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Under Lock & Key

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[COVID-19] [Economics] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 80]
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Again on Prisons Deducting from Stimulus Checks

Do you have any case decisions of the stimulus checks. I just received a check for the first two payments plus interest. It totaled $1,900.76. Of this amount TDCJ deducted $1,786.11 leaving me with $114.65.

This is the first money I’ve had where I could go to “store” since I got here in 2015. The deductions were for medical co-pay, indigent correspondence and postage, and federal court fees. Another prisoner told me that there was a federal court decision in Arkansas against the prison system forcing them to return money deducted from prisoners’ accounts. I’m rough drafting a Step 1 grievance right now to start the exhaustion process, then I’ll add it to the suit I’ve already started. I intend to do the same on this censorship of ULK 79 as well. Any information will help.


North TX AIPS responds: From ‘New Class Action for Prisoners Who Did Not Receive Stimulus Money and Filed Taxes’ published in Under lock & Key Issue 76:

Clay v. Director of IRS Mnuchin No4:21-CV-08132-PJH

Sub Class Representative Thomas H. Clay advises all prisoners who filed for EIP from Oct. 2020 – August of 2021 and did Not receive any check in mail or Direct Deposit. After filing Form 1040/1040SR or letter with SSI# and copy of such to show proof of filing; then write To: United States District Court Northern District of California Oakland Division Attn: Hon. Clerk/Presiding Judge 1301 Clay Street Ste 400 S Oakland California 94612-5212

If you are filing the following criteria below:

1.Non-disabled or physically or mentally impaired prisoner in State or Federal Prison Institution in the United States

2.Correctly filing legal letters to IRS or 1040/1040SR Form 2019/2020 from October 15,2020 thru tax season of January – August 17, 2021

3.Utilizing only Institutional Regular Legal/or Indigent Legal Mail System in State of Federal Prisons.

  1. Who did not receive any payment from IRS of EIP #1 #2 #3

5.In the form of “Check in Mail” or “Direct Deposit to Account”.

6.Who can “Prove upon Request” proof of the correct timely filing by: copies of letters to the IRS office in your State area, Prison Mail Room Record of Legal Mail logged letters showing IRS address. Indigent mailing file showing letter sent to IRS or 1040/1040SR copies or responses from IRS during that period from any of its offices.

7.And you were not issued any checks for EIP #1 $600.00 EIP #2 $1200.00 or CVRP/EIP #3 $1400.00 totaling $3,200.00

The court is reviewing Contempt of Court Order and Sub Class Action from prior suit *Scholl v. Mnuchin that does not protect the rights to amount of payment withheld from prisoners in a discriminatory manner by IRS.

From Stimulus Checks Are Being Stolen by TDCJ-CID from Under Lock & Key Issue 73:

Section 272(d)(2) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides that the second round of stimulus checks ‘shall not be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and no applicable payment shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.’ This means that this round of stimulus checks may not be garnished to cover overdue debts by federal or state prisons.

Scholl v. Mnuchin, et al. No.4:20-cv-05309-PJH ND Cal.; Appeal Docket No. 20-16915 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of prisoners getting stimulus checks while incarcerated. The checks in question should not be confused with the most recent $1400 checks under current President Joseph Biden. It was the $1200 and $600 checks under President Donald Trump that were ruled on.

From Preliminary Injunction Bars Arkansas from Confiscating Prisoners’ COVID Stimulus Money from Prison Legal News:

The Court ordered ADC to place any federal relief and stimulus funds in a sequestered account if it continues to confiscate those funds. It must maintain records of how much money it confiscates from each prisoner and what amount is paid for court fines, fees, costs, and restitution. While ADC may return the confiscated excess funds to prisoners, it may not otherwise disburse those funds until the end of the lawsuit. See: Lamar v. Hutchinson, USDC, ED AR, Case No. 4-21-cv-00529 (2021).

The Court then turned to decide whether confiscation of the money was a violation of procedural due process. It found no violation when it came to confiscation for the purpose of paying off court fines, fees, costs, or restitution.

It did, however, find a violation when it comes to diverting the excess funds to the inmate welfare fund and the Inmate Care and Custody Account. The Court noted there were no post deprivation remedies available, for the ADC’s grievance procedure provides a challenge to “issues controlled by State or Federal law or regulation” a “non-grievable issue.” The Court concluded the confiscation of the monies did not violate substantive due process or the Takings Clause.

We hope this information is helpful. While we still stand by the conclusion that these stimulus checks are an attempt to buy off the U$ population at the expense of the third world, we won’t hold unrealistic notions about how this money can be used for our goals of Anti-Imperialism and building up USW. We also have a censorship pack available as well, having relevant caselaw and regulations for fighting censorship on the legal front.

Notes: Prison Legal News, Nov 1 2021, Preliminary Injunction Bars Arkansas from Confiscating Prisoners’ COVID Stimulus Money

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[Parole] [Legal] [Texas] [ULK Issue 80]
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Hicks v Guiterrez Dismissed, Continued Legal Action

“No man can tell the intense agony which is felt by the slave, when wavering on the point of making his escape. All that he has is at stake… The life which he has may be lost, and the liberty which he seeks may not be gained.” -Frederick Douglass, 1845

We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.

The Khufu Foundation thanks you for being part of the solution! The following is an update on the lawsuit, Hicks v. Guiterrez, et al, 6: 22-cv-134. It contains both good and bad news. The bad news is that the District Court has dismissed the case with prejudice, which was not unexpected. The good news is the cases he used are not on point, plus he failed to thoroughly address an issue of First Impression “The Cumulative Effect.”

For those of you who have tablets, go to law library and read exactly what the District Judge has to say for yourself. We have given notice of appeal, and await a word from the 5th Circuit giving us a number to seek COA. Before we give our argument in brief, let us give you a word directed to the right that can save you a few dollars as well as allow you to move much faster through the Courts than the §1983. We have learned that these same issues can be attacked with an application for Writ of Habeas Corpus – see the tablet has a wealth of information, particularly the Law Library; there are literally thousands of cases at your fingertips. Yet, the tablet can turn you into a zombie, who feeds on nothing but music and movies.

Now, here is what we will take to the 5th Circuit:

  1. Whether the Cumulative Effect of the Texas Constitution, Texas State Law Statutes, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Rules and Regulations of the board combine to give a Reasonable Expectation that the parole procedure will be conducted with a modicum of just and fair treatment – see Wilkonson v Austin, 125 S.Ct. 2384

  2. Whether Applicant was denied Equal Protection of the Law as compared to other prisoners who can review their parole-file/transcript, because they can afford an attorney, see Griffin v Illinois, 76 S Ct. 585 and Register v Thaler, 681 F. 3d 623

  3. Whether Applicant has been denied a fair and just parole hearing where the defendants fail to follow the APA and their own rules without meeting the Constitutional minimum regarding parole review – see Parrat v Taylor, 101 S. Ct. 1909 and Leggett v Williams, 277 F. App’x 498, 500 (5th Cir. 2008)

  4. Whether Applicant was denied a meaningful participation in his parole hearings when he was not allowed to review his parole file to challenge all false and/or derogatory information contained therein, when Board Members have admitted that there is often false and/or inaccurate information in parole-files. – see Johnson v TDCJ, 910 F.Supp. 1208

This information is supplied in the hope that each of you will do your research and continue to fight.


North TX AIPS adds: This is a follow up to Texas Prisoners Launch Attack on Parole System printed in Under Lock & Key 78. This lawsuit is an attempt for parole reform in Texa$ and was launched May of last year (2022). It is in response to continuous denial of parole for many prisoners based on commitment of the crime, rather than behavior while incarcerated, and to argue that the Board Members are not protected against suit according to the Ex Parte Young Doctrine:

“In determining whether the doctrine of Ex Parte Young avoids an 11th Amendment bar to suit, a federal court need only conduct a straightforward inquiry into whether the complaint alleges an ongoing violation of federal law and seeks relief properly characterized as prospective.” Const. Amend.11 - See Verizon MD. Inc v. Public Service Commission of Maryland, 535 U.S. 635, 122 S.Ct. 1753 and McCarthy ex rel Travis V. Hawkins, 385 F.3d 407, 412 (5th Cir. 2000)

While some of the demands as previously stated are in line with the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative, as revolutionaries our focus is on the building on independent institutions of the masses, rather than working for parole reform. We are building on our Re-Lease on Life program and encourage anyone whose interested to write us and start to work on study and strategy for revolution.

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[Civil Liberties] [Grievance Process] [Lovelock Correctional Center] [Nevada] [ULK Issue 80]
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This is Why Grievances Don't Work

The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) is currently holding me in Ad-Seg because of a bootlicking inmate’s claim that I am his enemy. I have never had an enemy in my almost 20 years in prison. The real reason is due to my current litigation against the NDOC due to their violations to my civil rights.

Enclosed is a copy of a DOC-3012 form, I encourage you to print it in the next ULK issue without censorship in an effort to expose the responders for what they are! I’m also sending you a copy of a “Snivel Kite” I was given after reporting the DOC-3012 response to Correctional Officer Alfonso Alvarez. I encourage you to print it as well.

Nevada DOC 3012
Snivel Kite from Nevada Correctional Officer
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[Abuse] [Gender] [Buckingham Correctional Center] [Virginia] [ULK Issue 80]
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Strike Force Executes Surprise Pre-Dawn Raid in B1 Pod at Buckingham Corr Center

11 October 2022 – Around 2:05 AM, Tuesday morning, I was jolted out of my sleep by a familiar sound. Yes, that familiar sound of Strike Force rushing into the pod to execute one of their surprise raids. I didn’t even have to get out of my bed to see what was going down. Like I said, it’s a familiar sound of feet stomping, door slamming, guards shouting, and dogs barking.

An elder Panther told me years ago to always observe the guards during raids just in case they violate the constitutional rights of a fellow prisoner – or even worse kill one of us. So, I got up to witness the chaos out of practice. The scene is always the same.

During the wee hours of this Tuesday morning, Strike Force, accompanied by institutional investigators, were rushing to a pre-selected number of cells (my cell was not chosen this time. Thank god!), banging on cell doors to confuse and disorient occupants. Inside the cells, people were forced to strip naked, lift their testicles, squat and cough, and bend over, reach back, and spread their butt cheeks (this is done in full view of officers looking from the front and behind) before handcuffing their hands behind their back. The K-9s (drug sniffing dogs) were taken into each cell to find drugs, which always create sanitary issues, because the dogs sometimes sniff, lick, and tread on our bed sheets and laundry, leaving behind dirt, drool, and possibly feces. Replacement sheets and laundry are never issued, and they weren’t this time.

Strike Force then entered and ransacked each cell in search of any contraband the K-9s couldn’t find. Their personal property, including letters and family photos, are tossed around the cell for good measure. A lot of property is trashed and confiscated.

Other strike force members searched areas in the pod – in the trash cans, in the showers, under tables, on top of ceiling lights – for contraband that may have been hidden there.

I observed the chaos for two hours before getting back in bed to sleep. I found out later that this pod, B1, had been placed on lockdown all day Tuesday for unspecified reasons. We were allowed out of our cells on Wednesday morning.

I’ve been subjected to these surprise pre-dawn raids many times during my imprisonment. And I can tell you they are quite dehumanizing and retraumatizing. Can you imagine being jolted from your sleep in the early morning, being forced to strip naked and bend over and spread your butt cheeks while a stranger stands behind you and looks in your anus for contraband? It is so humiliating and emasculating. And every time I’ve been asked to do it, something inside me (perhaps my manhood?) always makes me want to refuse. Because deep down inside, I know it is not done to find drugs, but to remind us we have no agency. And that prison staff have utter and complete control over every aspect of us, even the most intimate parts of our bodies. But refusal means a write up, a rousting, time in solitary, or more time in prison. So, what can we do?

What I and many other incarcerated folks can refuse to do is be silent by writing about these abuses and sending them out into the free world hoping they’ll change people’s perceptions of these prisons and how the people locked in these cages are being treated in the name of “public safety”.

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[Abuse] [Grievance Process] [Mental Health] [Bill Clements Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 80]
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Torture and Neglect in Clements Ad-Seg

For 2 years now they have been short of staff or so they claim. For 18 months they operated at 20% staff and for the last 6 months they claim to be at 30% staff yet I’m certain an audit of certified payroll would differ, especially salary or ranking positions.

Absolutely zero SOP (standard operating procedures) are adhered to. Each rotation and every shift on every line is a freestyle depending on how that officer chooses to conduct his/her daily routine. Count is the only exception as all are constantly counting, especially when this interferes/conflicts with prisoner movement and/or distributing meals that regularly sit out for a long time (on occasion 4+ hours till next shift has to deal with it) resulting in all meals served cold .

I spent the last 6 days under a blanket blowing my breath into the space to try and keep warm. When I say cold I mean ice with the so called temperature controlled (without any thermostat) Air conditioner blowing.

Mental Health requests, telepsyche, 2nd day mental health related issues take 9 months minimum if you ever see the telepsyche or for psych meds while the self mutilation, smoke inhalation, and suicides are at an all time high. The number of Ad-Seg prisoners going or gone crazy is astounding. No, sad actually. Disturbing when witnessed first hand but that is a problem. We are isolated from any and all civilization.

The weekly library actually drops off/ picks up books once every 6-8 weeks while we receive late notice disciplinaries for late books we cannot return if they don’t pick up.

They do not run recreation or allow us our 1 hour out of cell ever. On occasion, they will fill the 6 rec cages maybe once every 6 weeks but there are over 60 prisoners for 6 cages and when they only run 1 shut, they document they ran rec and we get fucked.

50% of all meals are Jonny Sacks. Always an excuse but never do we get the diet as budgeted or as advertised. They steal all desserts so we never get our once a week dessert. Jonny Sacks are a spoon of peanut butter in a corner of two pieces of bread and 2 boiled eggs. We do not get the drink called vitamin c drink (juice) but half the time and we never get coffee + milk with breakfast like General Population.

When it comes time to review for getting out of Ad-Seg or program eligible they write us bogus disciplinary charges and run fictitious hearings resulting in automatic guilty verdict and restrictions ineligible to get out of Ad-Seg or go to programs.

No phone calls no video visits, no tablets as advertised by TDCJ- no effort or progress related to the tablets that are stored on site . Nor do we get official word. No media access. No radio as they have faulty wiring. No local papers. No echo TDCJ papers. No clue what’s happening outside these walls just as they have no clue what’s happening inside. They report they installed televisions. They mounted two TV’s where they cannot be seen and the faulty cable wires mean no reception.

In protest fires burn daily on each of the Ad-Seg lines. Prisoners burn any and all items that will burn. So many so often they don’t even react or bother to put them out, consequently we have no mattresses. Waiting list over 18 months to get a mattress. We sleep on steel and concrete. There are no radios for sale on commissary. They send us books then collect them as contraband. No cell cleaning disinfectant or bleach.

We starve and eat crap. Spoiled rotten crap. Many actually eat their own bodily waste and drink urine. Both hungry and mentally ill. Constant screams. No crisis, suicide prevention, Chaplain, medical response etc. For those in pain there is no medical relief. Suicides happen as threats, and early warning signs are ignored. One must cut themselves badly to be removed from cell. And we all do.

No windows, fresh air or sunshine, makes for a gaseous vapor in the air that means pain. Scream all you want its music to their ears. Ad-Seg B housing for confirmed family members labeled STG (security threat group). I estimate nearly a quarter of the prisoners in Ad-Seg now have empty cells with no personal property as it is constantly taken without any due process at all. Often for standing up for one’s self or trying to protect one’s rights or get what ones entitled to result in loss of property with no formal procedure or due process. Regardless of religion or affiliation they force christian music and preaching for 10 minutes every Saturday. No other religious material is available for any religion.

No barber in Ad-Seg no haircut for over 18 months now. We either shave our heads with razors or grow long hair and beards. They put us on bogus restrictions and limit how often we can buy stamps papers pen envelopes etc to write out. Much of our outgoing and incoming mail mysteriously does not reach its intended destination. Can’t prove who is at fault.

They took away and banned any pics of women that may cause arousal. Religious medals and items have been out of stock in commissary for the last 2 years. Chaplain offers no addresses or info for any but christian. The law library here offers no help, only issues exactly what document you request if you know exactly what to request. Grievances 100% denied with responses completely bogus and irrelevant to the issue attached. Completely useless when the board works for TDCJ and they review and devise on complaints against them.

We are not receiving the items budget for and paid for with tax dollars. We do not get the beef we raise on the fields. We do not get the pork we raise. We do not get the chickens we raise. We do not get fresh vegetables from field squad. We do get eggs, where does the rest go? I’ll tell you. They sell the choice cuts of meat for money and the lesser gristle and refuse in return.

The conditions within these walls are far worse than I witnessed in military POW camps. they call for nothing less than military action to get inside and expose what is occurring and begin a healing process. Its fucked.

There hasn’t been any light bulbs for 18 months. I only recently received one light bulb. Sit in a dark cell with no light.

Roaches and mice are an infestation. ORK Pest control in Amarillo Springs regularly comes but none die. I owned a pest management company and can tell you its not copacetic.

What I’m running into is a denial of all grievances, refusing all due process rights, and one-sided administration that makes rules they hold us accountable for and completely ignore those punishing them. Lawsuits are difficult with no assistance and I’m running into a cost issue of not being able to produce documents necessary for TDCJ to prove pro se or indigent.

Shake downs every 90 days and regular cell search result in losing much of what they sell us as they just take it period and destroy our cells in disarray tearing books etc.

Of the 20 to 30% staff, many are foreign working on indentured servitude program receiving less or no wages. Purchased into slavery from an African country and housed on site and bused around. Nigerian/African prisoners, debts owed, criminals, and outcasts purchased under flag of indentured servitude.

Majority have sold out and crossed over to become a part of the problem as they were too weak or chose not to fight a battle they couldn’t win alone and divided we are. The few of us who resist are overwhelmingly outnumbered and now fight the administration less as we first have to fight the layer of those who were once us and crossed over. Fighting amongst ourselves and trying to interpret rules all by design a smokescreen to hide the underlying more predominant fights. The criminals who take us prisoner, abused and torture and neglect us, and steal all the funding allocated for the “solution to the problem” the failure of democracy, justice and Law in this entity.

I stand up for what I believe and will resist or fight ’til my last dying breath; I call for help and assistance. I Need the methods I use to help change things from what they currently are to closer to the original intent which is reform and discipline and department of “corrections” is necessary.


North Texas AIPS Adds: We assume many similar reports have been censored by the state of Texa$ through direct or indirect methods as this writer describes above in regards to materials being taken away through cell searches and terrorism from the staff. The few that do come through highlight the extensive problems regarding any accountability the guards have to the Texa$ prisoner population and continuing neglect and abuse. While reform can be a useful tool to facilitate organizing and education, the original intent versus practice for prisons in amerikkka has always been to further suppress organizing among the oppressed masses. Fighting the conditions of Ad-Seg in this state must be for the purpose of revolutionary organizing and education if your goal is to end this long list of abuses.

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[Organizing] [Struggle] [United Front] [ULK Issue 79]
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Wanna Start a Non-Profit? Publish a Book? Read This.

I’m currently in the process of trying to start a non-profit organization to shed some light on the corruption that’s currently taking place in the Florida Department of Corrections and I was hoping that you guys can connect me with some people or provide me with some material to assist me with laying the foundation of this non-profit organization that is guaranteed to last for generations to come. I’m actually currently writing a book that goes into depths about some of the things prison officials have been doing to prisoners in Security Housing Units and I’m planning on using the book as the face of the non-profit. It’s just hard finding people to assist me with this organization, which is why I’m reaching out to you guys in hopes that you guys can assist me with this matter, because it’s time the people of society become aware of what’s currently taking place in the Florida Department of Corrections.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We want to express solidarity with this comrade’s mission to expose oppression in prison, that is one of the goals of the independent institutions Under Lock & Key and prisoncensorship.info, that have been consistently exposing this abuse across the country since 2007. We also agree with the focus on what is going on in the SHU/Ad-Seg/solitary confinement torture units that our movement has campaigned to end for decades.

We want to respond to this comrade publicly though to discuss some points of how to effectively expose these atrocities, and more importantly how to effectively stop them.

We also want to address everyone who has written us for help with or just plans for starting a new non-profit, and everyone who has written to us about their new book they want help promoting. We’ve received countless letters of both types in recent months. So we want to make a couple things clear.

If you wrote a book and you haven’t been doing it as part of your study with us over the years, we’re not going to publish it, we only publish Maoist literature. Similarly, we aren’t going to promote the book you already put out, we only promote Maoist literature.

If you’re trying to start a new organization, first we will refer you to our congress resolution from 2011, that reads in part:

"We only work to build two organizations at this time: MIM(Prisons) and USW. The only organizing group we run for prisoners is the USW leaders group, and even that is mostly done through Under Lock & Key for efficiency and to reach the masses with info on USW work.

“There are only a few conditions that would merit launching a new prison-based organization: [in short, you disagree with MIM(Prisons) cardinal principles, you are migrating an existing lumpen org to become a revolutionary org, or you are building a single nation org]”(1)

This resolution is targeted more towards independent revolutionary organizations. The comrade above, and many others, write to us about starting non-profits. In short, and in general, non-profits use institutional money to fund jobs for people to do reformism who might otherwise fight for real change. Now, we will admit some non-profits do good work. You will see us cite the work of groups like the Prison Policy Initiative and the Human Rights Defense Center/Prison Legal News over the years. In fact, HRDC does a lot to expose the Florida DOC, so we must ask our comrade from Florida, why not just work with HRDC? Why waste all that effort to create a new group that has the same goal when it’s so hard to find supporters? It could be that your strongest supporters already have an org.

Alexis de Tocqueville, writing in the the mid-1800s, commented on how Amerikans create a new organization for everything. Probably something about our crass individualism in this country. This is being amplified today with the internet, where individuals can create online persynalities that feign to be projects or organizations. In these cases they often rely on the cult of persynality, and sometimes become actual cults.

We must question the motivations of people sometimes. Do you want to end oppression, or do you want to create a project that is yours? If you want to end oppression, what do you think the thousands of other organizations out there all got wrong that you need to form a new one?

The only way we will be effective in real change is to unite more forces, not by dividing into more and more little cliques and narrowly-focused non-profits. And while we can ally with and find useful the work of some non-profits today, we must grow the Maoist movement to be able to do the things they do under Maoist leadership to have a greater impact.

We know most of our readers just want to reform the prison system. If that’s where you’re at politically, by all means, join a non-profit. And we are happy to ally with you in battles against things like censorship and solitary confinement. But we know, based on our study of history, that only by completely overthrowing imperialism and building socialism through constant class struggle can we ever hope to end the oppression that certain populations face today in Amerikan prisons. We do not promote books or build organizations that hide this fact. And we work to win over reformists to the revolutionary road through struggle against the state and demonstrating the limitations of efforts that do not actually seek to build power to overcome imperialism.

Notes: 1.MIM(Prisons) 2011 Congress Summary and Resolutions

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[Rhymes/Poetry] [ULK Issue 80]
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Reflect!

Life’s purpose works us unmercifully.
The first degree is knowledge of self.
The repressed anger dangers everyone around.
The compound is stilled, lockdown!
The wild sounds in between their ears
Are quieted by a cell.
The hell in the mind tortures through silence
The obvious is far fetched till it hits home
The zone of protection lies in the hands of another,
My brother.
Gun in hand,
He stands for a heavy hand of justice
But homie its just–us.
The price of fame is to become lost.
To lose myself is to gain.
I stand here today for my life’s purpose.
The words hurt more than any sword.
No guard or judge can protect you from life.
No strife or burden can protect you from your heart.
From now till your ending,
Are you living your life’s purpose?

 Think!!!
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[Rhymes/Poetry] [First Nations] [ULK Issue 80]
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Warrior's Feet

  Within the memories that I keep,
Is a warrior’s pride,
Listen close and hear the beat,
Of my heart inside.

  For in my soul the sound of thunder
Echoes from the past,
To fill your life with the wonders,
Of shadows that I cast.

  Because I walk with warrior’s feet,
Left from those before,
All I have to do is seek,
Our ways within my core.

  Ancient blood runs through my veins,
Knowledge that is vast,
All the heartache and the pain,
Oppression that still lasts.

  Reservations are just a jail,
Built without a wall,
To keep us all within a cell,
Except for gaming laws.

  But gaming laws are just a ploy,
So we fight each other,
The privileged few become a toy,
Forgetting we are brothers.

  There’s many Nations that never signed,
Any peace accord,
Now it seems we cannot find,
The way we lived before.

  United we must try to stand,
Divided we will fall,
But as I walk upon this land,
I will never crawl.

  The government will make us pay,
Just to take our rights,
But its a game I will not play,
I would rather fight!

  I’ll walk with ghosts of my past,
Our war will never end,
Within the shadows that I cast,
The ancients live again.

  When I breathe they come alive,
Their hearts will beat with mine,
Even when I finally die,
Peace I will not find.

  From within we’re torn apart,
For paper that is green,
Forgetting where we get our start,
On paths and mountain streams.

  We lost our way through the years,
Blinded by the games,
Losing sight of all our tears,
And our elder’s pains.

  But if they came alive today,
Would you stand with pride,
Or would you run away that day,
To hide the shame inside?

  I refuse to surrender or ever fall,
Accepting our defeat,
So I will stand up straight and tall,
And walk on warrior’s feet!!!

(P.S. This is about how the government puts us against each other through the gaming laws and blinds us with bullshit!)

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[Censorship] [Abuse] [Legal] [Grievance Process] [California] [Florida] [ULK Issue 79]
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California Move to Digitize Communications Impedes Civil Rights (after Florida Just Did)

The truth has finally out come from the darkness and into the light: people housed within social isolation by the U.$. criminal justice system are not considered persons protected by the U.$. Constitution, international agreements against torture, or Human Rights. States across the United $tates are actively deploying systems and protocols that suspend persons held in custody, in social isolation from Amerikan society, away from the protections of law, due process and order.

The criminal justice trend is to eliminate prisoners’ freedom to use and access Postal Services. It’s like the U.$. Postal Service has entered into a private agreement with the criminal justice system to deny mailing services of the traditional sense from all imprisoned.

Correction departments across the U.$. have engaged in concerted acts of sedition, substituting systems disguised as fun helpful tablet gadgets and video visitation programs for actual social interactions. Gone are the days of free assembly/press/congregation and religious exercise. Now persons are free to shut up, and be retaliated against for even hoping to benefit from the protections of the U.$ Constitution’s freedom of speech.

Even the freedom to grieve against the state has been frozen. In California it is being done under the departments decision to cease classical mailing processes for email services made available by the Global Tel Link security corporation. CDCR is planning to phase out all traditional mailing services in exchange for heavily restricted online access.

The move by CDCR involves outsourcing labour facilities and redirecting institutional service agreements to security bonds controlled by state agencies outside of the department’s jurisdiction, for example, the Department of Health and Human Services. The moves are being made under the cover of darkness, better yet the cover of claims to public safety, and the Center for Disease Control acts as the shelter. All in the name of mental health and hospitality for Amerikans with disability? From prisoners of circumstance to residences of outpatient facilities too doped out of their minds to even know the value of a traditional letter.

CDCR has began phasing out traditional mailing services using its Inmate 602 Grievance Procedures, institutions have eliminated traditional answering and mailing procedures for residence. Not only does the department rely on a new SOMS computer scanning system that forecloses any original writings and supporting information attached to an Inmate grievance, but it is enforcing computer software coding, by way of its Global-Tel Link tablet emails, that requires California prisoners to email grievances. This last part connects to the criminal justice system in the late requirements of U.S District Courts in California for 1983 Civil complaints filed by prisoners be done via email. If an individual can’t even write a simple complaint any longer, it begs to question what is the U.$. standing in justice?

Technological advances are all good and all, but are the residence of these penal institutions still citizens of the United Snakes of Amerika? Or does their custody lie somewhere else?

It is important that the public be aware of this very serious dynamic between themselves, the state and those in custody of state agencies like CDCR. The state is allowing for those in the custody of CDCR to be stripped of their civil rights and it all is being done in the name of the people, under the color of law. Silence is not an answer to the claims set forth against the people.


MIM(Prisons) adds: Prison Legal News (PLN) just reported some interesting stats following the Florida Department of Corrections completing its move to digitizing all regular correspondence. They found that 1% of the contraband found by the Florida DOC was through routine mail. Meanwhile, in July 2022, the Legislative Finance Committee noted that after New Mexico shifted to digitized mail there was zero effect on the amount of drug use in their prisons.(1) These statistics back up what we’ve been reporting on anectdotally for years – that mail restrictions and visitation shut downs have had no impact on the influx of drugs into prisons across the country.(2)

According to PLN prison systems and jails in 27 states have switched to digitized mail. With California gearing up to follow suit, it seems the tides have shifted in that direction.

Like body cams, some prisoners have asked for digital grievance systems so the C.O. you submit it too can’t just drop it in the trashcan. Otherwise, we agree with this comrade’s concerns. Social isolation is a violation of basic humyn rights and humyn needs. Visits, phone calls, letter, photos and cards are a must for any system that hopes to rehabilitate.

Notes: 1. Kevin Bliss, 1 September 2022, Florida Now Digitizing Incoming Mail for State Prisoners, Prison Legal News September, 2022, page 48.
2. A Texas Prisoner, March 2021, TDCJ: Your Staff are Bringing in the Drugs, and it Must Stop, Under Lock & Key No. 73.

Prison Legal News
P.O. Box 1151
Lake Worth Beach, FL 33460
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[MIM(Prisons)] [ULK Issue 79]
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ULK 79: MIM(Prisons) Update

First a correction. In Under Lock & Key 78 the article Understanding George Jackson repeatedly referred to Hugo “Yogi” Pinell as being Puerto Rican when ey was actually of Nicaraguan descent.

In this issue we tried to tackle some questions of strategy for change. Most of our readers each issue are new to our work. And while everyone we hear from loves ULK, not everyone understands how we’re different, or agrees with our different approach to change. In this issue we distinguish our strategy from those of reformists, those organizing the labor aristocracy into unions, and right and left errors around identity politics and idealism. We also feature the ongoing work around targeted campaigns around strategic issues of censorship, solitary confinement and building a united front within the prison movement in general, with revolutionary leadership.

Since last issue we, have a number of accomplishments to report. We published, printed and distributed the new zine Power to New Afrika! in Black August 2022. We have continued our training program for the Revolutionary 12 Step Program we began earlier this year with comrades inside and outside. We are caught up in mailing out responses to the intro study course, and should be mailing those on a weekly basis moving forward. This means you can expect to get a response in less than 2 months. Hundreds if not thousands of comrades inside mailed petitions to the Department of Justice as part of the Juneteenth Freedom Initiative. And we continue to mail out copies of the petition. Dozens if not hundreds of postcards demanding an end to politically targeted censorship were mailed to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Departmental Review Board. With this, the distribution of Under Lock & Key outside prisons has increased. Comrades inside also continue to sustain our postage stamp needs with their donations.

While the above accomplishments were achieved with the support of some newer comrades, we also lost some support on the outside during this period. This has meant we have struggled to stay up to date on processing and responding to our growing influx of mail. It also has caused us to change how we mail out ULK, which will more than double our postage costs. As printing costs also increase, the annual cost of a subscription will be going up and we will update our readers in our next issue, so that you can donate enough to cover your own ULKs or more.

Related to donations, a comrade in California wrote:

"I’m writing to inform all comrades that I wrote the Khufu Foundation, sent them the requested stamps and within two weeks I received a copy of the lawsuit. I know MIM said that you were unable to vouch for the Khufu Foundation, but I can and I would like to inform all the captive comrades that Khufu Foundation is legit, you will not be disappointed.

“Also in Under Lock & Key 78, I read the MIM(Prisons) update that talks about contributions/donations are needed, especially from the many comrades who are in prison. I’m taking the step to do my part as I enclosed a book of 20 stamps to cover my subscription coast as well as other comrades who are unable to provide the support with stamps. I would like to ask all of the comrades who are able and willing to donate a book of stamps because with a book of stamps we are able to cover our cost but also cover other comrades who are unable to give stamps. I also would like to ask the comrades who are able to try and donate one book of stamps every quarter (that’s 4 books of stamps a year). Let’s try to step up our contributions.”

Requests for Texas Packs and the TDCJ’s Grievance Operations Manual (which is regularly being censored these days) continue to increase. New comrades should read about our Free Political Books to Prisoners Program on p.2 and understand that you must send payments for these 2 items.

As discussed in this issue, many prisons have begun digitizing mail. Our newspaper cannot be processed by these services. So if you don’t tell us what prison you are in when you write us we cannot send you a subscription.

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