Support SF BayView
Donate or Subscribe to SF Bay View
Follow Us Twitter Facebook

Scare tactics: How loved ones are terrorized into breaking bonds with prisoners

January 12, 2013

Dear Readers,

I am writing to inform you of the scare tactics that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) here at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (PBSP SHU) uses in order to intimidate our families, friends and associates away from corresponding with those of us who are held in these solitary confinement units – AdSegs and SHUs.

Mutope Duguma (James Crawford) from Penny Schoner, web
The Bay View is honored to present this extremely rare photo of the writer, jailhouse lawyer and driving force in the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement Mutope Duguma.
Typically, CDCR issues a “CDC-128-B Stopped Mail Notification general chrono.” Prison Institutional Gang Investigations (IGI) and Investigative Service Unit (ISU) mark inside a box the letter X, indicating the violation of a prison rule. A recent stopped-mail notice I received was for incoming mail from a friend of mine who runs a zines publishing company in Chicago that distributes political writings, manuscripts, essays, pamphlets etc. of mostly the writings of prisoners and activists in and out of prison.

The prison gang officials and officers have a serious problem with literature that is anti-prison industrial complex. So they use the CDC-128-B chrono to label this material as “promoting gang activities” or a “threat to penological interests.”

Another X indicates “Retained by Investigative Services Unit (ISU) for investigation/potential disciplinary or court proceedings.”

For the last 10 years, prison intelligence (?) officers have used these scare tactics to achieve two objectives: 1) Confiscate any correspondence, outgoing or incoming, that prison guards do not favor or that they consider to be anti-prison industrial complex; 2) Intimidate prisoners’ families, friends and associates, destroy relationships and run them off by using the threat of prosecution for alleged “gang activities,” which is a scare tactic to isolate the prisoners further.

The CDCR understands that the targeted people are poor people who may have little or no education or they may have no adequate understanding of their legal rights to correspond with prisoners, which is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the CDCR’s California Code of Regulations Title 15, Section 3130, General Mail Policy.

So why would CDCR-PBSP’s IGI and ISU develop a document, CDC-128-B-Stopped Mail Notification, that deprives prisoners of their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, in addition to the two objectives the officials and officers use to break down men by way of torture and the tormenting of their families, friends and associates? In a word, it’s “racism” – an inherent belief that all people of color and poor whites are criminals.

For the last 10 years, prison intelligence (?) officers have used these scare tactics to achieve two objectives: 1) Confiscate any correspondence, outgoing or incoming, that prison guards do not favor or that they consider to be anti-prison industrial complex; 2) Intimidate prisoners’ families, friends and associates, destroy relationships and run them off by using the threat of prosecution for alleged “gang activities,” which is a scare tactic to isolate the prisoners further.

Out of the 10 years they have used this CDC-128-B form, there has not been one investigation that led to a criminal conviction. Nor has there ever been a threat to the penological interest. The only thing that has occurred is that our families, friends and associates have been attacked and gotten the living hell scared out of them based on these false accusations. They are able to destroy family ties, break up friendships and compromise relationships that could have been.

The prison gang officials and officers use their physical and psychological attacks against the prisoner to try and get him to debrief – turn prison snitch – in order to get out of solitary confinement units. The prisoner’s family, friends and associates become pawns in this attack, in which prison officials and officers consider our families, friends and associates to be collateral damage.

Unfortunately, these attacks have led to many prisoners succumbing to this torture. But those of us who remain steadfast and principled men will die in solitary confinement rather than become a prison snitch.

To subject any human being to these torture chambers indefinitely is inhumane. And the state government, which is responsible for protecting its citizens, good or bad, has sanctioned our torture, giving CDCR carte blanche to do what they please against us, which means that we prisoners are made to suffer each day of our lives in solitary confinement until we debrief, parole or die – and most of us, if not all of us, are lifers.

Out of the 10 years they have used this CDC-128-B form, there has not been one investigation that led to a criminal conviction. Nor has there ever been a threat to the penological interest. The only thing that has occurred is that our families, friends and associates have been attacked and gotten the living hell scared out of them based on these false accusations. They are able to destroy family ties, break up friendships and compromise relationships that could have been.

It’s already been too long, where many of us have done anywhere from 10 to 40 years in these torture chambers, some in PBSP SHU since its inception in December 1989. This Mail-Stopped Notification is nothing but a way to implement covert censorship under California Code of Regulations Title 15, Crime Prevention and Corrections, Division 3, Adult Institutions, Programs and Parole Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

Read California Code of Regulations Title 15, Section 3391: Employee Conduct. (a), (b), (c), (d) Citizen Complaint, pursuant to Penal Code Section 832.5. This regulation protects you, the citizen, against prison officials and officers who attempt to intimidate or disrupt your correspondence. File your citizen complaints against any false allegations made against you. [You can file a citizen complaint simply by writing a letter to the warden. – ed.]

One love, one struggle,

Mutope Duguma

Send our brother some love and light: Mutope Duguma, s/n James Crawford, D-05996, PBSP SHU D1-117U, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City CA 95532. He began writing this story on Christmas Day and completed it on New Year’s Day. The holidays are an especially lonely time in prison – intensely lonely in solitary confinement.

 

7 thoughts on “Scare tactics: How loved ones are terrorized into breaking bonds with prisoners

Leave a Reply

BayView Classifieds - ads, opportunities, announcements
San Francisco Comcast
Advertisement