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Under Lock & Key

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[COVID-19] [Medical Care] [California]
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CDCR Transferring Prisoners Like Never Before, Spreading Virus

At the moment, during this pandemic and major outbreak inside prisons, CDCR has decided that it is best to shuffle/transfer prisoners like never before in prison history. There are transfers going on, on a major scale, daily. The administration sent out a memo and order to open up a ‘quarantine’ block in every prison across California designated for people coming in from and going to another prison –- we are being quarantined for fourteen days on our way in and out, at every stop.

Before, if you’d asked any prisoner in California if they ever got transferred out a prison they didn’t wanna be in or got transferred due to their custody points level dropping (therefore belonging to a lower/higher security yard) they would answer ‘fuck no’!!! People would be stuck in a Level 4 yard (high security) while being Level 3 (lower security) eligible for up to years at a time – or at the very least, six months. And now, at this precise moment and time of outbreak and pandemic, CDCR decides to look at each case factor and execute transfers according to their ‘code.’ People are coming in and out of every prison in California to these designated ‘quarantine blocks.’ For the first time ever, Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 are meeting up in these blocks, meeting up from all prisons and transferring out to all prisons. It would be irresponsible to think that this is not an operation by the system with the intent and agenda to exterminate its population.

On paper, the administration is making it look good by conducting and documenting daily medical and temperature checks for the two weeks of quarantine, and doing two COVID-19 swab tests before allowing prisoners on a transportation bus… but what CDCR is not telling the public is that if one refuses to take a temperature check and refuses to take the COVID-19 swab test, you will still be transferred, still get on the bus, still spread whatever you have around, still use the same showers, phone, water fountain, and be allowed to roam around!!! Yes, the ones that refuse do not leave on the 14th day mark, instead they’re documented as not transferring due to their refusal, etc. But CDCR still transfers them after an additional week of being on ‘quarantine.’ In the fifteen years I’ve been captive, never have I ever seen so many transfers myself –- nor seen the prison system shuffled up in this manner where we have about 10-15 prisons in one ‘block.’ We got people from Chino, Folsom, Lancaster, Jamestown, Corcoran, Salinas, Delano, San Quentin, Calipatria, the Bay, Solano, High Desert, all coming in four times a week on a consistent basis, and we are all confined in these newly implemented ‘quarantine blocks.’ How’s this for fighting COVID-19?

One would be ignorant not to see what these suits and ties at the table are putting in motion here. I’ve been doing my research and talking to people as they come from all these prisons they are coming from and it is amazing to hear how correctional officers and wardens are bouncing people around within the prison itself before shipping them out, how the administration gave out orders to correctional officers to do this, do that, try this under the ruse of combating COVID-19 while putting prisoners in harm’s way via reckless transfers. The stories are lengthy and too many to describe, but I will do so in a future piece and with proper equipment. For now, I’ll just use my case and experience as a small window to provide insight to the public about what the system is doing and to expose their agenda.

First off, I am a radikal intellectual, politikal prisoner, activist, abolitionist, revolutionary, Sureno artist, who has been targeted by the system throughout the years and well-documented. I was housed at New Folsom for three years before the pandemic kicked off and I went under quarantine. I had just got out the hole because the administration attempted to blame and charge me for an attempted murder that I had no knowledge of. I was back on the main line after the long battle of the torture and mental stress of being in the hole, then out of nowhere, the administration kidnaps me once again and I’m placed under another ‘investigation.’ They refused me my due process of signing a liability chrono to go back to the yard, and instead stuffed me in the hole again.

Then, as COVID-19 begins to worsen inside the prison, the administration puts me on a bus … I end up in Lancaster … I’m there for two weeks, then they let me run around the prison for one full day just to come back to my living quarters to be informed that I’m gonna be transferred again!!! I’m like, what the fuck is going on here? I’m telling the counselor, captain, committee, that what they are doing is wrong and how they putting me and everyone else at greater risk of getting sick by doing this. They told me that is not them, its the federal courts who ordered this!! I’m trying to tell them about all they’re doing wrong and how I just got to that prison two weeks prior that, etc. … nope, nothing, on another bus!! Now I get to Calipatria and I come to find out that everyone around me is experiencing the same thing! I was already in a yard of my ‘custody level’ so why continue to shuffle people like there’s no tomorrow? It is clear to see what’s happening here. If there’s a way I can file a lawsuit or join one already taking place I would like to do that. If not, well fuck it, its still fuck CDCR on mine!! Nothing about what this system is attempting to do is towards a healthy California – the only ones making sure we maintain a healthy structure is the prisoners ourselves and our loved ones. The agenda of the system is still more boxes and forms of genocide, war, population control.

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[Organizing] [California] [ULK Issue 61]
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Prop. 57 Benefits: Serve the People, Don't Condemn Them

This is a response to the recent article on Prop. 57 organizing. While I understand how this could be a tool for comrades to organize with, at the same time there are plenty of programs here at Folsom that are doing the whole time reduction program. For example, there are a few of my homies that have gotten 1/4 of their time knocked off after GED/College degree. And they are not white, rich, or snitches as the headline suggests.

Now one thing that we can definitely push is for youth offenders to be able to fit the criteria of Prop. 57. Because that is definitely something us under SB260-261 do not fit into. Not to say that the carrot of reform is something we bit into with high hopes, but it can most definitely be something to put into motion.

I just feel the headline stating that only snitches and privileged are getting good time in New Folsom EOP/GP could be a turn off. It will move/push people in the wrong direction. We can use this, let's just not label solid comrades snitches on paper when organizing.


MIM(Prisons) responds: We thank this comrade for this criticism and correction. While we did print a couple responses from USW comrades in ULK 60 citing instances of good time used to favor certain prisoners, we should not paint with such a broad brush to imply that anyone getting good time is in that boat.

It does seem that access to info on Prop. 57 is also imbalanced. As we are still getting people asking for information, while others say the state is on top of it. Strategically, we seek to build Serve the People programs where we can provide for the needs of the masses better than the state. Prop. 57 is not a place we can do a better job than what the state is doing. Providing books that serve the interests of oppressed nations, for example, is. We agree with this comrade that we cannot hope for reformism to change things, but we can fight for winnable battles that help us move in the direction of revolutionary change.

Addendum: The politics of Prop. 57 also overlap with the focus of this issue of Under Lock & Key. The CDCR tried to exclude anyone convicted of a crime that required being registered as a sex offender from Prop. 57 benefits. But only certain crimes in the sex offender classification are also classified as violent felonies in the California Penal Code. In February, in a suit brought by the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, a judge ruled that the CDCR was overstretching the law, and that limits on Prop. 57 must be applied only to those convictions deemed "violent" in the California Code. (16 February 2018, Seth Augenstein, California's Prop 57 Sex Offender Release Regs Are Void, Court Rules)

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