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[Rhymes/Poetry] [California] [ULK Issue 80]
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Reggae Song

Chorus X3:

We Black and we Brown Don’t back down! Whatever happens to the people Will come back around, Our roots one day Will plant the ground, Smile to the world Dont accept that frown.

1st Verse:

We revolutionary Native people holding glory. We come from poverty Considered the majority, Jah and Allah know We are panthers and lions. We take a stance And raise our hands against violence. We Black and we Brown And won’t back down. Whatever happens to the people Will come back around. We all want justice and equality No more immigration. No more blood, sweat, and tears Of border intimidation. We are Zulu warriors And Latin Kings. Freedom Asylum Our everlasting dreams. My people African descentdant And Puerto Rican. Peace and harmony Is what we seeking. This for the La Raza Haitians And nation of Ghana. For Jah we blazin This marijuanna. We just want to torch the flame. For liberty We just want to live the same. With dignity.

Chorus X3:

We Black and we Brown Don’t back down! Whatever happens to the people Will come back around, Our roots one day Will plant the ground, Smile to the world Dont accept that frown.

2nd Verse:

We native spirit And Latin-x. Our plan is to take back The land next. Free the refugees And prisoners. This for the semitic village Visioners. We just want to fly high In the sky like the birds. We chanting for freedom Don’t you hear these words. This for the continent of Africa. My Cuban brother And those left in Attica. We forever freedom fighters For George, Jonathan, and Khatari. My people died for this land Rastafari. The dread blood shed For black, green, yellow, and red. This for emperor Sellassie And the pharoahs dead. We celebrating Juneteenth And Cesar Chavez. Our Independece Day To live on the rez. No longer shall we live To be racial profiled. Before we die in hell We will go exile.

Chorus X3:

We Black and we Brown Don’t back down! Whatever happens to the people Will come back around, Our roots one day Will plant the ground, Smile to the world Dont accept that frown.

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[Medical Care] [Campaigns] [Buckingham Correctional Center] [Dillwyn Correctional Center] [Nottoway Correctional Center] [Augusta Correctional Center] [Virginia]
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Petition to shut down Non Air Conditioned Units

Revolutionary greetings and Happy New Years to everyone listening to this recording at the Virginia Prison Justice Rally on the 14th day of January, 2023. I am a 46-year-old New Afrikan that has been in prison here in the belly of the beast in Virginia for 27 consecutive years. I am a core organizer along with my comrade to organize Virginia’s Nottoway, Buckingham and Augusta Correctional Facilities due to extreme heat conditions being worsened by climate change. Last checked the petition was at 516 signatures. We need more.

If you are listening to this speech it is now January so the temperatures in non air conditioned facilities is now bearable because we can always add layers of clothes to cope with the chilly weather. During the hot summer months however it is a very different story. A different reality. Because each of these non-air conditioned prisons become so unbearable, it is torturous and is expected to get worse due to global warming. I am currently incarcerated at Dillwyn Correctional Center which has A/C. Or better known as temperature control, but when I was held at Buckingham Correctional Center during the past summer, I experienced firsthand how the record heat waves that have swept the country, have caused the heat and humidity inside the facilities to become so intense that it felt like we were literally being baked in there. Because the heat exacerbates medical conditions and can cause a heat stroke in medically vulnerable prisoners I witness how this crisis had more of a detrimental impact on elderly and medically vulnerable prisoners.

Many are diabetic, have high blood pressure, have heart disease, and are still suffering from the side effects of long Covid, like so many of you out in the free world. The so called free world. Many of us experience labored breathing, we are sweating profusely. Some of us are experiencing blurred vision, increased heart rate, and are having difficulties falling asleep at night we means many are sleep deprived. Many of the administrative mitigation of these effects of extreme heat didn’t work. The bags of extra ice when we did receive it did not work. The small fans sold in the commissary did not work because many people can’t afford them. The extra fans placed in the pod did not work, but did succeed in blowing the hot air around from one place to the other. These ineffective mitigation practices didn’t work because these places by design are virtual death traps. They are overcrowded, have poor sanitation, poor ventilation and poor medical care. Poor meals we are fed and the tap water we are forced to drink are making us sick.

The dominant culture in these prisons is marked by complacency, passivity and fear. Fear of retaliating and fear of being labeled a snitch by prison guards and fellow prisoners for filing grievances and speaking out. So it is not unusual for the bulk prison populations to not sign these petitions no matter how extreme or how deeply inhumane the conditions are. The U.$. supreme court ruled all the way back in 1987 in the case of Turner v Safley that “prison walls do not separate prisoners from the protections of the Constitution.” So despite this dominant culture, the VDOC is prohibited by the Supreme Court from subjecting incarcerated people to conditions that amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

The Virginia DOC has a history of minimizing the issue of extreme heat inside these prisons, and has led me to believe it is necessary to organize an online petition to raise awareness about this statewide issue among the people, and to build a statewide abolitionist movement to shut these prisons down.

A comrade of mine will be handing out fliers with the QR code that will take you directly to the online petition which you can share and leave a comment. You will also have a QR code that will take you to a second draft of a proposal for a statewide campaign to shutdown non air conditioned prisons. Because the history of the criminal, torturous and exploitative nature of the prisons and the jails, it is going to take a statewide movement of the people and the communities most affected by mass incarceration to force the DOC to shut these modern day slave camps down. We can pressure them to start releasing elderly and medically vulnerable and other incarcerated people for 30 or 40 years for crimes committed in our youth. There will be mass casualties behind these walls and that is because in these last summers deadly heat waves caused by climate change have been becoming more frequent, intense, and as the climate is changing, these non-air conditioned prisons will keep getting hotter and hotter until the inevitable happens.

Thank you for taking the time to listen and if you want to keep up with my reading, prison conditions or political commentary in general, please visit my website at consciousprisoner.wordpress.com. My Twitter page is @justiceforuhuru. My instagram is @justiceforuhururowe

All power to the people till we see freedom

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[U.S. Imperialism] [Civil Liberties] [National Oppression] [ULK Issue 81]
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The Faux-Democracy of the U$A

I’m listening to an N.P.R. news report. An “African-Amerikkkan” woman is ruefully recounting the January 6th, 2021 right wing attack on “our” democracy. I wanted to laugh and cry that this sister was so lost that it was pitiful. So many confused and deluded people, even at this late hour, don’t know that Amerikkka has never been a true democracy, in the way that most people have been led to believe. Amerikkka has assassinated more legitimately elected leaders, around the world, than all other world’s states combined. They have installed dictators who starve the childred, and propped up those colonial/neo-colonial police states so that the First World can live like royalty on the stolen labor and natural resources of those Shanghai-ed and enslaved societies. Throughout the past century, these overthrown dictators always seek refuge in the U.$. or Britain. The rats always run back to the nest. (From Baby Doc, to Jair Bolsonaro, the Shah of Iran, and many more.) That is not what truly civilized, freedom and justice-loving democracies do. That is what Nazi police states do.

Even if Amerikkka could be a democracy – which it never can – it would not be “our” democracy. Judge Roger B. Taney declared as much in 1857 or so. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist reiterated this, in 1987 or so. It is now 2023. It’s time to wake up. Marcus Garvey clearly stated, in 1923 or so, what most people still have not heard: The first piece of toilet paper was invented in 1786 or so. It was called “The United States Constitution.”

In 1940 or so, a lot of Amerikkkan leaders, at the highest levels of U.S. government and industry, supported Adolf Hitler. The antics of ex-President Donald J. Trump and many U.$. leaders of government and industry (and many millions of oppressor nation Amerika alongside their oppressed nation allies) proved that, in 2021 – and for the foreseeable future, I’m sure, – the status quo shall remain!

Truly, the most productive years of my life were the 9 years that I lived on various “Indian” reservations and on “hippie” communes, which modeled much of our lifestyle on First Nations’ (Lakota, Diné, etc.) beliefs, and some African and Gaelic beliefs. There was the occasional Taoist or Buddhist, but we all realized we are all guests in our First Nation sisters’ and brothers’ home.

I gave up on Amerikkka in the early ‘90s. I wanted my kids’ mom to come away with me to Indonesia or somewhere in the South Pacific (Fiji, the Solomon Isles), but she would have none of it. She still believed that the U.$. was a good country; like so many naive “dreamers” today. I honestly believe that many migrants who come to the U.$. are not seeking freedom; they’re seeking money, and are probably loaded down with contraband they’ve stolen from someone else, or are on the run from justice. The rats always run back to the nest.

I used to think that if Africans made significant cultural and economic ties to First Nation sovereign communities, that, by now we could have established our own sovereign communities; but very, very few Blacks that I broached the subject to would even consider living around a “bunch of poor ass Indians,” and struggling to build a community from scratch, when there’s a McDonald’s right around the corner. Besides, the Alaska and Wyoming wilderness is not Stacey Adams and Cadillac-friendly. I guess it was just too big of a sacrifice to make for the honor and love of our children. We don’t want to empower the police state, but who can live without Tangueray and Louis Vuitton?!

If the U.$. would switch the military/police/prison budget over to health and education, and give the paltry health and education budget to the pigs and politicians, Amerikkka could quite possibly be a good country. Maybe even a great country! But after 500 years of this shit, I’m not gonna hold my breath. Like I said, Amerikkka has destroyed every nascent, true democracy that opposes white supremacy.

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[Prison Labor] [Civil Liberties] [Legal] [Private Prisons] [Indiana] [Washington] [ULK Issue 80]
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Campaign to Raise Wages in Geo Group Prisons

It is with immense frustration that I write to you on the behalf of ALL offenders that are in the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) prisons that are run and operated by The Geo Group Inc. (a private prison corporation). Prisoners here are receiving “State Pay,” which consists of the following:

A-Pay $0.25/hour
B-Pay $0.20/hour
C-Pay $0.15/hour

The level of unequal wages from The Geo Group Inc. regarding this effort is appalling. Indiana Government Officials have unfortunately failed to address the problem and have allowed the “State Pay” wage disorder to continue.

In the State of Washington, on 27 October 2021, a Federal Jury ordered The Geo Group Inc. at the ICE Processing Center (formerly the Northwest Detention Center) liable under the State Minimum Wage Act (MWA). In Washington, Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit alleging that The Geo Group Inc. was violating the state minimum wage law. The U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan ordered The Geo Group in Tacoma, Washington to pay their detainees $13.69 hour. These are immigrant detainees. These immigrant detainees were represented by four (4) law firms. Names of the law firms are as follows;

  • Schroeter Goldmark & Bender – Seattle, WA
  • Open Sky Law PLLC – Kent, WA
  • Menter Immigration Law PLLC – Seattle, WA
  • Law Offices of Robert A. Free – Nashville, TN(1)

We believe that our pay here, less than 2% of the pay received in Washington, is discrimination by The Geo Group Inc. here at the Indiana Geo Facilities.

On 26 January 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr (D) signed an order and stated… “to stop corporations from profiting off of incarceration that is less humane and less safe”. We believe that The Geo Group Inc. is violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in the workplace. State prisoners may not be entitled to State Minimum Wage, but there is NO exception for private for-profit detainees, prisoners, or offenders here. The Geo Group prioritizes profits over rehabilitation, making us ALL less safe.

Indiana Government Officials and The Geo Group Inc. have to remember that we are in an inflationary economy. Us prisoners here at The Geo Group Inc. facilities here in Indiana are getting overwhelmed, over-worked, and frustrated simply because we do not have the same income or access to resources as others. We have material needs such as hygiene, property, food, etc. that cannot be met due to the “State Pay” wages that have NOT kept up with the exorbitant price of living.

At the Indiana Department of Corrections commissary from the Indiana Correctional Industries Plainfield, IN Distribution Center, the prices of our needs are increasing dramatically due to the inflationary factor. NO prisoner in The Geo Group Inc. private run prison(s) who gets State Pay should ever cower in fear of his/her employer‘s power to silence legitimate points of view of their wages.

The State of Indiana and/or The Geo Group Inc. needs to raise the starting pay wage significantly to a reasonable wage. It is time for the State of Indiana and/or The Geo Group Inc. to make the financial adjustments and changes.

We believe that there are laws, ordinances, policies, rules, acts, statutes, procedures, or even regulations that have been violated or criminalized by our Constitution in the Fair Labor Standards Act (F.L.S.A), Administrator of Wages & Hour Division, U.S. Deptartment of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Labor Management Relations Act, etc. We know Indiana Government officials Governor Eric J Holecomb, Commissioner Robert E Carter Jr, Deputy Commissioner/Chief Financial Officer Dan Brassard, are the individuals who control our scale wage that makes the financial adjustments and changes in our “State Pay” for the The Geo Group Inc. to pay our wages.

A raise in starting pay will be a positive thing allowing more offenders to find satisfaction in their careers and it can allow more workers to make a living wage and contribute to the broader economy. Our facility jobs are not a free pass to wipe our slates clean, they are an acknowledgment that we have to change our lives to be more accountable and the State of Indiana and/or The Geo Group Inc. is what will allow us to do that. A productive offender in the Geo Group facility with a fair wage will perform better work ethics, do things properly, and have better responsibility.

We as prisoners are entitled to be paid minimum wage or a fair wage for our labor keeping The Geo Group Inc. facilities up and running, like preparing and serving food, running laundry, maintenance, landscaping, mowing, sanitation, administration clerks, etc. We are not asking to be put on an indefinite leave of absence means or that ALL Geo Group contracts be terminated. We are exercising our rights, which are workers rights, and show that we have a right to stand up for each other and for justice for Geo Group Inc. prisoners who work at their facility and receive state pay wages.

Please take into consideration, when we do get our “State Pay” the I.D.O.C takes 15% right off the top. This money goes into our re-entry account which we receive back upon our release back into the community. This gives us a little financial assistance. Now here is this Geo Group Inc. offender who has a C-Pay job, which is $0.15 an hour, works 6.5 hours a day, 5-days a week, comes out to be $19.50 per month. Now the State takes 15% for re-entry which comes out to $2.89. This leaves you only $16.32 a week to buy hygiene, property, food, paper, pens, etc. And if you went to go to medical or dental, that’s a $5.00 charge and the medication is $5.00.

Please also investigate the Geo Group Inc. in Tacoma, Washington where they are paying immigrant detainees $13.69 an hour. This is discriminating against us offenders and manipulating us due to what they pay us as “State Pay” here in Indiana.

  • State of Washington Attorney General – Bob Ferguson filed lawsuit against The Geo Group Inc. in 2017 [Washington v. Geo Group, USDC, W. Dist. WA. Case No. 3:17-cv-05806RJB]
  • Detainees filed lawsuit in 2017 with assistance of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender and Robert Andrew Free [Nwauzor v. Geo Group, USDC, W. Dist. WA, Case No. C17-5769RJB]

Thank you for your time and patience.


MIM(Prisons) responds: First, we want to remind our readers that a very small percentage of prisoners in this country are in private prisons, and most of them are immigrant detention centers like the one in Washington discussed. As the author above argues, there are potential legal differences in how labor is considered in private prisons compared to most prisons. And economically it is very different because corporations like Geo Group are making money running prisons for the state, but using basically free labor to do much of that work. This is a very dangerous combination that economically incentivizes mass incarceration.

In our 2018 survey of prison labor across the United $tates we found that wages for maintenance work typically ranged between $0.14 and $0.63 per hour. Though of course in some states prisoners do not get paid at all for working to maintain the prisons. This puts Indiana at the low end of states that do pay. But as this comrade and others have recently pointed out, inflation is hitting hard in the form of commissary prices. Therefore to have wages at the low end from 5 years ago is far from adequate when most prisoners need to buy supplemental hygiene and food, not to mention minor comforts.

Based on the information we can find online, the Geo Group stopped having prisoners work right after the court decision, so no prisoners are getting paid minimum wage. In addition they appealed to delay back-paying those who had already worked in the past.(2)

Notes:
1. Prison Legal News, December 2021 Vol. 32 No. 12 pg. 26 and April 2022 Vol. 33 No. 4 pg. 30. published by the Human Rights Defense Center
2. Alanna Madden, 6 October 2022, Ninth Circuit takes up Geo Group appeal over underpaid detainees, Courthouse News Service.

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[Grievance Process] [Legal] [Tucson United States Penitentiary] [Federal Correctional Institution Tucson] [Federal] [ULK Issue 80]
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Cheating At Chess (The flaws of the Administrative Remedy in Prisons)

In prisons, there are venues for prisoners who have been abused or treated unfairly or inhumanely. When things like this happen, a prisoner has a right to sue, but only if he can get his case to court.

The problem is that because of PLRA, or Prison Litigation Reform Act, it’s much more difficult for a prisoner, even if he is right, to get his case to court. In essence, PLRA requires prisoners to first exhaust the Administrative Remedy procedure… or a grievance procedure. In Federal Prisons, it is known as a BP.

So quick scenario; a Black prisoner is being harassed by white officers, who: constantly use racial slurs and trash his cell, taking his family pictures and other valuables. The prisoner tries to file a BP to get to court. Months pass, with no success, so he tries to take it straight to court. The court shoots down his claim, because he did not go through proper procedure of filing a grievance. So, even if the prisoner is right, the courts won’t acknowledge his lawsuit because he didn’t go by the rules.

But, is the prison going by them? Let’s talk about that, and how prisons like USP Tucson are actually breaking the rules, making it very difficult for prisoners to properly file a lawsuit, because the Administrative Remedy procedure is horribly flawed.

To begin, let me pull up a statement from a case law, Woodford v. Ngo 548 US 81, 126, S. Ct 2378, 165 L.Ed 2d 368 (2006). I want to share with you an argument a prisoner had about the grievance procedure, and what the argument against it was:

“Respondent contends that requiring proper exhaustion will lead prison administrators to devise procedural requirements that are designed to trap unwary prisoners and thus to defeat their claims. Respondent does not contend, however, that anything like this occurred in his case, and it is speculative that this will occur in the future. Corrections officials concerned about maintaining order in their institutions have a reason for creating and retaining grievance systems that provide — and that are perceived by prisoners as providing - a meaningful opportunity for prisoners to raise meritorious grievances. And with respect to the possibility that prisons might create procedural requirements for the purpose of tripping up all but the most skillful prisoners, while Congress repealed the “plain, speedy, and effective” standard, see 42 U. S. C. §1997e(a)(1) (1994 ed.) (repealed 1996), we have no occasion here to decide how such situations might be addressed." - Justice Samuel Alito

In short, this argument claims that the prisoner was incorrect that prisons could – and do – make it much harder for prisoners to file a grievance. After all, if the prisoner can’t file the grievance, he can’t get to court to sue the officers. In the above case, the Black prisoner is trying to go through the procedure, meaning he has to exhaust the grievance procedure, before he can go to the courts. This kinda makes sense, because one intent of the PLRA is to prevent a lot of frivolous lawsuits by prisoners.

But in doing this, there is a flaw, one prison has used a cheat in the procedure. Let me explain:

To begin the BP, or grievance process, a prisoner must first have an issue… ok, check. The prisoner claims discrimination against officers, so he has a right to file a grievance. Well, step one, as I use USP Tucson as an example, is to get what is called a BP-8. This is the lowest form of the grievance, and it should be available upon request.

Problem: Here at USP Tucson, it isn’t. The prison makes a policy that ONLY the Counselor can hand out a BP-8. So, what if the Counselor isn’t there? You have to wait to find the Counselor, because apparently no other officer in the world can get that piece of paper. This is already an obstacle of due process. In other states, you can get a grievance form from any officer, especially the ones working in your dorm. It makes sense, they are there all day, why not allow them to pass out the grievances?

But, if you change the rules, you then regulate how often you pass out the grievances. Now, you can’t get a BP unless there is a certain officer there. And if he/she isn’t there, they don’t pass them out. So, in theory, a Counselor can stiff-arm prisoners from getting a BP, by making excuses of not being there, or “not having any”.

I say this from a LOT of experience… this happens a lot here at USP Tucson. Many prisoners are frustrated with the Administrative Remedy because for most, it simply does not work. The case law implies that all prisons want to make the grievance procedure available for the maintaining of order, this is not necessarily true at all.

Another technique for obstructing the grievance procedure is to simply “lose” the grievance. If you manage to corner the Counselor and get a BP-8 form, you then have to fill it out and hand it back to them. Problem: The BP-8 is a single white piece of paper, and once you hand it to the Counselor, you have NO copy. So how do you know they actually processed it? In many cases, they don’t. They either “lose” it, or simply trash it.

So, if you can get past the BP-8, there then is a formal BP-9, which is on carbon paper. You have to fill out the form (if you’re lucky enough to even get one), then turn it in to the Counselor (if you can find “Waldo”), and wait for them to give you a carbon copy, if they don’t lose it or trash it.

Additionally, the carbon paper on the BP-9 is so poor, you have to have the strength of the Hulk to press down, to make the copy on the second page, let alone the third or fourth. So, the BP-9 is almost worthless after the first copy is torn off.

If you get no responses from the BP-9, then you have to go to the BP-10, which goes over the heads of staff. But rinse and repeat on the procedure. It is incredibly difficult to get the forms, when in actuality, it should ALWAYS be available to any prisoner, at any time, by most staff members. But staff plays keep away, from prisoners, to prevent them from getting the BP’s, so they cannot timely file.

I say all this from experience. In February, I filed a BP-9 against staff in my dorm because they refused to give us chemicals to clean the showers during a lockdown. Over that period of time, an average of 30 prisoners used each shower cell, and not one drop of chemicals were used to clean it. Think about that, how many of you would walk into a shower after 30 other people had already used it? How about 10? Even 5? No one here should have to do that, but staff knew about it, and did nothing.

So, I wrote a BP-9 and the Case Manager took it and “turned it in” to the Counselor, long story short, as of this date, 9 September 2022, I have heard nothing, and they had only 30 days to respond. My guess, they threw it away.

This is much like cheating at chess, where we have to match wits against a facility that seems to be dead set on preventing prisoners from properly (and legally) filing a grievance. Let us not lose the fact that the grievance procedure is Constitutionally protected; no officer or staff has the right to prevent prisoners from filing.

But, if you cannot complete the grievance, you cannot get to court, because they will claim, as the case law showed, that the inmate didn’t do the proper work, when in fact he did all he could do, but staff aggressively prevented him from being able to file. The courts seem to be blind, or naive, that prison officials would actually HONOR the grievance system.

Think about that, why would they honor a system that holds their staff accountable? Do you really think they are going to play fair if, in the example I gave, a Black Prisoner is trying to sue racist officers? Do you really think they are going to let the BP’s go through, when they can block it at every turn?

It’s like cheating at chess, and it’s also why so many grievances fail, because places like USP Tucson have figured out the loopholes and are exploiting them to prevent prisoners from their constitutional rights. It happens all the time, and nobody is doing anything about it.

I mean, take out my queen, rooks and bishops, and yeah, it’s hard for me to win too.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This is why comrades in United Struggle from Within initiated the campaigns “We Demand Our Grievances are Addressed.” Comrades developed petitions for many states as well as the Feds to appeal these issues to higher and outside authorities to try to bypass the problem described above. This campaign has included other tactics like filing group grievances and even taking other group actions when grievances are ignored. In many states comrades have called for an outside review board to address these complaints. But ultimately, there are no rights only power struggles, so leaving these issues in the hands of the state will only do so much. The solution to the problem is coming together as prisoners, as the oppressed and fighting for these rights every step of the way. That is why we must build peace and unity among prisoners to get grievances addressed.

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[Legal] [Mental Health] [Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility at Rock Mountain] [California] [ULK Issue 80]
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Officers use Funds for Fiesta's not Mental Health Programs

[The following complaint was served to the Department of Justice.] RE: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) and Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) Systemic Scheme of Fraud to Misappropriate Federal Funds

I am requesting an investigative audit of all Federal Funds received by CDCR specifically for mental health programs, services, and activities here at RJDCF because it is clear that those funds are not being used for intended purposes. As a participant in CDCR’s Mental Health Services Delivery System (MHSDS) at the Enhanced Out Patient (EOP) level of care under the Coleman v. Newsom, 2:90-cv-00520-KJM-DB(E.D.Cal) injunction, MHSDS EOP participants are required to receive 10 hours a week of ‘structured therapy’, and receive federal funds to provide such to prisoner participants.

Here at RJDCF EOP there are no specialty, or core, therapy groups which treat or target the diagnosis and symptoms of MHSDS EOP participants because mental health care providers continue to tell us that they’re short of staff and resources.

To create the illusion of providing the 10 hours a week of required ‘structural therapy’ as so CDCR may continue to receive federal funds for RJDCF EOP program, prisoners regular exercise yard time is being documented as recreational therapy,(or R.T. yard), where recreational therapist’s (R.T.’s) assigned to supervise R.T. yards are being explicitly instructed by CDCR Mental Health Program overseers and supervisors to embellish R.T. yard notes to give any reader the impression that the R.T. yard activity itself was/is therapeutic, when fact is, aside from walking around to record which MHSDS EOP prisoners attend regular exercise yards, the R.T.’s have no contact with any of us, yet a significant amount of such fraudulent hours are and have been used to report compliance.

There are many MHSDS EOP participants who report receiving a regular schedule to attend particular mental health therapy groups which does not even exist, as there is no facilitator to provide treatment.

Then, the gist of the described systemic scheme involves CDCR’s use of a ruse to misappropriate federal funds intended for MHSDS EOP programs, services, and activities, thereby using such funds to pay the salaries of its subordinates who directly supervise the EOP, subordinates who are correctional officers (C.O.s) providing security.

With the aid of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), CDCR and RJDCF has manufactured a need for more C.O.s in the MHSDS EOP Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU), and divert federal funds intended for mental health programs, services, and activities, to custody, while these same custody C.O.s then convert the PSU into a ‘lounge area’ where surveillance cameras throughout the PSU, initiated by the Armstrong v. Newsom, no. 94-cv 02307-CW, injunction, regularly record C.O.s blatant inefficiency, hosting fiesta’s and other celebratory gatherings, and constant use of big screen televisions intended for MHSDS EOP groups, to watch sporting events and other shows. All this occurs in the PSU while on duty in direct violation of well established CDCR policy at California Code of Regulations, CCR. Title 15, sections 3394, and 3395.

With this described systemic scheme, C.O.s may continue to exploit the MHSDS EOP, profit from such, while CDCR continues to orchestrate the diminishing of mental health programs, services, and activities, blaming the failure on any and everything else except the truth, which is, despite being member of a protected class requiring mental health services and treatment, to CDCR and it’s employees we are only a financial asset. A prisoner’s mental health challenges are nothing more than a bargaining chip to use to extort more money from the federal government, to fund and fuel an already debauch state system.

Please Help Us!


MIM(Prisons) adds: Over 1.1 million people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic in the United $tates (more than from drug overdoses). This hit hardest among the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, and since the advent of vaccines, the unvaccinated. Strong resistance to vaccines among law enforcement has led to disproportionate deaths. Meanwhile many who could retired early. Like many industries, the state has struggled to replace the prison staff it has lost due to the pandemic.

This situation has allowed for extra leverage, from the already powerful CCPOA in California, meaning many are doing their jobs even less than before. People are sitting in their cells, people aren’t receiving care, people are eating sack lunches, and people aren’t getting access to grievances. And like so many capitalists have done during the last few years, the CDCR has cashed in on state funds that they do not deserve.

These are signs of a struggling system. The criminal injustice system is functioning worse and with less credibility than it has in decades. Meanwhile, greedy kleptocrats are stealing from the state, weakening it further. We must study these cracks in the system and find ways to operate that push the agenda of the oppressed through independent institutions.

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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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