by Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Jabari Scott

CDCR deliberately lied about their implementation of the Security Threat Group (STG) Step Down Program (SDP) sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown. We prisoners, the Prisoner Human Rights Movement (PHRM), all our supporters, all state legislators and all citizens of California are being lied to and manipulated by Gov. Jerry Brown, CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard, George Giurbino of the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), Suzan Hubbard of DAI and the Departmental Review Board (DRB), Tehachapi Warden Kim Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan as they continue their torture tactics from Pelican Bay to Corcoran to Tehachapi state prisons.

“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127
“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Gov. Brown and CDCr administrators are currently violating our United States constitutional rights, the California Code of Regulations and other rules, laws, policies and standards with the intent of breaking down and destroying men and women prisoners, family bonds and moral ethics here in California.

On July 11, 2014, I was transferred from Pelican Bay State Prison to CCI, better known as Tehachapi State Prison. During my journey, I had a week long layover at DVI, Tracy, from July 11-17, 2014. I continued my journey on July 17 and arrived at Tehachapi on that same day.

My week long journey was pretty much uneventful, but I was able to touch base and educate a few young up and coming, politically conscious prison activists to a better understanding of ceasing hostilities and where we stand in our protracted peaceful protest.

Upon my arrival here at Tehachapi, it immediately became clear to me that my next two years were going to be another form of modern day slavery and that the past four years of protest – all we fought through and accomplished – had fallen on deaf ears here at Tehachapi with Warden Kim Holland. My very first run-in with these backward, mountain dwelling slave drivers was during my journey from DVI.

The mail I received there was put on the transportation bus. Upon my arrival at Tehachapi, the transportation sergeant gave my personal mail to Tehachapi Receiving and Release staff with instructions to give it to me when they found housing for me. I was later walked approximately 125 yards from R&R to 4B-7C housing, where I and two others were placed in 7 Building’s holding cages.

I reminded the correctional officer of the transportation sergeant’s instructions and that the large envelope contained my personal mail and I would like to have it before being placed into my assigned cage. His response was, “You’ll get your stuff!” When he walked away, I knew I wouldn’t see him or my mail again; and to this day, I have yet to receive my personal mail.

This hellish modern day slave camp and all its staff have been brainwashed and indoctrinated into an old, prehistoric, backwards prison mentality of the 1960s and 1970s, minus the physical violence, which has been replaced by a new form of violence, mental assault through every facet of this institution and its officials. All of the rights that have been rightfully ours as prisoners since long before Oct. 12, 2012, are denied.

Warden Kim Holland’s staff knowingly violate daily every rule, policy, law, standard and constitutional provision that has been written to provide prisoners with their basic human rights, and they do it as though they have no conscience at all and it is their normal way of life, that we prisoners should be thankful for and accept with a smile and “thank ya, sir.”

With that, they flex their muscles as though they stand on the absolute power of virtual impunity that allows them to constantly get away with the crimes they commit upon us prisoners daily. Thus, they boldly think we should bow to their whim.

On July 17, 2014, as I was being escorted to my cage, just about every prisoner in 4B-7C (whom I had never met) was yelling out at me to check my laundry roll for sizes. I wasn’t sure at the time why they were yelling this to me, but through my many years of experience, I knew it was a warning.

Therefore, as soon as I was in my cage and was un-cuffed, I immediately began to check my laundry roll. I held up the boxer underwear so that the correctional officer (c/o) could clearly see that the boxer underwear I was holding up couldn’t have been any bigger than a large.

The c/o looked at the boxers and looked at me, then said, “and,” as though I was either supposed to just accept them without any argument or what was he supposed to do about it. This foul show of disrespect got my blood boiling. I responded “What in the hell is this?” holding the boxers closer to the door.

With that, I picked up what looked like a T-shirt. It was so dirty and small that I really wasn’t sure if it was a T-shirt or rag to clean my floor and toilet with. It, as well, couldn’t have been any bigger than a large. Looking at my size and the size of the boxers and T-shirt, it was crystal clear that I couldn’t have fit any of these items in my teen years, and if I could, I wouldn’t put my body in nothing that dirty.

Therefore, I asked the c/o to go find me something I could fit – something around a 4XL for both the boxers and T-shirt. When he left my door, I took a good look at these super small, dirty boxers and T-shirt, and was, well, bowled over how this prison enforcer responded to my dilemma. It was clear to me that this administration utilizes the methods of dehumanization by stripping prisoners of their dignity, one layer at a time.

I soon learned that Receiving and Release SHU Property Officers were also a tool of reaction that this administration uses against us and that this office regularly practices the art of intentionally destroying and or making prisoners’ property disappear, while keeping a straight poker face, acting as though it never existed or it never came though the property room.

We were informed by IGI Counselor V. Ybarra and all of 4B-7C staff that the property policy is: Your property follows you soon after you step off the transportation bus, meaning we no longer have to wait 10 days after our arrival or after we have gone to Classification or after a long 30-day waiting period. Now it’s immediately after your arrival, your property is broken down and sent to your assigned location. Thus if all the above staff are well aware of this property policy, then it is quite clear that the R&R property officer is well aware of it as well, when property is his responsibility.

My cellie, Jabari Scott, arrived here on Sept. 2, 2014, and as of Sept. 23, he still has not yet received his property. Therefore, you have a policy that’s not being adhered to or enforced and a property officer doing what he wants, when he wants, no matter what rule or policy he breaks.

This administration utilizes the methods of dehumanization by stripping prisoners of their dignity, one layer at a time.

Note to all prisoners who are scheduled to be transferred to Tehachapi State Prison: Make sure to get an accurate and complete, itemized inventory slip of every item in your property before signing and transferring.

All California state prisons are mandated by statute to provide each and every prisoner in the prison system, whether you are in SHU or in Step 1 through 4 of the SDP or in general population, with the required allotment of clothing and housing supplies to keep themselves and their living quarters clean and to practice good health habits essential to the maintenance of physical and mental well-being.

State mandated clothing allotments are one pair of shoes, six pairs of socks, four boxers, four T-shirts, two pillow cases, four sheets, three towels, two washcloths, two floor towels, two jumpsuits, one denim jacket, one beanie, two blankets, one laundry bag, one pillow, one mattress, one solid plastic coffee mug and one solid plastic spoon.

State mandated weekly laundry exchanges require that all state prisons provide prisoners a one-for-one exchange limited to three T-shirts, two sheets, three pairs of socks, three boxers, one pillow case and two towels.

Upon your arrival at Tehachapi, each prisoner is issued one clothing roll and one bedding roll, which is your one and only issue for the duration of your time here.

The clothing roll consists of one pair of socks, one boxer, one T-shirt, one towel and one floor rag. The bedding roll consists of two sheets and two blankets.

Laundry exchange: Keep in mind that no issued laundry is new, and all of it is very battered and used. Weekly laundry exchange goes by a one full clothing roll for one full clothing roll in return, which means that you can only exchange full rolls – a clothing roll consisting of one T-shirt, one boxer and one pair of socks or a bedding roll of two sheets – or you can choose not to exchange anything at all. You don’t have a choice on what size you receive in return. All laundry rolls are pre-made, and size is not considered; therefore, it’s a take-it-or-leave-it exchange and luck of the draw on sizes.

Housing supplies: All SHU prisoners here at Tehachapi are issued one small paper dixie cup and one small plastic picnic spoon. Supply exchange is every two to three weeks, if we are lucky; thus, you must be real careful in the maintenance of your dixie cup and picnic spoon to ensure they last until the next supply exchange.

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Ronnie Dewberry), photographed in 2012 and 1988, has been isolated in solitary confinement all those years – and still is today – despite his leadership as one of the four main reps, who, through peaceful protests and the Agreement to End Hostilities, have transformed and brought a glimmer of hope for human rights to the California prison system. – Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy, CIR
Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa (Ronnie Dewberry), photographed in 2012 and 1988, has been isolated in solitary confinement all those years – and still is today – despite his leadership as one of the four main reps, who, through peaceful protests and the Agreement to End Hostilities, have transformed and brought a glimmer of hope for human rights to the California prison system. – Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy, CIR

Cleaning supplies: Each prisoner is issued one yellow cleaning rag, and once a week an officer will yell out, “disinfectant.” At that time, all prisoners are expected to push their yellow rags out under their door. Then the officer will walk by, pouring disinfectant onto the yellow rags. You have to sop up as much disinfectant as possible, then squeeze it into some sort of milk carton or container to preserve as much of the disinfectant you sopped up as you can. This practice is so disrespectful and degrading that we refuse to participate in it. Those are the only cleaning supplies that Tehachapi provides its prisoners with. State mandate requires that all state prisons provide three ounces of uncut disinfectant, plus one cell cleaning rag and one scrub pad, weekly.

TV stations: We struggle to get all the following basic stations: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, MY13, COZI, two Spanish stations and four church stations. The struggle is that some stations are blurry and very hard to see; others go in and out all throughout the day, every day, and others just black out for about 30 to 40 seconds. TV access starts at 6:48 every morning.

Pillows: Tehachapi does not issue pillows and the floor officers will write you a rule violation if a home-made pillow is found in your cell. Therefore, we roll up our jumpsuits, towel and blanket and put them in a T-shirt at night, then unroll them every morning.

Mirrors: There are no mirrors whatsoever in any cell. We have a very small mirror in each shower and it is the only place and time we have access to a mirror.

Containers: They are not allowing us to have or possess any canteen containers and some plastics. They argue that because we have in-cell electric plugs, we could use them to make weapons. Their argument makes it clear that Tehachapi refuses to advance out of the Stone Age and embrace the future. Thus, they are going to fight tooth and nail on adhering to SDP policies.

Water: The water here is so bad that every correctional officer here refuses to drink it and every one of them brings his own water to drink. The water is treated with so much sodium that it leaves a thick white deposit caked on all our sink nozzles that is as thick and hard as cement. And when you run your water in your sink for about 10 to 14 seconds, you’ll start to see the sodium deposit build up, foaming around the edges of the water.

Turn the water off, as it dissipates, it leaves behind a thick white film that hardens on the inside of your sink. This thick, white sodium film sticks to the inside of your cups and bowls, too, as well as to your body, which leaves you with an itchy feeling.

Now if this sodium film deposit is sticking to everything water touches, what is it doing to the inside of our bodies after we consume it, especially when you’re drinking the eight recommended cups of water a day? Tehachapi is well aware of this water issue but it is of no concern to them, because to them, we are only prisoners! And they don’t have to drink it.

Yard: Buildings 4B-7 and 4B-8 share a total of 24 yard cages, 12 cages per building. Each building has 64 cells, and Tehachapi SHU only runs one yard a day for SHU prisoners for three and a half to four hours. Therefore, it could take five to seven days for the yard to make a full rotation. Thus, each cell is not getting its 10 hours a week allotted yard and exercise time, which is mandated by law.

Medication chronos: Me, my cellie, Jabari Scott, and many other prisoners were taking various different medications and had various different active medical chronos that were prescribed by medical doctors in our previous prisons to alleviate pain and bring comfort to disabilities. All have been taken by a rogue doctor employed by Tehachapi – another tool of reaction deployed against us.

H. Tate, M.D., is an old war veteran who has a firm grip on his old war roots. He has a high threshold for pain and believes that everyone else should too. Thus he follows a firm practice of “If it’s not killing you,” he will save CDCr some money in not treating you.

All my pain meds were taken and all my cellie’s pain meds were reduced to regular over-the-counter Tylenol that we can buy from the canteen. We both are in so much pain that we are not sleeping through the night, nor can we perform many of our daily activities and functions. And many other prisoners are experiencing the same discomforts at the hands of Dr. Tate.

Programming: The big con, The Big Lie, the scheme, sham, bogus Step Down Program Steps 3 and 4 at Tehachapi State Prison – the whole conspiracy was sold to us by Secretary Jeffrey Beard, Undersecretary Martin Hoshino, Adult Institutions Director Michael Stainer, Departmental Review Board Director George Giurbino, Adult Institutions Deputy Director Suzan Hubbard, Corrections Counselor II C. Vargas at Pelican Bay and Warden Kim Holland of Tehachapi and sanctioned by Gov. Jerry Brown as if it was a beautiful Hawaiian vacation. It all was a lie – a hoax – and this was never a functional or functioning step anything program.

200 + Rally to support prisoner hunger strike
Hundreds of supporters traveled to Corcoran a few days after the start of the last and largest-in-history hunger strike, on July 13, 2013, to rally and buoy the spirits of the prisoners, some of whom could see and hear them. This statement by Sitawa, along with a few others, was hung on a fence to show that it is the prisoners who are in charge and setting the agenda. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

This is the worst SHU in California. Nothing that resembles a step down program is functioning here, nor can it be for quite some time, because it was finally admitted and is a fact that Tehachapi SHU will have to go through a major overhaul and retro-fitting to be able to secure both prisoners and guards. It was as well revealed that there are far too many blind spots that the gun tower cannot see.

Thus, as we speak, only one cell at a time is allowed to come out to what they are calling and selling as group dining, and thus far, only four prisoners have been approved for group yard. Steps 3 and 4 are only allowed to walk to the showers with no cuffs once a week. The other two times a week, we are escorted and cuffed.

The STG/SDP was forced upon us Oct. 12, 2012, as a token given by CDCr in hope that it would wash away all the years of torture and foul deeds subjected on us. This supposed token became our only means of escaping our torture. For us here at Tehachapi, that token became our new form of torture, only with a new name, Tehachapi, and what we have come to realize is that the supposed token of good faith has twin evil heads – one that stares you in the face, while the other is biting you on the ass!

The facts are concrete and crystal clear that Beard, Hoshino, Stainer, Giurbino, Hubbard, Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan all knew from the beginning that Tehachapi State Prison SHU would not be a match made in heaven and was, in fact, incompatible with the concepts of Steps 3 and 4 of the SDP, which is why it fails entirely in its bogus attempt to align itself with those policies and principles. Knowing this is fact, Tehachapi continues to be sold to the public, legislature and prisoners as an up and running, operationally functioning program with all of the privileges, opportunities and amenities intact.

IT IS A SHAM! Warden Kim Holland would never even attempt to embrace the concepts of human dignity and a prisoner’s basic human rights, because she has turned a blind eye throughout her tenure, refusing to address and assure anyone that her prisoners are treated with the smallest air of dignity and that their basic needs – mandated by law – that express a concern for humanity are met.

Pelican Bay SHU, Corcoran SHU and many other SHUs are making big strides in lining themselves up with the Title 15 matrix, standardized SHU and SDP policies. But Warden Kim Holland continues to hold the same immoral ground of the past, keeping Tehachapi in the chattel slavery era. And Gov. Brown, Secretary Beard, Undersecretary Hoshino, Director Stainer, Director Giurbino and Director Hubbard all continue to feed Warden Holland the power to hold such an immoral position that basically shatters the very foundation of the SDP, which they themselves built.

Taking a good look at the facts and seeing them for what they truly are, one would have to say this whole thing reeks of conspiracy, and it’s clear that there is way more to these tactics than we know and see. But we still must press the questions: Why is a rogue warden, Warden Kim Holland, given such power? Why is a rogue institution, Tehachapi SHU, being allowed to operate? Why have all the above clear violations gone unnoticed for all these years?

If SDP is truly a program that CDCr administrators want to succeed, then why haven’t Secretary Beard, Director Stainer or any of the other staff taken a look into these violations and resolved them in a humane manner that would reflect anything close to the SDP re-entry program that they have been selling since Oct. 12, 2012?

Why did Secretary Beard, Undersecretary Hoshino, Director Stainer, Director Giurbino, Director Hubbard and Warden Holland attempt to establish a Step 3 and 4 of the Step Down Program in a prison that is not structurally capable of accommodating such a program? And why force bodies into a Step 3 and 4 program in a prison that they knew would not offer those prisoners the privileges, opportunities and amenities outlined in the SDP policies that would afford them their basic, fundamental rights that promote human dignity?

Bottom line is CDCr has knowingly lied to state Sen. Loni Hancock and the other legislators about the entire SDP and how well it is functioning. Sen. Hancock should come and pay a visit to Tehachapi State Prison so she could see for herself the lies CDCr sold her and the Legislature, catch them in the game they are playing with prisoners’ lives and shut Tehachapi SHU down.

Why did Secretary Beard, Undersecretary Hoshino, Director Stainer, Director Giurbino, Director Hubbard and Warden Holland attempt to establish a Step 3 and 4 of the Step Down Program in a prison that is not structurally capable of accommodating such a program?

Tehachapi has no business attempting to establish any step of the Step Down Program here, nor should it house regular SHU prisoners here until this prison has completed a full overhaul from top to bottom from its structural insufficiencies to all its staff, starting with Warden Kim Holland, Chief Deputy Warden J. Gutierrez, Capt. Mayo, Lt. Parrett, V. Ybarra, Dr. H. Tate, the R&R staff and all those that refuse to divorce themselves from that old style slave-driving mentality.

We call on all of the officials to respond swiftly to this human crisis. If just one of you possesses just a morsel of empathy and believes that no prisoner should be subjected to torture and cruel, inhumane, degrading treatment, then put a STOP to the foul practices that continue to violate every rule, law, standard, policy and constitutional provision ever written to protect the fundamental rights of human beings.

Sen. Hancock should come and pay a visit to Tehachapi State Prison so she could see for herself the lies CDCr sold her and the Legislature, catch them in the game they are playing with prisoners’ lives and shut Tehachapi SHU down.

To our countless supporters and those who ceaselessly fight for justice on our behalf, we thank you all for your boundless support – that driving spirit that keeps us pushing forward – and we thank you for your great effort. Your successes have proven mighty enough to move that great mountain of torture that kept us isolated and voiceless for way too many years.

Words cannot fully convey how great it is to have so many amazing people join our fight. Although we have much to stand proud about, we still have a long way to go and we still need you all, even more.

Thus, spread the word, push the word, shake that great bush that attempts to hide Tehachapi and Warden Kim Holland’s horrors until we have shaken them all to the ground and that bright light of the people’s justice reveals all their foul deeds. Call, tweet, text, write all your legislators, all CDCr administrators, Tehachapi State Prison Warden Kim Holland and Chief Deputy Warden W. Sullivan and express your desire for change, for justice, for humanity! And ask a friend, family member and loved one to join us.

And a special call-out to our New Afrikan community, civil rights leaders, human rights leaders, all religious leaders, our lawyers, actresses, actors, sports figures, musicians, entertainers and all those in the business sector: We need you all to get involved to make a difference in your community’s future, and together we will rebuild justice on the foundation of a new morality that is the heart of the people.

To all those prison rights activists and those who stand for what is right in Corcoran State Prison SHU, Zaharibu, Heshima, Turi, Griff, Amondo, we owe you all a great deal of gratitude for your courageous stance of defiance against CDCr’s implementation of its criminalizing journals that do nothing towards aiding rehabilitation or arming men and women with the necessary tools to succeed on a mainline or in society.

Your act, many acts, of defiance were critical and effective in catapulting us forward into the position we are in right now, to enable us to shine the light of justice on and expose the foul, torturous conditions of this institution, Tehachapi SHU, that reeks of the mentality of Robben Island, South Africa! Deeply appreciated! Keep pushin’! To all U.S. citizens and our world community, support those who struggle to support themselves!

In struggle, revolutionary love and respect,

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, s/n R. N. Dewberry, C-35671, CCI 4B-7C-209, P.O. Box 1906, Tehachapi CA 93581

Aaron Jabari Scott, H-30536, NCTT Coordinator CCI, 4B-7C-209, P.O. Box 1906, Tehachapi CA 93581

14 COMMENTS

  1. What part of “nobody gives a crap” do you not understand? I’ll say it again: NOBODY GIVES A CRAP! The more you gripe and belly ache, the more satisfaction you give me and my fellow law abiding citizens. You are worthless sacks of crap, and I hope you suffer terribly.

  2. Sadastic Derek D, clearly you care enough to take the time to post a comment to the wind. But I wish no ill for you. You have love missing from your life the same way guards and others like you do. I hope you find it one day.

  3. Derek D: you are “Nobody”, and it is sad that you care to comment but do not even see this. I hope that when you are locked up in the Belly of the Beast, that you will be heard. A true, just, safe and ordered society is more than a few law-abiding citizens!

    • Thats pretty funny, u people that are defending these whining, moaning inmates are either current or former inmates, or the parents or siblings of inmates and the guilt u feel for raising such losers motivates u to defend them. Law abiding citizens don’t care that the people that victimize other people are “suffering” in prison. Put yourself in the position of their victims and you’ll change your tune, I guarantee it. Quit lying to yourselves.

  4. What about the voices of your victims to earn your way to prison…I bet their voices were never heard, but you want yours heard? Quit crying and do your time!!!!! California is such a liberal state

  5. I am a victim. I forgave the person who killed my parent. I am a law-abiding citizen. I do not believe in torture conditions. I care about what Mr. Jamaa and Mr. Scott are going through. God, The Lord cares too.

    The Holy Bible:

    Hebrews 13:3
    “Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”

  6. Just an FYI not everyone in prison leaves behind a victim. Our loved one was caught under a 3X law that because of being in trouble at 18 and doing his I and only prison term of 11 years for his mistake-he paid his debt. Working on his truck he picked up an empty baggy (knowing it was a drug bag but not sure of what was in it) of meth that he was throwing away on his way up stairs in his own carport. The cops said he looked like he was stealing his truck because he reached in the wing window to grab cigarettes. Lets even say it was his baggy if you don’t want to believe that-its in his police report but whatever-No victim and the crime was an empty bag of dope that was so empty they couldn’t test it twice. Had a hung jury and they still tried him again because of his past at 28 he got life under 3X because his prior counted as 13 strikes because he plea out to 13 counts to clear the record. At the time there was no 3X in 1986. Now he has done 20 yrs. on 25 to life for that. God help your hateful soul. Our loved one will do more good to help youth not travel his road than you are doing with your hateful words. We have two policemen in our family that we are proud of. Funny is our loved one believes in harsher punishments than we do but doesn’t believe in the treatment of SHU inmates it is completely inhuman. You really don’t have to do anything to find yourself there. When people debrief they have to tell stories and they say things that are not true because now they are faced with going back. You have seen enough movies to know what happens to snitches that go back to where they have told on people especially when they are lies. AND IT COSTS US TAX PAYERS A SHIT LOAD OF MONEY THAT COULD BE PUT TO MUCH BETTER USE. We spend $70,000 to $120,000 + PER YEAR per SHU inmate for a lifetime in most cases. At least 10-40 years in the SHU. Then for 12 years we spend $6,000 to $7800 per year to educate our children in public schools; how is that for disproportionate? It is because inmates make for better and easier long term jobs with crazy sick amounts of retirement and every type of compensation package and pay you can dream of thanks to the CCPOA that is owed favors from governors that they pay to get in office. Can you say campaign donations to the tune of millions? These jobs are secured by outrageous sentencing that allow for petty crimes. Teaching jobs don’t pay as well and we keep cutting class room budgets. It is more profitable to incarcerate that educate. If we spent that much on each child they could all go to college and it is proven that educated people are less likely to do crime. You are an angry ignorant human being that cares for no one but yourself. I will pray for your soul because right now I have a good idea where you are headed. We need prisons; we need rehabilitation in prison-there is NONE. We need to make sure that the people leaving prison are better people than when they got there. We are not, we treat them worse than dogs and want them to come out compassionate productive citizens. What is wrong with the world? It is people like Derek D. that is what is wrong with the world. they are not complaining they are only asking for what the law affords them which isn’t much. You seem like you would be the loudest crybaby in the world should you get locked up. Be careful what you say you never know what could happen to you in the future. Your anger could cause you to end up in brawl and someone hits his head and you get life for murder. It has happened to better people than you. So Mr. D if you could pull your head out of your B you would be surprised what you would find out if you paid an ounce of attention to politics and what is going on in our country. The CA legislation is getting involved and it is slow but they are even seeing the light. It will be slow but we have to rethink our bulging prison system and our “scare the hell out of them tough on crime crap”. The CCPOA free ride needs to end. I think the Teachers Union deserves the support of the people now so we start where the good can be done as children. Put the after sport programs back in schools, art, music, day care after school for working mothers so we don’t have latchkey kids. Moms should not have to chose between food or child care. When did we stop taking care of each other as a society? When did we stop caring about our future? When did we start hating the sick and stop helping them heal? That is when the world starting going to hell in hand basket. I will pray for your soul sir.

    • Ha, like I said before, the only people who defend these morons are current or former inmates or their families. NOBODY ELSE CARES ABOUT THEM. Your son is obviously a bad seed, maybe thru no fault of your own but never-the-less he’s right where he belongs in the eyes of society, you say his crimes were “victimless”, however the pain and anguish he has put u through makes YOU a victim. I’m sorry for your loss, I truly am, but I cannot and will not change my stance, I speak for thousands of other law abiding, tax paying citizens.
      Inmates here in California don’t realized how good they actually have it, other states aren’t so liberal, let alone other countries! I’m glad they’re miserable, I’ll sleep better knowing they’re miserable, I’m not going to apologize if my words offend you, I do however feel sorry for u, it must be difficult on your psyche having raised such a loser

      • Derek, I am not formerly incarcerated nor is anyone in my family in prison or formerly there. I care. So your claim is already negated. Your binary of good/bad, law-abiding citizen/criminal is not as clear cut as you make it out to be. Plenty of people are their own victims (like someone with a drug addiction, or has a mental illness and gets arrested for being homeless) or are punished for defending themselves. Lots of women defend themselves against rapists but end of killing their abuser in the fight. In that scenario you’ve already shown you wouldn’t care about the rapist who was just killed–well what about the woman defending herself? Or what about women who refuse to snitch on their partners (sometimes due to fear of retaliation) and are then locked up for refusing to cooperate with police? Are they not the victims in that situation, yet get punished?
        Also, what about police or prisons violating the CONSTITUTION, (in particular the 8th amendment, cruel & unusual punishment)? Do you think the guards should be charged and become prisoners themselves? They are, after all, breaking the law. (If you don’t believe me, do some research on rulings by the Supreme Court, like Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown, etc.) The governor is breaking the law.
        Finally, you do realize that the majority of people who go to prison are one day released, right? What good does it do society to have them coming out the same or worse than when they went in? Doesn’t it benefit everyone to try to rehabilitate them? Education, job training, drug treatment, etc.?
        I could go on, but you’ve already said you “cannot and will not change” your stance

        • God forbid this country is taken over by a coup and the new dictator orders all people who consider themselves Christian to be incarcerated. Don’t be near-sighted. Consider the possibilities for this system to be implemented for “law abiding citizens”. If we don’t stand up for basic human rights now, who will stand up for us?

  7. What a load of crap, listen to yourselves and who your defending, these piece of crap, blister on society, money wasting,
    Well just forget it, I’m done. Its obvious where you people stand and where I stand. Lets just agree to disagree, you just continue to love and care for these inmates and I’ll just continue to enjoy hearing them complain, I hope they all rot away…. In absolute misery of course :)

  8. While some of the issues raised in the article are interesting and need to be looked at more closely (what are the yard time stats, for instance) – Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Jabari Scott add in so many specious complaints that it’s hard to empathize.

    I support change in the system and do not think that the SHU’s have been a useful intervention. For many inmates, the practice has been terribly damaging and the harm irreparable. I welcome change.

    But this article leaves me unmoved. Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and his cellmate have been moved to another prison and they are unhappy with it. This is fair enough. I would hate to be incarcerated.

    I’m even sure there is room for improvement. Perhaps a lot of improvement. But that doesn’t make this torture.

    For instance, they write that the TV reception is bad. Perhaps they don’t realize that that’s true at most prisons throughout the country. In fact, at many facilities, inmates can only access two or three channels.

    And mirrors? It’s standard practice in most prisons to not have mirrors. It’s inconvenient, to be sure, but it’s a safety issue.

    And the water is too hard? I’m sorry to say that doesn’t make it unsafe. You may not like it, but unless it is unsafe – there really isn’t an issue.

    As for the issues with pain medication, that seems personal and hard to assess (what’s the dx?). Most prisons shy away from the overuse of pain medications for very good reasons. Clearly, if these authors have an issue that they want to bring to the fore, they’ll have to be more specific. If it is too private (and that’s understandable), then grieve it through prison channels. But to publish it like this – with no facts – well, I don’t know what to make of it. It just sounds like complaining.

    I want to suggest to the authors that in the future they identify human rights violations and/or instances of abuse and write about that. Be clear, concise and on point. I’m sure there is much to write about.

    Or, if they want to try another route, they could think about suggestions for a more comprehensive step-down program (one that will help as inmates begin to reintegrate into general population). I’d be interested in hearing about that as well.

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