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A cry for help, a call to action: Rally at IDOC, Indianapolis, July 18

July 7, 2018

by Michael Carrico

During my 18 years in prison, I’ve spent much of that time in solitary confinement for all manner of things, including numerous assaults on staff (male officers), rioting and institutional murder, the details of which are not pertinent to this particular article. What is pertinent, however, is the fact that about 10 years ago, while once again sitting in solitary confinement for yet another act of violence against an internal affairs informant, I made a conscious decision to try to be a better person. To think before I act. To process information differently. To resolve matters peacefully, rather than violently. To have more respect for my fellow man. To have more sympathy and empathy for the plight of others.

With no real rehabilitation in the IDOC (Indiana Department of Correction), only cold storage and warehousing of human beings, I basically had to rehabilitate myself and completely retrain my brain. During these last 10 years, I’ve managed to accomplish many things, such as obtaining my GED, completing several programs, maintaining steady employment – back-breaking manual labor for slave wages – donating handmade woodcrafts to charities for children, and even marrying my childhood sweetheart.

I write to you now once again from solitary confinement, where I will spend the next three years, not for another act of violence, not even for a verbal assault, but for simply wishing my family a Merry Christmas on Facebook. Neither my clear conduct – no write-ups for five years – nor my many positive life changes were even considered when internal affairs and the corrupt kangaroo court system known as the DHB (Disciplinary Hearing Body) worked together to illegally stack multiple conduct reports against me.

As I previously mentioned, many years ago I committed an institutional murder, taking the life of a fellow inmate. For that particular transgression, I was given one year of solitary confinement, after which I was released back into general population, no strings attached.

As I said before, the details of that incident are of no importance here. What is important is the fact that I brutally took another person’s life. I murdered a human being and was given one year in solitary, whereas now, I sit in a much more harsh environment, for three times as long, for spreading love and positive messages on social media. This speaks volumes to the lack of concern this administration has for our lives and our well being, and even more so to their unquenchable desire to censor, limit and ultimately control what information we send out to the people.

I write to you now once again from solitary confinement, where I will spend the next three years, not for another act of violence, not even for a verbal assault, but for simply wishing my family a Merry Christmas on Facebook.

This system is corrupt and rotten, from the root to the tip. From the crooked officers who write us up, to the corrupt DHB staff who violate their own policies on a daily basis, to the blatant gangsterism of internal affairs, who, in a vulgar display of power, seem to decide our sanctions, even though it is nowhere in their job description to do so, all the way up to the head of the snake: the fascist administrative leaders who allow it all to happen. I am only one of the many victims of this corruption; fellow comrades, some who will leave before me and many who will remain after I am gone, are stuck in these deplorable conditions here at Pendleton Correctional Facility.

Many of us sit here with an excessive amount of time or altogether trumped up charges. We are allowed very little of our own personal property, which we paid for with our money. Only three showers per week, with no access to any actual hygiene products – no toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, deodorant, vitamins etc. Absolutely no commissary food items, only what the state kitchen provides, which is barely enough to satisfy the appetite of a small child.

Phone and kiosk restrictions for extended periods of time, usually for six months to a year. I myself am currently on a seven-month phone kiosk restriction, while the comrade Kwame Shakur will not be able to use the phone or kiosk until 2019, which, according to their own policies, they are not allowed to do.

Many of us sit here with an excessive amount of time or altogether trumped up charges.

A shining example of IA’s iron fist beating us into the ground: limiting contact with our families to only paper letters, which IA is further restricting by the day. The end goal being to completely eliminate all incoming paper mail and photos.

They have already completely done away with greeting cards of any and all types. No birthday cards. No Father’s Day cards. No Christmas cards. No exceptions!

I myself am currently on a seven-month phone kiosk restriction, while the comrade Kwame Shakur will not be able to use the phone or kiosk until 2019, which, according to their own policies, they are not allowed to do.

Our cells are searched, often times destroyed, every time we come out for showers or recreation – to deter us from wanting future showers or recreation. We are regularly sprayed with mace and physically assaulted while in restraints.

We are constantly denied medical attention. We are told that if we are not literally dying, the medical staff will not see us. We have little to no ventilation and temperatures often climb well above 90 degrees, yet we are denied ice, cold water and access to fresh air. These are just a few of the daily torturous conditions under which we live.

We are not just a number. We are not our crimes. We are men! We are fathers! We are sons! We are brothers! We are uncles! We are human beings! We are the people! And we are struggling!

We call on all comrades and any fellow human beings with any compassion in their hearts, to join our families and loved ones as they support and fight for us next month at the “Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela” demonstration, on July 18, 2018, International Nelson Mandela Day. Please come and show your support and be a voice for the voiceless.

We are not just a number. We are not our crimes. We are men! We are fathers! We are sons! We are brothers! We are uncles! We are human beings! We are the people! And we are struggling! Please come and show your support and be a voice for the voiceless.

Send our brother some love and light: Michael Carrico, 106495, Pendleton Correctional Facility, 4490 W. Reformatory Rd., Pendleton, Indiana 46064.

Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela: Join the panel and rally July 18 in Indianapolis

On July 18, International Nelson Mandela Day, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective in partnership with IDOC Watch will be holding a panel on political prisoners followed by a demonstration outside the IDOC headquarters to call attention to the ongoing abuse in Indiana prisons.

July 18 is a day to remember the revolutionary legacy of Nelson Mandela, held prisoner for nearly 30 years. In December of 2015, the United Nations General Assembly passed an update to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the Mandela Rules. The U.S. prison system is in flagrant violation of the statutes set forth not only in the basic humane treatment of its prisoners but in its holding of political prisoners and political prisoners of war.

In 2017, Jalil Muntaqim, founder of the Jericho Movement to free political prisoners, called for Nelson Mandela International Day to be a day for remembering and fighting for the many political prisoners like Mutulu Shakur, Sundiata Acoli, Mumia Abu Jamal etc. held in illegal confinement in the U.S.

On July 18, International Nelson Mandela Day, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective in partnership with IDOC Watch will be holding a panel on political prisoners followed by a demonstration outside the IDOC headquarters to call attention to the ongoing abuse in Indiana prisons.

The NALC, under the leadership of Chairman and Co-founder Kwame Shakur has taken up this call. On July 18, revolutionary organizers from across the country are coming to Indianapolis for a panel on political prisoners. Speakers on the panel are Kilaika Shakur, George Jackson University; Bilal Sunni Ali, The Jericho Movement; Erick Khafre Balogun, Millions for Prisoners; and Latoya Wall, New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter.

The panel will begin at Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46228 at 11 a.m. Following the panel, we will gather at the IDOC Headquarters, 302 W. Washington St. E334, Indianapolis, IN 46204 at 2:30 p.m. to protest the increasingly destructive, inhumane and illegal abuse of Indiana inmates.

Join us on July 18 and help fight for the liberation of political prisoners throughout the U.S.!

Learn more on Facebook and IDOC Watch.

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