the "Freak Show," the "Psych Ward," and "Behavioral Mismanagement" and affectionately referred to by the prisoners as the "Beat-a-Motherfucker-Up" Unit at HDSP.
Absolutely and without a doubt, the worst of the worst. In the short time, 90 days, that I've been here within this restrictive unit I've witnessed unchecked violence, coercion, extortion, drug abuse, overdoses, 3 attempted suicides and "senior" officers feeding prisoners food which had fallen on the filthy unit floor before being placed on the serving trays and given to prisoners.
The most disturbing incident, by far, occurred on 24 December 2017, this past Christmas Eve, when an emotionally wrought prisoner, was locked in the shower for approximately 4 hours after stating to staff that he was having suicidal thoughts. During this time the prisoner was slamming his own head against the metal grating. I witnessed the COs laughing and encouraging the prisoner to bang his head harder and advising him to use the tiled wall at the back of the shower stating, "Bang it against the tiles, they're harder." By the time medical staff did arrive the prisoner was a bloody mess.
According to the HDSP BMU Manual: "The Behavior Modification Unit (BMU) will house inmates who have been housed in segregation for 90 days or longer, to assist in the reintegration into a lower custody level."
How I ended up here isn't much of a mystery. About 4 weeks after arriving at HDSP, while I was still in the "Fish Tank" I made the mistake of telling the case worker that I was appealing my jury conviction and needed request forms for the law library. At which point I was advised that I was being "sent to BMU." From that moment on, all access to the legal materials I require for my case have been denied despite numerous verbal and written grievances. In fact I spent the first 9 weeks in BMU confined in my cell without so much as a book to read. My only contact with the administration was the initial interview with the token mental health worker who advised me that "this rehabilitation program is the warden's baby."
Well, I'm here to tell you that as a person who struggles with PTSD, the constant and continuous confinement to a cell without any mental stimulation whatsoever can be devastating to an person's mental health and psyche. While confined in this unit I have experienced an increase in PTSD symptoms, ten times the frequency that is usual for me. Furthermore, I found it extremely unsettling that after completing the program, as a "graduation present," I was escorted into a small room filled with BMU staff members where I was threatened, berated, belittled and finally told to just "Get the Fuck Out."
I'm not sure what to expect next. The lack of access and communication with the outside, the restricted closed custody level 4 housing, the refusal on the administration's part to answer or address any grievance combined with limited family contact by phone has reduced me to an uncertain, fearful, panicky, hopeless, helpless mess. And, by the way, I have absolutely zero disciplinary history. Not a single "write up" for anything.
Fortunately another prisoner gave me your Under Lock & Key pamphlet. Hopefully you can get the word out on this de-habilitation program and the warden's dirty little secret.
MIM(Prisons) responds: These dangerous and abusive conditions at HDSP expose the Amerikan prison system for its complete lack of rehabilitation. If the criminal injustice system really believed that prisons are an effective tool to prevent crime, it would not put people in conditions that make their survival on the streets nearly impossible. It would be offering programs to help people learn and change their behavior, and prepare them for life outside. This is just one of the reasons we see the Amerikan criminal injustice system as primarily a tool of social control.
As of March 2018, the North Carolina prison system must recognize humanism as a faith group, allowing its adherents locked within the imperialistic belly of the beast the opportunity to meet and study their beliefs, a federal judge has ruled. The American Humanism Association, and a prisoner with a life sentence, sued state Department of Public Safety officials in 2015. Prison leaders were accused of violating the religious establishment and equal protection clauses of the Constitution by repeatedly denying recognition. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle (Eastern District NC) wrote that prison officials failed to justify treating humanism differently from those religions already recognized within the walls of oppression. Humanist prisoners have the same Constitutional rights to study and discuss their values as a group — non-theistic.
Since Judge Boyle's ruling, some individuals have reported to Convicts of Righteous, Reform and Liberation (CORRAL), that they are faced with harassment — cell property searches up to eight times a day, water being turned off, mail delayed, and structure issues. One of our board members spoke with the "admpigs", providing a copy of this ruling. And we have been able to establish some middle ground.
CORRAL is a united group that non-violently addresses issues affecting those incarcerated. MIM has been instrumental in our quest, and we are proud to be in association. We developed our study group and board. We have three chapters. "Imperialism must be defeated", so we do our part. Our motto: "Conscience stimulation, comes from education — which propagates liberation!"
MIM(Prisons) responds: This is a progressive victory for prisoners in North Carolina. One of the strategic areas our movement focuses on is defending the Constitutional rights of affiliation and association of prisoners of the United $tates. This is particularly good news in the context of protecting the rights of humanists to come together and discuss their values and beliefs. The first line of the Wikipedia page on humanism reads, "Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition." While there are many forms of humanism and many insightful critiques of it, in general it is a belief in progressive change at the hands of humyns.
by a Michigan prisoner April 2018 permalink"Cast away illusions, prepare for struggle." -Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
I am writing to update you comrades on new developments regarding my censorship battle at this prison. After 2 long and hard-fought battles with these reactionaries and their censors in the mail room, I finally received the latest ULK 60 a couple weeks ago.
Specifically, when I transferred back into this gestapo prison in October 2017, the censors were rejecting all ULK issues and MIM study materials sent to comrades under MDOC policy directive 05.03.118 (NN) (4) and (6), and giving us false pretense or rationale for its rejection, solely because of the political (revolutionary) content of the newsletter, contrary to PD-05.03.118 (D) which clearly states that prison censors are prohibited from rejecting incoming mail "solely because its content is religious, philosophical, political, social, sexual, unpopular, or repugnant."
Their excuse or pretext for rejecting MIM periodicals was because they claimed it advocated or promotes "violence, group disruption, or insurrection." See, "notice of package/mail rejection" and "administrative hearing report," enclosed herein is an example of the totally bogus rationalizations they use for censoring ULK.
The prison censors, particularly mail clerks J. Sanford and M. J. Dollar, had censored every MIM ULK issue sent to me and other comrades since October 2017. Not only were the issues improperly rejected, but the censors failed to conduct mail rejection hearings in a prompt manner as required by PD-05.03.118 (WW). More, I doubt if they were even notifying you (MIM) of the censorship or the reason why the newsletters were rejected, nor an opportunity to an appeal. Per MDOC policy, the prison censors must mail senders/publishers a "notice of rejection" anytime that an issue is rejected, which is a requirement under PD-05.03.118 (VV) so you can exercise your right to appeal the rejection to the warden.
Your right to be notified is a "due process" right, under the Fourteenth Amendment. Just for future references, if the prison censors fail to notify you of the illegal publication ban on your materials, your organization can sue for damages, including, but not limited to: (1) the suppression of your free speech; (2) the impediment of your ability to disseminate your political message; (3) frustration of your non-profit organizational mission; (4) the diversion of your resources; (5) the loss of potential subscribers and MIM supporters; among other violations under the First Amendment's free speech and free press clauses. It's easy money, since these reactionaries are voluntarily bagging it up for you, why not take it and help fund the revolution?!
With this in mind, you must be prepared to struggle with me in combating censorship in the future, just in case the censors get back on bullshit. It's only so much that comrades can do from inside the bowels of the imperialist beast where the terms of the struggle are defined by our oppressors. The facility head (warden) was upholding the improper rejections and subsequent appeals, knowing damn well it's illegal to ban publications solely because of its political content.
What this all boils down to, in the final analysis, is that they don't want us to learn political theory and critically recognize the situation that we find ourselves in, or the root cause of our oppression. They want us "politically dead," so that they can better control us and not have to worry about us transforming the criminal (lumpen) mentality into a revolutionary mentality and ushering forth the "new man" (within ourselves) to succeed the old, as both Malcolm X and Comrade George showed us we could through the process of study and self-reflection. The reactionaries and prisoncrats know that this sudden shift of revolutionary consciousness by the lumpen prisoners would create a "new situation," one that would no doubt threaten their control over us and make it possible for us to unite and move forward en masse against our oppressors, as Huey said, "with implacable fortitude."
My friends, you recognize the fact that the arbitrary censorship of ULK, a critical organizing tool that meets our educational and informational needs, is nothing more than a counter-revolutionary strategy by the prisoncrats to get ahead of the "revolutionary wave" and put down the new radical prison movement that is emerging. But, dialectical materialism teaches us that nothing can prevent this revolutionary process. The new always leap forth to succeed the old. In the words of Fanon: "The repressions, far from calling a halt to the forward rush of national consciousness, urge it on." So, understand the arbitrary censorship and political repression that a lot of us lumpen are facing, or will face in the future, by these reactionaries and their prison censors only expedites matters and moves the struggle forward to its ultimate conclusion. Therefore, cast away illusions and prepare for struggle against the prisoncrats' reactionary agenda to suppress political education among lumpen comrades (prisoners).
No doubt I will continue to battle censorship when it occurs on this end, but this must be a shared responsibility. We have to coordinate from both ends and concentrate our fire on this fascist agenda. There is pressure that can, and sometimes must, be brought to bear on the prison censors. Sometimes political pressure, in the form of telephone or email campaigns, should be exerted on the warden and the director about the censorship, demanding that the issue be corrected immediately or that the current prison censors be removed from their positions in the mail room. I believe we can wage a far more effective struggle against censorship this way. It will, at very least, give us a tactical advantage.
MIM(Prisons) responds: As some of our readers may have noticed, over the past year we've been able to step up the fight against censorship from the MIM(Prisons) side. Wherever our comrades behind bars are taking the initiative to appeal or protest censorship, we are also submitting letters of protest. We will always send you a copy of these letters, which are going to prison administrators and other relevant personnel. We agree with this writer that these censorship battles are most effective when it is a shared responsibility both from behind bars and on the streets.
So if you're fighting censorship of ULK or other mail we've sent, be sure to let us know so that we can support your battle with protests of our own. We won't always win, but we regularly have victories. And the outrageous rejections, as well as our victories, are reported in the "Censors in their own Words" articles we publish periodically in ULK and on our censorship reporting webpage. If you get notification of censorship, either from your prison, or from us, do your part to stop the prisoncrats from removing revolutionary education from the prisons by filing a grievance to protest the censorship. Put them on notice that you will not be silenced!
Summertime mid-July 2017 — Oklahoma's worst prison in the country Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing, Oklahoma. I got the chance to be moved off a security threat group unit (STG) where four gang members was killed in one single day all stabbed to death on one unit in one single incident in 2015. I got to move to the honor dorm where you are required to have a job either on the unit or on the yard, somewhere like the kitchen, laundry, or the library. All of the jobs was said to be full, but this facility had just lost its contract for its maximum security units. Most of the max inmates was moved to other max facilities and some put back in population on this facility, and after the max was empty it needed painting. I was chosen to help, I had experience in painting.
To move unit to unit you are subject to be pat-searched or strip-searched. These searches are routine by any officer, and are documented supposedly. On arriving to the entrance of the units that was to be painted my group of about 8 prisoners was stopped and told to line up for a strip-search. We formed a line and went one by one in a tiny bathroom where one officer had I thought one of the worst jobs that day seeing other men's nuts and butts, but I guess I was wrong.
When it was my turn I was already reluctant because a few of the guys came out the bathroom complaining about how weird it was. I get in the bathroom everybody knows the routine, take off all your clothes hand them to the officer he hand searches them and puts them to the side or holds them in his hands. You are to lift your nuts, turn around bend over squat and cough at the same time. I did all of those things but the officer had this lustful look on his face. He told me to let him see my dick again he then bends at the waist where he is very close to my piece and told me to pull back on it. I was beyond horrified.
You know how your back goes straight when you're either scared or mad? I asked him what type of shit he was on and told him I don't get down with that shit give me my fuckin clothes back. He smiled and handed me back my clothes. I dressed so fast I forgot to put on a sock.
The following day I thought surely the same officer would not be doing searches. WRONG. He was waiting on us by the bathroom with one hand on the wall the other hand on his hip tappin his foot. Once again when it was my turn I was somewhat scared and regretful for going back. Scared because I can act out of control sometimes, but I was somewhat confused and caught off guard. When I entered the bathroom I told the officer I'm not strippin out he could send me back if I have to. He said OK put your hands on the wall and starts a pat-down search he gets to my dick and grabs it and holds it and ask what it was. I yank away and tell him my dick weirdo let me out of here and push past him.
I was embarrassed and afraid to tell anyone at the time but when I did, what I thought was going to happen did. He denied it, the facility heads believed him and not me the prisoner and to this day I'm being retaliated against, threatened and punished by this facility's staff.
MIM(Prisons) responds: As this writer knows, it can be embarrassing, upsetting, and terrifying to come forward and talk about sexual harassment and assault. And it's an added challenge when it's not the gender norm that we're comfortable with, like when male guards molest male prisoners. This comrade is exposing something that goes on regularly behind bars. And the idea that reporting to the prison this, or any other type of abuse, will help the individual's situation is largely a myth. Congress even passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to supposedly address this problem. But even that is just resulting in retaliation for many. Gender oppression and sexual assault of male prisoners is a big problem that is all too often ignored. It doesn't matter if the harasser is male or female, it's an abuse of power.
by a Virginia prisoner April 2018 permalink[This writer enclosed a People Magazine article: Sexually Harassed by Prison Inmates, January 1, 2018. About two female COs who work at Florida's Coleman prison. They won a class action lawsuit regarding sexual harassment on the job, against the Department of Justice last February, with a $20 million settlement.]
I have an article that I got from somebody that I would like to share about a six-year battle against sexually-harassed women staff at FCC Coleman outside Orlando, Florida. For me, women that work in correctional centers should know what they're getting themselves into working in all-male facilities.
I know that some guys can't control themselves when they see women COs. Some do perverted shit that I can't even approve of because that's not who I am as a brother who is trying to end my criminal way of thinking. But I can say that women who sign up for the job know that they did not apply at Disney World or Six Flags, so they should be prepared for the torment that they know this job is capable of doing.
Even though I don't agree with some prisoners who pull out on the women COs, I just feel bad for what this system of injustice has done to my fellow brother's mental state. Because there are some brothers who are never going home at all and some who got a significant sentence, and they feel like they're a long way from home. So this situation is a double-edge sword because you have to look at some of these guys' mental state and situation, because some are not going home at all, which can influence other brothers' behaviors.
And I cannot put all the blame on my fellow prisoners, because I have seen for myself women COs let prisoners whip out on them and they wait or show some skin till that brother has finished. And there has been COs, men and women, turning tricks with prisoners. So I've seen both parties at fault in these circumstances.
That is why I said this is a double-edge sword situation, but the sword is sharper on our side because of lawsuits like this, which open the doors for more corporal punishment and stricter rules in a place where we barely have any say so. This case has showed me the oppressor is coming up with new ways to keep my fellow prisoners in solitary confinement, and to take advantage of some brothers' fragile mind state. Because to me these women knew when they applied for this kind of job, being so-called law enforcers of the worst humans in confinement, that we are labeled as what should they expect. So that is how I feel about this article.
MIM(Prisons) responds: We share this writer's view that prisoners are put in shitty situations that can lead them to mental health problems and behavior that they would not have considered on the streets. It's also unacceptable that people working in prisons toy with prisoners, using their position for their own sexual pleasure.
We have little sympathy for people who choose to take jobs in prisons, as these institutions are just tools of oppression. We do recognize that many prisons are deliberately located in destitute rural white areas, and so many times job options are slim. But we do still have free will, and a lack of available does not excuse people from taking jobs that pay them to carry out oppression and abuse daily.
That said, we don't think there is any situation in which anyone should just expect to be sexually harassed. Even in prisons or the military, institutions that are fundamentally corrupt and serving imperialism, there is no need for wimmin to suffer sexual harassment. This is the same argument made of actresses in Harvey Weinstein movies, beauty pageant contestants, and people wearing short skirts: "you know the consequences and you're choosing to get sexually harassed." No, these people are choosing what clothes to wear and what careers to pursue, and those choices shouldn't include sexual harassment.
The degradation of wimmin is a part of the system of patriarchal oppression that is intimately tied up with capitalism. As is the degradation of prisoners who are acting out against these COs due to their damaged mental state. These are things we won't be able to eliminate while capitalism exists, but that doesn't mean we should pretend people just need to accept it. We are building towards a society where all people are equal and no group of people has power over another group. This includes eliminating all forms of harassment and oppression.